Confiding to his friend Redmond who narrates "The Door in the Wall," Lionel Wallace relates that a preoccupation is gradually coming to dominate his life, one that is even affecting his career as a successful politician. Long ago as a lonely child of five he had wandered out of his home into the streets of West Kensington in London, where he noticed a green door set in a white wall. It was very attractive to him, and he wanted to open it, but at the same time he felt that his father would be very angry if he did. Wallace's father is described as "a stem preoccupied lawyer, who gave him little attention and expected great things of him." Wallace's mother was dead, and he was being raised by a governess.
Nevertheless, the young Wallace gives in to the temptation and finds himself in an enchanted garden Wallace describes the garden as a children's paradise with an inspiring atmosphere. The garden's colors are clean and bright, and the child is filled with happiness. There are various animals, including two tame panthers, beautiful flowers, and shady trees. Wallace meets a tall, fan: girl who "came to meet me, smiling, and said 'Well9' to me, and lifted me and kissed me, and put me down and led me by the hand." He meets other children and they play games together, although he cannot remember the games, a fact which later causes him much distress.
A woman begins to read a book to the boy, and soon it becomes apparent that the story she is telling...
(The entire section is 506 words.)