“Repeat word for word what you read in the letter, please, Blasi,” and he told her all that he could remember. It did not take long. Dietrich said that he had not much to say, but wrote because Jost was the only person in the world who cared anything for him. Perhaps some day his mother would come to feel differently; but since he had brought so much trouble upon her, he could not expect her to forgive him yet. If Veronica was going to marry some one else, he did not want to hear about it. He could not make up his mind to go to Australia as Jost advised; it was too far away; he was almost dead of homesickness even in Hamburg. If they were after him for the man-slaughter, he thought he could hide well enough there, and perhaps in a few years when the whole thing was forgotten, he could come home again.
If worst came to worst, and he were taken, he should at least get home, if only to be put into the House of Correction. He felt the worst on his mother’s account. He wanted Jost to write and tell him about things at home, and it was safest to send to the same address, as he always called for the letters himself.
Veronica hung upon every word that fell from Blasi’s lips, and when he had finished, she walked silently by his side, deep in thought. Presently he asked her what he should do if Jost found out that he had opened his letter and hauled him up before a Justice of the Peace for it. Veronica said she believed that Jost would scarcely care to say anything about the letter. She advised Blasi to keep his own counsel, and to behave as usual, in a perfectly unconcerned manner, whenever he met Jost. She would take the rest in hand herself. Blasi was more than willing to leave it all to her; he had entire confidence in her ability to manage the affair. The letters of all the country round were collected at the central office in Fohrensee, to be forwarded together from there to the nearest city, where they were sorted and distributed. Veronica thought of this, and laid her plans accordingly. The next day as soon as she reached Fohrensee, she went to the post-office, and asked to see the address of a letter which had just been sent in, on its way to Hamburg. The post-master, who knew her well, did not think the request at all singular, supposing that it had something to do with the school business.
“A letter for Hamburg came in last evening;” said his daughter who was his assistant, “there it lies with the others that came with it.”
The postmaster went to the table and found the letter, which he handed to Veronica. “The address is not very nicely written,” he said.
The handwriting was either that of a person unused to the pen, or it was purposely disguised. The letter was addressed to a woman of the same name as that of the miller’s widow. The name of the street was illegible, but the words “To be called for,” were plainly written.