In vain he struggles to drive away the thoughts that trouble him

All this is now going through Father Niță’s mind and that is why the old man is very sad. In vain he struggles to drive away the thoughts that trouble him – the song outside-26- He loads them even harder: Ileana, his daughter, Matache’s wife, sits in the yard with her chin resting in her hand and sings.

Ileana sings beautifully, she is known; but now the warmth of the song is special; her voice burns. The man, who had learned so much, listened with a bite to his lips: he suspected… no, he understood very well what power lifted the singer’s strings so high.

A simple and monotonous song, – but how many meanings, how much loss of soul, how many boundless promises and blind lust! The girl sings of his youth. That song took him up, like wide, strong wings, and carried him back thirty years. of life.

Ileanii’s song lasted too long; he was no longer in pain: he had to be suffocated. The father came out on the porch and called to her abruptly. She fell silent and approached.

– Ileano-Ileano! said the pope reproachfully, glaring at her. It’s a shame!

– Dad!

“It’s a shame,” the pope added, pressing harder. Shame and sin! and hurried out of the yard without looking back.

He went straight to the teacher… This man drove Ileana crazy… yes, he!

Here followed a very unpleasant scene: bitter accusations of ungratefulness on the one hand, and warm protests of innocence on the other. The young man swears that there were only jokes inflated by the malicious mouths of the people or rather of the women in the village, who, if they don’t gossip, don’t live. The old man kept in one, without listening, that a man in all his nature should not be lost in a weak woman’s mind. And finally, in short: a determined will to the point of preventing shame and sin… Immediately the teacher had to ask for the permutation-27-in another county; the prot has the means to obtain immediate approval. He owed her a large sum; he found a good girl to marry him… she loved him like a dear child of his… much more than Ileana… ​​And at the last words the old man, feeling that his energy was decreasing, hurried to leave without he also responds to the remarks of the young man, who does not know how to deserve this expulsion.

The priest went home; but suddenly he stopped… for an indefinite moment… then he turned his steps – he doesn’t want to see Ileana… ​​to go to Cuțiteiu… Not that he just had to tell her something, but he felt the need not to be alone.

The mayor was home. The old friends sat down on the palm tree… The father had no appetite for food; but a glass of good wine is always good… Knife took out a cup of foam from the cellar… The mayor was very happy and because he was not sleepy, as usual, he had a craving for lava.

Between one man and another it is often like from one star to another. A huge sun burns there and beyond. Amidst the whirling dust of worlds, a colossus of flames barely sees the other like a flashing spark lost in the bottomless mist… How many still do not see each other at all and do not even suspect each other. This is how people often understand each other and can understand each other’s souls.

The two old men and good friends were standing here face to face, but the distance between them was so immeasurable! and this reduces for Knife to proportions that are not even worth considering, the fears of the father. After all, what great and great thing?… Is something to happen more often and easier? And then? Isn’t the world?

“I knew from the beginning that it was going to be confusing,” said Knife with his usual smile. -28-Wait to see… On Sunday, about two weeks, I don’t know what I was robotizing in the garden… Just what to see: they both came from the gorge, passed by the fence slowly and spoke in whispers… I couldn’t hear anything… It hurts so much it seemed to me that she was saying, “I don’t believe you!” yes he says, “You will see!” I quickly jumped out of the garden and until they reached the line, walking slowly and still stopping, I went out to the gate before them… They swayed next to me as if they were walking on a water… It was to pass me without to see me.

– Good morning, fine, I say; he says, “I kiss your hand, godfather.” – Where else? – We were going to church too… We met my daughter Mitu later… – I glanced at her, and I said: – Good way, fine. – He was silent and turned red as pepper; yes, she, the devil, began to laugh; he says, “I kiss your hand, motherfucker!” they both left before.

– I looked after them for a long time until he entered the churchyard… so proud!… Well! What about the idiot, Dad? If this is how God made our world… I also said: so yes, so I like it too!…

“Then, what would it be,” added Knife after a short silence, “what would it be like to leave the Matache burner and take Mitu?”

“As long as I live, that’s not possible,” said the pope.

– What fits!… Why?

“I don’t want to!” And the priest swallowed hard and, feeling his throat dry, drank two glasses in a row and then another.

– They! that’s it… They’re going to ask you!… And if it’s, it’s better to be his wife than his wife Look how the priest is surprised! It’s like he first saw these things… What, me, you’ve never been young? It didn’t happen to you… Here to me, as you see me, it happened to me încă and still to me… it was like the world poc Now you can -29-I said like a clergyman, it’s been a long time… I fell in love with my sister-in-law…

The pope made a move.

