Clark Storey, a struggling writer of fiction and poetry. At the age of thirty-one, he is a cosmopolitan master of the bon mot who cheerfully admits to being selfish and devoid of passion and genuine talent. His self-deprecation, however, is more the posturing of a wit than a reflection of his true nature or creative ability. An early, ill-fated marriage has left him distrustful of love, and he assumes the role of foppish cad to avoid facing his inner emptiness, or his lack, as Monica Grey puts it, of soul. Fundamentally, he is a decent fellow who, if short on love, is long on affection, loyalty, and kindness. Because he values the lifestyle that wealth affords, he unblushingly accepts money from Mrs. Frayne and, further, despite not loving her, plans to wed her. Although Storey’s dormant passion is rekindled momentarily by Grey, his cynical self, the second and stronger man within, represses it. As the decent thing to do, with a studied, ironic detachment, Storey does his best to foster the relationship of Austin Lowe and Grey.
Mrs. Kendall Frayne
Mrs. Kendall Frayne, a wealthy widow who is a friend of Storey. She is a charming, sophisticated, and extremely gracious lady who, temperamentally, seems ideally suited to the writer. At the age of thirty-five, she is a bit older than Storey and considerably more experienced and cultured than the effusive and ingenuous Grey. She is also handsome and stylish....
(The entire section is 541 words.)