II.11. Miss Gwilt Among The
1. From the Rev. Decimus Brock to Ozias Midwinter.
"MY DEAR MIDWINTER--No words can tell what a relief it was to me to get
your letter this morning, and what a happiness I honestly feel in having been thus
far proved to be in the wrong. The precautions you have taken in case the woman
should still confirm my apprehensions by venturing herself at Thorpe Ambrose
seem to me to be all that can be desired. You are no doubt sure to hear of her from
one or other of the people in the lawyer's office, whom you have asked to inform
you of the appearance of a stranger in the town.
"I am the more pleased at finding how entirely I can trust you in this matter; for I
am likely to be obliged to leave Allan's interests longer than I supposed solely in
your hands. My visit to Thorpe Ambrose must, I regret to say, be deferred for two
months. The only one of my brother-clergymen in London who is able to take my
duty for me cannot make it convenient to remove with his family to Somersetshire
before that time. I have no alternative but to finish my business here, and be back
at my rectory on Saturday next. If anything happens, you will, of course, instantly
communicate with me; and, in that case, be the inconvenience what it may, I must
leave home for Thorpe Ambrose. If, on the other hand, all goes more smoothly
than my own obstinate apprehensions will allow me to suppose, then Allan (to
whom I have written) must not expect to see me till this day two months.
"No result has, up to this time, rewarded our exertions to recover the trace lost at
the railway. I will keep my letter open, however, until post time, in case the next
few hours bring any news.
"Always truly yours,
"P. S.--I have just heard from the lawyers. They have found out the name the
woman passed by in London. If this discovery (not a very important one, I am
afraid) suggests any new course of proceeding to you, pray act on it at once. The
name is--Miss Gwilt."
2. From Miss Gwilt to Mrs. Oldershaw.
The Cottage, Thorpe Ambrose, Saturday, June 28.
"If you will promise not to be alarmed, Mamma Oldershaw, I will begin this letter
in a very odd way, by copying a page of a letter written by somebody else. You
have an excellent memory, and you may not have forgotten that I received a note
from Major Milroy's mother (after she had engaged me as governess) on Monday
last. It was dated and signed; and here it is, as far as the first page: 'June 23d,
1851. Dear Madam--Pray excuse my troubling you, before you go to Thorpe
Ambrose, with a word more about the habits observed in my son's household.
When I had the pleasure of seeing you at two o'clock to-day, in Kingsdown
Crescent, I had another appointment in a distant part of London at three; and, in