The Five Bells, Harmondsworth Village
My darling Harriet,
three days we have been here and after some misinterpreted directions, we found your brother and are now negotiating with him his return to your family and him issuing a statement what happened, after which we will leave him with your father to unravel their problems.
I miss you and it will take us some days to come to Cumberland. I will send you notice on time to meet us, so we can go to Wortham together.
I don't know how much I should tell you so far; everything is quite a mess and scandalous. I beg you, as does Lord Cartwright, not to consign anything to her Ladyship until we know the whole story and can prevent anything becoming public knowledge.
When we came to the village, we first went to the wrong house, presuming your brother to stay with a respectable family of somehow his own state. But no one at the Manor Farm had any idea of who Max was and we returned to the Inn.
Lord Cartwright and Mr. Porter were discussing further steps with Mr. Tredwell, when I went to the shop across the road to buy some writing supplies (I forgot mine in town, being muddleheaded as usual). There I heard a maid asking for something her master had ordered and how she had called him Mr. Maxwell. I pretended to know him and told her what a surprise it was to find him here as I was on my way to town. She was quite an innocent creature and asked me, if my friend was really Mr. Fred Maxwell. - Darling, I am dumb-funded at his impertinence to change his name so abominably.
I had a boy in front of the shop running to call for my friends to meet me at the address the girl had given me. I didn't want to lose time and immediately went with her.
We came to a halt in front of a small, but respectable looking house and the maid let me in to the tiny hall. Not two minutes later I was to enter a salon and stood in front of your brother, holding an infant.
Do not be alarmed, my dear! Though he was speechless and stared at me changing colours instantaneously, nothing worthwhile happened, as the other gentlemen knocked and were let in forthwith. - After some minutes of calming down the strange situation and the woman presumably mistress of that house ordering tea (from the same simple-hearted maid), we learned the baby-girl wasn't your brother's child. But it is worse actually, my love, as it is probably Frederick's and Tredwell post-haste went to find out if they were really married, like the mother vouched (and your brother!)...
Well, my darling, you see now, how important it is not to say a word yet to Lady C. - I will write to you very soon and look forward to embrace you again.
Your loving husband,