Chapter 7 Apollonia
After the shooting of Captain McCluskey, the police took revenge on all five New York families. The Five Families War of 1946 had begun. But Michael wasn't there. He was hiding thousands of miles away, in Sicily. He was staying with Don Tommasino, a friend of his father's and a Godfather himself.
In the evenings, Michael sat in a huge garden filled with flowers, drinking wine and hearing old stories about his family.
During the day, he walked in the Sicilian countryside, dressed in old clothes. Two bodyguards, Fabrizio and Calo, went everywhere with him, carrying guns over their shoulders. Michael often thought of Kay during these long walks in the white hot sun. He felt sad and guilty that he had left America without saying goodbye to her.
One morning, seven months after arriving in Sicily, Michael decided to walk into the mountains past the hilltop town of Corleone. He walked with his two bodyguards along dusty country roads, past fruit-trees and fields of flowers. The hot, still air was rich with the smell of oranges.
Along the way, they met a group of girls and children picking flowers.
They stopped to watch them pass. One girl in a simple dress with a basket over her arm stopped in front of Michael to pick a small pink flower. Michael watched her, studying the way that her long, brown hair shone in the sunlight and hung around her face. Suddenly, the girl lifted her head and looked at him. She had large brown eyes, and her heartshaped mouth was red with the juice of grapes.
Michael felt weak, as if hit by lightning. He had never seen anyone so lovely.
The girl lowered her eyes with a shy smile, ran back to join her friends and disappeared down the road. Fabrizio noticed the look on Michael's face and laughed. 'Let's go and find out who she is,' he suggested.
Michael agreed, and followed Fabrizio and Calo down a narrow path towards the village where the girls and children had gone.
In the village, they sat at a table outside a small cafe. The owner of the cafe was a short man with white hair and a dark moustache. He was a friendly man and he smiled as he served them, not worried at all by the fact that his customers carried guns.