Thursday, 3 August 2000

From "The Baron in the Trees"

By Italo Calvino trans. Archibald Colquhoun.

And it was then that the bailiffs lost control of themselves and called: "Stop that! Silence! Enough of this row! Whoever sings we shoot!" And they began firing rounds in the air.

In reply came a rumble of gunfire that seemed to come from regiments lined in battle order on the hills. All the muskets of Ombrosa exploded, and from the top of a high fig tree Cosimo sounded the charge on a conch shell. All over the hillsides people moved. It was impossible to distinguish now between vintage and crowd: men, grapes, women, sprigs, clipper, festoons, scarasse, muskets, baskets, horses, barbed wire, fists, mule's kicks, shins, teats--all singing "Ca ira!"

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