Page:Court Royal.djvu/116

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panion through before he attempted escape himself, Joanna attacked this man with the saw.

Hitherto the only sounds to which they had given vent were muffled cries and groans. Now this second burglar uttered screams terrible to hear.

Presently Lazarus appeared in his nightgown, holding a candle, white with fear, with a pistol in his trembling hand.

‘Put down the revolver,’ called Joanna. ‘I’ve done the job without you.’

‘What is the matter? What is it? Joanna! Lord! Lord! Whose are these horrible shrieks?’

‘He is like to shriek,’ said the girl, wiping her brow with the left hand; ‘you’d shriek, I reckon, if sawed at whilst crawling through a little window.’

‘What are you doing?’ asked the bewildered, frightened Jew.

‘Sawing, I tell you,’ answered the girl. ‘Don’t come forward; you’ll cut your feet on the broken bottles. There! we are clear of them.’

‘Clear of what?’

Joanna quietly shut the sash of the window over the sink.

‘I see how it was done,’ she said; ‘they removed a pane, and so got their hands in to turn the hasp.’

‘Who, child, who?’

‘Burglars, of course. Who else?’

‘Burglars in my house?’

‘They won’t come again,’ said the girl dryly. ‘Stay where you are, and let them get away through the back-yard door. They came over the wall, but neither of them is in a fit condition for scrambling now.’

‘But, Joanna!’

‘When my mother pawned me,’ said the girl, ‘she said I could scream enough to scare away robbers. I’m older now. I make the robbers scream.’

So Joanna was false to her philosophy ten minutes after having formulated her view of life.