Chapter 53 Summary

Scipio is much happier with his new life in Victor’s tiny flat than he ever was in the Massimo mansion. Scipio cannot call himself Massimo anymore, so he chooses a new name for himself: Scipio Fortunato. When he first begins to work as a detective, Victor protests that he will never put another name on the sign by his door. Six months later, however, he changes his mind and adds the new name to the sign.

Nobody ever asks Scipio if he is sorry he went on the merry-go-round, but his name suggests that he feels glad about the way his life has changed. He sends his father a card, as Victor insists, to make clear that he is all right. He claims that he is going to travel and will not return for a long time. Dottor Massimo never finds out what really happened to his son.

Once in a while Scipio goes to visit Riccio and Mosca in their new hideout. He usually gives them a bit of money, but they are not struggling too badly. They refuse to tell him anything about the counterfeit money they got from the job for the Conte, especially now that Scipio is a detective. However, everyone suspects that they spend some of the fake bills from time to time. Mosca gets work as a fisherman, but Scipio thinks Riccio probably spends his days picking tourists’ pockets.

Victor and Scipio see Prosper, Hornet, and Bo more often than they see Riccio and Mosca. They go over to Ida’s house at least twice a week to visit. A few months later, Scipio and Prosper borrow Ida’s boat and drive out to the Isola Segreta. The gates and the house look the same, but the island is deserted. When Scipio and Prosper sneak over the fences and make their way through the maze, they find that the merry-go-round is gone. They never find out what happened to Renzo and Morosina or whether they ever manage to repair the magical merry-go-round.

Esther Hartlieb adopts Barbarossa, and for quite some time she thinks he is the best child in the world. One day, however, she catches him stealing a pair of her earrings. She looks in his bedroom and finds many other valuables she has been unable to find. She cries and sends little Ernesto away to boarding school, where he bullies both his teachers and his classmates. He tries to force the other children to act as his servants, and he also makes them steal for him. He even gives himself a new nickname: the Thief Lord.