Caddy Jellyby, who is a mother now, becomes sick. Subsequently, Esther makes a habit of visiting London to attend to Caddy, prompting John Jarndyce to have himself and his wards temporarily relocated to London (so as to facilitate Esther's double duty as Bleak House's housekeeper and Caddy's caregiver). Additionally, at Mr. Jarndyce's advice, Mr. Woodcourt is assigned to attend to Caddy's well-being.
During Caddy's illness, which lasts eight to nine weeks, Esther sees every reason to be optimistic on behalf of Caddy. Caddy's husband Prince attends to Caddy whenever he can between his teaching duties at the dancing school; Mr. Turveydrop takes especial good care of Peepy, the Jellyby's big headed toddler; Mr. and Mrs. Jellyby often pay Caddy a visit; and Mr. Woodcourt eventually sees to Caddy's full recovery. All this time, however, Esther notices that Ada has adopted a certain reservedness towards her. Esther thinks that it may have to do with Ada's estrangement with Richard but she isn't sure.