1883. But it was a rigid geometric pattern of intersecting octagons, and in order for it to look perfect the octagons had to complete themselves ending at the exterior walls. The interior walls also fell on another of the octagons. As it was the pattern ended clumsily right in an awkward slice of the overall design.
1884. Because of this mistake of measurement, the floor he was laboriously cementing down with iron like indestructible materials was just over four feet off of the proper centering, if you take into account the size of the interior wall and the width of the exterior hallway. When Indaco reached his center guideline he should have noticed that he was already off by close to two feet, but his chalk lines were faded by being trod upon so often that he overlooked it.
1885. As his pattern approached the interior wall and the completion of his job he discovered his mistake with a rush of cold terror. It was the sort of mistake to permanently ruin the poor church’s interior. To install the floor when all the materials were fresh was a difficult project, but to remove it once it was set was nearly impossible. It was shortly after Indaco realized his mistake that he heard Michelangelo’s knock on the door and went to answer it.
1886. Michelangelo stood in the doorway out in the dark, looking over Indaco’s shoulder into the dim candle lit interior of the church. His eye took in the pattern of the inlaid floor and after a few seconds he said, “The resources of the Vatican itself may be insufficient to rectify the mistake you have made here Indaco, but we must set to work fixing it as soon as possible.
* Down to the brass of the tacks.