and Legend of Juro Jánošík
Jánošík learned that
silver coins would be carried in wagons from Kremnica to the Emperor’s court.
They were said to be for the war against Germany.
“What?” he shouted.
“The serfs do not have anything to buy a piece of bread with here but full
coffers go there so that people can be destroyed? Oh no! That’s too much! This
is something that we have to look at the other way around”
He ordered his band to move
into the mountains of Kremnica during the night.
“Has he lost his
senses?” his companions muttered. “We can’t do that! Such a load will be
guarded by at least a regiment of soldiers and there are still no more than a
dozen of us.”
But Jánošík only smiled
and did not forget to remind the mountain boys to take the uniforms of the
Emperor’s soldiers with them, taking one, which had a colonel’s epaulettes
Two days later the heavily
loaded wagons moved from Kremnica, accompanied by two regiments of hussars. They
went down the valley without difficulties, but when they turned into the main
road, toward the villages of Svätý Kríž and Honský Benadik, a small
detachment of fast riders emerged in front of them. At their head was a colonel
- a mountain of a man. He asked for the transport commander.
From among the group of
soldiers a little man stepped forward. He was only a common captain and two
heads shorter than the large colonel, who handed him a letter.
The hussars’ commander
could not believe his eyes. He read it once and then twice but only after the
third reading understood that, according to the letter, he should, without delay
turn over the wagons to the protection of this small detachment.
“Why?” he protested,
“I got an explicit order not to move one step sway from this precious
“Because the Emperor
needs to have the silver at his court tomorrow, and this regiment is too slow to
arrive there in the given time…”
“It can’t be true! The
Emperor has chosen this kind of protection precisely because the cargo is of
immense value. So much silver has never been transported in one load from
“The captain is saying he
doesn’t believe a letter with the Emperor’s seal?” roared the colonel
(who, of course, was really Jánošík in disguise). “He doesn’t believe the
words of the emperor’s colonel? He says he refuses to obey the order given by
the supreme commander?”
“I would never be so bold
as to do that!” The hussars’
captain stuttered. “On the contrary, I am willing to lay down my life for the
protection of His Majesty, the Emperor’s, possessions. That is why colonel,
please allow my soldiers to protect the transport together with yours.”
“I appreciate your
devotion, captain” was the colonel’s reply. “I’m sorry but your offer is
inconsistent with the intention of His Majesty the Emperor, who does not want a
big procession to attract attention. You know, the country is now full of all
kinds of outlaw bands, and if Jánošík, the Lord forbid, came upon our
“Jánošík!” As soon
as the hussars’ captain heard the name, and as soon as it had been repeated
among the hussars, the atmosphere changed noticeably. There was anxiety,
It was the opinion of the
majority that it would be better indeed to get rid of that dangerous cargo and
come unscathed back to Kremnica.
The captain quickly noticed
what his hussars thought of all that, and he did not feel like matching his
strength with the outlaw who was spreading fear and terror all over the country.
“All right, colonel,”
he said, “I’ll turn over the wagons to your protection. I only want you to
let me keep this letter so that I have something to show as proof to the Count
After the assumed colonel,
his eleven soldiers, and the carriages with silver passed the first curve of the
road, they all threw off their disguises and, in their underclothes, Jánošík
and his men roared with laughter.
“I’d even write you two
dozen receipts for such a load, “Jánošík laughed.