"The Touchstone" was Edith Wharton's first published novella, and it's spare, perhaps even underwritten. Even so, this Faustian tale of a man who stoops to publish love letters for money has mesmerizing, even dangerous qualities -- it has betrayals, greed, and consequences faced: hidden meanings emerge in places where we do not expect to find them. Perhaps, like Stephen Glennard in "The Touchstone," we will go mad with guilt, proving we do after all have a conscience. . . .