The Return Of The Minor Mountain

It must be great fun to trap one’s friends in person!On Thursday, the 6th of March, 1862, two days after Shrove Tuesday, five women belonging to the village of La Jonchere presented themselves at the police station at Bougival. The window-shutters as well as the door were closed; and it was impossible to obtain even a glimpse of the interior. Apprehensive of a crime, or at least of an accident, they requested the interference of the police to satisfy their doubts by forcing the door and entering the house. The commissary of police at first refused to listen to the women, but their importunities so fatigued him that he at length acceded to their request. He sent for the corporal of gendarmes, with two of his men, called into requisition the services of a locksmith, and, thus accompanied, followed the neighbours of the Widow Lerouge. La Jonchere owes some celebrity to the inventor of the sliding railway, who for some years past has, with more enterprise than profit, made public trials of his system in the immediate neighbourhood. It is about twenty minutes’ walk from the main road, which, passing by Rueil and Port-Marly, goes from Paris to St. Germain, and is reached by a steep and rugged lane, quite unknown to the government engineers. The party, led by the gendarmes, followed the main road which here bordered the river until it reached this lane, into which it turned, and stumbled over the rugged inequalities of the ground for about a hundred yards, when it arrived in front of a cottage of extremely modest yet respectable appearance.

Around it extended a much-neglected garden, badly protected against midnight prowlers, by a very dilapidated stone wall about three feet high, and broken and crumbling in many places. A light wooden gate, clumsily held in its place by pieces of wire, gave access to the garden. The commissary stopped. “No one must enter the garden,” said he; and, to ensure obedience, he placed the two gendarmes on sentry before the entrance, and advanced towards the house, accompanied by the corporal and the locksmith.

Hearing nothing, he turned to the locksmith. He had already introduced a skeleton key into the lock, when a loud exclamation was heard from the crowd outside the gate.

“Here is the key!” A boy about twelve years old playing with one of his companions, had seen an enormous key in a ditch by the roadside; he had picked it up and carried it to the cottage in triumph.

“Give it to me youngster,” said the corporal. “We shall see.” The key was tried, and it proved to be the key of the house. They entered the house, while the crowd, restrained with difficulty by the gendarmes, stamped with impatience, or leant over the garden wall, stretching their necks eagerly, to see or hear something of what was passing within the cottage.

Everything in the first room pointed with a sad eloquence to the recent presence of a malefactor.

I’ll wager my stripes she had no time to cry out.” He stooped over the corpse and touched it. “She is quite cold,” he continued, “and it seems to me that she is no longer very stiff. “We are not here to talk, but to discover the guilty,” said he to the corporal. “Let information be at once conveyed to the justice of the peace, and the mayor, and send this letter without delay to the Palais de Justice. In the meanwhile, I will proceed to make a preliminary inquiry.” “Shall I carry the letter?” asked the corporal of gendarmes. “No, send one of your men; you will be useful to me here in keeping these people in order, and in finding any witnesses I may want.

I will install myself in the other room.” A gendarme departed at a run towards the station at Rueil; and the commissary commenced his investigations in regular form, as prescribed by law. Was she known to have enemies? Many presented themselves as witnesses moreover, who came forward less to afford information than to gratify their curiosity. A gardener’s wife, who had been friendly with the deceased, and a milk-woman with whom she dealt, were alone able to give a few insignificant though precise details. In a word, after three hours of laborious investigation, after having undergone the infliction of all the gossip of the country, after receiving evidence the most contradictory, and listened to commentaries the most ridiculous, the following is what appeared the most reliable to the commissary.

Finding this one unoccupied, and thinking it would suit her, she had taken it without trying to beat down the terms, at a rental of three hundred and twenty francs payable half yearly and in advance, but had refused to sign a lease.

She was supposed to have come from Normandy, having been frequently seen in the early morning to wear a white cotton cap. She had lent a woman at La Malmaison sixty francs with which to pay her rent, and would not let her return them. At another time she had advanced two hundred francs to a fisherman of Port-Marly. She took pleasure in treating her acquaintances, and her dinners were excellent. She had frequently been heard to say, “I have nothing in the funds, but I have everything I want. If I wished for more, I could have it.” Beyond this, the slightest allusion to her past life, her country, or her family had never escaped her. She was very talkative, but all she would say would be to the detriment of her neighbours. She was supposed, however, to have seen the world, and to know a great deal.

She never went out in the evening, and it was well known that she got tipsy regularly at her dinner and went to bed very soon afterwards. Rarely had strangers been seen to visit her; four or five times a lady accompanied by a young man had called, and upon one occasion two gentlemen, one young, the other old and decorated, had come in a magnificent carriage. She had been heard to give a young girl the most detestable counsels. A pork butcher, belonging to Bougival, embarrassed in his business, and tempted by her supposed wealth, had at one time paid her his addresses.

She, however, repelled his advances, declaring that to be married once was enough for her. These men were reported to be her lovers. Laborious, patient, and acute, he knew with singular skill how to disentangle the skein of the most complicated affair, and from the midst of a thousand threads lay hold to the right one. He wanted audacity to risk those sudden surprises so often resorted to by his colleagues in the pursuit of truth. Thus it was repugnant to his feelings to deceive even an accused person, or to lay snares for him; in fact the mere idea of the possibility of a judicial error terrified him. No rest for him until the day when the accused was forced to bow before the evidence; so much so that he had been jestingly reproached with seeking not to discover criminals but innocents. He is really an able man, but wanting in perseverance, and liable to be blinded by an incredible obstinacy. If he loses a clue, he cannot bring himself to acknowledge it, still less to retrace his steps. His audacity and coolness, however, render it impossible to disconcert him; and being possessed of immense personal strength, hidden under a most meagre appearance, he has never hesitated to confront the most daring of malefactors.

But his specialty, his triumph, his glory, is a memory of faces, so prodigious as to exceed belief. Three prisoners were draped in coverings so as to completely disguise their height. Over their faces were thick veils, allowing nothing of the features to be seen except the eyes, for which holes had been made; and in this state they were shown to Gevrol. The subordinate Gevrol had brought with him, was an old offender, reconciled to the law. The commissary, by this time heartily tired of his responsibilities, welcomed the investigating magistrate and his agents as liberators.

“All is stated clearly; yet there is one fact you have omitted to ascertain.” “What is that, sir?” inquired the commissary. “On what day was Widow Lerouge last seen, and at what hour?” “I was coming to that presently. She was last seen and spoken to on the evening of Shrove Tuesday, at twenty minutes past five. “Perfectly, and for this reason; the two witnesses who furnished me with this fact, a woman named Tellier and a cooper who lives hard by, alighted from the omnibus which leaves Marly every hour, when they perceived the widow in the cross-road, and hastened to overtake her. She complained to them of headache, and said, ‘Though it is customary to enjoy oneself on Shrove Tuesday, I am going to bed.’” “So, so!” exclaimed the chief of detective police. “I know where to search!” “You think so?” inquired M. The widow expected him to supper. “Know, corporal,” said he, “that a woman who has money is always young and pretty, if she desires to be thought so!” “Perhaps there is something in that,” remarked the magistrate; “but it is not what strikes me most. But Gevrol no longer took the trouble to listen.

He stuck to his own opinion, and began to inspect minutely every corner of the room. Suddenly he turned towards the commissary. “I went out from supper to make my circuit of the dancing halls, when I was overtaken opposite the Rue des Pecheurs by a heavy shower. Commissary?” “I must confess we never thought of looking for them.” “Ah!” exclaimed the chief detective, in a tone of irritation, “that is vexatious!” “Wait,” added the commissary; “there is yet time to see if there are any, not in this room, but in the other.

Let us see.” As the commissary opened the door of the second chamber, Gevrol stopped him. “I ask permission, sir,” said he to the investigating magistrate, “to examine the apartment before any one else is permitted to enter. They all took in at a glance the scene of the crime. Everything, as the commissary had stated, seemed to have been overturned by some furious madman. There was an opened bottle of wine, hardly touched, and another of brandy, from which about five or six small glassfuls had been taken. On the right, against the wall, stood two handsome walnut-wood wardrobes, with ornamental locks; they were placed one on each side of the window; both were empty, and the contents scattered about on all sides.

There were clothing, linen, and other effects unfolded, tossed about, and crumpled. On the other side of the fireplace, an old secretary with a marble top had been forced, broken, smashed into bits, and rummaged, no doubt, to its inmost recesses. To the left of the room stood the bed, which had been completely disarranged and upset. You can all come in now.” He walked right up to the corpse of the widow, near which he knelt. The brute hadn’t patience enough to wait for the dinner.

The gentleman was in a hurry, he struck the blow fasting; therefore he can’t invoke the gayety of dessert in his defense!” “It is evident,” said the commissary to the investigating magistrate, “that robbery was the motive of the crime.” “It is probable,” answered Gevrol in a sly way; “and that accounts for the absence of the silver spoons from the table.” “Look here! I have known an assassin, who, after accomplishing the murder, became so utterly bewildered as to depart without remembering to take the plunder, for which he had committed the crime. What makes me more willing to think so is, that the scamp did not leave the candle burning. You see he took the trouble to put it out.” “Pooh!” said Lecoq. He is probably an economical and careful man.” The investigations of the two agents were continued all over the house; but their most minute researches resulted in discovering absolutely nothing; not one piece of evidence to convict; not the faintest indication which might serve as a point of departure. Not a letter, not a scrap of paper even, to be met with. From time to time Gevrol stopped to swear or grumble. It is a tiptop piece of work!

Besides, he is sure to fall into our hands. “A man can only do what he can!” “Ah!” murmured Lecoq in a low tone, perfectly audible, however, “why is not old Tirauclair here?” “What could he do more than we have done?” retorted Gevrol, directing a furious glance at his subordinate. “It seems to me that I have heard the name, but I can’t remember where.” “He is an extraordinary man!” exclaimed Lecoq. He goes in for playing the detective by way of amusement.” “And to augment his revenues,” insinuated the commissary. It was he who in the case of that banker’s wife, you remember, guessed that the lady had robbed herself, and who proved it.” “True!” retorted Gevrol; “and it was also he who almost had poor Dereme guillotined for killing his wife, a thorough bad woman; and all the while the poor man was innocent.” “We are wasting our time, gentlemen,” interrupted M. Then, addressing himself to Lecoq, he added:--“Go and find M.

I have heard a great deal of him, and shall be glad to see him at work here.” Lecoq started off at a run, Gevrol was seriously humiliated. “You have of course, sir, the right to demand the services of whom you please,” commenced he, “but yet--” “Do not,” interrupted M. I have known you for a long time, and I know your worth; but to-day we happen to differ in opinion. You hold absolutely to your sunburnt man in the blouse, and I, on my side, am convinced that you are not on the right track!” “I think I am right,” replied the detective, “and I hope to prove it. “Only, permit me, sir, to give--what shall I say without failing in respect?--a piece of advice?” “Speak!” “I would advise you, sir, to distrust old Tabaret.” “Really?

And for what reason?” “The old fellow allows himself to be carried away too much by appearances. He has become an amateur detective for the sake of popularity, just like an author; and, as he is vainer than a peacock, he is apt to lose his temper and be very obstinate. And he manages to invent a story that will correspond exactly with the situation. He professes, with the help of one single fact, to be able to reconstruct all the details of an assassination, as a savant pictures an antediluvian animal from a single bone.

Now commissary,” he continued, “it is most important to ascertain from what part of the country Widow Lerouge came.” The procession of witnesses under the charge of the corporal of gendarmes were again interrogated by the investigating magistrate. All the people interrogated, however, obstinately tried to impart to the magistrate their own convictions and personal conjectures.

They could point out neither the child nor the woman; but no matter: these brutal acts were notoriously public. Daburon began to despair of gaining the least enlightenment, when some one brought the wife of a grocer of Bougival, at whose shop the victim used to deal, and a child thirteen years old, who knew, it was said, something positive. ‘My husband,’ said she, ‘was a real sailor, and the proof is, he would sometimes remain years on a voyage, and always used to bring me back cocoanuts. She told us that her son’s name was Jacques, and that she had not seen him for a very long time.” “Did she speak ill of her husband?” “Never!

She only said he was jealous and brutal, though a good man at bottom, and that he led her a miserable life. In fact he was too honest to be wise.” “Did her son ever come to see her while she lived here?” “She never told me of it.” “Did she spend much money with you?” “That depends. The child, who was now brought forward, belonged to parents in easy circumstances.

