Anna knows that Rex is in love with Gwendolen – she didn't even have to ask him about it. Still, for the first time in her life, Anna feels like she can't talk to Rex.
Anna feels terrible because deep down she knows that Gwendolen could never love Rex in return.
We also get some weird details about how Anna hadn't expected Rex to fall in love with anyone so soon; she figured that she would take care of Rex for many years.
Anna is the only one who has an inkling of what's going on in Rex's mind. Their parents have no clue.
One day Anna asks Rex where he's going. He says he is going to go watch people ride after the hounds, which seems like a properly old-fashioned British thing to do. Anna asks him if he's taking Gwendolen. He is.
Anna bursts into tears and tells Rex that Gwendolen will never love him. Rex turns red and hurries out of the room.
Gwendolen and Rex ride off together. He thinks about how she's never looked so beautiful before.
Gwendolen says she wants to ride after the hounds. They get in a conversation about how Gwendolen likes to go after what she wants. She wants a life of adventure and doesn't want to be held down.
Rex tells her he knows a man who loves her more than anything in the world. Gwendolen thinks he's talking about Mr. Middleton.
Gwendolen mingles with some of the other people who are around. Then everyone rides off after the hounds. Rex figures he has no choice but to follow Gwendolen (who, by the way, rode off without taking any notice of him).
Gwendolen pretty much leaves Rex in the dust.
Rex's horse, Primrose, falls, throwing Rex over his shoulders. Primrose's knees are broken. Rex dislocates his shoulder.
Joel Dagge, the local blacksmith's son, pops Rex's shoulder back into joint.
Rex goes home, worried the whole time that Gwendolen might also have had an accident.
Rex tells his dad, Mr. Gascoigne, about what happened. His dad isn't too pleased about Rex doing something silly like riding after the hounds, but he doesn't yell at him. They sit down for a chat.
Rex tells Mr. Gascoigne about how he was riding after Gwendolen. Mr. Gascoigne tells Rex that he's going to send him away for a while.
Then Rex breaks down and tells his dad that he can't leave town without telling Gwendolen that he loves her and finding out whether or not she loves him back.
Mr. Gascoigne is like, "Oh, whoa, that's worse than I thought." Then he tells Rex that he should put Gwendolen out of his mind for his own good. Plus, he adds, falling for your first cousin isn't the best idea ever.
Later, Mr. Gascoigne goes to Offendene to check up on Gwendolen. We find out from Mrs. Davilow that everyone was way impressed with Gwendolen's riding, but that she should be careful since Gwendolen's dad had died in a riding accident.
It's pretty clear that nobody has given any thought to Rex.
Mr. Gascoigne tells them all about the accident. When Gwendolen learns that Rex is going to be OK, she laughs about the whole situation. This rubs Mr. Gascoigne the wrong way, and Mrs. Davilow admonishes her for being so insensitive.
As usual, Gwendolen makes an offhand remark about marriage. Mrs. Davilow tells Mr. Gascoigne that Gwendolen doesn't understand how people can fall in love with each other. We get the vibe that this is all Mr. Gascoigne needs to hear to confirm his suspicions about Gwendolen's attitude toward Rex.
The next day, Mr. Gascoigne tells Rex to get ready to head out to Southampton and to say goodbye to everyone at Offendene. Mrs. Gascoigne and Anna burst into tears.
Mr. Gascoigne confides in his wife that he's secretly glad that Gwendolen doesn't love Rex back – Mr. Gascoigne is starting to see things in Gwendolen that he doesn't like.
When Rex gets to Offendene, everyone is there except Gwendolen. The four sisters hang all over him, cooing over his injury.
Rex tells Mrs. Davilow that he wants to speak with Gwendolen, who apparently is still in bed. She sends Gwendolen down to the drawing room to talk to him.
Gwendolen comes into the drawing room, not smiling even a little bit; instead, she seems pretty cold. The narrator tells us she thinks the whole business about Rex's accident is stupid.
Rex tells her that he's going away to Southampton and asks Gwendolen if she cares. She says yes, but sort of in a general way – as in, "this place is so boring, I need all the distraction I can get." She starts to feel turned off by Rex.
Rex, totally unable to play it cool, tells Gwendolen that all of his happiness depends on whether or not she loves him.
Gwendolen mildly turns Rex down. OK, we lied. She tells him not to speak to her like that because she "hates it" (7.129).
Rex feels like all of the joy in his life is gone.
Gwendolen feels just a teensy bit bad.
Gwendolen throws herself onto her mother, crying hysterically. She tells her mom that she'll never love anyone and that she hates everyone ("except you, mom!").
Mrs. Davilow starts sobbing too, partially because she's so touched that Gwendolen is showing her this kind of tenderness.