Three years later, it is Teddy’s fourth birthday, and Sylvie has prepared a surprise party. Bridget, Pamela, Ursula, and Teddy go to deliver jam to Mrs. Dodds while Sylvie gets the party ready. Sylvie has been gardening ever since Old Tom left, and has been cultivating fruit with the help of Clarence Dodds—an old pal of Sam Wellington’s who left the army after an injury and now wears a tin mask on half of his face. Clarence had barely started working for the Todds when he and Bridget started a romance, and soon after they were engaged.
The war continues to seep into every aspect of their lives, as they must grow their own crops (in addition to keeping chickens), and more and more of the people around them have been irrevocably affected by the war, like Clarence’s grave injury. And yet, even the sacrifices of the war do not alter society’s gender roles: while the men do the fighting on the battlefield, the women do the gardening and care for the children in the meantime.
The group sets off for Mrs. Dodds’ house with the jam. Maurice has gone off on his bicycle to spend the day with friends, completely uninterested in Pamela’s and Ursula’s lives. Teddy, on the other hand, is loyal and affectionate like a dog. Clarence meets them at the entrance gate to Mrs. Dodd’s home. Mrs. Dodds gives them milk and cake, commenting on how nice it is to see children, although Ursula suspects that she only means Teddy, as everyone likes Teddy.
Ursula’s description of Teddy as being affectionate like a dog foreshadows his later intense support for Ursula, which proves to be vital to her well-being. In turn, the statement highlights her deep love for her brother which will motivate many of Ursula’s decisions in the second half of the novel.
Clarence then brings them to the Hall, an estate on which he and Mrs. Dodds used to work. He shows them what used to be a massive kitchen garden, but since the war it has become completely overgrown with brambles and thistles. The Daunts, who owned the Hall, lost three sons in the war. Clarence remarks that he misses working in the garden.
The Hall’s garden not only shows how death from the war has continued to affect and seep into civilian life, but also how it prevents men from doing more domestically-oriented jobs, demonstrating how it reinforces traditional gender roles.
The Todds return home, and Ursula is nearly as surprised as Teddy by the party, having forgotten all about it. The hallway is decorated with flags and bunting and Sylvie bearing a gift-wrapped present that is unmistakably a toy airplane.
The toy airplane Sylvie buys also foreshadows Teddy’s own participation in the Second World War, again illuminating the contrast between the innocence and joy of domesticity and childhood and the death and destruction of war.