Things had been "worse" for quite a while now. Every day, Mr. Westley had despaired more, seeing the prospects grow dimmer with each dawn. By that time, his family had gone from a respectable unit to a begging and, sadly, thieving bunch, doing what was needed to make ends meet. Mrs. Westley no longer asked where her son "found" a sixpence or where the bread came from; her conscience was too burdened by her inability to provide for the three parched and aching children. Her husband had acquired a small bit of tea, which he shared with them all as an unusual treat to break the monotony. That day, Mrs. Westley was reminded of what she had only recently lost- stability, food, clothing, shelter. Remembrance gave inspiration, and in her mind a plan formed.
They still had a life insurance plan- a plan which, for a time, would still cover them. Long after the others were asleep, she lit a nearly gone candle and found the policy--a policy which extended through April 7th, only a week away. Throughout that week, she pondered and weighed, laboring over her decision and taking special care to disguise it. April 6th came, and her children, unaware, rose to a ghastly sight- their mother, pale and red, clutching a note written in desperation:
"Done so the children might live."
There beside her lay the policy, her last hope that she could redeem them from the depths of poverty and through dying, provide what she could not in living.