THE ARM-CHAIR AT THE INN
branches curved over its roof. This meant ventilation and a view of the mountains at sunrise—always a delight to me. It also meant an easy escape out the window, over the roof, and down the tree-trunk to the garden, and so on back to the goatherd if anything unusual should happen. That, however, could take care of itself. The sensible thing to do was to eat my supper, order my coffee to be ready at six o’clock, go to bed in one of these rear rooms, and get back to my work before the heat became intense.
“All this was carried out—that is, the first part of it. I had the rear room, the one I had picked out for myself, not by my choice but by his, the landlord selecting it for me; it would be cooler, he said, and then I could sleep with my window open, free from the dust which sometimes blew in the front windows when the wind rose—and it was rising now, as the signore could hear. Yes, I should be called at six, and my coffee would be ready—and ‘may the good God watch over your slumbers, most Distinguished of Excellencies.’
“This comforting information was imparted as I followed him up a break-neck stair and down a long, narrow corridor, ending in a small