Having seen to Richard's affairs, which aren't good (troubling are Richard's spendthrift ways and his vascillation with regard the career he is to choose), Mr. Jarndyce and his wards Esther and Ada pay Mr. Laurence Boythorn their deferred visit. Mr. Boythorn, whose property lies adjacent to Sir Leicester Dedlock's, welcomes his guests all the while saying a great deal about his insufferable neighbor Sir Leicester Dedlock with whom Mr. Boythorn wouldn't mind having it out once and for all mono y mono. When Mr. Skimpole, who has managed to tag along, shares his outlook as to the method by which one might subdue one's foe without resorting to force, Mr. Boythorn, whose high regard for Mr. Jarndyce is second to none, refrains from taking Mr. Skimpole to task and in the process compomising his hospitality owing Mr. Jarndyce and all his friends.
Come Sunday, Mr. Boythorn and his party of guests pay the local church a visit. There Esther has the pleasure of viewing Lady Dedlock, whose illustrious beauty and reputation even Mr. Boythorn admires, her association to Sir Leceister Dedlock notwithstanding. Alas, there's something besides admiration which Esther senses within her upon seeing Lady Dedlock for the first time though she couldn't say what that is.
About a week later, while taking a walk in a meadow, Mr. Jarndyce and his wards are caught out in the rain. They find shelter at a nearby lodge. Lo and behold, they find themselves in Lady Dedlock's company who had likewise been caught out in the rain. Mr. Jarndyce and Lady Dedlock exhange friendly greetings. Esther Summerson is introduced to Lady Dedlock. (Lady Dedlock is already acquainted with Ada and Richard.) Something about Esther's curiousity displeases Lady Dedlock to the extent when they part ways, Lady Dedlock limits her goodbyes to Ada and Mr. Jarndyce.