Page:Hopkinson Smith--In Dickens's London.djvu/111

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is a re-mand. If I ain't mistaken this woman is an old offender.'

"'Granted.' says his Worship. And I got to work and found out she had been up four times in two months, and his Worship made it a fine of three pound ten.

"Her husband was an upholsterer, a very fair kind of a chap, doing a pretty good business. He'd saved up four pounds to take his wife and child to Brighton she was all right when she wasn't drunk and so he ups and was about to pay the fine and take her home, when I put in a word with his Worship and he knocked it down to one pound ten.

"Well, he was always very civil to me after that when I'd meet him coming and going; then I got to dropping in when off duty at his house, and you never saw a nicer or soberer woman than she was for about six months.

"One night I was just leaving his house and I went into the kitchen to wash my hands and was just asking her where I'd get a towel she had her back to me when she gave a little start and down went a black bottle and the whisky all over the floor. Her husband came running in, hearing the noise, and he saw right away what it was, and if he hadn't he could have smelt it, and up-stairs he went like he was crazy, grabbed a pistol from the bureau drawer, and made straight for her with his finger on the trigger. I got there just in time, and the ball went into the ceiling and she on the floor in a stiff faint. Then I had all I could do to get it out of his hand or he would have shot himself. Now, when I meet him he doesn't look me in the eye. He holds his head down and gets fast of my hand and gives it a slow grip."