Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (Italian).djvu/45

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PEREAT ROCHUS

by antonio fogazzaro

I.

"IT is a fine case, Don Rocco," said Professor Marin, gathering up the cards and smiling beatifically, while his neighbor on the right raved furiously against poor Don Rocco. The professor continued to look at him with a little laugh on his closed mouth, and with a glance sparkling with benevolent hilarity; then he turned to the lady of the house, who was napping in a corner of the sofa.

"It is a fine case, Countess Carlotta!"

"I understand that well enough," said she, "and it seems to me time to end it; isn't that so, Don Rocco?"

"No, Don Rocco," said the professor seriously, "on reflection it certainly is a case for the ecclesiastical court."

"I should say it was at least that," said his neighbor on the right.

Don Rocco, red as a poppy, with his two fingers in his snuff-box, kept silence, his head

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