Author: F. Marion Crawford
Release Date: September 18, 2005 [eBook #16720]
Character set encoding: ISO-646-us (us-ASCII)
***Start of the project gutenberg EBOOK Marzio’s crucifix and Zoroaster***
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F. MARION CRAWFORD
P.F. Collier & Son
[Illustration: He moved not through the long hours of day. —Zoroaster.]
“The whole of this modern fabric of existence is a living lie!” cried Marzio Pandolfi, striking his little hammer upon the heavy table with an impatient rap. Then he dropped it and turning on his stool rested one elbow upon the board while he clasped his long, nervous fingers together and stared hard at his handsome apprentice. Gianbattista Bordogni looked up from his work without relinquishing his tools, nodded gravely, stared up at the high window, and then went on hammering gently upon his little chisel, guiding the point carefully among the delicate arabesques traced upon the silver.
“Yes,” he said quietly, after a few seconds, “it is all a lie. But what do you expect, Maestro Marzio? You might as well talk to a stone wall as preach liberty to these cowards.”
“Nevertheless, there are some—there are half a dozen—” muttered Marzio, relapsing into sullen discontent and slowly turning the body of the chalice beneath the cord stretched by the pedal on which he pressed his foot. Having brought under his hand a round boss which was to become the head of a cherub under his chisel, he rubbed his fingers over the smooth silver, mechanically, while he contemplated the red wax model before him. Then there was silence for a space, broken only by the quick, irregular striking of the two little hammers upon the heads of the chisels.