CHAPTER XIX "Good Night, Dear Heart, Good Night"

It had been decided that because of Mother's frailty we should make our permanent home in a suburb of Florence. We had come to love the Villa di Quarto, where we had been spending the winter, but it was far beyond Father's means to buy the place, and so during the month of May, Father and Jean or Father and I inspected villas in the hope of finding one that we might purchase and spend the rest of our days in. It meant a great deal of searching, however, for either the house was uncomfortable or the location undesirable. But at last a beautiful place was found that answered the needs and desires of the whole family. This was on a warm day, the fifth of June, when the very flowers seemed filled with the exaltation of life that early summer invokes! Mother appeared better than she had been for months and was eager to hear every detail concerning the home Father had now fully determined to acquire. We gathered around her bed, allowing the new topic of interest to fill our thoughts. Then Jean and I left Father and Mother alone. It was now early in the evening, and as we looked down on the lights of Florence twinkling peacefully under the starry sky we felt deep joy arise in our hearts. Joy because Mother was better and we were going to have a home of our own once more. Later we heard Father in the next room singing "Go Chain the Lion Down." He too was happy. Suddenly the agitated voice

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