Leonardo's Shadow Or, My Astonishing Life As Leonardo Da Vinci's Servant

Leonardo's Shadow Or, My Astonishing Life As Leonardo Da Vinci's Servant
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  • ISBN-13: 9781416905431
  • ISBN: 141690543X
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing


Grey, Christopher Peter, Grey, Christopher


I What do I remember? "Thief!" "Grab him!" "There he goes -- !" "Don't let him escape -- !" I was running right and left, wildly and without thought, threading my way through the stalls of the market in the main square. Ten paces behind, a great crowd was chasing me, waving sticks and fists, cursing and shouting. Some of them were old, but that didn't stop them. There were women, too. All had sour faces. They thought I was a thief. If I was caught I would be strung up by the neck from the nearest doorway and left there to swing, for the dogs to bark at. So I ran and I ran, skipping in between the market stalls, knocking down barrels of salt fish and baskets of red plums, always keeping a tight hold on my ragbag. Each time someone new saw me running, they took up the alarm -- "Stop, thief!" "Somebody take him!" "The boy must be stopped!" But I would never let them -- even though I felt sick almost to death. I had the fever, I knew that. There was a mist in front of my eyes and I was burning up inside. But to stop now was to stop forever. Never! They would never take me while I lived. I led them around and around, diving under tables and over carts, pulling down barrows and boxes behind me, but still they followed, more and more of them. The sun was blazing overhead. It was midsummer. The flies were thick in the air, hanging heavily over the meat and fish. There was a terrible smell. I wanted to vomit. And then I stumbled -- and a great cheer arose from behind me. "He's fallen!" "Take him now! Now!" But I got up almost as quickly, my head spinning, bright lights flashing in front of my eyes. Which way -- ? Fifty paces ahead of me was the Cathedral. The great doors were wide open. I started for them. Up the marble steps -- one, three, five -- leaping over a beggar, fast asleep -- "He's entering the Cathedral!" "He mustn't -- !" And then I was inside. Running from the bright white summer light into the dense dark gloom straightway robbed my eyes of their sight. I rubbed them again and again. The marble under my bare feet was cool. It made me shiver. High above me in the Cathedral vaulting I could hear birds flapping their wings. The sound filled my head. I clapped my hands over my ears. All my senses were on fire because of the accursed fever. The windows were made of glass stained blue and green and red. The light streamed through them. I looked at my hands, covered with colored bands. The marble floor was filled with a rainbow light. The colors were swirling before my eyes. I was going to fall -- I couldn't stay up -- "There he is!" No time to rest. No time to think. They were still on my tail. I took a deep breath and started to run again -- Up the central nave towards the high altar at the far end of the Cathedral. God will save me! A priest ran out of the shadows -- "Halt, boy! You cannot -- " No! I pulled myself past him, leaving him to fill his arms with air. I looked left and right -- The mob was inside the Cathedral, fifty or more oGrey, Christopher Peter is the author of 'Leonardo's Shadow Or, My Astonishing Life As Leonardo Da Vinci's Servant' with ISBN 9781416905431 and ISBN 141690543X.

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