Letter, Arthur Holmwood to Dr. Seward.
"Albemarle Hotel, 31 August.
"My dear Jack, --
"I want you to do me a favour. Lucy is ill; that is, she has no special disease, but she looks awful, and is getting worse every day. I have asked her if there is any cause; I do not dare to ask her mother, for to disturb the poor lady's mind about her daughter in her present state of health would be fatal. Mrs. Westenra has confided to me that her doom is spoken -- disease of the heart -- though poor Lucy does not know it yet. I am sure that there is something preying on my dear girl's mind: I am almost distracted when I think of her; to look at her gives me a pang. I told her I should ask you to see her, and though she demurred at first -- I know why, old fellow -- she finally consented. It will be a painful task for you, I know, old friend, but it is for her sake, and I must not hesitate to ask, or you to act. You are to come to lunch at Hillingham to-morrow, two o'clock, so as not to arouse any suspicion in Mrs. Westenra, and after lunch Lucy will take an opportunity of being alone with you. I shall come in for tea, and we can go away together; I am filled with anxiety, and want to consult with you alone as soon as I can after you have seen her. Do not fail!