Don Abbondio, the priest of a small village located in that part of Lake Como, where it wraps south between two mountain ranges and is all riddled with protrusions and bays, returns home after a pleasant walk on November 7, 1628 at sunset. He is already ready to turn to the path leading to the village, as his path is blocked by two sinister figures. Their attire, appearance and potholes – both heads are tied with a green mesh with a large brush, long mustaches are twisted, a pair of pistols, a huge dagger and a sword with a brightly polished hilt are attached to the leather belt – leave no doubt about the nature of their occupation. These are the so-called bravos, dashing fellows, who are hired for various, including very dubious, errands. In poor Don Abbondio, the soul instantly
The lawyer readily agrees, but as soon as he hears the mention of the terrible Don Rodrigo, he hurries to get rid of the unlucky client and even returns the living “fee” associated with his legs. Lucia comes up with the idea of asking for help from the monk of the neighboring Capuchin monastery to Father Christophorus, before the authority of which even the most notorious tyrants fall. This already elderly monk is known not only for his piety, but also for the strict fulfillment of two duties, which he himself voluntarily ordered: the suppression of strife and the protection of the offended. Father Christopher bravely goes to the den of the beast, which he hopes to tame with pleading or the description of the torments awaiting him in the afterlife. A stormy conversation has absolutely no effect – Don Rodrigo, his equally impudent Milan cousin Don Attilio and drunken guests raise the monk to laugh and he leaves the luxurious villa, calling curses on the head of the wicked master. Remains the last resort – to marry without the consent of Don Abbondio, but in his presence. To do this, bring two witnesses. The groom says: “This is my wife,” and the bride – “This is my husband.” Everyone has heard everything, the holy mystery is considered accomplished. The main thing is to catch the priest unawares and not let him escape. God-fearing Lucia hardly agrees to the questionable offer of her mother and Renzo. She is convinced only of the threats of Renzo to kill Don Rodrigo and the appearance of somber figures around their house. The next evening, when it was already dark, they try to realize their intention. Betrothed and witnesses are deceived into the priest’s house, and Renzo utters reputable words, But Don Abbondio hastily sprinkles the tablecloth on Lucia’s head, not letting her finish the rite, and desperately calls for help. There is general confusion, alarmed by the cry of the priest, the sexton of sleeplessness rushes to the bell tower and strikes the biggest bell. By a happy coincidence, frantic ringing causes a small squad of bravi to retreat under the leadership of the desperate thug Griso, sent by Don Rodrigo, to kidnap Lucia. Unfortunate betrothed and Agnese, who during the “operation” distracted the attention of the faithful servant of the priest Perpetua, flee to the monastery of Pescarenico to the father of Christopher. Under the cover of the night, loyal people forward the fugitives to the opposite shore of the lake and take them to Monza, where Lucia is taken under her protection by a high-ranking nun Gertrud. Her, the last daughter of a powerful prince, before the birth was ready for monastic life, as well as to all sisters and brothers, except the elder, whom the father wanted to leave intact the immense fortune. Contrary to her desire and the boiling of young passions, she becomes a novice about a year before the appearance in the monastery of Lucia, to which she immediately feels the location.
Renzo, having said goodbye to women, goes to Milan, where he finds himself in the midst of a hungry riot, when desperate townspeople rob and thunder bakers and storm the house of the Proviantmeister. Suddenly for himself, Renzo becomes a people’s tribune and expresses in a peasant way sound ideas about the social order. He stops at night in the tavern, orders dinner, and after drinking one or two bottles of good wine, he allows himself to make bold judgments about the actions of the authorities. The owner of the tavern considers it his duty to warn the police of a dangerous rebel. The next morning, two policemen and a criminal officer take him out of bed and propose to follow them. On the way, the excited crowd releases him. Fearing once again getting into an unpleasant alteration, Renzo left Milan and sent to the province of Bergamo. Here in the village lives his cousin Bortolo, whom Renzo meets with a hearty welcome and who arranges for him to work in his spinner. On the same day, November 13, when Renzo arrives at Bortolo, a messenger arrives in Lecco, ordering him to arrest the runaway criminal Lorenzo Tramalino and shackle him to Milan, where he will be brought to justice. Frantic Don Rodrigo, who has lost the coveted booty from his hands, gloats and starts new intrigues. He wants revenge and revenge. With the help of an influential Milanese relative, a member of the Privy Council, he seeks to punish the obstinate father Christopher – his transfer from Pescarenico to distant Rimini. The thug Grizo finds out where Lucia is hiding, and Don Rodrigo is plotting her abduction from the monastery. A petty predator appeals for support to a terrible, powerful protector,
