The gloves were white silk, and they belonged to the Cardinal. John Salley suddenly wonders what happened to them. "Where are 'those gloves, Ernie?" he asks.
"I burned them," says Ernie Scarano.
The afternoon air is cool, the day sunny. The conversation is being held in the garden. Salley is stretched out on a bench. He's a long and slim man, with a face that everyone tells him is borrowed from comedian Arsenio Hall. His sport coat is a black-and-white check. He's wearing sunglasses with purple frames.
"Burned the gloves?" asks Salley.
"John...." Scarano says.
"I had to, John," says Scarano. "You know that. They were sacred. The ashes are buried right over there, with the other stuff."
Scarano points to the burial area, which is approximately 10 feet long and five feet wide. The grass is gone, the earth turned over. Next to the burial area is the four-car garage. A vintage Lincoln Continental sits in front. Above the garage are the rooms that once were servants' quarters. They will be converted into offices.
Scarano says he had to burn for three days: shoes, vestments, linens. That's the old rule. Scarano was a Passionist Fathers seminarian. He knows the rules of the Roman Catholic Church, even the ones, like this, that aren't in force anymore: Anything sacred has to be burned when it comes time to discard it. "How about the red shoes and the red socks?" Scarano asks.
"They were wild," Salley says.