Diddy Shovel calls up Quoyle to tell him that a leisure boat built for Hitler is in the harbor, and Quoyle should come take a look. Quoyle takes Billy Pretty with him. On the way, they pass the same woman Quoyle has spotted a number of times before. Billy tells him her name is Wavey Prowse, and they give her and her son a ride.
At the harbor, Bayonet Melville, the owner of Tough Baby manages to stop arguing with his wife Silver long enough to give them a tour of his boat. He brags of its indestructibility and explains its Dutch origins and design. He is especially proud of the ornate carving. All the while, Silver yells at him to tell the story of Hurricane Bob. According to Bayonet's story, Tough Baby smashed in seventeen boats and twelve beautiful beach houses during the hurricane, without incurring any damage at all. Both the owner and his wife seem to have bruises and have been drinking. Bayonet explains that he and his wife have come to have the yacht upholstered by one Agnis Hamm.
At the house, the aunt explains to Quoyle that she has set up her yacht upholstery business, having hired two other women to help her, Mavis Bangs and Dawn Budgel. The aunt tells Quoyle that she used to have a "significant other" named Warren, thinking to herself that Quoyle does not need to know it was Irene Warren. The two women had lived on a houseboat together, and the aunt had taken a course in leather upholstery at Irene Warren's suggestion. The aunt went away to take her course, and planned out how she would start her own business. When she returned home, Irene Warren was dying of cancer. As soon as she died, the aunt bought her dog Warren and started the upholstery business.
During the aunt's story, Bunny grows extremely frightened after believing she saw a white dog. Quoyle plays with his daughters, helping them build play castle.
Quoyle takes a break from work one day and finds Wavey, the tall woman, out walking. He gives her a ride to her son's school, where she often goes at noontime. Both notice the others' gold band on their ring fingers. Quoyle finds himself most enchanted by her tall presence and the way she walks.
Quoyle visits the aunt's upholstery shop and meets the aunt's assistants, one of whom is working on the leather for the Melville's yacht. The aunt and Quoyle go out to Skipper Will's for lunch, and Quoyle asks her about Bunny. He worries that she keeps imagining a white dog, and she has recurring nightmares and a terrible temper. The aunt attributes Bunny's behavior to a traumatic last few months, and tells Quoyle that she just has not yet learned to "disguise [her] differentness." Still, the narrator mentions that Guy had done something—the reader does not yet know what—for the first time when the aunt was Bunny's age; the aunt is not necessarily trustworthy when it comes to evaluating children's emotional stress.