The recent events in the life of Isidore Ames could be described as nothing so much as odd. The young street urchin, whilst going about the business that streets urchins go about, (that is to say, begging, stealing, information, and so forth), found himself drawn to Penrose, more specifically, a house. Upon infiltrating himself through a window, into the kitchen, the young buck made about as light-footedly as possible, eventually ascertaining that one room was possessed of a number of things of interest. Not things he could steal, but rather two men, one a corpse and one wizened.
After a spell, the city watch appeared, driving the young hero to the upper reaches of the house, whereby he concealed himself until such a time as he could effect his escape. The old man, and a lady who had arrived in the mean, were taken into custody by the constabulary. Unusually, he felt a pulling of the heartstrings at the thought of them rotting in the cesspool of the city jail and put into place a plan the result of which was to be their freedom.
Once Isidore had penetrated the rather feeble defenses of the city lockup, he was amazed to discover the very individuals he was seeking to liberate where making their own egress via some strange portal leading to unknown places. Without delay, he made to follow them.
After crossing the threshold, he found himself, along with what he supposed were his companions, in a strange garden that was unusually difficult to navigate. After encountering numerous residents of the garden, the details of which are omitted at present, young Isidore found himself in the back of a strange shop.