When Marco arrived in the presence of the Prince, he knelt down but he was not even allowed the chance to get up from that uncomfortable position because the Prince announced, with a menacing tone,
“Your arrival was preceded by your fame. You are famous for your creations and I want ten thousand shoes made by you within three months”.
Without even letting the poor merchant reply, the Prince continued,
“They must all have my name embroidered in gold thread so that I can give them as gifts to all the first born daughters in my kingdom.”
He added, “Tardiness will not be an excuse.”
The poor man got up and left. He was so shocked by this meeting that he bought the most beautiful fabric that he ever had before making the trip home.
After the long return voyage, the merchant finally arrived home and told the incredible news to his wife and daughters. In spite of what he had imagined her reaction to be, his wife expressed her dismay:
“My Dear, we have been so lucky and earned a lot of money. There is nothing we desire. I think you should turn down this task, I have a bad feeling about it. I know that you like to be stimulated by new challenges but I just want to say one thing; Be careful!”.
As predicted by his wife, the merchant didn’t turn down the challenge. Quite the contrary, he immediately started designing, style after style, until he found one that was exactly right.
Furthermore, he had to recruit several artisans in order to create the golden thread with which to embroider the Prince’s initials. The workers increased, as did the expenses. Everyone did all they could to finish the work on time.
The merchant got up to his ears in debt and his wife who was even more worried, prayed that everything would end well It was soon time to leave.
To be continued...