Page:Court Royal.djvu/283

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‘I’m quivering like gold-leaf,’ he said plaintively through the door; ‘I can’t come out as I am.’

‘Put on again the suit you went out in.’

‘But I want my tea.’

‘What of that?’

‘It may drip. And bread and butter.’

‘Well?’

‘The little bits with butter on them may fall on my knees butter downwards, and stain me.’

‘I’ve made you a sort of blouse,’ said Joanna through the keyhole, ‘in which you can be respectable. You can slip it over your suit when you come in.’

‘But the seat, Joanna; the wear and tear there is sickening.’

‘I’ve cushioned your chair,’ she replied through the key-hole.

After a while Lazarus appeared, respectably dressed. Then the girl produced a smock she had made, and he drew it over his head.

‘I look rustic in it,’ he said; ‘but I see the idea—it will save clothes. I approve.’

The kitchen looked cosy with the lamp and fire, the hearth-rug, the tablecloth, and the tea-things, and with the curtain drawn.

‘It is beautiful, but expensive,’ said Lazarus. ‘Dear heart alive! you are burning the coals very fast.’

‘I’ve reckoned up, and find it cheapest to have a good fire,’ answered Joanna, ‘cheaper by sevenpence three farthings per night.’

‘How do you make that out?’ asked the Jew. ‘I’d be proud to know how spending can be converted into saving.’

‘I worked one night without fire,’ said Joanna in reply. ‘I worked at the coat-turning, and my fingers were so cold I could hardly hold the needle, and had to put them in my mouth to bring the feeling into them. The next evening I worked with fire, the same number of hours, at the same sort of work, and did half as much again with warm fingers. Then I ciphered it all up—so much done at so many hours, and coals, by measure, at fourteen shillings per ton, and I reckon I cleared sevenpence three farthings.’

‘Seven times eight makes fifty-six. Twelves in fifty-six, four and eight over. Seven farthings, one and three over. Penny three farthings from four-and-eight makes a total of