Old Calabria By Norman Douglas

 -  I might perhaps
procure you some bread.

Avis aux voyageurs, as the French say.

Undaunted, I went forth and threw - Page 300
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I Might Perhaps Procure You Some Bread."

Avis aux voyageurs, as the French say.

Undaunted, I went forth and threw myself upon the mercy of a citizen of promising exterior, who listened attentively to my case. Though far too polite to contradict, I could see that nothing in the world would induce him to credit the tale of my walking from San Demetrio that day - it was tacitly relegated to the regions of fable. With considerable tact, so as not to wound my feelings, he avoided expressing any opinion on so frivolous a topic; nor did the reason of his reluctance to discuss my exploit dawn upon me till I realized, later on, that like many of the inhabitants he had never heard of the track over Acri, and consequently disbelieved its existence. They reach San Demetrio by a two or even three days' drive over Rossano, Corigliano, and Vaccarizza. He became convinced, however, that for some reason or other I was hungry, and thereupon good-naturedly conducted me to various places where wine and other necessities of life were procured.

The landlady watched me devouring this fare, more astonished than ever - indeed, astonishment seemed to be her chronic condition so long as I was under her roof. But the promised bread was not forthcoming, for the simple reason that there was none in the house. She had said that she could procure it for me, not that she possessed it; now, since I had given no orders to that effect, she had not troubled about it.

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