It’s a short chapter, with Maugham spending a little time at the front on the doctor and his reflections on the tragedy and on the goodness the human creature is capable of manifesting. “It leads to no good,” thinks the doctor, that goodness. Then there’s a nice bit about how humans are the only creature to age “so hideously disfigured” and then Maugham moves along with the details of the tragedy’s aftermath. There are some language barriers—none of the main characters can understand Dutch so being on a Dutch-governed island might lead to some trouble—but it’s still very much just a scene. Maugham’s letting his playwright loose to get through a necessary expository moment. If it weren’t brief, it might be disappointing. Instead, it’s short and perfunctory.