Page:Court Royal.djvu/211

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‘No, I am not.’

‘What more do you want, next?’ he asked sneeringly.

‘I want to go to a dance, and till I have been at a ball I shall not be satisfied—there.’


Mr. Lazarus left the house in the afternoon, and Joanna was alone. She at once set to work to make the kitchen tidy. She scoured the grease and rust from the pans, she washed the table, she sandpapered the fire-irons, she carried all the broken crockery to the ash-heap and smashed it up there, then replaced the pieces with sound articles from the stores above. She knew where there was a glazier’s diamond, with it she cut a pane, she made her own putty, and reglazed the broken window.

Then she went upstairs to an attic room, with a pail of water, soap, and a scrubbing-brush, and washed the floor. She took up, piece by piece, a small iron bed, and put it together in the room; she fitted it with mattress, blankets, sheets, and coverlet. She dragged up a washhand-stand, and hung a looking-glass against the wall. She carried up a chair and a towel-horse, and then looked round with triumph. She had made for herself a very decent bedroom. One article of furniture was wanting—a chest of drawers. This she did not convey to her room, partly because she had nothing of her own to put in the drawers, and partly because it was too heavy for her to move unassisted. In the window she set her precious pot of lilies of the valley.

Then, tired with her journey and exertion, she seated herself on the bed, rested her head in both hands, and her elbows on her knees, and gave way to tears.

The contrast between the cleanliness and comfort of the Lodge and the dirt and disorder of the Golden Balls was too great not to make itself felt. She had gone on in one weary round of drudgery before because she knew of nothing different; now she had seen a better mode of life, and the old was insupportable; a return to it, unaltered, impossible. This she let