Major (Truffles) Rupert Gore-Smith, tangles with some gypsy’s and receives a curse for his troubles.

He thrust his feet into the fire and stamped furiously, scattering the ashes in a cloud of dust and smoke that had the gypsy folk choking and coughing in pain. “We don”t want your kind around here with your thieving ways. He called for his dog and breezily carried on his way, knowing they would have to obey his command or face dire consequences. “That”ll teach “em!” He grumbled to the terrier, which gazed up at him fearfully. The next day he answered a timid knock on his front door to find an old Gypsy woman standing there with a nervous smile on her wrinkled face and a basket of clothes pegs cradled in her arms. She spoke in words he couldn’t understand but her body language told him she wanted him to buy her wares. “Are you people still here after I told you to clear off, be gone, before I set the law on you. He”d come to the door with his stick in his hand and now he attacked the defenceless woman, knocking her basket to the ground and scattering wooden pegs all over the garden. As she bent painfully to collect them up he attacked her rear and sent her face down in the dirt. With that he went back inside the house, slamming the door behind him. An adult male passer-bye opened the small picket gate and rushed to her assistance, helping her to her feet and replacing the basket into her gnarled old fingers. She thanked him and they both then went about their separate ways. The Major never gave his own wilful actions a second thought until he awoke the following day to find a visitor had called in the night and had posted a folded sheet of notepaper through his letter-box. He went outside and noticed a drawing of a pig’s head had been chalked on the red brick wall of his cottage, just to the side of his doorway. Opening the notepaper he tried to decipher the strange words, but they made no sense and so he pulled on his coat and hat and set off on foot to his local police station. The desk sergeant covered his face with his hand in a resigned gesture and studied the Major’s message. “Sorry I can”t help you but I suggest you ask at the library, they might know what it means.’

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