The kidnapping goes extremely smoothly: Gertrude obeys the will of the villain Egidio, who once helped her escape from the monastery and has over her an irresistible dark power. She sends Lucia with a mission to the neighboring monastery, taking advantage of the temporary absence of Agnese. Bravi grab the girl on a deserted road and take her to the gloomy castle of Nameless, where they entrust the care of the old moguer. It would seem that everything is lost, but unpredictable and inexplicable – after the meeting with Lucia in the soul of Nameless, exhausted from endless atrocities, an unclear alarm, and then an ever growing angst, creeps in first. A sleepless night does not bring rest, Lucia’s desperate pleas and especially her words sound in her ears: “God forgives so much for one merciful affair!” The next morning, an ominous character hears the jubilant ringing of bells and finds out, that Cardinal Federico Borromeo, known for his intelligence, piety and learning, arrived in the neighboring village. Nameless asks for an audience with a high-ranking prelate, who never refuses mercy and comfort. A beneficial conversation brings the repentant villain the desired cleansing. A miracle happened. Nameless becomes another person and is eager to atone for guilt. On the instructions of the cardinal, overwhelmed by constant fears, Don Abbondio, along with Bezymyannym, goes to the castle for an unfortunate captive. Agnese is reunited with her daughter, but for a little while – they again have to part. Learning that the cardinal is looking for a safe haven for Lucia, one notable married couple – Don Ferrante and Donna Prassede – invites the girl to settle in her Milan house. Don Rodrigo, killed by the news of the failure of such a well-planned operation, is bleeding for two days, and on the third leaves for Milan. Before the separation, Lucia confesses to her mother that at a time of despair she gave Madonna a vow never to marry if she could avoid the vile aspirations of Don Rodrigo. Nameless dismisses bravi, accomplices of his atrocities, and gives to Agnese one hundred gold scant in Lucia’s dowry. Lucia asks her mother to find Renzo and give him half of the money. It takes a long time before she manages to fulfill the request.
Meanwhile, clouds are gathering over the country: on top of the famine that claimed thousands of lives, in the autumn of 1629, violent German mercenaries, the Landsknechts, invaded the territory of the Duchy of Milan from the north, who participate in the redistribution of territories. It is rumored that cases of plague are seen in their ranks. To death, frightened civilians hastily gather up their belongings, dig in what they can not carry, and flee. Agnese, Perpetua and Don Abbondio find a hospitable shelter in the unassailable for the enemies and open to all fugitives castle Bezymyanny. As soon as the danger has passed, they return to the village and see that everything is plundered and deceived. Disappeared and the fact that Don Abbondio buried in the garden. The plague enters Milan at the end of October 1629 and rages in the following year, 1630. The authorities and the Sanitary Directorate show criminal slowness in the fight against the epidemic. Don Rodrigo, returning one night at the end of August with another binge, reveals signs of an ominous illness. “Faithful” Grezo sends the master to the infirmary and takes possession of things, which causes his death.
The plague does not ignore Renzo. Hardly recovering from the disease, he returns to his native village to find out what became of his relatives. Don Abbondio is barely alive from the hardships and still trembling with fear. Perpetuyu carried away the plague, Agnese lives with relatives in Pasturo, and Lucia – in Milan with Don Ferrante. Renzo hurries to Milan and sees everywhere desolation, despair and fear. At his knock on the window of Don Ferrante’s house, an alarmed woman shows up and tells him that Lucia is in the infirmary. At this moment he is surrounded by an excited crowd. Cries of mazun – a spreader of contagion – are heard. Renzo flees in panic and escapes from his pursuers, jumping onto the wagon with corpses. The betrothed meet at last in the infirmary. There is also Christopher’s father, who, with great patience and courage, fulfills his pastoral duty-comforts the suffering and gives the last communion to the dying. He releases Lucia from the vow of celibacy. Many owe him a recovery, but his own life carries a terrible illness. Gradually, the plague recedes. She walked through Milan and Lombardy like a giant broom that swept away the lives of the poor and rich, honest people and villains – among the last Don Rodrigo. His possessions pass to another master. Don Abbondio can now marry happy lovers with a calm soul. The young couple settle in a village near Bergamo, and in less than a year they have a daughter, Maria. It will be followed by many more kids of both sexes – all of them, at Renzo’s will, will learn to read and write. Renzo is very fond of talking about how, how he learned to avoid trouble. Something in these stories does not satisfy Lucia. They argue, argue and finally come to the conclusion that caution and good behavior do not help to prevent trouble. But, since they collapsed, deservedly or innocently, only faith in God gives strength to overcome them, and the experience teaches how to make your life better.