Chapter Four (go to the original)

There is a chance of escape, or at any rate of being able to send word home. A band of Szgany have come to the castle, and are encamped in the courtyard. These are gipsies. I have notes of them in my book. They are peculiar to this part of the world, though allied to the ordinary gipsies all the world over. There are thousands of them in Hungary and Transylvania, who are almost outside all law. They attach themselves as a rule to some great noble or boyar, and call themselves by his name. They are fearless and without religion, save superstition, and they talk only their own varieties of the Romany tongue. There are rumors, as well, that they are in fact not living men at all, but corpses brought back from death to serve their necromancer master. It is difficult from my prison cell in the castle to tell anything for certain, but there is something in the way they move and work, tireless, but always shambling. I have seen one of their great leiter-wagons roll over the foot one of Szgany, who neither cried out, nor gave any indication of pain.