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Bitesized Audio Classics, A Warning to the Curious by M. R. James (part 1)

A Warning to the Curious by M. R. James The place on the east coast which the reader is asked to consider is Seaburgh.

It is not very different now from what I remember it to have been when I was a child. Marshes intersected by dykes to the south, recalling the early chapters of Great Expectations; flat fields to the north, merging into heath; heath, fir woods, and, above all, gorse, inland. A long sea-front and a street: behind that a spacious church of flint, with a broad, solid western tower and a peal of six bells. How well I remember their sound on a hot Sunday in August, as our party went slowly up the white, dusty slope of road towards them, for the church stands at the top of a short, steep incline. They rang with a flat clacking sort of sound on those hot days, but when the air was softer they were mellower too. The railway ran down to its little terminus farther along the same road. There was a gay white windmill just before you came to the station, and another down near the shingle at the south end the town, and yet others on higher ground to the north. There were cottages of bright red brick with slate roofs... but why do I encumber you with these commonplace details? The fact is that they come crowding to the point of the pencil when it begins to write of Seaburgh. I should like to be sure that I had allowed the right ones to get on to the paper. But I forgot. I have not quite done with the word-painting business yet.

Walk away from the sea and the town, pass the station, and turn up the road on the right. It is a sandy road, parallel with the railway, and if you follow it, it climbs to somewhat higher ground. On your left (you are now going northward) is heath, on your right (the side towards the sea) is a belt of old firs, wind-beaten, thick at the top, with the slope that old seaside trees have; seen on the skyline from the train they would tell you in an instant, if you did not know it, that you were approaching a windy coast. Well, at the top of my little hill, a line of these firs strikes out and runs towards the sea, for there is a ridge that goes that way; and the ridge ends in a rather well-defined mound commanding the level fields of rough grass, and a little knot of fir trees crowns it. And here you may sit on a hot spring day, very well content to look at blue sea, white windmills, red cottages, bright green grass, church tower, and distant martello tower on the south.

As I have said, I began to know Seaburgh as a child; but a gap of a good many years separates my early knowledge from that which is more recent. Still it keeps its place in my affections, and any tales of it that I pick up have an interest for me. One such tale is this: it came to me in a place very remote from Seaburgh, and quite accidentally, from a man whom I had been able to oblige—enough in his opinion to justify his making me his confidant to this extent.

I know all that country more or less (he said). I used to go to Seaburgh pretty regularly for golf in the spring. I generally put up at the ‘Bear', with a friend—Henry Long it was, you knew him perhaps—(‘Slightly,' I said) and we used to take a sitting-room and be very happy there. Since he died I haven't cared to go there. And I don't know that I should anyhow after the particular thing that happened on our last visit.

It was in April, 1920, we were there, and by some chance we were almost the only people in the hotel. So the ordinary public rooms were practically empty, and we were the more surprised when, after dinner, our sitting-room door opened, and a young man put his head in. We were aware of this young man. He was rather a rabbity anaemic subject—light hair and light eyes—but not unpleasing. So when he said: ‘I beg your pardon, is this a private room?' we did not growl and say: ‘Yes, it is,' but Long said, or I did—no matter which: ‘Please come in.' ‘Oh, may I?' he said, and seemed relieved. Of course it was obvious that he wanted company; and as he was a reasonable kind of person—not the sort to bestow his whole family history on you—we urged him to make himself at home. ‘I dare say you find the other rooms rather bleak,' I said. Yes, he did: but it was really too good of us, and so on. That being got over, he made some pretence of reading a book. Long was playing Patience, I was writing. It became plain to me after a few minutes that this visitor of ours was in rather a state of fidgets or nerves, which communicated itself to me, and so I put away my writing and turned to at engaging him in talk.

After some remarks, which I forget, he became rather confidential. ‘You'll think it very odd of me' (this was the sort of way he began), ‘but the fact is I've had something of a shock.' Well, I recommended a drink of some cheering kind, and we had it. The waiter coming in made an interruption (and I thought our young man seemed very jumpy when the door opened), but after a while he got back to his woes again. There was nobody he knew in the place, and he did happen to know who we both were (it turned out there was some common acquaintance in town), and really he did want a word of advice, if we didn't mind. Of course we both said: ‘By all means,' or ‘Not at all,' and Long put away his cards. And we settled down to hear what his difficulty was.

