We have a warm sunny day here in central Florida. Sorry you folks up north are having such a bad time of it. It makes me shiver just to see the pictures of all that white stuff. Console yourself with a hot drink and think of sunny Italy as we look at the last part of my preview from "My Heart Still Surrenders."
* * * *
“Ma’donna Carolina, don’t cry so. You will make yourself ill. Come, let Maria hold you.” The woman, a distant cousin of her late mother, had been her companion since childhood. She enfolded Carolina in her arms and held her against her amble, dark clothed bosom.
“Maria, I’ll never see him again. We’ve been planning to marry since we were children. How will I live without him?” She sat up straight and attempted to compose herself. “What will I do so far away in Turin? Why must I serve a cause I don’t understand?”
“You must be patient. Perhaps your father will come to his senses.” The older woman stroked a hand down her arm to comfort her, but Carolina found no hope in Maria's bleak, distant expression as the older woman stared out the carriage window.
* * * *
Across the expanse of uneven ground, the man standing in the shelter of the cypress trees lowered his binoculars. He tilted them so the sun would not reflect off the lenses and disclosure his presence. He retraced his steps to the horse he’d tethered in the shelter of the stone ruins at the edge of the cemetery.
“Come Compeador. The young lovers, whoever they are, will no doubt find their way through whatever troubles them, but their presence has delayed our journey long enough. I must deliver the King’s message to my contact in the Vatican before midnight.”
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