Cobra Cobra

Cobra

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Publisher Description

Even for southern Italy, where superlative scenery is as common as wine, the view from the terrace of the Café Del Mare on such a night was enchanting.

In the moonlight the rocky shore line for half a mile or more was almost as clearly defined as by day. A hundred precipitous feet below, the oily waters of the bay gleamed like highly polished glass. The riding lights of a score of sea craft shone palely. Four miles to sea, Capri nestled brightly in the semi-darkness. Only for the intervening hills, the café might have commanded a spectacle of the acres of crowding lighting that was Naples, five miles to the northeastward across a segment of the crescent bay.

Nevertheless the corpulent Italian with the bristling moustachios scowled. He stood in the doorway of the Café Del Mare, with fairyland spread before him, and scowled. His grievance was professional. He was the proprietor of the café, and his annoyance at the moonlit panorama was due to the fact that it had not brought him more customers and liras.

He turned from his frowning contemplation of the bay and vented his mental displeasure upon the dozen or more Italians chattering around the tables on the terrace. Bah! They would sit there all night and talk and quarrel and laugh, but they bought only once in a great while. There was little money in Italians. They were useful only as local color for the real spenders, the tourists. For some reason the Café Del Mare did not attract many tourists.

At the present moment the establishment sheltered but three, all of them seated inside. It was stuffy and dimly lighted in there. Also a piano, a guitar and a harp were being tortured with execrable results only a few feet from them. But they seemed to prefer the discords to the noise of the natives on the terrace.

Of the three tourists, the hawk-like Englishman and his mouse-like wife had already incurred the displeasure of Signor Palladino, the proprietor. The Englishman, who was in Italy for his health, had complained testily in schoolroom Italian that the salad was indigestible and the wine not at all what he had ordered. There had been words, and hostilities would probably be renewed when the check arrived.

The third tourist, sitting apart by the open window overlooking the bay, was young and apparently an American. He did not, however, drink everything on the card, as Americans in Italy do. He had been sitting there now for nearly an hour, his one bottle of wine consumed. An expression of quiet, well-bred contentment was upon his rather delicate blond features. He was an unobtrusive patron, but not a profitable one.

GENRE
Fiction & Literature
RELEASED
2023
December 8
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
262
Pages
PUBLISHER
Library of Alexandria
SELLER
The Library of Alexandria
SIZE
2.3
MB

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