To: Miss Amelia Tinley, From: Miss Emilia Bexley
I am sure my missive greets you with some surprise, as we have conversed only briefly. Forgive my abruptness, but some news of the most disturbing nature has reached my ears and I felt I had no choice but to write you. A mutual acquaintance has relayed to me your plight. Please allow me to extend my hands and heart in sympathy for you-- and to implore you to hear reason.
I have also, in my own way, fallen prey to those who were supposed to care for my wellbeing. Your situation is truly horrible, but that which Miss Prince suggests is unconscionable. Consider the outcome should such an act be traced back to you. Or to me, should I assist you as requested. There are those that can expose the reputation of even a Barron. Please do not act in haste or let the machinations of an apparent madwoman guide your decisions.
Miss Emilia Bexley
Dear Miss Bexley,
I respond with some hesitation and, most assuredly, with shame, for I do not wish for you to think ill of me for what has most recently been conveyed. Truly, I extend my sincerest apologies for your unsolicited involvement; however, I find myself in the most dire of circumstances and implore you to understand the desperation with which I seek a resolution. It is but my moral fiber that causes my hesitation to engage in such a deplorable act, as you do well put, but I can see no other way forward if I wish freedom for myself and protection for my dear brother. Truly, I believe I may have made things worse, as it was foolhardy of me to away to Tyrehampton. I fear the repercussions will be extreme and dire indeed.
I dearly wish for another means of escape, Miss Bexley. I daresay I know not what that looks like, only that I long for freedom and protection both, though freedom and protection are not easily come by for one such as myself.
Please do not place blame on Miss Prince or judge her for her machinations. She has done right by me in keeping me in her confidence and allowing my soul to become unburdened. The weight has grown too heavy of late, the Baron's shadow one in which I cannot--perhaps shall not--ever escape.
Miss Amelia Tinley
Your moral fiber is to be acknowledged and commended. As for shame, Miss Tinley, the only shame that need exist here is with the Barron and his reprehensible actions. Caring for a young lady for whom he is supposed to provide a livelihood only to rip prospects from her with his own insatiable sin-- it is not to be borne. I am glad that your soul is unburdened, but now you must set aside your shame. None of this was brought about by your own hand.
However, should you not heed your conscience, that action would be on your hands and would harm your future in a far worse way. A mans reputation has been ruined over smaller offenses before. This information about his actions, in the right hands, could do far worse than take his life. For what is a life without a livelihood? Patience and caution, Miss Prince. I speak form experience when I say that decisions made in haste have much father reaching consequences.
Miss Emilia Bexley
Dear Miss Bexley,
Please forgive my belated reply, for I knew not how to answer such compassion. Despite your assurances, I am still much shamed, for you see, it was haste which has brought me here to Tyrehampton, and I daresay I have played my part in creating the situation with which I currently find myself. When the Baron's young daughter took ill, I hastened to take her place at Mrs. Hatch's school in an attempt to flee from such a wretched life. My behavior is not only unbecoming of one attempting to become a lady, which I cannot claim to be, but I fear it has made the circumstances that much more dire, as retribution is inevitable.
It is true I fear for my own well-being, Miss Bexley. But I fear for my brother much more than I. You claim a man's reputation has been ruined over smaller offenses, so I ask of you: what should become of my brother upon the Baron's retribution? We have no means nor family with which we can rely. Truly, we are all we have, and we must protect each other.
My conscience is tormented, Miss Bexley. I am desperate for a solution that will shake this shadow from our shoulders.
Dear Miss Tinley-
Firstly, I would very much like to thank you for sharing your confidences with me during our conversation several days ago. I hope that mine, shared in return, could offer you some solace in your grave situation.
That aside, I actually believe that there is an alternative solution that might, as you have stated, shake this shadow from both your shoulders and your brother's as well. A plan that, if executed properly, will both free you and be devoid of the violence which you and your company have considered. While I do not approve of her methods, I understand that Miss Prince did seek to ensure your wellbeing-- though the plan she has attempted to set in motion might have put you more in harm's way than anticipated.
Through an odd confluence of events, I wound up conversing with Mr. Tinley. Do not fret, Miss Tinley, I have concealed your whereabouts from him. However I /did/ suggested that, at least while the Baron is in Tyrehampton, that you do not reside with Mrs. Hatch. This could be the first place those deplorable people search for you, and I am sure you realize the discovery of your person is most undesirable.
I offer you lodgings in my household for as long as you have need of them. Mr. Tinley has set off for Warwickshire, and he hopes very much you will consider my offer-- for both your protection, and his. He sets off for Warwickshire this day in an attempt to intercept the pair, but in the event he does not succeed, please consider my assistance in your concealment. My home is modest, yes, but I can ensure you that you would be well looked after for the time being. Again, *underlined* please contemplate my offer. I can arrange your things to be moved as soon as possible.
Dear Miss Bexley,
I thank you for our conversation the other evening in which we shared each other's plights in confidence. Indeed, it gives me great solace to know another has shared a similar experience. Not only have you borne your suffering, but I daresay you have risen above it, both attitudes which imbue me with hope. You suggested in our conversation a solution which might well shed the darkness that has followed me to Tyrehampton. I am still torn, Miss Bexley, and indeed my conscience remains tormented by my desperation; however, I implore you to seek whatever solutions might befit such a situation, for I am eager for any light which might dispel said darkness and chase these shadows away.
You speak of my brother, Miss Bexley. Am I to understand that you have spoken with him? I pray you assure me that he knows not of which we have spoken, for with this sudden departure to Warwickshire of which you speak, he might be in grave danger indeed, should he be successful in his attempts to intercept the Baron's arrival. Oh, Miss Bexley, I have made quite a mess of things! My only reluctance for seeing my dear brother was to protect him, as I dare believe he now wishes to protect me. We are both fools, indeed.
I shall heed his warnings and take refuge in your household, Miss Bexley. BUt I fear I shall not be pleasant company, for I am overwrought with guilt and concern both for my dear brother. I pray the Baron is not at home and will indeed arrive in Tyrehamptom these few days next. It is a strange thing, for hope to be at war with fear.