The presence of the magistrate did not seem to intimidate him in the least. I was going to church, to serve in the second mass.” “Well,” continued the magistrate, “and this man was tall and sunburnt, and dressed in a blouse?” “No, sir, on the contrary, he was short, very fat, and old.” “You are sure you are not mistaken?” “Quite sure,” replied the urchin, “I saw him close face to face, for I spoke to him.” “Tell me, then, what occurred?” “Well, sir, I was passing when I saw this fat man at the gate. His face was red, or rather purple, as far as the middle of his head, which I could see very well, for it was bare, and had very little hair on it.” “And did he speak to you first?” “Yes, sir, he saw me, and called out, ‘Halloa! youngster!’ as I came up to him, and he asked me if I had got a good pair of legs? Then he took me by the ear, but without hurting me, and said, ‘Since that is so, if you will run an errand for me, I will give you ten sous. Go on board, and ask to see Captain Gervais: he is sure to be there. Tell him that he can prepare to leave, that I am ready.’ Then he put ten sous in my hand; and off I went.” “If all the witnesses were like this bright little fellow,” murmured the commissary, “what a pleasure it would be!” “Now,” said the magistrate, “tell us how you executed your commission?” “I went to the boat, sir, found the man, and I told him; and that’s all.” Gevrol, who had listened with the most lively attention, leaned over towards the ear of M. Daburon, and said in a low voice: “Will you permit me, sir, to ask the brat a few questions?” “Certainly, M.

And yet,--but no, I remember he did not wear one; he had a long cravat, fastened near his neck by a large ring.” “Ah!” said Gevrol, with an air of satisfaction, “you are a bright boy; and I wager that if you try hard to remember you will find a few more details to give us.” The boy hung down his head, and remained silent. Daburon; and turning to the boy added, “Can you tell us, my little friend, with what this boat was loaded?” “No, sir, I couldn’t see because it was decked.” “Which way was she going, up the Seine or down?” “Neither, sir, she was moored.” “We know that,” said Gevrol. “The magistrate asks you which way the prow of the boat was turned,--towards Paris or towards Marly?” “The two ends of the boat seemed alike to me.” The chief of the detective of police made a gesture of disappointment. But what sort of a man was Gervais, the master, my little friend?” “Like all the sailors hereabouts, sir.” The child was preparing to depart when M. “Before you go, my boy, tell me, have you spoken to any one of this meeting before to-day?” “Yes, sir, I told all to mamma when I got back from church, and gave her the ten sous.” “And you have told us the whole truth?” continued the magistrate. “You know that it is a very grave matter to attempt to impose on justice. She always finds it out, and it is my duty to warn you that she inflicts the most terrible punishment upon liars.” The little fellow blushed as red as a cherry, and held down his head. sir,” cried the boy, bursting into tears,--“pardon.

I only gave half to mamma; and I kept the rest to buy marbles with.” “My little friend,” said the investigating magistrate, “for this time I forgive you. You may go now, and remember it is useless to try and hide the truth; it always comes to light!” CHAPTER II. “I will go at once to Bougival, sir, if you approve of this step,” suggested Gevrol.

“Perhaps you would do well to wait a little,” answered M. “This man was seen on Sunday morning; we will inquire into Widow Lerouge’s movements on that day.” Three neighbours were called.

To one woman who, hearing she was unwell, had visited her, she said, “Ah! I had last night a terrible accident.” Nobody at the time attached any significance to these words. “To find him again is indispensable: you must see to this, M. Gevrol.” “Before eight days, I shall have him,” replied the chief of detective police, “if I have to search every boat on the Seine, from its source to the ocean. The navigation office will tell me something.” He was interrupted by Lecoq, who rushed into the house breathless. He wouldn’t wait for the train, but gave I don’t know how much to a cabman; and we drove here in fifty minutes!” Almost immediately, a man appeared at the door, whose aspect it must be admitted was not at all what one would have expected of a person who had joined the police for honour alone. Short, thin, and rather bent, he leant on the carved ivory handle of a stout cane.

His round face wore that expression of perpetual astonishment, mingled with uneasiness, which has made the fortunes of two comic actors of the Palais-Royal theatre. A long and massive gold chain, very vulgar-looking, was twisted thrice round his neck, and fell in cascades into the pocket of his waistcoat. Tabaret, surnamed Tirauclair, stood at the threshold, and bowed almost to the ground, bending his old back into an arch, and in the humblest of voices asked, “The investigating magistrate has deigned to send for me?” “Yes!” replied M.

Daburon, adding under his breath; “and if you are a man of any ability, there is at least nothing to indicate it in your appearance.” “I am here,” continued the old fellow, “completely at the service of justice.” “I wish to know,” said M.

“Lecoq has told me the principal facts, just as much as I desire to know.” “Nevertheless--” commenced the commissary of police. “If you will permit me, I prefer to proceed without receiving any details, in order to be more fully master of my own impressions.

His face reflected an internal satisfaction; even his wrinkles seemed to laugh. His figure became erect, and his step was almost elastic, as he darted into the inner chamber. The magistrate could not help comparing him to a pointer on the scent, his turned-up nose even moved about as if to discover some subtle odour left by the assassin. He did not allow Lecoq to have a moment’s rest. When more than an hour had elapsed, the investigating magistrate began to grow impatient, and asked what had become of the amateur detective. “I have solved the riddle!” said Tabaret to the magistrate. Standing behind this table, he presented a grotesque resemblance to those mountebank conjurers who in the public squares juggle the money of the lookers-on. His clothes had greatly suffered; he was covered with mud up to the chin.

“In the first place,” said he, at last, in a tone of affected modesty, “robbery has had nothing to do with the crime that occupies our attention.” “Oh! By-and-by I shall offer my humble opinion as to the real motive. In the second place, the assassin arrived here before half-past nine; that is to say, before the rain fell. Gevrol have I been able to discover traces of muddy footsteps; but under the table, on the spot where his feet rested, I find dust. The widow did not in the least expect her visitor. Now it is more than probable, it is certain, that the widow wound it up every evening before going to bed. How, then, is it that the clock has stopped at five? Because she must have touched it. In order to open the door more quickly, she did not wait to put it on again, but hastily threw this old shawl over her shoulders.” “By Jove!” exclaimed the corporal, evidently struck. Her haste to open the door gives rise to this conjecture; what follows proves it.

“This is too much.” “Too much, perhaps,” retorted old Tabaret. Too much, say you? Well deign to glance at these lumps of damp plaster.

heel high, instep pronounced, sole small and narrow,--an elegant boot, belonging to a foot well cared for evidently.

At the entrance to the garden, the man leapt to avoid a flower bed! He leapt more than two yards with ease, proving that he is active, and therefore young.” Old Tabaret spoke in a low voice, clear and penetrating: and his eye glanced from one to the other of his auditors, watching the impression he was making. “Does the hat astonish you, M. “Just look at the circle traced in the dust on the marble top of the secretary. Take the trouble to examine the tops of the wardrobes and you will see that the assassin passed his hands across them. Do not say that he got on a chair, for in that case, he would have seen and would not have been obliged to feel. Are you astonished about the umbrella?

Then he who smoked it used a cigar-holder.” Lecoq was unable to conceal his enthusiastic admiration, and noiselessly rubbed his hands together. We have traced the young man into the house. How he explained his presence at this hour, I do not know; this much is certain, he told the widow he had not dined. The worthy woman was delighted to hear it, and at once set to work to prepare a meal. She had dined off fish; the autopsy will confirm the truth of this statement. Evidently the widow looked upon him as a man of superior rank to her own; for in the cupboard is a table-cloth still very clean. After an internal struggle of ten minutes (the time it must have taken to cook the ham and eggs as much as they are), the young man arose and approached the widow, who was squatting down and leaning forward over her cooking. This short struggle is indicated by the posture of the body; for, squatting down and being struck in the back, it is naturally on her back that she ought to have fallen. The murderer used a sharp narrow weapon, which was, unless I am deceived, the end of a foil, sharpened, and with the button broken off. The victim must have clung with a death-grip to his hands; but, as he had not taken off his lavender kid gloves,--” “Gloves!

The woman, now dead, we come to the object of her assassination. What he wanted, what he sought, and what he found, were papers, documents, letters, which he knew to be in the possession of the victim. To find them, he overturned everything, upset the cupboards, unfolded the linen, broke open the secretary, of which he could not find the key, and even emptied the mattress of the bed. Why, burned them, of course; not in the fire-place, but in the little stove in the front room. He flies, carrying with him all that he finds valuable, to baffle detection, by suggesting a robbery. He wrapped everything he found worth taking in the napkin which was to have served him at dinner, and blowing out the candle, he fled, locking the door on the outside, and throwing the key into a ditch.

“You may well believe, that, to reach the railway station, he was not fool enough to take the omnibus. Now on reaching the Seine, unless he is more knowing than I take him to be, his first care was to throw this tell-tale bundle into the water.” “Do you believe so, M. “I don’t mind making a bet on it; and the best evidence of my belief is, that I have sent three men, under the surveillance of a gendarme, to drag the Seine at the nearest spot from here. He was interrupted by the entrance of a gendarme, who said: “Here is a soiled table-napkin, filled with plate, money, and jewels, which these men have found; they claim the hundred francs’ reward, promised them.” Old Tabaret took from his pocket-book a bank note, which he handed to the gendarme. “Now,” demanded he, crushing Gevrol with one disdainful glance, “what thinks the investigating magistrate after this?” “That, thanks to your remarkable penetration, we shall discover--” He did not finish. The doctor summoned to make the post-mortem examination entered the room. The doctor explained, as the old man had done, the position of the body. Nothing now remained except to collect the different objects which would be useful for the prosecution, and might at a later period confound the culprit.

The greatest obstacle to success in the unravelling of mysterious crimes is in mistaking the motive. If the researches take at the first step a false direction, they are diverted further and further from the truth, in proportion to the length they are followed. Thanks to old Tabaret, the magistrate felt confident that he was in the right path. Daburon had now nothing more to do at La Jonchere; but Gevrol, who still clung to his own opinion of the guilt of the man with the rings in his ears, declared he would remain at Bougival. He determined to employ the evening in visiting the different wine shops, and finding if possible new witnesses. Tabaret to accompany him. “I was about to solicit that honour,” replied the old fellow. They set out together; and naturally the crime which had been discovered, and with which they were mutually preoccupied, formed the subject of their conversation. “All depends upon that now!” “We shall ascertain them, if the grocer’s wife has told the truth,” replied M. “If the husband of Widow Lerouge was a sailor, and if her son Jacques is in the navy, the minister of marine can furnish information that will soon lead to their discovery.

I will write to the minister this very night.” They reached the station at Rueil, and took their places in the train. They were fortunate enough to secure a 1st class carriage to themselves. Daburon watched him curiously and felt singularly attracted by this eccentric old man, whose very original taste had led him to devote his services to the secret police of the Rue de Jerusalem. Daburon, more than nine years; and permit me to confess I am a little surprised that you have never before heard of me.” “I certainly knew you by reputation,” answered M. Daburon; “but your name did not occur to me, and it was only in consequence of hearing you praised that I had the excellent idea of asking your assistance. But what, I should like to know, is your reason for adopting this employment?” “Sorrow, sir, loneliness, weariness.

I have not always been happy!” “I have been told, though, that you are rich.” The old fellow heaved a deep sigh, which revealed the most cruel deceptions. I have forgiven him at last; but I used to curse him heartily. In the first transports of my resentment, I heaped upon his memory all the insults that can be inspired by the most violent hatred, when I learnt,--But I will confide my history to you, M. One morning my father entered my lodging, and abruptly announced to me that he was ruined, and without food or shelter. Naturally, I strove to reassure him; I boasted of my situation, and explained to him at some length, that, while I earned the means for living, he should want for nothing; and, to commence, I insisted that henceforth we should live together.

That is to say he deserved to be poisoned by the bread I gave him.” M. Daburon was unable to repress a gesture of surprise, which did not escape the old fellow’s notice. In the evenings, to augment our scanty revenues, I worked at copying law papers for a notary. I denied myself even the luxury of tobacco. Notwithstanding this, the old fellow complained without ceasing; he regretted his lost fortune; he must have pocket-money, with which to buy this, or that; my utmost exertions failed to satisfy him.

