“Don’t touch me! Don’t touch me with that dreadful hand!”

Isannah Lapham speaks these words in Chapter III, driving Johnny to the lowest point of his despair. Because of his handicap, Johnny is now unemployed and broke. Once Isannah expresses her disgust toward his disfigurement, Johnny also feels that he does not have any friends or loved ones. Isannah’s statement is a catalyst for a series of events that affect the rest of Johnny’s life. Because of her words, Johnny feels he has no other recourse than to approach Lyte with the silver cup, which leads to his arrest and his relationship with Rab and the Lornes. Isannah’s exclamation also reveals her true character. Johnny has just given Isannah a gift, then tried to hug and kiss her, when she makes this outburst. Her response to Johnny’s affection and kindness reveals Isannah’s selfishness and lack of sensitivity toward others and her inability to consider anyone’s feelings but her own. These words foreshadow Isannah’s choice of a life of luxury over a life with her loved ones, when she decides to join the Lytes and move to London.