had been fined a hundred pounds for keeping, a betting house, and the foreman of the jury remarked that betting houses were the ruin of the poorer classes, and that they ought to be put a stop to. The coroner added that such places as the 'King's Head' should not be licensed. That was the simplest and most effectual way of dealing with the nuisance.
'There never was no luck about this house,' said William, 'and what there was has left us; in three months' time we shall be turned out of it neck and crop. Another conviction would mean a fine of a couple of hundred, or most like three months, and that would just about be the end of me.'
'They'll never license us again,' said Esther, 'and the boy's at school and doing so well.'
'I'm sorry, Esther, to have brought this trouble on you. We must get the best price we can for the 'ouse. I may be lucky enough to back a few winners. That's all there is to be said--the 'ouse was always an unlucky one. I hate the place, and shall be glad to get out of it.'
Esther sighed. She didn't like to hear the house spoken ill of, and after so many years it did seem a shame.
ESTHER kept William within doors during the winter months. If his health did not improve it got no worse, and she had begun to hope that the breakage of the blood-vessel did not mean lung disease. But the harsh winds of spring did not suit him, and there was business with his lawyer to which he was obliged to attend. A determined set was going to be made against the renewal of his licence, and he was determined to defeat his opponents. Counsel was instructed, and a great deal of money was spent on the case. But the licence was nevertheless refused, and the north-east wind