Mr. Collins prolongs his stay, acting coldly to Elizabeth and transferring his attention to Charlotte Lucas.
Mr. Collins wastes no time in changing the object of his shallow affection yet again.
One morning, the Bennet sisters walk to Meryton and meet Wickham who confirms to Elizabeth that he was avoiding Darcy at the ball. He walks them home and Elizabeth introduces him to her parents.
Since she's interested in Wickham, Elizabeth believes everything he says. An introduction to her parents is significant: it sets the stage for courtship.
A letter from Caroline Bingley arrives for Jane, who reads it in distress. Upstairs, Jane shares the contents of the letter with Elizabeth. Everyone at Netherfield has left for London, not to return for at least six months, if ever. Caroline ends the letter by saying that she will be delighted to see Georgiana Darcy again, who she hopes will become Bingley's wife. Jane is despondent and refuses to believe that, as Elizabeth explains, Caroline is trying to break her and Bingley up while also gaining better footing with Darcy for herself. Elizabeth does manage to convince Jane that she shouldn't doubt Bingley's affections.
Elizabeth can read between the lines to discern what's really going on. Caroline wants to prevent Jane from going any further with her brother because she does not want her own family associated with the Bennets for two reasons: she disdains them; and she believes that by marrying her brother to Georgiana she will improve her own chances with Georgiana's brother, Darcy.