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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Roads around #Ravello 12. (Final Chapter) by John von Daler

                    After many hours of this melodious dalliance I realized that I had promised the prioress to return for dinner. Standing up from our playground I could hardly see the hag, the sun having disappeared in the direction of Bari. But I was able to ascertain that her make-up wasn’t what it had been. Now any connoisseur knows that you do not fault the artist that his colors run, especially if you have had your fingers on his work, so I kept quiet. But suddenly the hag looked me directly in the eye.
                      ”Can you not see who I am?” she said.
                      ”No” I replied.
                      ”Look into my eyes” she said. I looked but could not see.
                      ”Hunt,” she said. I stopped my looking and pulled back.
                      ”Say no more, my darling. I will from this moment on call you
Diane, the goddess of the hunt.”
                      ”Ah, yes,” she answered, ”and you shall be the hunter – for the hunter and the hunted are like two locked caskets, each of which contains the key to the other.”
                      I looked her deeply into her eyes.
                      ”Goodbye, my love,” I said and turned toward the door. Then I stopped. ”If you are who I think you are, then why did you sit on the square in these rags?”
                      ”Ah, my love, I, like all the stars of the world want to know what my fans think of me, so I cannot resist sneaking into the real world in disguise just to hear what they think of my performances.”
                      ”I am your greatest fan,” I said,
                      ”Yes,” she answered, ”The fans and stars of the world are like two
locked caskets, each of which..."
                      I closed the door, as I had heard this part before, and ran down the stairs. My violin was still wedged between the walls and I heaved it loose and ran towards the square as well as I could remember. Above my head a raven
squawked and flapped its wings, and I thought I heard, ”like two locked caskets...” but I might have been mistaken.
                      At the square the carabiniere stopped me, his musket across his chest, his hat at a serious angle.
                      ”Stop, stop! Have you seen Miss Helen Hunt? She is missing and we fear that her greatest fan has spirited her away. Have you seen her? You look very suspicious yourself” he said and caught me by the collar.
                      ”No, I have not seen her” I said. ”I have been making love to the hag in the square”, thinking that only the truth could work here.
                       The carbiniere looked directly at me and said, ”Mama, mia. Somebody should lock you up and throw away the key, you imbecile!” And he walked into the Ravello night.
                        At San Cataldo I sat down for dinner at the ringing of the second gong and took a bite of my soup.
                      ”Did you have a nice day, my dear?” asked the prioress.

John von Daler
San Cataldo Nov 12, 2003

Order my book: "Pieces: A Life in Eight Movements and a Prelude" (WiDo Publishing) from your favorite bookseller.

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