Page:Court Royal.djvu/223

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it. No one paid particular attention to it; the broken glass was not removed, a fresh chimney not added.

Charles Cheek brought Joanna an ice; he offered one to Lazarus, who refused with a shake of the head.

‘He is not well,’ said Joanna. ‘Leave him alone; he wants to go away, but I will not hear of it till the play is out. Don’t notice him. He will be better presently.’

‘I’ll get you a drop of brandy, Mr. Lazarus.’

The Jew nodded, and the good-natured young man hurried away to fetch a glass of spirits.

‘Do you know who those are opposite us?’ asked Mr. Charles Cheek, on his return. ‘I’ve heard one is the Marquess of Saltcombe, son of the Duke of Kingsbridge, and the other people are called Rigsbys. I don’t know anything about them.’

‘The Marquess is engaged to Miss Rigsby—that pasty young lady in magenta silk and pink roses in her hair. The person at her side is her aunt, and the brown man is her father. They are worth a great deal of money.’

‘How do you know all this?’

‘In the way of business,’ answered the girl, with an air of indifference.

‘I have heard enquiries on all sides as to who you are. People have been lost in wonder and admiration. What is your name? I must satisfy those who ask. I have been unable to do so out of ignorance.’

‘I am Miss Rosevere, an heiress,’ answered Joanna.

‘An heiress!’ echoed Charles Cheek, with a laugh.

‘Yes, sole heiress, executrix, and residuary legatee to Mr. Lazarus.’ She turned round to her master with a mischievous face. He was in no mood to answer.

‘How are you?’ asked the young man. ‘Better? Has the brandy revived you?’

Lazarus nodded.

‘So I may answer to enquiries that you are a Miss Rosevere?’

‘Yes. That is my name, though I don’t often have it mentioned. You may add—an orphan. Go back to your place in the stalls, and tell those who ask who I am. You need not add—slave to a Jew pawnbroker—pawned for ten shillings. Don’t say that, as you value my friendship.’ So she dismissed him, then leaned on the red velvet cushion, playing with her fan, looking about her, and watching what went on in the stage box opposite. Mr. Rigsby was in conversation with Lord