Richard obtains a commission in the army and begins his training. Mr. Jarndyce, apprehensive about the young man's instability, asks him and Ada to break their engagement.
Richard takes fencing lessons from "Mr. George" (Rouncewell), the shooting gallery owner, who mentions that one of his customers is Gridley. Gridley is, in fact, a dying man who has taken refuge in the gallery. Mr. Bucket, disguised, arrives and tries to cheer Gridley, but to no avail. Exhausted and embittered, Gridley dies.
Richard experiences the first real difficulties created by his instability and his leaving Ada parallels and foreshadows his early death. The episode focusing on Gridley is completed in such a way as to highlight the evils spawned by Chancery.