A ferrari engine makes a deep, distinctive sound.
When the children at Portugal’s most famous orphanage heard the sports car roaring down the driveway, fear swept through the dormitories.
The noise could mean only one thing: the man known as The Doctor was coming to call.
Yet this medical practitioner had no intention of adhering to the ancient Hippocratic Oath
Instead, arriving at Casa Pia (House of the Pious), a 17th century Lisbon orphanage where more than 4,000 children are cared for each year behind high stone walls, the doctor would summon selected boys and girls from their beds for examinations one night each week.
Where possible, he chose deaf-mutes.
After checking that the children were not suffering from any sexual infections, the doctor was joined by the orphanage caretaker, known as Bibi, who ushered the unfortunate children outside to a waiting van.
With the doctor following in his red Ferrari, Bibi drove the van to the prestigious homes of some of the leading members of Lisbon society – ranging from Portuguese government ministers and high-ranking diplomats, to famous television stars and members of the judiciary. TO BE CONTINUED ON: