William went out quickly. He returned a moment after. There was a scared look on his face. 'They're here,' he said. He was followed by two policemen. Sarah uttered a little cry.
'Your name is Sarah Tucker?' said the first policeman.
'You're charged with robbery by Mr. Sheldon, 34 Cumberland Place.'
'Shall I be taken through the streets?'
'If you like to pay for it, you can go in a cab,' the police- officer replied.
'I'll go with you, dear,' Esther said. William plucked her by the sleeve. 'It will do no good. Why should you go?'
THE magistrate, of course, sent the case for trial, and the thirty pounds which William had promised to give to Esther went to pay for the defence. There seemed at first some hope that the prosecution would not be able to prove its case, but fresh evidence connecting Sarah with the abstraction of the plate was forthcoming, and in the end it was thought advisable that the plea of not guilty should be withdrawn. The efforts'of counsel were therefore directed towards a mitigation of sentence. Counsel called Esther and William for the purpose of proving the excellent character that the prisoner had hitherto borne; counsel spoke of the evil influence into which the prisoner had fallen, and urged that she had no intention of actually stealing the plate. Tempted by promises, she had been persuaded to pledge the plate in order to back a horse which she had been told was certain to win. If that horse had won, the plate would have been redeemed and returned to its proper place in the owner's