Subject: banditu bandit
Setting: banditry, vendetta, Corsica 19thc
* Angiolillo 1979 p78 (quoting from Paul Bourde 1897, En Corse)
"In an area like Corsica ... which has historically manifested the same kinds of problems and conditions as those of southern Italy, the same types of criminal 'solutions' are manifest:
The law being powerless and justice disdained, the bandit takes their place. You feed, pay, and protect a bandit, and he puts his gun at your disposal. It's an exchange of services. If you have a debtor who is in no hurry to pay, the bandit takes it upon himself to speed up payments; his arguments are irresistible. If, on the other hand, you are pursued by a creditor, the bandit will secure delays for you. If you are contesting a property, so frequent in Corsica, the bandit will prove to your adversary that he is at fault. If you are a shepherd and an owner contests your right to grazing privileges, the bandit will make him see the light. If you are an owner and the shepherds are devastating your lands, the bandit will chase them. If your daughter or your sister has been dishonored, the bandit will bring the seducer around to admitting his guilt and making proper reparation.
'What do you expect? They make us respect them,' admitted an owner naïvely.
The bandit, in a word, transforms himself into a sort of great social regulator. The fear that he inspires hovers over the villages."