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NO NAME.

BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE WOMAN IN WHITE," &C.

BETWEEN THE SCENES.

I.

FROM MRS. NOEL VANSTONE TO MR. LOSCOMBE.

"Park-terrace, St. John's Wood,

"November 5th.

"Dear Sir,— I came to London yesterday, for
the purpose of seeing a relative, leaving Mr.
Vanstone at Baliol Cottage, and proposing to
return to him in the course of a week. I reached
London late last night, and drove to these lodgings,
having written to secure accommodation
beforehand.

"This morning's post has brought me a letter
from my own maid, whom I left at Baliol Cottage,
with instructions to write to me if anything
extraordinary took place in my absence. You will
find the girl's letter enclosed in this. I have had
some experience of her; and I believe she is to
be strictly depended on to tell the truth.

"I purposely abstain from troubling you by
any useless allusions to myself. When you have
read my maid's letter, you will understand the
shock which the news contained in it has caused
me. I can only repeat, that I place implicit
belief in her statement. I am firmly persuaded that
my husband's former housekeeper has found him
out, has practised on his weakness in my absence,
and has prevailed on him to make another Will.
From what I know of this woman, I feel no
doubt that she has used her influence over Mr.
Vanstone to deprive me, if possible, of all future
interest in my husband's fortune.

"Under such circumstances as these, it is in
the last degree importantfor more reasons
than I need mention herethat I should see
Mr. Vanstone, and come to an explanation with
him, at the earliest possible opportunity. You
will find that my maid thoughtfully kept her
letter open, until the last moment before post-
timewithout, however, having any later news to
give me than that Mrs. Lecount was to sleep at
the cottage last night, and that she and Mr.
Vanstone were to leave together this morning. But
for that last piece of intelligence, I should have
been on my way back to Scotland before now.
As it is, I cannot decide for myself what I ought
to do next. My going back to Dumfries, after
Mr. Vanstone has left it, seems like taking a
journey for nothingand my staying in London
appears to be almost equally useless.

"Will you kindly advise me, in this difficulty?
I will come to you at Lincoln's Inn, at any time
this afternoon or to-morrow, which you may
appoint. My next few hours are engaged. As
soon as this letter is despatched, I am going to
Kensington, with the object of ascertaining
whether certain doubts I feel, about the means
by which Mrs. Lecount may have accomplished
her discovery, are well founded or not. If you
will let me have your answer by return of post, I
will not fail to get back to St. John's Wood in
time to receive it.

"Believe me, dear Sir, yours sincerely,

"MAGDALEN VANSTONE."

II.

FROM MR. LOSCOMBE TO MRS. NOEL VANSTONE.

"Lincoln's Inn, Nov. 5th.

"Dear Madam,—Your letter and its enclosure
have caused me great concern and surprise.
Pressure of business allows me no hope of being
able to see you either to-day or to-morrow morning.
But if three o'clock to-morrow afternoon
will suit you, at that hour you will find me at
your service.

"I cannot pretend to offer a positive opinion,
until I know more of the particulars connected
with this extraordinary business than I find
communicated either in your letter, or in your maid's.
But with this reserve, I venture to suggest that
your remaining in London until to-morrow, may
possibly lead to other results besides your
consultation at my chambers. There is at least
a chance that you, or I, may hear something
further in this strange matter by the morning's
post.

"I remain, dear Madam, faithfully yours,

"JOHN LOSCOMBE."

III.

FROM MRS. NOEL VANSTONE TO MISS GARTH.

"November 5th, Two o'Clock.

"I have just returned from Westmorland
Houseafter purposely leaving it in secret, and
purposely avoiding you under your own roof. You
shall know why I came, and why I went away.
It is due to my remembrance of old times not to
treat you like a stranger, although I can never
again treat you like a friend.

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