“Mr. Toogood,” Lady Tassell said, sounding hesitant. “My son wrote you a letter of reference, I believe?”
He didn’t want to bring her wrath down on Lord Lenfield if she didn’t already know he’d helped John. “Mr. Nicholas did, yes, my lady.”
“Might I see it?”
John didn’t have the nerve to say no—or the heart. She looked so afraid of his refusal. “Certainly, my lady.” He brought it to her, and waited while she read it—and then while she read it a second time.
John had read it many times himself during the anxious fortnight when he feared never finding another position. The letter had gratified John’s vanity very highly, but he couldn’t imagine there was much in it to satisfy a mother’s craving for news of her son, being filled with He is handy with a razor and statements of that ilk. The most personal thing—indeed, the only personal thing—Mr. Dymond had written was He is undemanding company, and
managed a sad change in my circumstances (on the occasion of resigning my commission due to injury) with matter-of-fact delicacy.
“That’s more words than he wrote to me all the time he was in Spain.” She folded it up and handed it briskly back. “Thank you, Mr. Toogood.”