Then the thing was where to find a file. After one or two failures, the British Museum was suggested. She went thither, and could not get in to read without certain formalities. While these were being complied with, she was at a stand-still.
That same evening came a line from Arthur Wardlaw:
"DEAREST HELEN-- I hear from Mr. Adams that you desire to know the name of the counsel who defended Robert Penfold. It was Mr. Tollemache. He has chambers in Lincoln's Inn.
Helen was touched with this letter, and put it away indorsed with a few words of gratitude and esteem; and copied it into her diary, and remarked: "This is one more warning not to judge hastily. Arthur's agitation was probably only great emotion at the sudden mention of one whose innocence he believes, and whose sad fate distresses him." She wrote back and thanked him sweetly, and in terms that encouraged a visit. Next day she went to Mr. Tollemache. A seedy man followed her at a distance. Mr. Tollemache was not at his chambers, nor expected till four o'clock. He was in court. She left her card, and wrote on it in pencil that she would call at four.
She went at ten minutes after four. Mr. Tollemache declined, through his clerk, to see her if she was a client; he could only be approached by her solicitor. She felt inclined to go away and cry; but this time she remembered she was to be obstinate as a man and supple as a woman. She wrote on a card: "I am not a client of Mr. Tollemache, but a lady deeply interested in obtaining some information, which Mr. Tollemache can with perfect propriety give me. I trust to his courtesy as a gentleman not to refuse me a short interview."
"Admit the lady," said a sharp little voice.
She was ushered in, and found Mr. Tollemache standing before the fire.
"Now, madam, what can I do for you?"