Cimarelli succeeded in reviving Marietta, who had been unconscious all the time. "On hearing my daughter calling me, I freed myself from those who were holding me and ran to her." Assunta questioned her as to what had happened. She replied very clearly: "It was Alessandro. Do you see what Alessandro has done to me?" I asked her why he had done it, and she replied: "He wanted me to commit sin, and I would not."
Cimarelli hurried off, both to Nettuno and Carano to call a doctor and the police. Assistance came from Carano first, with Doctor Balive of the Red Cross, who did his best to bind up the wounds. Alessandro was then placed under arrest. Soon afterwards the police of Nettuno arrived with Doctor Bartoli, who brought an ambulance to take Maria to the hospital. The Cisterna police handed Alessandro over to those from Nettuno, who took him off handcuffed between them, only just saving him from the crowd which had gathered in front of the house absolutely intent on avenging the crime.
A little later the ambulance also set off for Nettuno, taking Assunta as well, so that she could accompany her daughter to the hospital. It was excruciatingly painful for Marietta, and when the ambulance jolted, she would groan quietly. Assunta asked her if she felt worse, but Maria weakly replied that she didn't. Only once did she ask her mother how long it would be before arriving. The little heroine was at the breaking point, but maintained her uncomplaining silence.
On the way, two members of the mounted police caught up with them. In between them they were trialing the handcuffed Alessandro.
Towards eight o'clock in the evening, the ambulance reached the hospital of the Brothers of Saint John of God at Nettuno. The crowd which had at first decided to lynch Alessandro, stood at the entrance of the hospital when the ambulance arrived, hoping to see Marietta. Four young men of Nettuno volunteered to carry Marietta from the ambulance to the hospital.
Several times the child asked for a drop of water, but she could have none since she had to undergo an operation. Even after the operation, she was still in no condition to take anything at all. Assunta felt this suffering of her daughter keenly and only the thought that the Crucified Jesus was likewise denied even a drop of water gave her strength.
Before undergoing surgery, the superior of the hospital came to Assunta recommending that Marietta make her confession. The poor mother was so thankful and replied, "If Our Lady has let her come this far alive, yes, hear her confession before doing anything else."<< Previous chapter | Next chapter >>