The Two Gentlemen of Verona

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As we drove through the foothills of the Alps two small boys stopped us on the outskirts of worn jersey and cut-off khaki pants; thetunic gathered in loose foldsJuliet's tomb ... and other places of interest." demeanour

was lively as a squirrel. Nicola's smile was steady and engaging. Yet in both these boyish faces there was a seriousness which was far beyond their years. 11. In the week which followed we saw them frequently, for they proved extremely useful to us. If we wanted a pack of American cigarettes, or seats for the opera or the name of a good restaurant, Nicola and Jacopo could be relied upon to satisfy our needs. 12. What struck one most was their willingness to work. During these summer days, under the hot sun, they shined shoes, sold fruit, hawked newspapers, conducted tourists round the town, and ran errands.

13. One night, we came upon them in the windy and deserted square, resting on the stone pavement beneath the lights.
14. Nicola sat upright, tired. A bundle of unsold newspapers lay at his feet. Jacopo, his head resting upon his brother's shoulder was asleep. It was nearly midnight. 15. "Why are you out so late, Nicola?"

16. "Waiting for the last bus from Padua. We shall sell all our papers when it comes in." 17. "Must you work so hard? You both look rather tired."
18. "We are not complaining, sir."
19. But next morning, when I went over to the fountain to have my shoes shined, I said, "Nicola, the way you and Jacopo work, you must earn quite a bit. You spend nothing on clothes. You eat little enough --- when I see you have a meal it's usually black bread and figs. Tell me, what do you do with your money?"

20. He coloured deeply under his sunburn, then grew pale. He looked to the ground. 21. "You must be saving up to emigrate to America," I suggested. He looked at me sideways, spoke with an effort.
22. "We should greatly like to go to the States. But here, at present, we have other plans." 23. "What plans?"
24. He smiled uncomfortably....
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