“It is as I choose, sister,” replied Pine quietly, for since Chaldea had got the better of him, it was useless to quarrel with her. “And from what I do good will come to our people.”
Chaldea laughed, and blew from her fingers a feather, carelessly picked up while in the thicket which had concealed her eavesdropping. “For that, I care that,” said she, pointing to the floating feather slowly settling. “I looks to myself and to my love, brother.”
“Hey?” Pine raised his eyebrows.
“It’s a Gorgio my heart is set on,” pursued Chaldea steadfastly. “A regular Romany Rye, brother. Do you think Lambert is a good name?”
“It’s the name of the devil, sister,” cried Pine hastily.
“The very devil I love. To me sweet, as to you sour. And speaking Romanly, brother, I want him to be my rom in the Gentile fashion, as you have a romi in your Gorgious lady.”
“What will Kara say?” said Pine, and his eyes flashed, for the idea of getting rid of Lambert in this way appealed to him. The girl was beautiful, and with her added cleverness she might be able to gain her ends, and these accomplished, would certainly place a barrier between Agnes and her cousin, since the woman would never forgive the man for preferring the girl.
“Kara plays on the fiddle, but not on my heart-strings,” said Chaldea in a cool manner, and watched Pine wickedly. “You’d better help me, brother, if you don’t want that Gorgious romi of yours to pad the hoof with the rye.”
The blood rushed to Pine’s dark cheeks. “What’s that?”
“No harm to my rye and I tell you, brother. Don’t use the knife.”
“That I will not do, if a wedding-ring from him to you will do as well.”
“It will do, brother,” said Chaldea calmly. “My rye doesn’t love me yet, but he will, when I get him away from the Gentile lady’s spells. They draw him, brother, they draw him.”
“Where do they draw him to?” demanded Pine, his voice thick with passion.
“To the Gorgious house of the baro rai, the brother of your romi. Like an owl does he go after dusk to watch the nest.”
“Owl,” muttered Pine savagely. “Cuckoo, rather. Prove this, my sister, and I help you to gain the love you desire.”
“It’s a bargain, brother”—she held out her hand inquiringly—“but no knife.”
Pine shook hands. “It’s a bargain, sister. Your wedding-ring will part them as surely as any knife. Tell me more!” And Chaldea in whispers told him all.
The woman and the man.