Sunday, August 31, 2008


"Be silent!"

After a while, wishing to turn the conversation, she said:

"Wring my tress; it makes my back wet."

Zbyszko caught the tress in one hand and began to wring with the other, saying:

"The best way will be to unbraid it, then the wind will soon dry it."

But she did not wish to do that because of the thicket through which they had to make their way. Zbyszko now put the beaver on his shoulders. Jagienka walking in front of him, said:

"Now Macko will soon be well, because there is no better medicine for a wound than the grease of a bear inside, and the grease of a beaver outside. In about two weeks, he will be able to ride a horse."

"May God grant that!" answered Zbyszko. "I am waiting for it as for salvation, because I cannot leave the sick man, and it is hard for me to stay here."

"Why is it hard for you to stay here?" she asked him.

"Has Zych told you nothing about Danusia?"

"He did tell me something. I know that she covered you with her veil. I know that! He told me also that every knight makes some vow, to serve his lady. But he said that such a vow did not amount to anything; that some of the knights were married, but they served their ladies just the same. But Danusia, Zbyszko; tell me about her!"

Having come very close to him, she began to look at his face with great anxiety; he did not pay any attention to her frightened voice and looks, but said:

"She is my lady, and at the same time she is my sweetest love. I have not spoken about her to anybody; but I am going to tell you, because we have been acquainted since we were children. I will follow her beyond the tenth river and beyond the tenth sea, to the Germans and to the Tatars, because there is no other girl like her. Let my uncle remain in Bogdaniec, and I will go to her. What do I care about Bogdaniec, the household, the herds, or the abbot's wealth, without her! I will mount my horse and I will go, so help me God; I will fulfill that which I promised her, or I will die."

"I did not know," answered Jagienka, in a hollow voice.

Zbyszko began to tell her about all that had happened; how he had met Danusia in Tyniec; how he had made a vow to her; about everything that happened afterward; about his imprisonment, and how Danusia rescued him; about Jurand's refusal, their farewell and his loneliness; finally about his joy, because as soon as Macko became well, he would go to his beloved girl. His story was interrupted at last by the sight of the servant with the horses, waiting on the edge of the forest.

Jagienka immediately mounted her horse and began to bid Zbyszko good-bye.

"Let the servant follow you with the beaver; I am going to Zgorzelice."

"Then you will not go to Bogdaniec? Zych is there."

"No. Dad said he would return and told me to go home."

"Well, may God reward you for the beaver."

"With God."
Then Jagienka was alone. Going home through the heaths, she looked back for a while after Zbyszko; when he disappeared beyond the trees, she covered her eyes with her hands as if sheltering them from the sunlight. But soon large tears began to flow down her cheeks and drop one after another on the horse's mane.

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