• It is October, and John Marcher goes to lunch with a group of friends to Weatherend, a large, country home.
• John goes to visit a woman of his acquaintance, May Bartram, who is staying there.
• After lunch, they take a tour of house and grounds and the guests move about the rooms of the house that is filled with collections of unusual objects, and visit in small groups.
• John struggles to remember how and where he has known May, who seems to be helping out by conducting tours and looking after the guests.
• The two end up together alone in one of the many rooms in the house, not entirely accidentally.
• John describes May in his mind as handsome but older than he remembers.
• Then John recalls where and when they had met--eight years ago in Rome.
• May corrects him saying it was in Naples and ten...
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