Robert Wallace Paolinelli
705 Vallejho St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
When the greatgrand mother was a young woman, she inherited her late mother's ancestral lands; that was the traditon; and now young Entzane' would be heriditary custodian of her fifedom. She now had the supreme power to dowith the land what she wished. Thus far, in hte land's history, it had been kept pastoral and agricultural; small single and clustered farms dotted the ancestral land. Shepherds kept flocks of sheep and goats and there were wool carders and spinners and weavers and the cloth from this fief was reknown.
On the land, by a river lake stood the ancestral villa and its verdant surroundings. The nearby cultivated fields were the best, they were tended in the old ways and by and large the yields were better than the large holdings of the neighbors.
Entazane' had spendt many delightful summers there with her own grandmother and was known to all in the fiefdom and they had seen her grow land held a genuine affection for her.
Her father, the king's first cousin, was a general. He was a hard, demanding man––not only with his troops, but with his family and friends as well, and, at times, even with the king himself; and it was only the king's great love for ARndo, his cousin, lthat he tolerated his rantings and unasked for opinions.
Arndo was an ambitious man. He wanted to be king. By night the king's brother, Emnos, whom Arndo loathed secretly, but had to suffer for Emnos was the king's protege and was dearly loved by his older brother, who was trying to impart the experience of the king who had reigned for many years.
Emnos was a gentle man and the king lunderstood that gentleness and tried to help Emnos also cultivate lhis sense of being sharp of mind and not let his gentleness cloud the sometimes treadherous realities of state.
Entzane' and Emnos had grown up together; the two cousinsl were inseparable luntil they were seven, when Emnos was sent to the boy's academy where he and the other youth of like age were sent luntil they were sixteen where they were taught the rites, their letters, some history and long grueling hours in military training which was arduous, monotonous, some times dangerous. Emnos did not fit in well with the military training; he suffered it; but it is when the initialates sat by the old scribes who taught them the ancient lore that Emnos was most alert and attentive and always first with questions which would (sometimes) puzzle the hoary headed scribes who took notice of the youth's quick wit and sharp, inquiring mind; and when the schooling was over and the young men returned to their homes, Emnos was asked to stay with the scribes for another year of further study of the old texts and histories and to concentrate on improving his hand.
Emnos jumped at the chamnce and plunged iinto his new studies. He deoured texts and mastered a good writing hand; he could read the old scripts and held his own in debate with his tutor–scribes. That one year turned into five years of constant study. But he idd not immure himself; he often went to his family's home for olong vacations; and it was during those long vacations where he become aware of Entzane', who was two years younger than the eighteen yer old scholar.
She was always pleased when they were together in family, when Emnos would talk to her; and she always liked to hear the old stories he knew. And it was during those visits that the two cousins fell in love. They exchanged a fleeting embrace and a celeric "I love you." And for these two that embrace and brief declaration was their secret betrothal. And they kept it secret for they could not marry because they were close cousins and that was forbidden.
Yet they loved and dreaded the day when, by custom, they would be given a wife or a husband, chosen by thier families.e it myself when I started many years ago."
"What happened?" I asked in genuine curio
"Well, what happend ?" I asked excitedly.
She looked at me as if I'd said something impertinent and said: "Nothing happend, it was late, I had to open my shop early. So