This dilapidated Harley Street mansion, the refuge, prison, and Aladdin's cave of the author's youth, would cast a long shadow over his family. In his twenties, after a tragedy there, the author gave up his career and began an aimless six-year road trip. It ended when he was thrown into a prison cell with destitute street children orphaned by army death squads, where his values changed. He spent ather seven years in exile until the old house called him back to begin ather stage of his family's improbable journey. He carved out a conventional career and began to write a book on management technique, but a folk memory linking Harley Street to the 1930s East End slums distracted him and the book became a chapter of Victorian social history instead. And after 50 years the old mansion called him back a once more - this time to bring comfort to the dying; comfort to one who had loved it when they were young.