Charles: I've had a bad evening, young man, and right now I'm about as angry as I've ever been.
John: I know, sir.
Charles: All right. You know. What kind of game are you playing?
John: It's not a game, sir. I didn't know you and Mary were coming.
Charles: Oh, and I'm supposed to understand that? You're supposed to be engaged to my daughter. Do you love her?
John: I care for her deeply.
Charles: I asked you if you were in love with my daughter.
John: (long silence) No, sir.
Charles: How long have you known?
John: I'm not sure. When you're far apart, it's easy to avoid knowing the truth. But seeing her again....I knew. And I did plan to tell her, but in a letter when she got back to Walnut Grove.
Charles: When she got back to Walnut Grove. And I'm supposed to understand that, too?
John: I'm a writer. The words come easier on paper.
Charles: When you first told my daughter you loved her, did you write her a letter about it?
John: This is different. I can't face her.
Charles: John, Mary has a right to hear this from you. And she has the right to let you know how she feels. You owe her that much.