ilver gossamer, spangled with crystals. The friendly country westward, vineyards and white villas, laughed in the sun at the Gnisi, sulking black in shadow to the east. The lake lay deep and still, a dark sapphire. And away at the valley's end, Monte Sfiorito, always insubstantial-seeming, showed pale blue-grey, upon a sky in which still lingered some of the flush of dawn.
It was a surprisingly jolly garden, true enough. But though Peter remained in it all day long--though he haunted the riverside, and cast a million desirous glances, between the trees, and up the lawns, towards Castel Ventirose--he enjoyed no briefest vision of the Duchessa di Santangiolo.
Nor the next day; nor the next.
"Why does n't that old dowager ever come down and look after her river?" he asked Marietta. "For all the attention she gives it, the water might be undermining her property on both sides."
"That old dowager--?" repeated Marietta, blank.
"That old widow woman--my landlady--the Duchessa Vedov
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