23rd March 1812
Do not be alarmed by this letter following on so soon after my last. There is naught amiss – though I remain kidnapped and resigned to my fate.
In my haste to send you word of our safe arrival, I omitted to ask you something: you made mention in passing that you felt our brother has been deeply unhappy since he returned from Hertfordshire at the end of last year. Much as it might seem that this would please me, I would not wish to see him troubled when I cannot honestly profess to having been the cause!
I wished to let you know that I too have seen something singular in his mood and behaviour these past few days, and it may be that Hertfordshire is the link, for it has only to be mentioned and his countenance alters (and we both know that it takes a great deal to crack that inscrutable mask he carries with him).
Is there, perchance, anything you can recall him saying, or putting in his correspondence during that time, that might lead us to the cause?
Your increasingly curious brother,