In the end Raphael agreed to give a hundred pounds, which made the members inwardly determine to pay up the residue on their shares at once. De Haan also extorted a condition that the Flag should continue to be the organ of the Kosher Co-operative Society, for at least six months, doubtless perceiving that should the paper live and thrive over that period, it would not then pay the proprietor to alter its principles. By which bargain the Society secured for itself a sum of money together with an organ, gratis, for six months and, to all seeming, in perpetuity, for at bottom they knew well that Raphael’s heart was sound. They were all on the free list, too, and they knew he would not trouble to remove them.
Mr. Henry Goldsmith, returning, was rather annoyed at the price, but did not care to repudiate his agent.
“Be economical,” he said. “I will get you a better office and find a proper publisher and canvasser. But cut it as close as you can.”
Raphael’s face beamed with joy. “Oh, depend upon me,” he said.
“What is your own salary?” asked Goldsmith.
“Nothing,” said Raphael.
A flash passed across Goldsmith’s face, then he considered a moment.
“I wish you would let it be a guinea,” he said. “Quite nominal, you know. Only I like to have things in proper form. And if you ever want to go, you know, you’ll give me a month’s notice and,” here he laughed genially, “I’ll do ditto when I want to get rid of you. Ha! Ha! Ha! Is that a bargain?”
Raphael smiled in reply and the two men’s hands met in a hearty clasp.
“Miss Ansell will help you, I know,” said Goldsmith cheerily. “That girl’s got it in her, I can tell you. She’ll take the shine out of some of our West Enders. Do you know I picked her out of the gutter, so to speak?”
“Yes, I know,” said Raphael. “It was very good and discriminating of you. How is she?”
“She’s all right. Come up and see her about doing something for you. She goes to the Museum sometimes in the afternoons, but you’ll always find her in on Sundays, or most Sundays. Come up and dine with us again soon, will you? Mrs. Goldsmith will be so pleased.”
“I will,” said Raphael fervently. And when the door closed upon the communal pillar, he fell to striding feverishly about his little den. His trust in human nature was restored and the receding wave of scepticism bore off again the image of Esther Ansell. Now to work for Judaism!
The sub-editor made his first appearance that day, carolling joyously.
“Sampson,” said Raphael abruptly, “your salary is raised by a guinea a week.”
The joyous song died away on little Sampson’s lips. His eyeglass dropped. He let himself fall backwards, impinging noiselessly upon a heap of “returns” of number one.
A WOMAN’S GROWTH.