Myths and legends of Jetrichovice´s region

HISTORICAL FEATURES

Rysí kámen (Lynx stone)

Vlcí deska (Wolfish table)

Rennetův kríž (Rennet´s cross)

Stormův kríž (Storm´s cross)

Stopy (Steps)

MYTHS AND LEGENDS

About Všemily´s Adam

About River stone

About robbing knights from Kyjov´s castle

About Falkenštejn

About night hunter

Night huntsman

Golden chicks

Glass-seller´s crows

About chapel on the Rosy hill

Mysterious chapel

Pagan altar

About castle Šaunštejn

Usurer and his daughter

About grasping miller

Devil and miller

Viper´s queen

Gnomes from Tiské steny

Sentinels of fires

Farmer and will-o´-the-wisp

Greybeard niggard

Conjured castle on Kamenský hill

Gold in smoking pipe

Bloody footprints

Hunch-back ans his daughter-in-law

Unfaithful man

Long tongue

Brotherly help

Proudling

Black Death

Castle rustic

Stone horse-shoe

Farmer from Castle hill

Executioner´s sword

Guard by dead

Gnomes on Jehla

About evil cobbler

Dean Huber

Goodbye toast

One hundred silver coins

Rysí kámen (Lynx stone)

(FEATURE) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, area: Zadní Jetrichovice (Hinder Jetrichovice)

In large Kozí důl (Goat´s valley) west of former Zadní Jetrichovice (Hinder Jetrichovice), stares at passers-by from undergrowth stone image of lynx. Relief is carved into boulder, that is already situated several steps in Saxony. Above lynx is carved new-gothic German inscription, that in translation is worded: "In this place I myself, Johann Gottfried Puttrich, royal forester from Zadní Hermanice (Hinterhermsdorf), felled by shot lynx in the year 1743." Puttrich from famous family of foresters killed lynx with mounted rifle that shot when predator touched bait. In the years 1645-85 were shot six lynxes in Decín´s region. One of the last one was killed by Kristina´s castle in 1875. Since 19th century there were no lynxes. In sixties of 20th century emerge reports about its re-occurence. Number of evidences of presence of lynxes since that time is still increasing on both sides of frontier (for example in 1969 was fished up killed female lynx, but there aslo exists large number of photographic evidences of presence of lynxes in Czech-Saxon Switzerland.

Vlcí deska (Wolfish table)

(FEATURE) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, author: Nataša Steinová, area: Zadní Doubice (Hinder Doubice)

Everybody who ever watched edge of pond or pool knows it. To the edge slips past small ripple and rises sludge with sand and when it settles to the bottom, there appears something - miraculously clear and unsuspected. Then comes another ripple and cloud of sludge slowly covers everything again. It seems that to such splashing playes also landscape however instead of water such ripples sways the time.

In the year 1833 tumbled down fir by Zadní Doubice. And like ripple splashed - from layer of humus and needle-leaves came up into the world inscription of old Vlcí deska (Wolfish table, in German Wolfstafel). All at once to the place where path from Dolní (Saxon) mill leads into Mlýnská cesta (Mill road) forfeited of desolation. Forester Rudolf Hermanovský perceived it identically and he let this inscription restore. In translation sounds it: "My name was forester Grohman Jan, during my youth I was known in this woods. Once when I passed round this place, suddenly I shot two wolfs under rock there. Later also death pointed to me and from this world took me out. Whoever will go along this rock, shall say: My God please give to his soul repose ! It has happened in the year of our Lord 1640." Wolfish table was with its placement in abandoned frontier wood predestined to silent disappearing under veil of grass and needle-leaves. About its returns attempted from time to time some people. About this fact give evidence inscriptions by table: "Renewed by Rosina Grohman in 1747" and "item by forester Václav Pompe in 1789". Then came sixties of 20th century - again one ripple came back and during extending of forestry road it swept off also Wolfish table. It seemed that it is all over to revealing of one small trace of one man from old times. After it remained only sole photo, that was made by German teacher H.Lemme from Dresden during his geographical wandering in thirties of 20th century. Place where table used to be commemorated only wooden table. But another ripple lapped again and some people missed that nobody can touch that old and nice forestry inscription. So that was started for the present last game of that small play. With using of sole photo and advices of conserver J.Doležal from District museum in Decín originated at first plaster size copy and then also proper cast piece - copy of old Wolfstafel (Wolfish table). Problem with its transport solved jeep of frontier guard from Jetrichovice and since 16th August 1986 Wolfish table is back on its old place.

Renet´s cross

(FEATURE) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, area: Vysoká Lípa (High Linden)

Not far off hunting chateau of Clary-Aldringens in Vysoká Lípa, in old forester´s house below spreading linden, used to live before hundred years family of forester Renet. On plateau that steeply slopes down to the southwest into canyon of river Kamenice used to have Renets small field there.

Renet´s cross in canyon of river Kamenice with still visible inscription KARL RENET 26.5.1893.

One summer day in the year 1893 worked Mrs Renet on this field and her 3 years old son Charles played in grass at some distance. When Mrs Renet absorbed in her work raised eyesight to control her son he was away. She started to call him and full of scare she ran to glen. Her wretched calling heard lumber-jacks on the other side of river below Kamenická Strán. They started running to rocky point and when they looked down at river, they saw deeply below them paralysed childish body drifted with stream to dangerous rapids. They started quickly descend to river. However faster was 15 years old Emil Weigel - boy from near-by farmstead in Kamenická Strán. Also he heard calling of mother and careless of danger he came down through rocks, hurled into water and swam to Charlie´s body. He caught him at the loose, where calm water falls into roaring rapids. Little Charles didn´t indicate evidences of life. Emil took him on back and lifted him to place where he met lumber-jacks. Together they attempted with reanimation to restore life to boy. They suceeded. Boy started to breathe..., they brought him into house of rescuer and they sent after doctor Böhm from Růžová and after parents. Before he was able to come, little Charles regained full consciousness - he was fully healthy. That he survived without any serious wounding he could owe to rocky ledge overgrown with moss and needle-leaves that slowed down fall of child. To the memory of his lifesaving was carved there into rocky wall above water-level cross with inscription KARL RENET 26.5.1893.

Stormův kríž (Storm´s cross)

(FEATURE) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, area: Rudolfův kámen (Rudolph´s stone)

On the rocks of Czech Switzerland we can find various carved signs, dates or inscriptions. Their authors are mostly already dead and today we can´t find out what was aim of their deeds. Otherwise it was in case of tragic occurence, that disturbed public in such a degree that this event survived still many generations in tradition of people and people exactly knew where this tragedy occured too.

On 24th June 1855 after noon 6 years old boy and scarcely 5 years old girl from village Rynartice set out for bilberries. They were both Storm but they weren´t related. At three o´clock afternoon their parents began to miss them. Many willing inhabitants of Rynartice started to seek through the Jetrichovice´s walls. In spite of heavy rain they continued to search till late night time. However they didn´t find nobody and therefore next day started anew. In searching were involved about 100 people from Rynartice, older scholars, forestry workers and also financial guard. Neither during this day children weren´t found. District authority in Ceská Kamenice and Rumburk appealed to searching all villages from Vysoká Lípa to Hely by Krásná Lípa. People searched in Saxony by river Krinice too. Searching continued on 26th June too. Only at late evening came across them Františka Hackel in lonely dingle Königsteichgrund under Rudolfův kámen (Rudolf s stone). Girl still lived but boy was already dead. He probably died of exhausting. What children had to suffer in wood, alone, hungry, during unremitting heavy rain, that lasted both nights...? Only cross with date designates today place of boy´s death and rescue of girl.

Stopy (Steps)

(FEATURE) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, (took from book Garland of legends from Decín´s region /1921/ - gathered by Rudolf Dörre and Emil Mauder), area: Jetrichovice

From Jetrichovice to Kunratice routes footpath through places called German "Lienchte". There before many years hung itself on spruce on citizen from Jetrichovice and since that time this place is haunted. Once passed along old Štefan Richter in late evening time. Now he clearly saw how group of horsemen and called to him "Halóóó !" (halloo). He quickly jumped aside. They blew over him as storm. But Štefan sighted nothing, no racks. When he had to pass along this place next winter in evening time again, he saw under near-by spruce standing man. Moon gave bright light and fresh-fallen snow sparkled among trees. Štefan remained standing for a while, he greeted and waited for answer. But eerie person didn´t answer. It was strange to him. He quickly hurried up away for dear life. Next day at morning, when he returned back to home along same path, he saw in the snow only his own steps. He went to the spruce, under that stayed last night strange man, but there were no steps...

About Všemily´s Adam

(MYTH) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, author: A.P., area: Všemily

In that rocky landscape full of rocky dingles and hiding-places nor poachers couldn´t missed there. In village Všemily used to live man, whose name was Adam, his chief desire was free hunting. And because it was neither before and not even later admissible, he hunted as poacher. Once he should convince his neighbourhood of his excellent bead, he therefore gave to boy burning candle and ordered him to go along path by brook, two hundreds footsteps far from Adam´s cottage. As soon as boy appeared on the path Adam fired from window of his house and hit candle so he chipped its upper part. Then he gave to the boy two guldens and with satisfaction watched how report of his deed spread around the whole village. However parents of boy were very upset, but they couldn´t criticised the man as was Adam... We have to subjoin that he didn´t satisfy his hunting passions to the detriment of local inhabitants. Red deers he chased mostly in Saxony, in local enclosures. Once he killed with his helper stout red deer in such preserve. Restfully he cut a deer open and unlaced him. Some gamekeeper taking care of preserve heard report, silently he came close to place and took the rifle, that was leaning against tree. "Such nice rifle !", he said. Všemily´s Adam, raised his eyes from his work and pointed point of knife to spruce, behind which shone bright barrel aiming directly to gamekeeper. "Over there is nicer one...", he said and continued calmly in his work. Gamekeeper silently leant Adam´s rifle against tree again and likewise silently left the place. In articulated, rocky, wooded landscape, that was interwove by wild canyons, through that could get only gamekeepers, poachers and smugglers, it wasn´t advisable to start combat with such backwoodsman as was Všemily´s Adam.

Legend about Potocní kámen (River stone)

(MYTH) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, author: František Sajdl and Karel Stein, area: Rynartice, Dolní Chribská

Between Rynartice and Dolní Chribská (Lower Chribská) near the place called Na Potokách (On the brook) on the left from road towers itself high and sheer rock called in past Bachstein (Stone of brook, in Czech Potocní kámen). Road is there surrounded from one side by brook and from other side by that rock, in which vertical wall is carved ornamental frame. People say that in the frame used to be painting painted for memory of occurence, that should happen there according to old legend.

Before many hundreds of years visited our region some squire. He came from afar - from Rožmberk´s (Rosenberg´s) domain (south Bohemia). Hardly he a little looked round his eyes striked one nice girl - daughter of poor lumber-jack. She gave a deaf ear to him, because he was nasty to her by his uninterrupted making love to her. Once she went through wood alone, when suddenly she heard neigh of horse. She was frightened, looked back and sighted hated hench-man who was at her heels. She had to set out for escape. For a long time she ran through wood as was in her power, suddenly she found herself at edge of high rock. There was no another way to left or right, behind her big danger and deep below her brook. She felt dizzy from such height, but she hesitated only little moment. She crossed herself and jumped from the cliff, decided rather to die than find herself in arms of hated hench-man. He remained powerlessly standing at adge of rock heart-broken by thought beyond fact that he caused girl´s death. He praied for salvation of her soul, then he turned horse and left our region forever and nobody saw him again. However girl perhaps thanks miracle survived her jump from rock without any injury. Presently she married a good boy and she was very happy.

Peple say that painting in the frame on Potocní kámen should picture girl falling into depth and above her horseman. The ravages of time nibbled and nibbled, so already before WW1 the painting was hardly perceptible and nobody knows today how it really looked like.

Legend about robbing knights from Kyjov´s castle

(MYTH) Source: Club of Czech tourists, author: ?, area: Kyjovský hrad (Kyjov´s castle)

In olden days Kyjovský hrad (Kyjov´s castle) was resided by robbing knights who were conspired with garrisons of castles Falkenštejn (Falcon stone) and Krásný buk (Nice beech) and who executed many looting campaigns into neighbouring Lusatia. Long time couldn´t Lusatians find out where is situated their castle, because robbers rode horses which were shod by reverse horseshoes. In those days Zittauers (inhabitants of Zittau) sent out many scouts into Bohemia, in order to find out where is situated seat of roughs. Finally he came across castle of fearful knights. He bribed maid servant who served on castle - she betrayed to him disposition of castle, size of garrison and their routines. Very soon came large army of Zittauers, castle was conquered and robbers were killed. However some of them saved themselves and these swore awful revenge. They spied upon traitorous maid and captured her, their revenge should be bloody... They attached her to log on log saw and then they started it - maid servant was sawed asunder.

About Czech road, Falkenštejn and story, that could incite legend about white deer

(MYTH) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, author: Lošták, area: Jetrichovice

Modest hard-pruned path through wild nature - called Czech. It connected heart of kingdom with Lusatia and Saxony. From northern seas was carried salt along it. Frontier forests were covered with dingles, canyons, rocks and streams. There lived deers, wolves, lynxes and above flew eagles. During reign of Premysl Otakar II. administered local territory house of Markvartici. There was built up castle Falkenštejn, its garrison protected traders against robbers. And there begins our legend...

Window from Falkenštejn with out-look to Havraní kameny (Corvine stones).

In those days administered castle captain, with whom lived also daughter Zdislava, of whom thought not even young armour-bearer but also commander of guardians... Carried goods allured robbers wandering through land. They assaulted merchants, slaughtered their suite and booty they brought with themselves. After one assault of such column robbers captured commander of guardians. They threatened him with hanging and offered bounty if he give over to them castle Falkenštejn. He agreed and blood-stained returned to castle and already dreamt about his advancement - to become captain of castle and marry beautiful Zdislava. Master of castle believed him his courage and rewarded him with purse full of guldens. He shamed gratefullness and like with emotion he called lord, that under window appeared white deer, which is certainly sign of lord´s favour... Master curiously leant out from the window, traitor held of his legs and threw him out the window into deep chasm. To horrified Zdislava he blocked mouth, pressed dagger to her throat and hissed: "If you dare speak I will cut your throat !" He qiuckly signaled from tower to robbers and ran to open the gate. His mean action watched young armour-bearer Hynek. He pierced the villain and with loyal garrison routed robber´s horde... Czech road was open again, again passed along it wagons to Lusatia, Saxony and Bohemia. Brave Hynek was by lord from Markvartice appointed as new captain of Falkenštejn and Zdislava became his wife. That was version with good end.

Another version doesn´t end as much well as first one. Before all there was no Ludmila or Hynek. In addition to it commander of guardians after killing of castle-master sucessfully let robbers in, who massacred garrison and burnt down the castle. Traitor then moved somewhere abroad.

About night hunter

(MYTH) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, (took from book Garland of legends from Decín´s region /1921/ - gathered by Rudolf Dörre and Emil Mauder), area: Jetrichovice Růžová, Jánská (compare with Night hunter, Golden chicks)

In woods and rocky dingles between Janská, Jetrichovice and Růžová used to take an airing in past odd night hunter - he was without head. He was dressed green coat with big shiny studs and he was accompanied by barking dogs. If someone provoked him then this forestry spirit certainly punished him. On the contrary if someone let him peacefully go further or helped him then headless hunter presented him with freshly felled game. Once late evening went home three lumberjacks. In the places where usually hid boars was already such darkness, that they didn´t see each other. Suddenly humed in the air and unexpectedly sounded dog´s barking. One of lumberjacks irritably exclaimed: "Damned hunter, leave us alone !" Presently he threw out awful cry and broke down. Night hunter wringed his neck. At some other time some poacher from Jetrichovice wanted to chase hare in Pavlinino údolí (Pavlína´s valley). He went by night under moonlight into wood and waited for hare in grass by watering-place of animals. Unexpectedly he heard lamentable howl and squeal. He was in a hurry to place from that he heard lament and there he saw trapped especial dog with bristly hedgehog-like fur and flaming red eyes. Poacher released animal and all of a sudden, stands beside him with head in arm-pit night hunter himself. Before poacher could be surprised or get frighten, dog and hunter vanished. However his underfoot lay fat, freshly hunted hare that he brought home.

Night huntsman

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Jetrichovice (compare with About night hunter, Steps and Golden chicks)

Mikuláš from village Jetrichovice took into his head, that he become huntsman and because he was efficient and robust boy as sound as a roach an old lord´s forester apprenticed him. Mikuláš within a short time acquired a knowledge of care of dogs and when he knew distinguish all species of animals - their trails and customs, then finally he could take part in chases. Soon he easily achieved knowledge how to manipulate with traps and rifles, how to shoot, how to wind a horn, how to make nets etc. And because he bewared of all depravity - up from drink and gamble to running after girls, he was appointed for apprentice and after 3 years for hunting assistant. He proved that he is worthy of hunting bowie knife and apprentice certificate, he made merry himself how the then custom required on banquet, then he quilted amethyst in his vest, hanged on his neck tinny amulet and set out into world as well as many others in those days. Finally he cast anchore on the job of knight who inhabited rocky castle, later called Pustý (Abandoned), above river Kamenice (present Fredevald). There was a rumour, that he had there golden times and his lord spoke highly of himself. On the other hand people trumpeted abroad about Mikuláš, that he was involved in some secret sect, that took interest in black magic. People said that its adherents were able to pour off magical bullets and prepare by mixing also magical gunpowder, they were good at preparing formulas for magical rifle whereupon they used entrails of killed animals, small cuckoo´s feathers and hearts, snake´s eyes, bats, toads, worms, hornets and all sorts of other varmints. People said: "Mikuláš has eyes like a lynx and to every distance he hits every living soul, either it stands, flies or crawls". "But we heard too, that he carried it too far: now he uses during conjuring not only wood to which has struck the lightning, swallow´s nest or bee-hives but also columns of the Crucifixion and dead men !" "Oh my God !" groaned old forester, "I have to look up that unlucky boy and to appeal to his conscience..." However before he could fit out to young hunter, spread around Jetrichovice tidings, that during one chase Mikuláš drowned in overflowing river Kamenice...

