Describe Paul's first meeting with Keller?
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Fifteen-year-old Paul has just moved with his parents from southern Australia to Darwin in the country's far north. Paul's mother, Nancy, takes him to meet Keller, who will be his piano teacher. An old man, Keller wears white linen suits with ties and lives in a room at the Swan hotel that overlooks the hotel's beer garden. Keller speaks with a thick German accent that Paul acknowledges he cannot properly capture in writing, so Keller's quotes in the memoir are written in Standard English.
Keller begins the first lesson, seating Paul at an old, peeling upright piano and himself at a grand piano. Paul examines Keller's hands, which he considers too delicate and decorative to belong to a pianist, and notices that Keller is missing most of his right little finger, a fact accentuated by the presence of a gold ring on the stump. Noticing his gaze, Keller proclaims fifth fingers unnecessary, saying that no pianist before Chopin used them. Keller refuses to let Paul play during his first lesson, instead instructing him in the personalities of the different fingers.