"My son is nineteen years old," Mr. Prescott began. "He went away to college last fall, for one semester, then he had some sort of breakdown and decided he had to come home and get some help. He has been seeing a psychiatrist. We're hoping he'll pull himself together and go back to school next fall."
"Has the doctor prescribed any medication?"
"No, I don't believe so."
"Then what happened?"
"It's been difficult to tell if the doctor is helping, but I know these things can take time. The press has been very cooperative about respecting our privacy. But now he's vanished. About two weeks ago. I called the doctor to see if he went to his appointment last week, but he wouldn't tell me. Then, the day before yesterday, I got a note through the mail, asking for money. Here it is."
She examined it. "What about the envelope?"
"The secretary opens the mail. It was discarded."
She made a face and examined the letter again. "Interesting," she said.
I'm fine. Please don't worry. Everything is okay, but I do need some money. Please send at least five hundred dollars to the address below. I'm sorry to have to ask, but after all, it's a lot cheaper than tuition.
Give my love to Mom.
When she had finished examining the letter, he said, "I sent a man to investigate the address, where I was supposed to send the money. He's outside, if you want to hear from him directly."