Sense and Sensibility Chapter 13
During breakfast before their trip to Whitwell, the Colonel receives a letter containing business to which he must attend immediately in London. Everyone is disappointed, and tries to convince him not to go. Elinor hears Willoughby suggest that the Colonel wrote the letter, so as to avoid the party. She does not understand why Willoughby dislikes the Colonel so much. Mrs. Jennings is very curious about what the Colonel must do in London, as the Colonel himself will not say. She imagines it has something to do with Miss Williams, who she says is the Colonel's daughter.
In place of the trip to Whitwell, the group decides to go out for a drive in their carriages. Willoughby and Marianne go out alone, riding very fast, disappearing from view. At dinner, Mrs. Jennings says she knows where the two went--to Allenham, to visit the house she imagines will be Marianne's, once the two wed. Elinor is shocked at this behavior, especially when she learns that Mrs. Smith was not there during the visit. Marianne denies that she acted recklessly. Nonetheless, Elinor is concerned about her sister's reputation. Unconcerned, Marianne's interest lies only in describing the house to Elinor in every detail.