The Day Of The Party
The day of the party had arrived. Signore Marco rose early and descended to the big kitchen of his Venetian home. He knew most men of his rank and station in life (and ladies as well, of course) would have called for their servants to bring them their breakfast but the Signore was not an ordinary nobleman. A man of his time in what regarded fashion and art he was nonetheless ahead of his contemporaries in his habits. An ardent follower of Maese Da Vinci, his meals were simple and devoid of the corpses which delighted so many. Just a piece of fruit and some fine bread sufficed for his breakfast.
While he drank his lemon water he noticed some small bird on his window sill and got some seeds for him. The bird ate gratefully and it was at this time Luigino entered the kitchen.
“What ails you, my boy?”
“You did not call me, Signore so I could not be of service…”
“Luigino, I am not bedridden, the Lord be blessed for that. Should I rise early I will not call you, I enjoy a moment of solitude. And see, this little bird is a new friend, has a nest somewhere no doubt. Pass orders to Cook he is not to disturb him in any manner. These are my orders.”
“I shall do so, Signore.”
“And now, my boy, let us think of the party tonight. You shall come with me, of course, as my valet and man of trust.”
“Signore, such generosity.”
“Hush, none of that,” laughed Signore Marco, “Kings and queens travel with their people in waiting so I follow suit! I expect our attire to be most appropriate for the occasion so on your way to see to that after your breakfast, my boy.”
“Yes, Signore, I can go now if you wish.”
“None of that, a morning meal gives you energy for these tasks. Is it a costume ball?”
“I trust we have some capes and masks?”
“We do, Signore, capes, and masks in fine material.”
“Good. You will see to that later, Luigino. I want us to look our best tonight, fate smiles at those who look their best.”
“You are so right, Signore.” Luigino smiled at his master trustingly. He knew his love for fineries and such and this vanity assured him of the humanity of his master, whom he had believed to be godlike when Signore Marco promised to take care of him. Signore Marco had fulfilled his promise and Luigino had grown to be a fine young man. He had also become Signore Marco´s most trusted person and was proud of that. He took care of the affairs of the Signore and was rewarded with a fine purse of gold coins every month.
At first, he had refused but Signore Marco insisted. “No person should work for free,” he said. Luigino had come to accept his master as a man of advanced ways and praised his good fortune. Whereas to Signore Marco, he had never been so well assisted so he praised not only his good fortune but the love the boy´s mother had made him feel long ago. Signore Marco also had his hidden secrets.
The morning passed quietly and after a light meal at midday started preparing a tub for his master´s ablutions. The water was to be slightly scented and Luigino saw everything was to his master´s liking. He also kept some water for his own ablutions for he knew the Signore valued cleanliness highly.
The time came for them to get dressed, Luigino had seen to their attire most carefully. Signore Marco´s clothes were black and his cape was trimmed with velvet. Luigino was dressed in grey and his cape was also trimmed. Both had fine caps and their masks ready to be put on at the party. The night was set when they went out. Signore Marco insisted on walking, much to Luigino´s dismay.
“Signore, what of the others´ thinking? A fine nobleman without a carriage!”
“Luigino, the night is beautiful, the moon is high and lights our way. Fear not, this place is near, I have read the map of Venice today.
“Signore is most brave. Still, the neighbourhood of the canals is…”
“Dangerous? Put those fears away, we are going to a party, my boy.”
Luigino marvelled at the depth of his master´s feelings and also his lightness, a most rare quality he hoped to achieve one day.
And thus, the two of them walked in the night of Venice, dressed in fine clothes, a man in his prime and a boy just out of his teens,
sharing the same dangerously charming zest for life.