Page:Court Royal.djvu/121

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stand? By this means he secures the return of the customer, who thinks he must come back and buy something more so as to recover the money on his cheque.’

‘But if he does not go back?’

‘Then he forfeits it. He has paid credit price in cash. This is the Monokeratic principle of business. You have no idea what a fascination the name and the cheque exercise on simple people.’

‘But what has this to do with the unicorn?’

‘Nothing whatever. The unicorn has one horn, and Cheek one way of doing business. That is the connection of ideas. The great charm lies in the word “Monokeratic,” of the meaning of which the purchasers have not the smallest idea.’

‘And he does a good business?’ asked Joanna, interested.

‘A roaring business. I wish I did one half as good. I lent him money when starting; but I knew my man. He slipped out of my fingers very quickly.’

‘He must have brains,’ said Joanna with admiration.

‘He has indeed.’

‘Then Mr. Charles is his son?’

‘Yes—without the brains.’

‘Is he in the business?’

‘Oh dear no! Charlie is far too fine a gentleman to soil his fingers with trade. He can spend money, but cannot make it. Old Joe Cheek was very anxious to have his son in the concern. His idea was not bad. The old man is a Dissenter and a Radical, and he wanted Charlie to be a Churchman and Tory. Then he calculated each could milk his own cow. But Charlie had not the pluck and energy for it. There is where we Jews have the pull over you Christians. Now and then you have among you a man of genius who makes a business, but the son has not his ability or perseverance, and lets it fall. With us the faculty of business is transmitted hereditarily, like our features; it never fails, leaps a generation, dies out.’

‘And Mr. Charles—what does he do with his time?’

‘Throws it away. Faculties? Throws them away. Money? Throws it away. He has come to me for money, and I have helped him. The old man turns rusty at times; but everything must go to Charlie in the end, as he is the only son; and then the business also will be thrown away.’

‘I suppose,’ said Joanna, ‘if he be such a fool, he may even throw himself away.’

Lazarus looked at her in surprise. ‘You are clever,’ said