After the ""monastic"" life of ships, Gabriel Murray, V.C., D.S.C., (R.N. Retd.) has further retired to a village in Scotland, as insulated from the human condition as he has ever been with only his dog, Kelpie, and his old mother. On a weekend shoot he meets Pandora, the wife of Lord Clanhatton and survivor of many love affairs of which the Lord is only too aware. In fact he decides to separate from her after all her ""little ploys"" and in the middle of her new romance with Murray's. During his Indian summer of 52 years he is strongly aroused (and given to embarrassing verbal exchanges by Mr. Charteris). But he is unable to commit himself in spite of Pandora's new freedom and their rendezvous at the Mill leads to two disasters--Kelpie's death and finally Pandora's suicide. The story proceeds rather soothingly in the semi-precious ""triste"" cultivation of interior reflections; what comes across most clearly are the dim features and gestures of middle-aged passion which is what Mr. Charteris intended for what little solace it affords.