Page:Collodi - The Story of a Puppet, translation Murray, 1892.djvu/57

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

lequin, who up to that moment had been in the deepest affliction, and bowed down like a weeping willow, became quite cheerful, and leaning towards Pinocchio he whispered to him softly:

'Good news, brother. The showman has sneezed, and that is a sign that he pities you, and consequently you are saved.'

For you must know that whilst most men when they feel compassion for somebody either weep, or at least pretend to dry their eyes, Fire-eater on the contrary, whenever he was really overcome, had the habit of sneezing.

After he had sneezed the showman, still acting the ruffian, shouted to Pinocchio:

'Have done crying! Your lamentations have given me a pain in my stomach. . . . I feel a spasm, that almost . . . Etci! etci!' and he sneezed again twice.

'Bless you!' said Pinocchio.

'Thank you! And your papa and your mamma, are they still alive?' asked Fire-eater.

'Papa, yes: my mamma I have never known.'

'Who can say what a sorrow it would be for your poor old father if I was to have you thrown amongst those burning coals! Poor old man! I compassionate him! . . . Etci! etci! etci!' and he sneezed again three times.

'Bless you!' said Pinocchio.