The Gran Maestro was gone and the Colonel looked at the girl and then at the Grand Canal outside the window, and he saw the magic spots and changes of light that were even here, in the end of the bar, which had now by skillful handling been made into a dining room, and he said, “Did I tell you, Daughter, that I love you?”
“You haven’t told me for quite a long time. But I love you.”“What happens to people that love each other?”
“I suppose they have whatever they have, and they are more fortunate than others. Then one of them gets the emptiness forever.”
We are only allowed a glimpse into the life he has with Renata in Venice, a life which appears to be available to them only on the weekends, only occasionally, and for that is all the more treasured. We live with them for the briefest 24 hours, as Richard waits for her at the Gritti hotel after duck shooting. She comes to him, in all her youth and beauty, and we read of every exquisite detail with breathtaking slowness.