The battered old car sweeps up to the door and an old man, presumably the owner of the property, emerges and pulls an overcoat from the back. He nods at me, and beckons me into the house. He pulls out a chair at the table for me before drawing a bottle out of the fridge. His English has a slight local accent to it but is otherwise perfect. I politely decline when he offers me a drink as well.
“So, tell me why you are here.”
“I am looking for someone.”
“Ha! Of course you are. Aren’t we all?”
“I’m looking for someone in particular.”
“Again, of course. No-one but a fool would come to Panzano without knowing what they are looking for. And you do not look like a fool.”
This prompts a longer pause as he stares out at the darkening sky.
“Yes, perhaps you are. Perhaps I know something about your father. Perhaps not. Before we go into all that, however, why do you search for him? And please do not insult me by lying. It is no trifle or you would never have arrived here.”