Friday, November 13, 2020

the last book I ever read (The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino, excerpt twelve)

from The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino:

The trial of the revolutionaries was held promptly, but the accused succeeded in proving that they had nothing to do with it and the real leaders were precisely those who had escaped. So they were all freed, since with the troops stationed in Ombrosa, there was no fear of other uprisings. A garrison of Austro-Sardinians also stayed, to guard against possible infiltrations by the enemy, and in command of it was our brother-in-law D’Estomac, Battista’s husband, who had emigrated from France in the escort of the Count di Provenza.

So I found my sister Battista in the way again, with what pleasure I will let you imagine. She settled in my house, with her officer husband, horses, orderlies. She spent the evenings telling us about the recent executions in Paris; in fact, she had a model of a guillotine, with a real blade, and in order to explain the end of all her friends and acquired relatives she decapitated lizards, blindworms, worms, and even mice. So we passed the evenings. I envied Cosimo, who lived his days and nights on the run, hidden in some wood or other.

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