- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
392

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XXV. The Little Sisters of the Poor

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know nothing of Rome. He had not even been
in St. Peter’s, but he meant to go there un de
ces quatre matins, as soon as he had time. The
Sisters said he would never go there, he would
never go anywhere, though he was quite capable
of trotting about if he wanted to. The real
reason why he stayed at home on Thursdays,
the day out for men, was the irremediable
collapse of his top hat and of his old frock coat
from constant brushing.

The memorable day when he was made to try
on the Pittsburgh millionaire’s top hat and brand
new frock coat, latest American fashion, opened
the last chapter in Monsieur Alphonse’s life,
and perhaps the happiest. All the Sisters of
the wards, even the Mother Superior, were down
at the entrance door the following Thursday to
see him off as he stepped into my smart victoria,
solemnly raising his new top hat to his admirers.

“Est-il chic!” they laughed as we drove off.
“On dirait un milord anglais!” We drove down
the Corso and made a short appearance on the
Pincio before we stopped at the Piazza di Spagna
where Monsieur Alphonse had been invited to
luncheon by me.

I should like to see the face of the man who
could have resisted the temptation to make this
invitation a standing one for every Thursday to
follow. Sharp at one o’clock on every
Thursday of that winter my victoria deposited Monsieur
Alphonse at 26 Piazza di Spagna. An hour later
when my consultation began he was escorted by
Anna to the waiting carriage for his accustomed
drive round the Pincio. Then half-an-hour’s stop

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