Bervie had put her da ughter's arm on his arm, and was trying to induce her to leave the parlor with him. She resisted, and implored him to release her. He dropped her arm, and whispered in her ear. She looked at him--and instantly made up her mind.
"Let me tell my mother where I am going," she said; "and I will consent."
"Be it so!" he answered. "And remember one thing: every minute is precious; the fewest words are the best."
Mrs. Bowmore re-entered the cottage by the adjoining room, and met them in the passage. In few words, Charlotte spoke.
"I must go at once to Justice Bervie's house. Don't be afraid, mamma! I know what I am about, and I know I am right."
"Going to Justice Bervie's!" cried Mrs. Bowmore, in the utmost extremity of astonishment. "What will your father say, what will Percy think, when they come back from the Club?"
"My sister's carriage is waiting for me close by," Bervie answered. "It is entirely at Miss Bowmore's disposal. She can easily get back, if she wishes to keep her visit a secret, before Mr. Bowmore and Mr. Linwood return."
He led her to the door as he spoke. She ran back and kissed her mother tenderly. Mrs. Bowmore called to them to wait.