The action is still based in Venice with Jenkins bumping into old acquainteces and making new friends as he weaves between the writers conference and the house party being attended by Pamela Widmerpool.
Jenkins meets one of his first employers, who used to be a friend of his father’s, who has become a painter with high socialist principles after turning his back on the publishing trade. But the meeting with Tokenhouse is interrupted as they bump into some of the crowd from the conference.
Regardless of what people are doing the focus of attention seems to be the Widmerpool marriage, with its rows and odd scenes and talk starts to spread across the little groups at Venice that Pamela is seriously thinking of leaving her husband.
It would be good to get back to London but with everyone turning up in Venice, including now Odo Stevens the connection from the war, it doesn’t seem to make much difference.