Dr. Hugues made it crystal clear that sneaking into someone else’s dreams was invading her privacy. However, his patient did not seem to mind the least that since four nights ago that man with the shell glasses and the wild hair interfered in her dreams. On the contrary, it would seem that Margaret Rowland was delighted with that intruder of whom she spoke with such familiarity and tenderness. That’s why Dr. Hugues objected: a young woman should not rely so quickly on a stranger, let alone fall in love with him in such a frank and naive way. “Sometimes, strangers turn out to be simple opportunists who only seek to take advantage of young naïve women like you”, he instructed her, “How the hell have you known him?”. Then she told her dream: She was in Newport with her family. She went down to the beach and, as always when she went down to the beach in her dreams, the sea level grew and grew until the water reached her neck and she had to swim to save her life. Usually, after a lot of swimming she was exhausted and then woke up in anguish. But this time it was different, because a man came to her aid. He told her to hold on to his neck and had swum instead of her.
According to Dr. Hugues that was the typical way of acting of an opportunist. And even more so when (as she continued telling him) the next night he had chased her around on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House while she was singing the aria of Leonora from “La Forza del Destino”. That, according to Dr. Hugues, had also been a lack of tact on the part of the stranger. What would the audience have thought when seeing this stranger with street clothes appear on stage? Tickets to The Met were not exactly cheap, so it would not please them to see an stranger stick his nose in the middle of an aria. And the intrusions of the next two nights did not seem spontaneous either: one could say that the man was following her, trying to meddle in her life. However, that did not seem to matter to Margaret: on the contrary, she was glad that he interfered.
When the next week Margaret went to the weekly appointment at her psychoanalyst’s office, the first thing Dr. Hugues wanted to know was whether the man with shell glasses and wild hair had returned to meddle in her dreams. He got upset when he learned that this was the case. That relationship seemed to be strengthening! Hugues did not forget that Miss Rowland’s father was paying him just to take those absurd ideas about romantic love out of his daughter’s head. On the contrary, he had to instill in her the need to accept as a suitor Mr. Nigel, his father’s partner, with whom she would never lack anything. Hugues tried to persuade her that this intruder of her dreams was none other than Nigel himself. But Margaret knew Nigel well and they did not look alike. “You know,” replied the doctor, “in dreams, the beloved sometimes adopt another identity, as in a costume ball.”
But the following week, Miss Rowland dropped the bomb: the stranger had ceased to be a stranger. She had seen him, talked with him, not in dreams but in reality. And it was not Nigel in disguise, but a certain Leo Rosenthal, who was an employee in his father’s company. Dr. Hugues panicked and hurried to warn Mr. Rowland about the convenience of dismissing Rosenthal immediately if he wanted his daughter to marry Nigel. Margaret’s father did not think twice. And at the next session, she was disconsolate: his father had restructured the workforce and, along with others, Rosenthal had been fired. Then Hugues told her about the wisdom of Destiny that, knowing that the man did not suit her, had taken him out of her life. “But then, why is he still present in my dreams?” she asked. Hugues scowled: he could not warn Margaret’s father about the convenience of dismissing Rosenthal from his daughter’s dreams. But maybe Hugues himself could fire him through a technique that he mastered to perfection: hypnosis. If by means of it he could induce to stop smoking, he should also be able to induce that silly young woman to stop dreaming of this Rosenthal. And indeed, after two weeks, Margaret had stopped dreaming about him. But Dr. Hugues paled when she add that now she was dating him! She had made inquiries, she had found him, she was dating him, and they were happy.
Dr. Hugues gave up: Destiny had won the game. And so he told Mr. Rowland, who had no choice but to comply with the sentence of Destiny.