Twas a bright day in Venice. The salt hung in the air. All about was the noice of the crowds, Patricians in their glorious robes discussing their schemes in soft voices, humble shopkeepers hawking their wares, a few soldiers standing guard stoicly, making sure all was done properly and peacefully-not a job to win glory but a service to the Republic all the same.
Amid the bustle an old man was walking. About him were a small group of urchins."Messer Marco, Messer Marco", they cried, "tell us about when you were on the other side of the world." Marco looked on affectionately, "All right he said-any preference". One boy said, "Tell us how you got away from the Caruna enchanters!"
Marco said, "That one again?-well if you wish."
He continued, "The Carrunas are evil enchanters with the power to turn light into darkness. Clocked by their spell they fall upon unwary travellers, despoil their merchandice and sell their persons for slaves to the Saracens."
The children gave an appreciative shudder.
Then a man walked up. "Antonio", he said, "I told you to be at the shop."
Antonio said, "I'm sorry papa, I was just listening to Messer Marco tell about how he got away from the enchanters."
The man sighed, "That one again? They were just robbers who knew from all their time lurking in their hills when a storm was coming. One of them followed your party and gave signals to the others."
Marco grinned, "Well, that could have been the way it happened...
but it wouldn't have been as good a tale"
And a good day was had by all.
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