How others must see me

B’ham Hall August 8th 1851

I have received the strangest letter from that small man in Clacton. He says he has seen my brooch in a pawn shop – I am flattered that he felt the need to be discreet about this in his letter. He wants me to send him a draft for £30 guineas, upon receipt of which he will reclaim the brooch and send it to me.

The man must think I am stupid. Clearly, he has stolen it himself from our room, taken it to pawn and raised a sum of money, waited a while until he could seem plausible and then planned to extract yet more money from me to have it returned. Really! Does this man think I have no notion of what is going on before my own eyes?

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