The Romany Rye
The Romany Rye, known previously as Lavengro, George, and Shorsha, all terms of respect for his linguistic accomplishments among the Gypsies. The young wanderer is alert, perceptive, friendly, and resourceful. He is traveling to acquire a better understanding of language differences. Not content with knowing meanings and sounds, the tinker turned horse trader wants to know reasons, folkways, mores, and rituals; in short, everything interests him, especially the nomadic life of the Romany groups, the Armenian Gypsies. Like an errant Don Quixote, the hero rights wrongs, sets things straight, and always extracts life histories from those he encounters. He irritates many with his questions, but this Romany Rye (Gypsy gentleman) almost always wins respect and admiration.
Isopel (Belle) Berners
Isopel (Belle) Berners, an Amazon of the open road. Although she is not a Gypsy, she goes her independent way without interference. The flaxen-haired and handsome young woman has laid out numerous travelers who made untoward remarks, but she respects and admires the hero. She refuses to marry him, however, on the basis that she believes him to be mad because of his philological curiosity. Finally, to maintain her independence and be true to her vision, she leaves for America alone.
Jasper Petulengro, the Gypsy who more than anyone else helps the Romany Rye with his research. Jasper not only aids Lavengro with introductions to interesting...
(The entire section is 628 words.)