Little Chandler eagerly awaits a reunion with his old friend Ignatius Gallaher, who moved to London eight years ago. A married man and father who earned his nickname from his small and delicate deportment, Little Chandler whittles away the afternoon hours at his clerical job, constantly thinking about his approaching evening drink. Little Chandler wonders in amazement at Gallaher’s impressive career writing for English newspapers, though he never doubted that Gallaher would do well for himself. As Little Chandler leaves work and walks to the bar where the men agreed to meet, he contemplates Gallaher’s homecoming and success, then thinks of his own stunted writing aspirations and the possibilities of life abroad that remain out of his reach. Little Chandler used to love poetry, but he gave it up when he got married. As he walks he considers the far-fetched possibility of writing his own book of poems. In the bar, Little Chandler and Gallaher talk about foreign cities, marriage, and the future. Little Chandler is surprised to see Gallaher’s unhealthy pallor and thinning hair, which Gallaher blames on the stress of press life. Throughout the conversation, during which the men consume three glasses of whiskey and smoke two cigars, Little Chandler simultaneously recoils from and admires Gallaher’s gruff manners and tales of foreign cities. He is displeased with Gallaher’s presumptuous way of addressing others and wonders about the immorality of a place like Paris with its infamous dance halls. At the same time, he envies Gallaher’s worldliness and experience. Little Chandler has settled down with a wife and has a son. When he himself becomes the subject of conversation, he is uneasy and blushes. He manages to invite Gallaher to visit his home and meet his family that evening, but Gallaher explains that he has another appointment and must leave the bar soon. The men have their final drink together, and the conversation returns to and ends with...
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