July 29, 1896
It was with great sadness in which I heard about your recent ordeal at the hands of lawless thugs. I am presently away on business, but can certainly make my way back to you, should you desire it.
I would have come straight away, only I realized you might think me odd as we have only recently become acquainted at all. I wish to assure you my attentions and intentions are strictly of the honorable variety. If you require anything, it would be my sincere pleasure to assist you.
The note was short, unexpected and quite charming in its inferences if not its purpose. I had not given much further thought to Mr. Parker after our chance meeting in the city. The note renewed my interest in the man, but probably not in the way he imagined.
It gave me pause to consider the coincidences. It was utterly improbable that we should ever meet at all considering we do not revolve around the same circles. What are the calculable odds of meeting a stranger who will; 1. Mistakenly recognize me as my mother. 2. Happen upon me on the one day I go out shopping in months.
Then of course is the timing. They do say timing is everything and in this case I must agree it is true. Had I met Mr. Parker a year ago, I would not have any reason to be suspicious, but having just met him only a short time before being abducted calls to mind a scenario of connections. Albeit, I have no proof.
Still it stands to reason that I should be suspicious. His conveniently timed business trip might have been all about identifying me. Of course why would he use a ruse of knowing my mother? Perhaps he did and I should consider the death of my parents more carefully? Was it not truly an accident? I was far too young at the time to even recall if there were rumors.
And then of course comes the note itself. Innocent in appearance until one asks through what manner of news did he learn of what happened to me? I was not named by the newspapers reporting the story, only Ms. Maple was. How then would he have known that it had involved me at all? Has he been in contact with someone locally? Who and why?
The only reason I can extrapolate is he is keeping tabs on me. Which begs the question why he is doing so. His reasons could be many I suppose but they must in essence come down to one of two, either he has nefarious or innocent reasons. I am leaning toward nefarious. I think I will reply to his letter and see what more I can learn.