Eight years ago, Little Chandler had seen his friend Gallaher off at the North Wall and wished him well. Gallaher had become a successful figure in the London Press, and Little Chandler was envious of his friend's achievements. He wondered if he could ever write something original and get it published in a London paper. Little Chandler was a quiet, refined man who took great care of his appearance and had a love for poetry.
One day, Little Chandler met up with Gallaher at a bar, where they discussed their lives and Gallaher's experiences in Paris. Gallaher spoke of the excitement and immorality he had witnessed in the city, and Little Chandler felt disillusioned by his friend's stories. He began to question his own life choices and wondered if he could escape his mundane existence.
There was always a certain... something in Ignatius Gallaher that impressed you in spite of yourself.
Later, Little Chandler returned home to his wife and child, feeling a dull resentment towards his life. He picked up a volume of Byron's poems and began to read, but was interrupted by his child's crying. As he tried to soothe the child, his wife burst into the room, accusing him of hurting their child. Little Chandler felt ashamed and retreated into the shadows, realizing that he was a prisoner of his own life.