ON THE ASSASINATION IN SARAJEVO

As reported in the Good soldier Schweik’ by Jaroslav Hasek

Schweik’s char lady informs him that ‘ the Archduke Ferdinand has been assassinated while riding in a car in Sarajevo’

Schweik ponders the news………..’what a lucky man to have a car’

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One response to “ON THE ASSASINATION IN SARAJEVO

  1. Ned

    I love this bit:
    There was only one guest sitting at The Chalice. It was the plain-clothes police officer, Bretschneider, who worked for the State Security. The landlord, Palivec, was washing up the glasses and Bretschneider was vainly endeavouring to engage him in serious conversation.

    Palivec was notorious for his foul mouth. Every second word of his was ‘arse’ or ‘shit’. But at the same time he was well read and told everyone to read what Victor Hugo wrote on this subject when he described the last answer Napoleon’s Old Guard gave to the British at the Battle of Waterloo.

    ‘Well, it’s a glorious summer!’ said Bretschneider, embarking on his serious conversation.

    ‘Shit on everything!’ answered Palivec, putting the glasses away into a cupboard.

    ‘It’s a fine thing they’ve done to us at Sarajevo,’ said Bretschneider with a faint hope.

    ‘Which Sarajevo?’ asked Palivec. ‘Do you mean the wine cellar at Nusle? They’re always fighting there, you know. Of course it’s Nusle.’

    ‘At Sarajevo in Bosnia, Mr Palivec. They’ve just shot His Imperial Highness, the Archduke Ferdinand, there. What do you say to that?’

    ‘I don’t poke my nose into things like that. They can kiss my arse if I do!’ Palivec replied politely, lighting his pipe. ‘Nowadays, if anyone got mixed up in a business like that, he’d risk breaking his neck. I’m a tradesman and when anyone comes in here and orders a beer I fill up his glass. But Sarajevo, politics or the late lamented Archduke are nothing for people like us. They lead straight to Pankrác.’

    Bretschneider lapsed into silence and looked disappointedly round the empty pub.

    ‘Hallo, there used to be a picture of His Imperial Majesty hanging here once,’ he started up again after a while. ‘Just where the mirror hangs now.’

    ‘Yes, you’re right,’ Palivec replied. ‘It did hang there, but the flies used to shit on it, so I put it away in the attic. You know, somebody might be so free as to pass a remark about it and then there could be unpleasantness. I don’t want that, do I?’

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