Old Calabria By Norman Douglas














































































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Just look at the trouble and time it takes to collect all those
miserable little olives. Let's have them the - Page 90
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"Just Look At The Trouble And Time It Takes To Collect All Those Miserable Little Olives.

Let's have them the size of melons."

"Very well. Have your way, friend Peter! But something awkward is bound to happen. It always does, you know, with those improvements of yours." And, sure enough, one of these enormous olives fell from the tree straight on the saint's head, and ruined his new hat.

"I told you so," said N. S. G. C.

I remember a woman explaining to me that the saints in Heaven took their food exactly as we do, and at the same hours.

"The same food?" I asked. "Does the Madonna really eat beans?"

"Beans? Not likely! But fried fish, and beefsteaks of veal." I tried to picture the scene, but the effort was too much for my hereditary Puritan leanings. Unable to rise to these heights of realism, I was rated a pagan for my ill-timed spirituality.

Madame est servie. . . .

IX

MOVING SOUTHWARDS

The train conveying me to Taranto was to halt for the night at the second station beyond Venosa - at Spinaz-zola. Aware of this fact, I had enquired about the place and received assuring reports as to its hotel accommodation. But the fates were against me. On my arrival in the late evening I learnt that the hotels were all closed long ago, the townsfolk having gone to bed "with the chickens"; it was suggested that I had better stay at the station, where the manageress of the restaurant kept certain sleeping quarters specially provided for travellers in my predicament.

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