I was not born to live alone and grow old, like a dog. My dream was to marry, to adore a good wife, by whom I might be loved a little, and to see innocent healthy little ones gambolling about my knees.

I said: ‘My lad, when you earn but three thousand francs a year, and have an old and cherished father to support, it is your duty to stifle such desires, and remain a bachelor.’ And yet I met a young girl.

just look at me, I am sure I am blushing as red as a tomato. Tabaret!” “But I have already told you, I have forgiven him, sir. He owned, besides, the house I now live in, where we lived together; and I, fool, sot, imbecile, stupid animal that I was, used to pay the rent every three months to the concierge!” “That was too much!” M. To crown his hypocrisy, he left a will wherein he declared, in the name of Holy Trinity, that he had no other aim in view, in thus acting, than my own advantage. He wished, so he wrote, to habituate me to habits of good order and economy, and keep me from the commission of follies.

on my word, it is enough to disgust the human race with filial piety!” M. Daburon had much difficulty to restrain his laughter, in spite of the real sadness of the recital. “At least,” said he, “this fortune must have given you pleasure.” “Not at all, sir, it came too late. Of what avail to have the bread when one has no longer the teeth?

I resigned my situation, however, to make way for some one poorer than myself. At the end of a month I was sick and tired of life; and, to replace the affections that had been denied me, I resolved to give myself a passion, a hobby, a mania. I became a collector of books. You think, sir, perhaps that to take an interest in books a man must have studied, must be learned?” “I know, dear M. I am acquainted with an illustrious bibliomaniac who may be able to read, but who is most certainly unable to sign his own name.” “This is very likely. I, too, can read; and I read all the books I bought.

I collected all I could find which related, no matter how little, to the police. So much so, that little by little I became attracted towards the mysterious power which, from the obscurity of the Rue de Jerusalem, watches over and protects society, which penetrates everywhere, lifts the most impervious veils, sees through every plot, divines what is kept hidden, knows exactly the value of a man, the price of a conscience, and which accumulates in its portfolios the most terrible, as well as the most shameful secrets! In reading the memoirs of celebrated detectives, more attractive to me than the fables of our best authors I became inspired by an enthusiastic admiration for those men, so keen scented, so subtle, flexible as steel, artful and penetrating, fertile in expedients, who follow crime on the trail, armed with the law, through the rushwood of legality, as relentlessly as the savages of Cooper pursue their enemies in the depths of the American forests. The desire seized me to become a wheel of this admirable machine,--a small assistance in the punishment of crime and the triumph of innocence. I made the essay; and I found I did not succeed too badly.” “And does this employment please you?” “I owe to it, sir, my liveliest enjoyments. since I have abandoned the search for books to the search for men.

That, at least, calls the faculties into play, and the victory is not inglorious! The game in my sport is equal to the hunter; they both possess intelligence, strength, and cunning. The race of strong fearless criminals has given place to the mob of vulgar pick-pockets. They sign their names to their misdeeds, and even leave their cards lying about. Their crime found out, you have only to go and arrest them,--” “It seems to me, though,” interrupted M. For I ought to confess, M. Daburon,” added he, slightly embarrassed, “that I do not boast to my friends of my exploits; I even conceal them as carefully as possible. Daburon promised to keep him advised of the least evidence that transpired, and recall him, if by any chance he should procure the papers of Widow Lerouge. “To you, M. If you have any occasion to speak to me, do not hesitate to come at night as well as during the day.

Daburon, having called a cab, offered a seat to M. Lazare, only a few steps from here.” “Till to-morrow, then!” said M. “Till to-morrow,” replied old Tabaret; and he added, “We shall succeed.” CHAPTER III. It was a fine building carefully kept, and which probably yielded a fine income though the rents were not too high. He lived very simply from taste, as well as habit, waited on by an old servant, to whom on great occasions the concierge lent a helping hand. No one in the house had the slightest suspicion of the avocations of the proprietor. Besides, even the humblest agent of police would be expected to possess a degree of acuteness for which no one gave M. Indeed, they mistook for incipient idiocy his continual abstraction of mind.

His frequent absences from home had given to his proceedings an appearance at once eccentric and mysterious. He came or failed to come home to his meals, ate it mattered not what or when.

Then too he received the strangest visitors, odd looking men of suspicious appearance, and fellows of ill-favoured and sinister aspect. They would remark to one another, “Is it not disgraceful, a man of his age?” He was aware of all this tittle-tattle, and laughed at it. This did not, however, prevent many of his tenants from seeking his society and paying court to him. They would invite him to dinner, but he almost invariably refused. An advocate, he passed for having great talent, and greater industry, and had already gained a certain amount of notoriety. He was an obstinate worker, cold and meditative, though devoted to his profession, and affected, with some ostentation, perhaps, a great rigidity of principle, and austerity of manners. To propose and to be rejected would sever the existing relations, so pleasurable to him. However, he had by his will, which was deposited with his notary constituted this young advocate his sole legatee; with the single condition of founding an annual prize of two thousand francs to be bestowed on the police agent who during the year had unravelled the most obscure and mysterious crime. Short as was the distance to his house, old Tabaret was a good quarter of an hour in reaching it. Daburon his thoughts reverted to the scene of the murder; and, so blinded was the old fellow to external objects, that he moved along the street, first jostled on the right, then on the left, by the busy passers by, advancing one step and receding two.

He repeated to himself for the fiftieth time the words uttered by Widow Lerouge, as reported by the milk-woman.

She made them sing to her tune; she probably went too far, and so they suppressed her. Evidently there is a woman at the bottom of it. The fellow left nothing behind of a nature to compromise him seriously. “Ah,” said he, “the proprietor has returned at last.” “So he has,” replied his wife, “but it looks as though his princess would have nothing to do with him to-night. One of these fine mornings I shall have to take him to a lunatic asylum in a straight waistcoat.” “Look at him now!” interrupted his wife, “just look at him now, in the middle of the courtyard!” The old fellow had stopped at the extremity of the porch. He had taken off his hat, and, while talking to himself, gesticulated violently. You can sit down to it at once.” Old Tabaret took his place at the table, and helped himself to soup, but mounting his hobby-horse again, he forgot to eat, and remained, his spoon in the air, as though suddenly struck by an idea. “He is certainly touched in the head,” thought Manette, the housekeeper. Who in his senses would lead the life he does?” She touched him on the shoulder, and bawled in his ear, as if he were deaf,--“You do not eat.

Are you not hungry?” “Yes, yes,” muttered he, trying mechanically to escape the voice that sounded in his ears, “I am very hungry, for since the morning I have been obliged--” He interrupted himself, remaining with his mouth open, his eyes fixed on vacancy. “Thunder!” cried he, raising his clenched fists towards the ceiling,--“heaven’s thunder! I have it!” His movement was so violent and sudden that the housekeeper was a little alarmed, and retired to the further end of the dining-room, near the door. “A child?” she asked in astonishment. “What next!” cried he in a furious tone.

Has your hardihood come to this that you pick up the words which escape me?

Do me the pleasure to retire to your kitchen, and stay there until I call you.” “He is going crazy!” thought Manette, as she disappeared very quickly. “Why,” said he to himself, “did I not think of it before? For it is clear as day; the circumstances all point to that conclusion.” He rang the bell placed on the table beside him; the servant reappeared.

“Bring the roast,” he said, “and leave me to myself.” “Yes,” continued he furiously carving a leg of Presale mutton--“Yes, there is a child, and here is his history!

He would have been puzzled to say what he had eaten for diner, or even what he was eating at this moment; it was a preserve of pears. The child has been preserved, and confided to the care of our widow, by whom it has been reared. They have been able to take the infant away from her, but not the proofs of its birth and its existence. She has leaned upon the staff too heavily, and broken it. No; he is too old. He has slain the witness and burnt the proofs!” Manette all this time, her ear to the keyhole, listened with all her soul; from time to time she gleaned a word, an oath, the noise of a blow upon the table; but that was all.

Hearing no more, she ventured to open the door a little way. “Yes, you may bring it to me,” he answered. He attempted to swallow his coffee at a gulp, but scalded himself so severely that the pain brought him suddenly from speculation to reality.

They are right when they say I am too enthusiastic. But who amongst the whole lot of them could have, by the sole exercise of observation and reason, established the whole history of the assassination? Won’t he feel vexed and humiliated, being altogether out of it. The night is necessary to me to sift to the bottom all the particulars, and arrange my ideas systematically. I will have a chat with Noel, and that will change the course of my ideas.” He got up from the table, put on his overcoat, and took his hat and cane.

“Yes.” “Shall you be late?” “Possibly.” “But you will return to-night?” “I do not know.” One minute later, M. She lived very quietly, and with the exception of one or two friends, whom Noel occasionally invited to dinner, received very few visitors. Tabaret came familiarly to the apartments, he had only met the cure of the parish, one of Noel’s old professors, and Madame Gerdy’s brother, a retired colonel. When these three visitors happened to call on the same evening, an event somewhat rare, they played at a round game called Boston; on other evenings piquet or all-fours was the rule.

Noel, however, seldom remained in the drawing-room, but shut himself up after dinner in his study, which with his bedroom formed a separate apartment to his mother’s, and immersed himself in his law papers. He was supposed to work far into the night.

Mother and son absolutely lived for one another, as all who knew them took pleasure in repeating.

They loved and honoured Noel for the care he bestowed upon his mother, for his more than filial devotion, for the sacrifices which all supposed he made in living at his age like an old man. To her he seemed of a superior order to the rest of humanity. To care for her son, study his tastes, anticipate his wishes, was the sole aim of her life. “Is Madame Gerdy visible?” asked old Tabaret of the girl who opened the door; and, without waiting for an answer, he walked into the room like a man assured that his presence cannot be inopportune, and ought to be agreeable. A single candle lighted the drawing-room, which was not in its accustomed order. The small marble-top table, usually in the middle of the room, had been rolled into a corner. The amateur detective took in the whole at a glance. This morning, even, she said to me--” “Yes, yes!

but this evening?” “After her dinner, madame went into the drawing-room as usual. She sat down and took up one of M. Scarcely had she begun to read, when she uttered a great cry,--oh, a terrible cry! We hastened to her; madame had fallen on to the floor, as one dead. Noel raised her in his arms, and carried her into her room. I wanted to fetch the doctor, sir, but he said there was no need; he knew what was the matter with her.” “And how is she now?” “She has come to her senses; that is to say, I suppose so; for M.

All that I do know is, that a little while ago she was talking, and talking very loudly too, for I heard her. Ah, sir, it is all the same, very strange!” “What is strange?” “What I heard Madame Gerdy say to M.

Ask Manette if that is not so.” The poor girl, thoroughly confused, sought to excuse herself. “Return to your work: you need not disturb M. Noel; I can wait for him very well here.” And satisfied with the reproof he had administered, he picked up the newspaper, and seated himself beside the fire, placing the candle near him so as to read with ease. The officers of the law have made the usual preliminary investigations, and everything leads us to believe that the police are already on the track of the author of this dastardly crime.” “Thunder!” said old Tabaret to himself, “can it be that Madame Gerdy?--” The idea but flashed across his mind; he fell back into his chair, and, shrugging his shoulders, murmured,-- “Really this affair of La Jonchere is driving me out of my senses! He found nothing with the exception of these lines, to justify or explain even the slightest emotion.

