Susan is watching Oliver descend into the mine. She watches as Tegoning, the elevator operator, pulls the lever that sends her husband deep into the earth.
Later, Susan's daily time-killing is interrupted by the sound of bells ringing. It turns out to be a group of Mexican workers bringing firewood to the house—Susan is so caught up by the scene that she grabs her notepad and draws the workers. She even gives their leader the drawing when she's finished.
Susan is still doing work on her portrait for The Scarlet Letter when Oliver returns home with an unfamiliar man in tow—Baron Starling, an "Austrian engineer" (2.3.44).
The two men spend the day surveying the mines before returning to the Ward family cottage. Although Susan is annoyed by Starling at first, she finds herself enthralled by his high-minded conversation, which she's been jonesing for really bad.
Susan raves about Starling after dinner. Oliver is less smitten: he doesn't think Starling is cut out for this work. Plus, the dude is clearly head over heels for the lovely Mrs. Ward.
The chapter closes with a few letters from Susan to Augusta discussing a recent visit the family made to the Pragers in SF.