“Matteo Falcone” Merimee in brief summary

If you go from Porto-Vecchio to the depths of Corsica, you can go to the vast thickets of poppies – the homeland of shepherds and anyone who is at odds with justice. Corsican farmers burn part of the forest and from this land receive a harvest. The roots of the trees left in the ground again allow frequent shoots. Here this dense mixed up shoots a few meters high and called maki. If you killed a man, flee to poppies, and you will live there safely, with weapons. The shepherds will feed you, and you will not be afraid of justice or revenge, unless you go down into the city to replenish the supplies of gunpowder.

Matteo Falcone lived half a mile from poppies. He was a rich man and lived on the proceeds of his numerous herds. At that time he was no more than fifty years old. He was a short, sturdy and swarthy man with curly black hair, an eagle nose, thin lips, large, lively eyes. His accuracy was unusual even for this edge of good shooters. Such an unusually high art made

Matteo famous. He was regarded as a good friend, as well as a dangerous enemy; however, he lived in peace with everyone in the district. It was said that he once shot his rival, but that story was hushed up, and Matteo married Giuseppe. She bore him three daughters and a son to whom he gave the name Fortunato. Daughters were successfully married. The son was ten years old, and he was already putting forth great hopes.

One early morning Matteo and his wife went to the poppies to look at their flocks. Fortunato was left alone at home. He luxuriated in the sun, dreaming about the future Sunday, when suddenly his reflections were interrupted by a rifle shot from the side of the plain. The boy jumped up. A bearded man appeared in the path leading to Matteo’s house, in rags and a cap, which the highlanders wear. He was wounded in the hip, and he could hardly move his legs, leaning on the gun. It was Janetto Sanpiero, a bandit who, after going to the city for gunpowder, was ambushed by Corsican soldiers. He furiously fired back and, in the end, managed to leave.

Gianetto recognized Fortune Matteo Falcone’s

son and asked him to hide it. Fortunato hesitated, and Gianetto threatened the boy with a gun. But the gun could not scare the son Matteo Falconet. Janetto reproached him, reminding him of whose son he was. He doubted the boy demanded payment for his help. Janetto handed him a silver coin. Fortunato took a coin, and hid Janetto in a haystack, standing near the house. Then the cunning boy brought a cat with kittens and put them on hay, so that it seemed that they had not touched him for a long time. After that, he, as if nothing had happened, stretched out in the sun.

A few minutes later, six soldiers under the command of the sergeant were already standing in front of the house Matteo. Sergeant, Theodore Gamba, a thunderstorm of bandits, was a distant relative of Falcone, and in Corsica, more than anywhere else, are considered with kinship. The sergeant approached Fortunato and began to ask if anyone was passing by. But the boy so boldly and mockingly replied Gamba that he, boiling, ordered to search the house and began to threaten Fortunato with punishment. The boy was sitting and quietly stroking the cat, without betraying himself even when one of the soldiers came up and casually poked the bayonet into the hay. The sergeant, convinced that the threats do not produce any impression, decided to test the bribery force. He pulled a silver watch from his pocket and promised to give them to Fortunatto, if he would give the criminal away.

Fortunatto’s eyes caught fire, but still he did not reach for hours. The sergeant brought the watch closer and closer to Fortunato. In the soul of Fortunato, a struggle broke out, and the hours swayed before him, touching the tip of his nose. Finally Fortunato hesitantly reached for the watch, and they lay down on his palm, although the sergeant still did not let go of the chain. Fortunato raised his left hand and pointed a thumb at the haystack. The sergeant let go of the end of the chain, and Fortunato realized that the watch was his. And the soldiers immediately began to spread hay. Janetto was found, seized and bound hand and foot. When Janetto was already lying on the ground, Fortunato threw back his silver coin – he realized that he no longer had the right to do so.

While the soldiers were building a stretcher on which the offender could be taken to the city, Matteo Falcone and his wife suddenly appeared on the road. At the sight of the soldiers Matteo pricked up his ears, although for ten years now he had not directed the barrel of his gun to a man. He took the rifle on sight and slowly approached the house. The sergeant also felt somehow uncomfortable when he saw Matteo with his gun at the ready. But Gamba boldly went out to meet Falcone and called him. Upon learning of his relative, Matteo stopped and slowly withdrew the muzzle of the gun. The sergeant said that they had just covered Giannetto Sanpiero and praised Fortunatto for help. Matteo whispered a curse.

When he saw Falcone and his wife, Janetto spat on the threshold of their house and called Matteo a traitor. Matteo raised his hand to his forehead, like a man who was heartbroken. Fortunato brought a bowl of milk and, lowering his eyes, handed it to Janetto, but the prisoner angrily repudiated the offer and asked for water from the soldier. The soldier handed the flask, and the bandit drank water, raised by the enemy’s hand. The sergeant signaled, and the detachment moved to the plain.

A few minutes passed, and Matteo kept silent. The boy looked anxiously at his mother and father. Finally Matteo spoke to his son in a calm voice, but terrible for those who knew this man. Fortunato wanted to rush to his father and fall to his knees, but Matteo screamed terribly, and he, sobbing, stopped in a few steps. Giuseppe saw the chain from the clock, and asked severely who gave them to Fortunato. “Uncle Sergeant,” answered the boy. Matteo realized that Fortunatto had become a traitor, the first in the genus Falcone.

Fortunato sobbed in his voice, Falcone did not take his lynx eyes from him. Finally he threw the gun on his shoulder and walked along the road to the poppies, ordering Fortunato to follow him. Giuseppa rushed to Matteo, glaring at him, as if trying to read what was in his soul, but in vain. She kissed her son and, crying, returned to the house. Meanwhile Falcone descended into a small ravine. He ordered his son to pray, and Fortunato fell to his knees. Stammering and crying, the boy read all the prayers he knew. He begged for mercy, but Matteo threw up his gun and, aiming, said: “May God forgive you!”. He fired. The boy fell dead.

Without even looking at the corpse, Matteo went to the house to get a shovel to bury his son. He saw Giuseppe, alarmed by the shot. “What did you do?” – she exclaimed. “He’s done justice, he died a Christian, I’ll order a funeral service for him.” I must tell my son-in-law, Theodor Bianchi, that he should move to live with us, “Matteo answered calmly.

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“Matteo Falcone” Merimee in brief summary