I am wondering what "we learned" means in the following sentences:
I notice Will and Dad sizing each other up surreptitiously. In Dad’s company, oddly, Will seems a little diminished, a little less himself. Looking at him, in his pressed shirt and chinos, I’m worried that to Dad he might seem privileged and glib, very much the ex-public schoolboy.
‘I can’t believe this is the first time you’ve met,’ I say. Not for want of bloody trying. Will and I flew to New York specially a few months ago. At the last minute, we learned, Dad had been called away on business in Europe. I imagined our planes crossing somewhere over the Atlantic. Dad is a Very Busy Man. Too busy, even, to meet his daughter’s fiancé until the eve of her wedding. Story of my bloody life.
- Lucy Foley, The Guest List, Chapter 14
This is a thriller novel published in 2020 in the United Kingdom. One hundred and fifty guests would be gathering at some remote and deserted fictional islet called Inis an Amplóra off the coast of the island of Ireland to celebrate the wedding between Jules (a self-made woman running an online magazine called The Download) and Will (a celebrity appearing in a TV show program called Survive the Night). The day before the actual wedding day, to attend the rehearsal dinner, Jules' dad comes to the island. So finally, Jules' dad and Will meet each other first time at this moment.
In this part, I am wondering whether it would be all right to understand that "we learned" implies that Jules and Will arrived at Jules' dad's place, but "were told" (by someone present, such as his secretary or some other person) that he was called away on business in Europe.
Or, could it be that they just "knew/saw" that her father was away, seeing the absence of her father...?