'You like some other chap. You like some chap, and don't want me interfering in your life. That's why you wants me to go back and live with my wife. You don't think of what I've gone through with her already.'

'You've not been through half of what I have. I'll be bound that you never wanted a dinner. I have.'

'Esther, think of the child.'

'You're a nice one to tell me to think of the child, I who worked and slaved for him all these years.'

'Then I'm to take no for an answer?'

'I don't want to have nothing to do with you.'

'And you won't let me see the child?'

A moment later Esther answered, 'You can see the child, if you like.'

'Where is he?'

'You can come with me to see him next Sunday, if you like. Now let me go in.'

'What time shall I come for you?'

'About three--a little after.'


CHAPTER XXVI

WILLIAM Was waiting for her by the area railings; and while pinning on her hat she thought of what she should say, and how she should act. But she didn't know her mind, and it was not till the long black pin that held her hat to her hair went through the straw with a little sharp sound, that she decided that when the time came she would know what to say.

As he stepped aside to let her go up the area steps, she noticed how beautiful were his grey trousers, and that he wore a bunch of carnations in his spick-and-span morning coat. 'Quite a toff,' she said to herself, and they walked some half-dozen yards up the street in silence.

-214-

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