And in Drury Lane, things had changed after that night: Little Minnie was no longer a child, she had experienced more in that one night than most women do in a lifetime; despite the make-work Sadie gave her to do, she was querulous and mopy, a bit, Gracie thought, like an inhabitant of a Ghost-Town, just wandering about waiting for something even more terrible to happen to her; the truth was that neither Sir P or Mr W had little further interest in her, she had served her purpose and they discarded her as the might the morning newspaper after reading the interesting bits; the Dean and the Curate too had served their purpose and been initiated into The Ring of Gold and like the other two gentlemen they had better fish to fry; neither Gracie nor Sadie knew much of what that might be, though a friend of Sadie's, Button Nell, so named because she had worked in a place where the girls were summoned to whichever gentleman had summoned her by ringing the bell – of course it was a lottery, neither he nor she knew who the other would be until the girl entered the room, the girls having a sequence of which would be next, which after that, and so on, "a bit like queuing for an omnibus," was how Nell put it, but not knowing the destination," and then she laughed one of her laughs – she had rather a repertoire of them and they varied according to whatever joke she or any one else had said; Gracie liked Nell, she was down to earth but had one peculiarity: around her neck she had a cord and attached to it, resting on her ample bosom, was a tiny silk bag; she called it an akakia and said it had been her mother's and contained a little piece of her Homeland, which she said had been in Russia; she said her mother had been a mistress of the Tsarevitch, who was the son and heir of the Tsar, which is a kind of King or Emperor, but when his father died and her lover became the next Tsar, he had repudiated, dismissed and banished her – claiming that it was so his new wife, the Tsarina, would never know about the previous relationship, although she had not been a commoner, and had some sort of title quite below a Princess, a Baroness or something, but Nell's mother claimed that it was really because she was Jewish and that was what he didn't want anyone to find out about; Sadie and Gracie were very moved when Nell told them that her mother had been forced to leave St Petersburg, all alone, with no servants, not even her maid, who was sent to work for someone in another part of the country, and Nell's poor mother had been taken in a carriage as far as the border with Hungary and then sent on with hardly any money! she had no family or friends to help her and had to make her own way across Europe to England, because that was where she had a distant cousin who represented Russian Fur Dealers here; having been the courtesan of the Emperor’s son she was reduced to selling her body to anyone for food, shelter, and enough earnings to enable her to keep moving West; but Alas! when she finally reached London and went to call on her cousin, for she had his business address on a scrap of paper which she had been able to keep through her long journey, she discovered that he had died; oh, Nell was moved to tears telling the story, and Gracie and Sadie had cuddled her and shared her sorrows; but Oh! the cousin had left some property to Nell's mother and it was now hers: a little house in Chelsea where she could live on an appropriate income and she quickly established herself with a very popular (and discreet and respectable) Bawdy House in that part of Town and earned enough to make herself comfortable and even employ a couple of other respectable gels to work for her; she had borne two children in Chelsea, Nell and her little brother Ivan; she had no idea who their fathers were and didn't care; she brought them up to be properly schooled, with good manners and to show respect to others; young Ivan went into the Family Fur business and Nell to a Finishing School in France after which, despite furious scenes at home – because her mother tried every way she could think of to prevent it, Nell went into the other Family business and became a bawd – not at the Chelsea establishment, her mother refused point-blank, but at that place where each room had a button to ring the matching bell downstairs; she proved herself very adept and popular and had a business head on her shoulders, didn't drink unduly and managed to put away a bit each week until she had enough to rent a little place of her own just off the Edgware Road, where she had three or four regular girls working for her and quite a number of part-timers; she told them that the married ladies were always her most popular and she even had to have a small waiting-room down in the basement or the gentlemen would be queueing on the stairs! then when her mother married an elderly gentleman who had long pursued her to that end and retired with him to Margate, Nell moved lock, stock and barrel into the Chelsea house that had been her childhood home and like her mother she had two little children, also a boy and a girl; she was adamant too that her daughter shouldn't follow in her footsteps but knew that it would be difficult to prevent; on one particular subject she became quite heated as did Sadie: The Ring of Gold! and it was all Gracie could do to keep them apart so that they wouldn't injure each other, but eventually, after a few more drinks, they calmed down – Nell conceding that Sadie wasn't herself a member of that particular organisation and couldn't be held responsible for what she believed to be it's immoral and indecent activities and Sadie in her turn admitting that she was disappointed at the way Sir P and Mr W and their Clerical friends had treated poor Little Minnie: "not properly Gentlemanly," was the furthest she could bring herself to go, but that was enough for Nell and they finished the evening the same best of pals as they had started it, and when it was time for Nell's Hansom to take her home, they embraced and kissed like the two true friends they were and, after she had left, Sadie sat in the lounge with Gracie for a bit and told her that Nell's story was always entertaining, because it was never quite one you'd heard before, so no matter how many times she'd heard it, it was always sufficiently original that she never tired of it; but she was tired now and both of them yawning, they retired for the night.