ANNA FURMAN: LIVING AND SHARING THE #CONVENT LIFE, NEW YORK TIMES MAY 19, 2022 - JULY 22, 2022
July 20, 2022
I was brought back to the Vicaria prison. This time Suor Amadea della Valle was at the entrance's loggia, she seemed to be waiting for my arrival. The soldiers removed my chains and she escorted me to the cell I'm in, in the jail's basement. This cell is not much different from the one I earlier described in the panaro. Her eyes expressed a grief hard to put into words. Did she already know my fate, even if I didn't? When we entered the empty cell, she had two nuns bring in an old straw mattress, a table and a chair. Then she told them they could leave.
Immediately after, she took from one of her pockets parchment paper, a quill, and a glazed ceramic flask of ink. She also handed me a black leather case, which included a small pocket in the back. It surprised me that a nun's large skirt could contain so many provisions. Slowly, she sat down in the chair and told me that, if I wanted, I could write. Leaning down, she opened the table's only drawer and directed me to look inside. There was a hidden compartment in the back, and she easily opened it with a knock against the dark wood. She told me to write only at night—and to leave my writings and implements in the secret compartment at all times.
I only nodded my head in gratitude.