"And don't the crooked need that same?" chuckled Gentilla, nodding. "There's trouble at hand, my gentleman. The child's brewing witch's broth, for sure."

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"Chaldea!" Lambert sat up anxiously. He mistrusted the younger gypsy greatly, and was eager to know what she was now doing.

"Aye! Aye! Aye!" Mother Cockleshell nodded three times like a veritable Macbeth witch. "She came tearing, rampagious-like, to the camp an hour or so back and put on her fine clothes—may they cleave with pain to her skin—to go to the big city. It is true, rye. Kara ran by the side of the donkey she rode upon—may she have an accident—to Wanbury."

"To Wanbury?" Lambert looked startled as it crossed his mind, and not unnaturally, that Chaldea might have gone to inform Inspector Darby about the conversation with Garvington in the library.

"To Wanbury first, sir, and then to Lundra."

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"How can you be certain of that?"

"The child treated me like the devil's calls her," said Gentilla Stanley, shaking her head angrily. "And I have no trust in her, for a witchly wrong 'un she is. When she goes donkey-wise to Wanbury, I says to a chal, says I, quick-like, 'Follow and watch her games!' So the chal runs secret, behind hedges, and comes on the child at the railway line making for Lundra. And off she goes on wheels in place of tramping the droms in true Romany style."

"What the deuce has she gone to London for?" Lambert asked himself in a low voice, but Gentilla's sharp ears overheard.

"Mischief for sure, my gentleman. Hai, but she's a bad one, that same. But she plays and I play, with the winning for me—since the good cards are always in the old hand. Fear nothing, my rye. She cannot hurt, though snake that she is, her bite stings."

The young man did not reply. He was uneasy in one way and relieved in another. Chaldea certainly had not gone to see Inspector Darby, so she could not have any intention of bringing the police into the matter. But why had she gone to London? He asked himself this question and finally put it to the old woman, who watched him with bright, twinkling eyes.

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"She's gone for mischief," answered Gentilla, nodding positively. "For mischief's as natural to her as cheating is to a Romany chal. But I'm a dealer of cards myself, rye, and I deal myself the best hand."

"I wish you'd leave metaphor and come to plain speaking," cried Lambert in an irritable tone, for the conversation was getting on his nerves by reason of its prolixity and indirectness.

Mother Cockleshell laughed and nodded, then emptied the ashes out of her pipe and spoke out, irrelevantly as it would seem: "The child has taken the hearts of the young from me," said she, shaking her grizzled head; "but the old cling to the old. With them as trusts my wisdom, my rye, I goes across the black water to America and leaves the silly ones to the child. She'll get them into choky and trouble, for sure. And that's a true dukkerin."

"Have you the money to go to America?"

"Money?" The old woman chuckled and hugged herself. "And why not, sir, when Ishmael Hearne was my child. Aye, the child of my child, for I am the bebee of Hearne, bebee being grandmother in our Romany tongue, sir."

Lambert started from his seat, almost too astonished to speak. "Do you mean to say that you are Pine's grandmother?"

"Pine? Who is Pine? A Gentile I know not. Hearne he was born and Hearne he shall be to me, though the grass is now a quilt for him. Ohone! Hai mai! Ah, me! Woe! and woe, my gentleman. He was the child of my child and the love of my heart," she rocked herself to and fro sorrowfully, "like a leaf has he fallen from the tree; like the dew has he vanished into the blackness of the great shadow. Hai mai! Hai mai! the sadness of it."

"Hearne your grandson?" murmured Lambert, staring at her and scarcely able to believe her.