"The room where they sat was in Michael's flat in Half Moon Street, and high up in one of those tall, discreet-looking houses. The windows were wide open on this hot July afternoon, and the bourdon hum of London, where Piccadilly poured by at the street end, came in blended and blunted by distance, but with the suggestion of heat, of movement, of hurrying affairs. The room was very empty of furniture; there were a rug or two on the parquet floor, a long, low bookcase taking up the end near the door, a table, a sofa, three or four chairs and a piano. Everything was plain, but equally obvious, everything was expensive, and the general impression given was that the owner had no desire to be surrounded by things he did not want, but insisted on the superlative quality of the things he did. The rugs, for instance, happened to be of silk, the bookcase happened to be Hepplewhite, the piano bore the most eminent of makers' names. There were three mezzotints on the walls, a dragon's-blood vase on the high carved chimney-piece; the whole bore the unmistakable stamp of a fine individual taste."