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The Two Destinies

11. The Letter Of Introduction
I LOOKED at the house. It was an inn, of no great size, but of respectable appearance. If
I was to be of any use to her that night, the time had come to speak of other subjects than
the subject of dreams.
"After all that you have told me," I said, "I will not ask you to admit me any further into
your confidence until we meet again. Only let me hear how I can relieve your most
pressing anxieties. What are your plans? Can I do anything to help them before you go to
rest to-night?"
She thanked me warmly, and hesitated, looking up the street and down the street in
evident embarrassment what to say next.
"Do you propose staying in Edinburgh?" I asked.
"Oh no! I don't wish to remain in Scotland. I want to go much further away. I think I
should do better in London; at some respectable milliner's, if I could be properly
recommended. I am quick at my needle, and I understand cutting out. Or I could keep
accounts, if--if anybody would trust me."
She stopped, and looked at me doubtingly, as if she felt far from sure, poor soul, of
winning my confidence to begin with. I acted on that hint, with the headlong impetuosity
of a man who was in love.
"I can give you exactly the recommendation you want," I said, "whenever you like. Now,
if you would prefer it."
Her charming features brightened with pleasure. "Oh, you are indeed a friend to me!" she
said, impulsively. Her face clouded again--she saw my proposal in a new light. "Have I
any right," she asked, sadly, "to accept what you offer me?"
"Let me give you the letter," I answered, "and you can decide for yourself whether you
will use it or not."
I put her arm again in mine, and entered the inn.
She shrunk back in alarm. What would the landlady think if she saw her lodger enter the
house at night in company with a stranger, and that stranger a gentleman? The landlady
appeared as she made the objection. Reckless what I said or what I did, I introduced
myself as her relative, and asked to be shown into a quiet room in which I could write a
letter. After one sharp glance at me, the landlady appeared to be satisfied that she was
dealing with a gentleman. She led the way into a sort of parlor behind the "bar," placed
 
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