"Well, come in."
Mr. Parker's apartment is full of paintings, sculptures, and works of art from around the world, although it’s dominated by pieces from the Far East: Chinese porcelain vases, Japanese swords and paintings, fabulously colorful furnishings made with Indian fabrics. The most impressive is his collection of masks.
There are two dozen people at the party: artists, musicians, trade agents, arts and antiquities dealers. Most drink illicit champagne from crystal glasses, while some fill long-stemmed Japanese pipes with what appears at first to be tobacco from a large red-lacquered bowl on one of the side tables. Among the guests Simone recognizes are Professor Aarons, a Sinologist from Miskatonic University who's on leave here to study some artifacts held at Columbia; Mr. Sano, a wealthy Japanese businessman; and Emily Webster, Ana's agent.