From: (LYNGOS 2)
Subject: FR:  LYNGOS2   RE: THE  VOW
Date: 20 Feb 1998 23:49:14 GMT
Lines: 157
Message-ID: <>

Good morning to all.

Do you remember one of Modis previous stories by the title "The Deserter" ?

Where The Cretean boys went into Makedonia to help the other Greeks with their fight against the Bulgars and the Turks ?

Well one of them was Thymios Kaoudis, the one who later became a Chieftain himself.

In today's story I'll take you almost to the end of his life.To the places that he loved  the most, to the places that he left his youth  to the places where he lost his innocence.

To the same places where Lyngos was skiing, hunting, dreaming, in his youth.

There is a phrase into the story taken from Luke 2:29 ( thanks P.) that is reading, NYN APOLYEIS TON DOULON SOY DESPOTA. However in Modis book it appears as : NYN APOLYOIS TON DOULON SOU DESPOTA.........Simple orthographic mistake or ??????

I didn't elaborated too much, matter of fact, I found so many different translations of the phrase that I decide to post my own.

Again apologies for the mistakes, and keep in mind that any serious student of Makedonia can not and should not be able to understand the Struggle, unless he/she is familiar with the books by George Modis.

Enjoy it and have a nice week-end.

                                                THE  VOW

   The 12th of June 1954 was a festivity and panegyrist, like every year, for the Holy Trinity of Pisoderi, an old byzantine little church, hidden in a thick and boundless forest of stupendous beech trees.

     Many people had come by car from Florina and on horses and mules, or on foot from the villages.

     In the old days the crowd was much bigger. Then, there were existing many rooms around the little church,  built by good and God fearing Christians. The Komitatzides burned them down. Others like them, were the reason, during the latest years, for the destruction of all the near by villages .

     Most of the people, were lighting a small candle in the Church  and were making themselves at home under the beech trees for eating,  drinking and amusement.

     Only an old man sat bent and immobile on a small stool near the Royal Doors from the beginning, to the end of the liturgy, holding a large candle in his hand bigger than his stature.

     He appeared to be absorbed, by the divine service and his thoughts, as if his soul was flying already in different worlds.

     When he finally went out of the church, after he received from the hand of the priest the Antidoron , he looked for an instance at the gigantic, deep-green trees, he made the sign of the cross and said: Now you can set free your servant Despota........

     Many ran to greet him.  For he was Thymios Kaoudis, the Kapetanios, that had fought in these places fifty years ago!!!! To be exact he was the remainings of the legendary Chieftain who's name once was filling up the Makedonian canyons.

     He arrived, or better yet, he was dragged from Thessaloniki in order to worship at the Holy Trinity. Maybe his soul wanted to see again for the last time the places and the mountains where he had fought during his youth.

     He requested to see his old collaborators and friends. But he found only their children and their grand-children..................

He sent people and called Simos the <<Teacher>>  from Antartiko who was  somewhere near by. The old men embraced  and kissed each other.

 << Is that you Simo ? >> Kaoudis said.

<< Is that you Kapetan Thymio ? !! >>  Simos said............Then they look at each other and they embraced again.

<< did you become like this Simo ? >>  the Kapetanios  said again.

<< And how come you changed like that Kapetan Thymio ? >>  Simos answered back.

     They forgot that in the mid time a  half-eon went by!  By now Kaoudis was around 90 years old.

     The old men were starring at each other for quiet sometime and they were crying.  They were remembering their youth and their old bravery,  where had they gone ?  Kaoudis was living in Thessaloniki on a pension that wasn't enough to pay for his bread..........Simos himself was carring his weight completely alone because his children had been scattered in the four directions of the wind.

     They invited Kaoudi to have lunch with a big company under an old beech tree.

