"And where is the Snow Bird?"
"He was in here last week. Anyway, his friend, Mr. Schaeffer, is in Paris."
Two familiar names from the long list of a year and a half ago. (1.5-7)
Outside, the fire-red, gas-blue, ghost-green signs shone smokily through the tranquil rain. It was late afternoon and the streets were in movement; the bistros gleamed. At the corner of the Boulevard des Capucines he took a taxi. The Place de la Concorde moved by in pink majesty; they crossed the logical Seine, and Charlie felt the sudden provincial quality of the Left Bank.
Charlie directed his taxi to the Avenue de l'Opera, which was out of his way. But he wanted to see the blue hour spread over the magnificent façade, and imagine that the cab horns, playing endlessly the first few bars of La Plus que Lente, were the trumpets of the Second Empire. (1.26-27)
"But it was nice while it lasted," Charlie said. "We were a sort of royalty, almost infallible, with a sort of magic around us." (1.44)