He felt the loyalty we all feel to unhappiness—the sense that there is where we really belong. Nobody could do abjection like Greene. And no one could parse moral dilemmas with quite his eye for the subtle ways that Satan persuades the righteous. Henry Scobie is one of his supreme creations, a British colonial police officer stationed during World War II in a damp, vulture-ridden West African town. A Roman Catholic mindful of his duties to God, Scobie thinks of himself as incorruptible, but he has not counted on the power of his own excesses of pity to beguile him. To deliver his wife from unhappiness he is led into complicity with smugglers; to save a young woman from despair — but no less to save himself — he is drawn into adultery; to rescue them both from his misjudgments he is led to betray his God. A man for whom humility becomes a kind of perverse pride arrives at a place where he wills his own damnation as the one means to escape his earthly predicaments.