It was in the year Eighteen-Hundred-and-Ninety-One, in my twenty-third year, that I met Mister Arno Fairfax, shortly before our conductor's head was removed by a rock from the heavens.
I was touring the country by locomotive at my father's request, prior to joining him at his accounting firm. I do not know if it was because he thought I needed the benefit of experience or because he wished to be rid of me for some time. In truth, I had always been a homebody. But I'd go somewhere if someone else told me to. I think Arno appreciated that about me. I think.
Arno Fairfax was always a hard man to read. Never more so than when I first laid eyes on him, as my cabin mate. He was a dark, thin man of uncertain age. He might have been a bit younger or a bit older than I was. He had black hair, slicked back, that matched his long black overcoat. There was a presence of authority about him, but it was vague, possibly self-appointed. I passed some time inventing outlandish histories for this strange, quiet man. For nearly an hour, we sat in silence. Then, he spoke: