“What a funny name! I never heard of that book, but I’ll get it and read it when I get home. It tells about the gypsies, you say?”
“Yes. But I guess not about the gypsies as they are now, but more as they used to be. We’re getting close, now. See all the babies! Aren’t they cute and brown?”
Two or three parties, evidently from the hotel, were looking about the camp, but they paid little attention to the two Camp Fire Girls, evidently recognizing that they did not come from the hotel. The gypsies, however, always on the alert when they see a chance to make money by selling their wares or by telling fortunes, flocked about them, particularly the women. Bessie, fair haired and blond, they seemed disposed to neglect, but Bessie noticed that several of the men looked admiringly at Dolly, whose dark hair and eyes, though she was, of course, much fairer than their own women, seemed to appeal to them.
“I’d like to have my fortune told!” Dolly whispered.
“I think we’d better not do that, Dolly, really; and you remember you said you’d stay just for a minute.”
“I don’t see what harm it would do,” Dolly pouted. But she gave in, nevertheless. They passed the door of the strangely decorated tent inside of which the secrets of the future were supposed to be revealed, and, followed by a curious pack of children, walked on to a wagon where a pretty girl, who seemed no older than themselves; but was probably, because the gypsy women grow old so much more quickly than American girls, actually younger, was sitting. She was sewing beads to a jacket, and she looked up with a bright smile as they approached.
“You come from the hotel?” she said. “You live there?”
“No,” said Dolly. “We come from a long way off. Are you going to wear that jacket?”
The gypsy girl laughed.
“No. I’m making that for my man, him over there by the tree, smoking, see? He’s my man; he’s goin’ marry me when I get it done.”
“Marry you? Why, you’re only a girl like me!” she exclaimed.
“No, no; me woman,” protested the gypsy, eagerly. “See, I’m so tall already!”
And she sprang up to show them how tall she was. But Bessie and Dolly only laughed the more, until Bessie saw that something like anger was coming into her black eyes, and checked Dolly’s laugh.
“I hope you’ll be very happy,” she said. “Come on, Dolly, we really must be going.”
Dolly was inclined to resist once more. She hadn’t seen half as much as she wanted to of the strange, exotic life of the gypsy caravan, so different from the things she was used to, but Bessie was firm, and they began to make their way back toward the trail. And, as they neared the spot from which they had had their first view of Loon Pond and the gypsy camp, Bessie was startled and frightened by the sudden appearance in their path of the good looking young gypsy for whom the girl they had been talking to was decorating the jacket.