‘It began,' he said, ‘more than a week ago, when I bicycled over to Froston, only about five or six miles, to see the church; I'm very much interested in architecture, and it's got one of those pretty porches with niches and shields. I took a photograph of it, and then an old man who was tidying up in the churchyard came and asked if I'd care to look into the church. I said yes, and he produced a key and let me in. There wasn't much inside, but I told him it was a nice little church, and he kept it very clean, ‘But,' I said, ‘the porch is the best part of it.' We were just outside the porch then, and he said, ‘Ah, yes, that is a nice porch; and do you know, sir, what's the meanin' of that coat of arms there?'

‘It was the one with the three crowns, and though I'm not much of a herald, I was able to say yes, I thought it was the old arms of the kingdom of East Anglia.

‘ 'That's right, sir,' he said, ‘and do you know the meanin' of them three crowns that's on it?'

‘I said I'd no doubt it was known, but I couldn't recollect to have heard it myself.

‘ ‘Well, then,' he said, ‘for all you're a scholard, I can tell you something you don't know. Them's the three ‘oly crowns what was buried in the ground near by the coast to keep the Germans from landing—ah, I can see you don't believe that. But I tell you, if it hadn't have been for one of them ‘oly crowns bein' there still, them Germans would a landed here time and again, they would. Landed with their ships, and killed man, woman and child in their beds. Now then, that's the truth what I'm telling you, that is; and if you don't believe me, you ask the rector. There he comes: you ask him, I says.'

‘I looked round, and there was the rector, a nice-looking old man, coming up the path; and before I could begin assuring my old man, who was getting quite excited, that I didn't disbelieve him, the rector struck in, and said:

‘ 'What's all this about, John? Good day to you, sir. Have you been looking at our little church?' '

‘So then there was a little talk which allowed the old man to calm down, and then the rector asked him again what was the matter.

‘ 'Oh,' he said, ‘it warn't nothink, only I was telling this gentleman he'd ought to ast you about them ‘oly crowns.'

‘ ‘Ah, yes, to be sure,' said the rector, ‘that's a very curious matter, isn't it? But I don't know whether the gentleman is interested in our old stories, eh?'

‘ ‘Oh, he'll be interested fast enough,' says the old man, ‘he'll put his confidence in what you tells him, sir; why, you known William Ager yoursell, father and son too.'

‘Then I put in a word to say how much I should like to hear all about it, and before many minutes I was walking up the village street with the rector, who had one or two words to say to parishioners, and then to the rectory, where he took me into his study. He had made out, on the way, that I really was capable of taking an intelligent interest in a piece of folklore, and not quite the ordinary tripper. So he was very willing to talk, and it is rather surprising to me that the particular legend he told me has not made its way into print before. His account of it was this: ‘There has always been a belief in these parts in the three holy crowns. The old people say they were buried in different places near the coast to keep off the Danes or the French or the Germans. And they say that one of the three was dug up a long time ago, and another has disappeared by the encroaching of the sea, and one's still left doing its work, keeping off invaders. Well, now, if you have read the ordinary guides and histories of this county, you will remember perhaps that in 1687 a crown, which was said to be the crown of Redwald, King of the East Angles, was dug up at Rendlesham, and alas! alas! melted down before it was even properly described or drawn. Well, Rendlesham isn't on the coast, but it isn't so very far inland, and it's on a very important line of access. And I believe that is the crown which the people mean when they say that one has been dug up. Then on the south you don't want me to tell you where there was a Saxon royal palace which is now under the sea, eh? Well, there was the second crown, I take it. And up beyond these two, they say, lies the third.'

‘ ‘Do they say where it is?' of course I asked.

‘He said, ‘Yes, indeed, they do, but they don't tell,' and his manner did not encourage me to put the obvious question. Instead of that I waited a moment, and said: ‘What did the old man mean when he said you knew William Ager, as if that had something to do with the crowns?'

