In towns the gipsies
are used as masons. One finds them in groups wherever a house is
being built, men, women, and children bringing with them their
nameless disorder and their picturesque filth.
Of an evening, the work being done, they will prepare their supper,
when, seated round the steaming pot, their many-coloured rags become
radiant beneath the rays of the setting sun.
Often a mangy donkey is attached not far off, and in a basket,
amidst a medley of metal pots of all sizes and shapes, lies a
sleeping infant wrapped in a torn cloth.
The donkey patiently bears his burden, flicking away the flies with
his meagre tail.
In the month of lilies handsome gipsy-girls will wander through the
streets, carrying wooden vessels filled with snow-white flowers, the
purity of the lilies strangely in contrast with their sun-tanned
faces. In long, fragrant bunches they sell these flowers to the
passers-by. At every corner one meets them, either crouching in
picturesque attitudes on the pavement or standing upright beneath
the shadowy angle of a roof, beautiful creatures with dark faces
readily breaking into smiles that make their black eyes glisten and
their white teeth flash.
Figures full of unconscious pride, visages at which one must look
and always look again . . . for they contain all the mystery of the
many roads their feet have left behind!