Thatevening Arsen came home in a melancholy mood. Contrary to his habit, he firstwent into the wine cellar and took a stiff drink, the first time he had everdone so. He returned to the yard, sat down on a block of wood where he remainedlong after dark, absorbed by nocturnal sounds. In the kitchen on the hearth,flaming tongues shot out and licked the iron cauldron suspended by chains fromthe ceiling. A newly discovered fire was burning in Arsen`s heart. In thesurrounding darkness he discerned human forms, dogs crossing the yard, oxenreturning from pasture; he heard the trampling of horses in their stalls; herecognized his brother Nenad returning from the city. A hen jumped from themulberry tree, looked round sleepily, and flew to another branch. Already amouse dared to nibble at the block on which Arsen was sitting.
Hefelt dizzy, and became frightened at his heart beats. Suddenly he began tolaugh, stupidly, for no reason at all. As he laughed and cried interm