Levi winced; the old awe was upon him. Through a blinding whirl he saw Gladys staring wonderingly at the queer-looking intruder. He gathered all his mental strength together with a mighty effort, shook off the great trembling hand and leaped into the hansom.
“Drive on!” came in strange guttural tones from his parched throat.
The driver lashed the horse; a rough jostled the old man aside and slammed the door to; Leonard mechanically threw him a coin; the hansom glided away.
“Who was that, Leonard?” said Miss Wynne, curiously.
“Nobody; only an old Jew who supplies me with cash.”
Gladys laughed merrily—a rippling, musical laugh.
She knew the sort of person.
THE FLAG FLUTTERS.
The Flag of Judah, price one penny, largest circulation of any Jewish organ, continued to flutter, defying the battle, the breeze and its communal contemporaries. At Passover there had been an illusive augmentation of advertisements proclaiming the virtues of unleavened everything. With the end of the Festival, most of these fell out, staying as short a time as the daffodils. Raphael was in despair at the meagre attenuated appearance of the erst prosperous-looking pages. The weekly loss on the paper weighed upon his conscience.
“We shall never succeed,” said the sub-editor, shaking his romantic hair, “till we run it for the Upper Ten. These ten people can make the paper, just as they are now killing it by refusing their countenance.”
“But they must surely reckon with us sooner or later,” said Raphael.
“It will he a long reckoning. I fear: you take my advice and put in more butter. It’ll be kosher butter, coming from us.” The little Bohemian laughed as heartily as his eyeglass permitted.
“No; we must stick to our guns. After all, we have had some very good things lately. Those articles of Pinchas’s are not bad either.”
“They’re so beastly egotistical. Still his theories are ingenious and far more interesting than those terribly dull long letters of Henry Goldsmith, which you will put in.”
Raphael flushed a little and began to walk up and down the new and superior sanctum with his ungainly strides, puffing furiously at his pipe The appearance of the room was less bare; the floor was carpeted with old newspapers and scraps of letters. A huge picture of an Atlantic Liner, the gift of a Steamship Company, leaned cumbrously against a wall.
“Still, all our literary excellencies,” pursued Sampson, “are outweighed by our shortcomings in getting births, marriages and deaths. We are gravelled for lack of that sort of matter What is the use of your elaborate essay on the Septuagint, when the public is dying to hear who’s dead?”
“Yes, I am afraid it is so.” said Raphael, emitting a huge volume of smoke.