The Gipsy's Granddaughter--Proposed Marriage--The Alguazil--The Assault--Speedy Trot--Arrival at Trujillo--Night and Rain--The Forest--The Bivouac--Mount and Away!--Jaraicejo--The National-- The Cavalier Balmerson--Among the Thickets--Serious Discourse-- What is Truth?--Unexpected Intelligence.
WE remained three days at the gipsies' house, Antonio departing early every morning, on his mule, and returning late at night. The house was large and ruinous, the only habitable part of it, with the exception of the stable, being the hall, where we had supped, and there the gipsy females slept at night, on some mats and mattresses in a corner.
"A strange house is this," said I to Antonio, one morning, as he was on the point of saddling his mule and departing, as I supposed, on the affairs of Egypt; "a strange house and strange people; that gipsy grandmother has all the appearance of a sowanee (sorceress)."
"All the appearance of one!" said Antonio; "and is she not really one? She knows more crabbed things and crabbed words than all the Errate betwixt here and Catalonia. She has been amongst the wild Moors, and can make more drows, poisons, and philtres than any one alive. She once made a kind of paste, and persuaded me to taste, and shortly after I had done so my soul departed from my body, and wandered through horrid forests and mountains, amidst monsters and duendes, during one entire night. She learned many things amidst the Corahai which I should be glad to know."
"Have you been long acquainted with her?" said I; "you appear to be quite at home in this house."
"Acquainted with her!" said Antonio. "Did not my own brother marry the black Calli, her daughter, who bore him the chabi, sixteen years ago, just before he was hanged by the Busné?
In the afternoon I was seated with the gipsy mother in the hall, the two Callees were absent telling fortunes about the town and neighbourhood, which was their principal occupation. "Are you married, my London Caloro?" said the old woman to me. "Are you a ro?"
Myself.--Wherefore do you ask, O Dai de los Cales?
Gipsy Mother.--It is high time that the lacha of the chabi were taken from her, and that she had a ro. You can do no better than take her for romi, my London Caloro.
Myself.--I am a stranger in this land, O mother of the gipsies, and scarcely know how to provide for myself, much less for a romi.
Gipsy Mother.--She wants no one to provide for her, my London Caloro, she can at any time provide for herself and her ro. She can hokkawar, tell baji, and there are few to equal her at stealing à pastesas. Were she once at Madrilati, where they tell me you are going, she would make much treasure; therefore take her thither, for in this foros she is nahi (lost), as it were, for there is nothing to be gained; but in