The Last Pope - download pdf or read online

By Luis Miguel Rocha

ISBN-10: 0141042699

ISBN-13: 9780141042695

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Example text

The sound, and then nothing. Still distant, the shadow got closer but the noise turned into a sharp pain darting through his ribs. Monsignor brought his hand to where it hurt, near his shoulder. He heard steps again; the shadow was approaching. His pain increased. ” The mysterious assailant took out a cell phone and spoke in a foreign tongue, perhaps from some eastern country. Monsignor Firenzi noticed the tattoo near his wrist: a serpent. Seconds later, a black car stopped beside the two men. The dark windows prevented anyone inside but the driver from being seen.

This is how it feels to be shot, he thought. The man was still wiping off any remaining clues from a few moments before. How ironic, to be wiping away the clues. How ironic. His whole body hurt. Then memories of his home came to him and he blurted out something in Portuguese. ” The man got quickly into the car, which cruised slowly so as not to arouse suspicion. They were professionals, they knew what to do and how to do it. The street was quiet again, everything in order. The erasing of the clues was successful, leaving no trace of blood on the mailbox the prelate had leaned on, and where, almost miraculously and unnoticed by his pursuer, he had managed to insert the envelope he was clutching.

Everything had its meaning, and since he wasn’t a known figure, the artist, who had included his own self-portrait on the left, must have wanted it that way. This artist had held his post for life, painting the illustrious figures of Don Felipe IV and Doña Mariana, who were reflected in the mirror at the back. Only because of that mirror could one see the whole scene in the painting, since his canvas faced away from the viewer. The queen’s chamberlain, Don José Nieto Velázquez, was standing by the back door.

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The Last Pope by Luis Miguel Rocha


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