Three days after Hugh Stanbury’s visit to Manchester Street, he wrote a note to Lady Rowley, telling her of the address at which might be found both Trevelyan and his son. As Bozzle had acknowledged, facts are things which may be found out. Hugh had gone to work somewhat after the Bozzlian fashion, and had found out this fact. ’He lives at a place called River’s Cottage, at Willesden,’ wrote Stanbury. ’If you turn off the Harrow Road to the right, about a mile beyond the cemetery, you will find the cottage on the left hand side of the lane, about a quarter of a mile from the Harrow Road. I believe you can go to Willesden by railway but you had better take a cab from London.’ There was much consultation respecting this letter between Lady Rowley and Mrs Trevelyan, and it was decided that it should not be shown to Sir Marmaduke. To see her child was at the present moment the most urgent necessity of the poor mother, and both the ladies felt that Sir Marmaduke in his wrath might probably impede rather than assist her in this desire. If told where he might find Trevelyan, he would probably insist on starting in quest of his son-in-law himself, and the distance between the mother and her child might become greater in consequence, instead of less. There were many consultations; and the upshot of these was, that Lady Rowley and her daughter determined to start for Willesden without saying anything to Sir Marmaduke of the purpose they had in hand. When Emily expressed her conviction that if Trevelyan should be away from home they would probably be able to make their way into the house so as to see the child, Lady Rowley with some hesitation acknowledged that such might be the case. But the child’s mother said nothing to her own mother of a scheme which she had half formed of so clinging to her boy that no human power should separate them.
They started in a cab, as advised by Stanbury, and were driven to a point on the road from which a lane led down to Willesden, passing by River’s Cottage. They asked as they came along, and met no difficulty in finding their way. At the point on the road indicated, there was a country inn for hay-waggoners, and here Lady Rowley proposed that they should leave their cab, urging that it might be best to call at the cottage in the quietest manner possible; but Mrs Trevelyan, with her scheme in her head for the recapture of their child, begged that the cab might go on and thus they were driven up to the door.
River’s Cottage was not a prepossessing abode. It was a new building, of light-coloured bricks, with a door in the middle and one window on each side. Over the door was a stone tablet, bearing the name River’s Cottage. There was a little garden between the road and the house, across which there was a straight path to the door. In front of one window was a small shrub, generally called a puzzle-monkey,