Marianne can’t stand either of the Steele girls and doesn’t wish to become intimate with them. Her cold behavior causes them to focus on Elinor more.
Lucy could amuse Elinor for a short time before her defects became obvious. Lucy was ignorant and indelicate. Elinor could not enjoy her truly as a friend.
Lucy asks Elinor if she has ever met Mrs. Ferrars. She was hoping Elinor could tell her what she was like. She hints that she may one day be closely connected to Mrs. Ferrars, for she is on intimate terms with Edward. Elinor is astonished. Lucy says it is a secret, but she is certain he wouldn’t mind her trusting Elinor. They have been engaged for four years. Elinor can’t believe it.
Lucy reveals that Edward lived four years with her uncle Mr. Pratt. They became acquainted and later engaged. She was reluctant at first, since she didn’t know his mother. She loved him, though.
Elinor, still in disbelief, ascertains that it is the same Edward Ferrars and not another with the same name. Lucy verifies this. Elinor remarks that he never mentioned Lucy to her. Lucy reminds Elinor their engagement is a secret, and therefore he wouldn’t mention it, for he would fear Fanny would find out.
Lucy shows Elinor Edward’s minaitaure portrait in her locket.
Elinor remains calm. Lucy asks her to keep it secret, for Mrs. Ferrars would disapprove. Elinor agrees, though she doesn't know why Lucy told her in the first place. She is suspicious of Lucy’s motivations. Lucy claims she felt she need to explain her impertinent questions. Besides , she feels like she has known Elinor forever since Edward has talked about her so much. She tells Elinor how difficult it has been, for she rarely sees Edward. She has sometimes considered breaking the engagement, but it would make Edward miserable. She asks Elinor’s advice, but Elinor says she cannot give any.
Lucy mentions that Edward had just come from her uncle’s place when he visited the Dashwoods. His low spirits were due to his depression over their situation. Elinor realizes why Edward hadn’t elaborated about the friends he had been staying with.
Lucy shows her a letter, and Elinor recognizes his handwriting. Elinor is upset, for this proves it is all true. She struggles to keep her composure and succeeds. Lucy reveals that the hair in the ring he wore was hers.
Elinor is wretched after the Steele girls leave.