Edna’s father, referred to as the Colonel, comes to New Orleans to buy a wedding present for his other daughter Janet. Edna enjoys spending time with him; she sketches him, they attend a musical party at the Ratignolles’, and they bet at the races.
We finally learn a little bit about Edna’s past and family life. Perhaps Edna enjoys her father’s company because with him she is neither a wife nor a mother—she can take part in more masculine activities, like betting and painting.
When Doctor Mandelet pays them a visit, he finds Edna in a very good mood: she seems free and easy. The Pontelliers, the Colonel, and the doctor have a very pleasant dinner. They all tell stories; the doctor describes a woman that has an extramarital affair but eventually returns to her husband, and Edna makes up a story about two lovers that got lost at sea. The doctor assumes Edna is in love with another man.