Alone in her room, Emily opened her writing-case. Searching among the letters in it, she drew out a printed paper. It was the Handbill describing the man who had escaped from the inn, and offering a reward for the discovery of him.
At the first line of the personal description of the fugitive, the paper dropped from her hand. Burning tears forced their way into her eyes. Feeling for her handkerchief, she touched the pocketbook which she had received from Mrs. Rook. After a little hesitation she took it out. She looked at it. She opened it.
The sight of the bank-notes repelled her; she hid them in one of the pockets of the book. There was a second pocket which she had not yet examined. She pat her hand into it, and, touching something, drew out a letter.
The envelope (already open) was addressed to "James Brown, Esq., Post Office, Zeeland. "Would it be inconsistent with her respect for her father's memory to examine the letter? No; a glance would decide whether she ought to read it or not.
It was without date or address; a startling letter to look at--for it only contained three words:
The words were signed in initials:
In the instant when she read the initials, the name occurred to her.
The discovery of the letter gave a new direction to Emily's thoughts--and so, for the time at least, relieved her mind from the burden that weighed on it. To what question, on her father's part, had "I say No" been Miss Jethro's brief and stern reply? Neither letter nor envelope offered the slightest hint that might assist inquiry; even the postmark had been so carelessly impressed that it was illegible.