“I—I—see, here, Chaldea, I am not going to talk over such things with you, as my affairs are not your business.”
“They are the business of the Gorgious female’s rom.”
“Rom? Her husband, you mean. What do you know of—”
“I know that the Gentle Pine is really one of us,” interrupted the girl quickly. “Ishmael Hearne is his name.”
“Sir Hubert Pine?”
“Ishmael Hearne,” insisted Chaldea pertly. “He comes to the fire of the Gentle Romany when he wearies of your Gorgious flesh-pots.”
“Pine a gypsy,” muttered Lambert, and the memory of that dark, lean, Eastern face impressed him with the belief that what the girl said was true.
“Avali. A true son of the road. He is here.”
“Here?” Lambert started violently. “What do you mean?”
“I say what I mean, rye. He you call Pine is in our camp enjoying the old life. Shall I bring him to you?” she inquired demurely.
In a flash Lambert saw his danger, and the danger of Agnes, seeing that the millionaire was as jealous as Othello. However, it seemed to him that honesty was the best policy at the moment. “I shall see him myself later,” he declared after a pause. “If you listened, you must know that there is no reason why I should not see him. His wife is my cousin, and paid me a friendly visit—that is all.”
“Yes; that is all,” mocked the girl contemptuously. “But if I tell him—”
“Tell him what?”
“That you love his romi!”
“He knows that,” said Lambert quietly. “And knows also that I am an honorable man. See here, Chaldea, you are dangerous, because this silly love of yours has warped your common sense. You can make a lot of mischief if you so choose, I know well.”
“And I shall choose, my golden rye, if you love me not.”
“Then set about it at once,” said Lambert boldly. “It is best to be honest, my girl. I have done nothing wrong, and I don’t intend to do anything wrong, so you can say what you like. To-night I shall go to London, and if Pine, or Hearne, or whatever you call him, wants me, he knows my town address.”
“You defy me?” panted Chaldea, her breast rising and falling quickly.
“Yes; truth must prevail in the end. I make no bargain with a spy,” and he gave her a contemptuous look, as he strode into the cottage and shut the door with an emphatic bang.
“Hai!” muttered the gypsy between her teeth. “Hatch till the dood wells apre,” which means: “Wait until the moon rises!” an ominous saying for Lambert.
“Was ever a man in so uncomfortable a position?”