Life and Legend of Juro Jánošík,
Who Joined the Highwaymen
The time for testing really
That very same afternoon
four dark men rushed Jánošík in the mountains in the region of Turzovka. They
knocked him down and tried to bind him, but they judged him badly. Jánošík
only shook himself three times, swung twice, stamped his foot once and his
rivals were lying in the grass. They scowled at him from their grassy seats and
“Have you lost your
senses, Lads?” Jánošík tried to get on with them amicably. “You jumped on
me for nothing and tried to wring my neck.”
“Of course it was not for
nothing, there is a reason. You entered our mountains and you could have
discovered our hiding places.”
“Your hiding places?”
The dark men nodded but did
not say anything more. Only after Jánošík threatened to shake them up again,
as he had a moment ago, did they confess that they were outlaws and were hiding
just near there, above Turzovka.
“My best friend, Uhorčík
comes from the village of Predmier in Turzovka,” Jánošík said. And he
recalled the weeks he had spent at the castle of Bytča
with him after the Kurucs‘ defeat. It was clear to Janosik that he had found
what he had been searching for, for many days.
“And what was your friend’s
first name?’ one of the men dared to ask.
“Tomáš, Tomáš Uhorčík from Predmier in the region of Turzovka. I suppose he was not very far from being an outlaw himself.”
“Of course he
wasn’t,” all four cried at the same instant. “He is our captain now.”
Jánošík told the men to
take him to his old friend.
When Jánošík and Uhorčík
met, they greeted and hugged each other. Uhorčík
took Jánošík aside and offered him his full hospitality. There was no end to
recollections and reminiscences of the time when Jánošík had helped Uhorčík to escape
jumped up and said, “I almost forgot. Those four can’t go unpunished. They
were supposed to stand guard and they were overcome by one stray passer-by.”
He immediately ordered the four to work on the outlaws’ cottage until the end
of the evening.
Jánošík noticed how
reluctantly they started working, which cause him to ask his friend,
listen! It seems to me that there is something wrong with your men. It seems as
if they are lacking in something. Do you know what it is?”
“I don’t know,” Uhorčík
admitted. “We have all lost the spark lately. We rob and no longer know why.
We’ll all be hung one day and no one will remember us anymore. We don’t have
any aim in life, Jánošík.” Uhorčík fell silent and gave Jánošík a look full of expectation. Jánošík
had a feeling about what such a look meant.
“Me?… Why me?”
“Because I know what
you’re looking for,” Uhorčík answered. ”You were
already talking about it at the castle of Bytča. You said that the world should be
He took Jánošík to the very edge of the forest and there he revealed his future plans to him. “Enough of this highwayman’s bread. To hide in the mountains like this all the time, to let oneself be chased like a wild animal, to lie down and get up in the shadow of the gallows... No! Enough! It is time to hang up the hat, give up this trade, and leave this area for a place where nobody knows you, to build a new future with the pieces of gold you have scrimped and saved.“
“But you talked differently at the castle of Bytča,
Now you want to leave everything to me?“
“Forget the Tomáš
you knew at the castle of Bytča. Someone completely different is standing
in front of you now. Now it’s up to you Jánošík.“