Empire on which the sun never sets," and entering "into the precincts of the House which is the House, par excellence, in the minds of many millions of men" (198-9, emphasis in original). Here, in this "august spot" (199) "watched by stalwart constables, who did not seem particularly impressed by the duty" (198-9), he meets the Home Secretary, Sir Ethelred, to apprise him of his findings. As Sir Ethelred begins to grasp the essential facts of the case, the Assistant Commissioner observes his reaction: "the great man," with "a slight jerky movement" and "an intermittent stifled but powerful sound ... laugh[s]' (203, emphasis added). Then, regaining his composure, Sir Ethelred overcomes his "dread of details" to confirm: "'And you say this man has got a wife?'" (204). The Assistant Commissioner, obliging "the great man," reiterates: "'Yes, a genuine wife. And the victim was a genuine brother-in-Iaw. From a certain point of view we are in the presence of a domestic drama'" (204).