moment, however; probably observing nothing in that quarter, she again looked towards me, and almost immediately stepped forward; and, as she advanced, sang the song which I had heard in the wood, the first words of which were those which I have already alluded to.

‘The Rommany chi
And the Rommany chal
Shall jaw tasaulor
To drab the bawlor,
And dook the gry
Of the farming rye.’

A very pretty song, thought I, falling again hard to work upon my kettle; a very pretty song, which bodes the farmers much good. Let them look to their cattle.

‘All alone here, brother?’ said a voice close by me, in sharp but not disagreeable tones.

I made no answer, but continued my work, click, click, with the gravity which became one of my profession. I allowed at least half a minute to elapse before I even lifted up my eyes.

A girl of about thirteen was standing before me; her features were very pretty, but with a peculiar expression; her complexion was a clear olive, and her jet black hair hung back upon her shoulders. She was rather scantily dressed, and her arms and feet were bare; round her neck, however, was a handsome string of corals, with ornaments of gold; in her hand she held a bulrush.

‘All alone here, brother?’ said the girl, as I looked up;all alone here, in the lane; where are your wife and children?’

‘Why do you call me brother?’ said I; ‘am no brother of yours. Do you take me for one of your people? I am no gypsy; not I, indeed!’

‘Don’t be afraid, brother, you are no Roman - Roman indeed, you are not handsome enough to be a Roman; not black enough, tinker though you be. If I called you brother, it was because I didn’t know what else to call you. Marry, come up, brother, I should be sorry to have you for a brother.’

‘Then you don’t like me?’

‘Neither like you nor dislike you, brother; what will you have for that kekaubi?’

‘What’s the use of talking to me in that unchristian way; what do you mean, young gentlewoman?’

‘Lord, brother, what a fool you are; every tinker knows what a kekaubi is. I was asking you what you would have for that kettle.’

‘Three-and-sixpence, young gentlewoman; isn’t it well mended?’

‘Well mended! I could have done it better myself; three-and- sixpence! it’s only fit to be played at football with.’

‘I will take no less for it, young gentlewoman; it has caused me a world of trouble.’

‘I never saw a worse mended kettle. I say, brother, your hair is white.’

"Tis nature; your hair is black; nature, nothing but nature.’

‘I am young, brother; my hair is black - that’s nature: you are young, brother; your hair is white - that’s not nature.’

‘I can’t help it if it be not, but it is nature after all; did you never see gray hair on the young?’

‘Never! I have heard it is true of a gray lad, and a bad one he was. Oh, so bad.’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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