‘ ‘To be sure,' he said, ‘now that's another curious story. These Agers it's a very old name in these parts, but I can't find that they were ever people of quality or big owners these Agers say, or said, that their branch of the family were the guardians of the last crown. A certain old Nathaniel Ager was the first one I knew—I was born and brought up quite near here—and he, I believe, camped out at the place during the whole of the war of 1870. William, his son, did the same, I know, during the South African War. And young William, his son, who has only died fairly recently, took lodgings at the cottage nearest the spot; and I've no doubt hastened his end, for he was a consumptive, by exposure and night watching. And he was the last of that branch. It was a dreadful grief to him to think that he was the last, but he could do nothing, the only relations at all near to him were in the colonies. I wrote letters for him to them imploring them to come over on business very important to the family, but there has been no answer. So the last of the holy crowns, if it's there, has no guardian now.'


A Warning to the Curious by M. R. James Varování pro zvědavce od MR Jamese Eine Warnung an die Neugierigen von MR James Advertencia a los curiosos de MR James The place on the east coast which the reader is asked to consider is Seaburgh. Místo na východním pobřeží, které má čtenář zvážit, je Seaburgh. Der Ort an der Ostküste, den der Leser zu berücksichtigen hat, ist Seaburgh. El lugar en la costa este que se le pide al lector que considere es Seaburgh. 要求读者考虑的东海岸的地方是Seaburgh。

It is not very different now from what I remember it to have been when I was a child. Teď se to příliš neliší od toho, co si pamatuji, když jsem byl dítě. Es ist jetzt nicht viel anders, als ich es in Erinnerung habe, als ich ein Kind war. No es muy diferente ahora de lo que recuerdo cuando era niño. 现在和我记得小时候的情况并没有太大的不同。 Marshes intersected by dykes to the south, recalling the early chapters of Great Expectations; flat fields to the north, merging into heath; heath, fir woods, and, above all, gorse, inland. Bažiny protínané hrázemi na jihu, připomínající rané kapitoly Velkého očekávání; rovná pole na sever, splývající ve vřesoviště; vřesoviště, jedlové lesy a především merlík ve vnitrozemí. Sümpfe, die im Süden von Deichen durchschnitten werden und an die frühen Kapitel von Great Expectations erinnern; flache Felder im Norden, die in Heide übergehen; Heide, Tannenwälder und vor allem Ginster im Landesinneren. Marismas atravesadas por diques al sur, recordando los primeros capítulos de Grandes esperanzas; campos llanos al norte, fusionándose con brezales; brezales, abetales y, sobre todo, aulagas, tierra adentro. A long sea-front and a street: behind that a spacious church of flint, with a broad, solid western tower and a peal of six bells. Dlouhé nábřeží a ulice: za tím prostorný kostel z pazourku se širokou, pevnou západní věží a zvoněním šesti zvonů. Un largo paseo marítimo y una calle: detrás, una espaciosa iglesia de pedernal, con una ancha y sólida torre occidental y un repique de seis campanas. How well I remember their sound on a hot Sunday in August, as our party went slowly up the white, dusty slope of road towards them, for the church stands at the top of a short, steep incline. Jak dobře si pamatuji jejich zvuk jedné horké srpnové neděle, když naše skupina pomalu stoupala po bílém, prašném svahu silnice směrem k nim, protože kostel stojí na vrcholu krátkého, strmého svahu. They rang with a flat clacking sort of sound on those hot days, but when the air was softer they were mellower too. V těch horkých dnech zvonily plochým klapavým zvukem, ale když byl vzduch měkčí, byly také jemnější. The railway ran down to its little terminus farther along the same road. Železnice vedla dolů na svou malou konečnou dále po stejné silnici. There was a gay white windmill just before you came to the station, and another down near the shingle at the south end the town, and yet others on higher ground to the north. Těsně předtím, než jste přišli na nádraží, byl veselý bílý větrný mlýn a další dole poblíž oblázků na jižním konci města a další na vyvýšeném místě na severu. There were cottages of bright red brick with slate roofs... but why do I encumber you with these commonplace details? Byly tam chalupy z jasně červených cihel s břidlicovými střechami... ale proč vás zatěžuji těmito běžnými detaily? The fact is that they come crowding to the point of the pencil when it begins to write of Seaburgh. Faktem je, že se shlukují až k bodu tužky, když se začne psát o Seaburghu. I should like to be sure that I had allowed the right ones to get on to the paper. Rád bych si byl jistý, že jsem dovolil těm správným, aby se dostali k novinám. But I forgot. I have not quite done with the word-painting business yet. S malováním slov jsem ještě úplně neskončil.

