The policeman sees the face of the "stranger" while he is walking his regular beat and meets him in the middle of the block, in "the doorway of a darkened hardware store." The man explains why he is standing there waiting for his friend from twenty years ago and how they were supposed to meet in a restaurant that has now been torn down. He then lights his cigar with a match, and the light from the match shows his face clearly enough for the policeman to see that the man has "a pale, square jawed face with keen eyes, and a little white scar near his right eyebrow." The diamond pin in his scarf is also apparent, showing that he has made a lot of money in the past twenty years, legally or not. The man goes on to explain how the old friend he is supposed to meet is the "truest, stanchest old chap in the world," although he also calls him "a kind of plodder." The man is excited to see his friend, and presumably the policeman was too, for he can't bring himself to arrest the man in the doorway—although he doesn't, apparently, have compunctions about sending someone else to arrest him.