No one knows where the gypsies come from, or where their first home was. The gypsies first appeared in Europe around the 14th century (if not sooner) and spread a tale that they came from a place named Little Egypt. To this day, no one knows for sure where Little Egypt was, but the people soon were called Gypsies, the name is a corruption of the word Egyptian. They call themselves the Rom. Many scholars link them and their language to northern India.
Gypsies are a wandering folk, always moving from place to place, staying a while, and then moving on. People tend to think of them as moving in wagons drawn by horses. Another romantic image is of the gypsy women dancing around a fire to wild, exotic music, slapping the time on her tambourine, while dark, handsome gypsy men watch with burning eyes and rising passions.
Gypsies also have a reputation as fortune tellers, either gazing through a crystal ball or by reading of Tarot cards. It is often said that one must cross a gypsy's palm with silver--or, preferably, gold-- in order for them to perform that service for a person. It makes sense; no one likes to work for free. This is what Graham did, and Madame Mushka then showed him the true nature of the trouble which had befallen Daventry. Later, when he returned to their camp, he found that the gypsies, as is there lifestyle, had moved on to someplace else.
In modern times gypsies tend to move around in automobiles and campers instead of wagons.