Page:Court Royal.djvu/222

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of the Marquess. It was pale as death. Miss Rigsby leaned back in her chair and spoke to him as he was standing behind her, and he stooped and replied. He handed her a playbill, and pointed with his finger to something on it. Perhaps she had asked him who was the Romeo making such hot love to Juliet. Joanna saw that he maintained his composure outwardly. Only his deadly pallor showed how stirred he was within. He had come to the theatre with the Rigsbys, with whom he had dined, in complete ignorance of the fact that the Polish actress from Warsaw was Rachel Lazarus. Joanna turned to her master; she saw at a glance that he had recognised his enemy. His face was convulsed; he drew further back into the shadows, that he might not be seen.

Joanna looked from one man to the other. Here were two men, one at the head of the scale, the other at the foot—both the victims of one beautiful woman. ‘What power there is in woman for good or bad!’ thought Joanna. ‘For my part,’ she added to herself, ‘I would hurt no one—unless he got in my way.’

It amused the girl to notice the slightly foreign intonation in Juliet’s voice as she spoke. Knowing what she did of her origin, she was sure that this was put on to keep up the part of Pole Rachel had assumed. ‘She is clever,’ thought Joanna; ‘clever to control herself under the eyes of the two men she has ruined. But perhaps she has not as yet recognised the Marquess.’ The light was on her face, and he was in darkness. ‘I wonder what she will do when she does see him?’

‘Joanna,’ said the Jew, in a whisper that was hoarse and constrained, ‘I want to go. Get ready.’

She answered, ‘I am not going. I came for one play, and I am in for two.’

‘I am not well.’

‘Then get better. I am not going.’

During the scene in Capulet’s garden between Juliet and the nurse, Joanna watched the actress, but was unable to detect whether she had seen the Marquess or not. Once her eyes travelled in the direction of the stage-box on her left, but the glance was quick and passing, and no muscle of her face, no failure of her voice, gave sign that she had perceived her former lover.

The curtain fell on the second act; as it fell, one of the footlights flared and snapped the glass chimney that screened