Chapter 37: Emma later thinks about Frank Churchill, and thinks that her agitation at his visit is not for her, but for him. She hopes that this two-month separation will have cooled his feelings for her, and that he might not make a declaration of love for her. When indeed they do meet, Emma thinks that he is less in love with her than he was. Soon Mrs. Churchill decides that she must move again, and this time it is even better, as Frank will be even closer to Highbury. It is decided that they will have their ball at the Crown after all.
Chapter 38: The day of the ball arrives, and Emma meets Frank there. Frank is standing by her, but he seems restless for the appearance of someone else. He passes it off as his excitement to meet Mrs. Elton. When everyone has arrived Frank stays by Emma, and they overhear Mrs. Elton talking to Jane. Frank is surprised when he hears Mrs. Elton call Jane "Jane," instead of Miss Fairfax. Mr. Weston and Mrs. Elton start the dancing, and Frank and Emma dance together. All is going well, but Mr. Knightley not dancing with anyone disturbs Emma. The last two dances before supper arrive, and Harriet has no partner for them. Mr. Elton also does not have a partner, and Mrs. Weston suggests he ask Harriet, but he makes up excuses, and Emma notices how gleefully Mr. and Mrs. Elton smile at each other over his slight of Harriet. Emma is quite happy to see Mr. Knightly ask Harriet to dance, and is pleased with his kindness and how well he dances.
After supper Emma gets a chance to talk to Mr. Knightley, and he talks about how Mr. Elton's conduct was unpardonable, and how it seemed that Mr. and Mrs. Elton were trying to hurt her as well as Harriet. He asks her to admit that she had wanted Harriet to marry Mr. Elton, and he admits that Emma would have chosen him a better wife than he did, as he found Harriet better than he expected. The dancing begins again, and Emma and Knightley dance together. She says that she guesses that they are not so much brother and sister to make it improper, and he emphatically agrees that they are not brother and sister.
Chapter 39: Emma is quite glad that Mr. Knightley has reached the same conclusions about the Eltons as she has, and his admittance that Harriet would have been a better wife makes her quite happy. She also hopes that Harriet will stop her infatuation with Mr. Elton now that she sees what he is really like. That morning Emma is surprised to see Frank and Harriet come to her together, and she is soon convinced that something extraordinary happened. Harriet faints onto a chair, and then tells her what happened.
Harriet and another young woman were walking out near Highbury when they came upon a group of gypsies. The other young woman ran off, but Harriet, being sore from dancing the night before, was not able to. The gypsies started to beg, and when she gave them some money and they saw that she was scared, they surrounded her and demanded more. Just then Frank Churchill came upon her on his way back home, drove the gypsies away and brought Harriet to Emma's. He soon leaves, and Emma is convinced that this occurrence between Frank and Harriet will bring them together.