Harthouse has been waiting for Louisa and has been freaking out because she hasn't come. At first, he waits in Coketown. Then he checks out Bounderby's country house again. Then he comes back to town, checks in at the bank, where he finds Tom. Tom gives him an earful about not being on the train he was supposed to be on, and then tells him that Louisa is at her father's house.
Harthouse decides to keep waiting for some kind of message. Inside, he's going sort of crazy, but on the outside he is still Mr. Cool Guy without emotional attachments. Finally, a messenger comes and tells him that a young woman wants to speak to him. He's all excited, walks out and finds…Sissy.
Sissy tells Harthouse that she is there on Louisa's behalf, but that Louisa doesn't know she went to talk to him. Sissy is quiet and strong.
Harthouse can't really deal with the guilt the small girl makes him feel.
Sissy tells Harthouse that Louisa will never see him again as long as she lives, and that he needs to leave town and never come back.
Harthouse is shocked by all of this, and admits that any other person would have gotten laughed at, or maybe punched in the face – but for Sissy, he promises to leave. He writes letters to Gradgrind and Bounderby saying that he is retiring from the political doings that he was in Coketown to do and packs up.