We discovered Milano at a grocer’s store, the place we sat awhile to drink wine and soda water, earlier than we drove to the jetty. The boat, nevertheless, was late, and we waited in a restaurant, consuming and speaking mournfully. Presently a gentleman stepped ahead and launched himself as Dr. Marko Markoff, the authorized Romany Rye to whom the Commandant had wished to introduce me. He proved to be a person of distinction and plenty of accomplishments, broadly travelled, even so far as London, and an amazing linguist, talking English with an uncommon correctness of accent. Evidently, too, he was a person of excessive beliefs and humanity, for who else would have sought to acquire for the despised Gypsies the political rights to which they had been entitled by the Treaty of Berlin, however which had by no means been given to them ? In 1905 he started an agitation of their favour, forming a committee of consultant Roms from completely different districts, and making speeches in numerous components of the nation. He introduced to me a replica of the primary manifesto issued by the committee, and I worth it as an necessary doc within the historical past of a persecuted race.
We talked of the “ Affairs of Egypt,” of Balkan Gypsy-hatred, of Milano’s trial, of a college professor in Sofia who is aware of Romani effectively, and of the thousand and one matters which surge riotously up when two kindred spirits meet unexpectedly.
I discovered his dialog so fascinating that it was with nice remorse that I left Rustshuk. However his kindness and politeness had been no much less welcome than his speak, for he repaired my omission, which could have induced a lot hassle, to have my passport visa’d by the civil in addition to the army authorities, and, when the boat arrived, performed me on board and launched me to a number of fellow-passengers, together with a nephew of his personal.
Unusual to take a seat there in Turkish disguise
It was unusual to take a seat there in Turkish disguise, and burned brown as a Gypsy by the solar, having fun with mental intercourse after per week with semi-savages, and listening to once more my very own language.
However it was troublesome to relapse immediately into civilization, and maybe the trouble to current myself alternately to Dr. Marko as an informed man, and to the Gypsies as a comrade, intensified the ache of these final minutes. Regardless of all prohibitions, Milano and Turi pressured their approach aboard the extremely respectable Austrian boat, and into the extremely respectable saloon with me. We should have appeared a wierd quartette to the extremely respectable passengers an advocate, within the sober garb of his occupation; a Gypsy horse-thief, dusty and a bit of ragged ;