"Before I leave, however," Lady Matilda
said, "I must remind you-both of you-to take very special care of
the painted box." The box was resting on a chair beside her. She
patted it fondly. "Remember that it must never be tilted or jolted,
but carried upright at all times. Staffa, if you''re walking any
distance with the box, please wear the harness-we can't risk
Jane saw that the painted box was
immensely valuable. Staffa and her mother were very serious.
"When you arrive at the hotel tonight,"
Lady Matilda went on, "don't allow anyone else to carry the box to
its room. And don't forget to set the two candlesticks in front of
it right away. You'd better keep the key to the box's room under
your pillow. Most important of all-Jane, I hope you're listening to
"Yes, Lady Matilda."
"Most important of all, THE BOX MUST NEVER
BE OPENED! Do you understand?"