After the ball, Aunt Pittypat is alarmed by Scarlett’s conduct, and informing her to stay away from Rhett. At the point when Rhett buys Melanie’s wedding ring to engage with her, Melanie comes to Rhett’s defense. Scarlett presumes Rhett made this step just to get himself welcomed to Aunt Pittypat’s home, and she presumes he did not buy the ring to get engaged with her. Scarlett gets a letter of admonition from her mother, and her father visits her to caution Rhett away and to bring Scarlett back to Tara. In response, Rhett makes Gerald drunk, and Scarlett persuades her father to permit her to remain in Atlanta.
While Melanie and Pittypat are on a visit, Scarlett secretly enters Melanie’s room to read Ashley’s letters; she needs to see whether the two are loaded up with enthusiasm, and is eventually satisfied to find they are most certainly not very deep in love; in fact, they are a long way from it. Ashley composes long, complex clarifications of his inability to appreciate the war, and says he fears the Southern lifestyle he loves is being damaged beyond recovery. To him, it does not matter whether or not the South wins the war. Ashley also makes reference to a man named Butler, particular with regards to his sentiments during the ball. Scarlett finds the letters to be silly.