It was dark in the attic, as Manning had warned him. Weston found the small window in the roof and forced it open, thus letting in more light. He could just make out the boxes which Miss Manning had told him about.
"When my father died," Miss Manning had said, "his large library was sold up. His papers, and some other possessions of no great value, were stored in boxes and put up in the attic. They've been there ever since. I don't suppose the room has been opened for over ten years."
"What about his diaries?" asked Weston. "In one of his letters to a friend, Colonel Manning mentions that he kept a diary."
"I don't remember seeing any diaries," said Miss Manning, with a puzzled look on her face. "Of course, he may have destroyed them before his last illness. Otherwise they must be in those boxes in the attic."
"I see," murmured Weston. "In that case, will you allow me to examine those boxes? If I can find the diaries, I'll be able to write a much more complete account of your father's life."
"Certainly you may," said Miss Manning. "You can't imagine how thrilled I am that anyone should want to write a book about father. I would have taken more care of his papers if I had known."
After searching through a number of drawers, Miss Manning found the key to the attic.
"You won't find it easy to see up there," she said as she handed him the key. "There's a small window in the roof, but I expect that it will be too dirty to see through."
There were about a dozen boxes in all. Weston did not know where to begin. He opened first one, then the other, but found nothing that looked like diaries. Then he decided to try the largest box. It was full of papers. As he turned these over, a bundle of exercise books, tied together with string, caught his eye. On the cover of the top one were written the words "DIARY, 1935-36".