“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 dropping it.”
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 this!”
“Yes, Lady Matilda.”
“Most important of all, THE BOX MUST NEVER BE OPENED! Do you understand?”