Newland goes to Madame Olenska's small, rented house "far down West 23rd Street," in a strange, Bohemian quarter. The Countess is not home, so Newland has ample time to look around her drawing room. The room is intimate and exotic, unlike the staid, conservative rooms of his life. He realizes that his and May's future drawing room will be nothing like this; it will be traditional and conservative. Eventually The Countess Olenska arrives with Julius Beaufort who leaves her at her door. She is house hunting because her family will not let her stay where she is even though the street is respectable. Newland counters that it is not "fashionable." Madame Olenska's candor is expressed when she tells Newland, "why not make one's own fashion?" Throughout their conversation she states candid opinions and he is shocked by her frankness. He tries to warn her
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