*Holy Cross Mountains
*Holy Cross Mountains. Mountain range in the east of Poland in whose Lysica vicinity (the Bald Mountain), the young protagonist Raphael Olbromski first appears, hunting with his uncle Nardzewski. Raphael inherits Nardzewski’s land at the end of the novel and returns to rebuild the war-destroyed house and tend the farm before his final engagement in the Napoleonic Wars in 1812.
Tarniny (tahr-NEE-nih). House of Raphael’s father, situated on the Sandomierian Plateau, to which Raphael returns repeatedly, following his many disgraces. Due to his father’s sternness, Tarniny is a place of punishment and labor. The house acquires a playful aspect only once, on the night of a sleigh party, at which Raphael meets Helena.
*Sandomierz (sahn-DO-myehzh). City in eastern Poland where Raphael attends school until he is expelled, following a risky nocturnal boating expedition on the Vistula River. His daring in face of the raging river provides an early glimpse of his recklessly courageous nature. Later, the adult Raphael returns as a soldier to help defend Sandomierz from an Austrian siege. When the defenders are forced to destroy the chapel of St. Jacob, which is being held by the Austrians, Raphael aids the quixotic Prince Gintult in his attempt to prevent the destruction of the holy site. Wartime and peacetime values are painfully juxtaposed as, in spite of the intervention, the chapel holding sacred ashes is destroyed.
Derslavice (dehr-swah-VEE-tzeh). Home of Raphael’s beloved Helena. Raphael’s secret nighttime escapade through snow-covered woods to steal a brief encounter with Helena in her garden ends tragically with his horse being torn apart by wolves, his own severe injuries, and his consequent...
(The entire section is 762 words.)