The Land of the Black Mountain eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 263 pages of information about The Land of the Black Mountain.
primitive and tumble-down habitation that we had had as yet.  Of course it rained.  It was almost the first rain on the trip, and we had to lie up here a whole day as P. was unwell and unable to ride.  Everyone turned out to make the hut comfortable, but it was not a success.  I lay down outside and promptly fell asleep, when a sharp thunderstorm came on and drove me inside.  There was not a dry corner to be found.  The rain came through in steady rivulets everywhere.  There was no getting away from those persistent little streams, either head, body, or feet had to suffer—­and the fire refused to burn.  Added to that, the whole population crowded in to look at us.  It was no fun at all Stephan stood cursing in German that he could not get near the fire to cook, and that he would not cook at all if the mob were not cleared out.  This Dr. S. refused to allow, as it would be considered inhospitable.

In course of time the rain stopped and our visitors left us, but only temporarily.  Stephan cooked and we went outside to dry ourselves.  The food was then ready, and after putting away a good meal we were able to view the world with more equanimity.

After supper it came on to rain again and damped us thoroughly before going to bed.  I was very annoyed to find, after having discovered as I fondly imagined a dry corner, that one of my pockets was full of water.  I should not have been so irritated had my tobacco been in another pocket; it was a leather coat and held the water beautifully.  Then we tried to go to sleep.  My pillow was a stone, like Jacob’s, and though I tried covering it with my coat it was of no avail, since the cold forced me to put it on again.  I do not mind a hard bed, but a hard pillow is distinctly objectionable.  We were just on the point of sleeping when in stalked two men for an after-supper smoke and chat, and one of them, to P.’s intense disgust, sat on his feet.  It cost Dr. S. all his diplomacy to hint that we had been up since three a.m. and were disinclined to talk.

CHAPTER XVI

More memorial stones—­We get wet again—­Unwilling hosts—­A fall—­The Franciscan of Zatrijebac—­The ravine of the Zem—­Methods of settling tribal differences—­A change of diet and more pleasant evenings—­A fatalist—­Sunday morning.

Punctually at eight a.m. next morning we took an affectionate farewell of the Fathers, though I mounted hurriedly first to avoid the repetition of the welcoming chaste salute.

Our path lay for two hours over a rocky and barren country similar to the naked Katunska district round Cetinje.  Gone were the rich green pasturages and wooded valleys in exchange for a waste of grey rocks.  But a large wood was ultimately reached, only a little less dangerous than the wood of Vucipotok.  Similar precautions were observed in passing through—­in fact, our carbines were carried loaded again all day.  The Albanian border was never more than a rifle-shot away.  Numerous gentle reminders of the dangers of the path existed in the shape of memorial stones all the way along.  We met several families, all fully armed of course, driving their flocks before them to the mountain grazing-grounds of the Kom.

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The Land of the Black Mountain from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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