At one winter night went along road routing from Jetrichovice to Kunratice poor cotter. Suddenly he saw, how at edge of snow-covered clearing stood huntsman in long deep coat. Cotter gets to him, greets, but he doesn´t hear any answer. Old man looks up: clearing is completely empty, only near by road are black human steps. Several days after it swore solemnly farmer from Růžová, that he sighted at evening in rocky chasm near Rosy hill some tall and slim huntsman, surrounded by pack of flaming dogs. They stood like a statues carved from crystal, all of a sudden they broke away from huntsman and with furious barking ran directly at farmer upwards along rocky path. "I made against them sign of cross and they disappeared as you blew out a candle," recited farmer, "but I tell you friends I felt pretty hot !" Since that days there was a rumour that night huntsman is nobody else than Mikuláš. "Surely he resisted to God," guessed old men. One cobbler remarked casually: "Or rather to his lord. People say that into river Kamenice threw him down lord from castle Fredevald himself..." "Don´t rinse out your mug with our lord," became worse former equerry, "why he should throw Mikuláš to river, when he before belauded him to the skies and he couldn´t dispense with him ? You are flagitious liar !" "Put not your trust in princes," threw cobbler scornfully in, " you should know it best yourself ! You already forgot when you showed to us wheals on your back ? Or that your old provider inflicted them out of very love ? So I will tell you something, you smart alecs ! I have it straight from the tin, from daughter of dry nurse from rocky castle: that your miraculous forester fell in love with castle mistress. He palmed prince's feather on her and came over her with witchcraft, and once knight caught him napping. Immediately after it took place chase and lord unawares disposed of his rival, just so ! He drowned him as kitten, so that you know !" Since spring to end of summer there was no day, so as not to somebody see night huntsman at least with the tail of his eye at night or at gloom: sometimes wandered huntsman alone - deep coat fluttered on him even during dead calm, at some other time he was followed by flaming dogs. Once appeared unexpectedly and presently he disappeared again at the drop of a hat, another time he gaded about hither and thither - mostly in Svinské doly (Sow´s valleys) and along banks of river Kamenice and every time he looked like as if he waits for somebody: he stopped at a place and gloomy stared in direction where is situated village Janská. In Janská used to live in those days veteran soldier Aschler, who in youth was renowned shooter and from military service he brought book, overwrote with all sort of formulas. He never put that book out of hand, but all people suspected him from magic-shooting. And when in the wood someone began to poach and huntsmen could scraped their feet to finally catch vermin, all people laughed at them: they knew that Aschler has finger in it, but they didn´t tell anything. They liked him and from every head that disappeared to lord´s trackers before their nose, they have only good time. At one night set out Aschler to Sow´s valley with rifle under coat. He cautiously pussyfoots, unawares cracks shrub before him and from shrub stands out tall and slim like a fir gamekeeper in black coat and gives to pocher´s hands his rifle. Old man eftsoon knew, how many the clock strikes, however he had heart of soldier and took the rifke evenly. Suddenly he spotted that close to him stands doe. Aschler took a flash at night huntsman - nothing, he didn´t move a muscle, so old man raises the rifle, presents it - but all of a sudden instead of roe he sees brightly clothed woman with loosened hairs. "Bless my soul !" screams and throws away the rifle, in same time brisks up to him huntsman and smacks him in the face so that odl poacher falls down. When he picked up himself from ground, the night huntsman was gone and blond mistress just the same. Aschler sulked: his face burnt like a fire and he also hardly moved. He neither knew how he came at hamlet by village Filipov. And because his tongue already clambered by land, he hammered to the window and tired went upon door-post. They get light on night visitor with lantern and immediately drew him in. Aschler shook like quaking ash, he had white face and on right cheek swelled red prints after five fingers. They couldn´t evince any word from him, and when Aschler finally spoke, he scared them: "Nay, it isn´t normal spectre. He certainly contemplate something...". Night huntsman walked about whole region thenceforward and to everybody who get a peep of him he seemed that he wait for somebody...

Golden chickens

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Jetrichovice, Růžová, Janov (compare with About night hunter, and Night huntsman)

Between villages Janov, Růžová and Jetrichovice people used to meet always early in autumn huntsman in long, periwinkle-green coat with big shiny silver studs, on head he had hat with small jay´s feathers and he put on high boots sewed all over with speckled leather. He usually used to walk around alone, if somebody greeted him he smiled at him, lightly noded his head and sped up his steps, sometimes ran before him dogs: they had fur like rusty nails and from muzzle blazed red flame. Who sighted them, to him then freezes inside bones and when he saw huntsman he choked, thorough huntsman passed along as if he would be deaf and blind. Once early in the morning set for mushroom picking cotter Emerich. He was honest man and good-natured fellow, on whom everybody could cut a wood, but he was unlucky in his life: his wife was flagrant termagant and not long ago his cottage burnt half down, now he looked for groschen so that he could put his house in order and buy everything what fire took down. He knew every stone in the wood and he had his own places, from where he brought full bundles of mushrooms even when others returned with empty hands. He picked up almost all sorts of mushrooms and he knew where which kind of mushrooms grows, but that day he prowled about whole wood several times with nose by the ground, nevertheless he couldn´t find anything else but toadstool. Therefore he set out through hollow way to valley, where always used to be a lot of mushrooms, but he didn´t find anything again. Completely dejected he sat down on stump, then he drew out of pocket slice of bread and fell on meal. Suddenly behind him rang silent laughter: "You appears that bees flew away from you ! What is wrong with you ? Cotter looked back - by larch stood huntsman in long green coat whose eyes roam about cotter. "I rather wouldn´t see me," said Emerich. "I wanted to go to market but till now I didn´t stumble to any wretched "chick" (=sort of mushroom). "Because you badly looked," laughed huntsman, "I am sure that there are so many chicks as thick as huckleberries !" Cotter took a look around and his head was swimming: wherever he takes a look there sit fleshy two inches high tufts of golden-yellow chicks. "Strange thing," turned cotter his head, stood up, spread his handkerchief on stub and began to cut off one cluster after another. "But - how is it possible that I didn´t see them before ?" Nobody could answer him: huntsman was already away. Cotter packed up carefully kerchief and hung it on fore-arm and along shortest way he returned home - but somehow it does not appear to him. When he came near to village, bundle suddenly jumped up as if it was live, it began to wriggle about and swell and chicks nerly ruptured kerchief. Cotter get frightened, dropped bundle and scuded as fast as his legs could carry him. "You noodle," was angry his wife at him, "at least the kerchief you should bring ! Go back for it and immediately !" Cotter wouldn´t go, but when cotteress started to fret so that she almost ate her nose, worriedly fetched breath and set for kerchief. Bundle sit in the middle of road, but as soon as poor cotter ran to it, from the wood darted pack of big red-haired bawlers, they surrounded bundle and began to snuffle at it. If I wouldn´t bring back that scarf home, then wife´s tongue will come like by spinning-wheel till evening, Emerich was horrified and thus he stole to bundle like a thief. Dogs snarled, raised ears and from muzzle stuck out flaming tongues. Cotter´s heart sank into his boot but after all resumed courage and stutterly prayed: "Doggies, there is nothing for you ! Please give me that confounded tatter or my wife mad me ! Very well ! I beg you fairly." All of a sudden broke the silence silent laugh and dogs disappeared if you would wave a magic wand. Cotter picked up quickly bundle, but he drooped how the bundle was heavy - therefore he looked into it and he became stupefied: it was full of guldens...

Glass-seller´s crows

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Srbská Kamenic, Růžová, Markvartice

This incident story happened evincibly in 1792, when in the place where stands present peace-offering cross was surprised and killed merchant who passed along. Murderers by the way had to make and take this cross to present emplacement (on the right hand by road in the wood between Růžová and Srbská Kamenice).

Peace-offering cross located by murderers in place of their bloody act. On the cross we can see clearly date 1792 and type of weapon used by murder - dagger.

It was clear morning. Along shady path, that meandered through dense forests that spread between Růžová and Srbská Kamenice, returned from Saxony wealthy glass-seller Riedl from Markvartice. He hurried up, because he wanted to catch wedding of his uncle Matouš, he knew that they certainly waited for him. Near way along it used to go Růžová´s inhabitants to Nová Oleška, he stopped and sat down under hazel-nut shrubs and prepared to eat cut of bread with bacon. Hardly he took out checkered piece of linen cloth with food when from lurking place pounced upon him two irreligious men, they knocked him down and with long knives dealt several blows into his breast. At that moment flew over with piercing croaking flock of crows. "You will be my eye-witnesses," whispered for the last time glass-seller and gave up the spirit. "You chose "very well !" fleered at him murderers while they rubbed blooded knives against grass, then they put them into boots and started to search Riedl´s pockets. They completely disrupted his vest, but they found only half-mite and small pot with butter, that they furiously kicked away. At evening was already in Markvartice´s inn wedding jamboree in full swing: long tables sagged under fuming dishes and full mugs, music played up as much as windows vibrated and youth hilariously whooped. Near doors sat Matouš and constantly anxiously looked out for his nephew: "What could happen to him ?" Unawares stepped in brothers Werners, they sat down on bench and ordered brandy. Whole inn calmed down. Nobody saw them gladly there - they were notorious rowdies and brutes, perjurers and godless persons, who already have many devilries on their conscience. But now they seemed to be peacefully: they mind their own business, only cutting eyes under bristling eyebrows wandered from corner to corner. When musicians laid off their instruments and one by one took themselves away into hinder room to refresh themselves and to take a wet, the wedding-guests went out to garden, later also brothers Werners went outside to take air. "I dislike it," exclaimed with constrained voice Matouš and stared at road bordered by old lindens, along that should arrive glass-seller Riedl long ago. "Something tells me that some accident occured..." At same time flew over garden crows and with scream they directed to the south. "Look, Riedl´s crows !" guffawed older of Werners. "Wait - what did you say ?" tapped on his shoulder Matouš, whose ear caught nephew´s name, "what do you know about Riedl ?" "We ? Nothing ! What is the matter with him ? shuffled both brothers, but they were already surrounded by half of wedding-guests. They shut them in and attacked them: "Speak ! We know you ! You have paws in every dirt and depravity, we can´t believe you not even greeting ! Come on !" Both Werners renounced of no effect, in vain they tried to quibble away: they entangled so much, that all people acquired certainty that they realized some foulness. "You will plead guilty to judge !" thundered Matouš, and before both murderers could recover themselves, people bound their arms and legs and haled off into vault. Within a few minutes sprinkling of Markvartice´s citizens started to look for poor glass-seller: they found him dead under hazel-nut shrubs, they superimposed him on stretcher from evergreens and in woeful cogitations they carried him home. They took with themselves also pot with butter and because it seemed to be much heavy they tipped out its content to plate - under stratum of butter were stuffed ducats. Werner brothers pleaded guilty without torture and just punishment didn´t pass them. On the place of murder was mounted stone cross. Since those days whenever somebody performed any foolishness Markvartice´s citizens used to say: "Half-mite took he up, but ducat he let lie in butter..."

About chapel on the Rosy hill

(MYTH) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, (took from book Garland of legends from Decín´s region /1921/ - gathered by Rudolf Dörre and Emil Mauder), area: Růžovský vrch (Rosy hill) (compare with Mysterious chapel)

Rosy hill sometimes called Decín´s Fujiyama for its resemblance of Japan mountain, especially its morning and evening vapours are breathtaking.

Poor cottager from village Srbská Kamenice heard, that on Easter Monday emerges from the earth long ago vanished chapel full of available treasures. If you could carry them away you should speak not an earthy word. Man decided to try his luck, therefore he told about it to his wife and it wasn´t unsympathetic to him to take her along. So they entered at specified time onto hillside of Rosy hill. Hardly they were in neighbourhood of miraculous spring, where should stay chapel, they saw flare gleaming through shrub. It expanded from many lights, flaming in God´s house, that really stood there. They stepped nearer to open doors and they saw, how rolls to them big shining wheel, that was hung with golden jewels and purses full of gold. Man wanted to take one of big leather purses, but his wife stopped him and excitedly and hurry-scurry exclaimed: "Wait a minute, inside of chapel hangs big golden necklace, I want to take it first of all !" scarcely she said it, resounded thunder-storming and everything suddenly disappeared. Both grasping fellows stood in green wood, around them was absolute peace and silent, only big black bird flew over above them noiselessly. Since that time, every Easter Friday, they came there together, but mysterious chapel never appeared again.

Mysterious chapel

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Růžovský vrch, Srbská Kamenice (compare with About chapel on the Rosy hill)

Under southern hillside of Rosy hill squirled out fairy spring: if drank some sick man from it, he became healthy, so within short time began to pilgrimize there people from afar and close too and many times they carried away pitchers full of miraculous water. Miserly owner of lot didn´t half like it at all: he built up around well high fence and hired sentinel to whom he ordered levy from every pilgrim silver groschen. Within a short time the spring became dry, but owner didn´t give up: he let build up ostentatious chapel - dedicated to God´s mother - and in secret of his graceless soul he hoped that spring grow wise again. Before could chapel bask in the sun, rushed thunderstorm, lightning ripped the God´s house, earth yawned and chapel vanished in rocky crack. Only several times yearly passing travellers caught sound there of very weak voices of bell - most often during Easter.

Once in the evening, on Easter Friday, passed along with his wife poor cottager from Srbská Kamenice. Suddenly they saw, how in vicinity of former well gleamed through shrub light, they went closely and sighted, that flare get out of wax-candles, which burnt in open doors of chapel. "Let´s go away", horrified cotter, "it stinks like hell !" But cotteress bore down on chapel and whooped: "Look here !" And she pointed at giant luminous tire hung with jewelry and sacks with gold, that slowly rolled to her from the doors. "Don´t fumble anything !" called cotter and took a run for her, though it was late: cotteress by whip and spur endeavoured to take down pearl necklace. She just tipped it and grumbled thunder and everything disappeared. "You see - you have asked for it," maundered her spouse and haled her wife home. They used to go under Rosy hill every year, but mysterious chapel never appeared to them again.

Once more sighted it farmer Antonín from village Růžová. In one dewy morning he ascended along road routing from Srbská Kamenice to southern hillside of Rosy hill - he had there in spruce-wood prepared lumber. As he goes he suddenly heards peculiar rustle: he looks around and his eyesight falls to freshly white-coated wall of chapel. "Where am I ?" was surprised farmer, "don´t I overpassed a vicious root ?" At that moment he heard soft bell ringing: he leant axe against chapel, took cap off his head, piously folded his arms and looking to locked door he began to patter paternoster. When he ended prayer, put cap back on head and bent down for axe, but helve crumbled down - helve was completely affected with dry rot. What happens today ? I cannot make head of it, he thought and daze - in a daze he turned back and set out along forestry road home. But he went hardly: he had lead in his pants and his back was as if somebody broke it with stick - he had to rest every minute and to breathe in. Finally he achieved crossing: he stopped there and became stupefied: where his legs took him ? Over there above hollow way used to grow small barren apple-tree, and these cottages - what are they like? Before one of them sat round woman with child on elbow and curiously inspected the farmer. "Hey, gammer !" exclaims peasant and the idea occured to him that he has some quaint voice: strange, decrepit and senile trembling. "What is the name of this place ?" "Růžová, old man, Růžová !" What does she gibber ? freted and fumed inwardly and shakes his head - what old man I am for her ? Suddenly something tickles him on neck: he looks and shivered himself: on his shoulders falls long white hairs ! Then he looks to his arms: protruding blood vessels, wrinkled skin with brown senile maculas - holy moses ! - what happened to me ? He ignores compassionate calling of young mother, who can´t comprehend, why that feeble eld all at once totters, gesticulates like confused man and something excitedly gibbers. He scurries along wrinkled road, stumbles over stones, bogs down into wash-outs and inwardly begs all saints to finally rid him of that horrible delusion. He is out of breath, staggers between cottages and his throat contracts by fear: where is situated his cottage, why he can´t find it ? He doesn´t see that whole village points to him and makes fun of him, he doesn´t hear how they fleer at him: "Look at him, crazy fellow ! And from where he fell there, wraith ?" In the evening scythemen found in side ditch by road behind Růžová the miserable white-haired old man. He was like bundle and with glassy eye he already looked to the other world. And now one of them recollected, how he used to hear from his grandparents, that a long time ago one Růžová´s farmer went under Rosy hill for wood and he never returned home from here.

Pagan altar

(MYTH) Source: book Uhlír a poklad /Coal-factor and treasure/, drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, area: Růžovský vrch (Rosy hill)

Rosy hill shoots steeply up to skies by middle of distance between Ceská Kamenice and Decín. On its southern side lies boulders of strange form, partially overgrown with moss. They are ancient pagan altars, by which our ancestors performed devotional exercises under open skies in ancient times and where they offered sacrifices to pagan deity. Above these plain pagan altars towers ancient grey beech-tree, that spreads its big top and covers stones under it with constant shadow. Only sporadically penetrate through leaves golden sunshines and they phosphoresce on moss-grown stones. About Rosy hill many legends float among people until today.

Once launched forth two women with pots into wood for bilberries. It was half of July. Above land hovered oppressive heat penetrating even into wood overgrowing whole Rosy hill. Women attended to their work, the number of bilberries in the pots was constantly increasing, and how women proceeded after more plentiful tufts, they found themselves by pagan altars at noon. All over round was dead silence. Neither leaf stirred, nor bird gave a song. Everything relaxed in midday heat. From far village came clinking of small bell. Woman stopped their work, straightened them up and sat down in shadow of old beech and they put out poor lunch. They rested themselves against trunk of grey giant, and began to eat bread. Bread crumbs they threw into grass to ants. Occasionally some of them took up handful of bilberries, in order to take a wet. During meal women low-voicedly told each other about their daily troubles, occasionally they looked over tops of undergrowth into silent country. Suddenly they heard behind altar footsteps. They looked closely at this direction and sighted reverend old man leading decrepit old woman. Women almost didn´t breathe. Such vision they didn´t have yet. Old man has tall upright figure, grey beard reached down to the waist and white hair like snow fell over his shoulders. His body he had covered with long gathered vesture. Old woman was petite beside him, but white too. Mysterious persons passed along women as if they weren´t there. Both women didn´t say a word and with thrill observed both old people. Strange people stepped to altars, deeply bowed down and it seemed that they say a prayer. From time to time they laid their hands on stones, as if they would place something on them. However the longer lasted that strange ritual, the so much more both eerie beings melted away. At first they appeared absolutely material, later they were like from fog, then more transparent, finally they changed to little white clouds, which in the form of fleecy clouds ran away somewhere above trees. Women were so much aghast that they didn´t think of bilberry-collecting anymore. They took their pots and quickly hurried home to village. They looked back and around very often. At home they swore not to go in that places anymore.

