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Neither man is weil advised to play with her fire. Hudson loses his fiancee, and joins the Camel Corps when Waring also fails hirn. Hugh suffers a nervous breakdown, reverting to the fierce puritanism of his forebears, incompatible with successful publishing in the present day, and finally returns to schoolmastering. Eustace, who loves danger and marries often, inherits some money at the end ofthe story and, deservedly, marries Roberta. Throughout the early novels there is an interest, to reach its full development only in A Dance to the Music of Time, which is given a special emphasis in the first and last chapters of What's Become of Waring.
A girl's inept uncorking of a bottle of wine can be a memorable comic incident. There are also some passages that find new perspectives on conventionally farcical situations, as where Mavrin chats with Lushington or where Bobel guffaws at Lushington's bedroom door. Agents and Patients goes further, consistently asking us to look thoughtfully at farce rather than just to laugh, while discovering amusement in unexpected features of conventionally funny types of scene. More than any of the earlier books, Agents and Patients looks, in summary, like the work of 'a professional humorist' - a term 32 Anthony Powell Powell has disclaimed.
Two characters ofthis kind are found in Mrs Foxe's household: her secretary Miss Tuffy Weedon and her latest husband, Commander Buster Foxe. What these two share becomes apparent to Jenkins when Sunny Farebrother, although an impressive figure with a very good war record, behaves with grovelling deference towards Peter Templer's father, a senior business associate. Jenkins is reminded of Tuffy and Buster: for all three, 'power was won by self-abasement'. One of the novel's funniest and most interesting scenes brings Miss Weedon, Buster and Mrs Foxe together with Stringham andJenkins as the luncheon guests of Sillery, the bachelor don who 'never takes his tea without an intrigue', and builds an empire of influence through such connections.