The Excelsior Hotel
Clacton on Sea
August 5th 1851
Dear Mrs Hatherwick
Of late I have taken up the habit of walking for part of the afternoon in the town and down towards the dockside. Yesterday I passed a small shop I have not seen before. It appears to be the kind of establishment which serves the needy by allowing them a small sum of money in return for holding a posession of theirs. I am told the owner is at liberty to reclaim the object once a further sum of money has passed hands.
My reason for writing to you is to tell you that in the window of this shop I happened to notice a brooch which put me in mind of the one you reported missing after your stay here last November.
The brooch in question is reddish in colour and set amongst some small pearls (forgive me if I am unused to clear description of such wonders). It is approximately 3 inches in diameter. The proprietor of the shop informed me that he acquired it from a gentleman last year and that he will not surrender it for less than 30 guineas.
I will be happy to secure the brooch on your behalf, Madam, if you would care to furnish me with the wherewithal. I am sure you need not worry that it will be purchased by another in the meantime. The people who frequent that part of Clacton rarely have 30 guineas about them.
I await your instruction
Ogden Browne, Esq.