Chapter 13: It is decided that the entire party at Hartfield should dine one night at Randalls, the home of the Westons. Harriet, Mr. Elton and Mr. Knightley are also invited. Mr. Woodhouse is quite concerned about them all going to Randalls, as he does not like to venture out at night, and he is sure they will all get sick. The night before dinner there, Emma goes to Mrs. Goddard's to see Harriet, who has a sore throat and a cold. It turns out that she will not be able to attend the party at Randalls.
On her way home from visiting Harriet, Emma runs into Mr. Elton, who seems quite concerned about her catching the sore throat. Emma suggests to Mr. Elton that he may want to stay home that night because the weather seems to be turning bad, but John Knightley, who has come upon them, offers to pick him up in their carriage. As John and Emma walk on, he remarks to her that Mr. Elton seems to have much good will towards her, and he is surprised that Emma has never thought that he might be in love with her. When they pick up Mr. Elton that night Emma is surprised at how happy he seems even though Harriet is still sick. At the mention of her though, Elton does seem to get thoughtful.
Chapter 14: They all arrive at Randalls, and Emma finds that Mr. Elton has positioned himself next to her. He is always drawing notice of himself to her, and she wonders if her brother-in-law could have been right after all. Emma tries to hear what it is that Mr. Weston is saying about his son Frank Churchill, but she cannot make it out. While Emma has stated that she does not intend to marry, she does take an interest in Frank Churchill. When they are seated for dinner, Mr. Weston tells Emma that they expect Frank to visit them in a fortnight, but Mrs. Weston fears that his aunt will make up some excuse for why he cannot come, as she often seems to do.
Chapter 15: After tea, Mr. Woodhouse is quite ready to go home, but the others are not. When the men enter the drawing room Mr. Elton sits between Mrs. Weston and Emma, and Emma tries to talk to him about Harriet. He seems more concerned about how Harriet's sickness might affect her than about Harriet, and she is again worried that John may have been right. John Knightley comes into the room to say that it is snowing outside, and Mr. Woodhouse gets quite worried. There is some discussion about what should be done, but Mr. Knightley comes in to say that he has walked about and that it is not bad out, and that there is no reason for anyone to leave yet. It becomes clear, however, that Mr. Woodhouse will not be comfortable, so they all go to leave. On their way out, Emma finds that John does not go in the carriage with her and Mr. Elton as he did on the way there, but enters the carriage with his wife and her father, leaving Emma alone with Mr. Elton.
Mr. Elton grabs her hand and tells her that he loves her and that he is ready to die if she refuses him, going on to say that he is sure he will not be refused, as she has encouraged him. Emma is astonished, and replies that she cannot accept such an offer, but that she would be happy to take a message to Miss Smith if he wishes. He does not understand why she would say that, and she explains that she has witnessed his attentions to Miss Smith, and is surprised at his unsteadiness of character that he would propose to her. He cannot believe what she is saying, and says that he only paid attention to Miss Smith because she was a friend of hers. He goes on to say that he could never think seriously of Miss Smith, as he would not need to lower himself to a woman of her level. They sit in silence until he is dropped off at home, and when she reaches Hartfield she is welcomed with delight, as they were worried about her out in the snow.