"On a lovely morning in the middle of May, 1793, a young girl and a little lad might have been seen climbing the side of a mountain overlooking the beautiful Valley of Luserna. They were Lucia and Henri Vittoria, children of a brave Waldensian soldier then serving in the army of his king, against the French, with whom their country was at war.
"'All the faithful to meet at Luserna at sunset; the vesper bell of the convent gives the signal shortly after, and we immediately spread ourselves over the valley on a heretic hunt that from San Giovanni to Bobbi shall leave not a soul alive to tell the tale.
"While Magdalen and Lucia conversed in the cottage of the former, M. Brianza, curé of Luserna, seated in the confessional, listened with horror and indignation to a tale of intended wholesale rapine, murder, and arson, which his penitent was unfolding.
"To the left, and close at hand, lay San Giovanni, with its pretty villages, smiling vineyards, cornfields and verdant meadows sloping gently away to the waters of the Pelice. On the opposite side of the river, situate upon a slight eminence was the Roman Catholic town of Luserna.