The Singer of Tales

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Appendix I. Comparison of Texts of “Bećiragić Meho” by Two Different Singers

Parry 12468 and 12471

Invocation. Mumin Vlahovljak 1–16, Avdo Međedović 1–30

1. The scene of the assembly: description of assembly

Mumin (17–36)

Thirty men of the Border were drinking wine at the gate of Udbina. Mustajbey of the Lika was at their head with seven standard-bearers; Mujo of Kladuša was at his right with four standard-bearers; at his left was Durutagić Ahmo with four standard-bearers. In their midst was Child Halil serving drinks to the aghas.

Avdo (31–137)

Praise of Bosnia in the time of Sulejman the Magnificent (31–51). Thirty-six aghas were sitting and talking in the stone loggia in Kanidža. Mustajbey was at their head with seven standard-bearers; at his right was Hrnja Mujo with four standard-bearers; at his left Durut Ahmetagha with four standard-bearers. A brief description of each is given as he is named. Next to Mujo was the Ajan of Kanidža, then Kozlić Hurem, Arap Mehmedagha, the Dizdar of Kanidža, and Ramo of Glamoč. In their midst Child Halil was serving drinks. He is described. The aghas put aside their wine glasses and began to drink brandy and then to boast; their boasts are listed. The aghas were all rich and all were merry.

2. Description of Bećiragić Meho

Mumin (37–47)

The poor orphan Meho was at the foot of the assembly, near the door. He wore only cotton pants and shirt, but he had a fine sash and two beautiful golden pistols. Nobody in the assembly offered him coffee or tobacco or a glass. He gazed sadly at the company.

Avdo (138–171)

Near the door of the tavern sat a sad young man. He did not wear breastplate or helmet with plumes, but only cotton trousers and a silk shirt; over his fine sash was an arms belt in which were two golden pistols. They are described. He hung his head and gazed at the aghas. Nobody spoke to him nor offered him a glass. His heart was wilted like a rose in the hands of a rude bachelor. {223|224}

3. Arrival of the messenger

Mumin (48–76)

When the aghas had drunk their fill, there was a creaking of the door of the tavern and a messenger arrived, gave greetings, which were accepted, and then asked if he had arrived at Udbina. Halil told the Latin that he had. Then the Latin asked for Mustajbey, and Halil pointed him out. The messenger did obeisance to Mustajbey and then stood before him to speak.

Avdo (172–272)

The beys looked out over the plain and saw a cloud from which a rider emerged on a black horse, carrying a letter on a branch. He was a Latin. The beys pondered in fear as to what the message might be. Mustajbey called his standard-bearers Desnić and Memić to go down to meet the messenger. The messenger approached them, gave greetings which were accepted, dismounted, and entered the loggia and greeted the aghas and beys. He asked them if he had arrived at Unđurovina and Kanidža. Mustajbey said that he had. The messenger noted that Mustajbey was the most honored man in the assembly and asked his name and rank. Mustajbey told his name and listed the places over which he ruled. The messenger did obeisance before Mustajbey and then stood before him to speak. (Avdo has made some changes in action here—up to this point, except for the change of Udbina to Kanidža, the differences have been descriptive ornamentation. The changes in action, however, are not essential to the story. Avdo simply uses a technique of his own for the arrival of messengers.)

4. Delivery of the letter

Mumin (77–130)

The messenger asked for Bećiragić Meho. The letter was for him. Mustajbey looked at Meho, was ashamed, and told the Hungarian that Meho was not there, but asked him to give the letter to him and he would give it to Meho. The messenger refused, saying that he would first lose his head rather than give the letter to anyone else; for he had vowed not to do so. He would rather return with the letter. Meho then spoke, chiding Mustajbey for not acknowledging him. The messenger went to Meho and put the letter in his hands, but he thought in his heart as he did so of how unfortunate Anđelija, the daughter of the Ban of Janok, was in such a hero.

