I was trapped in a torrent of wind and rain. It would not do. I had to return to the widow. She was all grateful pleasure at my appearance- the kind of joy that only the poor can experience. She was preparing supper, and asked me to collect a plant the locals call “Brenn-essel”. It is called that, I know, because all the fires of Beelzebub are contained within its leaves and stems. My scholar’s hands are stung and nettled into a fierce white hot swollen mass. How I long for silk sheets and a slice of foie-gras in my favorite chair!

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