A very Jane Austen Christmas story; Part Seven

Are you keeping up with the Very Jane Austen month?
We are up to Part 7 of the 'Elect Your Entanglement' story. Several new Jane patterns have hit the shop. And this afternoon I will stock the two new colorways... 'Jane at the Ball' and 'Jane at Home'. Look out for those as 'Crazy 8' wool sets. I'm dyeing a linked yarn sampler this afternoon and starting on my new mini punch, 'Jane's Slippers'.
*** spoiler alert - if you're enjoying the December adventure, or just finding it-- make sure you read it in order or it'll spoil the story!
“My darling, Jane,” Aunt Phoebe whispered, waylaying Jane into the adjoining sitting room, “Did you arrive in a gig with a gaggle of men”?
“Yes,” Jane nodded, “I will explain all later”.
“Jane!” her Aunt grinned, “You must fill me in”.
“Well, yes,” Jane hushed, “I’m afraid there’s very little to say, save for the face of my trunk falling and myself being stranded, but luckily outside the home of the Godwins, and thanks to their kindness…”
“The Godwins as in Mr. Ewan Goodwin, in the Parliament?”
“Yes!” Surprising that Aunt Phoebe knew of him. “Is he often in the papers”?
“Very often indeed.”
Jane shook off the sudden feeling of being deflated and gestured toward the rough looking man in the next room.
“He’s a member of the police. Well, a friend of a member of the police. Or maybe his brother is a friend of the member of…”
“What is he doing here?”
“He said he has information on my Imogene.”
“Well, what is it?” Jane demanded.
“He hasn’t told me yet. He seems to want some gingerbread in return for telling me what he knows.”
“Gingerbread!” Jane exploded.
“But Jane, you see, I asked Cook and we haven’t any gingerbread at this moment”! Aunt Phoebe looked tired. She had lost a forward tooth since Jane had last seen her and it made her look older. Her day dress looked rumpled her fichu was stained. The loss of Cousin Imogene was taking a marked toll on the once-fashionable Mrs. Seymour of Chesterfield Street.
“Aunt Phoebe,” Jane said, calming her own feelings and taking her aunt by the hands, “Gingerbread is street jargon for money. This horrid man wants money.”
“Oh, well, that’s easy then, isn’t it,” she sighed, crossing to the secretary desk.
Jane lurched sideways to impede her progress. “But you mustn’t! This undesirable gollumpus of a wretch is not the sort of person you should favor with gingerbread!”
The man in the next room cleared his throat.
“He is a sinister fellow, Aunt Phoebe, you mustn’t. What proof has he that he has any intelligence? You would likely be wasting money on a wretch who will yield not a word of truth. If he were an admirable fellow, he would be forthcoming in helping you find your daughter”.
“But Jane…”
“And furthermore, I suspect he would return again and again with false hope and bribes until he has depleted your resources. Aunt Phoebe, you mustn’t”.
“But Jane…”
“He is a very low fellow. He has only mischief on his mind”.
“But Jane, what shall I do?”
“Have cook serve him a piece of cake and be done with him. Tell him you are plain out of gingerbread and give him a pudding.”
“But Jane…”
Jane grabbed her Aunt in a fierce embrace. “I promise you, Aunt Phoebe, this man is an impudent shagbag and a cab. If he knows where Cousin Phoebe and he is indeed holding the information upon receipt of gingerbread, then he is not the sort of person you should be doing business with. I will go speak to him.”
Jane turned on her boot heel and crossed the hall. “Good day, Sir.”
“Good day,” the man stammered, removing his hat.
“What is this I hear of your extortionist tactics,” Jane demanded? “Are you indeed bargaining with my Aunt, in return for promised intelligence on my Cousin’s whereabouts? Her own daughter? What mean you by this? What sort of man are you? Explain yourself.”
The man stood frozen for a moment and then bolted. He exited the drawing room with such haste that his awful hat fell to the carpet and declined to retrieve it. Jane ran to the door in time to see him running down the steps. To be accurate, she saw him descend two of the five steps and slide down the remaining two, as the middle step was coated in a sheet of ice. Away he ran, hatless and assuredly discomposed.
“But Jane…” Aunt Phoebe sobbed from inside.
What had she done? Had she, in a moment of temper, destroyed their only hope of ever locating Cousin Imogene? Was paying off this dirty shagbag a necessary, if unsavory, means to an end? A bridge she had now burned? Jane suddenly sobbed.
Is Cousin Imogene now well and truly lost? Should she have served up the gingerbread?
What should Jane do next?
A. Chase after the scoundrel and produce some gingerbread?
B. Leave off thought of the shagbag and begin her own investigation immediately?