Avdo (273–422)

The messenger praised Mustajbey’s fame, and then asked him, after stressing that he was a stranger and after paying compliments to the assembled aghas and beys, if Bećiragić Meho was there, and, if not, where his house was. Mustajbey was overproud and ashamed of a poor youth without family and property. He told the messenger that Meho was not there, and asked him to give him the letter. He would then deliver it to Meho and bring back an answer. The {224|225} messenger said that he had received the letter as a trust and would die before giving it to anyone except Meho. Meho then went to Mustajbey and upbraided him for his feeling of shame: Mustajbey has riches and power now; but everything comes in time; time builds towers and time destroys them. Meho said he had once been of the best family, but time and destiny had deprived him of all. The Latin looked at Meho, liked him not, but approached him, thinking in his heart how unfortunate was Ana, the daughter of the Ban of Janok. She could not have found a worse man in all Bosnia. Her hand had been sought by the best of the Christian nobles, and she had chosen this Meho! But he gave the letter to Meho.

5. Payment and departure of the messenger

Mumin (131–176)

Meho was embarrassed because he had no gift for the messenger. Finally he remembered the pistols and gave them to the Latin. The Latin thought to himself that he had carried letters for twelve years to the greatest nobles but never had anyone done this before. Meho had given him everything he had. The Latin returned the pistols, saying that such pistols were for such a hero as Meho. Anđelija had promised to pay him well if he found Meho and delivered the letter. With these words the messenger departed.

Avdo (423–558)

Meho took the letter, broke the seal on it, and read it. Mustajbey asked him whence the letter came. Meho put the letter in his bosom and blushed; for he had no money even to shave or to buy tobacco, to say nothing of enough to give a gift to the Latin from far away. Great was Meho’s woe; it was as if the sky had fallen on him, in the midst of so many nobles (who are briefly listed). The Latin told him that he was from far away and asked for a gift for the return journey, to shoe his horse and have a drink. Meho’s cheeks flamed and water poured from his forehead when the Latin thus accosted him and he saw what he might expect from Mustajbey. His hand went to his sash and he took out his two golden pistols and gave them to the Latin with thanks for having brought the letter and for having been faithful to his word. Meho added that if anyone should ask the Latin, he should not be ashamed. Meho said that he had once been a landholder and that he was of good family, but he had been in captivity in Germany and today he remained without anything except God and his health. The pistols, he said, were worth a thousand ducats. He could sell them for drink and to shoe his horse. Meho said he had no money and was really a stranger without fatherland. He went about the beys and aghas, he said, until their hearts inclined them to give him shelter. After this speech the Latin thought in his heart that he had been carrying letters for twelve years, letters of all kinds, and even to kings, indeed even to Maximilian in Vienna, but not even he had given him such a gift. Usually he got a ducat or ten, two more often than four, and when he got ten, that was a real event. Meho had given him everything he had. He could not leave such a hero without his pistols, he thought. He returned them to Meho, saying that he was merely testing Meho. His mistress had given {225|226} him money for the journey, telling him that he should bring back a reply from Meho if Meho were still alive. She said that she would give him as much money again when he returned. Meho replied that the messenger should give greetings to Ana explaining that great woes had fallen upon him, but that all would turn out well. The messenger left the room and mounted his horse. He said farewell and departed with Meho’s bon voyage.

6. The letter, Meho’s request, Mustajbey’s answer

Mumin (177–238)

Meho opened the letter and read it. Anđa inquired if he was well and remarked that she thought he would never forget her. She had done him great service. She had turned away many suitors and written Meho several letters to which there were no replies. Now her father would marry her to Đuro of Radane. She asked Meho to come to Janok that they might see one another and be together once more.

Meho approached Mustajbey and requested from him clothing, armor, and weapons, for a trip to Janok. He promised to pay him back; he promised he would return.

Mustajbey cursed Meho (the bey was in his cups) saying that he had already given three horses and three sets of clothes to Meho, and had not received them back. Meho had given them to someone else. He had no horse or money to give Meho. Let Meho not even seek permission for leave.

