Having received a letter from his father whose contents reveal the tragic news of his brother William's mysterious death, Victor Frankenstein makes his immediate return to Geneva. However, upon his arrival, Victor discovers that the gates of the town have been closed, so he must spend the night in Secheron, a nearby village. Since he cannot rest, Victor decides to visit the area where William has been murdered. While there, the serene sky changes and a violent storm moves into the area. As the thunder echoes over the Jura and Alps and brillant flashes of lightning "dazzle" Victor's eyes, the lake is lit by this natural forces appearing as a "vast sheet of fire." The storm strikes in various places, lighting the sky in all its corners.
Victor watches this tempest, "so beautiful yet terrific," feeling that the "noble war in the sky" is the funeral for William: "this [is] thy dirge." Omniously lurking in the gloom is "the filthy daemon to whom I had given life," Victor thinks. Victor shudders as he considers that the creature may be the murderer of his beloved brother. Deducing that nothing could have destroyed the child as he was but the giant, Victor's teeth chatter with the horror of his realization. He thinks of pursuing the creature, but it is gone having reached the summit and disappeared.