Madame Savilia de Franchi
Madame Savilia de Franchi (sa-vee-LYEEUH deh frahn-SHEE), the kind, indomitable, aristocratic Corsican hostess of the narrator. Although widowed and reduced to lesser means from former affluence, Madame de Franchi takes great pride in hospitality at her Sullacaro estate and is honored to have as a guest an eminent novelist. The mother of Siamese twins who had been separated successfully, she learns of her absent son’s health through the report of the psychic twin at home. As a family, she explains, the de Franchis have had an interesting history; she and her husband, with guns kept prominently on display, managed to settle an ancient vendetta by killing simultaneously two enemy brothers. One son received from her his ability to fight and manage; the other was more scholarly and introspective. Gracious and dignified, she impresses the author as the epitome of Corsican traits.
Lucien de Franchi
Lucien de Franchi (lew-SYAHN), her outgoing sportsman son, who has remained with his mother to manage the family estate and provide for her welfare. Something of a diplomat, the hardy and handsome Lucien succeeds in settling another vendetta carried on for years between rival families living nearby. As the host of the author, Lucien takes his guest along to witness the truce, discusses his love of his native mountains, and displays his skill in hunting. He explains also that he and his brother Louis are completely devoted to each other in spite of their sharp differences in tastes, abilities, interests, and appearances—strange differences for identical twins who seem to share in part their nervous systems. Some months later...
(The entire section is 727 words.)