- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
198

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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fault of the carpenter who had only finished the
second packing-case in the nick of time. Who
could have dreamt that he was to provide two
such huge packing-cases on the same day!

The Russian general! I suddenly
remembered having been told that an old Russian
general had died of an apoplectic stroke in the
hotel opposite ours the same day as the boy. I
even remembered having seen from my window
a fierce-looking old gentleman with a long grey
beard in a bath chair in the hotel gardens. The
porter had told me that he was a famous Russian
general, a hero of the Crimean war. I had never
seen a more wild-looking man.

While the stationmaster returned to the perusal
of his entangled documents, I took the hunchback
aside, patted him cordially on the back and
offered him fifty marks cash and another fifty
marks I meant to borrow from the Swedish
Consul in Lübeck if he would undertake to be
the Leichenbegleiter of the coffin of the boy as
well as of that of the Russian general. He
accepted my offer at once. The stationmaster
said it was an unprecedented case, it raised a
delicate point of law, he felt sure it was
“verboten” for two corpses to travel with one
Leichenbegleiter between them. He must
consult the Kaiserliche Oberliche Eisenbahn Amt
Direktion Bureau, it would take at least a week
to get an answer. It was Waldmann who saved
the situation. Several times during our
discussions I had noticed a friendly glance from the
stationmaster’s gold-rimmed spectacles in the
direction of the puppy and several times he had

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