"That is what we have to find out from Chaldea!"

At that moment; as if he had summoned her, the gypsy suddenly flung open the door and walked in with a sulky expression on her dark face. At first she had been delighted to hear that Lambert wanted to see her, but when informed by Mrs. Tribb that Lady Agnes was with the young man, she had lost her temper. However, the chance of seeing Lambert was too tempting to forego, so she marched in defiantly, ready to fight with her rival if there was an opportunity of doing so. But the Gentile lady declined the combat, and took no more notice of the jealous gypsy than was absolutely necessary. On her side Chaldea ostentatiously addressed her conversation to Lambert.

"How are you, rye?" she asked, stopping with effort in the middle of the room, for her impulse was to rush forward and gather him to her heaving bosom. "Have you taken drows, my precious lord?"

"What do you mean by drows, Chaldea?"

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"Poison, no less. You look drabbed, for sure."

"Poisoned. But I waste the kalo jib on you, my Gorgious. God bless you for a sick one, say I, and that's a bad dukkerin, the which in gentle Romany means fortune, my Gentile swell."

"drop talking such nonsense," said Lambert sharply, and annoyed to see how the girl ignored the presence of Lady Agnes. "I have a few questions to ask you about a certain letter."

"Kushto bak to the rye, who showed it to the lady," said Chaldea, tossing her head so that the golden coins jingled.

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"He did not show it to me, girl," remarked Lady Agnes coldly.

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"Hai! It seems that the rumy of Hearne can lie."

"I shall put you out of the house if you speak in that way," said Lambert sternly. "Silver went to Lady Agnes and tried to blackmail her."

"He's a boro pappin, and that's Romany for a large goose, my Gorgious rye, for I asked no gold."

"You told him to ask five thousand pounds."

"May I die in a ditch if I did!" cried Chaldea vehemently. "Touch the gold of the raclan I would not, though I wanted bread. The tiny rye took the letter to give to the prastramengro, and that's a policeman, my gentleman, so that there might be trouble. But I wished no gold from her. Romany speaking, I should like to poison her. I love you, and—"

"Have done with this nonsense, Chaldea. Talk like that and out you go. I can see from what you admit, that you have been making mischief."

"That's as true as my father," laughed the gypsy viciously. "And glad am I to say the word, my boro rye. And why should the raclan go free-footed when she drew her rom to be slaughtered like a pig?"

"I did nothing of the sort," cried Agnes, with an angry look.

"Duvel, it is true." Chaldea still addressed Lambert, and took no notice of Agnes. "I swear it on your Bible-book. I found the letter in my brother's tent, the day after he perished. Hearne, for Hearne he was, and a gentle Romany also, read the letter, saying that the raclan, his own romi, was running away with you."

"Who wrote the letter?" demanded Agnes indignantly.