Legend about Šaunštejn alias Robber´s castle

(MYTH) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, (took from book Garland of legends from Decín´s region /1921/ - gathered by Rudolf Dörre and Emil Mauder), area: Vysoká Lípa (compare with Loan-shark and his daughter)

During period of crusades came into Vysoká Lípa strange sick knight. Several months he was confined to bed in one farmstead. When he cured himself, he stayed in region, that appealed to him more and more. On the rock he built up castle. He was dusky and close man, who brought with himself from East riches, but his conscience was neither clear nor quiet. Every night he used to stroll through long dark dingles around castle and all the time he panted and groaned, as though he sought for something. When he finally died past several years, castle began to be on the decline. Knight had no offspring and also nobody else didn´t venture to enter the castle, because every night it haunted there.

Later, when owner of domain let build on Šlosberk (Schlossberg) (or Hofberk) wooden hunting chateau, workers brought there from Šaunštejn still usable tools. Once came to chateau some journeyman and he asked for night shelter. Custodian dismissed him and so he found refuge in barn on straw. At night he heard from yard some voices. He curiously looked through chink in barn´s gate and in the light of torch he saw, how custodian and his servant carried some female form with blocked mouth, how they put her into sack and threw her onto wagon, wherewith then servant went away. Journeyman stole out from barn and ran on wagon from behind. It was dark night and so he slowly drew up the sack and let it slide from wagon. Then he jumped off wagon too, unbound the sack and released woman from it. She was own daughter of custodian, who ceded her soul to devil in order that he could perform all sort of sorcerer´s tricks. As they talked they saw large flare. They ran out to hillside and sighted whole chateau ablaze. They ran to fire but when they were almost close to fire, some unvisible hand stopped them, so they couldn´t neither one step further - likewise to assistance hurriing villagers. Chateau burnt down and when strange power finally let them through, they found there only heap of ashes, that was blown out to all directions. There was no trace of custodian or his servant. The young journeyman stayed in village and merried the custodian´s daughter.

Usurer and his daughter

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Vysoká Lípa (compare with Legend about Šaunštejnu)

In restless times of crusades once people found in wood some young knight who was dressed an opulent of exotic style: he was unconscious, his face was haggard and as pale as death. They took him to near-by farmstead and there they took him into their protection and cared for him until he get well. What is he like, where is he coming from and where he heads to, they didn´t learn - knight spoke in strange language to which nobody understood. However foreigner didn´t leave this territory: north of Vysoká Lípa, by the road that led to Hrensko´s tavern, he built up on secluded rock castle for himself. How he lived there, nobody knew... Suddenly castle felt into disrepair and became depopulated and there was no man who would know, where is eerie castle-master. Many rumours swarmed that the castle is haunted: once wheelwright Herbert saw male form standing on castlewall that was dressed black close-fitting trousers and short fluttering cloak. It motioned a sign to him in order that he would come closer, but that was not wheelwright´s cup of tea: he took to his legs. Another time people heard from castle strange groaning, next time some man swore, that some voice called him so dolorously that he get goose-skin. "In my opinion it is ghost of that odd fish, for who my parents took care," philosophized old pensioneress. "At that time I was even young girl, but I remembered very well, that I always shook, when my dead mother sent me with food for him. Knight lay like picture of misery and only groaned as if somebody made from his skin straps..." "Maybe somebody harmed him, grand-mother..." supposed granddaughter. "I wouldn´t say," shook her head pensioneress. "I rather think, that he committed something wicked and that his conscience pricks him. Collect your thoughts: he disappeared like husk in the wind and now he goes round castle and lures people to him..."

For a long time head of old woman´s great grandsons grew grey and the ravages of time gnawed unmercifully knight´s castle, when old trader Hugo bought dirt cheap piece of land, where the castle stayed. Once he started to build wooden hunting chateau and when he brought building up he set out to abandoned castle. He prowled about a place like mole and he brought all sorts of lumber from there, which he could still utilize in chateau there. It was on Good Friday and in church people read Passion, when he searched in castle again. All of a sudden he discovered between two sandstone boulders thick book enveloped in webs, that was written over by all sort of scribbles. When he touched it, he heard deadly voice: "Leave it alone !" Hugo was frightened, he cowered, but his soul was eager after money: so nice book, bound in expensive leather ! If he take it to town he could take in much money ! He seized it, put it under coat and ran home. "Throw it out !" resounded behind him beseeching voice, but Hugo only clutched it steadfastly to his breast and scuded away. In the evening he enclosed himself into recess, he set tallow candle on fire and started to turn over the leaves of old book: arcane letters suddenly fidgeted, flashed up like flaming snakes and staring Hugo found out that he understands every word - and straightway he started to read. As soon as he read first sentence, in recess it soughed there like from stubble-field and before Hugo appeared Old Horny: "At your command !" Gee whiz, exulted old usurer, such book it is ! And he carefully asked: "Well, but what will you want for your service ?" "Soul !" Hugo was old sinner and he anyhow knew very well, that once they would drive him by whip from gate of Heaven in any respect, but he didn´t renounce bargainer nesting in him not even now: "Look, you will not anyhow forfeit it, so why we should argle-bargle ?" "Listen to me, Hugo !" growled intimidately at him infernal guy, "I am not any greenhorn and I don´t pursue after you from hell for no earthy reason ! If we don´t strike hands your trades will go from bad to worse !" "I couldn´t survive it," Hugo was horrified, "business has to run like clockwork !" But suddenly something occured to him: "Look, do you insist on having my soul ? I promise you for example soul of my daughter, what do you say ? "Excellent !" laughed devil and contently washed his hairy paws. They stroke hands. Hugo commanded devil, that he has to watch over all his takings like hobby falcon and further that he has to bring to him every Friday one hundred guldens. Within a year and a day old man was filthy rich like suslik, but he continued to drudge after mammon: he practised usury, was miserly, every spent coin teared his heart strings and badly pinched even on his daughter Magdalena. He counted her morsels and she had to wear one skirt until it went to pieces. But Magdalena didn´t fidget: she solaced herself, that she will early marry her beloved baker´s journeyman from Vysoká Lípa. Once early in the evening she returned from wood, and when she passed along castle she caught a slight groaning and immediately pained voice: "Help me !" Magdalena halted, and though she had her heart in her mouth, she said: "With pleasure - but what shall I do ?" In that moment appeared in front of her young knight dressed in expensive vesture of exotic style: he had face as pale as death: "Thank you very much ! Your compassion relieved me forever of tremendous anguish, which I had to undergo, because I spilled innocent blood. I will return it to you..." Then he disappeared into the air. When Hugo came back home in the evening, there already waited for him devil and he impatiently marked time: "My master and sovereign give you to know that you have to carry your daughter Magdalena to southern side of stone-quarry - there, where you will see crack into stone three inches wide, is entrance into hell." Old man began to fidget: "So soon ? That poor girl didn´t lived anything not yet !" "You care too late !" devil snaped him up. "Moreover we didn´t negotiate, when I come for her ! Do what Satan ordered otherwise you will leave this place with beggar´s bag !" It didn´t elapsed one hour after devil´s departure, when at Hugo´s door knocked sinewy stripling. He introduced himself to Hugo and asked Magdalena´s hand. Usurer had nearly an apopletic stroke: he raised a cry on him, and when young boy didn´t let him put him off, Hugo grappled knob-stick and ejected him from farmstead. Magdalena stayed by window and she teared like turtle. "You selected naughty boy, my daughter !" thundered trader. "He is as thin as a beanpole ! He doesn´t have even groschen and do you think that I fostered you for such nobody ? Shut up and go to bed or I will teach you what´s what !" Meanwhile Magdalena´s beloved sneaked into barn and dug himself in straw: he hoped, that when all fall asleep, he will go to her and that he will conspire with her what to do. But in short while he slept like a log. Suddenly he awoke: it seemed to him that outside something is the matter. He looked out through chink in door and his heart stopped beating: he sees, how old trader with farm boy carry his Magdalena - bound up and with gag in mouth, how they put her into sack and throw her up the wagon, how farm boy whips horses and Hugo returns home. Journeyman silently ran out of barn and quickly ran after wagon: he caught it up, jumped up, and when coachman went along way above which looms black castle, journeyman let the sack glide down to ground, then he jumped off and carried sack quickly to shrubs and waited until the coast was clear. Then he set her quickly free. But before he could ask her anything, they heard thunder-clap. They looked around and saw, that hunting chateau was all aflame. "My God !" screamed desperately poor girl, "my father is there !" She took him by the hand and they ran to fire. They were almost close to it, when they were caught by invisible hands which didn´t released them until everything was turned to ashes. They didn´t find not even small bone from Hugo: in scene of conflagration lay only intact book bound in leather written over with some strange scribbles. When they attempted to pick up it, book disappeared. They looked for coachman, but as though the earth had opened and swallowed him with horses up...

Knight´s castle, that in past used to stay north of Vysoká Lípa by road leading to Hrensko´s tavern, wasn´t haunted anymore. But there nested all sort of bad elements, rogues, villains and wild robber´s bands. Even during 30-years war in 17th century Sweden deserters found refuge there - and people started to call it Loupežnický hrad (Robber´s castle). Time passed and ancient knight´s castle tumbled down. Searchers of treasures found there only coins, broken lances and some potsherds. But everything is now lost. Finally remained there only mouldering stones, hollows and shallow depressions filled with earth and sediments.

About grasping miller

(MYTH) source: Weekly paper KVETY, (Dagmar Morenová), area: Dolský mlýn ?

Of course it is interesting, that absolutely identical legend applies to mill, that used to stay on river Kamenice by Pustý zámek (Abandoned castle) near Ceská Kamenice. According to that legend said mill third day after tragic event collapsed and place was called "By evil mill". Maybe people in the course of time confused both mills.

Sometimes at the beginning of 16th century used to live in mill miller, his wife and only son. His family stood very well. But as the world goes, money are never enough. And cupidity is bad illness, it seized soul and even heart. When their son left for world to acquire experience, miller and his wife became reserved and in the evenings they only counted, how much money they earned. Years passed and with the exceptions of farmers with grain nobody stopped there. In one evening somebody pounded his fist on the wooden gate. Miller looked out through peep-hole and in the light of lantern he sighted figure of stout man. He was dressed in coat from first-rate cloth, on the head he had nice hat, on the legs leather boots and over shoulder satchel. His face was overgrown with thick full beard, but he smiled friendly. Unknown man asked miller for night shelter. Old miller consulted his wife and then he accommodated him in hay. It seemed, that he is rich man - he paid to miller for accomodation in advance munificently. But it wasn´t enough for him... In the night miller and his wife decided to kill traveller. Miller get axe from barn and silently went upstairs. Man slept like a log in hay. He didn´t utter a sound when smash of axe dashed his head. Then they quickly packed his corpse up into pack-cloth´s sack and buried him in wood. They rejoiced how many guldens were added from wanderer´s purse into their chest. Next day came farmers with load of grain. "Have you already seen your son ?" they asked them. "He came back from abroad - he became rich man. He took his dinner in tavern and then he set out home - he wanted to surprise you !" At that moment miller and his wife realized, what kind of crime they committed ! Miller hanged himself and his wife jumped into mill race from despair. Since that time in the surroundings of mill wandered their peaceless souls and they vainly seek for peace and forgiveness.

Devil and miller

(MYTH) Source: regional bulletin Ceská Silnice, (took from book Uhlír a poklad /Coal-factor and treasure/, drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg), area: Dolský mlýn ?

In beautiful valley near Jetrichovice used to stand secluded mill on small brook full of trout. Although it was built off the living road, farmers rather made a détour, because nobody ground as white flour as there. Miller was strong, broad-shouldered quadragenarian, nobody could touch him for power. Once happened an accident - fully laden wagon bogged down to muddy road up to axle, so not even two yokes of horses couldn´t stir with it. Then strong man clambered under wagon and lifted heavy wagon from dangerous place as if it was feather. Because of his phenomenal strength and dexterity people told about him, that he keeps in touch with unearthly entities and that he surely could vanquish even devil himself. That rumour learnt devil and because he accounted himself for the smartest and strongest guy he very maddened. He made directly towards the mill to miller, who just in same time repaired something on big mill-wheel. "What do bring to us, gamekeeper ?", he accosted arriver. "I am not gamekeeper, but devil", replied unlooked-for visitor, "and I am coming to measure my strenght with you. If you prove that you are stronger I leave you alone forever, if not, I will take you to hell with me !"

Rests of Dolský mlýn.

Miller only laughed and asked him, how he imagines it. Devil pointed to near-by rock and said: "Which of us took bigger piece of that rock to knoll behind the wood, he will be winner." Miller agreed and so they stroke hands, that they measure their strenght with each other on Sunday after sunset. In due course they both were already ready by rock. Without tarrying they set about rock and then they both severed so big piece of rock, that they looked like ants under heavy log. It seemed that the rock which they held could crush them every while. But it didn´t happen and rivals moved slowly on. Devil groaned, miller perspired, but he was still a bit ahead. Then they reached knoll and miller first threw off his heavy load. Devil, who tailed off several steps behind the miller, entire furious, that he didn´t win, flung his load into valley of river, hung his head and went away with a long face, he even didn´t look back at miller. Huge rock, that still stands on knoll, has been called in memory of strong miller Mlýnský kámen (Millstone).

Viper´s queen

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Jetrichovice

Already ten years Jetrichovice´s farmer Šimon lived upon horse-breeding: his stable was like state room. In the corner had bed and wooden chest with his property an old groom Eliáš. The old man was loyalty himself and horses in his hands flourished, that is why Šimon closed both eyes half, when he found out, that groom lately took to drink. Once two horses fell ill of scrofula, farmer was like soulles, but Eliáš comforted him, that he could easily cure them. Therefore he scraped young aldertree rind, dried it and pulverized it with quicklime, then he be-sprinkled that powder to horse´s cervical nodules. It seemed that everything will be all right early, but it wasn´t, and so old Eliáš mixed powder with good vinegar and began to rinse their necks. Finally horses get well. "You know the ropes, old fellow, nothing but the truth," farmer praised groom. "Where did you acquire such knowledge ?" Eliáš took out from straw matress small thumbed book and showed to farmer, what he had written there: how achieve that horse have hair like velvet, that he eat well, or what man has to do if horse fell ill of cough from overriding, of sweltering under horse-collar or of another disease or trouble. "I inherited it from my father and he from his father," enlarged Eliáš. "There is everything, even advices against entchantments and bewitching. And what is missing in book I have over here." And he tipped his forehead. "Hear me, Eliáš," Šimon leant himself against manger, "you know Svinské doliny (Sow´s valleys) very well, do you ?" "Of course I know, farmer," noded groom, " I could find my way there even blindfold - but why do you ask me ?" "Only without reason..." hesitated for a while Šimon, but when he fixed his eyes at groom´s bright eyes, he continued: "At that time, when I went to smithy, there sat veteran soldier - that with one hand. He chattered all and sundry, but then he began talk just about Sow´s valleys. He said, that somewhere by path, that routes from Dolní Kamenice to Filipov, lies hollow stone in which is concealed sack of gold. Do you think that it is true ? I heard it for the first time !" Old Eliáš only smiled at him and winked the eyes: "Yes, it is true, farmer. Sack used to belong to one man of noble birth, who was robbed and killed there. Murderer concealed his booty into hollow of boulder so that he could take it after time when people would forget his crime. But even in the evening of same day he was caught and brought to magistrate: he get out by his bloody footprints, which he left behind himself, whereever he went. They didn´t disappear until he pleaded guilty to his crime." "And do you know, Eliáš, where is that stone ?" "I do," confirmed groom. "And could you tell me where ?" "I rather wouldn´t tell it, farmer," gloomed old man. "You wouldn´t content yourself only with it..." "Mind your own business !" scowled farmer, "or you are down on guldens yourself ?" "God defend!" shook his head Eliáš, "Did you know that there is one saying: Don´t hanker after other people´s things, you will not lose your own." "Don´t sermonize ! I don´t like such gossips... Tell me immediately - where is it ?!" "Right away at beginning of path, farmer, under centenary oak. Only..." "Only what ?" "Hollow stone is guarded by viper´s queen... If you want to take possession of gold you have to kill her, but snake can´t be easily caught if she has crown on her head." "Until she had crown on head ?" arched eyebrows Šimon. "Just before minute you said, that what you don´t have in this book, you have in your head - do you know how I could vanquish that snake ?" "If you want it, master," broke the silence after long while groom, "everybody is architect of his own good luck... Who wants to seize gold, he has to, just before full moon, spread one hundred steps from oak-tree white kerchief from the softest silk, that was edged by fair-haired virgin in day of her 16th birthday. Viper´s queen takes off her crown and crawls to snake well, where she once a month takes a bath. In that moment it is very easy to kill her, but you shouldn´t triffle away not a while: queen is swift and quick like lightning..." "But where should I find such kerchief so quickly ?" Old man as if didn´t hear. "I said, where could I find that tatter, Eliáš ?" pressed him angry farmer. "Can you provide it to me ?" "Tomorrow at midnight fetch for it into stable," said slowly with throttled voice old man. "It will be on forage. But..." "Don´t be afraid, you will not come off badly, would you like to ask me to it, would you ?" laughed Šimon. Old groom only fetched breath and turned his reproachful eyesight to farmer: "So many years I serve by you, master, and you still don´t know me..." "Well, well," said forgivingly Šimon, but his thought was already in Sow´s valleys there... Third day set out Jetrichovice´s farmer Šimon to Sow´s valleys with kerchief whiter than snow. Before moonrise he spread it into grass one hundred steps from oak, under which blackened itself big stone, and then he took cover in brushwood. In moment, when from black clouds showed full moon, Šimon sighted how for kerchief headed big white snake: presently in the middle of snowy linen glistened gold crown, thickset with rubies. And viper´s queen slowly crawled to snake well. Šimon nearly threw out. That´s a fine thing ! Only for this crown he could buy the best horse in the world ! And he jumped at kerchief like dog at bone. Then sounded ominous fizzle and farmer seized by terror realized, that he committed fatal mistake: at first he had to kill snake ! On dark moss slides to him long brilliant body, black small muzzle opens and in muzzle oscillates little forked tongue. Farmer took to flight but he feels viper´s queen constantly at his heels: at the eleventh hour he remembers, how he used to hear that to incited snakes man can escape only through doubling. He runs through wood, every tree and stump he runs round several times, he wheezes and pants heavily like smith´s bellows, then he finally stands perspiration-stained before Jetrichovice. Only now he could fetch a sigh of relief: viper´s queen was gone. After sunrise he reached his home. "Eh, never mind," he thinks, "what didn´t suceed today it will suceed next full moon," and opens stable - he stopped himself like all blood drained from his blood vessels: on the ground lies dead horses, stark eyes goggled and on their necks visible vestiges of snake-bites. Šimon groans: for a while it seems that it is only horrible dream. Then he looks at Eliáš´s bed: old groom is dead drunk and he only rattles. On forage sleeps viper´s queen huddled up. "I am on the rocks !" lamented over horses farmer. "Damned ! Damned beast !" He takes out knife from pocket and pounces upon snake... When old Eliáš roused himself from fuddle, whole stable swam. He loped down and cried like little child: all horses are stiff, master lies with nipped neck and on forage rattles dry snake skin... In same time split asunder the old oak in Sow´s valleys and hollow stone turned into pile of slightly crimson sand.

