The railway has arrived in Inglestone and, with it, the unsettling news that the post office there is to become the main sorting office for the area. Mr. Blakestone, the Inglestone postmaster, has long held a grudge against Dorcas, and she fears he may use his new power to undermine her. Meanwhile, Fisher Bloom has admitted to Daniel that he aims to win Laura back. Laura is confused by her feelings. She loves Daniel, but his apparent ambivalence towards her leads her to question their relationship, and Fisher's romantic pursuit is beginning to have an effect.