Book One, Chapters 1-5
* Marina, an actress, has an affair with Demon Veen, but they don't marry because she refuses to give up the stage.
* Demon marries Marina's mentally ill sister Aqua who eventually kills herself, and they raise Van Veen, Marina and Dan's illegitimate son.
* As a young teenager, Van visits Ardis Hall, home of Marian and Van's two "cousins" Lucette and Ada.
Book One, Chapters 6-13
* Van accustoms himself to life at Ardis, experiencing an attraction to Blanche, a maid and playing with his 'cousin" Ada, who collects insects and studies flora.
* Van and Ada experience increasing attraction, with Ada celebrating her twelfth birthday with a picnic.
Book I, Chapters 14-20
* Van and Ada, after an extended period of kissing and tantalizing caresses, become lovers one night when everyone is called out of the house because of a fire in the barn.
* Van and Ada keep...
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