The letter was dated, "Penzance"; and the doctor wrote, as he spoke, without ceremony.
"MADAM--Your letter has been forwarded to me. I am spending my autumn holiday in the far West of Cornwall. However, if I had been at home, it would have made no difference. I should have begged leave to decline holding any further conversation with you, on the subject of Miss Emily Brown, for the following reasons:
"In the first place, though I cannot doubt your sincere interest in the young lady's welfare, I don't like your mysterious way of showing it. In the second place, when I called at your address in London, after you had left my house, I found that you had taken to flight. I place my own interpretation on this circumstance; but as it is not founded on any knowledge of facts, I merely allude to it, and say no more."
Arrived at that point, Alban offered to return the letter. "Do you really mean me to go on reading it?" he asked.鈥檚
"In the third place, I have good reason to believe that you entered Miss Ladd's school as a teacher, under false pretenses. After that discovery, I tell you plainly I hesitate to attach credit to any statement that you may wish to make. At the same time, I must not permit my prejudices (as you will probably call them) to stand in the way of Miss Emily's interests--supposing them to be really depending on any interference of yours. Miss Ladd's drawing-master, Mr. Alban Morris, is even more devoted to Miss Emily's service than I am. Whatever you might have said to me, you can say to him--with this possible advantage, that _he_ may believe you."鈥檚
There the letter ended. Alban handed it back in silence.鈥檚
Miss Jethro pointed to the words, "Mr. Alban Morris is even more devoted to Miss Emily誷 service than I am."鈥檚
"I don't complain, Mr. Morris, of the hard things said of me in that letter; you are at liberty to suppose, if you like, that I deserve them. Attribute it to pride, or attribute it to reluctance to make needless demands on your time--I shall not attempt to defend myself. I leave you to decide whether the woman who has shown you that letter--having something important to say to you--is a person who is mean enough to say it under false pretenses."鈥檚