A letter from Miss Bingley arrives at long last, and it is clear that the Bingleys will not return for the winter.
Jane's matrimonial hopes are dashed.
Elizabeth spends a lot of time wondering what happened. Was Bingley waylaid by his sister? Did his friend Mr. Darcy convince him not to pay any more attention to Jane?
Jane is bummed, but says that she has nobody to reproach but herself.
Elizabeth declares that the world doesn't make sense: Bingley's loss of interest in Jane, Darcy's treatment of Wickham, and Charlotte's marriage to Mr. Collins. It's crazytown!
She tells Jane that she thinks Mr. Bingley was negatively influenced by his sisters and Mr. Darcy.
There's one bright spot: they're spending a lot of time with Wickham. The story of Mr. Darcy's treatment of him becomes widely known in town, so apparently he doesn't keep things as close to the vest as he claimed.
Everybody congratulates themselves on disliking Mr. Darcy before even knowing the story.
Jane is the only one who refuses to condemn Mr. Darcy, suggesting that there might be more to the story.