'If you go to-night my baby will die. She cannot be brought up on the bottle.'
'Oh, I hope not, ma'am. I should be sorry, indeed I should.'
'Then stay, nurse.'
'I must go to my baby, ma'am.'
'Then you shall go at once--this instant.'
'I'm going this very instant, as soon as I've put on my hat and jacket.'
'You had better take your box with you. If you don't, I shall have it thrown into the street.'
'I daresay you're cruel enough to do that if the law allows you, only be careful that it do.'
THE moment Esther got out of the house in Curzon Street she felt in her pocket for her money. She had only a few pence--enough for her bus fare, however, and her thoughts did not go further. She was absorbed by one desire, how to save her child--how to save him from Mrs. Spires, whom she vaguely suspected; from the world, which called him a bastard, and denied to him the right to live. And she sat as if petrified in the corner of the bus, seeing nothing but a little street of four houses facing some hay-lofts, the low-pitched kitchen, the fat woman, the cradle in the corner. The intensity and the oneness of her desire seemed to annihilate time, and when she got out of the omnibus she walked with a sort of animal-like instinct straight for the house. There was a light in the kitchen just as she expected, and as she descended the four wooden steps into the area she looked to see if Mrs. Spires was there. She was there, and Esther pushed open the door.
'Where's my baby?'