After a year and a half at their new clinic, things are not going well. Dick is dissatisfied and Nicole is not feeling very strong. Dick's heart goes out to one of his patients, an artist who is losing her battle for sanity and her beauty.
Things worsen when Nicole discovers a note from a former patient accusing Dick of seducing her daughter. Dick had kissed the girl but angered her when he would not allow the affair to continue, but Nicole assumes the worst. Dick takes the family to a fair where Nicole flees and becomes hysterical. On their drive back to the clinic, she grabs the wheel and runs the car off the road, almost killing them all and laughing the whole time.
Dick decides to take a leave of absence and heads to Berlin, leaving his family at the clinic. Dick meets Tommy Barban by chance, who has just helped the Russian Prince Chillicheff escape from hiding in Russia. Dick learns from Tommy that Abe North was been beaten to death that morning in a speakeasy in New York. He is aghast, while all the men can talk about is what club he crawled to before he died.
Quite shaken, Dick heads to Innsbruck, thinking how the spear of his intellect has been blunted over the years of his marriage and how he has lost himself. He considers having an affair with a pretty woman he meets in his hotel lobby, but it doesn't materialize. When he reaches his room, he finds a telegram reporting the death of his father. Dick calls Nicole, regretting his past, before shipping home to New York.
Reaching America, Dick feels he has come home. He lays his father's body to rest in a graveyard full of his family. On his return to Europe, Albert McKisco is billed as the ship's most precious cargo. Changed by his duel with Tommy Barban, McKisco has become a well regarded, if somewhat simple, writer. Dick finds the man's company pleasant now that he no longer displays his old inferiority complex.
Arriving in Rome and checking into a hotel, Dick bumps into Rosemary, and they make a date to meet. Collis Clay reappears as well, down from studying architecture in Florence.