The first chapter took place in the giant estate owned by Anthony Beechworth. Jeremiah Devitt took the first train to his friend's mansion in Sussex.
When Devitt arrived, he found a deserted house. Anthony and his wife Anna were absent and the entire staff was gone as well. The only living beings around seemed to be an aggressive flock of crows who feasted on a banquet.
Wakefield and Kaufmann investigated the mansion. They found a letter that Anthony wrote, but never sent.