261 CHRONICLESnshall be punished. Long live the House of Savoy!” and hensnapped the Roman salute.nIn the meanwhile, Vukota and other refugees climbednthe trail to Trmanje.nH; ^ H<nNot long after, Communists came to Rovca: MarkannVlahovic and Vujica Sobajic, both commissars.n”Dad,” Markan said, “we need help in organizingnRovca.”nVukota looked at his eldest son, hard, noting the crisscrossednleather belts and the pistol in his holster. “Don’t younthink,” he said, “you should wait until the war is over,nbefore deciding who’s to rule?”n”Uncle Vukota,” said Sobajic, trying to smile, “we neednall the help we can get.”n”Then, don’t drive away those who would aid you!”nshouted Vukota.n”Your father may be a coward and cur, Sobajic, not us!”nspoke a man in a forester’s uniform, white-faced. “Go andnspread your gospel in Whitepaul, where your brains werenaddled!”nBecause the assembled Rovcani laughed, the commissarsnwere spared.n”Rovca are not the Vasojevici, Whitepaul, or the Plainsnof Kolasin!” shouted the forester. “Not even the Turksncame here! We don’t want Dagos defiling our huts andnpastures, for your love of Stalin!”nTwo hundred Communist Grahovljani and Niksici camendown upon Trmanje over the top of the Foggy Mountain.nRovcani were caught as they slept, and herded out of thenstone huts, their women wailing.n”You, stand aside,” said the commander of the Niksici tonVukota. “The rest of you sonsofbitches,” he cried, “shallnsuffer for treason!”n”We have turned upon no one, and we’ve done you nonharm!” cried a peasant.n”But we’ll do harm unto you,” shouted the commander.nTheir hands tied behind their backs, with the telephonenwire the Niksici had brought, the Rovcani walked as if notnawake.n”By God,” shouted one of the condemned men,n”Rovcani were never slaughtered thus! Brothers, let us coolnourselves in the Moraca!” He and four others ran surefootednup the craggy rim, and plunged headlong into thenCanyon. They smashed against the walls before theyntumbled, like great, dark sacks, into the river below.nThe women cried even louder as all the tied men werenshot, the Niksici watching from the above.nIn Upper Moraca, Sava the Mace said to the Communists,n”You’re a senseless brood of whelps. In your furor andnfoolishness you will destroy this land!”nWhen his executioners came, the Mace met them with anrifle and killed eleven. The rest shot him and burned hisnhouse down. Slipping down the narrow, icy path which lednto his house on a crag, his relatives carried the blackenedncorpse to Lindenvale. There, Mace was buried as he was, innnnhis Montenegrin regalia.nThen, on Christmas Eve of 1942, a butcher’s apprenticenled a detail, and over a hundred bound “people’s enemies,”ninto Tara’s Grove.nLaughing and singing, celebrating the bloodless liberationnof Kolasin, his comrades in the high school above heardnand saw nothing.n^ * *nWhen the Chetniks took Kolasin, two weeks later, thenbodies of the victims were dug out of their shallow,nsnow-covered graves and photographed. The men’s skullsnhad been smashed in, their chests ripped open, the girls’ andnwomen’s flesh cut av/ay. After the grisliest corpses werenshown to the people in the market, a Chetnik went into thenGrove and knocked down the sign on a poplar. “Curs’nGraveyard” it had read, before it was chopped into pieces,nand burnt.n* * >f:nIn the spring, Stevo Minic from Riverside sent word tonVukota to come for a parley.n”Dad, don’t go, it’s a trap,” said Danilo Vlahovic.nVukota smiled at his son. “I have never done anything tonbe ashamed of,” he said, and swung his rifle over hisnshoulder.n”Damn each day a Minic was born,” said Danilo, andnwent with his father. They walked down the snowy trail innsilence. The woods glistened with icicles and wet barknshowed dark.n* ^ *nAt Riverside, green among the white mountains, thenMinici disarmed the two Vlahovici.n”Why did you come to sully my honor?” said StevonMinic.”You had a choice, if I did not.”nVukota looked at him. “I pity you for your relatives,” hensaid, and smiled.n”Whatever mine may be,” said Minic, “yours have nonname. Take them away!”n* * *nThe snow at Kings Ridge was wet, deep, and treacherous,nso the Minici untied their captives’ hands, and poked themnupwards with their rifles.n* * *n”You, your family, and your likes, have brought misfortunenupon all of us,” said Ljubo Minic to Vukota in thencourtroom. “I pronounce you guilty of sedition, andntreason, and sentence you both to death by the firingnsquad!”n”Damn you!” cried Danilo and held up his manaclednhands. Two guards caught him underarm and pulled himnout of the crowded courtroom.n”You,” said Vukota to Minic, “shall be judged fornconniving with the Dagos; though you should be shot justnfor what you are!”n”To hell with you, Vlahovic,” said a man from thenaudience. “Curs’ Graveyard’s a tall order for anyone tonmatch!”nVukota looked at him, his eyes still, his mustache unsmiling.n