Page:Court Royal.djvu/168

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‘Yes, sir,’ said the maid; ‘I’ll tell her you want to see her, sir.’

Presently Joanna came down, her face flushed, in great excitement.

‘What was that row about?’ asked Mr. Worthivale, still in the hall. ‘Were you and Emily having romps or tickling each other? Or have you hurt yourself? I care not. I will not have a caterwauling in my house. Why, bless my soul! the Duke or one of their Lordships might have been here, and then—what would have been thought of my house, I should like to know? What made you scream, or laugh, or cry, or whatever was the noise I heard?’

‘Please, sir,’ said Joanna, half crying, ‘it is too bad! I had set my heart on it, and now it is utterly spoiled.’

‘What is spoiled?’

‘The pink silk.’

‘Pink silk! What pink silk?’

‘Oh, sir! I had a beautiful pink silk dress, and as there was to be a dance at Court Royal for the tenants and servants, I sent to Plymouth to have it forwarded.’

‘Pink silk! What next! You come out in pink silk!’

‘Lady Grace has been teaching me to dance. Miss Lucy can tell you, sir; she has helped.’

‘But—that does not justify pink silk.’

‘I can’t wear it; it is spoiled,’ said Joanna in a doleful voice. ‘The Ems Water has run all over it.’

‘Ems Water!’ gasped Mr. Worthivale. ‘What have you to do with Ems Water?’

‘Please, sir, the master put in three bottles with the pink silk, because, he said, the change of diet here might have heated my blood, and something cooling and lowering——

‘The master!—What master?—Colonel Delany?’

‘No, sir, not Colonel Delany; another master.’

‘What, a doctor? I did not know you had been with a doctor.’

‘He was not exactly a doctor—but he did bleed people pretty freely.’

‘Oh, a surgeon. Right. Only the ignorant call surgeons by the title of doctor.’

‘And one of the bottles of Ems Water is broken. I found it broken in the box, and the water has wetted and stained my dear, beautiful dress. I shall never be able to wear it now—never!’