Alchemist's Gift

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Suspicion Always Haunts

A week had passed before Marcella was missed. At first there was suspicion put on Farintino, and then on Prunella, that they were hiding her.

“Be glad she is gone, to wherever,” was Farintino’s bland reply to anyone who asked. Prunella would only say, “Pray for your soul and the souls of all those you judge,” which usually gave the busybody pause. After a month, Marcella was forgotten. New tidbits concerning how the rich merchant Lucius Conino was caught having coitus with a tavern tart in the alley behind the stable tumbled off the ends of the gossips’ black little tongues. Conino’s equals thought him stupid for not being discreet and the women in his circle gushed with catty compassion for his long-suffering wife, hoping deep down that their men were not doing the same behind their backs, or at least that they would not be caught.

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