Nora

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Upon searching for any information on Jayne Cornwell, next to nothing was found. I can say with a certainty she never made it to the United States, and while I have located a record of birth, the record of death seems to be dodgy with no official accounting. Perhaps she abandoned Grace, and it was the broken heart that prompted her return from England to resume permanent residency alone at Dudley House. Whatever it was, it is sad to report that two women did not grow old in each other's arms.

The removal of the wallpaper in the lab has been completed and yielded a find. An old envelope that, while did not contain the missing journal pages, it did provide something of interest. However, until the information is authenticated, I am reluctant to share at this time.

I haven't had any luck with my "ding-dong-ditchers." The camera was supposed to go off with motion, which motion did trigger it, but the recording was corrupted and couldn't be played back. At least not in a way where the footage was viewable. I'm not a technology specialist, so I have hired a tech guy to come out and make sure everything is hooked up properly and working like it should be. By the end of the week, I should be ready to catch the prankster.

-Eli Brown.

May 26, 1867

Dear Mother,

Jayne and I were in my room. I was laying on my bed while Jayne sat next to me, fiddling with my hair while we were surmising what Colin might have found out about you. Flora came knocking on my door, she was letting me know that Nora wanted to see me in her rooms immediately. When Jayne stood up to follow along, Flora asked her to remain behind. Nora was explicit in her directions. It must be only me. Confused and perhaps a little offended, Jayne sat back down. She wasn't about to go somewhere she wasn't welcomed. I left her alone in my room while I went to see Nora.

Nora's been keeping her own company lately and, to her credit, had not been trying to set me up. Honestly, I had seen very little of the woman since the dinner party. When I entered her rooms, Flora disappeared again. Nora asked me to sit next to her. I did.

I couldn't help but notice how pale she seemed, and how ceaselessly her hands trembled, even just for a bit. It was easy to see she wasn't doing well. I felt a twinge of guilt thinking poorly of her and rejoicing to myself each day I didn't have her nagging on me or talking about what I might want in a husband. I have wronged the poor woman.

A long moment of silence passed, and I finally asked her if everything was okay. I knew it wasn't. Nothing around here could ever be okay. She pulled out a folded-up note and offered it to me. I looked at it carefully before accepting. There was no seal or binding, it was a just a plain envelope. Once I took it from her, she placed her hand back in her lap while looking me in the eye and instructed me to open it.

I asked her if she had read it. She shook her head as she told me it wasn't hers to read. However, she had a fair notion of what was inside. So, I opened it and began to read with her watching.

It was from Colin. He had done as we asked and inquired about you to the local seamstress. The seamstress that had been your employer died several years ago, her apprentice took on the role. That apprentice remembered you clearly, but you were Adelia Kraff. Perhaps she recalled you fondly as a dear friend given the information she knew. I couldn't really tell.

You had been secretly seeing someone living here at Bright Hall, but you would never say who. Seems you liked to keep your mysteries. Right before you vanished, you confided in her that you were pregnant. You refused to name the father. It wasn't until years later that she had heard through some of the servants that you had married the younger brother and bore a child. Which puzzled her, because the younger brother, father, at the time, was engaged to someone else entirely and it caused quite the scandal when the engagement was broken with a hasty move to America.

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