“Agent Leone!! What a surprise to see you here!” Maggie rushed up and gave the agent a hug.
“You too, signora!” replied Leone. “What are you doing here?”
“I came back to speak to Brother Ventimiglio again. And you?”
“Part of my territory. Have you eaten lunch? I’m hungry. Want to catch a bite to eat?”
The two headed to an outdoor café Leone knew, sat down at a table, and studied the menus. After ordering, Leone looked at Maggie intently. “How have you been? I have been wondering.”
“As well as can be expected, I guess. I am not quite sure of my direction yet, but I am not wallowing in despair. I haven’t settled down yet, but I know I have no desire to return to New York. I’m still looking. We’ll see.”
Maggie and Leone chit-chatted about nothing in particular over lunch. When it was over, Leone asked if Maggie would help her get something out of her trunk. Maggie said “Sure!” and bent down to pick up her purse, which was under her chair. As she was leaning over, she noticed that the heel of Leone’s shoe had slipped off of her heel and was dangling off her toes on her crossed leg. Then Maggie saw it: a rectangular scar just above Leone’s toes, mid-center. It startled Maggie so much that she hit her head sitting up. Quickly gaining her composure, she rubbed her head vigorously and muttered, “I am so clumsy!” She made a concerted show of pawing through her purse.
“Darn! I must have left my dictionary in the basilica. Sorry to back out on you, Agent Leone, but I am totally lost without that dictionary. Please excuse me, but I have to go find it.”
With that, Maggie quickly got up and rushed back towards the basilica. When she turned a corner some distance away, she stopped and peered around the corner to see whether she was being followed. Agent Leone was nowhere to be seen. Maggie looked around, trying to figure out how to become inconspicuous. Her hair did not help. She walked up to one of the street vendors selling memorabilia and bought a souvenir hat. She twisted her hair into a bun and tucked it into her hat. Looking around again, she noticed a tour group coming out of the basilica. She waited until it was close and quietly slipped into the group, near the back, on the side away from the piazza. She walked with them until they got to their tour bus, and then she split off and headed to her hotel.
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