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Unformatted text preview: ." "Very well," I said, but I ached to see the Cathedral, ached to remember that first Christmas when I had gone to the crib, when I had seen the babe in the manger with the real ox and the real cow and the real donkey tethered there, amid the delicious smell of the hay and the winter greens. Ah, Christmas Eve. That meant that the Child Himself had not yet been laid in the manger. I had come in time to see it, perhaps even to lay the Infant Jesus there with my own hands. And in spite of myself, in spite of the bitter cold and the harsh darkness, I thought, This is my home. The castle was more or less as I remembered, a great indifferent, cheerless pile of stone, as ugly surely as any edifice built by the Medici, or any I had seen on my progress through wartorn Europe. The mere sight of it filled me suddenly with fear. I turned round as I stood at the drawbridge, looking down into the valley, at the little town which was far smaller and poorer than Assisi. And all of this seemed crude and fright...
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- Spring '10