Walk away from the sea and the town, pass the station, and turn up the road on the right. Jděte pryč od moře a města, projděte kolem nádraží a zahněte na silnici vpravo. It is a sandy road, parallel with the railway, and if you follow it, it climbs to somewhat higher ground. Je to písečná cesta, rovnoběžná se železnicí, a když po ní půjdete, vyšplhá se do poněkud vyšších poloh. On your left (you are now going northward) is heath, on your right (the side towards the sea) is a belt of old firs, wind-beaten, thick at the top, with the slope that old seaside trees have; seen on the skyline from the train they would tell you in an instant, if you did not know it, that you were approaching a windy coast. Nalevo od vás (nyní jdete na sever) je vřesoviště, napravo (strana k moři) pás starých jedlí, ošlehaný větrem, nahoře hustý, se sklonem, jaký mají staré přímořské stromy; vidět na obzoru z vlaku by vám okamžitě řekli, kdybyste to nevěděli, že se blížíte k větrnému pobřeží. Well, at the top of my little hill, a line of these firs strikes out and runs towards the sea, for there is a ridge that goes that way; and the ridge ends in a rather well-defined mound commanding the level fields of rough grass, and a little knot of fir trees crowns it. No, na vrcholu mého malého kopce vyčnívá řada těchto jedlí a běží směrem k moři, protože tudy vede hřeben; a hřeben končí docela dobře ohraničeným valem, který se tyčí na rovných polích drsné trávy a korunuje ho malý uzlík jedlí. And here you may sit on a hot spring day, very well content to look at blue sea, white windmills, red cottages, bright green grass, church tower, and distant martello tower on the south. A zde můžete sedět v horkém jarním dni a velmi dobře se spokojit s pohledem na modré moře, bílé větrné mlýny, červené domky, jasně zelenou trávu, kostelní věž a vzdálenou věž Martello na jihu.

As I have said, I began to know Seaburgh as a child; but a gap of a good many years separates my early knowledge from that which is more recent. Jak jsem řekl, Seaburgh jsem začal znát jako dítě; ale propast mnoha let odděluje mé rané znalosti od těch, které jsou novější. Still it keeps its place in my affections, and any tales of it that I pick up have an interest for me. Stále si udržuje své místo v mých náklonnostech a všechny příběhy o ní, které pochytím, mě zajímají. Dennoch behält es seinen Platz in meiner Zuneigung, und alle Geschichten darüber, die ich aufschnappe, sind für mich von Interesse. One such tale is this: it came to me in a place very remote from Seaburgh, and quite accidentally, from a man whom I had been able to oblige—enough in his opinion to justify his making me his confidant to this extent. Jeden takový příběh je tento: dostal se ke mně na místě velmi vzdáleném od Seaburghu a zcela náhodou od muže, kterému jsem mohl vyhovět – podle jeho názoru to bylo dost na to, aby ze mě udělal svého důvěrníka do této míry.

I know all that country more or less (he said). Celou tu zemi víceméně znám (řekl). I used to go to Seaburgh pretty regularly for golf in the spring. I generally put up at the ‘Bear', with a friend—Henry Long it was, you knew him perhaps—(‘Slightly,' I said) and we used to take a sitting-room and be very happy there. Obvykle jsem se ubytoval u ‚Medvěda‘ s přítelem – byl to Henry Long, možná jste ho znali – („Trochu,“ řekl jsem) a měli jsme obývací pokoj a byli jsme tam velmi šťastní. Since he died I haven't cared to go there. Od té doby, co zemřel, jsem se nestaral tam jít. And I don't know that I should anyhow after the particular thing that happened on our last visit. A já nevím, že bych měl po té konkrétní věci, která se stala při naší poslední návštěvě.

