London is enveloped in a thick fog, and has been for three days.
The fog, however, does not give Arthur a sense of foreboding as he makes his way in a carriage through London towards King’s Cross station.
Mr Bentley assures Arthur that the business will take a day or two at most. Arthur is amused by the idea of a “reclusive old woman having hidden a lot of ancient documents” in her old, creaky house; he thinks the assignment sounds like something out of a Victorian novel.
Mr Bentley has sent him out on a journey to a remote part of England. Arthur is barely twenty-three, and is excited by the prospect of a journey by train.
Mrs. Alice Drablow has recently died at eighty-seven years old, but was a loyal client of the firm for many, many years. An odd woman, she lived in an equally odd house in a small market town called Crythin Gifford