Armand Aubigny's plantation, L'Abri, compels Madame Valmonde to "[shudder] at the first sight of it [...]." The narrator describes the property as a "sad looking place," which had not been inhabited by a woman or affected by the "gentle presence" of one for many years because Armand's mother had died and been buried abroad. The narrator says that the "roof came down steep and black like a cowl," like a hood, which makes me think of the Grim Reaper, a symbol of death, an impression only heightened by the description of the "solemn oaks" and the shadow they cast, "like a pall" over the property. A pall is a cloth laid over a coffin, another clear connection to death. These associations as well as their affect on Madame Valmonde contribute to the development of the dark mood, as though something menacing or tragic will occur in this place. It is foreboding, and this, of course, foreshadows the tragedy that awaits Desiree and her baby.