Elizabeth often comes across Mr. Darcy while walking in the park. As she often chooses to walk in an area that isn’t normally traveled, she tells him it is her favorite place with the idea he’ll stop walking there. Still, she keeps seeing him. Conversation is awkward and ends in silence, and yet he insists on walking with her.
He often asks her questions that seem to indicate that he expects her to visit again. She assumes he is asking because he thinks she loves Colonel Fitzwilliam.
She receives a letter from Jane that indicates that she is in low spirits. Colonel Fitzwilliam happens to meet her. He tells her he and Mr. Darcy will leave on Saturday, unless Mr. Darcy changes his mind. Elizabeth observes that Mr. Darcy likes to have his own way. Colonel Fitzwilliam believes everybody does, but most aren’t rich enough to have it. For himself, he is dependent, being the younger son.
Elizabeth doubts he suffers much. He says he isn’t able to marry just anyone. He needs to marry someone wealthy. Elizabeth privately wonders if he is talking about her.
Elizabeth wonders why Mr. Darcy hasn’t married to permanently ensure he’ll have someone at his disposal. She assumes it is because of his responsibility to his sister. Colonel Fitzwilliam tells her that he shares the guardianship of Miss Darcy with her brother.
She asks if Miss Darcy likes to have her own way and whether she has given them cause for uneasiness. His reaction confirms that this has occurred, and he wonders why she asks. Elizabeth assures him she has heard nothing but praise for Miss Darcy.
When Elizabeth mentions Mr. Darcy’s friendship with Mr. Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam replies that he protects Mr. Bingley. In fact, he recently interfered with Mr. Bingley getting into an unwise marriage.
Elizabeth is angry and says Mr. Darcy had no right to judge—but then, for the sake of propriety and not wanting to reveal it was her sister that Mr. Darcy had opposed—Elizabeth admits they don’t know his reasons and can’t judge him.
Elizabeth hadn’t doubted that Mr. Darcy had played a part in separating Mr. Bingley from Jane, but she had thought Miss Bingley had been behind the plot. Now she realizes it was Mr. Darcy. She is angry over the pain it has caused her sister and how it might be permanent. She believes the objections Mr. Darcy had against Jane were due to her humble background.
Elizabeth is so upset that she becomes ill. She refuses to go to tea at Rosings, not wanting to see Mr. Darcy. Mr. Collins worries that Lady Catherine will be offended.