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After Mrs. Reed's funeral, both Eliza and Georgiana entreat Jane to stay on and help them. Jane tolerates Georgiana's "feeble minded wailings" for some time. Then Georgiana is invited to London by her uncle. She later on marries a "wealthy, worn-out man of fashion." A week later, Eliza leaves for the continent. She enters a convent to become a nun and eventually becomes Mother Superior.
Jane does not inform Mrs. Fairfax of the exact day of her arrival, as she does not want her to send a carriage for her to Millcote. She decides to walk home quietly. During her stay at Gateshead, she had received a letter from Mrs. Fairfax. The old lady had written that Mr. Rochester had gone to London to buy a new carriage and to make arrangements for his wedding.
While she is walking towards Thornfield, she experiences a strange sense of warmth. Then she suddenly chances to meet Mr. Rochester, who is seated on a stile. He wonders why she did not send for a carriage.
Jane is gladdened by his welcoming manner. After mentioning Blanche Ingram, he jokingly asks Jane to help him improve his appearance. She answers that one needs only the light of love in the eyes to look pleasing enough. She is overwhelmed with Mr. Rochester's expansiveness towards her and thanks him. She confesses that wherever he is, she feels at home.
The others in the house, especially Adèle, are equally happy to receive Jane. However, at the same time, Jane feels a nagging sense of disturbance within her.
During the next two weeks, Jane is puzzled by the absence of the wedding arrangements that Mrs. Fairfax mentioned. She also wonders why Mr. Rochester does not bother to visit Blanche, who is staying just twenty miles away.
After Mrs. Reed's funeral, Charlotte Bronte gets another opportunity to expose the selfishness of the Reed sisters. Jane's return to Thornfield is delayed by her cousins' selfish demands. Having served as convenient targets for Brontë's contempt, Eliza and Georgiana are dispatched to their futile destinies: "(O)ne the cynosure (center of attention) of a ball room, the other the inmate of a convent cell."
The chapter also exposes Jane's fears and uncertainties. Her love and happiness are constantly checked by a feeling of insecurity. As a result, she feels uncertain about her future. Jane's fears are reflected in her dream of Blanche closing the gates of Thornfield Hall against her. However, she continues to nurture ardent hopes of marrying Mr. Rochester. She constantly looks at her master's face to try to read its expression. She can think of no time in the past when his mind was delightfully free from mental clouds or evil feelings. Never before has he called her more frequently to his presence. Never before has he been kinder to her. In fact, never before has Jane loved him so passionately.