Pip resolves to see Estella and Miss Havisham before he invites Provis to go abroad (on the pretence of shopping for more gentlemanly goods). Told at Richmond that Estella has gone back to Satis House, Pip feels disconcerted—he has always chaperoned her trip in the past.
The fact that Estella travelled without him could suggest she has a new travelling chaperone. In Victorian England, a lady of her status would not be allowed to travel alone.
Pip travels back to the village to visit Satis House and is surprised to run into Bentley Drummle at the Blue Boar. The two have a standoff but pretend not to have one, each refusing to budge an inch while making small talk shoulder to shoulder in front of the hearth. Drummle makes a show of calling the waiter in twice to discuss his plans with "the lady."
"The lady" is surely Estella. The fact that Drummle has come to see Estella at Satis House suggests his courtship has gotten serious.