– Yes, yes, about the wife of my deceased brother… Let me and she die, and more not… The village still knows nothing and my brother nimic Poor deceased!… Good man, yes stupid! It was as if the devil was pushing him to help me. I remember once I desperately needed to go to the fair with her, that he had work on the hill… Our joy! I was in the cart with Smaranda, when your mother came… We had come to take her with us. What to do? I took it… It didn’t take a whole day to get lost in the market…

My father taught me on one side, your mother on the other… And one and the other guarded Smaranda… Where to approach? “What made me think?” To run away with her in the world… Who would have told them… how they would have found out and this… I don’t know… I only know so much that my father sold me – to get rid of me and me from sin.

– How?

– Iaca easily… I found myself in a morning with a lot of noise in the village, shouts, screams of women and children… What is it? what? The chosen ones ran with the Ceausescus to catch young men in the militia… I hadn’t had time to put my mind on it, and here was Smaranda in one soul: «Run, Constandine! after you he walks… run away he takes you! » Once it escaped my head: «Hold on! that’s what my father’s thief did to me! » that he had told me a few days before: “Me, Constandine, you would be good at dorobant… why don’t you want to join the militia?” «Now, I say, they’re still taking me, still…» I grabbed Smaranda and jerked her inside the room… You found it! the ax raised: «To the wicked, God strikes you! I crack your head like a dog! ”…

They had entered the yard… I push the old man – God rest him! – As far as there, I go out on the porch-30-and I put my hand on my belt: «Me! I say; the first to get his hands on me… shed his mats! » and I run after her. “They’re after me.” A cup of dorobanti came forward eating the earth and turned the rope over its head… as if I saw it here, as tall and broad as a mud. “Give up! Don’t give up! Hold on!” When I put my foot over the fence, he threw the noose around my neck and turned me back on my back. I struggled as hard as I could… but he took my water. What more to fight with the tight-fitting beret! He tied me side by side… and took me…

– Well, and?

– They! and took me. Who was going to pay me? father? He took me to the tact and from there to the city… I ran away with the thought of living to take Smaranda and start stealing. He grabbed me, beat me and locked me up… I jumped over the wall in one night… He grabbed the news guard, followed me and shot me in the leg – and now I have the sign… It hit me hard… I was locked up for a long time until it came to escape me – and at what expense! – who are you thinking?… Poor niece, my little sister!…

I returned home… Smaranda had two children… she had been ill… she had become ugly… When we saw each other, she and I were ashamed…

– After?

– Then I got married and lived as you know me… Bodaproste to poor father: he saved me from sin… that as I was crazy, I did it – I did it and it was done…

The priest had come to look for peace with his brother-in-law Cuțiteiu! Not with wine, she had honored him with poison. And so the father eventually returned on about two paths, looking for a bright inspiration and unable to take the path to a decision in his troubled mind. A fatigue-31- unspoken, a kind of disgust more crushing than even despair pressed hard on both old shoulders.

Who is to say that he is asking for a sacrifice – he knows, just as well as Knife – a sacrifice that is not given voluntarily, which must be taken with asylum… «With asylum!…» And the man hurried step… When he got home, he took from the bottom of the box and put a package wrapped in a fairy tale in his chest, he rode and left porn When the sun rose it was far away.

The road was both short and long: long, restless, short of thoughts… Will the prefect agree?… A teacher cannot be taken into the army… How to propose? what to say how to start?… But if you don’t succeed?… if you can’t?… Well! just want the prefect and you can…

The prefect was an old acquaintance – the former prosecutor. Former deputy, rich man now, with immeasurable power and influence… He could if he wanted to… In the hands of that man was the peace of the traveler. He remembers how good he had been with him… Yes, but he wasn’t the happy young man he used to be: he must be a mature man… Things may not be as easy as before…

And so, struggling with the calculations, the rider woke up before him with the gleam of the tin towers in the city… Another horse run… Finally!

He entered the same barrier where for more than twenty years he had been carrying the treasure found near the altar of St. John in the chariot.

The prefect lived on the outskirts of the city, in a house surrounded by a large garden… There were a lot of people at the prefect… The priest was waiting in the hall. He had just sat shyly in a corner of his chair, and suddenly he heard in a room next door-32-a great noise: quarrel, slaps, bumps, screams; the door of the room jerked open, an ugly, shrill maid, roaring like a beast, with her nose and mouth full of blood, came out bewildered; after her, at once, a mythical, dry lady, with her head full of paper bows, boiling and frothing, with a stove-tongs in her hand, and shouting, “Put her in the hut!” at the hut! “One by one, they perished in another door.”