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For the next several months, Dick devotes himself to writing a book on psychiatry and avoids Nicole. To take a break from his work, he plans a short trip to a high mountain resort in the Alps. On the way up on the funicular, he sees Nicole with a young Latin man; he is a Count who is obviously crazy about her. Nicole greets Dick and asks him to dine with them at the hotel. Dick says he is economizing, but promises to call on them later in the evening. Baby Warren is waiting for Nicole at the top of the mountain. Nicole introduces Dick to her, and the two of them talk about Nicole. Baby is worried about her younger sister and some of her wild ways; she would like Nicole to find a husband and settle down. She plans to take her back to Chicago, where Nicole can surely find some nice young doctor to marry her and take care of her. Although Baby is only twenty-five, Dick thinks she is a formidable person.
Nicole has wandered away, and Dick goes in search of her. When he finds her alone, she explains that she is now well. She then accuses him of not even "giving her a chance" at the hospital. Nicole then kisses Dick; he is shocked at her advance, but thoroughly enjoys it. As Nicole walks away from him, she believes she has her doctor “hooked”. At the same time, Dick realizes that he has been fooled; he is really the "young doctor" of Baby's conversation. Feeling somewhat used, he tries to avoid Nicole. Baby, however, sends him a message, asking him if he could take Nicole back to Zurich. He is furious, for he knows that Baby is smart enough to understand the delicate professional situation that he is in with Nicole. Dick erroneously blames Baby for playing the matchmaker; in truth, she does not believe that Dick is the right man for Nicole, for he is too intellectual and stubborn. However, she knows that Nicole truly loves this man and is willing to come to her sister’s aid.
As newlyweds, Dick and Nicole live a fun, whirlwind existence, all planned by her. They travel, party, have babies, and move into larger apartments; however, after the second child is born, some of Nicole’s old problems resurface. To help in her recovery, they buy and remodel a villa on the French Riviera, above Tarmes. Since Nicole and Dick are considered to be trendsetters, soon many of their friends, including Tommy Barban, are summering in Tarmes with them. Nicole is happy, feeling that her life is full and busy. Her main worry is that Tarmes may become too popular, and their beach may be spoiled with too many visitors. She is also concerned that her husband has seemed somewhat attracted to the film star, Rosemary, especially on their recent trip to Paris.
Dick sits on a terrace with Rosemary’s mother, Mrs. Speers; she thanks him for taking care of Rosemary in Paris, especially with the business concerning "the Negroes." She tells him that he is truly the first man that Rosemary has ever loved; Dick senses that Mrs. Speers has encouraged her daughter in his direction. He then tells Mrs. Speers that he is in love with Rosemary, who is still in Paris awaiting her mother’s arrival. Rosemary still insists that she and Mrs. Speers return to Hollywood as soon as possible. When Dick takes his leave from Mrs. Speers, they are both polite, but insincere. Dick returns to the villa and tries unsuccessfully to work on his book. He thinks about his position in life and feels bad about the fact that he works so little, while using his wife’s money to support their opulent lifestyle.
Dick then reflects on how he and Nicole left Paris abruptly, leaving Rosemary behind. He feels it is the first time that he has ever run away from anything. On the train towards home, he and Nicole were awkward with each other, and he realized that he was tired of his wife and her illness. He no longer had any feelings of love for Nicole. He was also sick of their “fun” life, bought with Nicole’s money. To hide his misery from Nicole on the train, Dick drank almost a whole bottle of wine with lunch. At home at the villa in Tarmes, Dick’s feelings do not change. Nicole realizes that he is moping and tries to treat him with delicacy. But throughout the fall, Dick is in a dark mood.