Mr. and Mrs. Parker go through Willingden on their way home to Sanditon, a town on the coast of England in Sussex. Their carriage capsizes in front of Mr. Heywood, a wealthy proprietor in Willingden. Heywood and a few of his strongest haymen go to the Parkers' aid, as they saw the accident.
The village does not have a surgeon, a fact that Mr. Parker does not accept. He shows Heywood newspaper articles about a Willingden that does indeed have a surgeon. Heywood is bemused by this, as he has lived in Willingden for a long time, and yet Parker is trying to prove the existence of something he knows Willingden does not have. Heywood points out that there is another Willingden in England, which the papers must be referring to.