The chapter opens with Mr. Featherstone reading the letter from Mr. Bulstrode while Fred waits.
When he's done reading it, he gives Fred some money – but not as much as Fred was hoping.
Once he's finished his visit with his uncle, Fred goes to find Mary downstairs.
They talk about Fred's lack of professional plans, now that he's dropped out of college, and Fred pouts a little.
He's in love with her, and she knows it, but she's not willing to encourage him while he's mooching off his parents.
When Fred gets home, for safekeeping he gives his mother eighty of the hundred pounds that Mr. Featherstone had given him. Turns out that big debt he owes is 160 pounds, and the co-signer is Mary Garth's father, who can't afford to pay it, either. Fred can't deal with the idea of getting Mary's family into debt.