EXECUTION a story by Momcilo Selicnukota Vlahovic said to his mother, “I am a grownnV But his mother just smiled. “You are a boy until younmarry. Even then you will be my son.”n”God be with you,” she said, as he walked away withoutnlooking back.nHis pouch filled with bread and cheese, Vukota Vlahovicnwent down Trmanje, watching the birds and the hares.nHe descended to the Dead Man’s Vale and crossed thenRiver of the Dead. Its pale blue waters almost touched hisnsoles as he shuffled over the planks. He threw a pebble intonthe water, and the fish scrambled, their bellies silver.nThen he climbed, high, past Hazelhut, along the smallernGorge. He could hear the River of the Dead gushing out ofnthe mountain.nTwin white jets, twice as tall as a man, formed the rivernoutright; Vukota crawled away from the Rim and rose,nbrushing away the pine needles and moss. He walkednbriskly, through an airy forest.nBy noon, he reached the Grand Vale and lodged with hisncousins, the Pizurice. He had to stuff himself once more,nwhile his aunt said to him, “Watch out for the Niksici,nthey’ve been under the Turks too long. May God watchnover you.” And she made the sign of the cross over him.nThe next dawn he climbed out of the Vale, passed thenGaptain’s Lake and walked towards Nisa’s Marker. Thenplain, high in the mountains, was flat and yellow, desertednlike a battlefield. Silence pressed upon him, as did thenpurple clouds and the opaque, purple water he was leaving.n* * *nIn Niksic, King Nicholas cried to the assembled students,n”We need men to bring literacy to Montenegro! Your dutynwill be as honorable as anyone’s in the army!”nVukota looked at the other students, and their faces werenalso glum.n* * *nIn 1912, the long columns of Rovcani crossed the WhitenMountain and reached the Lim. There, the Vasojevicinnn^2iK«^,^?!weiL^4a^^,^;j2_nAPRIL 19881 23n