“The place belongs to me,” he said simply, and offered his shoulder to support the statue. He set his teeth in fierce determination to sup-press the infernal pain.
“What are you going to do?” asked Mattao.
“Whatever be the will of St. Gonselvo,” he answered, and started on the procession together with the rest.
The crowd was stupefied.
During the procession his bleeding wound was gradually becoming black. Now and then someone would ask:
“Well, Umma, how do you feel?”
Ummalido did not answer, but marched in step with the music. He walked with heavy head under the broad canopy floating in the wind. The crowd was constantly growing in volume.
At the corner of a certain street Ummalido suddenly sank to the ground. The statue tipped slightly. Dismayed for a moment, the crowd slowed up. Soon, however, the procession was resumed. The place of Ummalido was taken by Mattia Scarfarola. Two relatives lifted t