The Path to Rome By Hilaire Belloc


































































 -  Who knows? This
map-seller of Bellinzona may have been a good man; anyhow, I left him
as rich as - Page 220
The Path to Rome By Hilaire Belloc - Page 220 of 361 - First - Home

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Who Knows?

This map-seller of Bellinzona may have been a good man; anyhow, I left him as rich as I

Had found him, and remembering that the true key to a forced march is to break the twenty-four hours into three pieces, and now feeling the extreme heat, I went out along the burning straight road until I found a border of grass and a hedge, and there, in spite of the dust and the continually passing carts, I lay at full length in the shade and fell into the sleep of men against whom there is no reckoning. Just as I forgot the world I heard a clock strike two.

I slept for hours beneath that hedge, and when I woke the air was no longer a trembling furnace, but everything about me was wrapped round as in a cloak of southern afternoon, and was still. The sun had fallen midway, and shone in steady glory through a haze that overhung Lake Major, and the wide luxuriant estuary of the vale. There lay before me a long straight road for miles at the base of high hills; then, far off, this road seemed to end at the foot of a mountain called, I believe, Ash Mount or Cinder Hill. But my imperfect map told me that here it went sharp round to the left, choosing a pass, and then at an angle went down its way to Lugano.

Now Lugano was not fifteen miles as the crow flies from where I stood, and I determined to cut off that angle by climbing the high hills just above me.

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