At her mother's funeral, Amelia almost wishes she were in the casket instead. Her life seems like it's over. She is forced to live on the charity of Mr. Osborne and to take care of her aging and somewhat mentally unstable father.
Still, she bucks up and determines to try her best to make her father's time on earth happy. She sews, cooks, plays cards, and sings, and he is at least appreciative.
Meanwhile, Major Dobbin has been traveling from India back to England.
In the middle of his trip, he fell gravely ill. The doctors finally washed their hands of him and assumed he would die.
Then he briefly recovered, then fell sick again, then again kind of recovered and got on the ship to go around the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa.
Dobbin is traveling with Jos, who has now served out his appointment in India and can return home to live on his pension.
Jos is lively and generous onboard the ship, but still as vain as ever.
In the last days of his illness, Dobbin talked about Amelia to Jos, who told him that she was not actually going to be married. Dobbin recovered in no time at all.
As they travel, Dobbin talks about Amelia and George Jr. to Jos all the time, basically trying to get him to agree to take care of them in London. Jos agrees. Obviously, Dobbin doesn't know yet that Mrs. Sedley is dead and that George Jr. lives with Mr. Osborne.