Mr. Bowmore started to his feet, with every appearance of having suddenly altered his mind on the question of flight. Just as he reached the hall, Percy's voice was heard at the front door. "Let me in. Instantly! Instantly!"
Mrs. Bowmore drew back the bolts before the servants could help her. "Where is Charlotte?" she cried; seeing Percy alone on the doorstep.
"Gone!" Percy answered furiously. "Eloped to Paris with Captain Bervie! Read her own confession. They were just sending the messenger with it, when I reached the house."
He handed a note to Mrs. Bowmore, and turned aside to speak to her husband while she read it. Charlotte wrote to her mother very briefly; promising to explain everything on her return. In the meantime, she had left home under careful protection--she had a lady for her companion on the journey--and she would write again from Paris. So the letter, evidently written in great haste, began and ended.
Percy took Mr. Bowmore to the window, and pointed to a carriage and four horses waiting at the garden-gate.
"Do you come with me, and back me with your authority as her father?" he asked, sternly. "Or do you leave me to go alone?"
Mr. Bowmore was famous among his admirers for his "happy replies." He made one now.
"I am not Brutus," he said. "I am only Bowmore. My daughter before everything. Fetch my traveling-bag."