Then, remarking that the newspaper was slightly torn at the lower part, and crushed, as if by a convulsive grasp, he repeated,-- “It is strange!” At this moment the door of Madame Gerdy’s room opened, and Noel appeared on the threshold. Without doubt the accident to his mother had greatly excited him; for he was very pale and his countenance, ordinarily so calm, wore an expression of profound sorrow. He appeared surprised to see old Tabaret. How is your mother?” “Madame Gerdy is as well as can be expected.” “Madame Gerdy!” repeated the old fellow with an air of astonishment; but he continued, “It is plain you have been seriously alarmed.” “In truth,” replied the advocate, seating himself, “I have experienced a rude shock.” Noel was making visibly the greatest efforts to appear calm, to listen to the old fellow, and to answer him. No doubt he was unprepared for this point blank question, and knew not what answer to make; at last he replied,-- “Madame Gerdy has suffered a severe shock in learning from a paragraph in this newspaper that a woman in whom she takes a strong interest has been assassinated.” “Ah!” replied old Tabaret. He wanted to question Noel, but was restrained by the fear of revealing the secret of his association with the police.

your mother knew the Widow Lerouge?” By an effort he restrained himself, and with difficulty dissembled his satisfaction; for he was delighted to find himself so unexpectedly on the trace of the antecedents of the victim of La Jonchere. “She was,” continued Noel, “the slave of Madame Gerdy, devoted to her in every way! I ought even to say I loved her tenderly. He was about to obtain all the information, which half an hour ago he had almost despaired of procuring. Yet he understood, that, unless he would compromise himself, he must speak. I am struck to the heart by the blow which has slain this poor woman. I had to avenge myself for cruel injuries; her death breaks the weapon in my hands, and reduces me to despair, to impotence. “In heaven’s name, what has happened to you?” “I suffer,” murmured the advocate, “and very cruelly. Not only do I fear that the injustice is irreparable; but here am I totally without defence delivered over to the shafts of calumny. Have confidence, tell me what troubles you, and it will be strange, indeed if between us two--” The advocate started to his feet, impressed by a sudden resolution.

I have need of a friend to console me. I require a counsellor whose voice will encourage me, for one is a bad judge of his own cause, and this crime has plunged me into an abyss of hesitations.” “You know,” replied M. Do not scruple to let me serve you.” “Know then,” commenced the advocate,--“but no, not here: what I have to say must not be overheard. Let us go into my study.” CHAPTER IV. When Noel and old Tabaret were seated face to face in Noel’s study, and the door had been carefully shut, the old fellow felt uneasy, and said: “What if your mother should require anything.” “If Madame Gerdy rings,” replied the young man drily, “the servant will attend to her.” This indifference, this cold disdain, amazed old Tabaret, accustomed as he was to the affectionate relations always existing between mother and son. Do not allow yourself to be overcome by a feeling of irritation. You have, I see, some little pique against your mother, which you will have forgotten to-morrow. Don’t speak of her in this icy tone; but tell me what you mean by calling her Madame Gerdy?” “What I mean?” rejoined the advocate in a hollow tone,--“what I mean?” Then rising from his arm-chair, he took several strides about the room, and, returning to his place near the old fellow, said,-- “Because, M. “Oh!” he said, in the tone one assumes when rejecting an absurd proposition, “do you really know what you are saying, Noel?

Is it probable?” “It is improbable,” replied Noel with a peculiar emphasis which was habitual to him: “it is incredible, if you will; but yet it is true. That is to say, for thirty-three years, ever since my birth, this woman has played a most marvellous and unworthy comedy, to ennoble and enrich her son,--for she has a son,--at my expense!” “My friend,” commenced old Tabaret, who in the background of the picture presented by this singular revelation saw again the phantom of the murdered Widow Lerouge. But Noel heard not, and seemed hardly in a state to hear. I, who loved this woman, who knew not how to show my affection for her, who, for her sake, sacrificed my youth! Her infamy dates from the moment when for the first time she took me on her knees; and, until these few days past, she has sustained without faltering her execrable role. why can I not take back all the embraces I bestowed on her in exchange for her Judas kisses? To betray me more securely, to despoil me, to rob me, to give to her bastard all that lawfully appertained to me; my name, a noble name, my fortune, a princely inheritance!” “We are getting near it!” thought old Tabaret, who was fast relapsing into the colleague of M. We must believe Madame Gerdy possessed of an amount of audacity and ability rarely to be met with in a woman. you too have believed her a widow. However I did not complain to her whom I then called my mother.

She wept, she accused herself, she seemed ready to die of grief: and I, poor fool! She was my father’s mistress; and, on the day when he had had enough of her, he took up his hat and threw her three hundred thousand francs, the price of the pleasures she had given him.” Noel would probably have continued much longer to pour forth his furious denunciations; but M.

Tabaret stopped him. The old fellow felt he was on the point of learning a history in every way similar to that which he had imagined; and his impatience to know whether he had guessed aright, almost caused him to forget to express any sympathy for his friend’s misfortunes. Come, then, to the point.

where are they?” The decided tone in which the old fellow spoke, should no doubt, have awakened Noel’s attention; but he did not notice it. He had not leisure to reflect. This word she cannot now pronounce, since they have killed her; but she had said it to me. I am certain, and I possess proofs; now this crime makes my certitude but a vain boast, and renders my proofs null and void!” “Explain it all to me,” said old Tabaret after a pause--“all, you understand.

We old ones are sometimes able to give good advice. We will decide what’s to be done afterwards.” “Three weeks ago,” commenced Noel, “searching for some old documents, I opened Madame Gerdy’s secretary.

A mechanical impulse, which I cannot explain, prompted me to untie the string, and, impelled by an invincible curiosity, I read the first letter which came to my hand.” “You did wrong,” remarked M.

I carried off the packet, shut myself up in this room, and devoured the correspondence from beginning to end.” “And you have been cruelly punished my poor boy!” “It is true; but who in my position could have resisted? These letters have given me great pain; but they afford the proof of what I just now told you.” “You have at least preserved these letters?” “I have them here, M. Tabaret,” replied Noel, “and, that you may understand the case in which I have requested your advice, I am going to read them to you.” The advocate opened one of the drawers of his bureau, pressed an invisible spring, and from a hidden receptacle constructed in the thick upper shelf, he drew out a bundle of letters. “You understand, my friend,” he resumed, “that I will spare you all insignificant details, which, however, add their own weight to the rest. I am only going to deal with the more important facts, treating directly of the affair.” Old Tabaret nestled in his arm-chair, burning with curiosity; his face and his eyes expressing the most anxious attention. After a selection, which he was some time in making, the advocate opened a letter, and commenced reading in a voice which trembled at times, in spite of his efforts to render it calm.

This morning I received your darling letter, I have covered it with kisses, I have re-read it a hundred times; and now it has gone to join the others here upon my heart. Why have I not wings that I might fly to your feet and fall into your arms, full of the sweetest voluptuousness! And, to complete my misery, she too will soon render me a father. “‘The one, the son of the object of my tenderest love, will have neither father nor family, nor even a name, since a law framed to make lovers unhappy prevents my acknowledging him. How it is to be prevented, I do not know: but rest assured I shall find a way. It is to him who is the most desired, the most cherished, the most beloved, that the greater fortune should come; and come to him it shall, for I so will it.’” “From where is that letter dated?” asked old Tabaret. He handed the letter to the old fellow, who read,-- “Venice, December, 1828.” “You perceive,” resumed the advocate, “all the importance of this first letter. Both find themselves enceinte at the same time, and his feelings towards the two infants about to be born, are not at all concealed. Towards the end one almost sees peeping forth the germ of the idea which later on he will not be afraid to put into execution, in defiance of all law human or divine!” He was speaking as though pleading the cause, when old Tabaret interrupted him.

“It is not necessary to explain it,” said he. I am not an adept in such matters, I am as simple as a juryman; however I understand it admirably so far.” “I pass over several letters,” continued Noel, “and I come to this one dated Jan. It is very long, and filled with matters altogether foreign to the subject which now occupies us. ‘A destiny, more powerful than my will, chains me to this country; but my soul is with you, my Valerie! Is it not an insult to me, for you to express anxiety as to the future of our child!

she loves me, she knows me, and yet she doubts!’ “I skip,” said Noel, “two pages of passionate rhapsody, and stop at these few lines at the end. ‘The countess’s condition causes her to suffer very much! She seems to divine the reason of my sadness and my coldness. She also may have given her heart to another, before being dragged to the altar. Poor woman.” He passed his hands over his eyes, as if to force back his tears, and added,-- “She is dead!” In spite of his impatience, old Tabaret dared not utter a word. After a rather long silence, Noel raised his head, and returned to the correspondence. How to secure for him the future position of which I dream? In those days I would have gone to the king, who, with a word, would have assured the child’s position in the world.

To-day, the king who governs with difficulty his disaffected subjects can do nothing. The nobility has lost its rights, and the highest in the land are treated the same as the meanest peasants!’ Lower down I find,--‘My heart loves to picture to itself the likeness of our son. I tremble to think of it. “Whilst the other--But let us ignore these preliminaries to an outrageous action.

I only desired up to the present to show you the aberration of my father’s reason under the influence of his passion.

We shall soon come to the point.” M. Tabaret was astonished at the strength of this passion, of which Noel was disturbing the ashes. He understood how irresistible must have been the strength of such a love and he trembled to speculate as to the result. I await your reply with an anxiety you would imagine, could you but guess my projects with regard to our child.’ “I do not know,” said Noel, “whether Madame Gerdy understood; anyhow she must have answered at once, for this is what my father wrote on the 14th: ‘Your reply, my darling, is what I did not dare expect it to be. I begin to feel more calm and secure. Our son shall bear my name; I shall not be obliged to separate myself from him. Shall I have strength enough to bear this excess of happiness? my precious child, fear nothing, my heart is vast, enough to love you both!

I set out to-morrow for Naples, from whence I shall write to you at length. Happen what may, however, though I should have to sacrifice the important interests confided to me, I shall be in Paris for the critical hour. My presence will double your courage; the strength of my love will diminish your sufferings.’” “I beg your pardon for interrupting you, Noel,” said old Tabaret, “do you know what important affairs detained your father abroad?” “My father, my old friend,” replied the advocate, “was, in spite of his youth, one of the friends, one of the confidants, of Charles X.; and he had been entrusted by him with a secret mission to Italy. My father is Count Rheteau de Commarin.” “Whew!” exclaimed the old fellow; and the better to engrave the name upon his memory, he repeated several times, between his teeth, “Rheteau de Commarin.” For a few minutes Noel remained silent. After having appeared to do everything to control his resentment, he seemed utterly dejected, as though he had formed the determination to attempt nothing to repair the injury he had sustained. It is whilst there, that he, a man of prudence and sense, a dignified diplomatist, a nobleman, prompted by an insensate passion, dares to confide to paper this most monstrous of projects. I am sending him to Normandy, charged with a commission of the most delicate nature. He is one of those servitors who may be trusted implicitly. “‘The time has come for me to explain to you my projects respecting my son.

“‘My two children will be entrusted to two nurses of Normandy, where my estates are nearly all situated. One of these women, known to Germain, and to whom I am sending him, will be in our interests.

It is to this person, Valerie, that our son will be confided.

“‘An accident, devised beforehand, will compel these two women to pass one night on the road. Germain will arrange so they will have to sleep in the same inn, and in the same chamber! “‘I have foreseen everything, as I will explain to you, and every precaution has been taken to prevent our secret from escaping. Germain has instructions to procure, while in Paris, two sets of baby linen exactly similar. You will console yourself by thinking of the position secured to him by your sacrifice.

As to the other, I know your fond heart, you will cherish him. Besides, he will have nothing to complain of. Knowing nothing he will have nothing to regret; and all that money can secure in this world he shall have. “And the wretched man,” cried Noel, “dares to invoke the aid of Providence! He would make heaven his accomplice!” “But,” asked the old fellow, “how did your mother,--pardon me, I would say, how did Madame Gerdy receive this proposition?” “She would appear to have rejected it, at first, for here are twenty pages of eloquent persuasion from the count, urging her to agree to it, trying to convince her. Tabaret, softly, “try not to be too unjust. You seem to direct all your resentment against Madame Gerdy? But allow me to continue. Towards the end of May, or, rather, during the first days of June, the count must have arrived in Paris, for the correspondence ceases. On the day it was written, the count was on service at the Tuileries, and unable to leave his post.

The bargain has been concluded, and the woman who has consented to become the instrument of my father’s projects is in Paris. She is to be depended upon; a magnificent recompense ensures her discretion. Do not, however, mention our plans to her; for she has been given to understand that you know nothing. I wish to charge myself with the sole responsibility of the deed; it is more prudent. Everything depends now upon our skill and our prudence, so that we are sure to succeed!’” On one point, at least, M. The researches into the past life of widow Lerouge were no longer difficult. Noel laid on the bureau the letters he had held in his hand, and, turning towards his old friend, he looked at him steadily.

Must I say it, her complicity in the matter weighed upon her conscience; it was a remorse too great for her old age.

