The Question and Answer section for The Fall of the House of Usher is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
An unnamed protagonist (the Narrator) is going to the remote mansion of his boyhood friend, Roderick Usher.
The narrator receives a letter from Roderick.
A letter, however, had lately reached me in a distant part of the country--a letter from him--which, in its wildly importunate nature, had admitted of no other than a personal reply.
Madeline was more like a zombie than anything else. I don't think she was thinking much.