Gnomes from Tiské steny (Tisá´s walls)

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Tisá´s walls, Elbe´s valley, Hrensko, Jetrichovice

North of road leading from Jílové by Decín to village Tisá are situated rugged sandstone Tiské steny (Tisá´s walls). From deep dingles and canyons protrudes steep hills and during long eras inside of rocks water hollowed numerous smaller and bigger cavities. According to folk legends in these caves used to live gnomes. They were mining in terrestrial depths precious metals and stones. So during eras they gathered enormous wealth and cavities inside of rocks were enlarged through their work to such extent, that there grew out underground city. People say, that initially these manikins used to show their jewels to people confidently and willingly, but when they learnt human avidity, greediness and jealousy, they left their treasures rather in underground realm. There they had their kingdom, at which head was always the cleverest one. In token of royal power he was wearing golden crown decorated by dark-red czech garnets. They gleamed in the light of torches like blood. In hand king of gnomes had wand from ivory decorated by oracular emblems. That wand was magical and it had of course magic power to change foliage into gold. Each dwarf was wearing small cap on head, which at a swoop could change him into unseen. Rock dwellings of king and his dependants were fair decorated and sunshine or moonshine was compensated by big diamonds, which cast so much luminance, that normal terrestrial couldn´t glance directly on them. Numerous gems were big like billiard ball or apple and they were hannging on golden chains from ceiling. There was so much light that needle was visible miles off.

Amount of gnomes altogether was three ricks, never more, never less. They were all men, they never had women or children. Therefore sometimes they felt alone in the rocks and then they were coming for a chat to good human neighbours, they played with children, made fun, accepted treatment and then they returned relaxed home to the rocks. There they had been working hard with small sledge-hammers, as much as it dinged to every direction. He who had excellent ear, could hear these sounds during silent nights even on surface. Only learned people didn´t believe, that soft tapping and chinking in the rocks is caused by gnomes and they alleged with a high hand, that ....

Je zde vynecháno !!!

... and they always put a questionmark against everything. Therefore it is no wonder, that also for silent sounds from within rocks they found another explanation.

In that time lived by river Elbe grasping ferryman. He asked for his service high price, because he wanted to have a lot of money shortly and effortless. Gnomes needed to ferry themselves across river Elbe very often, because they frequented hill Chlum, village Hrensko and also village Jetrichovice. Once they have come to ferry in the number of approximately thirty. Ferryman, who heart about underground wealth, required high fee from every dwarf. While he bargained with first gnome for price, the others shifted their magic caps on heads and at a heat they were invisible. Ferryman is wondering inwardly: "Where with hell are other gnomes, a short while ago they were standing there !" Thus he transported only this first dwarf, but he didn´t suspect, that with this dwarf embarked themselves also his comrades. On the other side of river they shifted their caps again and ferryman beheld two ricks of gnomes again. His grasping but dull head wasn´t able to understand how it is possible. And so he always ferry several gnomes, but he got payment only for one passenger.

Of such stories, when good fellow was rewarded and bad one was punished, happened vast volume. But in process of time rocks by Tisá, Hrensko and Jetrichovice became sought-after tourist places and there, where sooner rampaged only wind, today there we can find young and old people, who amire beauties of nature. Gnomes probably didn´t have peace for their work and intermittent outings enough and so they maybe moved out or they maybe excavated deeper dwellings maybe they grew old and died, because these stories occured already very, very long ago.

Sentinels of fires

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: valley of river Labe (Elbe)

Only gods know, how it could happen: on the Seven-hill´s height died away sacred fire of goddess Morana, which was guarded by the most graceful daughter from Slav´s tribe of Decané (pronounced=djeczanae) - fair-haired Merlina. Anguish fell on all people, that seattled in valley of Bílá voda (White water), that was later called river Labe (Elbe), they were afraid of revenge of goddess Moarana and malevolence of black-gods. Dread overtook until lately peaceful homes of tribe, from which descended unworthy servant. On vast landscape spring winds spread message about dead fire in Seven-hills. From deep gorge, where always rested darkness, stepped out evil mage - wry-mouthed midget Stragomir, outcast of heaven and even hell - and with live spark in his long-finger´s talons he appeared in early evening above Merlina. She lamented with face on the flat stone and pitch-dark crows accompanied her lamentation with ominous shriek. Dread took up poor Merlina: for new fire mage claimed her virgin heart, that was bound to Amarag - well-developed youth of clear eye-sight, pride and hope of old clan, that was seattled by upper flow of river - wakefull sentinel of fire, that burnt on the right side of river day and night. Girl screamed from desperation and tearing her hairs she rushed into gloom of Seven-hill´s forests to save her soul. She ignored sharp mage´s laugh, she ignored black night, that was filled with roar of savage beasts and screech of rocky demons. She ran away, squeezing her way through wild shrubs and venomous spines and sharp stones teared her body. Blood-stained she fell to swampy bank of frothy brook, and invoked souls of dead ancestors. They of course were silent because they turned away from unworthy servant. Thus Merlina stood up and bitterly crying she tottered further. When she entered maple-wood Stragomir transformed her into high graceful tree and then he disappeared into the darkness. Seven-hills became silent and black and threatening night opened above virgin forests. Sanguinary and bloodless sacrifices brought Merlina´s folk to white-gods, household gods and even to sun - so that they shall recall to mind her fallen daughter and protect her before Morana, and so that they shall inflame new fire to conciliate goddess of death, winter and unhappiness. Neither crying and wailing, nor lamentable call for help didn´t abate. Day and night quivered burgeoning leaves of maple and tiny green-yellow florets grievously sighed. When winged fruits of conjured tree flew with winds into world, white clouds filled them with tears of unfortunate and wetted head of Amarag. Distress and dark suspection turned up in soul of young guy. Aloft erupted flames of sacred fire and lover´s heart sighted his beloved: lamenting and imprisoned in strong stem of maple she implore his help. Amarag groaned, and before winds could become cold and White water could be bound up by ice, the most gallant of all clans by upper flow of river rose themselves and they marched with angry Amarag up stream. Freezing ground shook under their steps, battle songs and sprightly battle clamour blended with clangour of sharpened weapons. Therefore Stragomir sent out flocks of his outrageous servants in order to cow the bellicose people, but they returned to him wailing like whipped dogs: they were powerless against fair ones, who where steeled by concord and love. Deformed by fury from impotence Stragomir stepped out from black dingle and began to negotiate with irritated folk. He promised to restore Merlina´s human body, further he promised to give fire into hands of brave ones, but he stipulated one condition: Merlina has to circumspectly watch new fire on the left side of White water, opposite to Amarag, and their fires may not burn low, otherwise both will be forfeited to dark mountain powers forever. All people believed to Stragomir´s true-heartedness, they joyfully received from him living spark of fire and with blessed Merlina they returned gleefully home. They praised the Deity and sacrificed to merciful households, they jubilated and sang holy songs of thanksgiving. And on the left side of White water began to burn big fire, that shall keep the light burning to honour of outraged godess Morana and to happiness of all people. Truly and vigilantly watched fair-haired servant precious fire, every day during sunset she knelt down on plateau and dearly prayed to kind Deity. So that they shall kindly look down upon her and Amarag and don´t leave them. Time ran further and then came up tyranny of winter godess Morana. In one stormy evening thrust out of wild rocks frosty winds and Stragomir´s servants with ice rods drove them to upper flow of White water. Frantic tempest dashed to Merlina´s fire and swept off it from sacred stones, then with roar flew over river and before midnight died out also fire of poor Amarag. Fearful darkness covered whole valley of White water and stifling dread overpowered all people of Decane´s tribe. When the melancholy winter sun was up again and it illuminated with dilute rays silent landscape by upper flow of White water, ancient clans arrestedly stared at sacred places on both banks of river, because where still yesterday burnt mighty fires of Merlina and Amarag, today only sticks out two sandstone towers from desolate rocky plateaus. And eyes obscured from consternation identified in those rocks forms of their forever lost children.

Many eras elapsed above charming landscape, in past improved by hands of ancient ancestors. Their bones, which were deposited with piety and reverence under gloomy grave-mounds, already returned to dust and nothingness. Long ago fell into oblivion fate of young and full of hope offsprings of proud tribe - Merlina and Amarag. But even for long time spreading maples moaned in deep Seven-hill´s forests and steps of lonely wanderers hitched there for a long time. Everyone, who later reached the places under sandstone rocks (either on left or right side of river), was sick at heart from inexpressible anguish. Later - already in Christian times - when crowns of both rocks were for a long time transformed by sun, winds and water, somebody in touching contemplation fixed his eyes at rocky bodies of both lovers and called them Jeptiška (Nun) and Mnich (Monk). And they are called so till today.

Farmer and will-o´-the-wisp

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Líska, Česká Kamenice

Peasant Lukáš from Líska was mighty good fellow, just mount him into gold, he was also facile like wax, only in one thing was flagrant mule: when he became raving mad he had to go to tavern, even matron would stand herself on head. "Don´t growl, old dutch," he always slapped her back, "you know, human is such fragile vessel..." And with second hand he already took from nail his cap. "You swiller," hic-cuped farmer´s wife, "you always come home groggy ! You act as any milksop, and hereat you are getting on for fifty, you old fool !" Once his wife get into such rage, that it was miracle that she wasn´t paralysed: farmer quickly put her into bed and applied wet application on her head, but when poor woman fell asleep, he took himself from house away like thief and straight to Ceská Kamenice´s inn. He determined that he will not stay for a long time there, but before bell could strike midnight, he was drunk like a pig. "You said, housekeeper, that I should remind you that you want go home much earlier today," shook him inn-keeper, "you don´t suffer me, only that you shouldn´t grunt later !" Lukáš obediently stood up and set for home. He lobbed by all means, but thought on his wife urged him. "I am wicked guy," charged himself and shed crocodile tears, "but I will compensate everything, old dutch, you will see ! I will keep at a stand by you... I am only a disgrace to you, you are right..." Behind Jehla he stopped: on his right hand flashed pond, on his left hand wet ground and behind wet ground pitch-dark tarns of several shallow pools. "This is the limit," thinks farmer but he doesn´t like to go back: "God knows when I would get home to my wife..." Thus he stepped forward, but he was constantly drew to one side and he couldn´t strike the path. Boots he has already wet, but suddenly from darkness emerges will-o'-the-wisp and begins to spin around him. "You, you ! Don´t think, that I don´t know who are you," says farmer, but will-o'-the-wisp friendly winks on him and begins to fly like some showman, so that Lukáš doesn´t resist and he goes after it like sheep. "Look - you wouldn´t be cross with me. You don´t lead me into pond, don´t you ?" Will-o'-the-wisp toss about and hovers above dry path like in leading-strings. Peasant confidently follows it and he keeps his eye on it and suddenly he appears on the crossing before Líska. "Good, good !" praises it Lukáš, will-o'-the-wisp several times dances round sandstone pedestal of cross and then she disappears in darkness. Farmer for safety´s sake take off shoes already in hall, but his wife sleeps like an angel, and so farmer slipped in bed and in a short while he slept the sleep of the just. One week farmer Lukáš controlled himself and stayed home, but on Sunday he found his way into Kamenice again and then things went on as they were before: he used to return home deeply after midnight, but always awaited him Friar´s lantern and faithfully led him to cross. Once or twice it seemed to him that she shone somehow bad, therefore ticked her off good-naturedly and Friar´s lantern obeyed like a doggie: shook itself puzzledly and glared like freshly brightened lantern. One night when Lukáš came out of Kamenice´s tavern and already at a stone´s throw he looked out for trusty will-o´-the-wisp, suddenly it made him sick like his blood would leave his body. "Tarnation," dreaded farmer himself, but at that moment jumps up from tuft of wet grass Friar´s lantern ans shone like a star. "I am very glad to see you, my golden girl," jabbers Lukáš, "much ! You know, I am qualmish..." And slowly followed little light. It led him along softest paths and every minute stopped itself - so that farmer could rest, and when he breathed in again, light ran a bit further. On the crossing by cross Friar´s lantern crouched to bottom of sandstone pedestal and waited for tired farmer. Lukáš toook off his cap and likewise usually he crossed himself. "I don´t know", faltered Lukáš, "but I feel bad, I think that we see each other for the last time... So, my beloved, I thank you for everything what have you done for me..." Friar´s lantern pretty flashed on and said with human voice: "You done well, Lukáš, that you thanked me ! Otherwise would await you same fate like met me - dear little unlucky soul..." As soon as she said it, she began to grow less until she was like pin-head and then burnt low. Farmer had all at once sensation, that he has head as much clear as never before, but he doesn´t feel well: in the middle of brest something began to smart there and through left arm passed ache. He sat down under the cross, rested his back against it, wiped with kerchief perspiration from forehead, laid down his hands and stared his dull eyes upwards: in heaven glimmered cold stars and balmy breeze vibrated withering blades of grass. "My God, how much your world saddened...Even I would like to stay for some time there..." He closed his eyes and fell asleep. Forever...

Greybeard niggard

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Stará Oleška

At one damp and cold afternoon widow from Stará Oleška (Old Oleška) went to dig some potatoes. She had small field like palm of the hand, it was wedged in two large fields, one was owned by Rössler - the richest farmer in village. As soon as she laid her foot on balk before her sticked big slimy stone and from beneath stone protruded yellowish fog, presently began to acquire form of human body and widow sees, that it is wrinkled old man with bare head like knee. Now he embraces stone with dry arms coated with grey skin, he climbs on it like monkey and opens toothless mouths all over his face. Widow looks at him with open mouth, but when old man pops his watery eyes and his small body begins to shake from noiseless laughing, woman throws off hoe with handbasket and quickly runs away. "Fie, I don´t feel like laughing at all," she says when she arrives home. "I have head from that crazy old man like crock ! Wasn´t he that parish fool from Huntírov ? I rather doubt it, people say that he stays put in old forge... The Lord knows who was it, today run around world many such fools... But he gave me what for !" She was on thorns and so she commited herself to pensioneress from neighbouring building. " No idea !" says old woman, "he was surely old Niggard !" "Niggard ? Who is it ?" wondered widow. "It was as follows, girl," tells pensioneress. "Rössler´s great-grandfather was always old fox and skinflint, but last year of his life he done like if he lost his senses: he walked around his fields and displaced boundary-stones in order to enlarge his lands. Once he was caught bare-handed by one neighbour, today I already don´t know who was it: he swung against old Rössler and already from afar he threatened him with all infernal fires, but only he reached balk Rössler already beat at gate of Heaven. Mayebe his heart stopped from shock. At that time people said that three men from village had to sever him from stone, he sticked like a leech !" "Poor old man," pitied him widow, "not even after death he doesn´t have peace... Never mind, it is important that I already know, who is it, and with such zombie I will do away without any difficulty..." Just next day she went to field armed with holy water. Already from afar she saw, that niggard sits on balk, arms on his knees and he turns his crooked thumbs. When widow came near to him, he jumped up, stamped his feet like rabbit, from earth emerged stone, old man spanned stone and something bleated, but she didn´t understand. Widow sprinkled on him holy water: in that moment old Niggard disappeared and boundary-stone sunk down back into earth. Satisfied widow smiled, dug potatoes and returned home. But it didn´t take many time and about Rössler´s field began to romp Friar´s lantern: it twinkled, burnt low and lighted again, shook like aspic and constantly flew to place, where used to be displaced Rössler´s boundary-stone. It goes without saying, that it worried all inhabitants of Old Oleška, but when message about it reached widow´s ears, she ran to vicar: it would be expedient to mount cross on field. "No doubt, it will not happen any mistake if you stand there our Lord Jesus Christ, my daughter," said spiritual shepherd. And so villagers with great-grandson of greybeard Niggard at the head fixed to balk wooden cross - lo and behold: restless will-o'-the-wisp appeared no more and miserly old man too...

