Monday, 4 May 2009
Draft of a possible page 1 of Doctor Onofrio.
Pietro left the room, and the Innominato, as soon as he was alone, rose from his chair, and for some minutes paced up and down the room, smoothing his long snowy beard with his hand, on which a gem of great price sparkled brilliantly.
“It is not difficult to divine what brings the Doctor Onofrio to me,” he murmured to himself. “He feels his age and infirmities weigh sore upon him, and he comes to ask me to prolong his life. And for what reason? He cannot hope to be reinstated in his judgeship, for he must be aware that his infamous reputation is too well known for that to be possible. Is it to ask for wealth? That is more probable; but, though he is far from being rich, he would hardly have taken so long a journey in this inclement weather on that account. Is it that he fears to die? Yes, it must be that which has brought him here, and that alone. He wishes to make his peace with Heaven, and he fears that, without my assistance, his life will end before he has succeeded. And he has good cause for his alarm. Few men carry on their shoulders a heavier weight of sins.”
---Sneak peek of later interview---
“Let us suppose,” said the Innominato, “that I have the power to extend your life for the period of a hundred years – that I can restore to you youth and strength, neither of which shall fade away, nor shall there be the slightest alteration in your personal appearance till your death – and that I have the power of giving you gold enough to satisfy the most avaricious; – what would you offer me in exchange?”
A singular change came over the countenance of the Doctor as the Innominato spoke. The anxiously-imploring look which he had hitherto worn now vanished, and another of eager and intense anxiety, not unmixed with cunning, took its place.