'Very 'appy, I'm sure, to make your acquaintance,' said Jim, and he extended his fat hand across the counter. 'You and my partner are, I 'ear, going to take this 'ere 'ouse off my hands. Well, you ought to make a good thing of it. There's always room for a 'ouse that supplies good liquor. What can I hoffer you, madam? Some of our whisky 'as been fourteen years in bottle; or, being a lady, perhaps you'd like to try some of our best unsweetened.'

Esther declined, but William said they could not leave without drinking the health of the house.

'Irish or Scotch, ma'am? Mr. Latch drinks Scotch.'

Seeing that she could not avoid taking something, Esther decided that she would try the unsweetened. The glasses were clinked across the counter, and William whispered, 'This isn't what we sell to the public; this is our own special tipple. You didn't notice, perhaps, but he took the bottle from the third row on the left.'

At that moment Esther's cabman came in and wanted to know if he was to have the box taken down. William said it had better remain where it was.

'I don't think I told you I'm not living here; my partner has the upper part of the house, but he says he'll be ready to turn out at the end of the week. I'm living in lodgings near Shaftesbury Avenue, so we'd better keep the cab on.'


CHAPTER XXX

THE 'King's Head' was a humble place in the old-fashioned style, the floor some inches lower than the street and the ceiling hardly more than a couple of feet above the head of a tall man. There were three bars. The private was in Dean Street; a few swells came over from the theatre to call for brandies and sodas, and Esther served them between the little shelves of the little mahogany what-not on the counter.

-248-

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Esther Waters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • NOTE ON THE TEXT xxiii
  • SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY xxv
  • A CHRONOLOGY OF GEORGE MOORE xxvii
  • EPISTLE DEDICATORY xxix
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 8
  • Chapter II 22
  • Chapter IV 32
  • Chapter VI 41
  • Chapter VI 47
  • Chapter VI 50
  • Chapter VI 56
  • Chapter VI 67
  • Chapter VI 72
  • Chapter XII 84
  • Chapter XIII 94
  • Chapter XIV 109
  • Chapter XV 115
  • Chapter XVI 120
  • Chapter XVII 126
  • Chapter XVII 138
  • Chapter XVII 152
  • Chapter XVII 161
  • Chapter XVII 175
  • Chapter XXII 182
  • Chapter XXIII 185
  • Chapter XXIII 192
  • Chapter XXV 198
  • Chapter XXVI 214
  • Chapter XXVI 232
  • Chapter XXVI 237
  • Chapter XXVI 239
  • Chapter XXVI 248
  • Chapter XXVI 265
  • Chapter XXVI 272
  • Chapter XXVI 281
  • Chapter XXVI 288
  • Chapter XXVI 300
  • Chapter XXVI 308
  • Chapter XXVI 311
  • Chapter XXVI 321
  • Chapter XXVI 326
  • Chapter XXVI 336
  • Chapter XXVI 343
  • Chapter XLII 358
  • Chapter XLIII 366
  • Chapter XLIII 376
  • Chapter XLIII 384
  • Chapter XLIII 388
  • Chapter XLVII 392
  • EXPLANATORY NOTES 397
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