Chapters 1 and 2
• Mrs. Wilkins reads an advertisement for a holiday in Italy in the newspaper.
• Mrs. Wilkins approaches Mrs. Arbuthnot, who is also looking at the advertisement.
• Mrs. Arbuthnot is surprised to be interested in the holiday, as most of her time and energy is usually put into helping the poor.
• Mrs. Wilkins suggests they go on the holiday and split the costs.
• Mrs. Arbuthnot gives a lecture about helping the poor but is distracted by the idea of the holiday.
• Mrs. Arbuthnot's marriage is explained; Mrs. Arbuthnot married for love but the love faded.
• Mrs. Arbuthnot's husband is a writer of stories about the mistresses of kings, which embarrasses her and makes her feel guilty.
Chapters 3, 4 and 5
• The owner of the villa, Mr. Briggs, asks for references, but then waives the requirement because he finds Mrs. Arbuthnot attractive and interesting.
• Two women reply to the advert for...
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