Here Diane is offered the situation of chaperone for the daughter Dorothea of Derek Pruyn, a widower whom she has met before. Eventually, Pruyn makes her an offer of marriage. She withholds her answer until his return from a voyage to South America, when she is prepared to accept him, but on his home-coming she finds his attitude towards her completely changed. Pruyn has encountered de Bienville on his voyage and has heard from him that Diane was unfaithful to her husband.
The book concentrates on how the relationships between the various protagonists develop. (Summary by Simon Evers)
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