At the front, Christopher takes over from a commanding officer who suffers from shell shock and a drinking problem. Amidst the shelling, he is dismayed to learn from a corporal who lives close to his home that Sylvia is contemplating chopping down the great Groby tree. After General Campion arrives to take over his command, Christopher convalesces and is sent home, where Sylvia ? now ensconced at Groby ? makes a last-ditch attempt to keep him from building a future with Valentine.