I then had, and afterwards sold for twenty-seven guineas, is amazing.’
‘Whither did she go?’
‘I do not know.’
‘And you do not know where she is now?’
‘I do not know.’
‘Has she ever shown a desire to return home?’
‘Would you receive her if she did return?’
‘I would not.’
The Jew was silent. Joanna looked hard at him and asked, ‘Did she go alone?’
He sprang from the bed, and paced the room. His face was changed, and Joanna, who watched him, was startled and drew back; the expression of his features was so threatening and repulsive.
‘I have told you enough,’ he said hoarsely. ‘I will tell you no more.’
He continued to pace the room. His face was livid, his eyes glared, his thick coarse lips were tightly drawn, and his fleshy cheeks were lined and shrunk.
Presently he turned his head towards her, but he seemed scarcely to observe her. ‘Let me have him firm here, in the hollow of my hand,’ he said in hard tones vibrating with passion, ‘and I will squeeze and squeeze till the life is squeezed out of him. Let me grasp him, and I will tear him down, him and all his family. I will not spare him, and then I will caper over him, and you shall dance with me up and down and in and out over their broken bones and crushed flesh, and beat out their brains with our feet, and stamp their marrow into the mire.’ Then the door-bell rang.
Lazarus stood still, looking about him confusedly. He put his hand to his brow, to help his brain to recover its thoughts. Again the bell rang.
Joanna moved to the door to answer the summons.
‘No, no,’ said the Jew, ‘not in silk attire, not bedecked with pearls. I will go and see who rings.’