Dance With The Devil (13)

As the small party stood on the dockside at the Port of New York preparing to board the ocean liner, ‘SS Conte Biancamano’, en-route to Naples by way of Halifax, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona, Palermo, Cannes and Genoa, Maria could not help but notice that Salvatore’s complexion looked ever so slightly grey which was in stark contrast to his normally dark tan.

The reason for this, unbeknownst to Maria, was that Salvatore was not a good sailor and was viewing the ship with alarming trepidation.

Indeed, Salvatore had only ever been on a ship once before and that was the one that brought him to New York along with Carlo Liuzzi. The pair, having met on board ship, had been processed through Ellis Island’s immigration centre together and had been friends ever since. However, apart from that chance meeting, Salvatore’s memory of the voyage was not a happy one and he had suffered from extreme sea sickness even on a calm sea.

When Carlo had instructed him to accompany Maria to Italy it had been Salvatore’s one reservation. He was in absolutely no rush to repeat what had been one of the worst experiences of his entire life but it was a sacrifice he was willing to make.

With Maria out of the picture and no other heir to stake a claim on the Liuzzi fortune, Falcone was in line to inherit millions. In his view, it was only what he was entitled to for all his years of loyal service. Friendship or not, Salvatore was not much better than a glorified errand boy to the older Carlo who had fared much the better in the hands of Uncle Sam than he, himself, had. Which was a fact that had always rankled.

But he was also one for the bigger picture and once he caught wind of the affair between Carlo’s precious daughter and the lowly gardener he suspected it was only a matter of time before good fortune at last shone on him. It did not do any harm, of course, to inform Liuzzi of the sordid little tryst in the pool house which had ended so badly for Armando and the unfortunate Nathaniel and so well for Salvatore. In fact, things could scarcely have gone better if he had planned it himself, although this sea voyage was, admittedly, an unforeseen and most unwelcome blip.

He just hoped that his resilience to the constant, unrelenting movement of the ship had strengthened with age.

Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here


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