Conjured castle on Kamenský hill

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Bynovec, Kamenský hill

In the old times used to stand on Kamenský hill near Ludvíkovice darkling castle in that lived knight Hilarius. He was darky and unfettered man, but his wife Ida loved him even thought his not very good character. One thing she couldn´t stand: he from time to time backed out of castle, get in to taverns in surroundings and fraternized with loungers and other rabbles, who didn´t release him until his sack with gold deflated. Not once he returned home as drunk as a lord and was followed by horde of vagabonds, debauchees and tatterdemalions, and then with them withdrew into his chamber, there banqueted them with food and drink and played at dice with them. Once night Hilarius dragged to castle some knight-errant - rude looking fellow with red-haired beaver and red-ignited eyes. They seated themselves to the big table with carved tie and in the course of tremedous blustering and clamour that resounded all over castle, they entered into game. Hilarius was accustomed to win, but this time he was down on his luck. Till midnight he not too well abided it but then he had lost all patience and accused his fellow of deception. Barely elapsed half an hour and they brawled as much as sparks flew away. It didn´t last long time and castle-master was knocked out and only snorted. " You´ll catch it from me to impute me, that I am card-sharper ! I don´t have a brass farthing, but I have the honour in one, you braggart ! But for the sake of goodwill: I take it out of you again, but for the last time !" Hilarius was out of breath, took a seat by table and took dice. All at once something sniffed into his ear: "You will lose again !" Knight turned purple and furiously roared: "Don´t chatter and play, or... !" Knight-errant with umbrage looked up: "Why do you to hell hoot at me ? I mute as a fish !" Thus knight Hilarius looked around chamber but there was no one there. "You will lose again, unless I help you... it will be enough if you nod !" Hilarius heard silent voice again. He noded headlong, cast dice and won. "I was right - you are ordinary slicker !" blew up Hilarius and drew the sword with golden sword-hilt. He wanted to charge red-haired man, but in an instant resounded with darkened chamber strident laugh, castle shook in grounds and before you could say Jack Robinson all its inhabitants were burried under debris. When closed in white day, sticked out of Kamenský vrch only debris of fences and quadrangular tower. It didn´t elapse neither three days when on Kamenský hill appeared white robed woman with head convoluted into snow-white wimple: she maundered about ruins, went through walls, above every stone she halted and silently wailed. Full of fear looked people up to Kamenský hill and surmised what happened there. But they were certain of one thing - devil himself has a finger in the pie and white lady is nobody else than castle-masteress Ida.

When came Easter certain woman passed along Ludvíkovice´s road. She wanted to catch morning mass and therefore she hurried up. When she passed Kamenský hill she noticed how from low half-displaced doors in tower streams dazzling shine. Curiosity pushed her forward: she went closer and saw that behind door lies cauldron full of guldens. Woman wasn´t from needy sack and she had saved up enough, but when she saw gold, she shivered by graspingness. Suddenly appeared by cauldron translucent form and urgently attracted her to go with her. Woman yelled, turned on her heel and ran away. When she recited about it at home, she get a duly tongue lashing: "You stupid goose ! She was surely lady Ida ! Why didn´t you go with her ? Did she want something after you ? "Of course she did," answered back his wife, "but could I know what ?" "My godness, whom you gave soul !" carried on her spouse, but then he waved a hand and he thought: I will make it good myself... And immediately next day at dawn he went to Kamenský hill. He prowled about a castle but he only stroke against bald stones and silent walls.

Many years later decided two brave men from village Bynovec that they on Holy Saturday set for treasure from Kamenský hill. They whooped with pleasure when they saw that low door under quadrangular tower is open. Fearlessly they entered and they find themselves in dully lightened corridor, all of a sudden they held their breath: on packaged ground lay two human skeleton without head and nearby them long sword with golden hilt. They were just about to pick up the sword, when sounded silent groaning and above skeletons appeared white creature with tear-stained eyes and exhorted them to follow her. "Move on !" shoved younger one to his staring friend. "We can at any time run away !" White lady smiled and led them through corridor: they stumbled, they broke their heads by stone ceiling, but finally lady halted and pointed to space of land: in the middle was burning fire, around it stood two men, their coats fluttered on them like if they had no bodies, and they sighed, that even stone could miserate them. Guys disappointedly looked at each other: what does it mean ? They thought that white lady leads them to treasure - and meanwhile ? They turned to eerie but she was already away. Suddenly both dark men loudly lamented and reached hands at men from Bynovec. "We don´t have anything, old boys !" blurted out young one and nudged with elbow into his neighbour: "Look at them, they look like as if they cheated the worms ! Let´s go rather under tower, maybe we will have there more good luck !" Hardly said he it, invisible arms held them and brandished with them as much as they bones cracked. Before they could recover consciousness they already stayed on Ludvíkovice´s road and completely frightened they stared at Kamenský hill. Sun was bearing on it and between dark stems of trees shimmered something white. In the evening in Bynovec they recited what they experienced there. All people shaked their heads, only old pensioneress resting on oven said in a short while: "Nothing but the truth, you fouled up whatever you could ! Had you asked both dark men by fire why they so lamented you could relieve their poor souls of hell-fire and white lady would lead you to treasure. Thus you went empty-handed - and good for you, you unfeeling fellows !"

Gold in smoking pipe

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Bynovec, Kamenský hill

Decín´s tailor Herman was little man and slim as yarn, but he worked triple tides and fairly. He stood well, too and people praised him up to the skies. Once early in the morning on Holy Thursday he pocketed slice of bread into first pocket and into second indissoluble smoking-pipe and set forward on his old bay to his customers. He had before him long journey: according to the then municipal law the surroundings of town Decín within distance of one mile (= 7,53 km = 60 rods, Bohemian mile was introduced by Bohemian king Premysl Otakar II. in 13th century) was thrown upon his hands. Somewhere he had to realize try-ons, elsewhere, as required good demeanour, at least for a while to sat and have a friendly chat, but Herman was pretty sure that he will catch up everything till evening as usually without any difficulty. But as luck would have it his bay dragged out this time like bound and thus he was caught unawares on his return journey by dusk. When he found himself on path that routed through thick sandy pine-wood along Kamenský hill, filly suddenly stopped and not for the world she didn´t want to go on. At that very moment appeared on the hill light and Herman sighted broadly open castle-gate, in which flamed many torches, in the middle of courtyard burnt big fire and around it sat two to chin veiled male forms. One of them had red-haired head. "I daresay that we lost our way, old dutch," said Herman, who couldn´t be bewildered from anything, tied his capricious filly to the tree and headed to fire. But once he passed through a gate, his heart leapt up. Everywhere was depression and as quiet that one might hear a feather fall and those two guys sat dumbfounded, they peered into flames and they didn´t move a muscle. "God grant, good-evening," Herman screwed up his courage, but the guys - nothing. Completely out of his humour he fished out from pocket smoking-pipe, he went a step closer to fire and with throttled voice he asked them if he could light up his pipe. One from guys slowly looked up, looked at him with hollow eyes and without without saying a word nodded. So Herman lighted up, respectfully thanked and with smoking-pipe in mouth he took courage and he says: "Could you, distinguished men, tell me how could I get to Decín ? I would be obliged to you very much." But he didn´t wait to hear their answer: black persons only shaked their heads, from the bottom of their hearts they sighed and beseechingly turned to him faces as pale as death. That was even for Herman too much: he stammered greeting and as quickly as he could, he scuded to his filly. Bay set out into starless night like an arrow and troted as silently and lightly as she would have wings. However all of a sudden she began to stumble and snort, then she reared up and finally she halted. Tailor decided to look what happened but as soon as his legs touched the ground he was near swooning, he toppled down and before you could say Jack Robinson he fell asleep. He came round, when the sun was already up on high, at some distance grazed his bay, he looked around - he found out that he sits on Šibeniční vrch (Gallows hill) by Decín and three steps from him yawned deep precipice. "My God !" he dreaded and excitedly grasped his smoking pipe. For a short while he ferreted in it and tried to arrange his thoughts. Suddenly from ash of smoking pipe something fell out: it was piece of fine gold. It has dawned upon tailor: he recalled that his great-grandmother narrated about fateful end of knight Hilarius. "From time to time lord from Kamenský hill appears," told she, "and always keeps him company some red-haired guy, people say that Satan himself brought them to hell, but the one who would ask them what is wrong with them, relieve their souls of curse and he will be lavishly rewarded..." "I am thick-head," blamed himself Herman for, "why it didn´t flash across my mind..." And how he turns golden stone in hand he sees that it moulders into rusty sand. "So," sighed tailor, "not even this small piece they didn´t leave to me..." At that moment bay neighed and looked at Herman with her big sage eyes. "Pshaw," smiled at her tailor and shaked down sand of his right hand. "My poor self has to earn a living only myself, have I ?... Let´s go old horse..." He stroked filly on the back of the neck and with calm mind he set out home.

Bloody footprints

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Hrensko

In the middle of Hrensko´s forests towered on the rocky knot darkling castle that belonged to Gandolf - bastard of knight Waldemar, who managed for thirty years large domain with iron but fair hand. But Gandolf - man of goshawk´s appearance and cold eyes - had heart from flint: there was no human who wouldn´t tremble by uttering of his name, there was no soul who wouldn´t be horrified by knight in a dream. Everybody, who ever met Gandolf even once time, never forgot to it. "He is incarnated fiend," whispered people. "Whereon he set his foot, grass becomes dry and leaves waste away, dogs whine when smell him, and when he looks with his fishy eyes that could be death of every one... Poor lady Albína, he has purgatory in our world with him !" As much as people hated him they loved his wife - lady Albína was patient and heavenly good person. As soon as knight went from castle for longer time, she stepped out from castle in disguise through secret corridors, she visited sick and suffering people, helped them as much as she could and with free-handed gifts she relieved penury of the poorest people. In Hrensko´s forests on the bank of brook stayed in those days small cottage there, where with his wife Margareta and six underfed children lived lumberjack Sebestián. They lived from hand to mouth, many times they had nothing to throw into pot but Sebestián didn´t already complain: long time ago he put up with his bitter deal. But lately, when Margareta was laid up and her power quickly decreased, he gave in to black desperation: what I will do with my little ones when my wife die ? He apprehended that she is vexed with consumption, and he knew that she need solid and plentiful meals, ans so one day when he hewed branches off and in his head appeared cheerless thoughts again he decided to set a trap onto hares. "At least once my poor wife will eat her fill," he looked forward and done what he made a resolve: above Cerná rokle (Black dingle), that was only rarely visited by humans, he set traps. Next day he went there, but he didn´t return home no more: people found lumberjack Sebestián with cut throat and from place where he lay dead - in hand haggard hare - ran human footprints full of gore blood. They steered for dingle, along rocky precipice, through middle of shallow thorns-wooded valley and upwards into rocks to mouldering sandstone rock, that suggests wolfish skull. Nobody dared to go further along footprints: they aimed directly at castle of Hrensko´s castle-master... When lady Albína noticed that Gandolf in the morning looks like as though leeches all night sucked him blood, she asked: "Are you sick, my spouse ?" He sent her into the burning hell and closed himself in tower, he couldn´t tell her, that until sunrise was persecuted by lumberjack´s ghost - in one hand hare and second one on his throat. He couldn´t tell her, that he whole night ran around chamber with dagger and furiously thrust it into wall, from which constantly stared at him ghastly pale Sebestián´s face. Before sunset he lighted up chips of resinous kindling wood and throw himself down to bed covered with ursine-fur, suddenly he heard steps: from bay moved pale person with blood-stained slop who held in arms flabby hare´s carrion. "Damned tatterdemalion, lay off !" yelled knight and cold beads of perspiration broke forth on his body. "He willn´t," exclaimed scornful voice - by door stood devil in plumed hat and red coat. "He will frighten you every night until you lose your senses !" Gandolf´s teeth chattered: lumberjack stood still in the middle of tower chamber and stared at him his extinct eye-sight. "Help me !" cried wretched knight, "I will give you all gold that I have !" "I don´t need your gold," devil refused and fished out from coat yellowish parchment: "Cede me your soul and I will rid you of lumberjack. But hear me: avoid black deeds, or I will come for you much earlier before your last hour arrive !" As soon as Gandolf subscribed parchment bloody spectre disappeared and knight fell asleep, he slept fast and long time. When he finally left the tower, he appeased hunger and quenched thirst, and then he began to seek for Albína. All servants asseverated that they don´t know where is she, he whipped them as much as blood spirted, but he didn´t find out anything. Only one servant, who would like to insinuate himself into a lord´s favour, revealed that lady Albína, when castle-master leaves castle, she vanishes from castle too. "Oh, that perfidious viper !" raved Gandolf. "She walks around me in mask, she throws dust in my eyes - wait my darling - I will clip your philandering wings, that you willn´t forget it to end of your life !" When nothing suspecting Albína entered dining-room knight pounced upon her like beast: "Speak ! Where were you, you nasty woman ?" At that moment lady Albína, flushed from false accusation, began with trembling voice to tell him what reached her ears, while he relaxed in tower. She took to six orphans only a bit of food so that they didn´t starve. Someone killed below Black dingle their father - lumberjack Sebestián - and to their mother burst heart from that bad message... When Gandolf heard lumberjack´s name, he unsheathed dagger with wry face and poor castle-mistress on the spot dirked. Hardly Albína fell down to floor, from rocky knot on that was built up castle erupted long luminous flames and they completely engulfed the mansion. With screaming and calling for help all servants escaped from burning castle, that blazed with cold purple flames and from fire re-echoed horrible laughing. Suddenly rock opened itself and swallowed down the castle. After sunrise yawned there only deep chasm with several black columns. It was of long duration before people dared to go there, they took columns down, carried them away and made from them cobble-stones. And much longer it lasted than faded out bloody footprints running from Black dingle to disintegrating sandstone suggesting wolfish head, from where routed rocky road to former castle of brutal knight Gandolf.

Hunch-back and his daughter-in-law

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Hrensko

In Hrensko´s saw-mill managed hunch-back Kvido with his son Joachim. Joachim was good man throughout and drudger, but for business he wasn´t suitable: where his father placed him in the morning you could find him still in the evening. "It couldn´t go as follows," said Kvido once. "If I will die, people would carry away roof above your head and you, how I know you, you would only look at it. You need wife, but such, who knows more than only peas-cooking ! I will find one for you..."

...like an giant´s bow arched above her Pravcická gate, from its top sticked out crooked bodies of pine-trees...

He found - Líza from Janov cought his eye. She wasn´t flower no more, but she was still nice - milk and roses - and when Kvido noticed that she even counts potatoes into pot, his heart jumped up for joy: she is apt for my son ! He was just same like her - for groschen he would even take a fence - and so on the end of Shrovetide he married off his son. Within short it turned out that she has shoes from go-about calf, sometimes she wasted many days on her heels, but she attended to her father-in-law properly: she made special dishes for him and fawned to him like a cat and thus he praised her. Joachim said nothing, he knew, that he is only fifth wheel at home. Most frequently she visited old herbalist Barbora, who lived in earthen cottage below rock. She liked that place, it smelt there like in drug-store and she also acquired a knowledge of many things there. "So, I sometimes think, that you didn´t sit down into roses, didn´t you ?" began once in the evening Barbora, when they rubbed healing liniments in stone bowls together. "You are still nice, like from alabaster, but you should wear silk and not calico !" "No doubt," laughed flattered Líza, "I would like to wear silk, but where should I take money ? Spouse is good-for-nothing and father-in-law skimps too bad for words, but only for him. He is able to pluck a louse, but I don´t have enough to swear by from that money." "Solemn truth," agreed old woman. "You should mind the days which are to come or once will remain to you only eyes for crying ! I have an idea ! Show me your hand, I will take a look what expects you..." Líza gave hand to her and old woman drew it near fire, in no time she twitched her body like she would be bitten by a snake, pushed her hard off and starkly stared into flames: they sizzed, turned red and all of a sudden they began to wriggle like in convulsions. "Copper pot... full of guldens..." whispered old one like somnambulist, "shadow inclines on it... it is black like crow´s wings... and looks like bow.." "Where is that pot ?" exclaimed Líza, "where and when should I search for it ?" "On Whitsun Sunday... only when cock will crow three times you will step out on walk... who first will speak to you, you have to ask him, where is he going... In places where he will head to, you will find treasure... In the evening before day of st. Hubert earth opens itself and treasure appears to human eyesight..." Then came first Whitsun Sunday: on walk of Hrensko´s sawmill stood Líza and shaking from fluster she looked at road, cock already crowed, but on the road was not a living soul there. "You woke up early today," she suddenly heard behind her back: there stood old Kvido. "Where are you going, father ?" blurted out Líza. "To Pravcická gate, I set traps there, maybe I will bring you some hare." Líza gulped down: thus by Pravcická gate is that treasure there ! After all the summer elapsed and came up evening before day of st. Hubert. Above Hrensko´s forests floated stifling heavy clouds. Perspiration-stained and with heart in her mouth she ascended to Pravcická gate. She made her way through shrubs and thornbushes, she climbed over wet stones and stumps, which were overgrown with moulding mosses and lichens. When she was in the middle of path crinkling along tumbledown shanty made from logs, in which formerly passed the night foresters and lumberjacks, she held lantern up. Like an giant´s bow arched above her Pravcická gate, from its top sticked out crooked bodies of pine-trees. What´s now ? thought Líza. In that moment loomed below hut, where overgrew raspberry-shrubs, stooping shadow. Líza stifled shout, quickly burnt low lantern and as most silent as she could, she stole covered by dark shadows of trees to shanty. Suddenly she sighted small male figure in long coat - hood covered his face, how he lighted lantern, how he laid it into moss, how he drew out pickaxe from sack and how he get ready to dig. She was overpowered by fury, she threw off the lantern and with damning she pounced upon disguised short man. Before he could recover himself, she tore him pickaxe off, hauled off and at full tilt gashed him: unfortunate struck his arms, death rattled and fell down into raspberry-shrubs. In that moment howled tempest through the forest: awful windstorm bowed trees as they would be straws and with cracking sound it uprooted them. Suddenly resounded piercing outcry and directly after it dreadful silent set in. Next day found lumberjacks under Pravcická gate two stiff bodies there: with scattered head lay in pool of blood hunch-back Kvido and not far from him his daughter-in-law Líza: dead eyes and body crushed by stem of an old pine. From beneath raspberry-shrubs sticked out handle of copper pot, when they dug it out, it was full of clay and stones...

