Monday, February 11, 1867
“So where are we going?” he asked.
“I recognized the flora stuck to Ugo’s shirt. We’re going to a copse of beech near the foot of Monte San Calogero. Your father and I used to picnic there before we were married, and I’d come home full of those same burrs and leaves.”
He turned his face to hers. “And what are we looking for?”
“Ugo’s missing boot and …” Her voice trailed off.
“… And a killer who may return to the scene of the crime.”
“How do you know Ugo’s murder is not the work of Don Tigro?”
“I don’t, not for sure. But I know this much. First, by the looks of the goods in his house, Ugo had a thriving business. He’d been at it a long time, built up customers, kept a ledger. Ugo wouldn’t have lasted as long as he did unless he paid up regularly. Men like Don Tigro get rid of their enemies quickly.”
Carlo shrugged. “Is there a ‘second?’” he asked.
She nodded. “Don Tigro’s thugs would have picked Ugo’s house clean of the gold and silver.”
Carlo thought a moment and nodded, more to himself than to her. “And how do you know the killer will return to the scene of the crime, assuming we find it?”
“A hunch. He’ll want to make sure there’s nothing left behind that could implicate him. If my guess is right, he’s disturbed about something.”
“Of course! Disturbed enough to kill.”
“No, I mean, distraught, wild, disturbed enough to stab Ugo, what, seventy-five, a hundred times.”
“We’ve been through this.”
“And how do the wild behave? Theirs is a small world. They go back to what they know and love, regardless of the danger.”
Carlo was about to say more, but Serafina continued. “Or he might just want to go back for whatever it is that madmen dream of.”
“And what you don’t know, you make up as you go along.”
How could she explain to her son about the knowledge of the heart, the flash of a wizard’s understanding? He was oblivious to such things, unlike his twin, Carmela. Not at all like her side of the family, many of whom had been gifted with apparitions. Not at all like Giorgio, either, who, while he lived, combined a love of dogged learning with the immediate grasp of genius. She shook her head.
“You’re in another world, again.” Carlo held the door open while Serafina smiled up at the stone angel above the lintel.
Photo: Dawn on the islands of the Cyclops, Sicily. Credit: gnuckx (Flickr)