A lugubrious scene had just taken place in the house of Villefaramir, a mansion that rejoiced in the alliterative appellation of Voûte du vautour, the Vulture's Vault; for Mme. d'Imrahil, the mother of his first wife, Finduilette, had just arrived with the doleful news that her husband, the Marquis d'Imrahil, was dead.
Even before receiving this news, Villefaramir had been in a dark mood, sitting alone in his study and going through his secret papers, where he had listed the names of all who had become his enemies. He shook his head, doubting whether perhaps the Balrogue had confessed to some priest, who had revealed it to the Count of Monte Fato, who, in order to clarify... but why? What possible interest could M. de Monte Fato, or M. Annataro, son of a ring-maker from Harondor, arrived in Arnor for the first time, have in a fact so sombre, mysterious, and useless?
It was then that the old lady entered without being announced, and cried, "Oh monsieur! Oh, monsieur! I shall die! M. d'Imrahil is dead!"
"Dead?" stammered Villefaramir. "Just now?"