- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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sensation of hunger, and few people would have
dared to fall asleep had they been sober. Shocks
occurred almost every night, followed by the
roar of falling houses and renewed screams of
terror from the people in the streets. On the
whole I slept rather well in Messina,
notwithstanding the inconvenience of having constantly
to change my sleeping quarters. The cellars
were of course the safest place to sleep in if
one could overcome the haunting fear of being
entrapped like a rat by a falling wall. Better
still was to sleep under a tree in an orange grove
but after two days of torrential rain the nights
became too cold for a man whose whole outfit
was in the haversack on his back. I tried to
console myself as best I could for the loss of my
beloved Scotch cape by the thought that it was
probably wrapped round some even more
dilapidated garments than my own. I would
however not have exchanged them for anything
better even had I had a chance. Only a very
brave man would have felt comfortable in a
decent suit of clothes among all these people
saved in their nightshirts, maddened by terror,
hunger and cold—he would besides not have
kept it for long. That robbery from the living
and the dead, assaults, even murders, occurred
frequently before the arrival of the troops and
the declaration of martial law is not to be
wondered at. I know of no country where they would
not have occurred under similar indescribable
circumstances. To make matters worse, the law
of irony had willed it that while of the eight
hundred carabinieri in the Collegio Militare only

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