Mrs. Jennings continues to be irritatingly curious about Colonel Brandon's sudden disappearance to London. She keeps talking and talking about what could have happened to him – she thinks it's money matters relating to his estate at Delaford.
Meanwhile, Elinor is positive that Willoughby and Marianne are engaged, but hasn't heard anything about it from either of them. She wonders if it could have to do with the fact that Willoughby's not rich – he has some money, but not enough to support his lifestyle.
Everything about their relationship makes it seem as though Willoughby cares for Marianne – particularly his loving behavior to her and to all of them. He loves Barton Cottage as though it's his own home.
One evening about a week later, he shows his devotion to their home (and their family) by vehemently opposing Mrs. Dashwood's plans to revamp the cottage in the spring.
Willoughby fervently asserts that the cottage is practically perfect in every way – he even says that if he could rebuild his own house, he would copy Barton Cottage exactly, in the hopes that he could be as happy there as he is in the Dashwood home.
Mrs. Dashwood reassures him that she'll make no changes, and he makes the family promise that they won't change, either.
Willoughby promises to come to dinner at the cottage the next evening.