A young man, whom we will call Andreas to prevent confusion, had been for some time in Austria, and not finding work he returned to his village, named Ljubotin, half-way between Rijeka and Cetinje, or, to be more correct, just below the Bella Vista in the hollow. He arrived in the night, penniless and in a desperate condition, and waited outside his widowed mother’s house till he saw that all the men, his relations, had left and gone to work in the fields. Entering the house he demanded money of his aged mother, who indignantly refused him—he seems to have been a bad lot altogether—and as he threatened to take it by force, she hurriedly called in the village kmet, or mayor, to protect her. But the kmet was also aged and infirm, and brought a young man with him. This young man remonstrated with Andreas, who was breaking open the chest, and said—
“Give me thy revolver.”
“Thus I give it thee,” answered Andreas, and drawing his revolver he shot the man dead.
Andreas then fled out of the house into the fields, and the murdered man’s relations speedily gathered together and pursued him. They espied the fugitive running and fired at him, whereupon Andreas threw up his arms and fell to the ground. His pursuers thinking him dead, left him. Andreas was in reality shamming, and crawling through the bushes saw his uncle at work and promptly fired at him.
This time he met his deserts, for his uncle, unhurt, returned the compliment and shot him through the head.
These shots brought the original pursuers to the spot, and seeing Andreas dead, and shot by his uncle and not by them, they began abusing the old man for taking their lawful prey from them.
He bared his chest dramatically, saying that as he knew that the vendetta must continue, they should shoot him then and there and end the matter. But they would not, and going further found another relation of Andreas; this time a young man, and the pride of the family. They shot and wounded him slightly. He fired and mortally wounded one of his attackers, which was as far as they got.
The gendarmes had come and arrested them all, and these were the men of both sides, which we had seen that morning.
As we knew several of them personally, we were doubly interested.
Preparations for our tour in the Brda—We start—Where it is not good to be giddy—A trying ride—Our inn—Nocturnal episodes—The journey continued—Pleasant surroundings—The Montenegrin quart d’heure—Arrival in Kolasin—We meet the Governor—Visiting—The Band of Good Hope—The Crown Prince’s birthday—We are ashamed.
The preparations for our tour through the mountainous districts of North-East Montenegro, known as the Brda, took a few days.
We had some difficulty about horses, though ultimately P. and I secured two good animals for ourselves, but the third, destined for the bulk of our baggage and Stephan, was a dilapidated apology for the equine race. As a matter of fact, it stood the trying journey in a remarkable manner.