- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
395

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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as he used to do when he was somewhat
vexed.

“Never mind,” said I, “here’s another glass
of wine to your health, sorry to have vexed
you, and à bas la République! since you want
it so.”

To my surprise he did not stretch out his
hand towards his glass. He sat quite still staring
at his plate. He was dead.

Nobody knew better than I what it would
mean to Monsieur Alphonse and me, had I
followed the usual course and sent for the police
according to the law. Inspection of the body
by the Medico-Legal Officer, perhaps a
post-mortem, intervention of the French Consulate,
last not least the stealing from the dead of his
only possession, the secret of his past. Anna was
sent down to tell the coachman to put up the
hood, Monsieur Alphonse had had a fainting
fit, I was going to take him home myself. Five
minutes later Monsieur Alphonse was sitting by
my side in the carriage in his usual corner, the
collar of the Pittsburgh millionaire’s ulster well
pulled over his ears, his top hat deep down on his
forehead as was his custom. He looked exactly
as he used to do, only that he looked much
smaller than in life, all dead people do.

“By the Corso?” asked the coachman.

“Yes, of course by the Corso, it is Monsieur
Alphonse’s favourite drive.”

The Mother Superior was somewhat uneasy at
first, but my certificate of: “death from heart
failure” dated from the home made it all right
with the police regulations. In the evening

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