The stories all concern themselves with some sort of trouble, normally of an amorous nature, and often ending with disappointment. "The Gioconda Smile" is a mixture of social satire and murder mystery, which Huxley later adapted into a 1947 film called A Woman's Vengeance. "Permutations Among the Nightingales" is a play concerning the amorous problems encountered by various patrons of a hotel. "The Tillotson Banquet" tells of an old artist who was thought to be dead, and is "rediscovered"; a not entirely successful honorary dinner is organised for him. "Green Tunnels" is about the boredom of a young girl on holiday with her family. She develops a romantic fantasy, and is ultimately disillusioned. "Nuns at Luncheon" is a second-hand story told of a nun falling in love. The story mocks the writer's process, a concept Huxley used in his novel Crome Yellow.
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