‘Very much, I never heard a sweeter; it is something like what you call me.’

‘The horse-shoe master and the snake-fellow, I am the first.’

‘Who gave you that name?’

‘Ask Pharaoh.’

‘I would, if he were here, but I do not see him.’

‘I am Pharaoh.’

‘Then you are a king.’

‘Chachipen Pal.’

‘I do not understand you.’

‘Where are your languages? You want two things, brother: mother sense, and gentle Rommany.’

‘What makes you think that I want sense?’

‘That, being so old, you can’t yet guide yourself!’

‘I can read Dante, Jasper.’

‘Anan, brother.’

‘I can charm snakes, Jasper.’

‘I know you can, brother.’

‘Yes, and horses too; bring me the most vicious in the land, if I whisper he’ll be tame.’

‘Then the more shame for you - a snake-fellow - a horse-witch - and a lil-reader - yet you can’t shift for yourself. I laugh at you, brother!’

‘Then you can shift for yourself?’

‘For myself and for others, brother.’

‘And what does Chikno?’

‘Sells me horses, when I bid him. Those horses on the chong were mine.’

‘And has he none of his own?’

‘Sometimes he has; but he is not so well off as myself. When my father and mother were bitchadey pawdel, which, to tell you the truth, they were for chiving wafodo dloovu, they left me all they had, which was not a little, and I became the head of our family, which was not a small one. I was not older than you when that happened; yet our people said they had never a better krallis to contrive and plan for them, and to keep them in order. And this is so well known that many Rommany Chals, not of our family, come and join themselves to us, living with us for a time, in order to better themselves, more especially those of the poorer sort, who have little of their own. Tawno is one of these.’

‘Is that fine fellow poor?’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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