In Venice, meanwhile, Pietro Aretino had found that Azzie's cash advance had come in very handy.
Aretino had always wanted to throw a really good party, one that would stand the dear old city on its ear and demonstrate yet again what a wonder Pietro Aretino was. This party had been going on for several nights and days — ever since Azzie had left.
Aretino had imported a German band for his festivities. The men had loosened their doublets and were drinking rather a lot. It was a gay and friendly time. Too bad it had to be interrupted by a messenger.
The messenger was quite young. A child, in fact, dressed in nightclothes, a handsome young boy with a full head of blond curls. It was Quentin, still slightly breathless from hanging on while the spell he had taken from Azzie whirled him over the Alps and down to Venice.
When the servant brought him to Aretino, he made a sweeping bow and said, "Aretino, I bring you a message."
"I really don't need it just now," Aretino said. "This is all turning out quite amusing."
"It's from Azzie," Quentin said. "He wants you to come at once."
"I see. And who are you?"
"I'm one of the pilgrims. You see, when my sister Puss, that's short for Priscilla, went to sleep, I decided to poke around a little myself. I wasn't really asleep, you see. I hardly ever am. So I went up to the second floor. I saw a door and I peeked in, and the next thing I knew, I was in the messenger business."
"But how are you able to get around?" Aretino asked. "You are a mortal like me, aren't you?"
"Of course. I took a handful of spells from Azzie."
"I hope that's true," Aretino said thoughtfully. "What does Azzie require of me?"
"Your presence, immediately."
"Where is he?"
"I'll take you to him. By magic spell," Quentin said.
"Are you quite sure those spells are trustworthy?"
Quentin didn't dignify this with an answer. He had gotten quite accustomed to spells in a short time, and he could hardly wait to tell Puss that traveling by domestic spell was no big deal.