Babylon Revisited : Part 2
Summary Part 2
Charlie wakes in the morning in a more optimistic frame of mind. He takes Honoria out to lunch. He tells her they will then go to the toy store and to a show. Honoria points out that he has already bought her a doll, which she has with her, and anyway she has a lot of toys and doesn’t need more. She knows her father is no longer rich. But Charlie insists. Charlie is eager to get to know his daughter and feels that he must be both parents to her, since her mother is dead. Charlie congratulates her on doing so well at school. She then asks him why she is not living with him. Is it because her mother is dead? Charlie replies that it would have been hard for him to look after her so well as she is being cared for by the Peters.
As Charlie and Honoria are leaving the restaurant, two old friends of Charlie’s greet him. Duncan Schaeffer is an old college friend and Lorraine Quarrles is also a friend with whom Charlie spent lavish times three years ago in Paris. Duncan and Lorraine suggest that they meet for dinner, but Charlie makes an excuse. He is uncomfortable at meeting these “ghosts out of the past.” They remind him of the old days that he has no desire to relive. But at the show that evening, Charlie and Honoria encounter Duncan and Lorraine again. They have a drink together.
Going home, Charlie asks his daughter if she ever thinks of her mother. She replies that she does sometimes. Charlie is anxious that Honoria does not forget her mother, and tells her that her mother loved her very much. Honoria replies that she had loved her too. Then Honoria says she wants to come and live with him, which delights Charlie. He takes her home but does not go inside the house. He has arranged to come back at nine o’clock that evening to discuss with Marion and Lincoln his desire to take Honoria to live with him in Prague.
This short section of the story shows the warm relationship between father and daughter, and Charlie’s sincere desire to do everything he can for Honoria. They are able to talk to each other easily, and Charlie gives every impression of being a man who is quite capable of providing his daughter with a loving home. There seems no reason for the reader to believe otherwise. He is a reformed character.
However, this is a story as much about the past as the present, and how events of the past leave indelible marks in the present, however much people—in this case Charlie—might desire otherwise. Interrupting the sweet scene involving Charlie and Honoria, Charlie’s past is shown coming back to haunt him in the form of Duncan and Lorraine in a way that will prove problematic later. He does not want to get drawn back into his old world, and he senses that Duncan and Lorraine, who still seem to have the same spirit of enjoyment that they all had before the crash, even though Lorraine is no longer wealthy, are not good companions for him now.