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» Preludes to Lutin
The last time that I saw the turning puppet goes back to some month ago, in March, when they went to dust it a little to get it ready to novelty great engagement in June.
In the dark room its eyes seemed those of Belzebù in flesh and blood, or better, in hard wood or pot of garden, like the statues of the ancient villas where there are still babies to amuse.
It could seem a scarecrow for starving ravens of grapes and cherries, because the ravens do not eat only meat, they are greedy also of sweet things, and the blood is sweet.
The two keepers assigned to the maintenance of the Moor king every so often smoothed it delicately with a cloth like he was true thing, a Christian, but it certainly ever had not been, not even if before to paint to it those wide open eyes was been miraculous embodied.
It was a black devil, a saracen, with a big turban and big beard, dressed at the Eastern way.
In the ardour of the game every so often it lost its precious hat and it was rumoured that noone, when it was at rest, slip it off secretly, but meanwhile the turban was almost always set down to the end of the dark trunk, the body of the turning big puppet.
Naturally the keys of the secreta were in double copy for the guards who continuously took an oath each others, denying and denying.
The fact is that some mysterious visitor arrived in there rather. So much so that before one of the last contests an unknown hand repainted the eyes of the puppet in so realistic manner to seem they could get out from their orbits. Also the bust was less greenish, like if experienced to embody itself really, to take to walk and pursue its Christian enemies.
Usually the two keepers, after having spick and span it, leaned it into an angle, near an old window, in order to down on the ground floor they were able every so often to take a glance that everything was to its place.
They did not know exactly why they felt that weird need, but justified themselves with the fear of the thieves, of some unsuccessful antiquarian that wanted to take away the Moor to the public authority to sell it abroad smuggled and to make our pile.
Even though the whole building was provided of the most ingenious alarm systems, even of a siren that when flew off transmitted at high volume the prayers of the last gathering to The Mecca, inside that room never was seen a feather drop.
There was to the contrary a heavy silence that aroused embarrassment and fear.
Enough to make born around the monstrous fighter legends, stories, dreams.
One of them particularly had grip on the audience of the humble classes, but was not rejected with conviction even by the irony of the power and became common upsets of a whole Christian country.
Among the high-ranking classes an appropriate confraternity was born that gathered periodically to talk about the state of the turning puppet and to supply to maintain it just in the same way. It is now time to explain the reason.
The legend narrated that Satan very venerated in any tournament like dangerous enemy, not always had been a stump of wood, even though quite worked, but a normal saracen, with fine legs and foots, not open arms as a scarecrow, with younger outlines, but always simply as a disfigured face to spit over the crusaders.
As were possible a fact so amazing, ask it to the black magic, the same one from where breed themselves these puppets of today, exhibited only in the country quintane.
It is written of a remote past in which our saracen lived hidden in an out-of-the-way place of the uncivilized world, I mean not civilized, after having killed many crusaders inside high towers, mistaking them for those of Sodom and Gomorra.
Exchanging also for crusader every man breathing man. It was rumoured that was its god to reduce it in this way, to punish it of its mistake, but that the punishment was temporary, not eternal, and that it has been then turned like before.
The centuries passed fast and by now likely the trouble, and the big danger for the Christians and not.
The confraternity judged imminent the new transformation. And if then the wicked repeated its misdeeds, not caring a rap to be still the puppet? The risk could not be run. It was necessary to put our hands on the fugitive Saracen until it was still a puppet, to bind it like a salami and await the entire transformation.
The sad announcement to the population was given. Tournament was canceled for reasons of public emergency, not certainty because the turning puppet was no more at its place. It escaped, starting to tumble down for the roads.
Already the monster of a time had returned?
All they waited for, living those breathless days.