A stranger began to appear in the Crown Café, which at the time was the favorite homestead of the Jurassic world, who was addressed to the Count by the service staff. The stranger may have been a young man of about 20 to 22 years, although his serious, aloof gaze lied to an older one. Her face was shaved abroad all the way, and her tight English-style wear was very out of the general world of attitudes, but even more so the deep, silent, attentive gaze from the noisy light-blooded company.
He was usually sitting there in the corner next to the coffee lady’s podium, watching the bowlers from there.
There was a famous bowling alley among the jurates at the time, I think it was called Rekas. He beat everyone, even the marqueurs, in bowling; no one possessed him, though all tempted him. Only the foreign count watched him quietly, not offering to fight him.
Once, Rékás was pleased to connect with the terribly listening stranger:
“Wouldn’t you like to be tempted or three pyramid parties?”
The stranger drove himself wordlessly and stood up.
– A gold game? offered by the bowler. The count let him in and gave him an acquit.
The foreign young man played very peculiarly. First he measured and calculated every shot, he measured the ball back and forth, he memorized points for himself, he aimed for a long time, but then every shot was certain, never one.-17-did not make a mistake; once he could take the cue in his hand, his opponent didn’t get a boost anymore. It was a boring thing to watch, but I had to admit he was right. Rékási lost more and more, always doubling the lot; by noon they had played sixteen parties. Rékási swam to 32,768 gold. Of course, no jurate ever had that much money; so he said he would continue his shower tomorrow, «double or nothing», until the count writes the profit in his wallet, or accept a bill of exchange if you prefer.
The next day they continued the bowling race, «double or nothing». By noon, Rékási lost Pest County together with the small districts of Kún and Jász. Well, he’ll be divorced tomorrow.
On the third day they played again, the count was again invincible with his exact engineering calculations; already then, Rékási lost not only Europe but China and Brazil, along with the Peruvian silver mines.
They reunited on Thursday: double or nothing! Even then, Rékási lost three globes of gold like the one we live in now. Everyone began to stare at the count.
On the fifth day, the count did not appear in his usual place, but was replaced by a suspicious-looking individual who had been talking to the coffee in secret for a long time, scratching his head very much when he was told that the count had left at night.
Only weeks later, he told the more confidential acquaintances of the coffee that the young stranger, known in the restaurant as Count Arenenberg, was the nephew of Napoleon the Great, who then wanted to travel through Hungary to Poland to lead the revolution there, and for reports here. expected; however, having learned from the outset that the cause of the Polish Revolution was beginning to decline and that he was to be captured, he suddenly returned to Helvetia; those who came to catch him arrived a day later.
If Rékási had known that who had won the whole world with bowling balls in three days, -18-The emperor of France will be the Emperor, and he will play with the destinies of countries and peoples just as calculated as the five wooden puppets then!
Even now, they show in the Crown Café the place where the once ruler of France once quietly and attentively watched the noisy groups of Hungarian youth.
The hand of God over us was heavy.
We haven’t even mourned one blow, the other is coming.
What will become of us, what will become of the world if this lasts for a long time? Are we expecting a day of judgment to come? Where should we turn if God is also against us? Whom shall we seek refuge with, who shall be comforted, if we shall not find it in heaven? Sir! sir! do you want to lose your people !!!
If you are strong-hearted, listen here; listen to what happened in the city of Szeged, in the days of the greatest disaster, and learn from it.
The unfamiliar waters of the Tisza and the Körös and the Berettyó and other lords crossed the shores of the Hungarian Great Plain, flooded the beautiful spiky Kanahán, invaded the most populous cities, swallowed the treasures of the rich and poured into the piles of houses, millions have been wasted, whole counties have been deserted: in ten years half the country will not recover from the deterioration it has suffered because of them.
The boundaries of the richest cities were already under water, and the localities below could have known in advance from the preceding evil news of the peril that would befall them, necessarily, inevitably; because there are only a few-20-daily walking on the land, already walking in the neighboring city, and there is no barrier, no shelter, to stop it. The Lord has delivered his whipping angels and no one is strong enough to fight them.
Wailing was also heard on the streets of Szeged; weeping mothers ran from one square to another, embracing their pale children in their arms; discouraged farmers put their belongings on a cart, set off, don’t even know where? Helpless groups of people stood before the temples, in the markets, and frightened each other with horrible news; goulash running from fields wandered through the gates of the city, driven by the animal instinct of a sense of danger into human shelters; they helped increase the burning wail.
