Lazzaro Scacerni (lahz-ZAH-roh ska-CHEHR-nee), owner of St. Michael’s mill on the Po River. He builds the mill with money inherited from a dying captain he met in Napoleon Bonaparte’s Russian campaign. Although illiterate, he creates a good business and maintains his mill through the adversities of flood, war, and political upheaval. He hates the smugglers in the neighborhood who use his beloved mill as a rendezvous, and he is outraged when his own son becomes involved in smuggling grain to the Austrian enemy in the 1840’s.
Giuseppe Scacerni (jee-ew-SEHP-peh), the cowardly and crafty son of Lazzaro. He cares nothing for his father’s mill and trade except its profits. He takes a part in selling grain to his country’s enemies. He forces Cecilia to marry him through threats: If she marries him, he agrees he will not inform the authorities that his father possesses concealed firearms. When Giuseppe’s son dies while fighting with Garibaldi, he loses his reason, and he is at last confined in a madhouse.
Dosolina Scacerni (doh-soh-LEE-nah), wife of the miller Lazzaro. Although Lazzaro is attractive to women and makes many conquests, he chooses this poor but delicately beautiful girl to be his wife. She is twenty...
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