1.~ The Browns have a guest, Major Gordon, who unbeknownst to Captain Brown, has proposed to Jessie in the past and now renews his offer. Jessie feels she must refuse when she hears that his regiment is for India.
2.~ Preparations for Lady Ludlow's garden party are being made. Harry Gregson, the son of an impoverished tenant family, is found asleep on the property by Mr Carter, who takes the boy in hand and gives him errands to run during the garden party.
3.~ Caroline Tomkinson has fallen in love with Dr. Harrison and pretends to be ill so that he can attend her. Meanwhile. people are noticing Dr. Harrison's admiration of Sophy Hutton which provokes jealousy on Caroline's part.
4.~ Mrs. Forrester's cow, "Bessie dearest" falls into a lime pit and all her hair falls out. Mrs. Forrester then purchases a large amount of grey flannel and clothes the unfortunate beast in pyjamas.
5.~ Much occurs at the long-awaited garden party. Mary Smith's stepmother attends, to her annoyance, and insists Mary go rowing on the lake with the doctor, while Miss Matty has an unexpected encounter with an old beau; but most unsettling of all, it is discovered that Captain Brown and Sir Charles Maulver are plotting the advance of the dreaded railway within a mile or two of Cranford.
"I have been rehearsing those lines all the way from the worsted work!!"
"I suddenly have a headache of phenomenal dimension."
"Mrs. Forrester informs us that the cow will be more likely to come if you call 'Bessie dearest'."
Awkward cough--"Ahem. Bessie dearest!"
This made me laugh.