Monday, June 4, 2012

A Few Excerpts

Most are from The Crime Library, but some are also from older histories and documents, translated many times, and none really judged for the quality of their translation: "It was cold and the men had difficulty finding their way, even with a few torches. The talk around town was that the woman they sought would be having one of her late-night clandestine gatherings—a sight to behold if they managed to get that close, and probably incriminating—for witchcraft, at the very least. They hoped to catch her in a deviant illegal act. People down the hill in the village often claimed to have heard screams emanating from within this place, and they spoke of disappearing girls and of murder, but no one had dared approach the regal, 50-something countess until now. Word had come to the king that she had kidnapped or killed nine girls from good families." Notice the vagaries in this prose, it's dark, probably incriminating, claimed, no one dared approach to find out for sure, word had come, etc. From The Bloody Countess: "These men knew they had to be careful. The beautiful mistress of the manor, known for her lustrous black hair and pale skin, was of royal blood and was especially well connected. Once married to a warrior count known as Hungary's "Black Hero" for his bravery in battles with the Turks, she was related to princes and kings, bishops and cardinals, and she was the cousin of Prime Minister Thurzo—a member of the very party that approached her imposing domain that night with such stealth and trepidation. If she recognized his colors, she would let him in, but their preference was to arrive unannounced. The woman's uncle, Stephen B├íthory, had been king of Poland. If the persistent rumors proved to be unfounded, she could be a dangerous political enemy. On the other hand, if they were true, then something had to be done to stop her."

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