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|10 p.m. at the latest
Written by Barbara
(10/25/2006 1:31 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Willoughby—Less Violent & Quick, penned by Robbin
There is really no narration to account for any passage of time beyond what they were saying out loud except these little bits :
"A short pause of mutual thoughtfulness succeeded."
"From a reverie of this kind she was recalled at the end of some minutes by Willoughby, who, rousing himself from a reverie at least equally painful, started up in preparation for going"
I don't think these could amount to a full hour of time.
It's very possible that Brandon and Mrs. Dashwood got there sooner than the colonel had calculated. Mrs. Dashwood was ready to go when he got to the cottage, so that must have saved half an hour or more. I also don't think that 10 p.m. has to be the time Brandon gave her. She thinks 8 p.m. would be 'almost' impossibly early, but if it were 10 p.m., she would be certain it was them.
Therefore, I think that indicates that he meant to be there by 10 at the latest and probably earlier. I think it's very clear that Elinor is expecting them at literally any moment. She tells Willoughby "Pray be quick, sir" said Elinor impatiently -- "I have no time to spare." and "I advise you at present to return to Combe. "
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