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The Honoured Society describes how the US army returned the Mafia to power in 1944, after Mussolini came close to destroying them. It looks at the Mafia in their homeland - how in attempting to preserve Sicily for the Sicilians in the face of countless invasions it infiltrated every aspect of the island's life, corrupting landowners, the police, the judiciary and even the church. In one chilling chapter Norman Lewis details the escapades of eighty-year-old Padre Camelo, who led his monks on sprees of murder and extortion, frequently using the confessional box for transmitting threats.
traveller who could frighten away a gunman with a single look, and Candido put two and two together. Later he went to see the man to try to get a description of the bandits, which none of the passengers had had the courage to supply. It turned out that the mafioso considered the bandits a nuisance. As a man of honour he was prevented by his code from open collaboration with the police, but speaking with such vagueness and recourse to metaphor that what he had to say sounded to Candido more like a
Christian Democracy racy, and now for the third time a bargain was made, but this time the terms were cruelly high. At the great trial of the bandits held at Viterbo, Pisciotta, Giuliano’s lieutenant, summarised these occult transactions. I don’t hide the fact that I was a member of the Giuliano band at the time when it formed part of the Separatist army, and Baron La Motta, the Duca di Carcaci, the Honourable Finocchiaro Aprile, and the Honourable Gallo told us that we were fighting for the
closely resembling that quality known as giri by the Japanese, and so much admired by them. A true man of honour never weakened his position or armed his enemy in advance by outbursts of passion or of fear. When he sustained some grave injury he made a pact with himself to be revenged, and thereafter would wait patiently and unemotionally, half a lifetime if necessary, until his moment came – often seemingly on excellent terms with the man he proposed to destroy. But when a man lost his head,
extreme human fallibility. The Medicine Man or the African Head of Bush Society is not expected to be virtuous, but to be a successful practitioner in the art of compelling rainfall or driving away devils. This is the survival of the primeval mentality which carved the ferocious lions on the front of the Cathedral of Cefalù, created in mosaic the severe Norman-faced Christ that stares down on the worshippers in the same cathedral, and covered the pillars of the Palatine Chapel of Palermo with its
from Ciaculli – also a few miles from Palermo – to say that another dubious-looking Alfa-Romeo had been found abandoned in a lane. A few minutes later a second call was received. ‘Don’t touch the Alfa-Romeo,’ the caller said, and then rang off. No one would have dreamed of touching the Alfa-Romeo in the ordinary way, but when the squad of policemen and army engineers reached Ciaculli, they were relieved to find that this was not an occasion when they would be expected to risk their lives