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lastrow-1-1…………………………. In that frosty morning in late January it was snowing profusely on the roads north of Rome, and preceded by three men on horseback – Angiolello da Carignano with the two warrior brothers Micozzo and Nicolò Dal Poggio – the Lord of Roncodreddo moved slowly, followed by another horse ridden by the young groom Piero Del Guado, who lead a mule loaded with all their luggage. They had left the day before and the dangerous Roman countryside was now behind them, but the shiny steel armor of Giacomo Malatesta was still there, hidden under the heavy cloak of dark wool and protecting it completely: with greaves, poleyns and chain link defended his legs, gardbrace and canons the shoulder the upper limbs.

He had Angiolello help him to shield the pelvis and the thighs with articulated blades, back three steel plates connected to a harness protect the back. Only at that point did he put on the decorated morion on his head, the open type and with a visor and pronounced crest that ran along the crown. No one was allowed to touch his sword, it was he who put the strap around the waist for the scabbard. He did not wear firearms, but kept two short muskets to hand in holsters next to the saddle.Those four people had accompanied him for some time in his travels in Tuscany, Veneto, Marche and Romagna, guaranteeing his safety and some discretion.

It is getting close to senset, and the hill of Todi could be glimpsed finally close on their right but Giacomo continued to feel very cold, especially in the limbs, where the collar of his cloak lined with bearskin not cover him. It was not the first time that they had crossed Apennines in winter and knew what to wear, guided more by experience than by fashion: balloon pants ending above the knee and long-sleeved woolen shirt, then the fustian doublet with a high collar, but it was not possible to wear a warm cloak lined with fur over it, because he needed to protect himself with steel against the hidden dangers of those places first before the rigors of the frost. With the Tiber iced over in places but now behind them, after Pontecuti there would be little more than a mile of woodland to the left of the road that climbed up to the inn of the Black Cat, just inside the city walls of Todi.

There a great fireplace awaited them, the same one that had restored heat and hot food to their bodies on their way to Rome. Angiolello was strangely still a quarter of a mile uphill from them and was listening to the howling of the wolves that had accompanied them from the second corner after the bridge. He was staring into the woods and nervously clutching the reins of the horse that was restlessly moving from side to the side. The flash of the short musket that was cradling his right hand anticipated the sound of the shot, breaking the silence that had covered the valley like a second coat. ………thelastrow

THE LAST ROW is a novel published by Meeting Benches http://meetingbenches.com/bench/e-book-english-version/ and Amazon books https://www.amazon.com/Last-Row-Dante-Evangelisti-ebook/dp/B00SYV3ETG in e-book format of Italian and English language. This page is taken from those pages of love and adventure. The two parallel stories that you are reading, they are made of emotions and feelings, those of Bianca and Jacopo, fragile human beings who move inside two horizons: the Battle of Lepanto, and an city of the current time. The fortuitous discovery of old chains for convicts will unite the two horizons, them merging into a single time dimension.

Dante Evangelisti was born in Italy and graduated in Psycho-Sociology of Communication. For many years he worked for international insurance company. With passion for history, geography and photography, he observed – during his travels – countries and human beings, preserved memories in travel diaries, useful for narrate his stories. In order to keep up all those challenging reflections, the pages were transferred into novels and poems under the pseudonym Dastilige Nevante.

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