Miss Maitland Bristow
14 Bathurst Mews
31 May 1902
To think, the cheek of that Mr. Hall! He always was a rather raucous young fellow. All the same, you must find some flattery in his attention to you. Heaven knows any other girl from Cheltenham would.
As for me, I spend most of my time wandering the grand halls of Mr. Westley's large estate. There is one room I find to be a bit curious, though. It's quite empty, Maisie, all except a sturdy chair and a single portrait of a very young girl, a child of only a few years, which sits on the mantle above the fireplace. Upon examining it a bit closer I was hastily shown the way out by the maid. She was quite rigid in informing me that the room was Mr. Westley's private study, and I shan't be allowed to return to it. Seems a rather odd study. No books, nor even a desk to speak of. Perhaps there is a soft spot in Mr. Westley's unfeeling heart after all. I cannot help but wonder, was it a child lost to consumption? Maybe she lives still, somewhere unbeknownst to any of us along with a former Missus Westley? 'Tis a mystery not unlike that of your "Rabbit." However do you propose to find the author of the inscription? Well, one thing is for certain, if anyone might detect its origins that would be you, my dear Maisie!
My other news is that Mr. Westley means to present me to society as his niece at a ball that is to be attended by some prominent generals with which my uncle conducts his business affairs. Madam Fifette (or Fifi as I call her, which drives her mad) is the head mistress of the house and has already arranged for a fitting for my dress.
Do not delay in responding as you are my only comfort and solace.
23 rue Saint Paul