I saw her, I interrogated her, and she told me all. Three days after my birth, the crime was committed, and I, poor, helpless infant, was betrayed, despoiled and disinherited by my natural protector, by my own father! She promised me her testimony for the day on which I should reclaim my rights!” “And she is gone, carrying her secret with her!” murmured the old fellow in a tone of regret. Claudine had in her possession several letters which had been written to her a long time ago, some by the count, some by Madame Gerdy, letters both imprudent and explicit. I have held these letters in my hands, I have read them; Claudine particularly wished me to keep them, why did I not do so?” No! He had found them and had burnt them with the other papers, in the little stove. The old amateur detective was beginning to understand. “All the same,” said he, “from what I know of your affairs, which I think I know as well as my own, it appears to me that the count has not overwell kept the dazzling promises of fortune he made Madame Gerdy on your behalf.” “He never even kept them in the least degree, my old friend.” “That now,” cried the old fellow indignantly, “is even more infamous than all the rest.” “Do not accuse my father,” answered Noel gravely; “his connection with Madame Gerdy lasted a long time. I remember a haughty-looking man who used sometimes to come and see me at school, and who could be no other than the count. His mistress was false to him, he learnt it, and cast her off with just indignation.

The ten lines which I mentioned to you were written then.” Noel searched a considerable time among the papers scattered upon the table, and at length selected a letter more faded and creased than the others. “In this,” said he in a bitter tone, “Madame Gerdy is no longer the adored Valerie: ‘A friend, cruel as all true friends, has opened my eyes. You have been watched, and today, unhappily, I can doubt no more. You, Valerie, you to whom I have given more than my life, you deceive me and have been deceiving me for a long time past. Of what importance to the count would be a doubt of his paternity, had he not sacrificed his legitimate son to his bastard? Yes, you have said truly, his punishment has been severe.” “Madame Gerdy,” resumed Noel, “wished to justify herself. She wrote to the count; but he returned her letters unopened. At length she grew tired of her useless attempts to see him. “Sir,” answered the servant from the other side of the door, “madame wishes to speak to you.” The advocate appeared to hesitate.

Tabaret; “do not be merciless, only bigots have that right.” Noel arose with visible reluctance, and passed into Madame Gerdy’s sleeping apartment. Thanks to his information, I am now on the track. I had better take one, no matter which, just to verify the handwriting.” Old Tabaret had just thrust one of the letters into the depths of his capacious pocket, when the advocate returned. He was very cunning and had long accustomed himself to dissimulation, that indispensable armour of the ambitious. He was absolutely as calm as, when seated in his arm-chair, he listened to the interminable stories of his clients. Tabaret; “and I think you ought to send for the doctor.” “I have just done so.” The advocate had resumed his seat before his bureau, and was rearranging the scattered letters according to their dates. He seemed to have forgotten that he had asked his old friend’s advice; nor did he appear in any way desirous of renewing the interrupted conversation.

“The more I ponder over your history, my dear Noel,” he observed, “the more I am bewildered. Your first impulse must have been to ask Madame Gerdy for an explanation.” Noel made a startled movement, which passed unnoticed by old Tabaret, preoccupied as he was in trying to give the turn he desired to the conversation. did she not attempt to exculpate herself?” inquired the detective greatly surprised. She told me. He tied them together carefully, and replaced them in the secret drawer of his bureau.

The fact is she adores her son, and her heart is breaking at the idea that he may be obliged to restitute what he has stolen from me. And I, idiot, fool, coward, almost wished not to mention the matter to her. I said to myself, I will forgive, for after all she has loved me!

She would see me suffer the most horrible tortures, without shedding a tear, to prevent a single hair falling from her son’s head.” “She has probably warned the count,” observed old Tabaret, still pursuing his idea.

“She may have tried, but cannot have succeeded, for the count has been absent from Paris for more than a month and is not expected to return until the end of the week.” “How do you know that?” “I wished to see the count my father, to speak with him.” “You?” “Yes, I. On what account should I keep silent, who have I to consider? Then I required time to reflect. I desired, I still desire to recover my name, that much is certain.

But on the eve of recovering it, I wish to preserve it from stain. I was seeking a means of arranging everything, without noise, without scandal.” “At length, however, you made up your mind?” “Yes, after a struggle of fifteen days, fifteen days of torture, of anguish! I neglected my business, being totally unfit for work. During the day, I tried by incessant action to fatigue my body, that at night I might find forgetfulness in sleep. since I found these letters, I have not slept an hour.” From time to time, old Tabaret slyly consulted his watch. “At last one morning,” continued Noel, “after a night of rage, I determined to end all uncertainty. I plucked up courage, sent for a cab, and was driven to the de Commarin mansion.” The old amateur detective here allowed a sigh of satisfaction to escape him. One enters at first a vast courtyard, to the right and left of which are the stables, containing twenty most valuable horses, and the coach-houses.

An indiscreet word might awaken the advocate’s suspicions, and reveal to him that he was speaking not to a friend, but to a detective. “Standing before the dwelling of my ancestors,” continued Noel, “you cannot comprehend the excess of my emotion. This is the house in which I should have been reared; and, above all, this is the spot where I should reign to-day, whereon I stand an outcast and a stranger, devoured by the sad and bitter memories, of which banished men have died. The mad impulse stirred me to force the doors, to rush into the grand salon, and drive out the intruder,--the son of Madame Gerdy,--who had taken the place of the son of the Countess de Commarin! The propriety of legal means at once recurred to my distracted mind, however, and restrained me. Once more I stood before the habitation of my fathers.

I love all, even to the proud escutcheon, frowning above the principal doorway, flinging its defiance to the theories of this age of levellers.” This last phrase conflicted so directly with the code of opinions habitual to Noel, that old Tabaret was obliged to turn aside, to conceal his amusement. “Poor humanity!” thought he; “he is already the grand seigneur.” “On presenting myself,” continued the advocate, “I demanded to see the Count de Commarin. This ran counter to my designs; but I was embarked; so I insisted on speaking to the son in default of the father. The Swiss porter stared at me with astonishment. He had evidently seen me alight from a hired carriage, and so deliberated for some moments as to whether I was not too insignificant a person to have the honour of being admitted to visit the viscount.” “But tell me, have you seen him?” asked old Tabaret, unable to restrain his impatience. “Of course, immediately,” replied the advocate in a tone of bitter raillery.

The Swiss porter entrusted me to the guidance of a chasseur with a plumed hat, who, led me across the yard to a superb vestibule, where five or six footmen were lolling and gaping on their seats. One of these gentlemen asked me to follow him.

He led me up a spacious staircase, wide enough for a carriage to ascend, preceded me along an extensive picture gallery, guided me across vast apartments, the furniture of which was fading under its coverings, and finally delivered me into the hands of M. That is the name by which Madame Gerdy’s son is known, that is to say, my name.” “I understand, I understand.” “I had passed an inspection; now I had to undergo an examination. The valet desired to be informed who I was, whence I came, what was my profession, what I wanted and all the rest. I answered simply, that, quite unknown to the viscount, I desired five minutes’ conversation with him on a matter of importance. He left me, requesting me to sit down and wait. His master graciously deigned to receive me.” It was easy to perceive that the advocate’s reception rankled in his breast, and that he considered it an insult.

He forgot the words of the illustrious duke, who said, “I pay my lackeys to be insolent, to save myself the trouble and ridicule of being so.” Old Tabaret was surprised at his young friend’s display of bitterness, in speaking of these trivial details. Can it be true that the arrogance of lackeys is the secret of the people’s hatred of an amiable and polite aristocracy?” “I was ushered into a small apartment,” continued Noel, “simply furnished, the only ornaments of which were weapons. Never have I seen in so small a space so many muskets, pistols, swords, sabres, and foils. One might have imagined himself in a fencing master’s arsenal.” The weapon used by Widow Lerouge’s assassin naturally recurred to the old fellow’s memory.

I do not cherish any resentment against this young man; he has never to his knowledge injured me: he was in ignorance of our father’s crime; I am therefore able to speak of him with justice. He is handsome, bears himself well, and nobly carries the name which does not belong to him. He is one of the fortunate ones who arrive without having to start, or who traverse life’s road on such soft cushions that they are never injured by the jolting of their carriage. Fifteen preparatory days of mental torture exhausts one’s emotions. I come to you, charged with a very grave, a very sad mission, which touches the honour of the name you bear.’ Without doubt he did not believe me, for, in an impertinent tone, he asked me, ‘Shall you be long?’ I answered simply, ‘Yes.’” “Pray,” interrupted old Tabaret, now become very attentive, “do not omit a single detail; it may be very important, you understand.” “The viscount,” continued Noel, “appeared very much put out. This is the hour at which I call on the young lady to whom I am engaged, Mademoiselle d’Arlange. another woman!” said the old fellow to himself. “I answered the viscount, that an explanation would admit of no delay; and, as I saw him prepare to dismiss me, I drew from my pocket the count’s correspondence, and presented one of the letters to him.

On recognizing his father’s handwriting, he became more tractable, declared himself at my service, and asked permission to write a word of apology to the lady by whom he was expected. Having hastily written the note he handed it to his valet, and ordered him to send at once to Madame d’Arlange, He then asked me to pass into the next room, which was his library.” “One word,” interrupted the old fellow; “was he troubled on seeing the letters?” “Not the least in the world. After carefully closing the door, he pointed to a chair, seated himself, and said, ‘Now, sir, explain yourself.’ I had had time to prepare myself for this interview whilst waiting in the ante-room. I had decided to go straight to the point.

The facts I am about to reveal to you are incredible. I beseech you, above all, to keep calm.’ He looked at me with an air of extreme surprise, and answered, ‘Speak! I can hear all.’ I stood up, and said, ‘Sir, I must inform you that you are not the legitimate son of M.

de Commarin, as this correspondence will prove to you. For a moment I thought he was about to spring at my throat. ‘The letters,’ said he in a short tone. I handed them to him.” “How!” cried old Tabaret, “these letters,--the true ones? “I was there,” said he in a hollow tone; “and I promise you the letters were in no danger.” Noel’s features assumed such an expression of ferocity that the old fellow was almost afraid, and recoiled instinctively. I told him only to stop at those marked with a cross, and to carefully read the passages indicated with a red pencil.” “It was an abridgment of his penance,” remarked old Tabaret. “He was seated,” continued Noel, “before a little table, too fragile even to lean upon. I was standing with my back to the fireplace in which a fire was burning. In less than five minutes his face changed to such an extent that his own valet would not have recognized him. He held his handkerchief in his hand, with which from time to time he mechanically wiped his lips.

Large drops of sweat stood upon his forehead, and his eyes became dull and clouded, as if a film had covered them; but not an exclamation, not a sigh, not a groan, not even a gesture, escaped him. At one moment, I felt such pity for him that I was almost on the point of snatching the letters from his hands, throwing them into the fire and taking him in my arms, crying, ‘No, you are my brother! Tabaret took Noel’s hand, and pressed it. “Ah!” he said, “I recognise my generous boy.” “If I have not done this, my friend, it is because I thought to myself, ‘Once these letters destroyed, would he recognise me as his brother?’” “Ah! If these letters are really written by my father, as I believe them to be, they distinctly prove that I am not the son of the Countess de Commarin.’ I did not answer. ‘Germain,’ said I, ‘can speak.’ He told me that Germain had been dead for several years. Then I spoke of the nurse, Widow Lerouge--I explained how easily she could be found and questioned, adding that she lived at La Jonchere.” “And what said he, Noel, to this?” asked old Tabaret anxiously. “He remained silent at first, and appeared to reflect. I have accompanied my father to her house three times, and in my presence he gave her a considerable sum of money.’ I remarked to him that this was yet another proof.

At length he turned towards me, saying, ‘Sir, you know M. de Commarin’s legitimate son?’ I answered: ‘I am he.’ He bowed his head and murmured ‘I thought so.’ He then took my hand and added, ‘Brother, I bear you no ill will for this.’” “It seems to me,” remarked old Tabaret, “that he might have left that to you to say, and with more reason and justice.” “No, my friend, for he is more ill-used than I. .” The old police agent nodded his head, he had to hide his thoughts, and they were stifling him. Take back your letters and leave me to myself. In a moment I lose everything: a great name that I have always borne as worthily as possible, a magnificent position, an immense fortune, and, more than all that, perhaps, the woman who is dearer to me than life. And I will try, sir, to make her forget you, for she must love you, and will miss you.’” “Did he really say that?” “Almost word for word.” “Hypocrite!” growled the old fellow between his teeth. “I say that he is a fine young man; and I shall be delighted to make his acquaintance.” “I did not show him the letter referring to the rupture,” added Noel; “it is best that he should ignore Madame Gerdy’s misconduct. I voluntarily deprived myself of this proof, rather than give him further pain.” “And now?” “What am I to do?

