Alchemist Gift and Alchemy
Chapter 3 Alchemist Gift and Alchemy
Alchemist Gift – Feeling very alone because of the count’s absence, Rosalba let her mind drift to Casa Bella, her ancestral home. It was a beautiful world unto itself. As her dowry was more than ample, and so demanded by her father, Casa Bella was kept in her name when she wed. That is where she and the count lived. The estate and lands covered a small valley. Over the years, from the work of many hands the hillsides were terraced and planted with grapes, olive, fig, lemon, almond, pear and hazelnut trees. A wide stream and two springs produced plenty of water. Where the hills met level ground golden meadows rolled forth and eventually transformed into a smaller line of hills, a natural border that ended the valley as well as the estate.
A number of cottages and out buildings were scattered throughout the hillsides and orchards. A few were empty as they were only used by itinerant laborers at harvest time. The cottages were for the families who did the work. Many lived in the same homes that their grandparents did. Some of the peasant children left; a good number never to be heard of again, but those who returned did not do so out of shame or defeat, they returned to Casa Bella, to a life of simple beauty and for a love of the land.
Rosalba gladly lost herself in these thoughts and images even though her refuge was invaded constantly by Bishop DiMars in his not so veiled attempt to garner favor or at least a mention Rosalba might make to “her cardinals” as the bishop called them. All the while the bishop spoke a large black fly would not stop pestering him. He would wave it off and it would return, landing on his ears, then his eyes and even on his upper lip. Rosalba finally told Bishop DiMars she would mention him next time she wrote. The bishop smiled, sat back in his chair and returned to twiddling his thumbs.
A flock of pigeons noisily flew around the square a few times and as quickly as they appeared they flew out of sight. The faint rumble of distant thunder was just barely heard. A black mongrel dog howled. The mayor cleared his throat to get the bishop’s attention and leaned forward with an expectant look on his face.
“Did you hear that? It’s thunder. I told you today might not be a good day for this. Remember that Patriarca wanted to wait until next month. ”
The bishop answered with a bit of impatience. “Renaldi, please, have faith. The fires will burn hot enough to turn any rain drops to vapor, and it is God’s will what we do.”
“God’s will, “ Repeated the mayor blandly and with a barely hidden incredulous tone in his voice. “We both have something to gain from today, let’s hope you are right. It’s not too late…”
“It is time Arturo, it is time.” The bishop nodded and with a quick gesture of his hand he signaled to the bailiff to send for the guilty. The bailiff in turn gave a nod to the captain. He snapped his fingers at the six young men who were waiting just inside the portico of the town hall. The men disappeared into the shadows and returned shortly with the convicted, who, all but one because she was too weak, were led single file and made to face the dais. The weak one was helped by two guards, who supported her, one on each side. Her gray head bobbed as she shuffled along behind the others.
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The Alchemist Gift is a book about the lives of people in the Renaissance and the alchemy that brought them together with its repercussions on our modern-day hero, Roland.
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copyright 2013 Mark D. Giglio, www.theartofgiglio.com
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