Nicholas joins up to fight WWII. He is assigned to assist now-Major Widmerpool. Priscilla leaves her husband to live with Odo Stevens. When Widmerpool is promoted, Nicholas is transferred to Major Pennistone's Polish liaison staff. Femme fatale Pamela Flitton uses men and throws them away; her contempt sends Peter Templer into the secret service. She becomes engaged to Widmerpool and tells Nicholas that Widmerpool is responsible for Templer's death.
Ten years after the end of WWII, Quiggin starts a literary magazine. Pamela leaves MP Widmerpool for X Trapnel but eventually returns. As the 1960's progress, Widmerpool becomes college chancellor and winds up servant to a cult, Jean & Bob's daughter becomes a film star, and Nicholas' acquaintances continue to pass away.