December, 1630

Nicolo Amati stared at the plague-pit of Cremona. Inside it were his father Girolamo, mother Laura, sisters Margherita Caterina, Vittoria Caterina, Elisabetta Caterina, and Elisabetta's husband Vincenzo Tili.

The plague season this year had done to the Amatis what it and war had been doing to Cremona and the Duchy of Mantua every year since 1628; murdered two-thirds of them.

They'd come so close, the Amatis; the damned war caused by . . .

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- The Grantville Gazette Staff