Chapter Summary


Élisabeth Lacombe

Maugham spends a lot of time with Isabel, Larry and Gray. Gray is getting better and better with the help of Larrys treatment. Just before getting back to the Riviera, on his last night in Paris, he meets Sophie Macdonald. It was on an evening where the four friends hung out in a café on Rue de Lappe. Sophie came up to their table and started to talk with them. She knew the four of them, but Maugham had no recognition of her. From Isabels attitude, we can easily notice that she did not appreciate Sophie. Sophie was very drunk and impolite, she was making a fool of herself in front of everybody. When she left, Isabel told Maugham her story; she lost her husband and her child in a car accident and has been an alcoholic since then. Larry admits that he has known her since she was fourteen. He use to be her confident and they would read poetry to one another, Sophie writing poetry herself.

Then, Maugham went to see Elliott in the Antibes and he looked very well. He continued to go to parties, although he felt a detachment toward the new upper-class and felt embarrassed to be in such company. However, he became a constant visitor of his new neighbor, a retired actress. Afterwards, Elliott and Maugham went to Paris together. When Maugham got to his hotel, he received a note from Isabel telling him to meet her as soon as possible. She warned him that Larry would marry Sophie, the friend from Chicago. Isabel wanted Maugham to persuade Larry to not marry her. She asked him because she thought he had a great deal of influence on him. After arguing on the subject, Isabel admitted that she still loves Larry. Maugham suggested to Isabel to go shopping with Sophie, but she said that she would rather invite Sophie and Larry to lunch. They accepted, and they all went to  Ritz. After lunch, Isabel brought Sophie to see a dress show. The wedding finally never happened. Sophie disappeared three days before, and Larry looked for her everywhere.

A year later, Maugham ran into Sophie in Toulon. She tells him the reason she did not marry Larry. In fact, it was because while she was with him, she had not smoke nor drink, and she realised that she could not live this way anymore. She took a train to Toulon where she went at a friends place during three days, smoking opium and sleeping with men.

Later in this chapter, Maugham received a message saying that Elliott was ill, he had an attack of uremia. However, he still goes to social gatherings and parties even if his doctor forbade him to leave his room. Elliott was very mad because he had not been invited to the best party of the season, which is Princess Edna Novemalis party. In fact, Elliot had introduced her to everyone she knew and he got nothing in return. Maugham managed to find him an invitation to flatter his ego. Elliott, close to death, responded to the invitation and declined it. He dies a couple hours after, in Maughams company.


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