Dear Mr. Ross,
It is my unfortunate duty to make you aware of certain changes in our relations. Due to recent events, including your daughter's failure to satisfy the terms of our arrangement, I regret to inform you that I have found it necessary to cut off any further business associations with you and your firm. I am sorry for this letter's delay—I had hoped to send notice with your Captain Anderson, but his departure was so sudden that I was forced to wait for the next ship bound for your city. Needless to say, such ships have been scarce as of late due to the current political strain between our nations.
Should you feel this decision was made in error, please feel free to discuss the matter with my solicitor, a Mr. Jacob Barnes.
P.S. Though my parting with Miss Ross was made in haste under unpleasant circumstances, I feel it only right to inquire after her well-being. Please let her know that I harbor no ill will toward her and would be pleased by her company should she find herself in the North again. I trust her journey was pleasant and that she has arrived home safely.
The letter—addressed to Arthur Ross by Lord Lawrence Stroud, Duke of Raynesborough—fluttered slowly to the ground, lost by hands enfeebled by anxiety.
Evalyn had not returned.