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Return to Sorrentina ~ Part 10 ~ The Past Haunts Hugo Dieter

user image 2014-06-13
By: Lady Leena Fandango
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Return to Sorrentina ~ Part 10 ~ The Past Haunts Hugo Dieter


Somehow, some way, the beast within had been released. Hugo was losing his grip on his reason, his pride and perhaps even his sanity. The last encounter with Mercury Gandt in the cafe at Rocca Sorrentina, had been a complete and utter disaster. Poor sweet Beatrice and Lady Aphrodite MacBain had looked on and then made a quick exit as Hugo raged, while the Conte Filippe Foscari had been forced to intervene. A duel between Mercury and himself may have happened right there on the spot, or even a summary execution.

Rocca Sorrentina had been so inviting and a haven from all the strife of Venezia. Beatrice, Elisabetta and Hugo has found a new home there and some solace, as least that is what Hugo thought. The tides of change were upon them and the past was coming back to haunt him. Hugo was muttering to himself as he sat on the beach, "Damnable sbirri, like a pebble in my shoe that won't cease to torment me. Beatrice and Elisabetta are probably no longer safe here, with Gandt being the sbirri pig that he is."

Hugo felt ridiculous, he had his suspicions about Gandt for some time now, but he had hoped it was lack of sleep and had managed to keep his temper in check, until now. His so-called friend, it was devastating how Beatrice has secretly learned of Mercury's true nature with the Conte leaving a document out revealing the truth. "Even helping Mercury with the Aubrey family mess back in England as I did, such stupidity, with Gandt's connections now, what difference does it make. I was such a fool."

Hugo was staring out at the waters surrounding Rocca Sorrentina, thinking of his own past dealings with the sbirri. Back in Venezia, Hugo had been so cocky, thinking he could outwit the sbirri at their own game. Always trying to keep one step ahead, he realized long ago he was dealing with the devil and he no longer wished to play. Cristoforo de Cristofoli, the head of the secret police, had kept his promise, allowing Hugo to run his opium through the Venetian port so the British East India Company didn't get wise. But at what cost?

Making his way to the church, the Chiesa di San Valentino, for some prayer and perhaps some absolution, Hugo thought back to the terrible night when he was called upon to do a despicable favor. Etched in his mind, he recalled the smell first, when the sbirri and Cristofoli himself had ordered him to a small warehouse near the docks and uncovered the bloated body of a dead man. The heat had created quite the stench, among other things, and Hugo had tried his best not to wretch in their presence. "Disposal," said Cristofoli in a hushed tone, pointing at the dead man and explaining further, "And we will never speak of this again else I confiscate all your holdings here in the city and leave you without so much as a wig to wear on your head. Delivering you to the British East India Company for violating their opium monopoly would bring me great pleasure, Signore Dieter. I doubt your countrymen would let you go quietly back to England to run the family tin mines, what will your dear parents think?"

887_blogs.png?width=750 Hugo remembered Cristofoli's menacing sneer and the smirks of his sbirri companions in the room. Hugo remembered the chill that ran along his spine as he held his coat sleeve over his own nose and mouth. He had nodded at Cristofoli and whispering quietly had asked, "Who is he?" Cristofoli had crossed the room quickly and gotten so close to Hugo's face he could almost smell his breath, even now that time had passed, "It's no concern of yours, you will take him on one of your ships, Signore Dieter, out of the harbor, far from shore and get rid of him, NOW!" Hugo had stepped back, away from this evil man, and simply nodded in compliance. Cristofoli had barked orders and his sbirri minions had covered the dead man up again and loaded the body into a crate, placing it in a small cart for transport to one of Hugo's ships.

The longest walk of Hugo's life had taken place that night, with darkness covering them but not necessarily the stench, the group found one of Hugo's ships and loaded the 'cargo' aboard. Cristofoli and the other sbirri stood on the dock for a moment, watching the ship leave the harbor of Venezia before being swallowed up by the darkness. Hugo's crew and captain knew better than to ask questions and they quickly made their way out to sea, the ship always stood ready.

Hugo had wondered who the poor dead soul was and stared at the crate as the Captain was steering the ship to open waters. Steeling himself against the stench, Hugo remembered opening the crate once more and looking for something, anything that could be useful. Hugo had then spied the ring, an elegant ring on the corpse's hand. "One step ahead of them," he whispered into the night as he took the ring off the dead man's hand and carefully tucked the limb back into the crate. Hugo had pocketed the ring for safekeeping as the Captain had announced, "Far enough Signore Dieter, let's be done with our task." Pulling the crate to the edge of the ship's deck, Hugo ordered two small cannonballs to be placed in with the deceased before the crate was nailed shut and then pushed overboard, quickly sinking and being swallowed up by the sea.

Hugo had made sure to stay away from Venezia after that awful night, as much as he could. And then sweet Beatrice's letter had come, asking for his help, in the one city he could barely stand. Hugo had been reunited with Beatrice, met Gandt and heard of the tale of the missing Contessa Elena Foscari. Beatrice's sister, Elisabetta, had been wrongly imprisoned by the sbirri in Venezia to gain the knowledge of the whereabouts of the Contessa Elena. The dead man's ring came in quite handy, trading that ring for the freedom of an innocent. Beatrice was overwhelmed with happiness when her dear sister, Elisabetta, was released. Hugo had assured Cristofoli that the ladies and himself were never going to be heard from again. Cristofoli had laughed and toyed with the ring, letting Hugo know he was sure that nothing more would come of this favor as Cristofoli announced haughtily, "Dead men tell no tales, do they Signore Dieter?"

888_blogs.png?width=750 Rising after his long prayer or rather re-living his tortured memories, Hugo was stiff and stretched his muscles. The ladies and himself had sailed here to Rocca Sorrentina for a fresh start. But, it was not to be it seemed. Walking out of the church, he made his way to the lawn in front of the Villa Vesuviana. Staring up at the beautiful facade of the villa, Hugo thought out loud, "The Conte is here yet his elusive daughter, the Contessa Elena, is still missing. Signore Gandt is in fact sbirri and the Conte made a slip with Beatrice, on purpose or by accident, of his occupation. The Conte uses his influence to control Gandt and myself, almost like the sbirri and that bastard Cristofoli. Will sweet Beatrice and Elisabetta be safe here with sbirri pigs at our heels? To duel or not to duel Signore Mercury Gandt, that will be the next question." Shaking his head, thinking of sleep, Hugo walks away with unclear and scattered thoughts still running through his head.

Contessa Elena Marina Foscari
13 Jun 2014 02:04:17PM @contessa-elena-marina-foscari:

A wonderful Chapter!!!!

I always knew there was more to Hugo than met the eye. Opium eh? How very interesting.....I wonder if The Conte is aware of this?

Lady Leena Fandango
13 Jun 2014 09:22:02PM @lady-leena-fandango:

Many thanks everyone for the likes :)

Thank you Contessa for the sweet comment :)

The Conte is such a sharp fellow, but I shall leave the answer to that question up to him :P

Aldo Stern
14 Jun 2014 06:21:37PM @aldo-stern:

ah so at last we know some more about Hugo's story.

excellent pictures as well!

Lady Leena Fandango
16 Jun 2014 07:09:54PM @lady-leena-fandango:

Thank you very much Professore :))

Lady Aphrodite Macbain
07 Jul 2014 09:33:29AM @lady-aphrodite-macbain:

This recollection, so eloquently told, explains so much! Poor Hugo; he has acted nobly and with such intelligence! I hope Hugo, Elisabetta and Beatrice are safe.