This letter was written by Malcolm Polstead and sent to Lyra Silvertongue while she was staying on Ma Costa's boat, the Persian Queen. The address written on the letter's envelope was originally 'Miss L. Silvertongue, c/o Coram van Texel', but Coram's name was crossed out and changed to 'Mme Costa, Persian Queen.
I heard from Dick Orchard about your predicament, and where you've gone. You couldn't do better than take refuge in the Fens, and Coram van Texel is the best person to advise you about what to do next. Ask him about Oakley Street. Hannah and I were going to tell you about it, but circumstances have overtaken us.
Bill the porter at Jordan tells me that the gossip in the college is that you were arrested by the CCD, and that you've vanished into the prison system. The servants are furious about this, and blame the Master. There's talk of a strike, which would be a Jordan College first, though since that wouldn't bring you back I don't think it will happen; but the Master will find his relations with the staff more than a little strained.
In the meantime, the best thing you can do is learn as much as you can about every aspect of Oakley Street matters that old Coram van Texel can teach you. We've only just begun to talk about important things, you and I, but I sense that you know through the alethiometer perhaps, and maybe from other experiences as well, that there are more ways than one, more than two, of seeing things and perceiving their meanings.
What's so important about the Central Asian connection that came with the death of poor Roderick Hassall is that it seems to turn on this very point.
Give my greetings to Coram, and tell him what you need to about Hassall, and about Karamakan. That's where I shall be going next.
Finally, please forgive the slightly pompous tone of this letter. I know I give that impression, and I wish I didn't.
Hannah is writing to you too, and she'd love to hear how you are. A letter in gyptian hands will make its way safely and quickly to its destination, but I have no idea how.
With warm friendship,