- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
193

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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for a couple of weeks. The choice lay between
letting the boy die in Basel or continuing the
journey with him alone. Like all those who are
about to die he was longing to get home. Rightly
or wrongly I decided to go on to Sweden with
him. The day after our arrival at the Hôtel
Victoria in Heidelberg he had another severe
hæmorrhage from the lungs and all hope of
continuing the journey had to be abandoned. I
told him we were to wait where we were a couple
of days for his mother. He was very reluctant
to postpone our journey a single day. He was
eagerly studying the trains in the evening. He
was sleeping peacefully when I went to have a
look at him after midnight. In the morning I
found him dead in his bed, no doubt from an
internal hæmorrhage. I wired my colleague in
Basel to communicate the news to the mother
of the boy and let me have her instructions.
The professor wired back that her condition was
so serious that he dared not tell her. Convinced
as I was that she wanted her son to be buried in
Sweden I put myself in communication with an
undertaker for all the necessary arrangements.
I was informed by the undertaker that according
to the law the body must be embalmed, price
two thousand marks. I knew the family was
not rich. I decided to embalm the body myself.
There was no time to lose, it was the end of July,
the heat was extreme. With the aid of a man
from the Anatomical Institution I made a
summary embalmment in the night at the cost
of about two hundred marks. It was the first
embalmment I had ever done, I am bound to

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