The narrator heard these stories on the seashore in Bessarabia, from old Izergil. The moon rose, and across the steppe came shadows from the running clouds. The old woman said that she saw Larra, who turned into a shadow, and told this tale.
Many years ago, in a generous country “lived a mighty tribe of pastoralists.” Once a beautiful girl from this tribe was stolen by an eagle. She was bored and forgotten, and twenty years later she returned, with her was a young man, handsome and strong. She told me that she was the wife of an eagle. Everyone looked with astonishment at the son of an eagle, but he was no different from the others, only his eyes were cold and proud, like his father.
He considered himself extraordinary, and talked arrogantly even with the elders.
The young man was called Larry, which means “outcast”. The young man began to live alone, occasionally abducting cattle and girls from the tribe. He was shot from a bow, but he was invulnerable. So dozens of years passed. But one day he came close to people, rushed to him, and he stood, not defending himself. Then people realized that he wanted to die, and did not touch him. Then he snatched the knife and hit himself in the chest, but the knife broke like a stone. People realized that he could not die. Since then, he walks like a shadow, waiting for death. “He has no life, and death does not smile at him, and there is no place for him among people.” This is how a man was struck for his pride! “
In the night a beautiful song was pouring. The old woman asked if the interlocutor had ever heard such beautiful singing? He shook his head
She told me that she lived near the sea in Falmy with her mother. Izergil was fifteen years old when a “tall, flexible, black-eared, cheerful person” appeared at their edges. Izergil loved him. Four days later she already belonged to him. He was a fisherman from Prut. The fisherman called Izergil with him to the Danube, but by that time she already stopped loving him.
Then a friend introduced her to a curly, red-haired Hutsul. He was sometimes affectionate and sad, and at times, like an animal, roared and fought. She went to the Hutsul, and the fisherman long grieved and cried for her. Then he joined the Hutsuls and got himself another. They already wanted to go to the Carpathians, but went to visit one Romanian. There they were seized, and then they were hanged. Romanian was revenged: the farm was burned, and he became a beggar. The narrator guessed that Izergil did this, but to his question the old woman answered evasively that she was not the only one who wanted to take revenge.
Then Izergil remembered how the Turk loved. He was in his harem in Scutari. For a week I lived, and then started to get bored. The Turk had a sixteen-year-old son, with him Izergil and fled from the harem to Bulgaria. There the jealous Bulgarian hurt her with a knife. Isergil was treated in a nunnery, where she went to Poland, taking a young nun. On the question of the interlocutor, what happened to the young turchon, with whom she escaped from the harem, Izergil answered that he died of homesickness or of love.
The Pole-monk humiliated her, and she once threw him into the river. In Poland, it was difficult. She fell into bondage to a Jew who traded it. Then she loved one man with a severed face. He defended the Greeks, in this fight he was hacked. She added: “In life, you know, there is always a place for deeds, and those who do not find them are lazy and cowards.”
Then there was the Magyar, later killed. And “her last game is gentry.” It is very beautiful, and Izergil was already forty years old. Pan on her knees begged for her love, but, having achieved, immediately dropped it. Then he fought with the Russians and was captured, and Izergil rescued him, killing the sentry. Pan lied to Izergil that for this she would love her forever, but she pushed away the “lying dog” and came to Moldavia, where she has lived for thirty years. She had a husband, but died a year ago. She lives among the youth who loves her fairy tales.
Night came and Izergil asked her interlocutor if he saw sparks in the steppe. “These sparks from the burning heart of Danko.” The narrator sat and waited for Izergil to begin his new tale.
Some people lived on the earth in the old days, the impenetrable forests surrounded their campsites on three sides, and with the fourth, there was a steppe. ” But the conquerors came and drove them into the depths of the old and dense forest with the swamps, from which the deadly stench rose. And people began to perish. They “already wanted to go to the enemy and give him his will as a gift, and no one, scared of death, was afraid of slavish life.” But then Danko appeared and saved everyone alone. “
Danko persuaded people to go through the forest. People looked at Danko, realized that he was the best, and followed him. The way was difficult, the strength and determination of people melted every day. A thunderstorm began, people were exhausted. They were ashamed to admit their weakness, and they decided to remove their anger at Danko. They said that he could not take them out of the forest. Danko called them weak, and people decided to kill him. He realized that without him they would perish. “And then his heart flashed with the fire of desire to save them, lead them to an easy path, and then the rays of that mighty fire flashed in his eyes.” And when they saw this, they thought that he was enraged “and began to surround Danko to make it easier to kill him. “And suddenly he tore off his chest and pulled out his heart and raised it high above his head.”
Heart brightly lit the forest with a torch of love for people, and they, amazed by Danko’s act, rushed after him, and suddenly the forest was over. People saw before them a radiant steppe. They had fun, and Danko fell and died. “One cautious man, fearing something, stepped on Dunco’s burning heart, and it spilled into sparks and died away.” That’s where in the steppe these blue lights appear before a thunderstorm.
The old woman, exhausted by the stories, fell asleep, and the sea all rustled and rustled…