I shall act more freely after hearing what he has to say. Tomorrow I shall ask permission to examine the papers belonging to Claudine. If I find the letters, I am saved; if not,--but, as I have told you, I have formed no plan since I heard of the assassination. Now, what do you advise?” “The briefest counsel demands long reflection,” replied the old fellow, who was in haste to depart.

you who spend nothing?” “I have entered into various engagements. Can I now make use of Madame Gerdy’s fortune, which I have hitherto used as my own? I think not.” “You certainly ought not to. “To-morrow I will give them to you to take care of.” But remembering he was about to put himself at M. Daburon’s disposal, and that perhaps he might not be free on the morrow, he quickly added, “No, not to-morrow; but this very evening. “If that is not sufficient,” said he, handing them to Noel, “you can have more.” “Anyhow,” replied the advocate, “I will give you a receipt for these.” “Oh! Time enough to-morrow.” “And if I die to-night?” “Then,” said the old fellow to himself, thinking of his will, “I shall still be your debtor. At present my brain is whirling; I must go into the air.

If I go to bed now, I am sure to have a horrible nightmare. Who knows whether at this very hour Providence is not working for you?” He went out, and Noel, leaving his door open, listened to the sound of his footsteps as he descended the stairs. Then he took a small packet from one of his bureau drawers, slipped into his pocket the bank notes lent him by his old friend, and left his study, the door of which he double-locked. He listened intently as though the sound of Madame Gerdy’s moans could reach him where he stood. Hearing nothing, he descended the stairs on tiptoe. Here were heaped together all the old rubbish of the household, broken pieces of furniture, utensils past service, articles become useless or cumbrous. It was also used to store the provision of wood and coal for the winter. Once in the street, he stood still a moment, as if hesitating which way to go. Lazare railway station, when a cab happening to pass, he hailed it.

When he had seen him drive off, Noel turned into the Rue de Provence, and, after walking a few yards, rang the bell of one of the handsomest houses in the street.

As Noel passed before him the concierge made a most respectful, and at the same time patronizing bow, one of those salutations which Parisian concierges reserve for their favorite tenants, generous mortals always ready to give. But at the sound of the key in the lock, though very faint, a lady’s maid, rather young and pretty, with a bold pair of eyes, ran toward him. This exclamation escaped her just loud enough to be audible at the extremity of the apartment, and serve as a signal if needed. It was as if she had cried, “Take care!” Noel did not seem to notice it. “Yes, sir, and very angry too. This morning she wanted to send some one to you. A little while ago she spoke of going to find you, sir, herself.

I have had much difficulty in prevailing on her not to disobey your orders.” “Very well,” said the advocate. The carpet of a manufacture unknown to Europeans, was strewn with fruits and flowers, so true to nature that they might have deceived a bee. Articles of furniture of capricious and incoherent forms, tables with porcelain tops, and chiffoniers of precious woods encumbered every recess or angle. There were also ornamental cabinets and shelves purchased of Lien-Tsi, the Tahan of Sou-Tcheou, the artistic city, and a thousand curiosities, both miscellaneous and costly, from the ivory sticks which are used instead of forks, to the porcelain teacups, thinner than soap bubbles,--miracles of the reign of Kien-Loung. A very large and very low divan piled up with cushions, covered with tapestry similar to the hangings, occupied one end of the room. There was no regular window, but instead a large single pane of glass, fixed into the wall of the house; in front of it was a double glass door with moveable panes, and the space between was filled with the most rare flowers. She was small, but her neck, her shoulders, and her arms had the most exquisite contours. Her feet, encased in silken stockings almost as thin as a spider’s-web, were a marvel; not that they recalled the very fabulous foot which Cinderella thrust into the glass slipper; but the other, very real, very celebrated and very palpable foot, of which the fair owner (the lovely wife of a well-known banker) used to present the model either in bronze or in marble to her numerous admirers.

Her eyebrows were so perfect they seem to have been drawn with India ink; but, unhappily the pencil had been used too heavily; and they gave her an unpleasant expression when she frowned. “So you have come at last?” she observed in a tone of vexation; “you are very kind.” The advocate felt almost suffocated by the oppressive temperature of the room. “How warm it is!” said he; “it is enough to stifle one!” “Do you find it so?” replied the young woman.

Waiting is unbearable to me, it acts upon my nerves; and I have been waiting for you ever since yesterday.” “It was quite impossible for me to come,” explained Noel, “quite impossible!” “You knew, however,” continued the lady, “that to-day was my settling day; and that I had several heavy accounts to settle. The tradesmen all came, and I had not a half-penny to give them. Then that old rascal Clergot, to whom I had given an acceptance for three thousand francs, came and kicked up a frightful row. “And that is nothing, is it?” retorted the young woman. “A man who respects himself, my friend, may allow his own signature to be dishonoured, but never that of his mistress! Do you wish to destroy my credit altogether? So as soon as I am unable to pay, it will be all up with me.” “My dear Juliette,” began the advocate gently. “Do you not know that I am always thinking of you; have I not proved it to you a thousand times? I am going to prove it to you again this very instant.” He withdrew from his pocket the small packet he had taken out of his bureau drawer, and, undoing it, showed her a handsome velvet casket.

“Here,” said he exultingly, “is the bracelet you longed for so much a week ago at Beaugrau’s.” Madame Juliette, without rising, held out her hand to take the casket, and, opening it with the utmost indifference, just glanced at the jewel, and merely said, “Ah!” “Is this the one you wanted?” asked Noel. “Yes, but it looked much prettier in the shop window.” She closed the casket, and threw it carelessly on to a small table near her.

besides, it will complete the two dozen.” It was now Noel’s turn to say: “Ah! “I am not grateful enough to suit you! You bring me a present, and I ought at once to pay cash, fill the house with cries of joy, and throw myself upon my knees before you, calling you a great and magnificent lord!” Noel was unable this time to restrain a gesture of impatience, which Juliette perceived plainly enough, to her great delight. Shall I have the concierge up, and call the cook to tell them how happy I am to possess such a magnificent lover.” The advocate shrugged his shoulders like a philosopher, incapable of noticing a child’s banter.

“If you have any real complaint against me, better to say so simply and seriously.” “Very well,” said Juliette, “let us be serious. And, that being so, I will tell you it would have been better to have forgotten the bracelet, and to have brought me last night or this morning the eight thousand francs I wanted.” “I could not come.” “You should have sent them; messengers are still to be found at the street-corners.” “If I neither brought nor sent them, my dear Juliette, it was because I did not have them. I had trouble enough in getting them promised me for to-morrow. If I have the sum this evening, I owe it to a chance upon which I could not have counted an hour ago; but by which I profited, at the risk of compromising myself.” “Poor man!” said Juliette, with an ironical touch of pity in her voice. “Do you dare to tell me you have had difficulty in obtaining ten thousand francs,--you?” “Yes,--I!” The young woman looked at her lover, and burst into a fit of laughter.

To-morrow you will declare that your affairs are very much embarrassed, and the day after to-morrow. It is a virtue you used not to possess. In your place, I would appeal to public charity.” Noel could stand it no longer, in spite of his resolution to remain calm. I am reduced to expedients!” The eyes of the young woman brightened. “If I only could believe you!” The advocate was wounded to the heart. The idea that a man had loved her sufficiently to ruin himself for her, without allowing even a reproach to escape him, filled this woman with joy. But the expression of her eyes suddenly changed, “What a fool I am,” cried she, “I was on the point of believing all that, and of trying to console you.

Tell that to somebody else, my friend! “Come now, stop that nonsense!

When you took a fancy to me, you said to yourself, ‘I will expend so much on passion,’ and you have kept your word. You are capable of all the extravagance in the world, to the extent of your fixed price of four thousand francs a month! If it required a franc more you would very soon take back your heart and your hat, and carry them elsewhere; to one or other of my rivals in the neighborhood.” “It is true,” answered the advocate, coolly. “I know how to count, and that accomplishment is very useful to me.

It enables me to know exactly how and where I have got rid of my fortune.” “So you really know?” sneered Juliette.

The total is four hundred thousand francs!” “Are you sure?” “As one can be who has had that amount, and has it no longer.” “Four hundred thousand francs, only fancy! The advocate held his tongue on account of the servant. She had lived as best she could, on sweetmeats and damaged fruit; so that now her stomach could stand anything. Prudhomme would have said that this precocious little hussy was totally destitute of morality. This old gentleman, prudent and provident like all old gentlemen, was a connoisseur, and knew that to reap one must sow. He resolved first of all to give his protege just a varnish of education. He procured masters for her, who in less than three years taught her to write, to play the piano, and to dance. She therefore found one for herself, an artist who taught her nothing very new, but who carried her off to offer her half of what he possessed, that is to say nothing. At the end of three months, having had enough of it, she left the nest of her first love, with all she possessed tied up in a cotton pocket handkerchief.

During the four years which followed, she led a precarious existence, sometimes with little else to live upon but hope, which never wholly abandons a young girl who knows she has pretty eyes.

By turns she sunk to the bottom, or rose to the surface of the stream in which she found herself. Twice had fortune in new gloves come knocking at her door, but she had not the sense to keep her. She detested him for his polite and polished manners, his manly bearing, his distinguished air, his contempt, which he did not care to hide, for all that is low and vulgar, and, above all, for his unalterable patience, which nothing could tire. Her great complaint against him was that he was not at all funny, and also, that he absolutely declined to conduct her to those places where one can give a free vent to one’s spirits. To amuse herself, she began to squander money; and her aversion for her lover increased at the same rate as her ambition and his sacrifices. She was persuaded that a woman is beloved in proportion to the trouble she causes and the mischief she does. Juliette was not wicked, and she believed she had much to complain of. The dream of her life was to be loved in a way which she felt, but could scarcely have explained. She had never been to her lovers more than a plaything. She understood this; and, as she was naturally proud, the idea enraged her.

She dreamed of a man who would be devoted enough to make a real sacrifice for her, a lover who would descend to her level, instead of attempting to raise her to his.

He felt himself so powerless against her, that he never essayed to struggle. Once or twice he attempted to firmly oppose her ruinous caprices; but she had made him pliable as the osier. She tortured him; but she had also the power to make him forget all by a smile, a tear, or a kiss. Away from the enchantress, reason returned at intervals, and, in his lucid moments, he said to himself, “She does not love me. On several occasions he had strong reasons to doubt her constancy, but he never had the courage to declare his suspicions.

“If I am not mistaken, I shall either have to leave her,” thought he, “or accept everything in the future.” At the idea of a separation from Juliette, he trembled, and felt his passion strong enough to compel him to submit to the lowest indignity. He preferred even these heartbreaking doubts to a still more dreadful certainty. The presence of the maid who took a considerable time in arranging the tea-table gave Noel an opportunity to recover himself. He looked at Juliette; and his anger took flight.

Already he began to ask himself if he had not been a little cruel to her. When Charlotte retired, he came and took a seat on the divan beside his mistress, and attempted to put his arms round her. “Come,” said he in a caressing tone, “you have been angry enough for this evening. Kiss me, and make it up.” She repulsed him angrily, and said in a dry tone,--“Let me alone!

Shall I send for the doctor?” “There is no need. You are not at all the doctor who could do anything for me.” Noel rose with a discouraged air, and took his place at the side of the tea-table, facing her. His resignation bespoke how habituated he had become to these rebuffs. “You have told me very often during the last few months, that I bother you. Do you think it very amusing to be your mistress? Does there exist another being as sad, as dull as you, more uneasy, more suspicious, devoured by a greater jealousy!” “Your reception of me, my dear Juliette,” ventured Noel “is enough to extinguish gaiety and freeze all effusion.

