A bourgeois couple, the Thévenots, is traveling through France with Rafael Acosta, a diplomat from the country of Miranda, and Mme. Thévenot’s sister, Florence. They arrive at the Sénéchals, who are slated to be the hosts of a dinner party. However, there’s a bit of a problem; according to Alice Sénéchal, the dinner party was scheduled for the following evening. As such, they did not prepare a dinner. Undeterred, the party decides to eat out at a nearby inn. Strangely, they find it locked, though they are invited in after knocking on the door. The waitress seems reluctant and mentions the inn is under new management, but allows them in regardless. Upon discovering that the manager had died a few hours prior and his former employees are holding vigil over his corpse. Realizing the coroner is about to arrive, the party quickly leaves.