At the beginning of the story there is a story about the endless expanses of the steppe and endless sea. The narrator at night talks with the old gypsy Makar Chudra, who guarded the horses of his camp. The old man says that no one in this life needs anyone, he is not a stick or bread. What you need to live only for yourself. And no one needs to learn, everyone knows what he needs to know. He remembers the prison he was in, and that he does not need to ask himself why he lives, but simply to live.
You can hear how Makar’s daughter sings. And he says that you can not believe the girls, and says that you have to remain a “free bird” all your life, and to tell your interlocutor, tells him one story.
There lived a gypsy – Lojko Zobar. And they knew him not only in the district, but also in Hungary and the Czech Republic, and around the coast. He had nothing treasured, and even, if necessary, he could tear his heart from his chest and give it away. Loyko
loved horses alone. And how many do not attach to the horse, which liked Loiko, a soldier, he will steal it anyway. But this passion does not last long, it will go a little on one, but sell it.
The events described by Makar took place about ten years ago, when they roamed the Bukovina with the camp. And it so happened that one soldier Danila, who lived with them in the camp, had a beautiful daughter – Radda, and she was very proud. Many were in love with her, but unrequited. One rich tycoon, seeing her, decided to buy it from his father. Yes Danilo said that only gentlemen can sell pigs and their consciences, but the soldier does not sell anything. He was at the sword took, but only someone poked in the ear of his horse burned tinder, he carried away the young man.
And the tabor went on, but the tycoon overtook him. Asks to give to Radd for him, any wealth offers, to which the beauty answers that the eagle can not live in the crow’s nest. And the driver left with nothing.
Loiko Zobar returned. For the first time he met with a beautiful woman and began to speak flattering speeches to her,
and sparkle with her eyes, and she showed him her complete indifference. The young gypsy fell in love with her with every new meeting, and she only mocked him, and laughed at the songs.
Unable to contain feelings, Zobar asks Danila to give her daughter to marry him. To which the old soldier replied that take, if you can. Loyko approached Rudde, and said that she had captivated his heart, but also said that his freedom remained with him, so he would live as he pleased. At this proud beauty only swept the whip of his feet, and pulled at himself, why the Gypsy fell off his feet.
He rose and, not looking at anyone, went into the steppe. Friends were worried about his condition, so they sent Makar to follow him. He sees that Zobar is sitting on a rock motionless for three hours. Then comes Rudd, he grabs the knife, but she was with a gun. He tells him that she came to be reconciled, and confesses to him in love, but says that she loves more. She demands that Loiko bow to her feet with all the tabor and kiss his hand. Only with this condition she agrees to become his wife.
But this never happened to the gypsies and Loiko, as if a wounded man had roared to the whole steppe. In the evening, when everyone gathered around the fire, Zobar came – his eyes sunk, there is no more shine in them. And he told everyone about the condition that Rudd put to him. And she is waiting, she set the legs already. And he says that he wants to know if her heart is as strong as she says, and, rushing to her with a crooked knife, stabs him into the beauty’s breast.
Radda says that she knew that he would do so and die. And the gypsy still rushes to her feet and presses against it with her mouth. The knife that killed Rudd, takes Danilo into his hands and stabs him in Zobar’s back, and he goes after his beloved.