'Ah, Woodview isn't what it was.'
Mrs. Barfield told how she had buried her husband in the old village church. She had taken her daughter to Egypt; and she dwindled till there was little more than a skeleton to lay in the grave.
'Yes, ma'am, I know how it takes them, inch by inch. My husband died of consumption.'
One thing led to another, and Esther gradually told Mrs. Barfield the story of her life from the day they bade each other good-bye in the room they were now sitting in.
'It is quite a romance, Esther.'
'It was a hard fight, and it isn't over yet, ma'am. It won't be over until I see him settled in some regular work. I hope I shall live to see him settled.'
They sat over the fire a long time. At last Mrs. Barfield said:
'It must be getting on for bedtime.'
'I suppose it must, ma'am.'
She asked if she should sleep in the room she had once shared with Margaret Gale. Mrs. Barfield answered with a sigh that as all the bedrooms were empty Esther had better sleep in the room next to hers.
ESTHER seemed to have quite naturally accepted Woodview as a final stage. Any further change in her life she did not seem to regard as possible or desirable. One of these days her boy would get settled; he would come down now and again to see her. She did not want any more than that. No, she did not find the place lonely. A young girl might, but she was no longer a young girl; she had her work to do, and when it was done she was glad to sit down to rest.
And, dressed in long cloaks, the women went for walks
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Publication information: Book title: Esther Waters. Contributors: George Moore - Author, David Skilton - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 384.
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