Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The Man With The Glove
by [?]


“Ho, Tiziano ! Ala-ala- ho ! Tizi-ah-no !”

The group in the gondola raised a merry call. The gondola rocked at the foot of a narrow flight of steps leading to a tall, sombre dwelling. The moonlight that flooded the gondola and steps revealed no sign of life in the dark front.

The young man sitting with his back to the gondolier raised the call again: “What, ho!–Tiziano!” The clear, tenor voice carried far, and occupants of passing gondolas turned to look and smile at the dark, handsome youth as they drifted past.

The door at the top of the steps opened and Titian ran lightly down. He carried in his hand a small lute with trailing purple ribbons, and the cap that rested on his thick curls was of purple velvet. He lifted it with gentle grace as he stepped into the gondola and took the vacant seat beside a young woman facing the bow of the boat.

Her smiling face was turned to him mockingly. “Late again, Signor Cevelli, and yet again!” She plucked at the strings of a small instrument lying on her lap, and the notes tinkled the music of her words.

“Pardon, Signora, a thousand pardons to you and to your gracious lord!” He bowed to the man opposite him.

“Giorgio? Oh–Giorgio doesn’t mind.” Her soft lips smiled. “He’s too big and lazy. He never minds.” Her laugh rose light and sweet. The three men joined in.

The boat shot into midstream. It threaded its way among the brilliant craft that floated in the moonlight, or shot by them under vigorous strokes. Many glances were turned toward the boat as it passed. The face of Titian was well known and that of the woman beside him was the face of many pictures; while the big man opposite–her husband–the famous Giorgione, was the favorite of art-loving Venice. It was a group to attract attention at any time. But it was the fourth member of the group that drew the eyes and held them to-night.

He was a stranger to Venice, newly come from Rome–known in Venice years ago, it was whispered–a mere stripling. Now the face and figure had the beauty and the strength of manhood…. A famous courtesan touched her red-gold locks and laughed sweetly as she drifted by. But the sombre, dark face with the inscrutable eyes and the look of power did not turn. He sat, for the most part, a little turned away, looking at the waves dancing with leaden lights under the moon and running in ripples from the boat. Now and then his lips curved in a smile at some jest of his companions, or his eyes rested on the face of the woman opposite–and filled with gentle, wondering light.

Titian, watching him from beside the young woman, marvelled at the look of mystery and the strength. He leaned forward, about to speak–but Giorgione stayed him with a gesture.

“The Fondaco,” he said, raising his hand to the gondolier. “Ho, there! Halt for the Fondaco!”

The boat came slowly to rest at the foot of the great building that rose white and gray and new in the half light. Giorgione’s eye ran lovingly along the front. “To-morrow,” he said, “we begin the last frescos. You, Titian, on the big facade to the south, and Zarato and I–” He laid his hand affectionately on the arm of the young man at his side, “Zarato and I on the inner court.”

The youth started and looked up. His eyes studied the massive walls, with the low, arching porticos and long unbroken lines. “A noble piece of work,” he said.

Giorgione nodded. “German and Venetian mixed.” He laughed softly. “With three Venetians at the frescos–we shall see, ah–we shall see!” He laughed again good-humoredly.

The boat shot under the Rialto and came out again in the clear moonlight.