Page:Court Royal.djvu/39

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coming to, when the police poked their noses into his shop, and found there stolen goods, which they carried off, in spite of his having paid hard cash for them, or were extortionate in their demand for palm-greasing, to overlook the purchases? What was the world coming to, when charitable institutions were allowed to come to the aid of the distressed—clothing-clubs, coal-clubs, savings’ banks—and hold them back from flying to their proper refuge, the Golden Balls? What was the world coming to, when the Jews were becoming so numerous and so unscrupulous as to interfere with one another’s business? And what was the world coming to, when Gentiles were becoming a match for Jews in plucking the geese, and shearing the silly sheep, that asked to be plucked and shorn?

Thus Joanna grew up under this schooling, and the teaching became the grain of her mind. There was natural aptitude to receive it, but the aptitude was that of an active, eager, intelligent mind, ready to assimilate any instruction given it, with daily opportunity for testing and exercising it.

She was entirely without sympathy with her fellows. She looked upon men as the prey on which the clever lived; they were fair game when brought within reach through necessity or imbecility. Of human nature she had a low opinion, but she was brought into contact with no noble specimens.

Lazarus was without tenderness towards her; she grew up with no one to love, no one to love her, consequently there was no sympathy, pity, softness about her. The one leading motive of Lazarus’s life seemed to be Individualism. He thought, worked only for himself. He concerned himself about no one; he was indifferent to the sufferings of mankind. His code of ethics was based on self. That was right which did him good, that was wrong which did him harm. He insisted to Joanna that the secret of success lay in rigidly attending to self-interest; that the failures of men were due to their yielding to their good-nature, to their vibration between self-interest and the care for others.

Thus passed several years. Joanna grew in stature, and her mind accommodated itself to what was exacted of it. She became indispensable to her master, but he was too shrewd to let her see how highly he appreciated her. No further news reached the Barbican about her mother. The skipper no more returned to Plymouth.

Still Joanna clung to the belief that her mother lived, and would return and redeem her before the lapse of the seven years.