Translation:The High Mountains/49

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The High Mountains  (1918)  by Zacharias Papantoniou, translated from Greek by Wikisource
Great Concern at the Cabins
Great Concern at the Cabins

When the others returned to the cabins from the mill and announced that they had lost Phanis, a deep sadness fell on the children.

The weakest started to cry. Spyros and Georgios wanted to go and cry in secret.

The strongest considered what they were going to do.

Andreas hid his disquiet and started to ask for all the details. Costakis explained to him where, when and how.

“First Panos with Matthias had gone and called around and about, said Costakis. Then we all went down there. We wondered whether we had to return to the mill or go on towards the water gap. We tried towards the water gap but there was no path.

“We climbed up onto the promontories, we called and called, nothing. We contiunued, but we saw that the sun was going down. So when to return to the mill, and when were we going to get back?”

—We're going to go back tomorrow at dawn, said Andreas. Let's go to bed quickly.

—But we haven't told you everything, Andreas, said Matthias.

—There's something else?

—Yes, there's something else you don't know.

—And in a low trembling voice he added: “Phanis went to the Moor's rock”.

—What Moor's rock? asked Andreas. Is it the rock the old woman spoke of?

—Just near the mill we bumped into an old man with a black hat on his head. He looked like a monk, but he was wearing old worn-out clothes.

—Grandfather, we said to him, have you just come by the water gap?

…we bumped into an old man with a black hat on his head…

—Yes, he told us.

—Did you by any chance see a child?

—I saw a child from far away, he said.


The old man didn't reply straightaway. He thought about it quite a bit and looked at us.

—I'm afraid to tell you where. Well, I saw him at the Moor's rock.

—What's this Moor's rock? we asked him.

—It's the Moor's rock, he replied, and don't ask any more. And he left making the sign of the cross.

Then Costakis started to speak: “You remember, Andreas, what old Charmaine told us? She said that somewhere near here there's a rock with a phantom, a Moor; and he caught many people. She told us something like that”.

Then everyone was quiet. Soon after they got up to go to bed. But none of them could hardly close their eyes.

Andreas turned over on his mattress. Two or three times he went out to see. Worried, he waited for the rays which announced the dawn over the mountains.