Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Mosby had always considered himself a well-read individual, probably educated beyond his intelligence but when he met Lilly he realized that his knowledge of the Romani People was confined to folktales and that TV series where a family from a band of modern gypsies decides to settle down in suburbia.

Lilly smiled. “Admit it, Mosby. I look a little bit like Dahlia Malloy in that show, don’t I?” She posed for him, revealing her still lovely profile.

Mosby had to agree that when Lilly was a young woman she probably would have given Mini Driver a run for her money. Even in her mid-sixties, Lilly was a striking woman. She always dressed in colorful, flowing skirts and demure, almost prim, long sleeved blouses. Her long, red hair was untouched by grey – or Clairol, if Lilly was telling the truth. He had never known Lilly to lie.

“Lilly, why aren’t you a part of a clan? I thought all Romani people lived in clans?”

“Good friend, you think all us Gypsies roam about pulling cons, don’t you?”

“No, Lilly, of course not. What do you think I am, ignorant?”

“No, Mosby. Just uninformed. To tell the truth, there are many traveling bands who live…how do you say “off the grid” but not all.” Lilly was silent for a moment. Mosby waited for her to continue. “I was once a part of a clan - not too different from that one in the television show. Of course, they were Irish. We were from Brno, Czechoslovakia. In 1939 Brno was taken by Nazi Germany along with the rest of Moravia and Bohemia. In January 1940, 250 Romani children from Brno were murdered in Buchenwald. Hitler wanted to test his cyanide gas. One of the children was my brother. My father and my mother escaped with the rest of my father’s family and made their way to America. They were the lucky ones. In June 1941, Hitler ordered the extermination of all Jews and Romanies. My family’s clan settled in Kentucky. I was born there. I grew up in our clan. I met and married my husband there.”

“You never told me you were married, Lilly. What happened to your husband?”

“I killed him.”



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