Captain Hepburn still called occasionally at the house for his post. The maid always put his letters in a certain place in the hall, so that he should not have to climb the stairs.
Among his letters - that is to say, along with another letter, for his correspondence was very meagre - he one day found an envelope with a crest. Inside this envelope two letters.
Dear Captain Hepburn,
I had the enclosed letter from Mrs Hepburn. I don't intend her to have the doll which is your portrait, so I shall not answer this note. Also I don't see why she should try to turn us out of the town. She talked to me after tea that day, and it seems she believes that Mitchka is your lover. I didn't say anything at all - except that it wasn't true. But she needn't be afraid of me. I don't want you to trouble yourself. But you may as well KNOW how things are.
JOHANNA Z. R.
The other letter was on his wife's well-known heavy paper, and in her well-known large, 'aristocratic' hand.
My dear Countess,
I wonder if there has been some mistake, or some misunderstanding. Four days ago you said you would send round that DOLL we spoke of, but I have seen no sign of it yet. I thought of calling at the studio, but did not wish to disturb the Baroness. I should be very much obliged if you could send the doll at once, as I do not feel easy while it is out of my possession. You may rely on having a cheque by return.
Our old family friend, Major-General Barlow, called on me yesterday, and we had a most interesting conversation on our Tommies, and the protection of their morals here. It seems we have full power to send away any person or persons deemed undesirable, with twenty-four hours' notice to leave. But of course all this is done as quietly and with the intention of causing as little scandal as possible.
Please let me have the doll by tomorrow, and perhaps some hint as to your future intentions.
With very best wishes from one who only seeks to be your friend. Yours very sincerely,