The two friends, Jimmy Wells and Bob, have disparate lifestyles, reflecting their contrasting values. These contrasting values are represented by their chosen locales. Jimmy chose to stay in New York, a place where, according to Bob, one "gets in a groove." Bob thinks New York suits Jimmy, who has always been "kind of a plodder." The West, on the other hand, is a place that can "put a razor-edge" on a man, as Bob says, by which he means that he had to be very competitive (and by implication, even cut-throat) to get his "pile," or to become wealthy. When Bob meets the man he thinks is Jimmy, Bob tells him that the West has given him everything he "asked it for." Bob also told the first officer he met, before knowing he was Jimmy, that "the West is a pretty big proposition." He admits he spent a lot of time "hustling around over it pretty lively." Although Bob doesn't realize it, he gives several clues about his life in the West being a life of crime: that he has been cut-throat to gain his "pile," that he has been a hustler, and that the West gave him whatever he asked of it, more than likely because he "asked" people at gunpoint. Although Bob went out West to seek his fortune, his fortune changes when he returns to New York to visit Jimmy, "the truest, staunchest old chap int he world."