Avdo (559–702)

Meho read the letter and hung his head. Mustajbey asked why he was sad, and Meho told him that the letter was from his betrothed in Janok who had saved his life when he was in prison there. She had fallen in love with him and asked that he take her with him to the Krajina, if he ever returned. She had had many suitors, kings, bans, generals, and captains, but had remained unwed. She was an only child and very beautiful (she is described, lines 594–606). She would turn Mustajbey’s head. Meho himself wondered that she had fallen in love with him. Now her father had given her to Đuro of Radane, and the wedding guests were expected in the middle of the following month. She has written to him (and now he quotes the letter) that she has done him great service, including the learning of Turkish and the Moslem faith. She asked him to take her with him, but he went back and has surely found other women at home and forgotten Anđa. She will not forget him until they light candles for her. Meho, she writes, must come to her at least to say goodbye (end of letter). Meho then in the same speech asked Mustajbey to give him clothes for the sake of his son Bećir. He would not ask for weapons, since he had two good pistols, but he would ask for weapons for fighting from horseback, for a horse, that he might go to Janok to see Anđa.

Mustajbey became very angry and cursed Meho. He had no horses to lend and no clothes. He had already lent him the same three times. He didn’t even ride the horses or load them, but gave them to someone else. The same with the clothing and with weapons. Meho had better forget Anđa. She wouldn’t {226|227} have any king; how would she marry him? He would only bring dishonor to them all.

7. Meho’s reply—the tale-within-a-tale

Mumin (239–1262)

Meho upbraided Mustajbey for his attitude. Did Mustajbey not remember when a decree had came from the sultan ordering him to capture Nikola Vodogazović of Janok, dead or alive, or else to forfeit his own life? In vain Mustajbey offered great possessions to the champion who would come forward, but none came. Then he went to Kanidža; the nobles there noticed his unhappiness and asked him the cause. He told them and offered in addition the hand of his daughter Zlata and half the inheritance of his son Bećir. Again none came, and Mustajbey was about to kill himself when Meho stayed his hand and agreed to go, without any reward,

Meho’s preparations are told fully (360–423). He went to Janok to the tavern of Jela, who warned him that Nikola and his captains and sirdars were in the tavern. He entered, destroyed all except Nikola, whom he took captive. His horse leapt over the walls of Janok, evaded his pursuers, and from Ramo’s Well on Kunar Meho rode on Nikola’s shoulders to Mustajbey’s tower in Ribnik.

Mustajbey sought someone who would lead Nikola in bonds to the vizier in Budim. Meho volunteered. In Budim he was well received, but at night he went down to the stable to see his horse, and on the way back, he opened a door and found the vizier and his nobles entertaining Nikola, and he heard them plotting the destruction of the Turks of the Krajina. Nikola was wearing Meho’s clothes and weapons. They attacked Meho and bound him. The vizier gave him to Nikola to take back to Janok. Nikola mounted on his shoulders. At the end of the first day Meho was put in the dungeon at Osat; of the second at Grabić; and of the third at Janok.

At night, Anđa, the daughter of the Ban of Janok, went to the dungeon and brought him a bed, blankets, food and drink. This went on for a year before someone learned of it and informed the ban. He did not want to hurt his one and only child, so he wrote to the emperor in Vienna, asking what to do with Meho. The emperor replied that he should send Meho to Vienna so that the nobles of Vienna might see what beasts are captured in the mountains. That night Anđa told Meho about the letter (with details) and took away the bed and bedding and put Meho in chains again. The next day Meho was taken from prison and bound and sent under guard to Vienna, where all the nobles were gathered at the gate beside the Danube and on the bridge over the river. When Meho came to the bridge he jumped high into the air and came down on the bridge so hard that it quaked and all the nobles were frightened. The empress scolded the emperor, and the emperor sent Meho to the seacoast to serve in the galleys for over four years.

His condition was so bad that he finally sent a petition to the emperor to kill him, but the emperor had him sent back again to prison in Janok, where Anđa brought the bed and food again and took care of him for a year. Again this was discovered and the ban wrote again to Vienna for instructions. The {227|228} emperor this time ordered him to execute Meho. Anđa told Meho of his impending execution. She said farewell, took the bed, put the chains back on Meho, and departed. The next morning Meho was taken to the courtyard and seated while four executioners danced about him. At six o’clock they were to cut off his head. A prize was offered to the first who succeeded. Just as six o’clock struck an unknown rider came into the courtyard, a Hungarian. His eyelashes covered his eyes. He declared that he was a postman from Vienna and that he carried orders from the emperor not to kill Mehmed. He drew his sword and killed those in the courtyard and released Meho, taking him up on his horse. The horse jumped over the gates and they fled across the plains and mountains until they came home. “If you do not believe this, Mustajbey, ask my uncle Durutagić Ahmo.”

