They sometimes ascribed powers of healing to us, and were evidently quite distressed when we endeavoured to impress upon them our entire ignorance of medicine. Once a man insisted on baring his leg and showing me a horrible wound which would not heal.
Another time the school was marched out from the village of Vranjina, probably to have an object-lesson in geography. Doubtless the boys, after having seen real live Englishmen, would henceforth display an intelligent interest in the position of the British Isles. They came and spent a morning with us, and the young teacher, who spoke good Italian, asked us many questions, such as a young child asks his father, and equally difficult at times to answer.
Our messing arrangements were of the simplest, raw ham and eggs forming the staple food. We bought a lamb once, but it only lasted one meal, as everyone developed an extraordinary appetite—the parson, Lazo our servant, and all the men in the vicinity.
When we left we had the blessing of our worthy priest and fervent invitations to return again soon from some of the fishermen. One of the men took a great fancy to us, urging us to come to his house in Vranjina then and there, and “we would,” he said, “drink gallons of wine,” going on next day. “At any rate,” he said, as we gently refused, “let us have a big drink together when ye come again.”
We arranged our return to Podgorica ourselves, and got back within five hours, shooting a fine pelican on the way, which was the last shot that we fired on the Lake of Scutari.
Stephan our servant—Virpazar—The drive over the Sutormann Pass—Antivari and Prstan—The beauty of the bay—We are delayed by contrary winds—We are rowed to Dulcigno—We make the acquaintance of Marko Ivankovic—A story concerning him—We shoot together—An episode on a lake—Vaccination—The Turkish inhabitants.
For our journey to the sea-coast towns of Antivari (Bar) and Dulcigno (Ulcinj) we deemed it advisable to take a servant with us, and our choice fell on Stephan, a Hungarian by birth, but a ten years’ sojourn in the Land of the Black Mountain had completely Montenegrinised him, if we may coin a word. As he was our constant companion for several months, it would be well to describe him.
Every statement that Stephan made had to be liberally discounted—this we found out afterwards—for he was a born liar, and not a skilful one at that. He had one marvellous story about a large sum of money lying in his name in a bank in Hungary, which he must fetch in person, but he could never save enough money to make the journey. This was an obvious falsehood. But the story of his coming to Montenegro seemed true. He was a sergeant of an Austrian infantry regiment, and had attempted to cut down his superior officer in a fit of rage, severing his ear with a sabre. He fled to the Montenegrin border, which was quite