Then one should seek a woman to suit oneself, or have her made to order; shut her up in the cellar, and have her brought upstairs once a day, at the end of dinner, during dessert, or with the champagne just by way of amusement.” “I should have done better not to have come,” murmured the advocate. I am to remain alone here, without anything to occupy me except a cigarette and a stupid book, that I go to sleep over? Do you call this an existence, never to budge out of the house even?” “It is the life of all the respectable women that I know,” replied the advocate drily. As though you had still to learn the reason why this state of things exists.” “I know well enough,” pursued the young woman, “that you are ashamed of me. My lord trembles for his fine name of Gerdy that I might sully, while the sons of the most noble families are not afraid of showing themselves in public places in the company of the stupidest of kept women.” At last Noel could stand it no longer, to the great delight of Madame Chaffour.

“If I hide our relations, it is because I am constrained to do so. You have unrestrained liberty; and you use it, too, and so largely that your actions altogether escape me.

Who is to blame? My friends would have come to see us in a home in accordance with a modest competence. I may have a mistress, but I have not the right to squander a fortune that does not belong to me. If my acquaintances learnt to-morrow that it is I who keep you, my future prospects would be destroyed. What client would confide his interests to the imbecile who ruined himself for the woman who has been the talk of all Paris? I am not a great lord, I have neither an historical name to tarnish, nor an immense fortune to lose.

She determined, therefore, to put him in a good humor again. “My friend,” said she, tenderly, “I did not wish to cause you pain. You must be indulgent, I am so horribly nervous this evening.” This sudden change delighted the advocate, and almost sufficed to calm his anger. “While I exhaust my imagination to find what can be agreeable to you, you are perpetually attacking my gravity; yet it is not forty-eight hours since we were plunged in all the gaiety of the carnival. We went to a theatre; I then put on a domino, and accompanied you to the ball at the opera, and even invited two of my friends to sup with us.” “It was very gay indeed!” answered the young woman, making a wry face. Then you are not hard to please.

We went to the Vaudeville, it is true, but separately, as we always do, I alone above, you below. I obeyed your orders by affecting hardly to know you. You imbibed like a sponge, without my being able to tell whether you were drunk or not.” “That proves,” interrupted Noel, “that we ought not to force our tastes. Let us talk of something else.” He took a few steps in the room, then looking at his watch said: “Almost one o’clock; my love, I must leave you.” “What! you are not going to remain?” “No, to my great regret; my mother is dangerously ill.” He unfolded and counted out on the table the bank notes he had received from old Tabaret. You will not see me again for a few days.” “Are you leaving Paris, then?” “No; but my entire time will be absorbed by an affair of immense importance to myself. If I succeed in my undertaking, my dear, our future happiness is assured, and you will then see whether I love you!” “Oh, my dear Noel, tell me what it is.” “I cannot now.” “Tell me I beseech you,” pleaded the young woman, hanging round his neck, raising herself upon the tips of her toes to press her lips to his. The advocate embraced her; and his resolution seemed to waver.

Of what use to awaken in you hopes which can never be realized? Now, my darling, listen to me. Whatever may happen, understand, you must under no pretext whatever again come to my house, as you once had the imprudence to do. Do not even write to me.

If any accident occurs, send that old rascal Clergot to me. I shall have a visit from him the day after to-morrow, for he holds some bills of mine.” Juliette recoiled, menacing Noel with a mutinous gesture. “This will be the last, I swear to you!” “Noel, my good man,” said the young woman in a serious tone, “you are hiding something from me. I understand you, as you know; for several days past there has been something or other the matter with you, you have completely changed.” “I swear to you, Juliette--” “No, swear nothing; I should not believe you. I am going to bed.” The door was hardly shut upon Noel when Charlotte was installed on the divan near her mistress.

But he is capable of killing me!” The girl vainly tried to defend Noel; but her mistress did not listen. Can he by any chance intend to be married? You weary me to death, my good Noel, and I am determined to leave you to yourself one of these fine mornings; but I cannot permit you to quit me first. Supposing he is going to get married? I am afraid madame is dying!” He followed her to Madame Gerdy’s room. Her hair, loose and disordered, falling over her cheeks and upon her shoulders, contributed to her wild appearance.

She uttered from time to time a groan hardly audible, or murmured unintelligible words. Quick, run to Dr. Herve’s, tell him to get up, and to come at once, tell him it is for me.” And he seated himself in an arm-chair, facing the suffering woman. The doctor’s history differed in nothing from that of most young men, who, without fortune, friends, or influence, enter upon the practice of the most difficult, the most hazardous of professions that exist in Paris, where one sees so many talented young doctors forced, to earn their bread, to place themselves at the disposition of infamous drug vendors.

A man of remarkable courage and self-reliance, Herve, his studies over, said to himself, “No, I will not go and bury myself in the country, I will remain in Paris, I will there become celebrated. I shall be surgeon-in-chief of an hospital, and a knight of the Legion of Honour.” To enter upon this path of thorns, leading to a magnificent triumphal arch, the future academician ran himself twenty thousand francs in debt to furnish a small apartment. Sometimes too the patient is ungrateful. He is profuse in promises whilst in danger; but, when cured, he scorns the doctor, and forgets to pay him his fee.

Three or four pamphlets, and a prize won without much intrigue, have attracted public attention to him. He still wishes, and more than ever, to acquire distinction, but he no longer expects any pleasure from his success. He used up that feeling in the days when he had not wherewith to pay for his dinner. No matter how great his fortune may be in the days to come, he has already paid too dearly for it. His finesse, sharpened by the grindstone of adversity, has become mischievous. But he is kind, he loves his friends, and is devoted to them. His first words on entering were, “What is the matter?” Noel pressed his hand in silence, and by way of answer, pointed to the bed. In less than a minute, the doctor seized the lamp, examined the sick woman, and returned to his friend. There appears to be no injury to the brain or its bony covering, the mischief, then, must have been caused by some violent emotion, a great grief, some unexpected catastrophe.

.” Noel interrupted his friend by a gesture, and drew him into the embrasure of the window. “Yes, my friend,” said he in a low tone, “Madame Gerdy has experienced great mental suffering, she has been frightfully tortured by remorse. I will confide our secret to your honour and your friendship. Madame Gerdy is not my mother; she despoiled me, to enrich her son with my fortune and my name. Ever since, she has been dying minute by minute.” The advocate expected some exclamations of astonishment, and a host of questions from his friend; but the doctor received the explanation without remark, as a simple statement, indispensable to his understanding the case. Has she appeared to suffer much during the time?” “She complained of violent headaches, dimness of sight, and intolerable pains in her ears, she attributed all that though to megrims. good heaven!” “You asked for the truth, and I have told it you. If I had that courage, it was because you told me this poor woman is not your mother. And now to work!” CHAPTER VI. Obliged to restrain himself at the time, he now fully appreciated his liberty of action.

It was with an unsteady gait that he took his first steps in the street, like the toper, who, after being shut up in a warm room, suddenly goes out into the open air. Notwithstanding his haste to arrive at M. He was one of those who require exercise to see things clearly. Without hastening his pace, he reached the Rue de la Chaussee d’Antin, crossed the Boulevard with its resplendent cafes, and turned to the Rue Richelieu. Like all persons labouring under strong emotion without knowing it, he talked aloud, little thinking into what indiscreet ears his exclamations and disjointed phrases might fall. At every step, we meet in Paris people babbling to themselves, and unconsciously confiding to the four winds of heaven their dearest secrets, like cracked vases that allow their contents to steal away. It was an indiscretion of this kind which told the ruin of Riscara the rich banker.

Who would have imagined such a history? We are affrighted at unlikelihood; and, as in this case, the greatest unlikelihood often proves to be the truth. I shall kill two birds with one stone. I deliver up the criminal; and I give Noel a hearty lift up to recover his title and his fortune. For once I shall not be sorry to see a lad get on, who has been brought up in the school of adversity. Already he begins to prate of his ancestors. A woman to whom I would have given absolution without waiting to hear her confess. When I think that I was on the point of proposing to her, ready to marry her!

If any one wishes to do me an injury, M. there is one to whom I am going to do a good turn. I can see him now, opening his eyes like saucers, when I say to him, ‘I have the rascal!’ He can boast of owing me something. If he is asleep, I am going to give him an agreeable awaking. He will want to know everything at once.” Old Tabaret, who was now crossing the Pont des Saints-Peres, stopped suddenly.

I only know the bare facts.” He resumed his walk, and continued, “They are right at the office, I am too enthusiastic; I jump at conclusions, as Gevrol says. I would have had him tell the story in a sentence. All the same, it is but natural; when one is pursuing a stag, one does not stop to shoot a blackbird.

On the other hand, by questioning him more, I might have awakened suspicions in Noel’s mind, and led him to discover that I am working for the Rue de Jerusalem. To be sure, I do not blush for my connection with the police, I am even vain of it; but at the same time, I prefer that no one should know of it. Daburon had just gone to bed, but had given orders to his servant; so that M. Tabaret had but to give his name, to be at once conducted to the magistrate’s sleeping apartment. “Speak quickly!” “I know the culprit!” Old Tabaret ought to have been satisfied; he certainly produced an effect. “Is it possible?” “I have the honour to repeat to you, sir,” resumed the old fellow, “that I know the author of the crime of La Jonchere.” “And I,” said M. I shall certainly never hereafter undertake an investigation without your assistance.” “You are too kind, sir. I have had little or nothing to do in the matter.

The discovery is due to chance alone.” “You are modest, M.

But I beg you will be seated and proceed.” Then with the lucidness and precision of which few would have believed him capable, the old fellow repeated to the magistrate all that he had learned from Noel.

“These letters,” added he, “I have seen; and I have even taken one, in order to verify the writing. The evidence is palpable, even to the blind. “I wished first to hear your opinion.” “Oh! Daburon with a certain degree of animation, “no matter how high he may have to strike, a French magistrate has never hesitated.” “I know it, sir, but we are going very high this time. Tabaret, like an accomplished artist, had uttered these words slowly, and with a deliberate emphasis, confidently expecting to produce a great impression.

He remained motionless, his eyes dilated with astonishment.

Mechanically he repeated like a word without meaning which he was trying to impress upon his memory: “Albert de Commarin! I should like to be alone a few minutes. Kindly pass into my study, there ought still to be a fire burning there.

Daburon slowly got out of bed, put on a dressing gown, and seated himself, or rather fell, into an armchair. His face, to which in the exercise of his austere functions he had managed to give the immobility of marble, reflected the most cruel agitation; while his eyes betrayed the inward agony of his soul. The name of Commarin, so unexpectedly pronounced, awakened in him the most sorrowful recollections, and tore open a wound but badly healed. This name recalled to him an event which had rudely extinguished his youth and spoilt his life. Involuntarily, he carried his thoughts back to this epoch, so as to taste again all its bitterness. An hour ago, it had seemed to him far removed, and already hidden in the mists of the past; one word had sufficed to recall it, clear and distinct. It seemed to him now that this event, in which the name of Albert de Commarin was mixed up, dated from yesterday. Pierre-Marie Daburon belonged to one of the oldest families of Poitou. Three or four of his ancestors had filled successively the most important positions in the province. Why, then, had they not bequeathed a title and a coat of arms to their descendants?

By his mother, a Cottevise-Luxe, he is related to the highest nobility of Poitou, one of the most exclusive that exists in France, as every one knows. When he received his nomination in Paris, his relationship caused him to be received at once by five or six aristocratic families, and it was not long before he extended his circle of acquaintance. He was cold and grave even to sadness, reserved and timid even to excess. Like most men who feel deeply, he was unable to interpret his impressions immediately. He required to reflect and consider within himself. Those who knew him intimately quickly learned to esteem his sound judgment, his keen sense of honour, and to discover under his cold exterior a warm heart, an excessive sensibility, and a delicacy almost feminine. In a word, although he might be eclipsed in a room full of strangers or simpletons, he charmed all hearts in a smaller circle, where he felt warmed by an atmosphere of sympathy. He accustomed himself to go about a great deal. He thought that a man called upon to judge others, ought to know them, and for that purpose study them. Piece by piece, so to say, he laboured to comprehend the working of the complicated machine called society, of which he was charged to overlook the movements, regulate the springs, and keep the wheels in order.

