Continuing the narrative that began here.

Part 25.

Letter the Thirtieth: Miss Fanny Smith to Mrs. Molly Carter.

Dear Molly,

You say to four get, but I can not four get. When he Lukes at mee, I think he Must see that I Luve him. I aught to leave, but the Doctor will not Have it. Will you rite and say What I must Due? I have not Herd from you in Weeks.

Yrs, Fanny

Letter the Thirty-First: Sir George Purvis to Miss Amelia Purvis.

It is not enough that I should be a Prisoner of Doctor Albertus—for as such I regard myself, as I can find no apter Word to describe my Situation—it is not enough, I say, that I should be a Prisoner; I must be beset by Monsters. By Monsters, I say, for it is as such that I must regard them. Tho’ I have seen the mechanicall Automaton often enough, yet the Thing is more monstrous every time I encounter it. The Creature—you see I have learned to call it so, as Doctor Albertus does—the Creature, I say, wanders the endless Halls of Grimthorne Abbey at Will, and ’tis no uncommon Thing to encounter it. I say at Will: For I know not whether Doctor Albertus controls its every Movement, or whether he has given it in a Manner of speaking a Will of its own; but the Thing moves hither and thither when the Doctor himself is not to be seen.

I speak of these slight Matters, for that I have no weightier Intelligence to report. But I have, dearest Amelia, a gnawing Fear, that I have lost your Approval: For I have not had a Letter from you, or from our Cousin, since my Discovery of the true Automaton; and tho’ I own I deserve Censure, yet the thought that you might censure me nevertheless fills me with anxious Care. My Part in this Matter of Doctor Albertus, I have attempted to cast in the most honest Light; pray hold not my Honesty against me. In truth, no Censure can be harsher than that which I impose upon myself; but judge me with more Charity than Justice, for I remain, as I ever shall,

Your loving Brother,

Letter the Thirty-Second: Miss Honoria Wells to Miss Amelia Purvis.

Dearest Amelia,——

I write to you from an Inn at—— well, I have forgotten the Name of this forsaken Village. ’Tis the nearest Inn to Grimthorne Abbey, and thither I shall go, tho’ I should have to walk the three Leagues remaining across the barren Wilderness. That is my firm Resolution.

Doubtless you think me foolish, or mad, to undertake such a Journey as this on my own, unprotected, without so much as taking Leave of my Mother and my Father. But this is the Extremity to which Love has brought me. Heaven forgive George for the Agony he has caused me! Of Course I shall forgive him as well, after a suitable Interval.

The Truth, dearest Amelia, is that I am consumed with a Sense of Dread: I fear something horrible may have happened to George, and nothing will do for it but I shall either prove my Fears unfounded, or know the Worst. And my Journey, arduous tho’ it be, is little enough weighed against what the illustrious Alamazara endured for her Antonio. I have made Sacrifices, but not shaved my Head; I have faced Dangers, but no Indian Tygers. I might multiply Examples of famous Heroines, but to no Purpose: You know their Histories as well as I. When I recall the Labors which these notable Women have undertaken at the Prompting of Love alone, I count as naught the little Difficulties I have faced for the Sake of my beloved George.

To-morrow I set out for Grimthorne, and to-morrow I shall know the Truth. To-night I am weary, and must take what Rest I may upon the miserable Cot which is all this Inn can provide me with. My last Thoughts shall be of George. Farewell, from

Your faithful Friend and Sister,

P.S. I shall not have an Opportunity to make a Copy of this Letter before I retire, and therefore I beg your Indulgence for its hasty Appearance. I should be most grateful if you might furnish me with a Copy when I return; for it is ever my Practice, as I know it is yours, to keep every Letter I write.

Continue to Part 25.

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