was tacitly understood among them, that some day or other, when they were both old enough, and when Henry should be in a situation to maintain a family, Esther was to be his wife.
This arrangement--now that she was satisfied of Harry Jackson's good character--shed a gleam of comfort on Hannah's dark path; for her path lay dark before her now. The host of the King's Arms was never happy out of Hammond's company; the truth being, that the unfortunate man had grown really fond of George. Hannah's frowns and coldness could not keep him away; and if she, by persuasion or stratagem, contrived to detain her husband at home, Jackson invariably came in search of him. Then, besides all the other griefs and discomforts attending such a state of things, the business of the house began to decline. The respectable townspeople did not like to frequent an inn where the host was always intoxicated; and, to many who had known them in happier days, George Hammond's bloated face, and Hannah's pinched features were not
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