- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
416

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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by the safe return of my host and his two friends
from their perilous night expedition—perilous
indeed, as I knew that troops were ordered to
shoot at sight any person attempting to carry
anything away, were it even from the ruins of
his own house. They flung their bundles under
the table and themselves on their mattresses and
were all fast asleep when I left. Dead tired
though he looked, my kind host had not
forgotten to tell me that I was welcome to stay
with him as long as I liked, and of course I
asked for nothing better. The next evening I
had supper again with Signor Amedeo, his two
friends were already fast asleep on their
mattresses, they were all three to be off again for
their night’s work after midnight. A kinder man
than my host I never saw. When he heard I
was out of cash, he offered at once to lend me
five hundred lire, I regret to say I owe him them
still. I could not help expressing my surprise
that he was willing to lend his money to a
stranger of whom he knew nothing. He answered
me with a smile that I would not be sitting by
his side if he did not trust me.

Late the following afternoon as I was crawling
among the ruins of the Hôtel Trinacria in search
of the corpse of the Swedish Consul, I was
suddenly confronted with a soldier pointing his rifle
at me. I was arrested and taken to the nearest
post. Having overcome the preliminary
difficulty of locating my obscure country and
having scrutinized my permit signed by the prefect,
the officer in charge let me off, my only corpus
delicti
consisting in a half-carbonized Swedish

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