Letter 1 : Madame de l’Orme to Miss Esperanza Gorst

Maison de l’Orme
Avenue d’Uhrich, Paris

Dearest Child,

When you read this, my first Letter of Instruction, you will have commenced yr new life at Evenwood. I can easily picture to myself how you must be feeling — alone, so far removed from everything that is familiar & dear to you, amongst strangers, in a strange house, and still uninformed of why you have been sent there. So let me now begin as I promised, to set you on the road to understanding, although it must for now be but a very little step.

You must — you shall — know everything needful, as time goes on; & what I shall reveal to you, very soon will concern your own history, as well as that of others, with whom yours is indissolubly bound up. But, first, you must understand more concerning your mistress, Lady Tansor; for, as I have often impressed upon you, it is imperative that you secure her trust — her absolute trust — and also her affection; for without these, you will not succeed in the task you are there to accomplish.

This is all I wished to say at present; but you may depend on a further communication from me soon.

Write when you can.

My love always,