Port Moresby, an independently wealthy American. Fascinated by maps, he defines himself as a traveler rather than a tourist, feeling that he has no permanent home but instead journeying continuously from one place to another. Married to Kit Moresby for twelve years, he realizes that they are experiencing difficulties and arranges an excursion to Africa with the hope of sorting through their problems. At the last instant, he panics about the trip and invites Tunner, one of his close friends, to join them. Both husband and wife come to wish that Tunner would leave them alone, Port because he longs for intimacy with Kit and she because Tunner continually makes advances toward her. Because of their lack of communication, neither expresses that desire clearly to the other. Instead, Port turns to prostitutes out of frustration, and Kit eventually is seduced by Tunner. Ironically, Port contracts typhoid and dies, alone, while Kit has a rendezvous with Tunner.
Kit Moresby, Port’s wife, an attractive, small blonde with an intense gaze. Her white skin draws attention from African men and envy from African women. Quite superstitious, she is excellent at interpreting everyday occurrences as good or bad omens. Tunner’s presence during the trip bothers her, but she tolerates him because of his friendship with Port. After she is seduced by the young man, the remorse she experiences causes her to refrain...
(The entire section is 537 words.)