Mrs. Ellmother took the advice. She described Emily's unexpected arrival on the previous day; and she repeated what had passed between them afterward. Miss Ladd's first impulse, when she had recovered her composure, was to go to Emily without waiting to hear more. Not presuming to stop her, Mrs. Ellmother ventured to put a question "Do you happen to have my telegram about you, ma'am?" Miss Ladd produced it. "Will you please look at the last part of it again?"
Miss Ladd read the words: "I have something besides to say to you which cannot be put into a letter." She at once returned to her chair.
"Does what you have still to tell me refer to any person whom I know?" she said.
"It refers, ma'am, to Miss de Sor. I am afraid I shall distress you."
"What did I say, when I came in?" Miss Ladd asked. "Speak out plainly; and try--it's not easy, I know--but try to begin at the beginning."
Mrs. Ellmother looked back through her memory of past events, and began by alluding to the feeling of curiosity which she had excited in Francine, on the day when Emily had made them known to one another. From this she advanced to the narrative of what had taken place at Netherwoods--to the atrocious attempt to frighten her by means of the image of wax--to the discovery made by Francine in the garden at night--and to the circumstances under which that discovery had been communicated to Emily.
Miss Ladd's face reddened with indignation. "Are you sure of all that you have said?" she asked.
"I am quite sure, ma'am. I hope I have not done wrong," Mrs. Ellmother added simply, "in telling you all this?"