Avdo (703–3895)

Avdo’s story is essentially the same as the above, but with much more description. Avdo makes much of the fact that Meho did not go to Janok in disguise but in the clothes of a Turkish border warrior. When he arrived in Budim, Meho was asked by the vizier about this very detail, and this led to Meho’s telling the vizier the whole story again about his capture of Nikola Vodogazović. Meho’s leap, which frightened all, including the empress, was on dry land, and the bridge was not mentioned. There is no doubt about the identity of the man who finally rescued Meho from execution. After the unknown had taken Meho on his horse, he told Meho who he was, even his uncle Durutagić Ahmo in disguise. There are some changes of name, especially that of the girl, who is Anica and Ana, rather than Anđelija and Anđa.

8. Offers of assistance

Mumin (1263–1320)

Mustajbey turned to Ahmo, who spoke in tears to Meho. “Why ask these things of Mustajbey? Here is a string of coral. Go to your aunt in our tower at Orlovce, and let her prepare my horse and my weapons for you. She will give you money as well. I shall find another horse and follow you to Janok.” When Halil heard this, he dropped his glass and offered Meho his watch, telling him to go to his sister Hajkuna in Kladuša. She would give him his horse (a famous strawberry roan), weapons and money and the clothes that he wore only once in the year. Then Mustajbey’s son Bećir said that he would borrow his father’s horse and give it to Meho and follow him to Janok. Meho accepted Halil’s watch and departed for Kladuša.

Avdo (3896–3977)

Mustajbey hung his head and knew not what to do. Ahmet spoke to Meho telling him it was useless to ask Mustajbey. “Beys do not look upon poor people.” He offered him a golden kerchief to take to his aunt, who would give him his horse. Ahmet would find another. Only this time, Meho must disguise the horse and himself. His aunt would give him a disguise and money. He must dress well, that Ana be not ashamed to have turned away so many suitors for a poor {228|229} Turk. Meho kissed his uncle’s hand and wept. Halil then embraced Meho. He told him that Hrnjičić’s (Halil’s) horses were ready for him. “Go to Kladuša and treat Hajkuna as a sister. Give her this kerchief and tell her that Halil sent you. She will give you clothes and money and prepare you as she does me.” Meho embraced Halil and departed from the tavern for Kladuša.

(The next two themes are reversed in the two versions.)

9. The preparations

Mumin (1321–1426)

Hajkuna saw Meho coming and went to meet him at the gate. He gave her the watch, and she asked him why Halil had sent him to her. He asked her for the horse, weapons, clothes and money. She led him to her room, brought out the clothes, which are described, and he dressed. While he dressed, she prepared the horse and led him to the courtyard. She gave Meho the money; he mounted, and she said farewell to him. He went through Udbina, and the aghas watched him.

Avdo (4030–4310)

Meho, in the meantime, went to Kladuša to the court of Hrnjica and knocked on the gate. Hajkuna was in the harem, embroidering by the window and singing. When she heard the knock, she opened the window and asked who it was, stating that her brothers were in the tavern in Udbina. Meho asked her to come down, and told her who he was and that Halil had sent him to her. She came down, and after greetings were exchanged, Meho told her his story and asked for the horse, etc. She took him to Halil’s room and showed him the clothes, telling him to take what he wished, while she went down to prepare the horse. Meho dressed himself in the disguise of a Viennese standard-bearer. The details are given. In the courtyard he found Hajkuna and the horse. The horse’s trappings are described. She (Mujo’s wife) had also prepared provisions, which she put in his saddlebags. She gave Meho the reins and he mounted from the mounting block. The two women said farewell. When he left, the two women remarked to one another that it was a disgrace that such a hero was left to go alone to die in Janok. Meho passed through Udbina, and the aghas stood at the window and watched him pass.

