The Wilcoxes decide to build a new house in Sussex, and one day, as Margaret is examining the plans, Dolly bursts in.
Dolly has big news, but she's distracted for a bit as she relates the local gossip to Margaret. They discuss the new house, then Helen, then Charles and Dolly's financial situation (which isn't great).
Finally, Dolly remembers what she came to talk about: Miss Avery, the old lady who takes care of Howards End, has started unpacking all of the Schlegels' belongings and laying them out in the house, even their books.
At the mention of books, Margaret is in an uproar – some of them are Tibby's, and are valuable. She's justifiably upset at Miss Avery, who has no right to open up all of their things.
Dolly thinks Miss Avery's just crazy, and says that she hates all of the Wilcoxes since Evie's wedding. Apparently, she bought Evie a wedding present (a necklace) that everyone thought was too expensive to accept, and when Evie returned it, she got terribly upset and threw it into the pond.
Henry, apparently, knew about Miss Avery's battiness, but still wanted her to look after Howards End; he has infinite patience for people who are good at what they do.
After asking Henry's permission, Margaret writes a note to Miss Avery, asking her not to touch any of her things. She goes to Howards End herself to sort out the unpacked books situation and store them elsewhere. Though Tibby promises to go, he unsurprisingly backs out in the end, leaving his sister to visit the house alone.