- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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“‘Amusez-vous, mes enfants,’” smiled the
matron accompanying Flopette to my cab, “‘it
is fifty francs payable in advance.’”

“There was not much nursing to be done.
The child was sinking rapidly, she was quite
unconscious, it was evident that the end was near.
The mother sat the whole night by the bedside
staring through her tears at her dying child.

“‘Kiss her good-bye,’” said I as the agony set
in, “‘it is all right, she is quite unconscious.’”

She bent over the child but suddenly she drew

“‘I dare not kiss her,’” she sobbed, “‘you
know I am rotten all over.’”

“The next time I saw Flopette she was blind
drunk. A week later she threw herself into the
Seine. She was dragged out alive, I tried to
get her admitted to St. Lazare, but there was
no bed available. A month later she drank a
bottle of laudanum, she was already half-dead
when I came, I have never forgiven myself for
pumping the poison out of her stomach. She
was clutching in her hand the little shoe of a small
child, and in the shoe was a lock of hair. Then
she took to absinthe, as reliable a poison as any,
though, alas, slow to kill. Anyhow she will
soon be in the gutter, a safer place to drown
herself in than is the Seine.”

We stopped before Norstrom’s house, Rue

“Good-night,” said my friend. “Thank you
for a pleasant evening.”

“The same to you,” said I.

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