Victor Henry or "Pug" is a Naval officer who has devoted his career to the military. He is a strong man, dedicated to duty and honorable. At the beginning of this book, he is married to Rhoda who is unhappy at their long separation. She has asked Pug for a divorce which greatly disturbs him despite the fact that others around him are having the same difficulty. Rhoda briefly changes her mind but they do eventually divorce. When Pug's youngest son, Byron, asks why, Pug will not say anything against his ex-wife—a fact Pug's daughter later notes.