, as of yet unnamed, is writing a letter to his brother-in-law, Jack Halford
, in which he promises to atone for having offended Halford the last time they met. At that meeting, Jack treated Gilbert to stories about his youth. Gilbert, not in a sharing mood, did not reciprocate. Now this friendship of long-standing is strained, and Gilbert hopes to soothe any hurt feelings with this letter about an important time in his life. Gilbert warns Jack this will be a long tale and a thorough one, and he is using not just his memory but his journal from that time to paint a full picture.