When Loukas returned to the seawall a few days later, Lambros rose up slowly to meet Loukas’s eyes. As though reading Loukas’s thoughts, Lambros whispered: “Surely, my man, it would greatly please me to make the acquaintance of the young woman who has chosen you above all others to be her husband.” His gritty voice was so quiet Loukas struggled to catch hold of each word.
“And when she accompanies you to this place, ask each of your parents to join the two of you,” wheezed Lambros.
Some days passed before Loukas could lead Thera and their parents to the seawall where they waited at Loukas’s watch for the snake to appear. Once they settled in, Loukas played the seafaring ballad that over time had become one of Lambros’s favorite songs.
But this time, something was different.
Loukas hastened the tempo, but even then, Lambros did not emerge from his shelter.
Seconds later, Loukas and the others started searching the seawall for the snake’s whereabouts. Coming to a gap, they struggled to set aside a pile of rocks that blocked all but a small section of the opening.
Loukas and Thera used their hands to scoop away a mound of loose dirt from the opening. Once they pushed the dirt aside, they discovered a large pit. Peering into the pit, they saw Lambros’s coiled body lying lifeless on a stretch of rocky ground.
When their calls to the snake failed to rouse him, they knew he was dead.
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