This reading is not helped by the following passage:
'You'll have to mount me, then, Pelham,' put in Captain Heron.
'Mount you with pleasure, my dear fellow.'
Yes, yes, I know what it really means.
Back to lit crit, in this, and Friday's Child (1944), is one supposed to assume that the love interest have slept together in the interval between getting married and the happy ending, or not? Obviously they do in A Civil Contract, but is that undercutting the unreal, or heightening the romance?