It was not only that he had to do so much household work, for even the cooking, cleaning up slops, bed-making and firelighting ere long devolved upon him, but his business no longer prospered. He could buy as hitherto, but Ellen seemed unable to sell as she had sold at first. The fact was that she sold as well as ever, but kept back part of the proceeds in order to buy gin, and she did this more and more till even the unsuspecting Ernest ought to have seen that she was not telling the truth. When she sold better - that is to say when she did not think it safe to keep back more than a certain amount, she got money out of him on the plea that she had a longing for this or that, and that it would perhaps irreparably damage the baby if her longing was denied her. All seemed right, reasonable, and unavoidable, nevertheless Ernest saw that until the confinement was over he was likely to have a hard time of it. All however would then come right again.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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