“Men have changed their minds about the women they were going to marry, Dolly, even American men. And that’s another thing that bothers me. I think that girl’s very much in love with him, and if she thought he was fond of you, she’d be furious. There’s no telling what a gypsy girl might do if she was jealous. You see, she’d blame you, instead of him. She’d say you had turned his head.”
“Oh, Bessie, what a dreadful mess. Oh, dear! I seem to be getting into trouble all the time! I think I’m just going to have a little harmless fun, and then I find that I’ve started all sorts of trouble that I couldn’t foresee at all.”
“Never mind, Dolly. You didn’t mean to do it, and, of course, I may be exaggerating it anyhow. I’ll admit I’m frightened, but it’s of what I know about the gypsies. They’re strange people and they carry a grudge a long time. If they think anyone has hurt them, or offended them, they’re never satisfied until they have had their revenge. But, after all, he may not do anything at all. He may have been joking. Perhaps he just wanted to frighten you.”
“Oh, I really do think that must have been it, Bessie. Don’t you remember that he was different from the others! He spoke just as well as we do, as if he’d been to school, and he must know more about our customs.”
Bessie shook her head.
“That doesn’t mean that he isn’t just as wild and untamed as the others down at bottom, Dolly. I’ve heard the same thing about Indians; that some of those who make the most trouble are the very ones who’ve been to Carlisle. It isn’t because they’re educated, because they would have been wild and wicked anyhow, but the very fact that they are educated seems to make them more dangerous. I hope it isn’t the same with this gypsy; but we’ve got to be careful.”
“Oh, I’ll be careful, Bessie,” said Dolly, with a shudder. “I’ll do whatever I’m told. You needn’t worry about that.”
“That’s good, Dolly. The first thing, of course, is never to get far away from the camp alone. We mustn’t come over this way at all, or go anywhere near Loon Pond as long as those gypsies are still there.”
“Oh, Bessie, do you think we’ll have to tell Miss Eleanor about this?”
“I’m afraid so, Dolly. But there’s no reason why you should mind doing that. She won’t blame you, it really wasn’t your fault.”
“Yes, it was, Bessie. Don’t you remember the way I changed the signs! If I hadn’t done that we wouldn’t have gone to Loon Pond, and if we hadn’t gone there—”
“We wouldn’t have seen the gypsies? Yes I know, Dolly. But Miss Eleanor is fair, you know that. And she may scold you for playing trick with the signs, but that’s all. She won’t blame you for having misunderstood that gypsy.”
Then they came to the crossing of the trails, and Dolly replaced the signs as they had been before she had played her thoughtless prank.