An elusive sort of book -- aptly named, for it is a recording of a detached incident, almost a moment in time, episodic, indirect in the telling, and with that mystical quality that attracts some readers to Hutchinson, and makes him difficult reading for the average. This is an isolated period in the pattern of soldering, started when Sergeant David McDowell breaks into a house, Orchilly, at 3 AM seeking shelter for his men. He finds first rebuff -- then hospitality of the rarest -- and ultimately friendship with Bernard Quindle, a doctor exiled by the war from his beloved China -- and by his lovely wife, Charlotte, who uses her illness to hold him to England. Then there is the lovely, haughty Virginia -- and her brother, Vaugham, artist by temperament, clocking his fear in the perfect performance of flying. Bit by bit the pieces of the story fall into place, only to end in sadness and an ""interim"" closed by death.