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In this dark and blackly humorous short story David Hewson explores another side to the Rome he's chronicled in his bestselling Nic Costa series. A servant to men for all her life, Mary Mackenzie is brought to Rome by her latest employer, the elderly Mr Carstairs. In the Babington Tea Rooms she's introduced to the history of a painting that gives her pause for thought. Judith and Holofernes - The Holy Ferns, as Mary hears them - the story of one woman's battle against a tyrannical man. Is there a lesson there the weak and submissive Mary can learn?