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Discovering stories

... Night hunting ...

Jules Gross, tales and legends of St. Martin, 2001


The evening Angelus effeuilla its dark petals old steeple of St. Martin, up there, the Val d'Hérens, on the right bank of the Blind, in this village, which has no hotel and retains all the charm of old-fashioned villages of Valais: Black chalets, costumes pittoresques, mœurs patriarcales.

Two men were sitting in one of these houses all weathered by the sun. They drank a glass of golden muscat Lens, plucked from their vines, the hamlet of St. Clement and transported to the village in leather bottles.

At the sound of the Angelus they both rose, made the sign of the cross, and the owner of the house began to pray aloud:

- The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.

The young man in front of him said, :

- And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

When they had finished praying, the youngest said:

- I'm late, I have not paid attention to the coming night. I still have a long way to reach Eizon. Goodbye, cousin.

He set off. Night fell quickly, a beautiful June night fresh and bright. A cool breeze came from the throat of Evolène and we did not hear other sound than the dull roar of the river, the bottom of the valley. The young man walked quickly.

It was nine o'clock when he reached Trogny, during which the fit halte chez a oncle. He was offered to share the family supper: a cup of milk and black bread. The meal was completed quickly and wanted to get back on track.

Sa tante lui dit :

- Do not, nephew, it is too late. You lie here, because I fear an accident: I think I heard the noise of the hunting nèt.

The woman opened the window.

- Yes, that's it ! listening.

We heard, one effet, a short distance, a strange noise. It was like a strange concert of animals of all kinds and any pen: prolonged meowing, sharp yelps, the quavering, chirping, Baroque chirps.

The young man burst into a hearty laugh. Il added :

- These are not the foxes or the blackbirds make me fear. I have my good ash stick and I risk nothing. I also have my scapular of Mount Carmel.

All instances were useless and he started off by singing an old song patois. The noise grew larger as he approached the ruins of the barn Tône.

- Decidedly, fit-il one Riant, these filthy beasts want to scare me. Not, I do not want caponer.

There must be a hundred birds chattering, hooted, hooted, screeching or whistling, and he distinguished the voice of foxes yelped, that tomcats who meowed and pigs grunting…

The press the pas. As, close, he could see the lopsided barn walls.

- It must be a beautiful synagogue. Oh ! oh ! dead, in the !

Two ghosts dressed in white, a lighted candle in hand, knelt on both sides of the road, and he noticed a swarm of cats, the renards, Pig, of coqs, chamois, crows, feet, the merles, jays and other unknown birds clustered on both sides of the road. At his approach, crows began to caw a dismal way that gave him a little thrill; a flock of sparrows fluttered over his head frigotant.

The young man made a sign of the cross and he passed the ghosts running, then continued to run all the strength of his legs.

Quand on arrive à Eizon, he was more dead than alive, and he threw himself on his bed without saying a word.

It was an illness that lasted three weeks. When he was cured, he told that you have read, but he added:

- I can not tell you all that I have seen in this hunting to Net.

Repeatedly they tried to wrest his secret, but he always answered:

- I told you that I could tell. You never know what I've seen in this shooting a just.




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