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The reappearance of brigandage in the distant neighborhood of Palermo so soon after the recent rejoicings at Naples, has painfully impressed the inhabitants. The particulars of the treatment of the ex-Syndic, Signor Notarbartolo, by the brigands have become known since his return. As soon as his companions had been disarmed by the pretended patrol, the ex-Syndic perceived his mistake. His captors were dressed in new Bersaglieri uni-

forms; spoke the jargon of soldiers, and had a thoroughly military appearance, rendering it likely that they had all once served in the army. When Signor Notarbartolo saw the state of affairs he at once told his captors in a decided manner that all threats or bad language towards him would be of no avail, and such was the effect of his superiority of character that during the whole term of his detention the brigands treated him with deference and respect. His companions had been sent away with a letter to his family, apprising them of what had occurred, and that a ransom of 75,000 francs was demanded. The brigands first took Signor Notarbartolo into the woods, and then to a grotto, or rather deep ravine, in the mountains, where he was detained for six days. The cavern was constantly guarded by two of the brigands, who had changed their uniforms for the torn dress of peasants. The light penetrated this ravine for only a few hours of the day, and during that time the prisoner could read any books which he happened to have with him. This was his only amusement. He was not allowed to smoke during the day, lest in so doing he should betray the place of his conceal ment. The brigands called the ravine their best palace, saying they had others in places more difficult of access, but that they had chosen this as it was more comfortable for “his Excellence.” During the first evening they conversed frankly about their affairs, recounting their exploits, and then begged their prisoner to excuse them if it annoyed him, but they did not know how to talk about anything but their own affairs. At the end of the six days (during which, in accordance with the petitions of the family and a high local functionary, the brigands had, by order of the Minister Depretis, beehleft unmolested)

the sum of 50,000 fr. was conveyed to them, with which they expressed themselves content, telling their prisoner that he would be immediately released. The latter then asked for' his watch, saying that it was a keepsake very dear to him. With characteristic courtesy it was immediately restored to him, not, however, before one of the brigands had eyed the chain with great envy, exclaiming that it was very tasteful and beautiful. The ex-Syndic immediately declared with vivacity that all efforts to deprive him of it would be useless ; on which the brigand who had taken a fancy to it declared that his wish to have it was quite disinterested, and that he would gladly pay for it. At this time the band had assumed very good clothes, had rings on their fingers, and gold chains to their watches. Signor Notarbartolo was received in Palermo on his return with great demonstrations of joy, the street in which he lives being illuminated by the inhabitants. Measures for arresting the malefactors were then immediately taken, the district around Termini, where they are supposed to be still hiding, being surrounded by military. No news of their capture has yet been received.

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Bibliographic details

CAPTURED BY BRIGANDS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 678, 3 July 1882

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CAPTURED BY BRIGANDS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 678, 3 July 1882

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