ITALY: What Says the King?

Two tired old men met last week in a three-story, brindle-yellow villa at an obscure and dirty Italian town. The men were King Vittorio Emanuele, who is 74 and has ruled for 43 years, and Marshal Pietro Badoglio, who is 72 and has been his King's most obedient follower. The question they met to discuss was whether the King should abdicate, or the Marshal should resign as the head of what passes currently for the Italian Government.

Orange marigolds flirted in a brittle wind. Between the villa, a tennis court and an ancient castle, bougainvillea sprawled purple over faded garden...

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