10. Young Bećir and Mustajbey

Mumin (1427–1524)

When Bećir saw what had happened, he approached his father, Mustajbey, and told him that he wished he were not his son; it were better had he not been born. What good were his father’s riches to him? It had been easy for his father to gain such honors, as long as there were heroes like Meho. Bećir disinherited himself from his father. Then he asked him to give permission for him to take his horse and to gather the men of the Border to follow after Meho. Mustajbey was drunk. He told Bećir to do what he wished. Bećir went to the tower and {229|230} fired the cannon for three days, as Mustajbey continued to drink. When the men of the Border heard, they thought that the emperor had attacked and they all gathered at Grbava. When they heard what was wrong, they were ready to go with Bećir.

Avdo (3978–4029)

Meho departed and Bećir said to his father that he was ashamed of what had been done to such a hero as Meho. Would he had not been born! Were he his father, he would have his horse prepared and would summon the army and go to Janok and do battle. The girl would not go without a fight. He should not let the hero go alone. With him went the honor of all the Turks. Mustajbey then told his son that if he felt so strongly about it, he could take his horse and his seven standard-bearers. There was the Lika, there the cannon. “Do what you wish; I shall not hinder you.”

11. Meho and Jela in Janok

Mumin (1525–1693)

When Meho arrived at Janok, the plain was filled with tents and tables with drinks, but no one was there. No one noticed or spoke to Meho as he entered town and went down the main street to Jela’s tavern. Jela came out to meet him (she is described). Greetings were exchanged. She took his horse to the stable and led him to a secluded room. They sat down to drink. She asked why no word had come from him all these years. He told her that he was a wanderer, and why he had come to Janok. He asked about the tents and was told they were for Anđa’s wedding guests. (The story here is told as if Meho had come to Janok without any knowledge of Anđa’s impending wedding.) She will be married to Duro from across the sea, and all seven kings will be present. They have gone down to the shore to meet the bridegroom and his company. Just a short time after this, the guests returned to the tents, and more guests from nearby towns arrived. That evening Meho asked Jela if she could find a way of bringing him together with Anđa.

Avdo (4311–4705)

Meho’s journey to Janok is described, the mountains crossed, the conversations with his horse are related, etc. (4311–4392). No mention is made of the tents on the plain of Janok, but nobody noticed him as he crossed it, because he was in disguise. He entered the town, and as he went along, the shop girls talked with one another about him and his horse. Meho pretended not to hear. He went to Jela’s tavern. Jela was outside playing the tambura and singing a song about Mehmed and weeping. He approached and asked her why she was weeping. He had come, he had not deceived Ana. She embraced him, gave his horse to servants and took Meho to a secluded room. She asked him why he had not come before, and he told her about having to borrow the horse, etc. She told him about Đuro of Radane. He asked if Ana had any idea of his coming. No, she wept all the time. Meho began to drink heavily. She asked him if he had brought anyone {230|231} with him, and he replied that things would happen as God wills. When evening came he asked Jela to arrange a meeting with Ana.

12. Meho and Аnđelija (Anica)

Mumin (1694–1888)

Jela put on her cloak, took a lantern and went along the streets to Anđa’s dwelling. Lights were burning, and she knocked. Anđa was taking her clothes from chests and weeping, saying that she had not gathered them for Hungarians but for Turks. Would that Meho would come that she might say farewell to him! She cursed him for leaving her and said she was a Turk; she recalled his promises when he was in prison. Jela asked what she would give for news of Meho. Anđa took off her necklace and gave it to Jela. If she could arrange a meeting for them she would gild her arms to the elbows, and would give her her freedom. Jela said that Meho was in her tavern, and Anđa put on a cloak immediately and went with Jela. In the tavern she and Meho sat long and drank and talked. Anđa told him of her suitors and how she was now being given by force to Đuro. She asked him to see her once again on the morrow as she leaves in the coach; he should accompany her to the parting of the roads, hers leading to the sea and his to the mountains. He said that he would be at the gate as she passes and she must raise the curtain of the coach, so that they may look upon one another again. Finally she took her cloak and departed from the tavern. Meho did not sleep the rest of the night, but drank until dawn.

