Alfred wrote as requested, and Mr. Compton put the paper in his drawer, remarking, "With this I can proceed by law or equity, even should you get into the asylum again." He then dismissed Alfred somewhat abruptly, but with an invitation to call again after three clear days. Like most ardent suitors after their first interview with passionless law, he went away sadly chilled, and so home to his cheerless lodging, to count the hours till he could see Julia, and learn his fate from her lips.
This very morning a hasty note came to Edward from Folkestone, worded thus:
"Oh, Edward: my worst misgivings! The two have parted. Poor papa has taken a man's boat and is in sight. We shall follow directly in a steamboat. But the other! You know my fears; you must be father and mother to that poor child till I come home--Your sad mother,
Julia held out her hand for the note. Edward put it in his pocket.
"What is that for?" said the young lady.
"Why surely I may put my own property in my pocket."
"Oh, certainly. I only want to look at it first."
"Are you in earnest, Edward? Not let me see dear mamma's letter?" and the vivid face looked piteously surprised.