Adam Fenwick-Symes, a young writer. He returns from Paris to England to marry his fiancée but is forced to postpone his wedding because the manuscript of his autobiography is confiscated and burned by customs officials. Winning a bet of a thousand pounds, he renews his marriage plans, only to postpone them again when a drunken major, to whom he has given the money for a horse-race bet, disappears. His fiancée’s father gives him a thousand-pound check to enable the couple to marry. After they happily spend a night together, Adam learns that his fiancée’s father has absentmindedly signed Charlie Chaplin’s name to the check, and the wedding is postponed again. Adam takes over a newspaper gossip column, loses his job, and permits another man to marry his fiancée in exchange for a small loan. Later, in the war, during a lull in the fighting, he meets his drunken major again on a battlefield. The major, now a general, offers to pay Adam the thirty-five thousand pounds (the horse won) on the spot, but Adam thinks the money will be useless. They find champagne in the general’s car, and Adam drinks some of it and falls asleep.
Nina Blount, Adam’s fiancée, whose marriage is repeatedly postponed. She marries the man who lent money to Adam, but after he is called up for military service, she takes Adam along, as her husband, to spend Christmas with her father.
Colonel Blount, her father, an absentminded film fan. He makes a film about the life of religious leader John Wesley and is too preoccupied with it to notice that his supposed son-in-law is a young man he had previously met as Fenwick-Symes.
Agatha Runcible, a leader of the Bright Young People. Returning to England, she is mistaken for a notorious jewel smuggler, stripped, and searched. After escapades that include a party at No. 10 Downing Street, she goes to the auto races and takes the wheel of a car,...
(The entire section is 831 words.)