From Admiral Bartram to Mrs. Drake (housekeeper at St. Crux).
"St. Crux, January 10th, 1848.
"MRS. DRAKE -- I have received your letter from London, stating that you have found me a new parlor-maid at last, and that the girl is ready to return with you to St. Crux when your other errands in town allow you to come back.
"This arrangement must be altered immediately, for a reason which I am heartily sorry to have to write.
"The illness of my niece, Mrs. Girdlestone -- which appeared to be so slight as to alarm none of us, doctors included -- has ended fatally. I received this morning the shocking news of her death. Her husband is said to be quite frantic with grief. Mr. George has already gone to his brother-in-law's, to superintend the last melancholy duties and I must follow him before the funeral takes place. We propose to take Mr. Girdlestone away afterward, and to try the effect on him of change of place and new scenes. Under these sad circumstances, I may be absent from St. Crux a month or six weeks at least; the house will be shut up, and the new servant will not be wanted until my return.
"You will therefore tell the girl, on receiving this letter, that a death in the family has caused a temporary change in our arrangements. If she is willing to wait, you may safely engage her to come here in six weeks' time; I shall be back then, if Mr. George is not. If she refuses, pay her what compensation is right, and so have done with her. Yours,