I found that my landlord had got a letter from the Count, directing him to secure the best place on the coach for me; but on making inquiries as to details he seemed somewhat reticent, and pretended that he could not understand my German. This could not be true, because up to then he had understood it perfectly; at least, he answered my questions exactly as if he did.
I could hear a lot of words often repeated, queer words, for there were many nationalities in the crowd; so I quietly got my polyglot dictionary from my bag and looked them out. I must say they were not cheering to me, for amongst them were ‘Ordog’—Satan, ‘pokol’—hell, ‘stregoica’—witch, ‘vrolok’ and ‘vlkoslak’—both of which mean the same thing, one being Slovak and the other Servian for something that is either werewolf or vampire.
They were a hundred times more terrible in the grim silence which held them than ever when they howled. For myself, I felt a sort of paralysis of fear. It is only when a man feels himself face to face with such horrors that he can understand their true import.