It was in April, 1920, we were there, and by some chance we were almost the only people in the hotel. Bylo to v dubnu 1920, byli jsme tam a nějakou náhodou jsme byli skoro jediní lidé v hotelu. So the ordinary public rooms were practically empty, and we were the more surprised when, after dinner, our sitting-room door opened, and a young man put his head in. Běžné společenské místnosti byly tedy prakticky prázdné a o to více nás překvapilo, když se po večeři otevřely dveře našeho obývacího pokoje a do nich strčil hlavu mladý muž. We were aware of this young man. Věděli jsme o tomto mladém muži. He was rather a rabbity anaemic subject—light hair and light eyes—but not unpleasing. Byl to spíše králičí chudokrevnost – světlé vlasy a světlé oči –, ale ne nepříjemné. Er war eher ein kaninchenhaftes, anämisches Subjekt – helles Haar und helle Augen –, aber nicht unangenehm. So when he said: ‘I beg your pardon, is this a private room?' we did not growl and say: ‘Yes, it is,' but Long said, or I did—no matter which: ‘Please come in.' ‘Oh, may I?' he said, and seemed relieved. Of course it was obvious that he wanted company; and as he was a reasonable kind of person—not the sort to bestow his whole family history on you—we urged him to make himself at home. Samozřejmě bylo zřejmé, že chce společnost; a protože to byl rozumný typ člověka – ne ten, kdo by vám svěřil celou svou rodinnou historii – vyzvali jsme ho, aby se cítil jako doma. ‘I dare say you find the other rooms rather bleak,' I said. "Troufám si tvrdit, že ti ostatní pokoje připadají dost bezútěšné," řekl jsem. Yes, he did: but it was really too good of us, and so on. Ano, udělal: ale bylo to od nás opravdu moc dobré a tak dále. That being got over, he made some pretence of reading a book. Když to přešlo, předstíral, že čte knihu. Long was playing Patience, I was writing. Long hrál Patience, já psal. It became plain to me after a few minutes that this visitor of ours was in rather a state of fidgets or nerves, which communicated itself to me, and so I put away my writing and turned to at engaging him in talk. Po pár minutách mi bylo jasné, že tento náš návštěvník je spíše ve stavu nervozity nebo nervozity, což se mnou komunikovalo samo, a tak jsem odložil své psaní a obrátil se k němu, abych ho zapojil do hovoru.

After some remarks, which I forget, he became rather confidential. Po několika poznámkách, které jsem zapomněl, se stal spíše důvěrným. ‘You'll think it very odd of me' (this was the sort of way he began), ‘but the fact is I've had something of a shock.' Well, I recommended a drink of some cheering kind, and we had it. "Budete si o mně myslet, že je to velmi divné" (takhle začal), "ale faktem je, že jsem byl v šoku." No, doporučil jsem drink nějakého povzbuzujícího druhu a dali jsme si to. The waiter coming in made an interruption (and I thought our young man seemed very jumpy when the door opened), but after a while he got back to his woes again. Číšník, který vcházel dovnitř, ho přerušil (a zdálo se mi, že náš mladý muž vypadal velmi nervózně, když se otevřely dveře), ale po chvíli se znovu dostal do svého trápení. There was nobody he knew in the place, and he did happen to know who we both were (it turned out there was some common acquaintance in town), and really he did want a word of advice, if we didn't mind. Na místě nebyl nikdo, koho by znal, a náhodou věděl, kdo jsme oba (ukázalo se, že ve městě je nějaký společný známý), a opravdu chtěl radu, jestli nám to nevadí. Of course we both said: ‘By all means,' or ‘Not at all,' and Long put away his cards. Samozřejmě jsme oba řekli: 'V žádném případě' nebo 'Vůbec ne' a Long odložil karty. And we settled down to hear what his difficulty was. A usadili jsme se, abychom slyšeli, jaké jsou jeho potíže.

‘It began,' he said, ‘more than a week ago, when I bicycled over to Froston, only about five or six miles, to see the church; I'm very much interested in architecture, and it's got one of those pretty porches with niches and shields. "Začalo to," řekl, "před více než týdnem, když jsem jel na kole do Frostonu, jen asi pět nebo šest mil, abych viděl kostel; Velmi mě zajímá architektura a má jednu z těch pěkných verand s výklenky a štíty. I took a photograph of it, and then an old man who was tidying up in the churchyard came and asked if I'd care to look into the church. Vyfotografoval jsem to a pak přišel starý muž, který uklízel na hřbitově, a zeptal se, jestli bych se nechtěl podívat do kostela. I said yes, and he produced a key and let me in. Řekl jsem ano a on vytáhl klíč a pustil mě dovnitř. There wasn't much inside, but I told him it was a nice little church, and he kept it very clean, ‘But,' I said, ‘the porch is the best part of it.' We were just outside the porch then, and he said, ‘Ah, yes, that is a nice porch; and do you know, sir, what's the meanin' of that coat of arms there?' Uvnitř toho moc nebylo, ale řekl jsem mu, že je to pěkný malý kostel a on ho udržoval velmi čistý, "Ale," řekl jsem, "nejlepší část je veranda." Byli jsme tehdy před verandou a on řekl: „Ach, ano, to je pěkná veranda; a víte, pane, co znamená ten erb tam?"

