too… it’s far too hot!’ she laughs back at him. ‘This is perfect. It
doesn’t need to get much warmer than this.’
Vivaldi nods his assent. The wine and food have made him
sleepy. He lies on his back and for the ﬁrst time in weeks hears
music playing in his head again. Yes, spring is here. The birds are
welcoming it with a joyous anthem.
Paolina looks down at Antonio, asleep and softly snoring. Sipping
her wine, she looks about her. What will she do once they are back?
She misses the wig-making shop not one bit, but the way she has to
make her way so stealthily through the town and market grieves
her. She is happy that Angelica has taken Anna so securely under
her wing. Annina is convinced that she has found her vocation as a
singer, and for now Paolina is quite content to go along with the
girl. It makes a distraction, and it’s very nice for her not to have to
keep an eye on the child every minute of the day. The work she is
doing for the priest she ﬁnds very satisfying. It’s not too heavy and
nowadays she even has time to read. Antonio Vivaldi has shown
himself to be a good friend. She remembers how he never took
advantage of her when she was at her most vulnerable. He is a
priest, of course, but still a man for all that. She ﬁnds it difﬁcult to
guess at his true feelings. His liking for her is obvious, but is it
love? And does she love him? Looking at his curls, she has to smile
at the memory of their ﬁrst meeting. Whoever could have imagined
that ten years later he would be lying snoring at her feet on the
banks of the Mincio?
She cannot make out what her feeling for him is. She
knows she likes him very much, but is not sure if she is in love with
him. He has so many different faces; she will have to get to know
him better! But is that possible? Today is special; tomorrow will be
a day like any other, and she likes the thought of that much less.
Best of all she would like to leave Mantua today and never return,
but she knows she has nowhere to go. Several times she has tried
to coax Antonio to share his own plans, but these seem completely
vague and even vary from day to day. All she can do is wait and see!
197-248 Chapter 5.indd 244 22-11-2007 14:11:19