The novel opens with a description of the island of Snowdrift, which is described as a place where the people are "sufficient and happy" . It is rumored that the inhabitants are from the north, but the narrator tells us that this is not the case. Jiming is not Jiming's biological father, but is the owner of the snowdrift villa. He and Jiming have been living together for a long time, and the narrator says that he is happy to see them together. He asks Jiming if he would like to stay with them, but Jiming says he is the master of the villa, and that his mother treated him like a "killing machine." He says he wants to know if she would like him to stay, and she says she would. He says she is a "cute little animal" , but he says he will not hurt her if she does not want to stay.