In Florence, Italy, in a chamber of the Villa Palmieri, where Boccaccio is supposed to have spun out his ingenious Decameron, an old gentleman lay very sick abed. Seventy-five years were on his back. On his chest there was bronchial pneumonia. On his heart, heavier than years or sickness, there was black despair.

Leagues and leagues from Florence, far into the icy fastnesses of the North Pole, the old gentleman's son, Lincoln Ellsworth, had flown with Explorer Roald Amundsen of Norway a fortnight before (TIME, June 1)....

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