Lon makes an unusual request to suspend the current trial until Monday. His request is agreed on by opposing counsel, and reluctantly the judge grants it. After receiving the postponement, Lon leaves for New Bern.
This chapter is the shortest in the novel, and the pace of the chapter matches the brevity of its length. Lon's shaking hands indicate his nervousness and apprehension; they are a physical representation of his fear of the unknown. But, by leaving a trial for the first time, Lon is demonstrating his love for Allie as well as his fear of losing her. Finally, he is putting his relationship ahead of his career.
In addition to developing the character of Lon, this chapter is needed for the conflict of the main story line — although Allie loves the moment she is currently sharing with Noah, she needs to see Lon and figure out in person what she is going to do. Like the cliché statement, Lon is currently "out of sight, out of mind." But when he is back in sight, in person, Allie faces a much tougher decision. She is caught up in the moment of love and passion and romance, but she also has to take a logical look at the status of her life and make a well-thought-out assessment as to what will really make her happy and what is truly the right thing to do.