and Legend of Juro Jánošík,
How The Lords Intended To Catch Jánošík
was a fair in the town of Kysucké
Nové Mesto. There was hustle and bustle and hubbub everywhere and crowds of
people from the areas of Kysuce, Bytča, and žilina,
as well as Poland. But from
Terchová, there was only Jánošík and, of course, his mountain boys.
walked between the stalls, looked at the goods on display, bargained, but most
of all they listened. At last they had been able to get away from the mountains
and circulate among the people, because they were curious to know what the
people were saying.
did they learn? It was said that a meeting was to be held at the castle of
Budatín to discuss how to entrap Jánošík. But it would not be a real
meeting without a banquet, so the Lord’s men had been going round the
surrounding villages for the last month, appropriating chickens, geese, and
cattle. Nothing could be heard over the screams, cries, and laments, but what
can a poor peasant do against the Lords of the manor?
fair was not finished before Jánošík heard all about the meeting.
"A banquet? From the toils of the poor? I’ll teach those rogues a lesson.”
He gave the order and his men disappeared from
town, one after the other. Near the ferry that carried people and goods across
the Váh from žilina
they chose a suitable place and hid themselves.
It was not long before a carriage appeared, that of the Baron Révai
himself, from Turiec. As soon as it approached the place where the men were
hiding, trees fell before and behind it in an instant. The baron could not move
his carriage forward or backward.
Well, Jánošík certainly did not have a long talk with him. He
pulled him out of the carriage, undressed him and dressed himself in the
baron’s clothes. His companions did the same with the baron’s attendants.
"Let’s go! ”
someone shouted, and they all got into the carriage and up they went to Budatín
The meeting there was just culminating. The lords were all boasting,
one after the other, that on the morrow they would give that rogue, Jánošík, a good
going over, and soon there would be order in the country once and for all. One
of them even did not hesitate to announce that he personally would force Jánošík
to apologize for everything and what's more, to kiss his hand. Just at that
moment the door swung open, and standing there was a large man wearing
Baron Révai‘s clothes.
‘‘That possibly won’t do, my dear colleague. Jánošík may not kiss your hand. I am afraid that rather the contrary will more likely be true. I think you will soon apologize to all those from whose toil you live and give them back everything that you have stolen from them.”
realized then that it was Jánošík.
"How did he get in here? There are so many guards around the castle. Of course! It must have been because of Révai‘s clothes..."
was a big fuss and bustle, lords and their wives lost their heads and ran all
around the room, looking for a way through which they could escape. But Jánošík’s boys stood in all the doors and, indeed,
did not let anyone out.
"So, what now? You of noble birth! Don’t you really think it would be suitable to give back what you have stolen from the poor?"
I can see that I will have to collect it from you myself. How much would you
like to contribute?”
he addressed still did not make themselves heard.
did not wait anymore, he snatched a hat from one of the men and held it out
in here! Rings, necklaces, and sparklers! Quickly, at once!”
could the lords do? Could they try something on Jánošík
when they had seen his men unbutton their coats, showing the barrels of their
pistols gleaming underneath? They would have to have a regiment of their
guards on hand. They could not do anything on their own, although there were
four time as many of them as the men from the mountains.
obligingly, like good boys and girls, they gave everything that weighed upon
their fingers or decorated their ears and necks. Jánošík
neglected no one. He only had to look sharply into someone’s eyes and they
immediately gave everything, even things Jánošík
had not ever imagined. One hat was not enough. Neither two nor three. A dozen of
them were filled.
“Well! You seem to have paid back a small part of your debt. By the way, someone here mentioned apologizing and the kissing of hands. This also will be, but we’ll have to change the roles…”
affair was not at all to the lords’ liking. They turned up their noses and
fidgeted, and a few cries of protest also sounded from somewhere in the back.
But, when the men standing at the doors started to adjust their pistols again,
the one who had been bragging stepped forward out of the group of lords and,
shivering with fear and anger, knelt down and kissed Jánošík’s
a nice party, gentlemen!” Jánošík
said taking his leave. “And if you
happen to have the intention of following us, don’t even bother to go to the
stables. We’re taking your horses with us.”
same night Jánošík’s men went round the nearby villages
and distributed among the serfs what they had collected at the castle of
Budatín. In that way they gave them back at least some small part of what the
lords had been raking in from their labor for centuries.
A book, Jánošík, Jánošík... written by Anton Marec, translated into English by Tatiana Strnadová and John Doyle and published in 1995 by Matica Slovenská, contains 33 tales of this famous outlaw captain. The information in this book was used to create this story. Check in the future for other stories.