Unfaithful man

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Stará Oleška

On the southeastern bank of Stará Oleska s lake used to live rich country-woman - widow Vilemína. Many farmers at close quarters and from afar proposed to her but Vilemína said, why she should hurry - there is no time for new bonnet yet.

Stará Oleska´s lake.

 

Once came to farmstead smith s journeyman from Saxony and he complained to her that he is jobless: "Everybody gives me only penny and I have to dine with Duke Humphrey further on, I am sick of that beggary ! Tell me, housekeeper, what such life it is for young and healthy man ? Truth to say, people are good in your country, they don´t pinch, occasionally they entertain me, even they take in me for the night, but there is nothing doing - I want to do my handicraft..." Widow listened him and kept her eyes on gallant journeyman. "Some time you can stay there, there is manorial labour for two people enough: put scythes and sickles in order, look at hinges everywhere, you will see what is neccessary. You have wallet full of tools, but if you need something, tell me, I will speak to neighbouring smith..." Journeyman thanked her and fell to food. And because he was likewise most of smiths half croaker he bled even horses, knocked their teeth with chisel and from time to time he extracted aching teeth to people from Stará Oleška too. He had so much strength that he didn´t know what to do with it and people were only astonished when he sometimes drew tooth out of gum emptyhanded. Truth to say - he occasionally extracted also healthy one, but it was no trouble for them. Countrywoman was happy that she has so efficient helper. He made a special dishes for him and one fine day spread a rumour that there will be a wedding in farmstead. And it really took place: Vilemína beamed with joy, but people saw, that fresh farmer wasn´t in his skin. And already on banquet people caught him, that he gaped to void and he wrinkled his forehead. Time passed like water. Young farmer floged his guts and farmstead prospered from day to day more and more: stable was full of nice garish horses, in cow barns stood fat and affluent cows and barns were full of corn and it was wonder that they didn´t burst. Vilemína battened, while farmer emaciated, he walked crestfallen and sometimes during whole day he didn´t say any word. "He is probably sourpuss," said family, "but he pays a tribute to us. He is not on a par with dead farmer - he was skinflint himself." After several years once in the evening turned up in Stará Oleška young and emaciated woman dressed in ragged stuff. She brought curly-headed boy with herself and she asked people, whether they saw smith´s journeyman from Saxony: "Such curly-headed, blue eyed ... and nice... they call him Gustík..." "Gustík ?" laughed villagers. "You have to go there into farmstead and ask after farmer Gustík !" Woman sticked herself: for farmer ? When she left them, they put heads together: did you notice that child ? He is the very picture of farmer ! It will be bummer ! "Where ever do you go, woman ?" thundered at her servant, but she already entered hall. Gustav sat at table above plate full of potatoes and by oven bustled Vilemína. "I brought your son, farmer," said silently woman and her eyes crimsoned. Gustav laid down wooden spoon and turned pale: "What does it mean ?" he exclaimed, but his voice broke. "You wanton," glowed Vilemína, " How could you presume ? Immediately make off from there or I let dogs see you off ! Young mother shuddered: "I will not go... until Gusta will make a statement..." "Get out !" Gustav jumped up from table and his brow was covered with beads of perspiration. "Get out ! Did you hear me, you slattern ? I have never seen you !" At that moment poor woman raised herself, made a threatening gesture at Gustav and with flaming eyes exclaimed: "You ruffian ! You renounced your own child ! I ban you three times !" When unfortunate disappeared in the darkness of night, his wife stepped to Gustav: "Tell me: was she your beloved ? Ant that child - is he yours ?" "No !" renounced Gustav. "And don´t press me anymore !" Since this evening was as silent as a post, always as soon as grew dark outside, he went outside and returned in the morning. Once he didn´t return anymore: he jumped into Stará Oleška´s lake. Vilemína vainly asked Christian burial: they had to bury him in near-by wood like every suicide, and above him they put heavy stone down. Within less than a year Job´s hard knocks came off to Vilemína´s farmstead: cattle was cut down by rinderpest, barns burnt down and countrywoman´s legs like a bolt from the blue became paralysed. One year after Gustav´s death people found Vilemína hanged on loft´s beam. Farmstead became abandoned and slowly fell down, there was no man who could take hold of it. And in wood where Gustav rested, every night Mélusine ran about there and horrificly wailed.

Long tongue

(MYTH) Source: book Uhlír a poklad (Coal-factor and treasure), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, area: Stará Oleška

In Stará Oleška near Ceská Kamenice lived farmer Kecal with his very unruly son Frantík. Boy was only child, his parents granted him everything and forgave him everything too, and so little boy grew uncared-for. When he was older, he almost didn´t stay at home. He wandered for days in hollows, he rock-climbed, he also climbed the highest spruces, where he robbed crow´s nests, and again he was seen how he ran about fields and pasturages, he roused gooses to little herdsmen, tore off fruits from trees and he made only useless and bad things. He came home only for food or to sleep. Parents worked on fields and in cow-house alone, because their son didn´t get used to work. His father Kecal prided himself, how his son grows stronger. However boy´s blinded parents didn´t see that he didn´t use his strength to good actions. Even neighbours noticed lazy Frantík. He only fleered at them and their wise counsels and reproofs, he even threw out the tongue on them. It was not only unmannerliness but even practice. At any time, when he occupied himself with something, he constantly had tip of tongue in the corner of the mouth. Right away behind Stará Oleška there is hight sandstone rock, into which leads tunnel that is closed with small cave in form of den. Adit is overgrown by shrubs and roots of trees. It is called Medvedí díra (Bear´s hollow) till today. Maybe there used to live any bear, maybe not. In time of our story there lived three brothers - dwarfes. They were little men with thin beards and wrinkly faces, who at noon or in the evening get out of den in order to look up to skies or to surrounding land. During his wandering Frantík discovered Medvedí díra right away at midday, when he was already hungry and therefore he returned home. Mannikins just relaxed in the warm sun and smoked their little pipes. Spiteful boy, when he sighted strange little men, get frightened of them at first, but then he summoned his heart, came close to them and began to make fun of them. Little men calmly warned him, but he only shot out his tongue on them and also threw stones on them. At that moment they took shelter from him in Medvedí díra and evening caught them, how they deliberated what to do in order to punish bad boy. "Brothers," said first one, "let he marry evil woman !" "Till then many time has to pass," uttered second one. "It would be better, if he will sink himself in lake or fall from rock." "It isn´t wise decision too," decided third one. "When he slanderous tongue constantly threw out even on people, let he stay with long tongue forever !" With such decision agreed the other two too. Boy continued in his bad actions in surroundings of Stará Oleška. But as soon as he threw out his tongue on somebody for good word, it elongated a bit at once, and one day he already couldn´t shut his mouth, because his tongue was as long as it dangled from mouth. And parents hurried with son to herbalist, then to doctor, but there was nothing doing. Nobody could shorten his long tongue. And so little Frantík Kecal, who liked to fleer at others, became object of jibes himself for his long tongue.

Brotherly help

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Česká Kamenice, Líska

In warm summer early evenings roved by Hrncírský kámen (Potter´s stone) old water sprite. Sometimes he roamed by Divoký potok (Wild brook), green goose paws laid on his back and on his sinewy neck swayed head like mouldy radish. Another time he rested on washed stones which sticked out of the brook, lying like old toad and recklessly splashed in glittering water spray. From time to time people sighted him, how he swung on willow-trees: he skipped from branch to branch, enthusiasticly yelled and when he bellyful recreated, he delved himself up to shoulders into swampy bank and sleepy uttered: "Bre-ke-ke." On the other hand nobody could complain about him.

Hrncírský kámen (Potter´s stone).

Once went farmer Herman from Líska to Ceská Kamenice. Steers trudged like snails, but farmer didn´t hurry: I have time enough, he thought, we get to Kamenice, too. At that moment oxes halted and long mooed. "What´s happen ?" opened his eyes Herman, who almost dozed, and at that moment he sights, how by road sits ragged guy and sorrowfully groans: "Could you take me along, farmer ?" "Why not, come on," complies peasant and looks how nimble is that old guy: he is barefooted, little and slim like needle, but his arms are like shovels. "I go to Kamenice," remarks Herman and whipped away at steers. "Exactly," throws in little man and covers up himself into straw so that only his unkempt head sticks out. "You say it, like if you knew that I go right there," quickens farmer. Strange guy nothing. "What I wanted say - aha, what will you do in Kamenice there ? Tell me ! "I can tell it to you: My brother lives there, he wants my help." "Aha," nods Herman and thinks: you will be of no avail to him, you weakling ! "So I would like to get out already there," announces unexpectedly guy. "How´s that ? We are not yet in Kamenice !" is surprised Herman, but whipper-snapper already climbs out of straw. "Kamenice like Kamenice," guffaws man, jumps from wagon and in moment he stands on road and restlessly shifts from one foot to another like he stands on embers. "Thank you very much for lift, farmer !" Before Herman could answer, small guy ran across wet ground sloping down to river Kamenice and with horsy whinning jumped headlong into it. Farmer turned to stone: "To be sure it was disguised water elf from Hrncírský kámen !" He crossed himself, whipped oxes and wagon continued to bump along rough road to Ceská Kamenice. Master Herman carried out his matters in Ceská Kamenice there, but he get the water sprite on the brain constantly: what that imp did have up his sleeve ? When he passed along wet ground sloping down to Kamenice, he felt coldness in nape, but he thought that there is only a draught from river, and he stopped to think of it. But he had to remember to it next morning, when his wife began to tell him what did happen yesterday afternoon: "You had to go along !", she said, "water sprite drowned some hind in Kamenice there, when he watered horses. His aunt took on out of her senses: she said that she admonished him of danger, but he didn´t let her to shatter him. Three times demon waited for him, but hind made only fun of him and each time he lathered water sprite so that he couldn´t sit down even one week. But yesterday water elf took him by the throat..." "Dear me !", groaned farmer and covered his face with arms, "what I only did..." "You ? What do you jabber ?" turned her head farmwife. And so Herman told her how he carried water elf from Hrncírský kámen (Potter´s stone). "Kamenice like Kamenice, he said it ! He has brother there... and he went to help him to drown that poor young boy ! And I even took him there... My godness..." "Don´t reproach it to yourself, dad !" wife backuped broken spouse, "could you know, what is he like and what he intended ? And even though: remember, if you wouldn´t carry him, he surely ambushed you somewhere, and except that poor boy, you will push up daisies too !" "Shut up, old dutch !" soured Herman, "let your tonge turn to wood ! You would speak not like that if he was our son, but God knew why he didn´t give you son... You don´t harbour not a piece of compassion..." Then he left her with gibbous back - during that while he get 10 years old.

Proudling

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Horní Kamenice (compare with About night hunter, and Night huntsman)

Hrncírský kámen (Potter´s stone) was haunted. Once from Prysk went pearl cutter and about midnight long black monster laid itself across road - it had two bristly dog´s heads on each side. Old cutter stopped himself and thought: what´s now ? Monster lay like carrion and only panted heavily. "Maybe it will not eat me, my goodness," said old man to himself and stepped forward: all of a sudden before him lay only pine-tree. Cutter stepped over it and looked back: behind him lay two-head´s dog again. When fell first snow, he went along Hrncírský kámen in night again, suddenly he heard bow-wowing: he turns around but he doesn´t see anything. He continues and again: "Blaf, blaf!" Old cutter saw white unkempt poodle following him, to whom blazes from muzzle blue tongues. "Shoo, go away !" cutter halted, dog intimidatingly snarled, but then it fell back, turned and ran at full pelt away. And from snow-covered undergrowth resounded amused laughing... "Surely night hunter put it in your way," they said home to their father, when he told them about everything, "people say, that he goes round there !" They were right: night hunter were latterly by Hrncírský kámen in a family way. People saw him in wood how he whipped flaming dogs, or he only went through wood like lost sheep, fiddled with rifle and knitted badly his brows. But he didn´t heed anybody and so people thought that he is in fact quite tolerable ghost and that there's no need to be afraid of him. But they were all wrong...

In Dolní Prysk lived one very nice girl, boys look about for her with pleasure, but Alžbeta only turned up her nose at them: nobody was good enough for her and so he earned nickname - "proudling". "You will cry over outcome, you will see, girl," her mother warned her, but she take her head and she said that with whatever lackland she will not throw herself away. Once she was in Horní Kamenice on local dance, in the corner stood with folded arms pale gamekeeper, he haughtyly smiled and looked through people like they would be from glass. Alžbeta, who was accustomed, that all guys fawned on her like flies around lantern, started to be out of her humour: she cast glances at gallant gamekeeper, twisted and puffed herself up, but hunter as though didn´t see her. Then sounded fanfares squaw dance. Ears blazed to every young guy and everybody thought, that Alzbeta would fetch even him, but they met with a failure: Alzbeta tossed about, threw her braids over shoulders and with flaming eyes she directed directly for gamekeeper. "What a impudence !" hissed gammers and with satisfaction watched, that strange gamekeeper went to dance with her like if someone pushed him by fork. But after while they didn´t budge from each other: truth to tell, young hunter was a wee bit stiff and fluttered with legs like if he couldn´t bend them in knees, on the other hand Alzbeta tingled herself in his arms and she nearly burnt him with her eyes. "I already have to go home," whispered bitterly Alzbeta when time advanced, "but I fear to go alone !" Gamekeeper coldly smiled, took girl by the hand and without saying a word he brought her out of inn. "After all she cruised him," said poisonously old women, and while downcast striplings came off badly and sweaty girls turned green with envy, Alzbeta already led her hunter through tepid summer night. It was strange, that young man was as silent as a stone, but then occured to her, that he is such nature and that he will speak freely when come the right moment. She floated beside him happily, she languidly sighed every while, here and there she shamed that she stumbles, but gamekeeper marched like walking statue and it seemed that he hurried up. Suddenly Alzbeta stopped: to be sure we are by Hrncírský kámen ! "Let's get back," she besought him, "let´s go by another way, people say, that there appears night hunter !" At that moment gamekeeper ejaculated shriek like wild bird, constricted her in his arms and began to mumble something. Dread overpowered her: "Set me free !" she exclaimed and tried to disengage, but guy´s arms as if were from iron. Suddenly something creaked and girl sighted how in the rock is opening large iron gate. Although she was scared to death, she gained power: she disengaged herself from close embrace and with desperate calling for help ran along forestry road to Horní Kamenice and behind her sounded gamekeeper´s sever laugh...

Nine days she lay in fevers and was delirous about pale gamekeeper and iron gate in Hrncírský kámen. The ninth day at midnight she finally died. Disconsolate parents mounted by Hrncírský kámen sacred picture, but it disappeared during next night. Since that time night hunter didn´t emerge anymore, neither by Hrncírský kámen nor elsewhere. People thought, that Alzbeta´s death finally redeemed his sinful soul.

Black Death

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Ceská Kamenice

It was year, that was recorded as the most disastrous from disastrous years: land, downcast by unremitting disputes, dissensions and war, couldn´t yield anything from itself, because people weren´t able to ordinaryly gather from fields and meadows or to cultivate and sow again. And so dispersed villagers, who finally returned home, didn´t have anything to eat, so they weren´t able even to relieve increasing hunger and hardship of miserable and spoiled towns. All around the country came famine, there was no analogy to it yet: wretched desperados, who were nothing but skin and bone, crept through country like wraiths and they gregariously besieged houses of a few of fortunates who could at least from time to time eat a bit. Wild broken humans fell upon homes of rich ones and took their pots from fireplaces. Like beasts of prey they gluted everything what seemed to be to eat: awful hunger they appeased by crust of trees, by grass and also by carrions of animals, even murders and cannibalism took place, whose horror hands of contemporaries withstood to record. Without cease rumbled funeral wagons, which collected corpses, thousands of people were flang into large hollows behind towns and hundreds of madmen jumped into collective graves - they wanted to escape before claws of sluggish death. Hunger and plague stroke town Ceská Kamenice too. Spectre of Black Death went round flourishing town, enclosed by walls, moats and mounds, and took a heavy toll of victims - she scythed them like rye spikes. At first citizens burnt juniper green brushwood, day and night, because they belived that smoke from juniper dispels plague airs, but later there were no people to do it, not even to bury dead people. From whole Ceská Kamenice remained only old pensioneress. When she burried last of her four grand-children under apple-tree and on the grave mounted wooden cross, she sat down by oven and with eyes, which weren´t able to shed a tear-drop anymore, stared to walls. It was stillness, only half-blind dog with protruding ribs and moulting neck ran over backyard and plaintively howled. At that time old woman saw how behind the window swam shadow. Suddenly creaked door and on door-step appeared Black Death: she threateningly chattered jaw-bones, took down from shoulder blunt scythe and she began to sharpen it. "You raise Cain," said pensioneress. "Are you coming for me ?" Black Death nodded. "But I will not flee to you," bargained old woman, "Don´t you see that I anyhow have one foot in the grave ?" Black Death stopped grindind process, jared her bones and fix her empty orbits at pensioneress. "I can´t leave that god´s creatures alone, wait some time !" Black Death waved her dry thigh-bone, threw scythe over shoulder, turned herself and rattled over backyard. Pensioneress stood up and placed herself to window and saw, how Black Death went along road into the middle of town. "Do go, anyhow you have no work to do there !" sighed old woman, crumbled into water to cats and dog some crusts of mouldy bread and then she went to control goat-sty, if only goat, that remained to her, is still living. She was. When goat sighted pensioneress, pulled chain and joyfully bleated. "Don´t be afraid my old goat, with help of God we will get out of it !" consoled her old woman in return. She gave into manger handful of musty hay, came round courtyard and then she sat down on bench under spreading linden. He take in hand chaplet and every while she looked round of famished vermin: two emaciated cats licked out bowl by their pink tongues and old wolf-dog waited at some distance what will remain. Days passed, all the same, but old woman boldly persisted. And one murky morning she sighted, how along road, that routed along her cottage to church, jolted hay-wagon laden with sundry junk and striped feather-beds. On the wagon sat thin woman in the family way. Haggard jade led by worried still young but already grey man hardly moved. "My good lord !" exulted granny, "first swallows ! Come here, people, come to me !" They resided themselves in old woman´s cottage and they kept her in cotton wool. When young farmer´s wife gave birth to nice boy, old woman would go out at a breath and when child began to run, grim reaper knocked the window. "Come in my dear," invited him old woman, "now I will gladly go with you. I waited to see... my native Kamenice lives again..." She smiled happily, hands lowly crossed on breast and with last look at courtyard, where among spotted hens toddled little child, she followed those who forewent her.

