Sunday, August 10, 2008


But he, not seeing her confusion nor her blushes because it was dark, laughed and said:

"Are you not afraid of wild beasts? The night coming!"

"There is a boar spear in the wagon. Give it to me."

Zbyszko went to the wagon, took the boar spear and handed it to Jagienka; then he said:

"Be in good health!"

"Be in good health!" she answered.

"May God reward you! Tomorrow, or the day after, I will be in Zgorzelice to thank Zych and you for your kindness."

"Come! You will be welcome!"

Apllying pressure to the horse with her legs she begun to ride and disappeared among the bushes growing on the sides of the road.

Zbyszko returned to his uncle.

"It’s time to go inside."

But Macko answered, without moving from the log:

"Hey! What a girl! She made the court yard brighter!"

"That is true!"

There was a moment of silence. Macko seemed to be thinking about something while looking at the stars; then he said, as if he were speaking to himself:

"She is pretty and a good housekeeper, although she is not more than fifteen years old."

"Yes!" answered Zbyszko "and old Zych loves her dearly."

"And he said that the estate of Moczydoly will be her dowry; and there on the pastures is a herd of horses with many colts."

"Are there great and dangerous marshes in the Moczydoly estate?"

"Yes; but in those marshes there are plenty of beavers."

There was silence again. Macko looked intently at Zbyszko for a while, and finally he asked, "About what are you thinking?"

"Seeing Jagienka reminded me of Danusia, and something pricked me in the heart."

"Let us go inside the house," answered the old knight. "It is getting late."

He rose with difficulty and leaned on Zbyszko who led him to the alcove.

The next day, first thing in the morning, Zbyszko went to Zgorzelice, because Macko urged him to do so. He also insisted that he take two servants with him for ostentation, and that he dress in his best clothes, to show respect and gratitude to Zych. Zbyszko did as he was asked and went dressed as if for a wedding, in his coat made of white satin, bordered with gold fringe and embroidered with gold griffins. Zych received him with open arms, as for Jagienka, when she entered she froze and almost dropped the pitcher of wine which she was carrying. She thought that a son of some king had arrived. She became timid and sat silently, rubbing her eyes from time to time as if she would like to awaken from a dream. The inexperienced Zbyszko thought that, for some reason unknown to him, she did not wish to talk to him. Therefore he conversed only with Zych, praising his generosity and admiring his house, which was quite different from that in Bogdaniec.

Everywhere comfort and wealth were evident. Instead of fire in the center of the rooms, there were large fireplaces with chimneys in the corners. The floors were made of larch tree planks, while on the walls were hung suits of armor and many polished dishes, including silver spoons. Here and there were costly rugs brought from the wars. Under the tables there were enormous urus' skins. Zych showed his riches willingly, saying that it was Jagienka's household. He led Zbyszko to the alcove, smelling like rosin and peppermint, filled with hanging from the ceiling, large bunches of wolf skins, fox skins, beaver skins and marten skins. He showed to him the provisions of cheese, honey, wax, barrels of flour, pails of dried bread, hemp and dried mushrooms. Then he went with him to the granaries, barns, stables, cow houses, and to the sheds filled with plenty of hunting implements and nets. Zbyszko was so dazzled by all this wealth that during supper, he could not refrain from admiration.

"It is great live in Zgorzelice!" he exclaimed.

"Moczydoly is more or less the same," answered Zych. "Do you remember Moczydoly? It is not far from Bogdaniec. Formerly our forefathers quarreled about the boundaries and challenged each other; but I shall not quarrel."

Here he filled Zbyszko's goblet with mead and said:

"Perhaps you would like to sing?"

"No," answered Zbyszko; "but I shall listen to you with pleasure."

"Zgorzelice will belong to the young bears."

"What do you mean by 'young bears?'"

"Why, Jagienka's brothers."

"Hey! they will not have to suck their paws during the winter."

"No; but Jagienka will also have plenty in Moczydoly."

"That is true!"

"Why don't you eat and drink? Jagienka, pour for him and for me."
"I am drinking and eating as much as I can."

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