When Daniel left Laura on the doorstep of the post office and said goodnight, Laura walked wearily in the front door only to be verbally attacked by Miss Lane.
"Laura, you're finally home. I was beginning to worry about you! It's after nine thirty!" Dorcas exclaimed.
"Well, how was your picnic? Romantic, I presume?" she giggled.
This reminded her of how she had felt, for just a few minutes before her family had to go and ruin it. "Yes. It was romantic. Daniel proposed to me." Laura said tearfully, plopping down on a chair in the parlor. Her sad tone of voice was contrary to the news.
"Oh, Laura, that's wonderful! Congratulations!" Miss Lane cried. Realizing Laura's intonation, she asked, "Oh, you didn't turn him down, did you?"
"No, of course I said yes." Laura said, exasperated.
"Then why do you sound so... sad?" Miss Lane wondered.
"Well—it's a long story. You see... Oh, where do I begin?" she took a deep breath, then told the woeful story. By the end, she was bawling, letting go of all the pretend strength she'd built up in front of Daniel. She blew her nose into her handkerchief, the one her father had gotten her when she was nine years old. He probably wouldn't give her something half as nice even for her wedding gift. If he even came to her wedding.
"And now—now I just don't know what to do. My par is so angry!" she sobbed. "My whole family is upset, even Edmund. I thought he at least would say something nice, but he didn't even say anything!" she wailed.
"Oh, come now, Laura. He's just letting his pride get the better of him, or something like that. I'm sure he'll ease up in a few days." Miss Lane reassured her, patting Laura on the knee. "It'll be alright." Laura wiped her nose again and nodded, even though she didn't fully believe this. But Miss Lane's gentle words were comforting.
"I must compose myself. I am marrying Daniel because I love him, and in the end it doesn't really matter what my father says. I'm glad you support us, if no one else."
With a nod, Dorcas replied, "Now, I'm sure you could use a bit of rest, hm. Why don't you head on up to bed. Take your book if you like."
"Good night Miss Lane." Laura took her book and started up the stairs to her bedroom, delighted by her engagement and bothered by her family's views on it.