The trouble with wars is that someone has to pay for them. Yesterday Francesco thought he would be "all undone" because of the war on Pisa. Today he has been visited by the "bando dello sgombare", a sort of collection agency of the state who have collected a tax on everything but olive oil. Always needed in Italy. They are looking for 20,000 florins.
The tax is known as a voluntary "loan", but it is never paid back. In the meantime, Francesco is sending orders to Margherita and his clerks, Barzalone and Nicholò, to collect everything they can from the fields of the farms and lock them up safely in Prato, not to mention anything made of iron like tools and wine presses. Oh, and all the animals need to be fed straw – so they are not in the open fields, and susceptible to collecting.

Margherita is always up to the challenge – no fragile housewife, she. She has however expressed some suspicions about Francesco's recent need to stay in Florence while she is in Prato, and doesn't believe his colleagues are blameless. To which he replied:

"And I will tell you from my lips how things are going here, I will prove a prophet: But you don’t believe it, you never believed it, because you have little faith and are given to believing that black is white. … God keep you".

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