A delightfully roguish, neatly turned satirical swipe at the late 19th-century English gentleman, with a generous dollop of Turkish exotica. Archie, a veritable geodome of fat-headedness, is finding it difficult to hide his delicious inner twittering from his young wife Rachel, to whom (as a new husband) he must present a stern and superior veneer at all times. Archie, it seems, is about to purchase a female slave. To that end, he has bought, at the advice of an eerie Persian (who put the slave idea in his head in the first place), a house in a village on the Bosphorus while Rachel stays in their hotel in Constantinople. The marriage, you see, has not been happy so far: Archie resents Rachel's pursestrings (she's the daughter of a wealthy Jewish dealer in dung), as well as the ""rankness of her female sexual nature""; and Rachel becomes hysterical at Archie's first and only marital assault. So now Archie finds himself the owner of a female slave, Maryka. But Maryka's earthy delights seem to require more and more mechanical assistance; and, moreover, she won't leave when asked--all this in the midst of deadly and bloody deeds and plots going on in the neighborhood by slave merchants, rioting Armenians and Turks, and a mysterious overlord with a surprising relationship to Rachel's father. There are narrow escapes, a kidnapping, horrid atrocities, and finally a not-too-surprising surprise in veils. Archie, bless his new and tender consciousness, learns to crawl out from under the gentleman's umbrella and love it up. A witty send-up of a period's style and mores--plus some frantic picaresque adventures.