THE STRANGER’S SHOES
Some people said to have seen that one there, certainly a foreigner, since you couldn’t understand a word of what he said ( was saying), arriving in their town aboard of a car, that had unloaded him near the square___Seven fountains__, before, almost soon, to run away at high speed. It must have been, those people added, someone who had given a ride to that guy never seen before ( in their town ) That stranger, a young man, as he had just got out of the car, had pulled his tent out of his rucksack and had started, in complete tranquility, to set it up, there in the square, under the almost worried, and also frightened eyes of the local people. Soon municipal police officers had arrived , and they had said the young man that no, he couldn’t pitch his tent there , in the town centre square, and they had invited him, the stranger, to go to the hotel. But he, that guy, certainly a foreigner, hadn’t gone to the hotel, he had gone to pitch his tent in a public garden. Of course he had also been sent away from the public garden. But then what had that wretched man done?Oh, he had gone to pitch his tent in a private garden!. They should have arrested that there damned stranger, who, as soon as he had set foot in their town, that there had caused problems for the peaceful, hardworking local people. Quintavalle, their small town, which it would have been more appropriate to call a village, rather than a town, counted only a little over a thousand inhabitants , all very proud to be citizens of Quintavalle. The small town was not even a tourists destination, being situated , as it was, in a barren and stony plain, at the foot of equally barren and stony mountains. And Quintavalle couldn’t really boast of ancient origins, either, although there was no lack of willing cultural associations that, periodically, in successive years , every time started again to dig up the soil of the town, looking for archeological finds. In fact ( since) not a few people, of the inhabitants of the small town , claimed, and they seemed to be convinced about what they claimed, that there down, in the underground of the territory ( soil )where Quintavalle stood ( was located), Etruscan tombs would certainly have been found. But not only, that, besides Etruscan tombs, it was probable that even remains of other ancient civilizations could have been found, Roman’s remains, of course, but it was also probable that , oh, Sunni tools, and , why not? Volsci weapons could be found . Oh, it did not matter if those excavations, financed not only by the municipally, the province, the region, but by the Ministry of cultural heritage too, had brought to light, that is unearthed from the underground ( ground), only a few shards ( crocks), or, rather, a few pieces of shards which, since they could not be traced back to antiquity, ( they) had been traced back to the Middle Age. Thus some scholars of local history had been able to assure that____even none other than____a battle of Charlemagne’s army , against the Langobards, had taken place just there, in Quintavalle.
Indeed ( truly) Quintavalle had come up, industrial sheds after industrial shed , almost together(accompanying ) agglomeration of houses in bulk, at the time of the economic boom of the sixties of the last century. Then, especially at the end of the last century, many of those industrial buildings had been abandoned. Some of them had become sites, also called museums, of industrial archeology.
Since at the end, after being sent away from other places, he had pitched his tent behind a former industrial warehouse, that had in the meantime become a museum of industrial archeology, Quintavalle’s people had thought that, of course, the young stranger had come to their town just to visit the numerous museums of industrial archeology, an iron, unshakable conviction, even if it did not correspond at all to reality. Also with regard the place which that stranger came from, there seemed to be a great confusion among the inhabitants (citizens) of Quintavalle. There were those who claimed that, certain, he had to be a foreigner , he came from Sweden, or, perhaps, from Ukraine, and those who said, convinced, but no, he was not a foreigner, he had come from Val D’Aosta, indeed there were those who were convinced he had come from Piedmont, and some of them swore he had come from Turin. However, whether he was a foreign or not, no one could understand him ( the young stranger) when he spoke. Besides (on his part) that young stranger didn’t seem to care much of being understood. In fact the young man was concerned to make himself understood only when he had to eat, and, after all, to eat , it was enough for him to seat at a table in a restaurant, or to go into a supermarket.
When he spoke no one could understand a word of what he was saying, yet, who knows why, people had the feeling that he understood what they, the locals, were saying. Thus the people of Quintavalle had begun to suspect that the young foreigner might be A SPY, a secret agent sent from some foreign country to spy on the quiet and hardworking citizens of the small town.
There was …a thing, or a particular of him which had immediately drawn the curiosity of the peaceful and good citizens of Quintavalle: the shoes on the feet of the stranger. Many ( of them) swore that his shoes had to have wheels on the soles, others said his shoes creaked, and there were those who claimed to have heard those shoes trilling, as if they had a bell. Everyone seemed to be convinced they were VERY SPECIAL SHOES, even futuristic….who knows what those special shoes could allow to do to those who wore them. In reality the shoes of the young stranger looked like sports shoes like many others, suitable and comfortable for walking, but with nothing special. They had rubber soles and were made of black and red fabric, with laces.
Soon on the shoes of the young stranger the most imaginative rumors had started to circulate. It was said that his shoes were shoes which allowed to reach formidable records in running, since they increased the speed of the wearer, and then that they were suitable shoes to reach records even in high jumps , and in the long jump, and even in skiing. There were also those who claimed that the shoes of the stranger allowed you to fly. Since they were deemed to be more or less miraculous, or, at least, capable of providing extraordinary powers to those who wore them the shoes of the stranger soon became much coveted. There were people who launched the idea of setting up a shoes factory in Quintavalle, to produce shoes like those. Of course it was necessary to take possession of those shoes, that is, to steal them from the stranger. But how to do it? Those shoes were always on his feet, he never separated from them. Sure, at night he took them off, but he never left them outside the tent. At first some people of Quintavalle had tried to induce the stranger to sell his shoes ( to them),but in vain. So one night a team of men of Quintavalle had surrounded the stranger’s tent , and one of them had entered the tent to steal his shoes. But he had found the stranger awake and ready to defend himself, a gun in his hand, that he had aimed at the intruder , and he, the stranger, had also fired, the bullet had made a hole in the tent. It seened it was absolutely nothing to be done and that the citizens of Quintavalle would have to give up those exceptional, fabulous shoes. When one day the stranger had gone. But he had left his tent standing in its place, and, incredible! His wonderful shoes were there, next to the tent.