Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/551

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
551
BLOOD-VENGEANCE AND PARDON IN ALBANIA.

sometimes in one way and sometimes in another, is not unfavorable to this hypothesis. It is with plants as with animals. One animal endures by means of his agility, another by his thick skin; another by this kind of defense, and another by that. The field opened by M. Stahl is one that has as yet been but little explored. It promises much that is novel, and bids fair to afford a new and most interesting chapter in the history of natural selection.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique.

 

BLOOD-VENGEANCE AND PARDON IN ALBANIA.
By HERR J. OKIE.

THE Albanians are accustomed to train ganders for fighting, for which purpose they feed them with such herbs as contribute most to the development of a pugnacious disposition. When one among them thinks his goose's courage has been sufficiently developed, he sends out a herald to go through the village uttering a challenge for any townsman having a gander which he is ready to pit in a combat to bring him to the ring for a match.

Such a challenge was sounded in the village of Unter Rogiza in the later days of August of last year. It was answered by a wealthy Albanian, who at once betook himself with his goose to the place where such spectacles were exhibited. His antagonist was already in waiting, with about a hundred on-lookers. The match had gone on for about two hours, when one of the champions began to fail. His owner wanted to help him, but the proprietor of the conquering goose would not permit it. Irritated by this, the losing owner raised his gun and shot the other man down on the spot. The spectators of the tragedy were so astonished for the moment that no movement was made to arrest the murderer, and he fled to the mountain. The friends of the murdered man instituted a pursuit of him, which was kept up for several hours, the murderer running up and down the hills, and his pursuers following him closely. Finally, when he saw that he could not escape, he turned toward the village and took refuge in the house of his victim. The dead Arso was lying in the room, and his mother beside him was weeping and lamenting the death of her only son. The murderer set his gun in the corner and said: "I am in your house; give me hessá (oath of protection), for they are going to kill me." He continued repeating these words till the old mother gave him the bessá. When his pursuers came up to the house, the mother of the dead Arso stepped to the door and waved a handkerchief toward them as a sign that no one should