Deep in the Left Bank of Paris, in the heart of the 6th arrondissement on Rue St.-Sulpice, Monsieur Gaston Chappelle ran a tidy little bookshop that had changed little in twenty-eight years. Such stores are scattered throughout the center of the city, each with a different specialty. Monsieur Chappelle’s was rare French, Spanish, and American novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Two doors down, a friend dealt only in ancient maps and atlases. Around the corner, another traded in old prints and letters written by historic figures.

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