Old Calabria By Norman Douglas

 -  He does not eat them with deliberate mastication; he does not
even - like your ordinary amateur - drink them in separate - Page 450
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He Does Not Eat Them With Deliberate Mastication; He Does Not Even - Like Your Ordinary Amateur - Drink Them In Separate

Gulps; but he contrives, by some swiftly-adroit process of levitation, that the whole plateful shall rise in a noiseless

And unbroken flood from the table to his mouth, whence it glides down his gullet with the relentless ease of a river pouring into a cavern. Altogether, a series of films depicting him at work upon a meal would make the fortune of a picture-show company - in England. Not here, however; such types are too common to be remarked, the reason being that boys are seldom sent to boarding schools where stereotyped conventions of "good form" are held up for their imitation, but brought up at home by adoring mothers who care little for such externals or, if they do, have no great authority to enforce their views. On entering the world, these eccentricities in manner are proudly clung to, as a sign of manly independence.

Death has made hideous gaps in the short interval. The kindly Vice-Consul at Catanzaro is no more; the mayor of Cotrone, whose permit enabled Gissing to visit that orchard by the riverside, has likewise joined the majority; the housemaid of the "Concordia," the domestic serf with dark and fiercely flashing eyes - dead! And dead is mine hostess, "the stout, slatternly, sleepy woman, who seemed surprised at my demand for food, but at length complied with it."

But the little waiter is alive and now married; and Doctor Sculco still resides in his aristocratic palazzo up that winding way in the old town, with the escutcheon of a scorpion - portentous emblem for a doctor - over its entrance.

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