Through a Glass Darkly

Through a Glass Darkly by Donna Leon

Book: Through a Glass Darkly by Donna Leon Read Free Book Online
Authors: Donna Leon
join the two buildings together and he’d double his production.’ Navarro thought about this possibility for a while and nodded.
    â€˜Fasano runs the Glassmakers’ Association, doesn’t he?’ Vianello asked as the waiter arrived with another bowl of potatoes. Vianello let the waiter spoon a few on to his plate, but Navarro and Brunetti said no.
    In answer to Vianello’s question, Navarro smiled at the waiter and said, ‘That’s what he does now, but who knows what he wants to become?’ Hearing this, the waiter nodded and turned away.
    Brunetti feared the conversation was veering away from De Cal, so he interrupted to say, ‘I’ve heard there’s been talk that De Cal’s been threatening his son-in-law.’
    â€˜You mean that he says he’s going to kill him?’
    â€˜Yes,’ Brunetti said.
    â€˜He’s said it in the bars, but he was usually drunk when he said it. Drinks too much, the old bastard,’ Navarro said, filling his glass again. ‘He’s got diabetes and shouldn’t drink, but . . .’ Navarro paused and considered something for a moment, then said, ‘That’s funny. You know, in the last couple of months he’s started to look worse, like the disease is really getting to him.’
    Brunetti, who had seen the old man only once some weeks before, had no point of comparison: he had seen an old man weakened and perhaps fuddled by years of drink.
    â€˜I’m not sure this is a legitimate question, Signor Navarro,’ Brunetti began, taking a sip of wine he did not want. ‘You think there’s any real threat?’
    â€˜You mean that he’d really kill him?’
    Navarro finished his wine and put the glass on the table. He made no move to help himself to more and called to the waiter for three coffees. After he had given the order, he returned to Brunetti’s question and at last said, ‘I think I’d rather not answer that, Commissario.’
    The waiter cleared away their plates. Both Brunetti and Vianello said that the meal hadbeen excellent, and Navarro seemed more pleased than the waiter to hear them say it. When the coffee came, he put two packets of sugar into his cup, stirred it, looked at his watch, and said, ‘I’ve got to get back to work, gentlemen.’ He stood and shook hands with both of them, called over to the waiter that the bill was his and that he’d pay it the next day. Brunetti started to object, but Vianello stood and put out his hand again and thanked the older man. Brunetti did the same.
    Navarro smiled one last time and said, ‘Take good care of my sister’s boy for me, all right?’ He went over to the door, opened it, and was gone.
    Brunetti and Vianello sat back down. Brunetti drank the last of his coffee, looked over at Vianello, and asked, ‘Did Pucetti call you?’
    â€˜What did he say?’
    â€˜That you were coming out here and maybe I should join you.’
    Undecided as to whether he liked it or not, Brunetti finally said, ‘I liked that about the nuclear waste.’
    â€˜I’m sure it’s a feeling in which you are joined by countless people in the government,’ Vianello said.

    â€˜ OH MY, OH my, oh my,’ Vianello said, directing his attention to the entrance of the trattoria. Brunetti, curious, started to turn around, but Vianello put a hand on his arm and said, ‘No, don’t look.’ When Brunetti was facing him again, Vianello said, unable to disguise his surprise, ‘What Navarro said about De Cal is true: he looks much worse than he did the last time.’
    â€˜Where is he?’
    â€˜He just came in and he’s standing at the bar, having a drink.’
    â€˜Alone or with someone?’
    â€˜He’s with someone,’ Vianello answered. ‘And that’s what’s interesting.’
    â€˜Because he’s

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