They meet again at a party where Rowney is deliberately aloof and dances with another man in order to excite Jack’s jealously. She realises that she might have gone too far in playing hard to get, and hurriedly pays him some attention, inviting him to her home the following day. Cornicutt expresses displeasure at this development.
Rowney’s cousin Louisa, who acts as her companion, enquires as to her intentions towards Jack. Rowney declares that it is none of her business and reacts angrily when Louisa makes reference to an engagement that she broke off. Louisa inwardly refers to Jack as “another poor creature caught in a trap.”
Jack arrives shortly afterward, clutching an enormous bouquet of flowers. Rowney questions him on his financial situation and he confesses that he is having to support his family with his inheritance. He is shocked to discover that she treats her cousin as a servant, but manages to make excuses for her. He returns home, still utterly smitten.
Laura Tredman, another actress with Rowney’s company, asks Jack to visit her. She warns him against Rowney, and explain that Cornicutt thinks he is blinded by his love. Jack reacts angrily, resenting their interference. He confronts Cornicutt when he returns home and they argue, finally concluding that their differences of opinion mean they must part. Jack becomes even more determined, and writes to Rowney proposing marriage. She responds with her acceptance.
Captain Wardlaw is outraged when he learns of his son’s plans. The Vicar is similarly appalled and the two of them travel to London in an attempt to change Jack’s mind. The Captain is disgusted by the prospect of gaining an actress as a daughter-in-law. He criticises her in colourful terms and threatens to disown his son. Jack responds by threatening to withdraw his financial support, much to the Captain’s surprise and horror. He quickly backtracks, consenting to receive Rowney at Sutton Valence.
A few days later, a mysterious woman appears at Jack’s house. She turns out to be Sister Catherine, who had nursed him through scarlet fever as a child. Laura Tredman has told her of his engagement and she tries to talk him out of it, claiming that his mother would be disappointed in him. Jack dismisses her angrily.
Henrietta is pining for Jack and desperately trying to resist the pressure for her to marry Martin. She struggles with the news of Jack’s engagement, and decides the only way of dealing with the situation is to marry her cousin. This move would conceal her sorrow and also allow her to perform her duty to her parents.