Castle rustic

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Ceská Kamenice (compare with Farmer from Castle hill)

It was one hundred years after destroying of castle, that used to tower south of town Ceská Kamenice, on Castle hill two maids of peasant Hilbauer raked hay. "Look, over there !" exclaimed suddenly younger one and she pointed at pine-tree. "And what should I see ?" "Somebody is standing there !" "Are you crazy ? There isn´t anybody !" guffowed the later. "Yes, I could swear to it, he had short trousers, yellow boots and blue overcoat with high collar, I observed him well !" "Well, but how it is possible, that I don´t see anybody ?" "I don´t know, but he was there upon my soul." In that moment came to Castle hill Hilbauer´s servant. Girls ran at him immediately and told him what one of them had seen, but servant only laughed at them. When they loaded hay on hay-wagon and wagon started to go downwards from hill, horses stopped themselves just by pine-tree and they didn´t move from that place for the life of servant. "It drives me mad," shook his hand and worried maids took a glance at themselves. "I bring bulls," decided servant and brought them, but even they couldn´t move hay-wagon. Meanwhile it got dark and in Ceská Kamenice got abroad, what happened on Castle hill. With farmer came running also many curious fellows and everybody sought to give help but it proved to be, that this strange phenomenon is above their bend: horses and bulls stood as if they ingrew into earth and wheels didn´t move even palm. "I will send after our sacred figure," said Hilbauer, "I dare say that there happened something sinister..." Priest succoured very quickly and sprinkled pine-tree with holy water, horse and bull teams quickened, hay-wagon unglued itself from ground and got going swimmingly. Only then maid told Hilbauer, that afternoon she saw some strange fellow below pine-tree: "He looked like rustic, master..." "He looked, but evidently wasn´t, my girl" noddled Hilbauer. "This is the limit: Castle hill is haunted !" He was right: on Castle hill and in woods by char-coal piles had been appearing old beardless man in short pants, with bright boots and stone-blue overcoat with leather collar. He marched as if somebody hounded him, sometimes he leant on staff. He didn´t give anybody fright, but who met him, was sicked of such meeting: castle peasant was white like wax-candle, in motionless face roamed black eyes and from him blew coldness like from grave.

Once one groom went with yoke to Horní Kamenice. All at sudden appeared by road peasant dressed in old-world clothes and gave signal to him by staff. "What´s going on ?" groom stopped bulls, "Ah woe, now it happened !" wailed old man and disappeared pronto. "Brrr !" shook groom. When he arrived home, quickly unharassed bulls and he immediately went to householder. "You were always cabbage-headed," said householder. "What sort of ghost ! Did he hurt you ? No, he didn´t ! So you see ! Ghosts do not appear all for naught after all !" "I don´t know, master, but what he intended by words ´now it happened´ ?" "Where do you expect me to know, what your ghosts have in their heads ?" cut him short with smile householder, but his laugh has only short duration: still that night his sole daughter ran a high temperature and in the morning she was already among cherubs... Since that day people avoided places, where castle rustic had been appearing usually, like the plague. And they done well: to whom he crossed way, to him occured always something bad: either fell ill himself or somebody from his house, and it was always of long duration till he recovered from it.

It elapsed another hundred years: old Heller from Kamenický Šenov went once evening from Filipov, where he wanted to buy cow. But he didn´t agree on price and therefore he was returning empty-handed. When he passed across meadow below Castle hill joined him old man dressed in ancient rustic costume. "God grant good evening," greeted Heller, though old man didn´t appeal to his taste. Rustic didn´t say a syllable. "Are you going to Šenov too ?" Heller entered into conservation, but old rustic was still silent. "You old rogue," thought Heller, "it seems, that you you are down on my money !" But he hardly thought this idea to the end, when from the shrubs on hillside of Castle hill two gypsies pounced upon them and they attacked Heller. In that moment old rustic started to grow large till he became a giant - now he is raising club, gypsies are yelling and leaving Heller in peace, and before you could say Jack Robison, they are gone. Heller is standing and staring at his companion like deer: old rustic looks like before again; with one hand he draws overcoat to his neck and with other hand with staff he draws large circle into dust of road. "Stand into it," challenges him rustic. Heller´s legs started to shake, but he nevertheless stood into it and uneasily observed mysterious fellow. "So, now you can go home easily, nothing happen to you today." Heller poorly noded, but he feared to look at castle rustic properly: just the same ghost is ghost, you never can tell, what is going on inside his head - but because he knew what is proper, he stammered: "Y-y-you saved my life, may Lord reward you..." Suddenly beside him sounded deep sigh full of relief and when Heller raised his head, there was nobody else except himself on the road. Since that evening nobody beheld castle rustic anymore.

Stone horse-shoe

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Ceská Kamenice

On the square in Ceská Kamenice there is in pavement imbedded big stone in form of horse-shoe. It formerly served as indication, where at time of market is allowed standing of selling neat. Adjacent two smaller places served to sale of horses (till today used denomination Konský trh - Horse market) and to sale of pots and pans (Hrncírský trh - Potter´s market). About remarkable horseshoe shaped stone arise following legend.

Many and many years back some bandits resided forests and dingles north of Ceská Kamenice. They harassed whole surroundings. They held up peaceful merchants, who with their goods wended their way to Lusatia or to Prague, they picked their goods and many a time even cruely slaughtered them. They of course were raiding also farmsteads, shepherds watching their flocks, their cheekiness was so big that they even pretended as far as the town-walls, where they assaulted homesteads. Their names incited fright, in their footsteps went cry and moan. Very often were expedited troops, but what was the good of it ? Deep forests and dark glens always covered them for a certainty, so nobody knew where are their lurking-places.

In that insecure time, when people were scared to death and nobody staked to go out of sight of town-walls, had been working in tavern by Kunratická brána (Kunratice´s gate) brave maid. She had strong and square-built figure, she had black hair like pitch and black lights lightened from beneath her gross eyebrows. Her strength was such, that task to take barrel full of wine and carry it to the vault was for her simple twist of the wrist. Through town-gate by tavern passed many people, numerous guests stopped by in the way in order to partake and all drew horrid acts commited by bandits. Visitors agreed with one fact, that it would be very easy to seize them all when soldiers have cognizance of their den or nest in the rocks. Maid heart all the speaking and she inwardly determined, that if men have no bravery to such act, so she has to find such robber´s nests herself. She didn´t tell a word to anybody for fear of mockery or leakage. she Only made an old gate keeper understood that he will immediately open the gate when she knock the gate three times. She only took this old man into her confidence. She left tavern early morning and she made a large detour before she aimed to glens by hill Jehla. She had to keep in mind that bandits could have sentinels, who carefully observe country. She rely on fact, that they will not take notice of her or that they will not suspect her from espionage.

She stole softly and circumspectly through shrubs, she descended from hillsides and passed below forest giants, where even at noon was twilight, and she carefuly observed all signs in order to find safe way home. Long and tiresome day fled away in purposeless searching, and when evening came, fine girl´s nostril smelt tame whiff of fume. It could be smoke from distant charcoal pile, but who would char wood-coal in such steep glens, when there was better opportunity by road and closer to town ? She therefore increased her caution and she sneaked forwards like weasel. Within short pungent spruce-wood and low shrubs started back and all at once girl beheld under overhanging rock small clearing and loghouse with small window embosomed to rock. Meanwhile evening change into night and girl was close to run against small fence, where she spotted several horses. Horses started to snort restlessly, when they felt strange human. Girl with caution came round fence and stepped to window, from which emanated slight red shine. Hardly she made several steps, somebody, who silently stayed in dark by house, grasped at her shoulders and into the night sounded gruff voice: "Heigh-ho, brothers, we have tracer there. Come quickly out so we can get light on him !" Firm hands grasped girl like pincers. But it couldn´t be maid from tavern by gate - she bent against aggressor and because sensation of fright gave her power, she broke away from him and knocked against him so violently, that he hit upon corner of log hut and dropped to ground like bag with potatoes. Meantime door flew open and several men with weapons rushed out. Girl had the luck, that they were dazed by light from hut and therefore they couldn´t orientate themselves immediately and interfered with each other. Girl didn´t tarry, skipped over fence, groped after headgear of first horse, quickly unfastened it and in no time she sat on his back. "To the fence, she is in fence there ! Don´t let her take horse ! Catch him !" she heart from direction of cottage along bluff execrations. Frightened horse calmed down after clapping on his shoulders and on urge he ran over fence by sole jump, and now girl´s life was at stake. Shrubs and branches beat girl into face, tore her dress to pieces and stung her that she was all blood in no time. Horse ran through valleys and over rocks, as much as wind soughed past ears. Girl had sole idea - they must not to catch her, she has to reach town. She didn´t know how long they rode. Only when she felt that horse is fainting she spanked him intensively, till all at once in pale shine of stars she get view of Jehla on her right hand and before her silent town-walls.

Like wind she reached the gate and she felt that horse hardly stumble and that he is on his beam´s end. Girl knocked the gate three times and how they were settled gatekeeper immediately opened it, then girl went to square. Awakened citizens quickly armed themselves and even that night they encircled glens far beyond hill Jehla. In the morning all bandits were already bringing in bonds to town prison. Hairy, bearded, rude and rebellious men face to face looked at all directions and they didn´t show any symptom of distress. It is said that some of them even were killed during apprehending. Within short took place trial with bandits in Ceská Kamenice and according to records in executioner´s book 8 criminals (3 by sword) were executed on 7th May 1594 on Šibenicní vrch (Gallows hill). So whole region was rid of fright and people could sleep peacefully again. Maid for her bravery received tavern by gate and she became tapster. On the place, where overridden horse fell to the ground, was into pavement imbedded stone horseshoe, that we can see there till today.

Farmer from Castle hill

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Ceská Kamenice (compare with Castle rustic)

Above Ceská Kamenice towers Zámecký vrch with rests of old Kamenický castle, that was damaged during raids of Lusatians and later on burnt down in 1639 by Swedes. At foot of hill there are today fields, more upwards grass fields and pasturages and top of hill is overgrown by wood, from which protrudes well preserved watch tower. Abour ruins is retained legend, that under castle is situated treasure guarded by eerie man dressed in ancient costume. The most often this man used to appear unexpectedly to herdsmen on hillside below wood and likewise he suddenly disappeared without any vestiges. One day early morning in late autumn two girls went over Zámecký hill from Ceská Kamenice in the direction of Kamenický Šenov. Thanks to morning twilight and fog they confounded their way and they get next to castle ruin. Girls didn´t realize their mistake till before them emerged contours of tower from fog. They were just thinking in what direction should they make for in order to get to right way, when suddenly without any sound, as if he grew from fog, in front of them stayed man in ancient rural garb. "Peasant from Zámecký hill," flashed across their mind and they would like to run off at first moment. Man, as though he felt their cogitations, accosted them kindly, that there is no reason to suspect him, that he couldn´t hurt them and that they should go with him upwards to castle, that he would like to show them hiden treasure, which they can directly collect. Girls, entrapped by prospect of easy enrichment, grudgingly but yet followed the farmer. He strode before them slowly, he often looked back to them and urged them by waving of hand. Finally they get to ruin by which grew high tree. Peasant pointed to branches, where was dangling big key. "By that key you will open way to treasure," he said, "climb only tree and untie that key. You will never yearn for anything more !" Girls, as if they were stuporous, obeyed his urgent voice and stepped to the tree. Suddenly blew fresh wind, balls of fog broke themselves for a while and horrified girls beheld below branch with key deep headlong rocky wall. With cowardly shout they jumped away from depth and through thick and thin flew from Zámecký hill. Behind them they heart cutting sneering of castle peasant. Fog already dispersed when terrified girls get back to town. After several days they ventured to go to Zámecký hill and they found that tree, where hung key, absolutely sear.

Executioner´s sword

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Ceská Kamenice

Ceská Kamenice´s master executioner David Fischer got already accustomed long ago, that people eschewed him like any scurvy dog, because blood and deadly stench is rumoured to stick by his hands. Even so he felt blue, when he took a chair by dedicated table, by which might sit only knacker, grave-digger and usurer, and he raised his jug, from which nobody would drink, not even if somebody give him gold. "People spit me in my face and with my wife they deal worse than with whatever wanton," thought he, "but before lords who judged people, they grovel like snakes. They would like lapidate me, when I thoroughly sharpen sword in order to gash properly and not extend suffering of convicted criminal, they denounce my servants, when they are preparing chopping block, but do not prospect for rightness of convictions. And they rush to execution with tongue thrown out, even with babies, and it would be disaster for them, if they would miss something, hyenadogs..." "Don´t worry," he used to say to his wife, who sometimes cried above her sufferings, "carry your head haughtyly and do not fear to look people in their eyes. There is no way out for me, I have to send those infortunates to the other world till my dying day, but let shake before our Lord those, who forswear and uninquitously sentence them to death..." True, there were many people, who abominated executioner Fischer and disdained his whole family and even building, but there were also another people, who, though clandestinely and like they would do something bad, visited him. They visited him, because Ceská Kamenice´s executioner David Fischer could make healing ointments and potions against human and animal diseases and he never deny help, advice or even money, if some poor wretch found himself in trouble without his own fault. Once visited him one poor woman with little boy. "My mother hardly drag herself, David," told him and scrupulously looked round the executioner´s house, whither she entered first time in her life, "she has big boils on legs, they are still dripping with blood - would you have something for her ? But I have no money, forgive me..." "Certainly, I will not dismiss you empty-handed," smiled at her David, "let me only know about effect of my medicaments." And he stepped near to big shelf, where he stored various herbs and ointments. "May Lord reward you, David," whispered thankfully woman and peeped at headsman´s sword on the wall. "David, look at it !" she dreaded and entirely horrified she started back to doors: sword swayed formidable slowly from one side to the other on the wall. "It isn´t good auspice," remarked headsman Fischer and fixed his eyes on child in woman´s arms. "To your boy menaces danger, that he would be decapitate once by this sword..." "It couldn´t be true ! How could you say something like that ?" blurted out desperately mother. "Calm down, please," Fischer appeased her, "I know, what I have to do... Come here..." With chattering teeth she approached to David and she waited what he will do. Executioner took sword, uncovered boy´s neck and scratched it by tip of sword. Child began to cry. "Don´t cry, little boy, it is over," he stroked child and hung sword up again. Sword stayed without any motion. "Sword get his blood," explained Fischer to boy´s mother, "Don´t be afraid, it will not be seized with a desire for his blood anymore... There you have ointment for your mother and go home. But take my advice: breed your child hardly and in God´s awe..."

Mother nurtured her son, how love and conscience preached to her, rigorously and in God´s awe, only one thing she forgot to impart to him: to obey orders of lord´s yesmen and flunkeys submissively and if chips would be down - to bow his knees and repent in sack-cloth and ashes; to acquiesce that they would trample and spit his soul and heart; to cringe to suzerain and to sprawl in dust before them. Only this mother forgot to teach her sole son. Therefore he became straight nad fearless man, with bright eyes and ungovernable and proud head. He never bow to anybody, only before his mother in order to kiss her jaded hands - and that was his bale. There was no day, when lord´s whippers wouldn´t yell at him like at ox during corvée, there was no hour, when hazel-rod wouldn´t deterrently slash above him. Once he had furrow too large, next time too small. "You have to dispel strip of a field more, do you hear me ?" "Yes I will," agreed young farmer and dispelled every strip of a field into thirteen furrows, but controller took into his head, that farmer owes from last week one day of manorial labour, so he has to come for corvée even tomorrow. "I don´t owe anything," disagreed young farmer calmly, "and tomorrow I willn´t come, I know my duties, but also my rights." "You cheeky yokel !" controller went red in the face, "it will cost you dear, by spring you will go to conscription, and don´t build upon fact, that you have ascribed farmstead, that you couldn´t be soldier ! You will be, I will arrange it for you !" Young man looked at controller and it started to smoulder in his eyes. "How you stare at me, you devil ? But I will teach you a lesson !" And he lashed him to face. But in same moment he already lay on the ground and he only covered his head by fleshy hands in order to avoid those iron fists get brain out of his head. "And now go and complain," young farmer slowly straighten himself up and blood rushed to his cheeks slowly again. Manorial controller ran as fast as his legs could carry him, he poured mendacious swipes to lord´s authority, he denounced young farmer incurable idler, rowdy and dangerous rebel and finally he interceded for the most oppressive punishment. They dragged young farmer away to prison; beat him till he bled and tortured him badly, but he didn´t moan or even say a syllable once. When three days later scaffold was built on the square in Ceská Kamenice and executioner raised sword in order to decapitate poor boy, all of sudden bolt slid from the blue and before executioner was able to wave, sword split itself into two parts. Young farmer raised his head and viewed to the direction, where sunrise occurs every day...

Guard by dead

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Ceská Kamenice

Many water had flew in river Kamenice already, numerous winds had flew over peaks of trees on Sedlo and many years of human era elapsed since occured following episode, that I will narrate to you. Once lived poor man with his family and though he was trying hard never so much, want was his permanent guest. He often used to look out from windows of his poor cottage to opposite well-built house of rich neighbour and he cognited, what is the point, that fortune is giving him a wide berth, whereas the rich man prospers from everything what he touch. But by this useless cogitation pauper couldn´t feed up several hungry boarders asking for bread. So he finally set out to rich neighbour in order to beseech for loan. Neighbour met his wishes with a bad grace and poor man was safe from living difficulties for a while. But when approximated time, when he should acquit a debt, he had no money to do it. With a heavy heart poor soul walked to neighbour in order to pray for forbearance. It wasn´t to rich man´s liking, he chewed the cud, contemplated and finally he said: "I have a right to to sell your cottage and take realized money to cover your debt. But who would like to buy such shanty and where would you put your children ? We therefore conclude such treaty." He put out from drawer bag with money, held it before poor man´s eyes and said: "I will forgive you your debt and give you on top of it this purse with gold coins, if you promise me, that after my death you will guard my corpse three nights in chamber. I know, that it willn´t elapse many time and I will die." Poor man had no alternative and outlook of rejoiced eyes and little rosy cheeks of his children urged him, that he grasped purse and promised to accomplish his desire. He thought at the same moment: "What could happen to me ? Dead can´t injure me and living have no reason to hurt me." Therefore he returned home entire overjoyed, how he came off well and to poor cottage arrived good times.

