Chapter 29 Summary
The next morning, Prosper, Hornet, and Bo go to Barbarossa’s shop. Barbarossa has a runny nose and bloodshot eyes, and he complains that winter is hard on him. He is in a foul mood, and he sneers at the children, saying their young bodies do not feel the cold as adults’ do.
Barbarossa pretends not to know why the children are there. He asks if the Thief Lord has loot to sell, and they ask for the message from the Conte. Barbarossa says he has a letter from the Contessa, the Conte’s sister, but he refuses to hand it over right away. He presses the children to tell him more about the robbery. Rather than answer, Prosper grabs the letter from Barbarossa’s hands.
Barbarossa changes his tone; he is clearly desperate to know as much as possible about what is going on. He begs the children to tell him whether the robbery is finished and to reveal what they stole. When the children refuse to answer, he makes it a guessing game. Bo gets sucked in, gleefully answering “no” when Barbarossa asks if the stolen object was made of gold or silver. Prosper grabs Bo, and the children head for the door. Just before they leave, Bo shouts that the object they stole was made of diamonds and pearls.
The children step outside to see that it is snowing. It is a beautiful sight—the first snow that has fallen on Venice in years. Barbarossa follows the children, still begging for more information about the stolen goods, but the children are too amazed by the snow to pay any more attention to him. They wander away in awe at the beauty around them. Prosper, who usually refuses to think about his life before he ran away, is reminded of some happy childhood moments in the snow with his mother. Suddenly he realizes that such memories do not hurt as much as they used to. He thinks this may be because he is with Bo and Hornet.
When they read the letter, the children learn that they are supposed to meet the Conte at 1:00 a.m. Tuesday. He instructs them to come to a certain spot on the water from which he will signal to them with a red light. Hornet, who hates boats, does not like the idea of holding the meeting on the canal. Prosper whispers to her that he wants to keep Bo away from the meeting, too, because he is sure it will be dangerous. Hornet thinks about this and says she has an idea.