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Lavengro by George Henry Borrow

Whether you believe in dukkeripens


And

now the storm was at its height; the black thundercloud had broken into many, which assumed the wildest shapes and the strangest colours, some of them unspeakably glorious; the rain poured in a deluge, and more than one waterspout was seen at no great distance: an immense rabble is hurrying in one direction; a multitude of men of all ranks, peers and yokels, prize-fighters and Jews, and the last came to plunder, and are now plundering amidst that wild confusion of hail and rain, men and horses, carts and carriages. But all hurry in one direction, through mud and mire; there's a town only three miles distant, which is soon reached, and soon filled, it will not contain one-third of that mighty rabble; but there's another town farther on--the good old city is farther on, only twelve miles; what's that! who will stay here? onward to the old town.

Hurry-skurry, a mixed multitude of men and horses, carts and carriages, all in the direction of the old town; and, in the midst of all that mad throng, at a moment when the rain-gushes were coming down with particular fury, and the artillery of the sky was pealing as I had never heard it peal before, I felt some one seize me by the arm--I turned round, and beheld Mr. Petulengro.

'I can't hear you, Mr. Petulengro,' said I; for the thunder drowned the words which he appeared to be uttering.

'Dearginni,' I heard Mr. Petulengro say, 'it thundreth.

I was asking, brother, whether you believe in dukkeripens?'

'I do not, Mr. Petulengro; but this is strange weather to be asking me whether I believe in fortunes.'

'Grondinni,' said Mr. Petulengro, 'it haileth. I believe in dukkeripens, brother.'

'And who has more right,' said I; 'seeing that you live by them? But this tempest is truly horrible.'

'Dearginni, grondinni ta villaminni! It thundreth, it haileth, and also flameth,' said Mr. Petulengro. 'Look up there, brother!'

I looked up. Connected with this tempest there was one feature to which I have already alluded--the wonderful colours of the clouds. Some were of vivid green; others of the brightest orange; others as black as pitch. The gypsy's finger was pointed to a particular part of the sky.

'What do you see there, brother?'

'A strange kind of cloud.'

'What does it look like, brother?'

'Something like a stream of blood.'

'That cloud foreshoweth a bloody dukkeripen.'

'A bloody fortune!' said I. 'And whom may it betide?'

'Who knows!' said the gypsy.

Down the way, dashing and splashing, and scattering man, horse, and cart to the left and right, came an open barouche, drawn by four smoking steeds, with postilions in scarlet jackets and leather skull caps. Two forms were conspicuous in it; that of the successful bruiser, and of his friend and backer, the sporting gentleman of my acquaintance.

'His!' said the gypsy, pointing to the latter, whose stern features wore a smile of triumph, as, probably recognising me in the crowd, he nodded in the direction of where I stood, as the barouche hurried by.

There went the barouche, dashing through the rain-gushes, and in it one whose boast it was that he was equal to 'either fortune.' Many have heard of that man--many may be desirous of knowing yet more of him. I have nothing to do with that man's after life--he fulfilled his dukkeripen. 'A bad, violent man!' Softly, friend; when thou wouldst speak harshly of the dead, remember that thou hast not yet fulfilled thy own dukkeripen!


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