A few months before this, I had been fortunate enough to make friends with a young painter who had a studio in the Rue Campagne Premiere. His name was Gerald Kelly. He had had an upbringing unusual for a painter, for he had been to Eton and to Cambridge. He was highly talented, abundantly loquacious, and immensely enthusiastic. It was he who first made me acquainted with the Impressionists, whose pictures had recently been accepted by the Luxembourg. To my shame, I must admit that I could not make head or tail of them. Without much searching, I found an apartment on the fifth floor of a house near the Lion de Belfort. It had two rooms and a kitchen, and cost seven hundred francs a year, which was then twenty-eight pounds. I bought, second-hand, such furniture and household utensils as were essential, and the concierge told me of a woman who would come in for half a day and make my cafe au lait in the morning and my luncheon at noon. I settled down and set to work on still another novel. Soon after my arrival, Gerald Kelly took me to a restaurant called Le Chat Blanc in the Rue d’Odessa, near the Gare Montparnasse, where a number of artists were in the habit of dining; and from then on I dined there every night. I have described the place elsewhere, and in some detail in the novel to which these pages are meant to serve as a preface, so that I need not here say more about it. As a rule, the same people came in every night, but now and then others came, perhaps only once, perhaps two or three times. We were apt to look upon them as interlopers, and I don’t think we made them particularly welcome.