"Mamma, I must see Captain Bervie for a few minutes in private, on a matter of serious importance to all of us. He is waiting at the front gate, and he will come in if I show myself at the hall door."
Upon this, Mrs. Bowmore had asked for an explanation.
"There is no time for explanation," was the only answer she received; "I ask you to leave me for five minutes alone with the Captain. "
Mrs. Bowmore still hesitated. Charlotte snatched up her garden hat, and declared, wildly, that she would go out to Captain Bervie, if she was not permitted to receive him at home. In the face of this declaration, Mrs. Bowmore yielded, and left the room.
In a minute more the Captain made his appearance.
Although she had given way, Mrs. Bowmore was not disposed to trust her daughter, without supervision, in the society of a man whom Charlotte herself had reviled as a slanderer and a false friend. She took up her position in the veranda outside the parlor, at a safe distance from one of the two windows of the room which had been left partially open to admit the fresh air. Here she waited and listened.
The conversation was for some time carried on in whispers.
As they became more and more excited, both Charlotte and Bervie ended in unconsciously raising their voices.