- Project Runeberg -  The story of San Michele /
414

(1929) [MARC] Author: Axel Munthe - Tema: Medicine
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XXVI. Miss Hall

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fourteen escaped alive, the first shock opened
the cells for over four hundred unhurt
professional murderers and thieves on life sentences in
the prison by the Capuccini. That these
gaol-birds, after having looted the shops for clothes
and the armourers for revolvers, had a real good
time in what remained of the rich city is certain.
They even broke open the safe of the Banco di
Napoli, killing two night watchmen. Such was
however the terror that prevailed in all minds
that many of these bandits preferred to give
themselves up and be locked up in the hull of
a steamer in the harbour, rather than remain in
the doomed city, notwithstanding their unique
opportunities. As far as I am concerned I was
never molested by anybody, on the contrary they
were all touchingly kind and helpful to me as
they were to each other. Those who had got
hold of any clothing or food were always glad
to share it with those who had not. I was even
presented by an unknown shoplifter with a smart
quilted ladies’ dressing-gown, one of the most
welcome presents I have ever received. One
evening, in passing by the ruins of a palazzo, I
noticed a well-dressed man throwing down some
pieces of bread and a bundle of carrots to two
horses and a little donkey imprisoned in their
underground stable, I could just see the doomed
animals through a narrow chink in the wall. He
told me he came there twice a day with
whatever scraps of food he could get hold of, the
sight of these poor animals dying of hunger and
thirst, was so painful to him that he would rather
shoot them with his revolver if only he had the

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