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The Gypsies are angry. They have been driven from Ramona
A traditional camping ground of the Genye or so this band
calls its self. Loosely translated it means the people.
In the lead wagon Carlenko broods, his gristly chin cupped in one
dirty hand, the other picking his huge Roman nose. Behind him,
Bruschetta, his gypsy wife, all rings and beads, slaps the brooding
and nose picking Carlenko from behind. "Capooch! she snarls, "you
let them shame the Genye and you wither and run like a sulking dog
you filthy stink you make me wretch. Ptooey." Bruschetta spits in
the four directions, taps wood and rests her withering look on poor
Carlenko. This whole conversation was rendered much more colorfully
and nasty in their native tongue, which belonged to no known
language family and was almost completely unpronounceable.
"We will stop here and discuss the matter." Carlenko signals for
the wagons to make camp. They circle and soon there is a fire in
the middle and as if by magic, instruments and goat bladders
filled with Gratka appear. The 17 men assemble around the fire
and air their grievances. The fiery Gratka passes from mouth to
mouth and in no time the men are drunk and roaring bawdy songs
in their unspeakable tongue.
In this manner the matter is discussed and unbelievably a
consensus reached. "How come we let the habish drive us
out?" Carlenko asks no one in particular. Habish is how the
Genye refer to anyone who is not Genye and can be loosely
translated to mean “snake”.
"We let the Habish drive us from Ramona we lose face." this
was Harbek, a small, even for this stunted people, sinewy
Gypsy with a single gold tooth in a toothless mouth. "Let us
leave the good people of Ramona a token of our displeasure."
"Rape and pillage!" yelled a dozen voices although they were too
drunk to do either. In the end they burned the trestle over the Arn
as that was the closest and easiest thing to do. So in the dead
of night that is just what they did. Cursing each other's ancestry
they piled up some brush at the foot of the big timbers, lit them
and slunk away before dawn. "this will show those stinking Habish
dogs," Carlenko muttered and got the caravan back on the road
before anyone could blame them for destroying the bridge.
The flames consume the dry timbers even as the lonely whistle
of the Count's train is heard in the distance. It's all fate and
never the one you expect.
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