But who saved us?
In this fright a simple man appeared among the desperate people and spoke to them in their tongues:
– Residents of Szeged. What are you doing here? Don’t there be fifty thousand people in the city of Szeged, fifty thousand people have hundreds of thousands of hands? Aren’t hundreds of thousands of hands enough to save us? God does not work miracles for our sake today, but if we do, He will help. Today the waters will not stop like the walls, as in the time of Moses in the Red Sea, but if we stop them, they will certainly stop. The danger is great, but if we work together, we will satisfy it with one heart and one will. Well, let us see, drive out the chariot of every man, and his cattle, out of the city; the spade, hoe, fits in every hand now, they will not speak for him, neither lord nor poor, if they see him working. – Get to work! One minute to pray, the rest to work! God help me!
Like a spark of lightning, the good word spread among the listening people, who ran home for a spade, a hoe. Hundreds, thousands, and later tens of thousands came against the water, gentlemen and poor and gentleman’s daughters, and I was not ashamed of the work, nor bored.
Officials came, scientists, educated people, measured, -21-the works were imposed; came the priests, the spiritual shepherds, the teachers, at the head of their disciples, with their flags, the guilds, the members of all the labor offices, the rich with their chariots, the poor with their spades, their baskets and began digging, carving, filling, the inhabitants removed the roofs of their houses, and from them they added the beams to the piles of embankments; there was nothing expensive, nothing to complain about; shared the wealth, strength, and enthusiasm of everyone: from where all the vaults, pantries, cellars were open; urgent housewives baked and cooked there for diligent workers; and the work went on, day and night with amazing strength and perseverance. Night and day there was a rumble of carnivores, a rattle of chariots; there were no resting hours; when one group was tired, the other waited there; a spade
And every hour there could be seen on the miracle-filling the tall man who uttered the first provocative word so encouragingly, as he helped everywhere, as he distributed the forces to the most necessary places, as he showed where to do what, as it was best.
He never learned it, but it is here that the miracles of the Lord declare that when the fullness of time comes, he will make the simple, the ignorant, wise, chosen.
By the time the flood rushing from the highlands appeared on the border of Szeged, it had already found a huge embankment in front of it, which blocked the roads of destruction everywhere.
I see that the whip can be turned from the hand of the killing angel!
But let’s not cheer yet. The danger is not over yet; to see if the dam will be weak, if the flood will break through in one place, and all the work will end?
On it, let’s build another dam!
With the same speed, the same enthusiasm, perseverance as some fairy vomit rose from the ground -22-the second dam and then the third so that if one and two are lost, the resistance is ready even.
I do not stare at the ramparts of Sebastopol, but I raise my hat before the works in Szeged; where zeal enthusiastically establishes such works during the hours of a few days and nights, there is no need for more glorious memories of the life of the people.
At all the work you can see the one-eyed man there, who has nothing to wear out.
Due to the purposeful layout, some suburban houses had to be locked outside the dam. They had to sacrifice for the common good. Their owners gladly agreed. One night a fire broke out in one of these excluded cottages. At the same hour, a terrible storm raged, which used to make the fire miserable in our great cities of the Great Plain. Alas! there would be no place to escape now if the fire surprised the city; all around is the water one and a half high above the houses.
At the sound of the alarm bell, who also slept, woke up from his bed and ran to the street, believing the water had broken through the dam.
– There is nothing wrong! cried the one-eyed man in a hurry. Thank God, there is only fire.
And with it the brave men brought boats before them, and ran into the houses burning in the midst of the water, and to the amazement of the people covering the dams, they stifled the burning with their bare hands, scattering the burning beams in the midst of a raging storm choking an evil monster into the other’s throat.
It was the work of a moment.
Well said the simple man: one minute to pray, the other to work. God help me!
And the city of Szeged could calmly see the danger that its neighbors are still mourning; joy and contentment remained in and out of the houses; stay as long as only this world lasts.
The public authority ordered the construction of houses for those who voluntarily sacrificed them for public liberation at public expense.-23-
And we will tell this case to save others, and we will record for ourselves the saying from it: “It takes great strength to bear great calamities, and it comes only from ourselves.”
Who could have been that simple man? you ask perhaps curiously.
No one recorded his name. Hundreds and thousands have done what he and did not desire a reward for, neither gratitude nor glory, though I say, I deserve their names to be written down better than those who bury certain other ramparts in a certain other country with thousands of human corpses.