Page:Court Royal.djvu/105

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The pawnbroker frowned. ‘Mr. Cheek, I am not going to turn this house into a casino. I promised Joanna she should learn to dance, and I stick to my word. I can’t get my money out of the dancing-master, so I may as well get its worth. That is better than nothing.’

‘May I come and help? I am an accomplished dancer.’

‘That is as you choose,’ answered the Jew; ‘only I won’t have any of your fast friends here. If you will come in a quiet way, come; only, don’t expect to find Joanna dressed up like to-night.’

‘Of course she must be in proper attire. No one can dance in working clothes.’

‘She has no other.’

‘What!—not Sunday clothes?’

‘Sunday is nothing to us.’

‘What! no go-to-meeting clothes?’

‘She never goes to meeting.’

‘Nor to church?’


‘Nor synagogue, nor chapel?’


‘Good heavens!’ exclaimed Charles Cheek, ‘what is Sunday instituted for? What are churches and chapels built for, but the display of smart clothes? Lazarus, what a heathen of a Jew you are, not to allow the girl a day on which to shake off her rags and put on fine feathers! Lazarus, we have a little account together; put down the rose silk to it, and let me present it and that necklet of Roman pearls to Miss Joanna. Will you accept the present, my lady Joan, and wear them at our dance rehearsals?’

‘I don’t know,’ answered the girl, looking down.

‘Of course she will,’ said the Jew, nudging Joanna.

‘I said, I did not know.’ The girl spoke firmly. ‘I will tell you some other time.’

‘Will you stop and have a bite of supper?’ asked the Jew. ‘The festive board is spread. The tin of tomatoes is on the table, so is the bread. True, we have had our light refection, but we will share the remains with you. Water, sparkling and pure off Dartmoor, brought all the way by the great Sir Francis Drake in a conduit. Who’d have thought the great navigator such a fine engineer!’

‘Lazarus,’ exclaimed the young man, ‘I know you can play a fiddle; you tried once to sell me a violin for twice its worth,