-----Seems like the place has been changed, he said while he was sitting with difficulty on a pillow.
-----We changed Kapetanie not the place, many people replied.
-----Even the Holy Trinity appears to me to be shorter.  Those days we could see Pisoderi from the Holy Trinity.
-----Not from the Holy Trinity, from the sentinel's post of the Holy Trinity you were able to see it, a lieutenant colonel said.
-----Yes you are right. But who are you that you know those things?
-----I am the son of Lazos Tsamis.
-----Really ? And what's your rank ? You know I can not see very well.
-----Congratulations!  You can't imagine how glad I am. Your father was a friend of mine. And a brave one. Anyway. He left behind him branches and shoots of branches.......

     The old Kapetanios got silent. The emotion was suffocating him. Maybe he thought that he was not leaving behind him branches.
-----Take an appetizer Kapetanie. A glass with raki, many were telling him.
-----No. Thank you. Later he answered.

     And kept looking, with eyes full with tears at the tall trees, or, the far away past....................

     Just a moment, as if he was answering to himself, start saying:
-----Let me tell you. It was an old Vow of mine to come in the Holy Trinity and light a  large candle. A fifty years old Vow !!! Today God rendered me worthy...........Blessed be His Name............

     Then a tear rolled down on his cheek.  Maybe he got upset, because for all this time he couldn't take a small, small-trip------Vow.  And now a few good friends helped him.
-----It was, he kept talking, two- three days away from the day of St. Demetrious.

In 1904. We were inside Pisoderi. Those days it was a big and rich village. My God !

How everything is like this today? The ones that are not afraid of God are trying to destroy everything. Those days in Pisoderi there were Turkish soldiers too. But we didn't care too much. How could the Turks know !!!!  A night though, came..... I think, was Xasos (Chasos) or Tsamis and he tells me: Tonight the Turks are going to search many houses. They are suspecting something.

     So we got our heavy wool coats, the rifles, and through the small canyon we slipped slowly, slowly under the school and the church. We crawled into some low bushes. We didn't go any farther, in order for the Turks not to see us. We remained hidden in the bushes for two nights and two days. A light and frozen snow was coming down. Some women brought us  cheese and bread.

     The third day in the afternoon the Turks left toward Vigla. They said that they will be going in the forest of Taima where some Komitatzides had shown up. But  it was all planned.

     We stood up,  as soon as became night and we went to the Holy Trinity. We started a fire, we ate very well and we fell asleep.

     Sometime, I don't know what time it was, I hear a voice of a woman telling me: Get up. << Come, get up. Do not sleep >>.

     I jumped up right away scared. I rubbed my eyes to make sure that I was not dreaming. No. Now I was awake. In my sleep I heard the voice. I looked all around me. Silence. In the flickering light of a candle, you could see the boys who were sleeping bundled up in their heavy wool coats. You were hearing their breathing. I went outside for a moment. Darkness and silence. I went back to the church and again I layed down. You saw a dream, Thymio,and you are acting like an old scared woman, I told to myself. But I hear again the voice: << Get up, the voice said, I told you. And don't lose anytime >>. I thought that she pushed me.

     I jumped up and went outside. Darkness in the forest, silence and cold. Not a leaf was stirring. I perked up my  ears. Nowhere, nothing was heard. The sentinel himself wasn't worried and he had not left his post. << Satan behind me >>  I said, making the sign of the cross. And I returned again back to the church deciding to lay down and shut my ears. But I don't know myself how come,  I changed my mind and yelled to the boys: Wake up. They gotup scared.

-----What's wrong Kapetanie they asked.
-----Nothing I told them, just like this, we are going out.
-----With this kind of cold ? And why ?
-----Go go............we want to get warm.

     We took the up-hill and really we got warm and sweaty. We got up high on the rocks. And there was snow all around. We entered a cave. In the morning I am getting my binoculars. And what do I see ? Everything black from many Turks. Soldiers from Pisoderi, soldiers from Zelovo ( Antartiko ), others from Popli (Lefkona ), and behind the soldiers from Konomplati ( Makrochori ). They surrounded from everywhere the Holy Trinity. Even a snake couldn'tescape.

     Well..................How  could  I  not  make a Vow ?

     Her Grace is Big.

George Sofoklis Tsapanos

Regards to all...............L.

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