Myths and Legends of All Nations Famous Stories from the Greek, German, English, Spanish, Scandinavian, Danish, French, Russian, Bohemian, Italian and other sources

Page: 124

"Thirty years have I ridden in the field and thirty years have I fought with heroes and tested my strength; but such a mighty man as Zidovin have I in all that time never met."

A man on a horse watches as another rider, in the field below, throws

[Pg 245]


Kralewitz Marko was the son of a Servian king who lived many, many years ago. He was very fond of hunting, and one day he rode forth on his horse Saria to the mountain Sargau. Being tired, he dismounted, tied his horse to a tree, sat down in its shade and fell asleep.

And as he slept it happened that Arbanes Neda with his seven brothers rode by. They all dismounted, lifted Kralewitz, bound him to his horse, and rode away with him to Jedrena, where they presented him to the vizier.

Highly pleased over the gift, the vizier took the king's son and threw him into prison. Two long years Kralewitz lay there, longing for liberty and home. Then he learned that in a few days he was to be executed.

Immediately he wrote a letter to his friend, Milos Obilis, asking for help. This important message he entrusted to his only companion, a white falcon. Tying the letter under the bird's wing he set it free.

The falcon easily found its way, alighted on Milos' window, and was admitted. Scarcely had Milos read the letter, when he and two of his friends were ready to set out for Jedrena. They reached there the day before the execution.

In the morning the gate of the city was opened and Marko was led out. Milos and his companions accompanied the mournful procession to an open field in which the execution was to take place. Two Arabs stood up with gleaming swords prepared to cut off Marko's head.

"Hold on, brothers," cried Milos. "I will give you a sharper sword with which to cut off the malicious head of the[Pg 246] noble Piam. See, with this sword did the good-for-nothing treacherously slay my father. Cursed be his hand!"

With these words he rushed to Marko's side; then with one swift stroke he cut off the head of one Arab, and with another the head of the other.

With still another stroke he severed the chains that bound Marko, and Marko, seizing a sword, swung himself into his saddle, and with his friends began to attack the horde of Turks. Frightened, the Turks fled before them, and Marko and his companions returned to their own country.

Marko waited for and soon found the opportunity of showing his gratitude to his friend, for Milos and two of his brothers were thrown into prison in Varadin. Milos wrote with his own blood a letter to Marko, asking for help.

Then the king's son sprang to his horse Saria and rode to Varadin. Outside of the city he dismounted, stuck his spear in the earth, tied Saria and began drinking the black wine which he had brought with him. He poured it into huge beakers, half of which he drank himself, and half of which he gave to Saria.