The spoon for petty sins

The spoon for petty sins was a gift to Dessita, wife of the furniture merchant Vincenzo Morbidelli, who each afternoon admitted to her chamber the long-standing town lover Luca Mandovani. It was an open secret that Luca set off for the embraces of the numerous women who awaited him about an hour before noon, and would continue his conscientious and wholesome labours until the time when their husbands would begin slamming the shutters of their shops. Naturally, most of these husbands knew where Luca went and what he did, yet they preferred the devil they knew to the unsettling fireworks of love. In a word, they considered Luca one of the family. They would greet him with a wave and would even stop him and buy him a coffee, for it was upon his careworn and hard-working shoulders that, to some extent at least, the trades and the prosperity and the future of their town rested.

The only man not to seal this social compact with his silence was the furniture merchant. He had been in town for only a year, and what is more, was much deeper in love with his wife than the confines of robust artisanal sense permitted. It had taken the raven-haired Dessita just three months to fit in with the rest of the pious and God-fearing wives...