He did not fatigue his brain by making any other suppositions, but entered. "Is it you, Lucia?" he called. No answer. He passed through the vestibule, approached the kitchen, and stood motionless on the doorsill. A man was sitting under the chimney-cap with his hands stretched out over the coals. He turned toward the priest and said, most unconcernedly: "Don Rocco, your humble servant."
He silently placed his cloak and hat on the table and sat down under the chimney-cap beside his host. "You will excuse me if I have made a little fire," he continued. "I have been here at least a half-hour. I thought you were at home studying. Isn't to-day Saturday? And are you not obliged to say to-morrow morning the few customary absurdities to the peasants?"