Isopel Berners eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 364 pages of information about Isopel Berners.

“Not in the least; I merely propose the thing to prevent our occasionally feeling uncomfortable together.  Let us begin.”

“Stop till I have removed the tea-things,” said Belle; and, getting up, she removed them to her own encampment.

“I am ready,” said Belle, returning, and taking her former seat, “to join with you in anything which will serve to pass away the time agreeably, provided there is no harm in it.”

“Belle,” said I, “I have determined to commence the course of Armenian lessons by teaching you the numerals; but, before I do that, it will be as well to tell you that the Armenian language is called Haik.”

“I am sure that word will hang upon my memory,” said Belle.

“Why hang upon it?”

“Because the old women in the great house used to call so the chimney-hook, on which they hung the kettle; in like manner, on the hake of my memory I will hang your hake.”

“Good!” said I, “you will make an apt scholar; but, mind, that I did not say hake, but haik; the words are, however, very much alike; and, as you observe, upon your hake you may hang my haik.  We will now proceed to the numerals.”

“What are numerals?” said Belle.

“Numbers.  I will say the Haikan numbers up to ten.  There, have you heard them?”

“Yes.”

“Well, try and repeat them.”

“I only remember number one,” said Belle, “and that because it is me.”

“I will repeat them again,” said I, “and pay great attention.  Now, try again.”

“Me, jergo, earache.”

“I neither said jergo, nor earache.  I said yergou and yerek.  Belle, I am afraid I shall have some difficulty with you as a scholar.”

Belle made no answer.  Her eyes were turned in the direction of the winding path, which led from the bottom of the hollow where we were seated, to the plain above “Gorgio shunella,” {125a} she said, at length, in a low voice.

“Pure Rommany,” said I; “where?” I added, in a whisper.

“Dovey odoy,” {125b} said Belle, nodding with her head towards the path.

“I will soon see who it is,” said I; and starting up, I rushed towards the pathway, intending to lay violent hands on any one I might find lurking in its windings.  Before, however, I had reached its commencement, a man, somewhat above the middle height, advanced from it into the dingle, in whom I recognised the man in black, whom I had seen in the public-house.

CHAPTER IX.—­LAVENGRO RECEIVES A VISIT OF CEREMONY FROM THE MAN IN BLACK.

The man in black and myself stood opposite to each other for a minute or two in silence; I will not say that we confronted each other that time, for the man in black, after a furtive glance, did not look me in the face, but kept his eyes fixed, apparently on the leaves of a bunch of ground nuts which were growing at my feet.  At length, looking round the dingle, he exclaimed, “Buona Sera, I hope I don’t intrude.”

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Isopel Berners from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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