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would come ajar and a nun in a white coif would squeeze herself through, glide across the room and disappear. There were two of these noiseless nursing nuns. Their voices were seldom heard. For indeed what could they have to say! The air around me was all piety, resignation and silence.

Later in the evening, but not always, I would be permitted to tiptoe into the sick-room to say good-night to the figure prone on the bed which often could not recognise my presence but by a slow movement of the eyes, put my lips dutifully to the nerveless hand lying on the coverlet, and tiptoe out again. Then I would go to bed, in a room at the end of a corridor, and often, not always, cry myself into a good, sound sleep.

I looked forward to what was coming with an incredulous terror. The day of the funeral came in due course, and all the generous ‘Youth of the Schools’, the grave Senate of the University, the delegations of the trade-guilds, might have obtained (if they cared) de visu evidence of the callousness of the little wretch. There was nothing in my aching head but a few words, some such stupid sentences as: ‘It’s done,’ or ‘It’s accomplished’ (in Polish it is much shorter), or something of the sort, repeating itself endlessly. The long procession moved on out of the little street, down a long street, past the Gothic portal of St. Mary’s between its unequal towers, and on towards the Florian Gate.


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