It didn´t elapse even month since that dialogue, when in the evening neighbour´s groom knocked the window and delivered this message: "My master had died. Before death he instructed me that I should go to you and admonish you about your promise. Therefore I hurried to you immediately after his death." Poor man put on his Sunday best with bad grace. In well-built house they introduced him into chamber, where on hearse in casket was lying dead body dressed in long black grave-clothes. Along both sides of coffin stood burning candles and their restless blazes projected flexuous light to face of dead, who was like living. To poor guardian they brought jug with wine and then they double-locked doors of chamber. Poor man drew out pocket book inherited from grandfather and he read in it silently. So elapsed hour after hour when came up midnight. Now seemed to him that dead lifted his head a little. He looked at him and beheld, that he has opened eyes. Though he was seized with horror, anyhow he said with calm voice: "Do rest ! I kept my promise and I keep guard faithfully !" After these words dead closed his eyes and everything was as before and poor man was happy that he get over first night. Second night he mounted guard with greater courage. They gave him jug with wine again, during guard he continued to read and everything repeated as at first night. Poor fellow hoped that third night will run like previous two. He didn´t mention about incident with dead. He is sitting and expectantly look for coming midnight, whether even today dead open his eyes in order to make certain himself if poor man guard him. But as soon as clock stroke midnight, in the house burst big rush. Wind whizzed through hallways and zipped in the chimney, doors opened and closed themselves without cause and in chamber man could hear eerie miaow and sputtering, as though flock of cats caterwauls there. Even so he couldn´t see anybody. Entirely panic-stricken guard stared at dead, but he was lying calmly and he didn´t open his eyes as last two nights. Therewith appeared hole in the ceiling and in the hollow devil himself. He clawed rich man and shook up him. In that moment from dead´s body started to fall gold ducats to all directions. Old Nick fronted to staring guardian and thuded: "What are you waiting for ? Just collect ! They are yours. This sinner supposed that for your faithfulness he could escape to hell. Hence you are guarding him there. For his sole good act, that he obliged to you, I couldn´t usurp him two nights but now he is ours and he will not escape !" Poor man was anxious to help to dead rich man somehow, but he didn´t know how and his legs were frozen stiff by fear anyway. Devil even guffawed and deliver speech: "You can take money, bag is enough for me !" and he disappeared in the hole in the ceiling with body of dead. In same moment turned up such silence that even man could hear peal in ears. There was no motion anymore. Only coffin was empty and on the ground a lot of gold coins. Poor man didn´t wait for more, he didn´t attend to money, he had sole desire at this moment - to be in his poor, but straight cottage. He came running home so entirely haggard, that everybody feared about his health several days. When he saw with what attention they look out for him, how children every while run into wood for best strawberries or raspberries for him, he finally learned, where he should search for real human fortune. He also bethink himself of rich man, how alone, guarded only by strange man, had been lying in chamber. Nobody piped his eye for him, nobody sorrowed after him. And it was certainly real hell - to remain without love in the world. Poor man´s children have grown thanks his laborious hands and all have been living comfortable even without dirty money.

Gnomes on Jehla

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Ceská Kamenice, Jehla

From surroundings of town Ceská Kamenice hails large amount of legends about gnomes, who works in the heart of land, where they dig out precious stones. These legends are rumoured to originate at time when in entire North Bohemia Italians were searching half-precious stones. They cut crude gems and through their mediation Czech gems get to the whole world. To our people, who mainly lived upon agriculture by that time, mining and searching in the rocks was little comprehensiable and therefore in legends they replaced activity of these wandering Italian locators by work of gnomes.

Also about basalt rock Jehla arose following legend: One poor woman from Ceská Kamenice used to go to wood for small fire-wood. One day intruded upon her small dwarf and asked her for help - if she could go with him to Jehla to clear heads of him and his comrades from various insects and he promised her fat reward for this favour. Woman, who knew gnomes very well, knew that gnomes do not harm people, so she consented with a will. When day declined to evening, one dwarf filled up her back basket with beech foliage as reward for her service.

Sun set, woman already couldn´t give a thought to wood-gathering anymore this day, so she hurried home, on way she wrathfully thought: "What shall I do with this foliage ? I have enough by cottage !" And she dumped content of back basket into ditch by road. When she arrived home, she jammed hamper to the corner in the hall. In same moment she heard low chink. She bent down and found several ducats. Beech leaves, which sticked in back basket, change themselves into gold ! She hurried back to Jehla very quickly in order to gather up foliage, that she left in the wood. But she didn´t find anything in that evening, not even following days. Only trees above her head murmured mysteriously. So poor woman forfeited wealth thanks her disbelief in gnomes. After all several ducats from back basket helped her to do away with poverty.

About evil cobbler

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Ceská Kamenice, Jehla

Long ago in Ceská Kamenice had been living shoemaker whose name was Langhans (Long John). Handicraft gave him no pleasure, because he was lazy, and so no wonder that he had lost all customers step by step. For choice he used to rest in garden below pear-tree and cogitated which malice could he execute to his neighbours. Mostly Langhans had a grudge against his neighbour, shoemaker too, who was his inverse. From neighbour´s cottage people could often hear singing, children's laughing and uninterrupted clack of shoe hammer - indication of busy working. Even both cottages differed one from another. Langhans´s cottage was entirely tilted, with shored up roof, with windows sealed by paper and clogged by spider webs. It seemed that these windows are blinking despitefully like shoemaker´s eyes. Neighbour´s cottage was cleanly whitened, pretty decorated around doors, behind windows blossomed whole summer flowers and in garden bowed trees beneath heaviness of fruits. Even birds rather dwelled by clean cottage and under it roof there was large amount of swallow-nests. Langhans used to gaze to neighbour´s yard and he very grudged his content. At that time in the rocks around Ceská Kamenice gnomes stilĺ had been mining in terrestrial depths and evening after their work they used to come to chat with good people. Sometimes they helped them too. Also pretty cottage of busy shoemaker they used to visit often and evil Langhans set heart upon idea, that gnomes are real cause of neighbour´s welfare and that their disfavour to him is cause of his misery. He didn´t search reason in his laziness and neighbour´s busyness, but he only contemplated, what foulness he could execute to gnomes and take some advantage of it for himself.

In those days around rocks Jehla (Needle) and Trubac (Horn-blower) used to range still dense and deep forests, which inhibited from access to both rocks. Inside earth below Jehla gnomes had they dwellings and also small brewery, so they could sit together after work and in convivial talking partake of pitcher with good beer. In rear part of Jehla they carved deep tank in form of tub, whitherward they infused completed beer in order to refrigerate it in this cold and umbrageous rocky barrel. This reservoire we can see there till today. These facts about gnomes discovered Langhans himself, because he trailed gnomes several days and nights and even smelt about them on Jehla. One day gnomes were preparing for certain celebration. Therefore they obtained the best barley and hops, water brought even from far forest spring, so their brewer could brew the best beer for their celebration. When it was completed, they infused it into rocky barrel and they betook themselves to relaxation. Langhans took advantage of that opportunity. He silently sneaked to cistern and into cooling drink he poured sand, stones, needles and various dirts, so beer became not-edible. Gnomes fumed above this evil and mischievous act so much, that they decided to move from rocks by Ceská Kamenice forever. They are rumoured not to come back, till entire kin of evil cobbler die out. Then they will return and help people to search underground treasures.

Dean Huber

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Ceská Kamenice, Dolní Kamenice

Many years before had been living in Ceská Kamenice dean Huber. He was priest, who more than divine services loved delicious dishes, sweet dram of an old wine and free-and-easy. And because by amply lain table he never saddened anyone, he was invited very often to various festivals, weddings and feasts in broad surroundings. When long time offered no banquet, he took a drive with coachman in small coach and then he sat up late in shady inns. Once he was coming round from such wild glorification, where they were detained not only by pitchers full of beer but also by big storm with heavy rain. Beery coachman crouched on coach-box and gross drops, which were shaken down by wind from trees along road, watered him. Between shred clouds blinked stars and afar between hills was diing away thundering of storm. In that thundering faded out also gush of back water of river Kamenice, which after spate rose and which muddy water rolled in watercourse. Horses, driven by desire for warm stable, at a quick trot passed drive to bridge in Dolní Kamenice and they ran in flooded river. Cold bathing brought coachman to life. He whipped horses and they jumped up from river to opposite low bank, but only with frontal part of coach. Stroke disengaged fixation of rear part of coach, which was than with dean Huber taken off by waves of flooded runlet stream to pools under descents by Kamenická Nová Víska (Kamenice´s New village). Only in few days, when water fell, lumber-jacks fished dean´s dead body with rests of coach. People say that from that time he haunted there.

Once workmen went back from work on vineyard already during twilight over Mlýnský kopec (Mill hill) along pools, where dean Huber drowned himself. All at once swing midway against them figure, so they had to step aside from road to its road-side, so the figure could pass. Already from far figure appeared anomalous. As lately as the figure approached, they saw that this figure had no head ! Awesome pedestrian held his head in both palms in front of him and it was head of dean Huber. Even figure appertained to dean also with clothing which he had in day when he drowned. Terror-stricken workmen, standing along road, couldn´t even speak. However terrific figure overpassed so fast that they could hear fizz.

Since then people were scared to go through these places, especially during twilight, when drowned man had been occuring most often. Also boys, who were bathing in pools and who had more courage than adults, claimed, that they saw dean Huber. According to their narration dean Huber was manifesting naked, only head he had covered by small red cap. With increasing intelligence among people amount of legends about terrific manifestation was decreasing, because people didn´t believe to them anymore. Also bathing in dangerous pools discontinued, because new comfortable bathing places were built and there was no need to frighten children by drowned dean Huber anymore. Also river itself, formerly limpidly pure and full of fish, was later fouled by waste from factories especially from paper mills and it seems that stink of fouled water was far too strong even for ghost of dead dean Huber, because nobody saw him by pools or elsewhere anymore.

Goodbye toast

(MYTH) Source: Povesti z Ceskokamenicka (Legends from region Ceská Kamenice), drew up Oldrich Lichtenberg, 1958, area: Ceská Kamenice, Janská

When in that foggy morning Adam´s family approached to western Ceská Kamenice´s gate, old warden Norbert stopped to run geese, pitched club to pack of dogs and sorrowfully fixed his eyes at arrivers: they went with chin on chest, burdened by packs and Adam´s daughter-in-law lapped one year old boy. "Good-bye, Norbert," said by damped voice father Adam and wringed greybeard´s hand. "Let the heaven protect you, Adam," gulped down hardly warden and looked back over his shoulder after guardian : he stood at some distance turned on his back to all and pretended, that he is in a hurry. "He even fears to shake hands with me..." smiled Adam. "Do not pay heed to it," whispered Norbert, "and do not lose heart, everything will pass away, you will return..." "God grant...," said Adam and stepped out with his family from town gate. Dull summer sun kept them company and all people, wherewith they had been living there since birth, suddenly crossed Adam´s mind: clot weaver Havel and his timorous wife, bony glassmaker with his three sons, linen dealer with his wife - already eroded by consumption, evermore milk-livered, stooping penman, who will not probably straighten up ever except on death-bed, roundabout ale-house keeper with eyes cast in grease and with nose like knob showing small veins. Adam spoke inwardly with all these people, even with wry-mouthed granny, who since morning till evening used to stand on the square and twaddle with her venomous tongue there, even with Mr. Václav, who was Utraquist too and now he forgot everything and Sunday after Sunday he is standing under organ-loft by church of St. Jacob and roll his eyes prayerfully like any candlewoman. "Forgive me everything, whether I harmed you," pray them Adam inwardly, "who knows, whether we ever meet each other." And before his eyes one by one were passing the most proximate neighbours, townsmen from square - proud and hoity-toity, journeymen - tired and dead beat from neverending hustle and bustle, they all passed through his mind, he even saw old popular scripturalist and chronicler Vojtech - bent over thick town-chronicle, from everywhere stared at him god-forsaken eyes of the poor and also eyes of people who left country before him. "Good-bye," parted Adam with all people, whose hands he couldn´t wring, with all, who feared to be seen by doors of antichrist... "One sun shines above our heads, on one ship we sail for same sea and it isn´t possible to reach agreement respectively in peace," thought Adam. "In the name of one Lord we throw mud one upon another, we go on like animals, we spit gall and we choke by animosity. Why is that, my Lord, to be sure the truth is only one..."

Sun already hovered high above them, when Adam´s family, one of the last exiles from domain Ceská Kamenice, paused on height between Dolní Kamenice and Janská. "There we take a rest..." said old Adam, and rest himself against ancient linden, then he fixed his eyes at valley of river Kamenice: silent and peaceful valley lay below them like Sunday table. Nobody resisted to emotion: women sobbed loudly and Adam´s daughter-in-law clasped her hopeless child to breast. Adam, gaining control of his tears, put out bundle ancient glass, infused home-made wine, raise his glass and by tremulous voice said: "Let drink round... for valediction... Only God knows, how I am sick at heart, and only he knows, that I am leaving home with heart full of worry, because not even now I am not sure if we go along right way..." All dipped their lips, then Adam took glass and threw it against trunk of old linden: "If we decided wrong, then we will receive signal on this tree !" Then they picked themselves up, stepped down from height and continued further to Saxony... Tenth day strong storm burst above Ceská Kamenice, blew over valley of river Kamenice and in the midnight the lightning has struck into old linden between Ceská Kamenice and Janská and halved it. Message, that ancient linden dried, reached even Adam´s ears in Saxony. Without delay father Adam with his family left Saxon house, in which was plenty enough, but contentment little, and he returned home. And when last whiles of his life approximated, he entirely feeble and white-headed mounted for last time height, where used to blossomed nice linden. "Just so it is all right," smiled Adam and by weakening eyes viewed at blessed country. "Human have always only one real home... And who would leave it, he will be self forlorn..."

One hundred silver coins

(MYTH) Source: book Zlaté listí (Golden foliage) (Dagmar Dvoráková, Severoceské nakladatelství, 1977), area: Janská

In late night time came back home Markvartice´s carter: he sat on driver´s seat like gander with badly cut throat and he constantly loudly heaved a sigh. "I will pretty catch it once again," said he to himself. "That my vixen will jump till ceiling when I will show her my pockets. The devil itself talked me into that unlucky card playing..." As soon as he turned to road leading from Janská to Rabštejn, he sighted before wagon ragged beggar with empty beggar´s bag: he leant his arm against knob-stick and left leg dragged along like lame shard beetle. "Hey, wait, old man, I will give you a lift," carter halted, "where are you going ?" "There you go," snuffled old man and marvelously swiftly clambered onto wagon. Cartman thought: "I´m doing from bad to worse. Wife will scratch out my eyes, if I instead of money bring for bed this gadabout, but where should I send him now at night ?" He looks as thin as a beanpole... At the worst I could make him the bed in goat-cote. "Look, how much do you need, so that your fury will not kick up a row ?" broke the silence all of a sudden beggar. What the devil is he omniscient ? Carter staringly looked at him and he arrested himself: instead of ragged shambler sits on wagon young devil with horns hardly inch long, with big hooked nose and thin goatee. In unhairy paws he ceremonially holds parchment scroll and above bristly ear he has placed goose quill. He gives him as much as fright how much could carry sparrow on his little tail. Truth to tell, carter was hard put to not spatter from laughing: upon my soul, such devil´s suckling he didn´t met yet ! He gave himself an air as if he doesn´t see or hear nothing remarkable and prudently says: "How much I need ? Well, I have to at first sum up it in head... What about ten silver coins, they could make good it, at least I think..." "Merely ? You can have ten times more !" corrupted him devil. "You can have one hundred silver coins and just now !" "Yeh ?" marvels for makebelieve carter, "how´s that ?" "How´s that, how´s that," fermently bleats devil and waved parchment scroll before his eyes, "you only have to subscribe there and you will receive 100 silver coins !" Carter constantly keeps his eye on rugged road. Suddenly he eases away reins and says: "However, I can believe it to you or not, do you know ? What would happen if I subscribe it and you abscond with all silver coins ?" Shocked devil yelled: "We in the hell stand to our word ! Ever !" And after a while moderately: "So, carter ? Will you undersign, tell me ?" "I didn´t say no," says cartman and in same moment he felt, how his right pocket became heavy and pulls down. He contently fleered, whipped the horses, passaged horses to the left and presently brought wagon to a standstill. "Why did you stop just there, human," winces devil, "Let´s go a little further !" "Why ?" footles carter, "there is surely best place !" He jumps off wagon, steps over shallow side ditch and leans his back against white-coated pedestal of cross: "Come to me quickly, I will undersign it to you "! But devil sits like adherent, fidgets and wrathfully rolls his eyes: "Go a little further, do you hear me ?" "Why ?" laughs carter and inconspiciously weighs his right pocket, "there´s more light and in addition I can spread here that your jewel of paper ! So come here and don´t keep me waiting !" "I will not !" wheezed devil and before cartman could count till five, horses snorted, clashed with hooves and set out forward. Wagon franticly rattled, from beneath wheels blew up sheaves of blue sparks and after a while dumbfounded carter saw only flaming whip whipping above fading team...

After sunrise sighted mowers from Janská that under cross by road leading to Rabštejn is sitting Markvartice´s carter and that he chuckles like he would have got bats in the belfry, and from right pocket he constantly fishes out pieces of rusty iron one by one. And not far from him on the meadow lies wagon broken into fragments and instead of horses stick in halters only two dead old tom-cats.

 

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