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The thieves of Septimer

 

 

On the Septimer Pass, between Bivio and Casaccia, there was once a hospice and a church. Later on, there was an inn left. In the 17th century, the buildings were so dilapidated that no one wanted to repair them. So the house became a den of thieves and murderers.

It is said that one evening a rich knight, Sir von Salis of Soglio, passed by on his horseback. Being very tired, he asked for a place to sleep. The robbers immediately offered him something to eat and prepared him a bed for the night. While the guest was eating, all the robbers disappeared into the cellar, where they dug a pit for the unfortunate man. They wanted to rob him, kill him and bury him in the cellar, as they had done with many other passers-by.

The knight was handsome and cheerful, and the thieves' maid took pity on him. She went near him and whispered excitedly, "We must escape together, or you will be the victim of these murderers; time is running!"

Immediately Sir von Salis got up, ran outside, and, quickly wrapping rags around his horse's hoofs, took the girl on horseback with him and fled. They rode hastily through the Val Maroz all night - the pounding of the hooves muffled by the rags.

In the meantime one of the thieves came out of the cellar again, found neither the rider nor the maid, and gave the alarm: three thieves galloped off in the direction of Cavreccia towards Bivio-four towards Casaccia. The maid, exhausted by the fatigue of the ride, had not wanted to go any further and had hid herself under the Nagalacc Bridge. From there she heard the robbers coming and whispered on the bridge: "If we find the two rogues, the biggest piece left of them is an ear". The poor girl trembled with fear, but fortunately, the robbers departed towards the Maroz valley.

The rider, meanwhile, had hidden in a stable between two bales of hay and was anxiously awaiting the next few minutes. The robbers saw the horse, Mill acted and cruelly mistreated him. Then they entered the barn and rummaged through all the hay bales with iron rods looking for the rider. By a hair's breadth, he was not struck by one of the bars. God protected him and the thieves returned to the Settimo shelter disappointed.

A day later, in Vicosoprano, the knight and the girl met again, both healthy and happy to have escaped death.

Soldiers were send to the mountain to punish the thieves who were killed and buried in the pits they had dug for the wayfarers, as they deserved.

Their seven heads and the one of the poor horse can still be seen, in stone, on the facade of the stable of the Salis palace in Soglio.

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