‘Oh yes, oh yes; so much less.’
’No, mamma. It is given to us, of God, so to love our husband; “For the husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is head of the Church.” You would not have me forget such teaching as that?’
‘No,—my child; no.’
’When I went out and had him given to me for my husband, of course I loved him best. The Lord do so to me and more also if aught but death part him and me! But shall that make my mother think that her girl’s heart is turned away from her? Mamma, say that he is my husband.’ The frown came back, and the woman sat silent and sullen, but there was something of vacillating indecision in her face. ‘Mamma,’ repeated Hester, ‘say that he is my husband.’
‘I suppose so,’ said the woman, very slowly.
‘Mamma, say that it is so, and bless your child.’
‘God bless you, my child.’
‘And you know that it is so?’
‘Yes.’ The word was hardly spoken, but the lips of the one were close to the ear of the other, and the sound was heard, and the assent was acknowledged.
The web of our story has now been woven, the piece is finished, and it is only necessary that the loose threads should be collected, so that there may be no unravelling. In such chronicles as this, something no doubt might be left to the imagination without serious injury to the story; but the reader, I think, feels a deficiency when, through tedium or coldness, the writer omits to give all the information which he possesses.
Among the male personages of my story, Bagwax should perhaps be allowed to stand first. It was his energy and devotion to his peculiar duties which, after the verdict, served to keep alive the idea that that verdict had been unjust. It was through his ingenuity that Judge Bramber was induced to refer the inquiry back to Scotland Yard, and in this way to prevent the escape of Crinkett and Euphemia Smith. Therefore we will first say a word as to Bagwax and his history.
It was rumoured at the time that Sir John Joram and Mr. Brown, having met each other at the club after the order for Caldigate’s release had been given, and discussing the matter with great interest, united in giving praise to Bagwax. Then Sir John told the story of those broken hopes, of the man’s desire to travel, and of the faith and honesty with which he sacrificed his own aspirations for the good of the poor lady whose husband had been so cruelly taken away from her. Then,—as it was said at the time,—an important letter was sent from the Home Office to the Postmaster-General, giving Mr. Bagwax much praise, and suggesting that a very good thing would be done to the colony of New South Wales if that ingenious and skilful master of postmarks could be sent out to Sydney with the view of setting matters straight in the Sydney office .