Avdo (4706–5041)

Jela prepared herself and went along the street to the harem of Anica. At the door she heard Ana weeping and taking out her gifts. She mourned over her gifts which she had thought were for the heroes of Unđurovina, for the Turks. She had thought that she herself was intended for Meho, and she cursed her days. Jela entered and begged Ana not to part thus in tears. Ana again bewailed her lot, and then Jela asked what she would give for news of Meho. For one look at Meho she would give an eye—is there anything more precious than eyes? Jela asked for only a ducat: Mehmed is in her tavern. The Turks are not liars, but keep their word. The viziers have taken all his wealth. Halil has lent him the wherewithal for the journey. Jela told her to wait until nightfall. At nightfall she put on her cloak and took a lantern, and went to the tavern. When she took off her cloak her beauty shone (she is described). The lovers embraced and conversed, she wept and he comforted her. He told her that she would not go to the enemy without a fight. He asked her in what vehicle she would depart on the morrow. She told him in a coach and described the retinue which would accompany her. She told him he could do nothing; for the forces of the enemy were too great. She said that she would order Pletikosa Radovan, who would be in charge of the beasts of burden carrying her clothes, to drive them off the road so that the Latins would never have them. Meho should take his stand at the right of the gate and when she passes, he should call to her to lift the curtain, {231|232} so that they might see one another. She begged him then to take his sword and cut off her head. Then she left the tavern. Meho drank until dawn.

13. Meho accompanies Anđa to the crossroads

Mumin (1889–1985)

At dawn the heralds summoned the wedding guests to prepare to depart. Meho prepared his horse, mounted, and offered to pay Jela. She refused, but he gave her a gift of money, and then departed down through the market place, until he came to the city gate. Then came the coach. When it was opposite Meho, Anđa lifted the curtain. She was dressed in mourning and weeping. She said to Meho in Turkish that he should see her bridegroom. Meho looked at Đuro, who was terrible to look upon. Meho followed along beside the coach, talking to Anđa in Turkish. They came to the crossroads, and Meho was troubled and knew not what to do.

Avdo (5042–5748)

In the morning the heralds summoned the wedding guests’ hosts, who went out to meet the arriving wedding guests from Radane. After supper there were festivities. After midnight the heralds announced that they should prepare to depart with the girl in the coach. Meho asked Jela to prepare his horse. Jela bewailed his fate, but Meho urged her to do his bidding. She prepared the horse and told him not to desert his master.

(At this point, line 5187, which comes after a pause, Avdo reverts to the Turks in Udbina.)

Meanwhile the aghas were talking in Udbina and telling Mustajbey that when the sultan sent him to them, he had been well received and had been obeyed, but now he has gone too far: no one is greater than God. The Koran teaches that the high should humble themselves and help the poor. They were wrong in letting Meho go alone. Tale upbraided Mujo for inaction and told him to raise Kladuša: he will raise Orašac. He will go to Glamoč to borrow Ramo’s horse for Halil so that he too may go with them. They can leave their forces on Mount Zvezda and go together alone to Janok to see what is going on there. Mujo took a last drink and stumbled out. Tale sent his standard-bearer to raise Udbina and other places; Arnautović urged Kunić Hasanagha to raise his forces, and Kunić urged Arnautović to gather others, to whom would be added the forces of Mustajbey and young Bećir. In Kladuša Mujo gave orders for gathering his men, told his wife to get his clothes ready and his sister Hajkuna to prepare his white horse. Thus they gathered to meet at the rendezvous on Mount Zvezda to help the orphaned Meho.

(Now we go back to Janok with Meho, line 5541.)

Jela brought Meho’s horse and he mounted. He offered her pay. She refused, but he gave her a gift. Anica summoned her servant Radovan and gave him orders about the beasts carrying her dowry. He was to drive them across Zvezda {232|233} to the Turkish border. If all went well, she would give him great rewards. He promised to obey. He went forth before the wedding guests with the burdens and in the middle of the plain turned and drove them to Kanidža as he had been ordered.

Meho rode to the city gate. The coach and retinue approached. The bridegroom is described. Ana saw Meho and spoke to him in Turkish. She urged him to kill her. Meho paid no attention, but rode forward to the crossroads in great trouble as to what he should do.

