it, and the lawyer said there would be no difficulty, the adultery being admitted; and whenever she saw Jackie he inquired after his father; he hoped, too, that she had forgiven poor father, who had 'never meant no harm at all.' So everything was working to get her away from Fred, and she could see that she had done wrong in allowing her feelings to be overruled by Miss Rice, who had, of course, advised her for the best. Jackie would never take kindly to Fred as a stepfather, and would grow to dislike him more and more; and when he grew older he would keep away from the house on account of the presence of his stepfather; it would end by his going to live with William, and his being led into a life of betting and drinking.
IT was one evening as she was putting things away in the kitchen before going up to bed that she heard someone rap at the window. Could this be Fred? Her heart was beating; she must let him in. The area was in darkness; she could see no one.
'Who is there?' she cried.
'It's only me. I had to see you to-night on-----'
She drew an easier breath, and asked him to come in.
William had expected a rougher reception. The tone in which Esther invited him in was almost one of welcome, and there was no need of so many excuses; but he had come prepared with excuses, and a few ran off his tongue before he was aware.
'Well,' said Esther, 'it is rather late. I was just going up to bed; but you can tell me what you've come about, if it won't take long.'
'It won't take long. I've seen my solicitor this afternoon, and he says that I shall find it very difficult to get a divorce.'