Bazarov and Arkady don't speak as far as Fedot's. Arkady is irritated with Bazarov, and Bazarov is even a bit irritated with himself.
Yet, when they reach Fedot's, the carriage driver asks if they should head in the direction of Arkady's home or of Madame Odintsov. Arkady looks at Bazarov and says he knows it is foolish, but why don't they go left?
But once they agree to turn, their silence becomes more stubborn than ever.
Madame Odintsov is surprised and not particularly excited to see them. Katya stays in her room, and they make small talk with Anna Sergeyevna and the Princess for several hours before leaving.
When they leave, Madame Odintsov apologizes for being in a mood and asks them to come again before too long.
The two of them bow and then head for Arkady's home at Maryino.
At Maryino, everyone is thrilled to see them. Even Uncle Pavel seems excited to see the young wanderers return. They all stay up late, and Nikolai drinks too much wine.
The truth, though, is that things have not been going well at Maryino. Nikolai is having a tough time managing the farm. An old woman accidentally burned down half the cattle-sheds, the bailiff (overseer) has become lazy, and the peasants have begun arguing amongst themselves.
Nikolai is overwhelmed and often observes to himself, "without the fear of punishment you can do nothing with them!" (22.16). Pavel urges him to be calm.
Bazarov does his best to keep apart from all the trouble, and spends all his time in his room with his frogs. Arkady, on the other hand, does his best to help out his father with the farm.
To his surprise, Arkady finds that he can't help but keep thinking of Nikolskoye. One day, he finds that his father has kept a number of letters from Madame Odintsov's mother to his wife.
As Arkady reads them, he realizes that he has a pretext to return to Nikolskoye. A few days later, he tells everyone that he's going into town to study the Sunday schools, and he returns to Nikolskoye.
As he approaches, he becomes apprehensive. He remembers his chilly welcome the last time he came and wonders if he has been rash.
Then he sees Katya in the yard. She cries "It's you!" with "a blush gradually suffusing her whole face and neck" (22.18).
She takes him to Anna Sergeyvna, who greets him warmly. Arkady tells her that he has brought something for her that she wouldn't expect, but she says, "You have brought yourself; that's better than anything else" (22.22).