14. The final battle

Mumin (1986–2294, the end)

Meho looked up and saw two white horses and two monks on them reading books and talking to one another. One said that it seemed to him for reading the books that there would be a battle at Janok that day. Meho looked closely; one was Tale and the other Mujo Hrnjica. Meho shouted, drew his sword, and attacked Đuro, cut him in half in the middle, and took Anđa from the coach. The battle started. There appeared Bojičić Alija with three hundred men; then Osman Arnautović with three hundred; Gojenović Ibro with one hundred and twenty-four; Čelić Osmanbey with twelve hundred; Mustajbey’s standard-bearers, Đulo and Ćerim, followed by Begović Bećir. Meho’s uncle, Durutagić Ahmo, had gone with Bećir to the sea coast and captured the ships of the wedding guests. At last the wedding guests began to flee to the coast and those who had accompanied them to flee back to the city. Some of the Turks followed each group, but Ahmo’s army was waiting at the coast. When the wedding guests had been destroyed, the army with Ahmo went to aid the army before Janok. Janok was taken and plundered. They took three hundred and sixty captives. The booty was divided among the Turks, special portions being given to the families of those who had been killed in the battle, or wounded.

Now the army became wedding guests for Bećiragić Meho and Anđa. As such they returned to Meho’s tower in Kanidža. Hasan Pasha Tiro met them and entertained them in Kanidža as if Meho were his own son.

“I heard this song in Taslidža in my inn from the Turk Huso Ćoravi. I have not heard from that day to this such a singer. There he is and there is his song. If it is worthy, then I too am pleased.”

Avdo (5749–6313, the end)

There Meho saw two monks riding and reading. One said to the other: “Is what is happening in Janok according to God’s will?” The other replied that injustice was being done. Meho looked more closely and saw that these were Tale and Mujo. Meho sang a little song saying that one land and two masters make it hard for the serfs; so also one maiden and two bridegrooms among the wedding guests. The guests who heard did not understand. Meho cut Đuro in two and the fight began. Tale fired his rifle as a signal to the Turks to attack. Meho went up to the coach and was surrounded, but Tale and Mujo aided him.

Young Bećir and Halil were near the edge of the plain of Janok with their standard-bearers, Memić and Desnić, and their men. Bećir had sent Durutagić {233|234} Ahmo and Velagić Selim with their company to the coast to prevent the wedding guests from embarking. Zuko of Stijena and Arnaut Osman with their men had been assigned by Tale to close in behind the wedding guests as they emerged from Janok and see that no one else came from the city. The rifles of the following fired: Arnaut Osman, Bojičić Alija, Tanković Osman, Kunić Hasanagha, Zorića Šaban, Šarac Mahmutagha, Velagić, the ajans of Vrljika and Pločane. The hosts mingled, and the shouts and fighting are described. They fought for three days and three nights. Tale left the plain and went to the coast on the fourth day to see how things were with Веćir by the ships. With his rested troops he had cut down the wedding guests who had sought to flee to the coast. Then he visited the troops with Zuko of Stijena near Janok. The gates were surrounded by corpses, the Turkish banner waved. He returned to the plain. Meho was there by the coach guarding Anica. The Turks began to assemble their ranks. Bećir and the remnant of his forces came from the coast. Tale went across the plain to meet Mujo. With Mujo were Kurtagić Nušin, Kunić Hasanagha, Arnaut Osman, Vlahinjić Alija, Alemkadunić of Čekrk. Half the army had been killed, and there were many wounded. Tale turned back and in the middle of the plain he found Belaj the standard-bearer, the hodža, and Šaćir with captives and booty. The Turks buried their dead and cared for their wounded. Then they opened the gates of Janok and took plunder. Then they set out for home.

On Mount Zvezda they met Radovan with the burdens. The Turks rejoiced for Meho and for the riches he had gained. They rested the night there, and the next day they proceeded to Kanidža. When Hasan Pasha Tiro heard of their coming, he made preparations to receive them. The next day Meho and Anica were married. May they have many children. The following day there was a horse race. Finally the wedding guests dispersed. {234|}