Gëzuar Ditën e Pavarësisë (Peaks of Shala - Rose Wilder Lane)

I am reading a great book just now called "Peaks of Shala" by Rose Wilder Lane.( Published in 1923)
I will post something when I finish.
But I found this part interesting -and by coincidence, I just happened to read it last night!

Mrs Lane has pneumonia, and is struggling to get back to Shkoder from Shala.
She is led by two Albanians and sheltering from the torrential rain in a cave, they find they are sharing the cave with a bandit. The bandit tells them this story...

"It was at this time that the chiefs of Kossova came secretly by night through the Serbian lines to the house of Ahmet Bey Mati, and I was called by Ahmet to take them to Valona. He said that a word would be spoken in Valona to make Albania free. I said to Ahmet:
"The Montenegrins hold Scutari and the seacoast even to San Giovanni, the European Powers are in Durrazo, the Serbs have Kossova and the Dibra, the Greeks are in the south. What is talk of freedom? This is not a time to talk; it is a time to fight."
Ahmet said
"Before the war cry, the council of chiefs."
Ahmet is chief of the Mati, head of the family that has ruled the Mati since the days of Scanderbeg. He was a boy of sixteen, newly come from the court of Sultan Abdul Hamid; he did not wear the clothes of the Malisori and the chiefs of the Mati laced his opangi before every battle, because he did not know how to lace opangi. Yet it must be said that it was his coming that saved the Mati from the Serbs. He came quickly killing seven horses between Monastir and Borelli and he told the chiefs what to do, and they saved the Mati. It was hot fighting. For five months he had been fighting and sleeping on rocks. His chiefs loved him.
"I said, "I am killing Serbs, and have no wish to go to Valona."
Ahmet said,
" When my father died, my older brother sent me from my country to the Turks, I do not know the trails. The chiefs of Kossova are my guests, and they do not know the trails. We must go to Valona through Elbassan where the Serbs are. There is a meeting of all the chiefs of Albania in Valona. If we are killed by the Serbs, there will be no chiefs of Malisori at the meeting. There will be only Toshks - men of the plains."
I said,
"Tonight the moon will be dark. We must start as soon as we can see the small stars."

" In three nights we were at the house of Asif Pasha in Elbassan. No, nothing disturbed us on the way, except that we were obliged to kill with our hands the dogs that sometimes came upon us from the villages. The Serbs were everywhere and we could not use our guns. When we came to the house of Asif Pasha, the chiefs of Kossova with Ahmet slept in one room, and I sat with Asif Pasha by the fire in another room. Elbassan was held by many hundred Serbian soldiers. At midnight five officers with thirty soldiers came to the door. They came in, and would not take coffee. They stood and said,
" Who are the twelve men who sleep tonight in this house? Do not lie for we know that they are here."
"Asif Pasha said,
"This is one of them"
I said,
" I will tell you who they are, but I beg you not to let them know that I have told. I am only a servant, and they are great chiefs. They are byraktors of five villages of the Mati, three villages of Shala and Shoshi. They have come to Elbassan to talk with the Serbs. They have come secretly, hiding from the other chiefs. I do not know why. I beg you not to tell them that I have told, for they are tired and dirty, and they are sleeping while the women clean their clothes so that they will be clean tomorrow when they go to speak to your chiefs."
"The officers sat down then and one of them wrote. He wrote the names of the chiefs as I gave them to him, and he wrote what I said, that the Malisori were tired of fighting, and had little ammunition, and did not like their chiefs that made them fight. While he wrote, Asif Pasha gave them rakejia, and more and more rakejia but no coffee. When the Serbs had become foolish I went to the other room where the chiefs were listening with their rifles in their hands, and I took them all by a way I knew, out of Elbassan.
" So we came to Valona, the the house of Ismail Kemal Bey Vlora, the same who had been Grand Vizier of Abdul Hamid. He had come on an Austrian warship to Durrazo, and there they had tried to kill him, and he had come secretly, as we had come to Valona. Valona was the only free village in Albania then, except our mountain villages. There was a council in his house. Chiefs of all the tribes from Kossova to Janina were there, and when the council was ended Ismail Kemal Bey brought the flag of Scanderbeg, which had always been hidden in his house, and with a rope he made it run to the top of as pole in his house. It was the red flag with the two headed black eagle on it. I stood in the street and saw it go to the top of the pole. The chiefs were on the balcony, and Ismail Kemal Bey wept. Many men had tears on their cheeks. In the street they cried, "Roft Shqiperia!" and embraced one another. They said that the spirit of Scanderbeg lived, and that Albania was free"

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