‘It was the one with the three crowns, and though „Byl to ten se třemi korunami, a i když I'm not much of a herald, I was able to say yes, I thought it was the old arms of the kingdom of East Anglia. Nejsem moc heraldik, dokázal jsem říct ano, myslel jsem si, že to jsou staré zbraně království Východní Anglie.

‘ 'That's right, sir,' he said, ‘and do you know the meanin' of them three crowns that's on it?' "Přesně tak, pane," řekl, "a víte, co znamenají ty tři koruny, které jsou na něm?"

‘I said I'd no doubt it was known, but I couldn't recollect to have heard it myself. „Řekl jsem, že nepochybuji, že se to ví, ale nemohl jsem si vzpomenout, že jsem to sám slyšel.

‘ ‘Well, then,' he said, ‘for all you're a scholard, I can tell you something you don't know. "No, tak," řekl, "přestože jsi učenec, můžu ti říct něco, co nevíš. Them's the three ‘oly crowns what was buried in the ground near by the coast to keep the Germans from landing—ah, I can see you don't believe that. Jsou to ty tři 'oly koruny, které byly zakopány v zemi blízko pobřeží, aby zabránily Němcům přistát – ach, vidím, že tomu nevěříte. But I tell you, if it hadn't have been for one of them ‘oly crowns bein' there still, them Germans would a landed here time and again, they would. Ale říkám vám, že kdyby tam ještě nebyla jedna z nich „oly korun“, ti Němci by sem přistáli znovu a znovu. Landed with their ships, and killed man, woman and child in their beds. Přistáli se svými loděmi a zabili muže, ženu a dítě v jejich postelích. Now then, that's the truth what I'm telling you, that is; and if you don't believe me, you ask the rector. Tak tedy, to je pravda, co vám říkám, to jest; a když mi nevěříš, zeptej se rektora. There he comes: you ask him, I says.' Tam přichází: ptáš se ho, říkám.“

‘I looked round, and there was the rector, a nice-looking old man, coming up the path; and before I could begin assuring my old man, who was getting quite excited, that I didn't disbelieve him, the rector struck in, and said:

‘ 'What's all this about, John? “ „O čem to všechno je, Johne? Good day to you, sir. Have you been looking at our little church?' '

‘So then there was a little talk which allowed the old man to calm down, and then the rector asked him again what was the matter. "Takže pak byla řeč, která umožnila starému pánovi se uklidnit, a pak se ho rektor znovu zeptal, co se děje."

‘ 'Oh,' he said, ‘it warn't nothink, only I was telling this gentleman he'd ought to ast you about them ‘oly crowns.' "Ach," řekl, "to nic nevaruje, jen jsem tomu pánovi říkal, že by ti měl říct o těch ,oly korunách."

‘ ‘Ah, yes, to be sure,' said the rector, ‘that's a very curious matter, isn't it? „Ach, ano, jistě,“ řekl rektor, „to je velmi zvláštní věc, že? But I don't know whether the gentleman is interested in our old stories, eh?'

‘ ‘Oh, he'll be interested fast enough,' says the old man, ‘he'll put his confidence in what you tells him, sir; why, you known William Ager yoursell, father and son too.' "Ach, bude to zajímat dost rychle," říká starý muž, "bude důvěřovat tomu, co mu řeknete, pane; proč, znal jsi Williama Agera, otce a syna také.“

