Mr. Henderson arrives the next day and he and Cynthia go out into the gardens to walk and talk. Molly, who is in the parlour, is dismayed when Roger is announced. He has come to talk to Cynthia and try to convince her to renew their engagement. Molly struggles to find the words to tell him about Henderson, but is spared the effort when Roger looks out the window and sees Cynthia walking with her suitor. He asks Molly who Cynthia is with, and she miserably breaks it to him that Cynthia has become engaged to Henderson. Pale and hoarse, Roger asks Molly to tell Cynthia that he has gone, and rapidly leaves. Soon after, Cynthia comes in, having been informed by a servant that Roger was there. She is relieved when Molly tells her that he has gone, and then alarmed as Molly, weak and distraught, faints. Later, after Molly revives and is resting, Cynthia asks her how Roger took the news. Molly tells her that he was in terrible pain, and Cynthia petulantly says that she doesn't like people with deep feelings, and that he shouldn't love her, because she isn't worth it. She says that she has warned Mr. Henderson that she isn't a constant person, but that he loves her the way she is- though she thinks he's a little worried, because he wants to marry her right away.
Preparations for the marriage are rapidly undertaken, and it is decided that the wedding will take place at the Kirkpatrick's residence in London. Cynthia tells Molly that she must finish recuperating rapidly so that she will be well enough to travel to the city.
A few days later, Lady Harriet comes by again with a wedding present for Cynthia and finds Molly very upset. She has caught a cold, and her father has decreed that she must not go to London and risk her fragile health. She must miss the wedding, but she is more upset because Dr Gibson is going to stay with her, and he had been really looking forward to meeting up with his friends and colleagues in the city. Lady Harriet suggests that Molly come to the Towers to stay, where she will be well looked after and will have a change of scene and air, which she is convinced is what Molly needs. Everyone agrees that this is a fine idea, so it is all arranged.
When Molly leaves for the Towers, Cynthia attempts to thank her, and tells her that she loves her. She says Molly must be her first guest when she returns from her wedding trip and is settled in her new home. Fortunately, Dr. Gibson keeps things from getting too sentimental by remarking to Molly as he puts her in the carriage that he doesn't know which of her three lovers Cynthia will end up marrying, but that he is determined to be surprised at nothing and give her away to whoever shows up.
The next day, Roger finds Molly sitting alone, resting after a walk. He means to just converse lightly, but ends up asking her about her connection to Sir Charles. Honest as ever, Molly explains that he's Lady Harriet's cousin, and that he's been detailed to see that she doesn't get overtired or overwhelmed by the company. Roger is relieved without quite knowing why, and begins to talk to Molly about his father. He says that the Squire has missed her terribly, and asks if she will come for a visit after she leaves the Towers. He says it would also be good for Aimee, as she still feels shy and unwelcome by the Squire. Roger says he thinks that Molly could help smooth things out between the two, which would be good for both of them, as he himself must soon return to Africa for six months to complete his assignment. Molly is glad to be talking to Roger again, as of old, though she feels constrained by the necessity to not speak of Cynthia. Roger realizes this, and so speaks of Cynthia and her marriage himself, attempting to sound casual and matter-of-fact. Relieved to have that topic out of the way, the two talk together until they are interrupted by some of the other guests.
The following morning, the house party over, Molly and Roger say good-bye as they both head to their respective homes. Roger obtains Molly's promise to visit Hamley Hall very soon. When she arrives home, both Dr. Gibson and Hyacinth are struck by how much healthier and happier she appears to be. Molly is looking forward to her visit at the Hall the following week, but unfortunately overhears a couple of the local gossips talking. They are saying how sly Hyacinth is- sending Molly to "visit" at Hamley Hall while Roger, an eligible bachelor, is in residence. Humiliated and embarrassed, Molly resolves to keep her distance from Roger while at the Hall.
This continues for some time, and nearing the end of Molly's visit, the Squire seeks out Roger, and asks him to go out and observe the ground work with him. As they walk, Roger reminds his father that he will soon have to leave for Africa again. The Squire is reluctant to have him go, but says that it's probably best for Roger if he wants to forget his broken engagement. Roger flushes, but tells his father that while he was very hurt at the time, he has come to see that he got engaged too hastily, and that it has become clear that he and Cynthia were not at all well suited. The Squire says that it's strange that neither Osborne or Roger ever looked at little Molly Gibson. He also says that, while there was a time he would have been upset by such a match, now he loves Molly like a daughter. He asks Roger if he couldn't begin to care for Molly, if he tried. Roger replies shortly that it is too late.
Molly, torn between her worry and thoughts of Roger, finds Hyacinth's complaints and trivial conversation even harder to take than usual. When her father returns from the Hall, he tells them that it is serious: Osborne has scarlet fever. He tells Molly that she can have no contact with anyone at the Hall because she has never had it. As the days and then weeks go by, Osborne eventually rallies and is out of danger, though the Hall is still under quarantine. Molly realizes that she will probably not see Roger again before he leaves, and berates herself for wasting time avoiding him during her visit. The only good news- other than Osborne's recovery- is that the Squire and Aimee have been drawn together by their concern for the boy, all resentments forgotten. The doctor and Roger have also come up with a solution to keep the relationship friendly. Once Osborne is completely well, he and his mother will move to a small house on the estate, where Aimee can raise him without interference, and the Squire can still see him every day.
* * *
Roger returns to Africa and completes his research, and all the time his thoughts dwell on Molly- missing her, worrying that someone else may try to court her, wishing he could talk over his discoveries with her. By the time his assignment is over, he is more sure than ever that Molly is the only woman for him. He returns to Hollingford determined to ask her to marry him, but once there is unsure of what to say to her. He ends up presenting her with the rose she had given him so long before, which he had carefully preserved and carried with him throughout his travels. The two of them marry, and are supremely happy. There is no further worry about Roger's ability to support them, because he is offered a professorship at a prestigious university, and becomes a renowned scientist. The only person who has any regrets is Dr. Gibson who, with Molly gone, is stuck with only Hyacinth for company. However, he takes on a partner in his medical practice so that he can travel to London frequently, meet with his colleagues in the medical field, visit with Molly and Roger, and give himself a break from Hyacinth.