12 March

Giannino Stoppani

Gian Burrasca's diary ends here but his naughtiness and his adventures continue. And since I have undertaken the publication of his memoirs I should at least finish telling the story of the election, interrupted just when it was getting good ... or bad, depending on my young readers' politico-social points of view.

Indeed, Giannino Stoppani found himself enmeshed in a politico-social problem and it shouldn't surprise you to learn that his good faith was betrayed by all sides, and that his reasoning was mistaken from beginning to end.

It's true that the director of the Unione Nazionale accepted, as promised, the correction submitted by Gian Burrasca, but the title of the article in which it was published shows the director's ulterior motive in publishing the true story.

The article was entitled "Lawyer Maralli: Free Thinker in the City, Bigot in the Country" and in it Giannino's declaration was followed by Giannino's description (from his diary) of the religious wedding ceremony between his sister and Maralli. The socialist candidate was thus depicted as the worst kind of opportunist, his every opinion governed by self-interest and ambition.

In the Stoppani household, the news of this electoral tragedy arrived in the early morning. Giannino's father received that issue of the Unione Nazionale, with the offending article ringed in blue pencil and the following words written in the margin by Maralli:

"Your son had already ruined me as a man by making me lose my uncle's inheritance, and as a lawyer by making me lose an important case. Now he has returned from boarding school just in time to ruin my political career... and has succeeded perfectly in doing so!"

The stormclouds burst directly above the head of poor Gian Burrasca... and lower down, as well.

"But I was telling the truth!" he cried, under the unexpected onslaught. "I thought I was doing the right thing in defending him from an unjust accusation!..."