‘Then I put in a word to say how much I should like to hear all about it, and before many minutes I was walking up the village street with the rector, who had one or two words to say to parishioners, and then to the rectory, where he took me into his study. „Pak jsem řekl, jak moc bych o tom chtěl slyšet, a před mnoha minutami jsem šel po vesnické ulici s rektorem, který měl jedno nebo dvě slova, aby řekl farníkům, a pak fary, kde mě vzal do své pracovny. He had made out, on the way, that I really was capable of taking an intelligent interest in a piece of folklore, and not quite the ordinary tripper. Cestou zjistil, že jsem opravdu schopen inteligentně se zajímat o kus folklóru a ne úplně obyčejného výletníka. So he was very willing to talk, and it is rather surprising to me that the particular legend he told me has not made its way into print before. Byl tedy velmi ochotný mluvit a je pro mě docela překvapivé, že konkrétní legenda, kterou mi řekl, se dříve nedostala do tisku. His account of it was this: ‘There has always been a belief in these parts in the three holy crowns. Jeho popis byl tento: ‚V těchto končinách se vždy víra ve tři svaté koruny. The old people say they were buried in different places near the coast to keep off the Danes or the French or the Germans. And they say that one of the three was dug up a long time ago, and another has disappeared by the encroaching of the sea, and one's still left doing its work, keeping off invaders. Well, now, if you have read the ordinary guides and histories of this county, you will remember perhaps that in 1687 a crown, which was said to be the crown of Redwald, King of the East Angles, was dug up at Rendlesham, and alas! alas! melted down before it was even properly described or drawn. roztavil se dříve, než byl vůbec řádně popsán nebo nakreslen. Well, Rendlesham isn't on the coast, but it isn't so very far inland, and it's on a very important line of access. Rendlesham není na pobřeží, ale není tak daleko ve vnitrozemí a je na velmi důležité přístupové linii. And I believe that is the crown which the people mean when they say that one has been dug up. Then on the south you don't want me to tell you where there was a Saxon royal palace which is now under the sea, eh? Pak na jihu nechceš, abych ti řekl, kde byl saský královský palác, který je teď pod mořem, co? Well, there was the second crown, I take it. No, byla tam druhá koruna, beru ji. And up beyond these two, they say, lies the third.' A za těmito dvěma, říkají, leží třetí.“

‘ ‘Do they say where it is?' of course I asked. "Říkají, kde to je?" samozřejmě jsem se zeptal.

‘He said, ‘Yes, indeed, they do, but they don't tell,' and his manner did not encourage me to put the obvious question. "Řekl: "Ano, skutečně, ale neříkají," a jeho chování mě nepovzbudilo, abych položil jasnou otázku. Instead of that I waited a moment, and said: ‘What did the old man mean when he said you knew William Ager, as if that had something to do with the crowns?' Místo toho jsem chvíli počkal a řekl: "Co tím starý muž myslel, když řekl, že znáte Williama Agera, jako by to mělo něco společného s korunami?"

‘ ‘To be sure,' he said, ‘now that's another curious story. "To je jistě další," řekl, "to je další kuriózní příběh." These Agers it's a very old name in these parts, but I can't find that they were ever people of quality or big owners these Agers say, or said, that their branch of the family were the guardians of the last crown. Tito Agerové, to je v těchto končinách velmi staré jméno, ale nemohu najít, že by to někdy byli kvalitní lidé nebo velcí majitelé, tito Agerové říkali, nebo říkali, že jejich větev rodu byla strážci poslední koruny. A certain old Nathaniel Ager was the first one I knew—I was born and brought up quite near here—and he, I believe, camped out at the place during the whole of the war of 1870. Jistý starý Nathaniel Ager byl první, koho jsem znal – narodil jsem se a vyrostl jsem docela blízko tady – a myslím, že na tom místě tábořil během celé války roku 1870. William, his son, did the same, I know, during the South African War. William, jeho syn, udělal totéž, vím, během války v Jižní Africe. And young William, his son, who has only died fairly recently, took lodgings at the cottage nearest the spot; and I've no doubt hastened his end, for he was a consumptive, by exposure and night watching. A mladý William, jeho syn, který nedávno zemřel, se ubytoval v chatě nejblíže k místu; a nepochybně jsem jeho konec uspíšil, protože byl konzument, vystavením a nočním sledováním. And he was the last of that branch. A on byl poslední z té větve. It was a dreadful grief to him to think that he was the last, but he could do nothing, the only relations at all near to him were in the colonies. Byl to pro něj hrozný zármutek, když si myslel, že je poslední, ale nemohl nic dělat, jediní příbuzní, kteří mu byli vůbec blízcí, byli v koloniích. I wrote letters for him to them imploring them to come over on business very important to the family, but there has been no answer. Napsal jsem jim dopisy, ve kterých jsem je žádal, aby přišli s obchodem, který je pro rodinu velmi důležitý, ale nepřišla žádná odpověď. So the last of the holy crowns, if it's there, has no guardian now.'