‘No, we will go together, and sit in the stage-box, and see Romeo and Juliet.’ Joanna clapped her hands.
‘You shall see Rachel—Kaminski indeed! If she didn’t like Moses, why not condense it to Moss; if she didn’t like Lazarus, why not pull it out into St. Lazare? I’ve known some of our names turned about till you can’t recognise them. Levi and Levison, for instance, who’d know them again as Lewis and Lawson? Even Cohen I’ve known altered into Colquhoon, and but for his nose you’d have thought the man a Scotchman.’
‘You will really let me go?’
‘I will take you myself. We shall be right above her, face her, and see if we do not spoil her play. Joanna, I’ll heap on you all the jewelry in the shop, and you shall blaze in her eyes with diamonds and rubies and sapphires, and you shall have the most splendid dress of silk or satin money can buy; an old second-hand affair won’t do. The best—if I have to send to Worth at Paris for it.’
Joanna looked at him in amazement. Had he lost his senses?
‘Then she’ll see you and me behind, and, sure as she is a daughter of Israel, it will cut her to the heart to think she has forfeited all that heap of jewelry.’
‘But what will she think of me?’
‘I do not know, nor care; she’ll never suppose you are my maid of all work, a pawned piece of goods.’
‘I don’t believe a proper lady would pile on jewelry that way,’ mused Joanna. ‘I heard Lady Grace and Miss Lucy say something about real ladies being known by their quiet dressing. I can’t imagine Lady Grace dressed like that, even at a play.’
‘But you are not Lady Grace,’ argued the Jew. ‘That makes all the difference. She is at the top, and can afford to dress quietly. You are at the bottom, and must dress extravagantly, or you remain what you are—nothing.’
The girl considered; then she said, ‘Miss Rigsby will be there, I am sure she will. She will be all of a blaze. It will be killing fun just to outblaze her. I’ll put on everything I can, and I wish I’d two necks like an Austrian eagle to be able to put on more still.’