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Roumanian Stories
Translated from the Original Roumanian

written by "Byng, Lucy"
...tayed at home. Other Sundays the weather was fine; probably then the people did not remember [185]in time; they were loath to part from God’s blue sky. And so the Father only had in church some old woman or some aged man with failing sight and deaf ears. Sometimes there was only Cozonac, the bell-ringer. In this way he made no progress. Had he been a different kind of man he would have stopped here. But Father Trandafir was like the goat among cabbages in the garden. When you turn it out at the door, it comes in through the fence, when you mend the fence, it jumps over it, and does a lot more damage by destroying the top of the hedge. God keep him! Father Trandafir still remained a good man. “Wait!” he said. “If you will not come to me, I will go to you!” Then the priest went from door to door. He never ceased talking from the moment it was light. Whenever he came across anyone he gave him good advice. You met the priest in the fields; you found him on the hill; if you went down the valley you encountered the priest; the priest was in the woods. The priest was in church; the priest was at the death-bed; the priest was at the wedding; the priest was with your next-door neighbour—you had to fly the village if you wanted to escape the priest. And whenever he met you, he gave you wise counsel. During a whole year, Father Trandafir gave good advice. People listened gladly—they liked to stay and talk to the priest even if he did give them [186]good advice. All the same, the old saying holds good: men know what they ought to do, but they don’t do it. The Father was disappointed. After a certain time he ceased to give advice. There was not a man in the village upon whom he had not poured the whole weight of his learning: he had nothing more to say. “This will not do,” said the priest once more. “Advice does not pay. I must start something more severe.” He began to chaff....

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