From Mrs. Ruddock (Lodging-house Keeper) to Mr. Loscombe.
"Park Terrace, St. John's Wood, June 2d.
"SIR -- Having, by Mrs. Noel Vanstone's directions, taken letters for her to the post, addressed to you -- and knowing no one else to apply to -- I beg to inquire whether you are acquainted with any of her friends; for I think it right that they should be stirred up to take some steps about her.
"Mrs. Vanstone first came to me in November last, when she and her maid occupied my apartments. On that occasion, and again on this, she has given me no cause to complain of her. She has behaved like a lady, and paid me my due. I am writing, as a mother of a family, under a sense of responsibility -- I am not writing with an interested motive.
"After proper warning given, Mrs. Vanstone (who is now quite alone) leaves me to-morrow. She has not concealed from me that her circumstances are fallen very low, and that she cannot afford to remain in my house. This is all she has told me -- I know nothing of where she is going, or what she means to do next. But I have every reason to believe she desires to destroy all traces by which she might be found, after leaving this place -- for I discovered her in tears yesterday, burning letters which were doubtless letters from her friends. In looks and conduct she has altered most shockingly in the last week. I believe there is some dreadful trouble on her mind; and I am afraid, from what I see of her, that she is on the eve of a serious illness. It is very sad to see such a young woman so utterly deserted and friendless as she is now.
"Excuse my troubling you with this letter; it is on my conscience to write it. If you know any of her relations, please warn them that time is not to be wasted. If they lose to-morrow, they may lose the last chance of finding her.
"Your humble servant,