An old story of a Masseria in Puglia
Damn! I hate that cursed being! More than the Duke who has expected from us, since old times, what he thinks is due to him, by divine right! But his taxman is really a great bastard: he feels a sadistic pleasure to suck our blood when he collects the money and places his taxes and imposts in his ‘scagno’ ( treasure chest). He laughs up his long and thin sleeves, with his nasty and coward laugh, so sure of the protection of his ‘scagnozzi’( running dogs). He demands up to the last cent and he doesn’t make allowances for anybody.
Not even for poor fellow Nicola – ‘mba Colin- who has lost his wife and cows in a year, the former for consumption and the latter for bad luck. ‘Nicola, you are lucky‘ – says to him mockingly the fiend any time the poor man pleads with him for useless and piteous grace. “You foster as many as 900 scagni (acres) of land, you will be able to feed not one, but two families.” And in the meanwhile he places in the scagno (treasure chest) the four coins that ‘mba’ Colin has just paid as a pledge for having slaughtered the pig.