Secret of the Song by Cathie Hartigan

Secret of the Song by Cathie Hartigan

Author:Cathie Hartigan [Hartigan, Cathie]
Language: eng
Format: epub, azw3
Publisher: CreativeWritingMatters
Published: 2015-10-05T21:00:00+00:00

After very many kisses of all different sorts and in all different places, we lay on the picnic cloth in the late sunshine.

‘Rome?’ I said, suddenly remembering. ‘Why are you going there?’

‘It is Signor Carlino’s idea, although I must say, Signor Pace is not so keen.’ Salvo hesitated. ‘The thing is … wait, let me show you something.’ He reached across me to the leather bag he always wore over his shoulder and took out a paper. ‘Here.’

I could not help gasping at what I saw. It was a frontispiece, an engraving – the sort I’d seen in all of Donna Maria’s books, but none were so lovely as the one I held in my hand.

‘But, Salvo …’ Suddenly, I was short of words. I was looking at a pastoral scene not dissimilar to the one we were in. A grove, but well kept, the trees hanging with plentiful fruit. Birds flitted about and sat on the branches, I could almost hear them singing. In the centre was a small choir, and I could see that the picture I held in my hand was reproduced in miniature for the copy that each of the singers held. They had an audience of both real and imaginary beasts and above the trees, angels cupped their hands to their ears in an effort to hear the music from below.

Tears formed in my eyes. ‘Salvo,’ I mumbled, ‘this is so … so beautiful.’

‘Thank you. I’m rather pleased with it. Look,’ he pointed at two of the singers, ‘did you notice …’

‘Oh!’ I laughed and choked on tears all at the same time. ‘It’s you and me.’

‘Yes,’ he said, pleased with himself. ‘We may never get our portraits painted, Silvia, but we’ll have our faces alive in this for some time to come. That’s if Signor Marenzio likes it, of course.’

‘Signor Marenzio?’ I said, impressed. The composer’s name was often mentioned by the musicians at the palazzo. ‘I’m sure he will. It’s nicer than anything I’ve ever seen, and it’s very much better than the one in Orlando Furioso.’

Salvo kissed me on the nose and I inhaled the delicious inky scent of him. ‘You can keep that one if you like,’ he said. ‘I’d like to give you a perfect one but Signor Pace counts the pages and would miss one.’

‘But isn’t this perfect?’

‘There’s a smudge in that corner.’

Then I could see, but it was nothing but a small blot. ‘I’ll treasure it,’ I said, and I held it next to my heart.


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