Fans of classic detective fiction will know that the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Maigret and Father Brown regularly leave the culprits whose dastardly deeds they have covered to suffer the consequences of natural justice rather than throw them into the strong arms of the law. The weight of a guilty conscience can be more unbearable than a slap on the wrist or a stretch inside.
A Canadian woman, back in 2005, decided to help herself to some souvenirs from Pompeii that are not available in tourist shops, namely two white mosaic tiles, two pieces of an amphora and a piece of ceramic. It may have seemed a good if irresponsible wheeze at the time, but the woman, who goes by the name of Nicole, has had fifteen years to rue her spot of opportunism.
Since her trip to Pompeii, Nicole has been dogged by Bad Luck, suffering a double mastectomy after two separate diagnoses of breast cancer and financial difficulties. After some reflection, Nicole has put her run of bad luck to a curse that has followed her since her bout of Pompeian larceny.
In a desperate attempt to break the spell, she has sent the objects packing back to the Archaeological Park of Pompeii with a letter of profuse apology.
I wonder if it will do the trick.
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