Friday, August 15, 2008


"Good girl!" exclaimed Zych. "Call him 'Zbyszko,' and you call her 'Jagienka.' You have known each other since you were children."

Then he turned toward his daughter:

"Forget that he struck you when you were children. He will not do it now."

"I will not!" answered Zbyszko, mirthfully. "If she wishes, she may beat me now for it."

Jagienka, wishing to cheer him up, began to play that she was striking him with her little fist. “Here is one for my nose.”

"Give us some wine!" called happily Lord of Zgorzelice.

Jagienka sprang to the closet and brought out a jug of wine, two beautiful silver goblets and couple of cheeses.

Zych, being a little intoxicated, began to hug the jug and said to it as if he were talking to his daughter:

"Oj, my dear girl! What shall I do, poor man, when they take you from Zgorzelice; what shall I do?"

"And you must give her up soon!" said Zbyszko.

Zych began to laugh.

"Ha! Ha! The girl is only fifteen; but she is already fond of boys!

"Daddy, if you don't stop, I will leave you," said Jagienka.

"Don't go! It's better with you here." Then he continued to talk to Zbyszko:

"Two of them visit us. One of them is young Wolf, the son of old Wolf of Brzozowo, the other is Chtan of Rogowo. If they meet you here, they will gnash their teeth at you, as they do at each other."

"Well!" said Zbyszko. Then he turned to Jagienka and asked:

"Which oner do you prefer?"

"Neither of them."

"Wolf is a great boy," said Zych.

"Let him howl in another direction!"

"And Chtan?"

Jagienka began to laugh:

"Chtan," said she, turning toward Zbyszko, "he has hair on his face like a goat; one can hardly see his eyes; and he has as much grease on him as a bear."

Zbyszko now touched his head with his hand as if he had just remembered something important, and said:

"I must ask you for one thing more; have you any bear's grease? I want to use it for medicine for my uncle; and I could not find any in Bogdaniec."

"We used to have some," answered Jagienka; "but the boys have used some to grease their bows, and the dogs have eaten the rest."

"Is there none left?"

"Not a bit!"

"Well, then, I must find some in the woods."

"Have a hunting party for bears, there are plenty of them, and if you want some hunting implements, we will lend you some."

"I cannot wait. I will at night to the hive.”
"Take a few men with you."

"No, I shall not do that, for they will frighten the beast."

"But you will take a crossbow!"

"What can I do with a crossbow during the night? There is no moon now! I will take a fork and a strong axe, and I will go alone tomorrow."

Jagienka was silent for a while, but great uneasiness was reflected on her face.

"Last year," said she, "the huntsman was killed by a bear. It is dangerous, because as soon as the bear sees a man near the hive, he immediately stands up on his hind feet."

"If he ran away, I could not get him," answered Zbyszko.

At that moment Zych who had been dozing, suddenly awakened and began to sing.

Then he said to Zbyszko:
"You know? There are two of them, Wolf of Brzozowo and Chtan of Rogowo, and you?"

But Jagienka being afraid that Zych would say too much, swiftly approached Zbyszko, and began to inquire:

"When are you going? Tomorrow?"

"Tomorrow after sunset."

"And to which hive?"

"To ours in Bogdaniec, not far from your boundaries, near the marshes ofRadzikow. I was told it is very easy to get a bear there."

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