him as I am myself. She don't want to make nothing out of his keep, and that's how I've managed up to the present. But I see well enough that it can't be done; his expense mounts up, and the wages stay the same. It was my pride to bring him up on my earnings, and my hope to see him an honest man earning good money. But it wasn't to be, miss, it wasn't to be. We must be humble and go back to the workhouse.'
'I can see that it has been a hard fight.'
'It has indeed, miss; no one will ever know how hard. I shouldn't mind if it wasn't going to end by going back to where it started. They'll take him from me; I shall never see him while he is there. I wish I was dead, miss, I can't bear my trouble no longer.'
'You shan't go back to the workhouse so long as I can help you, Esther: I'll give you the wages you ask for. It is more than I can afford. Eighteen pounds a year! But your child shall not be taken from you. You shall not go to the workhouse. There aren't many such good women in the world as you, Esther.'
THEY were not unlike--quiet, instinctive Englishwomen, strong, warm natures, under an appearance of formality and reserve, and it took some time before either was able to put aside her natural reserve. But the instincts of the dog soon began to develop in Esther, and she watched the household expenses, likewise her mistress's health.
'Now, miss, I must 'ave you take your soup while it is 'ot. You'd better put away your writing; you've been at it all the morning. You'll make yourself ill, and then I shall have the nursing of you.' If Miss Rice was going out in the evening she would find herself stopped in the passage: 'Now,