For several weeks, Kadri would call
Reska, at times threatening, at times complaining. And telling her that
he would soon be coming to Italy to get his wife back.
One morning, Kadri turns up in Brescia with
his handsome car. Reska, Bajram, Xhevrija are at the camp; Remzija is still
hidden in a safe place. The whole camp had sworn to drive away Kadri, but
he gets off his car, strutting proudly. For some reason, the people of
the camp are silent and even accompany him into the courtyard, up the stairs
and to the room of the Berisha family. Kadri comes in first and sits down.
Before coming, he must have gone to a cruel and old hojja, half mystic
and half magician, to get an charm of invincibility.
Little Reska, her large eyes made up dark,
loaded with gold, comes. "I am Reska and I am terribly astute and have
a zhiva since I was born" .... she points at her right shoulder ... "so
your enchantment can do nothing against me... maybe even if you shoot me,
I won't be hurt". A zhiva, the enchantment of a diminutive Qur'an... Whatever
the reason, the zhiva or simply because the girl had dared to challenge
him, huge Kadri suddenly loses all his power. He starts justifying himself,
saying that he sends women out into the streets because he has no money...
indeed, it is the fault of Remzija having made so many children.... besides,
his only worker, Emba Sada, "Esmeralda" for the customers, cost him no
less than five thousand marks.
Reska's cousin comes racing from Bergamo,
with a whole gang of people. To come quicker, he had broken every law of
traffic and of common sense. The cousin is small and wicked, fiercely proud
of his long hair, and a member of a mysterious Sufi brotherhood, Muslims
who - he told me - are "different" from Bajram and his children, Muslims
who pray in a circle and stab themselves with knives to put their faith
to a test. Now the cousin lives in a filthy hovel ("worse than the Gypsies",
explains Reska) with a dozen relatives.
The little cousin stands in front of the
seated ogre, slaps him on the thigh and says, "if you send your women out
to work as prostitutes, you aren't a real man... you're a homosexual!"
and orders the big beast to get up and go away.
Humbly, Kadri says yes, he will go, but he
doesn't have enough money to go back to Zagreb. So the neighbours give
him 150,000 lire. A strange way of begging which breaks the enchantment.
Then he gets onto his car and disappears. For the time being.
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