P. joined me, and together we watched the sunset. On our left towered the Kom, and running in an unbroken chain circled a mountain range, ending in the setting sun. Low down an angry bank of clouds hung over the distant peaks, and into this mass of black and grey the sun, in all its glory of yellow and gold, sank slowly. The hills between us seemed wild and mysterious. Away to our left, in gloomy confusion, the Albanian Alps reared their heads, lit here and there with a red gleam of sunlight. At our feet, shrouded in impenetrable blackness, lay two steep ravines. The sun sank, leaving a weird eerie feeling behind, and we found ourselves strangely cold.
We spent many days with Vaso, shooting with indifferent results, but revelling in the glories of nature.
We leave Andrijevica—Our additional escort—The arrival at our camping-place—In an enemy’s country—The story of one Gjolic—Our slumbers are disturbed—Sunrise on the Alps—We disappoint our escort—“Albanian or Montenegrin?”—A reconnaissance—The Forest of Vucipotok—The forbidden land—A narrow escape—We arrive at Rikavac—Rain damps our ardour—Nocturnal visitors.
We left Andrijevica finally one morning about eight a.m. for our many days’ ride along the Albanian frontier to Podgorica. Everyone turned out to bid us farewell, from the Voivoda, who expressed his regret that we had seen no one shot, downwards. The Voivoda’s son and a small party accompanied us to the outskirts of the town, where a quaint notice-board bears the inscription that, on pain of a fine, shooting is forbidden within the prescribed limits.
Here, after much hand-shaking and promises to come again, we mounted, and drawing our revolvers, replied right merrily to the farewell volleys of our friends. It is a pleasant custom that—shooting at parting.
[Illustration: THE RAVINE OF TERPETLIS]
We rode for two or three hours along the Perusica valley till we came to a small and scattered village, Konjuhe, where we dismounted for a rest. It was the birthplace of the Voivoda, and his brother still lived there. He was immediately sent for. When he heard of our proposed tour, he insisted on our taking an additional escort (besides Dr. S., and Stephan our servant, we had engaged another man, named Milan, in Andrijevica) of at least two men, as the country was just now in a very dangerous condition. The necessary guard was soon found, and after a long halt owing to a heavy shower, we were able to proceed on our way, first carefully loading our rifles and overhauling our revolvers. Our two men were quite celebrated for a famous raid into Gusinje, in which they had played an active part a short time ago. They had killed several Albanians, and captured two hundred sheep. As the Albanians would shoot them at sight, they seemed hardly fitted to act as an escort; but then every man from that part is engaged, more or less, in a blood feud across the border.