The man arrived after morning prayers. Word spread quickly that someone had come, and the boys of Saint Anthony's orphanage elbowed each other and strained to catch a glimpse as he unhitched his horse and led it to the trough for drinking. The man's face was hard to make out, his hat was pulled so far down that the brim nearly touched his nose. He tied the reins to a post and then stood there, patting the horse's neck as it drank. The man waited, and the boys watched, and when the mare finally lifted her head, they saw the man lean forward, stroke the animal's nose, and kiss her. Then he wiped his lips with the back of his hand, removed his hat, and made his way across the yard to the monastery.
From The Good Thief: A Novel by Hannah Tinti