• The story begins on New Year's Eve, 1933, as a dressed-up Max Disher waits outside the Honky Tonk Club when his friend, Bunny Brown, arrives.
• Max and Bunny have been close since they served together in World War I; Now Max is an insurance agent, and Bunny is a bank teller.
• Max and Bunny are known throughout black Harlem for being dashing young men, and they both prefer to date light-skinned women.
• Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, Minnie, Max shares his worry with Bunny that Minnie looks down on him for being black.
• People of all different races are in the club, listening and dancing to the jazz band.
• Max and Bunny notice a group of white people who are seated at the table next to theirs; among them is a particularly beautiful girl with golden-brown hair.
• One of the men from the table asks Max...
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