From Mr. Pendril to Norah Vanstone.
"Serle Street, October 27th. 1847.
"MY DEAR MISS VANSTONE -- A lady named Lecount (formerly attached to Mr. Noel Vanstone's service in the capacity of housekeeper) has called at my office this morning, and has asked me to furnish her with your address. I have begged her to excuse my immediate compliance with her request, and to favor me with a call to-morrow morning, when I shall be prepared to meet her with a definite answer.
"My hesitation in this matter does not proceed from any distrust of Mrs. Lecount personally, for I know nothing whatever to her prejudice. But in making her request to me, she stated that the object of the desired interview was to speak to you privately on the subject of your sister. Forgive me for acknowledging that I determined to withhold the address as soon as I heard this. You will make allowances for your old friend, and your sincere well-wisher? You will not take it amiss if I express my strong disapproval of your allowing yourself, on any pretense whatever, to be mixed up for the future with your sister's proceedings.
"I will not distress you by saying more than this. But I feel too deep an interest in your welfare, and too sincere an admiration of the patience with which you have borne all your trials, to say less.
"If I cannot prevail on you to follow my advice, you have only to say so, and Mrs. Lecount shall have your address to-morrow. In this case (which I cannot contemplate without the greatest unwillingness), let me at least recommend you to stipulate that Miss Garth shall be present at the interview. In any matter with which your sister is concerned, you may want an old friend's advice, and an old friend's protection against your own generous impulses. If I could have helped you in this way, I would; but Mrs. Lecount gave me indirectly to understand that the subject to be discussed was of too delicate a nature to permit of my presence. Whatever this objection may be really worth, it cannot apply to Miss Garth, who has brought you both up from childhood. I say, again, therefore, if you see Mrs. Lecount, see her in Miss Garth's company.
Always most truly yours,