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In his visit, Watson notices Laura's beauty right away. He first introduces himself as a friend of Frankland, but she quickly dismisses any interest in the man. Watson then admits he is inquiring about Sir Charles, and hoping to avoid a public scandal. Growing nervous then angry, she initially denies asking him to meet her but backtracks when Watson quotes the portion of the letter that Mrs. Barrymore had found. She swears that she never kept her appointment because of another circumstance she does not wish to discuss. When Watson threatens to involve the police, she confesses the contents of the letter: her husband was pressuring her to move back with him, and she was borrowing money from Sir Charles to ensure her freedom. She did not keep the appointment because she received the money from somewhere else.
Believing her story plausible, Watson resolves to investigate whether she had actually filed divorce proceedings. However, he remains troubled by her manner in telling the story: she had turned pale, and had to be coaxed into admitting most of the details.