ESTHER'S position in Woodview was now secure, and her fellow-servants recognised the fact, though they liked her none the better for it. Mrs. Latch still did what she could to prevent her from learning her trade, but she no longer attempted to overburden her with work. Of Mr. Leopold she saw almost as little as she did of the people upstairs. He passed along the passages or remained shut up in his pantry. Ginger used to go there to smoke; and when the door stood ajar Esther saw his narrow person seated on the edge of the table, his leg swinging. Among the pantry people Mr. Leopold's erudition was a constant subject of admiration. His reminiscences of the races of thirty years ago were full of interest; he had seen the great horses whose names live in the stud-book, the horses the Gaffer had owned, had trained, had ridden, and he was full of anecdote concerning them and the Gaffer. Praise of his father's horsemanship always caused a cloud to gather on Ginger's face, and when he left the pantry Swindles chuckled. 'Whenever I wants to get a rise out of Ginger I says, "Ah, we shall never see another gentleman jock who can use the whip at a finish like the Governor in his best days."'
Everyone delighted in the pantry, and to make Mr. Leopold comfortable Mr. Swindles used to bring in the wolf- skin rug that went out with the carriage, and wrap it round Mr. Leopold's wooden armchair, and the sallow little man would curl himself up, and, smoking his long clay, discuss the weights of the next big handicap. If Ginger contradicted him he would go to the press and extract from its obscurity a package of Bell's Life or a file of the Sportsman.*
Mr. Leopold's press! For forty years no one had looked into that press. Mr. Leopold guarded it from every gaze,