Frankenstein Chapter 7
When Frankenstein and his friend, Henry Clerval, returned from their tour of the woodlands around Ingolstadt, there was a letter for Frankenstein from his father. In the letter, Alphonse explained to Frankenstein the circumstances of his five-year-old brother, William's, murder. The family was walking in the woods near their Geneva home when William disappeared. After a night spent searching for him, Alphonse found his strangled body. Elizabeth was distressed because she had loaned the boy a miniature, or locket of Caroline, William's dead mother, and it was no longer around his neck. The locket seemed the motive for the boy's murder, and Elizabeth felt responsible.
Frankenstein left for Geneva immediately to comfort and grieve with his family. Returning to his hometown after six years made him nervous and afraid of the changes that had taken place there, so he stopped for a few days before he got to Geneva and let the landscape of his native country soothe his fears. He reached Geneva just after the city gates were closed, so he was forced to spend the night in a small town nearby. Unable to sleep, Frankenstein walked to the spot where William was murdered and watched a storm approach over the mountains. In the fury of the storm,
"A flash of lightning illuminated the object and discovered its shape plainly to me; its gigantic stature, and the deformity of its aspect, more hideous than belongs to humanity, instantly informed me that it was the wretch, the filthy demon to whom [he] had given life." Chapter 7, pg. 60
The monster ran away and climbed the sheer rock face of a mountain with incredible speed and agility before Frankenstein could stop him. Frankenstein knew that the monster was William's murderer and realized with horror the evil he had released into the world. Frankenstein himself was William's murderer because he created the fiend that killed him. Frankenstein realized that he couldn't tell anyone that the monster murdered William because no one would believe him. And even if they did believe him, who would be able to catch the monster? He decided to keep quiet about what he knew, but when he got home, he learned that Justine, their servant and friend, had been accused of the murder because another servant had found the missing locket in Justine's dress. Elizabeth believed Justine was innocent, but the rest of the family wasn't sure what to think. Frankenstein was the only one who knew the truth, and he was distraught.