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By Tommaso Landolfi

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Mi giuri sul tuo onore di gen46 tiluomo che non è tutto un inganno, che non mi state facendo uno scherzo, che... ». « Lo giuro » fu l'alta e solenne risposta di colui, che dell'onor di gentiluomo doveva avere un concetto sommario, oppure era stato educato dai gesuiti a far le corna dietro la schiena, a sollevare da terra il piè destro, a non so cosa altro. Il barone quasi scoppiò in pianto. Fu ora per la prima volta che il contegno di Lorenzo (il secondo amico) e di Marta (la sorella del conte) mi incuriosì.

Forse, anzi certamente è, tutta una fantasia, però... ». « Ma Filippo lo sa quanti sono. Diavolo, come mai s'è allontanato? Però attento: a lui non bisogna dire... bisogna dire soltanto che temiamo un estraneo, che so, un malandrino, si sia introdotto qui dentro. Si capisce che non la berrà, ma insomma... E non dir nulla alle donne, per carità. Ah, eccolo. Dunque, Filippo, noi temiamo... uhm... abbiamo ragione di temere che qualcuno sia penetrato qui e... e ora sarebbe lungo 54 spiegare. Voi sapete certamente quanti sono i fantasmi?

Dopo questo primo pezzo, Giovanni mi chiese distrattamente il mio giudizio, e prima che potessi rispondere, ne intonò un altro, quindi un terzo, un quarto... Io dovevo tuttavia badare a non lasciar nulla trasparire delle mie impressioni, giacché egli, cantando, mi guardava sovente. Infine, per degnamente coronare la sua e loro ospitale cortesia, pregò la moglie d'eseguire secolui qualche duetto, s'intende con relativo «a due», ed ella lo accontentò con buona grazia. E qui una nuova, inaudita sorpresa mi aspettava, anzi l'unica vera sorpresa della 35 serata.

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