His friends sought for him, but he was nowhere to be met with. How, and by what marvellous process she had been preserved such as we see her, it is impossible to say. Listening to her, you would swear that she was yesterday at one of those parties given by the queen where cards and high stakes were the rule, much to the annoyance of Louis XIV., and where the great ladies cheated openly in emulation of each other. Manners, language, habits, almost costume, she has preserved everything belonging to that period about which authors have written only to display the defects. Her mind had awakened amid the hum of antediluvian conversations, her imagination had first been aroused by arguments a little less profitable than those of an assembly of deaf persons convoked to decide upon the merits of the work of some distinguished musician. Here she imbibed a fund of ideas, which, applied to the forms of society of to-day, are as grotesque as would be those of a child shut up until twenty years of age in an Assyrian museum. The first empire, the restoration, the monarchy of July, the second republic, the second empire, have passed beneath her windows, but she has not taken the trouble to open them.

She has looked at everything, but then she looks through her own pretty glasses which show her everything as she would wish it, and which are to be obtained of dealers in illusions. She is vivacious, and active to excess, and can only keep still when asleep, or when playing her favorite game of piquet. She has always been, and still is, very positive, and her word is prompt and easily understood. She never shrinks from using the most appropriate word to express her meaning. de Voltaire, so that her devotion is, to say the least, problematical. However, she is on good terms with the curate of her parish, and is very particular about the arrangement of her dinner on the days she honours him with an invitation to her table.

She seems to consider him a subaltern, very useful to her salvation, and capable of opening the gate of paradise for her. Everybody dreads her loud voice, her terrible indiscretion, and the frankness of speech which she affects, in order to have the right of saying the most unpleasant things which pass through her head. Of a fortune originally large, and partly restored by the indemnity allowed by the government, but since administered in the most careless manner, she has only been able to preserve an income of twenty thousand francs, which diminishes day by day.

She is, also, proprietor of the pretty little house which she inhabits, situated near the Invalides, between a rather narrow court-yard, and a very extensive garden. From time to time, especially after some exceptionally bad speculation, she confesses that what she fears most is to die in a pauper’s bed. Daburon’s presented him one evening to the Marchioness d’Arlange, having dragged him to her house in a mirthful mood, saying, “Come with me, and I will show you a phenomenon, a ghost of the past in flesh and bone.” The marchioness rather puzzled the magistrate the first time he was admitted to her presence. But after a while she no longer amused him, though he still continued a faithful and constant visitor to the rose-coloured boudoir wherein she passed the greater part of her life. I wish him well, and will do all I can to push him forward.” The strongest proof of friendship he received from her was, that she condescended to pronounce his name like the rest of the world.

She had preserved that ridiculous affectation of forgetfulness of the names of people who were not of noble birth, and who in her opinion had no right to names. Occasionally she exerted herself to prove to the worthy magistrate that he was a nobleman, or at least ought to be. She would have been happy, if she could have persuaded him to adopt some title, and have a helmet engraved upon his visiting cards. “How is it possible,” said she, “that your ancestors, eminent, wealthy, and influential, never thought of being raised from the common herd and securing a title for their descendants?

Today you would possess a presentable pedigree.--” “My ancestors were wise,” responded M. “They preferred being foremost among their fellow-citizens to becoming last among the nobles.” Upon which the marchioness explained, and proved to demonstration, that between the most influential and wealthy citizen and the smallest scion of nobility, there was an abyss that all the money in the world could not fill up.

They who were so surprised at the frequency of the magistrate’s visits to this celebrated “relic of the past” did not know that lady’s granddaughter, or, at least, did not recollect her; she went out so seldom!

The old marchioness did not care, so she said, to be bothered with a young spy who would be in her way when she related some of her choice anecdotes. A certain air of antiquity, the result of her association with her grandmother, added yet another charm to the young girl’s manner. This education, these practical ideas, Claire owed to her governess, upon whose shoulders the marchioness had thrown the entire responsibility of cultivating her mind. This governess, Mademoiselle Schmidt, chosen at hazard, happened by the most fortunate chance to be both well informed and possessed of principle. This good woman, while she carried her pupil into the land of sentimental phantasy and poetical imaginings, gave her at the same time the most practical instruction in matters relating to actual life. She revealed to Claire all the peculiarities of thought and manner that rendered her grandmother so ridiculous, and taught her to avoid them, but without ceasing to respect them. Daburon was sure to find Claire seated beside her grandmother, and it was for that that he called. Whilst listening with an inattentive ear to the old lady’s rigmaroles and her interminable anecdotes of the emigration, he gazed upon Claire, as a fanatic upon his idol. Then he would answer her at cross-purposes, committing the most singular blunders, which he labored afterwards to explain.

Having a listener, she was satisfied, provided that from time to time he gave signs of life. When obliged to sit down to play piquet, he cursed below his breath the game and its detestable inventor.

He paid no attention to his cards. He made mistakes every moment, discarding what he should keep in and forgetting to cut. The old lady was annoyed by these continual distractions, but she did scruple to profit by them. Daburon’s timidity was extreme, and Claire was unsociable to excess, they therefore seldom spoke to each other. During the entire winter, the magistrate did not directly address the young girl ten times; and, on these rare occasions, he had learned mechanically by heart the phrase he proposed to repeat to her, well knowing that, without this precaution, he would most likely be unable to finish what he had to say. By constantly watching her eyes, he learned to understand all their expressions. He believed he could read in them all her thoughts, and through them look into her soul like through an open window. “She is pleased to-day,” he would say to himself; and then he would be happy.

At other times, he thought, “She has met with some annoyance to-day;” and immediately he became sad. The idea of asking for her hand many times presented itself to his imagination; but he never dared to entertain it. Knowing, as he did, the marchioness’s prejudices, her devotion to titles, her dread of any approach to a misalliance, he was convinced she would shut his mouth at the first word by a very decided “no,” which she would maintain. To attempt the thing would be to risk, without a chance of success, his present happiness which he thought immense, for love lives upon its own misery. “Once repulsed,” thought he, “the house is shut against me; and then farewell to happiness, for life will end for me.” Upon the other hand, the very rational thought occurred to him that another might see Mademoiselle d’Arlange, love her, and, in consequence, ask for and obtain her. One fine afternoon, in the month of April, he bent his steps towards the residence of Madame d’Arlange, having truly need of more bravery than a soldier about to face a battery. He, like the soldier, whispered to himself, “Victory or death!” The marchioness who had gone out shortly after breakfast had just returned in a terrible rage, and was uttering screams like an eagle. She had some work done by a neighboring painter some eight or ten months before; and the workman had presented himself a hundred times to receive payment, without avail. This summons had exasperated the marchioness; but she kept the matter to herself, having decided, in her wisdom, to call upon the judge and request him to reprimand the insolent painter who had dared to plague her for a paltry sum of money.

The judge had been compelled to eject her forcibly from his office; hence her fury. Unfortunately, too, Claire and her governess were gone out. In a little more than half an hour, she told her story, interlarded with numerous interjections and imprecations. He listened to the complaint of that impudent scoundrel whom I enabled to live by employing him!

And when I addressed some severe remonstrances to this judge, as it was my duty to do, he had me turned out! The force of the blow sent it to the other end of the room, where it broke into pieces. Daburon, bewildered at first, now endeavored to calm her exasperation. She did not allow him to pronounce three words. “Happily you are here,” she continued; “you are always willing to serve me, I know. you will exercise your influence, your powerful friends, your credit, to have this pitiful painter and this miscreant of a judge flung into some deep ditch, to teach them the respect due to a woman of my rank.” The magistrate did not permit himself even to smile at this imperative demand.

At the end of an hour, however, she was, or appeared to be, pacified. They replaced her head-dress, repaired the disorder of her toilette, and picked up the fragments of broken glass and china.

She fell back helpless and exhausted into an arm-chair. This magnificent result was due to the magistrate. To accomplish it, he had had to use all his ability, to exercise the most angelic patience, the greatest tact. His triumph was the more meritorious, because he came completely unprepared for this adventure, which interfered with his intended proposal.

The first time that he had felt sufficient courage to speak, fortune seemed to declare against him, for this untoward event had quite upset his plans. Arming himself, however, with his professional eloquence, he talked the old lady into calmness. He was not so foolish as to contradict her. However, he thought it best to let them off the punishment they so richly deserved; and ended by suggesting that it would perhaps be prudent, wise, noble even to pay. The unfortunate word “pay” brought Madame d’Arlange to her feet in the fiercest attitude. Besides to pay one must have money!

Daburon, “it amounts to but eighty-seven francs!” “And is that nothing?” asked the marchioness; “you talk very foolishly, my dear sir. It is easy to see that you have money; your ancestors were people of no rank; and the revolution passed a hundred feet above their heads. It took all from the d’Arlanges. What will they do to me, if I do not pay?” “Well, madame, they can do many things; almost ruin you, in costs.

you are happy, you who belong to the people! I see plainly that I must pay this man without delay, and it is frightfully sad for me, for I have nothing, and am forced to make such sacrifices for the sake of my grandchild!” This statement surprised the magistrate so strongly that involuntarily he repeated half-aloud, “Sacrifices?” “Certainly!” resumed Madame d’Arlange. “Without her, would I have to live as I am doing, refusing myself everything to make both ends meet? But I know, thank heaven, the duties of a mother; and I economise all I can for my little Claire.” This devotion appeared so admirable to M. Daburon, it makes me giddy when I wonder how I am to marry her.” The magistrate reddened with pleasure. “It seems to me,” stammered he, “that to find Mademoiselle Claire a husband ought not to be difficult.” “Unfortunately, it is.

I do not know of one who has the manhood to take a d’Arlange with her bright eyes for a dowry.” “I believe that you exaggerate,” remarked M. Trust to my experience which is far greater than yours. I shall be compelled, it seems, to render an account of Claire’s patrimony. I would use every effort to pay the necessary dower; but she has no affection for me.” M. Daburon felt that now was the time to speak. He collected his courage, as a good horseman pulls his horse together when going to leap a hedge, and in a voice, which he tried to render firm, he said: “Well! Madame, I believe I know a party who would suit Mademoiselle Claire,--an honest man, who loves her, and who will do everything in the world to make her happy.” “That,” said Madame d’Arlange, “is always understood.” “The man of whom I speak,” continued the magistrate, “is still young, and is rich. He will be only too happy to receive Mademoiselle Claire without a dowry.

Not only will he decline an examination of your accounts of guardianship, but he will beg you to invest your fortune as you think fit.” “Really! “If you prefer not to invest your fortune in a life-annuity, your son-in-law will allow you sufficient to make up what you now find wanting.” “Ah! you know such a man, and have never yet mentioned him to me! You ought to have introduced him long ago.” “I did not dare, madame, I was afraid--” “Quick! where does he nestle?” The magistrate felt a strange fluttering of the heart; he was going to stake his happiness on a word. She, however, laughed until the tears came into her eyes, then shrugging her shoulders, she said: “Really, dear Daburon is too ridiculous, he will make me die of laughing!

But suddenly she stopped, in the very height of her merriment, and assumed her most dignified air.

“Are you perfectly serious in all you have told me, M. Were I to ask him for the half to-morrow, he would give it to me; he would give me all his fortune, if it were necessary to my happiness, and be but too well contented, should I leave him the administration of it.” Madame d’Arlange signed to him to be silent; and, for five good minutes at least, she remained plunged in reflection, her forehead resting in her hands. “Had you been so bold as to make this proposal to Claire’s father, he would have called his servants to show you the door. For the sake of our name I ought to do the same; but I cannot do so. I cannot, however, consent to speak to Claire of this horrible misalliance. What I can promise you, and that is too much, is that I will not be against you.

Take your own measures; pay your addresses to Mademoiselle d’Arlange, and try to persuade her. He thought her the best, the most excellent of women, not noticing the facility with which this proud spirit had been brought to yield. Do you think it will be easy to make a Daburon of a young girl who for nearly eighteen years has been called d’Arlange?” This objection did not seem to trouble the magistrate. On the strength of marrying into noble families, the Daburons may perhaps end by ennobling themselves. One last piece of advice; you believe Claire to be just as she looks,--timid, sweet, obedient. Our conditions are agreed to, are they not? I almost wish you to succeed.” This scene was so present to the magistrate’s mind, that as he sat at home in his arm-chair, though many months had passed since these events, he still seemed to hear the old lady’s voice, and the word “success” still sounded in his ears.

The sky appeared to him more blue, the sun more brilliant. This grave magistrate felt a mad desire to stop the passers-by, to press them in his arms, to cry to them,--“Have you heard? The marchioness consents!” He walked, and the earth seemed to him to give way beneath his footsteps; it was either too small to carry so much happiness, or else he had become so light that he was going to fly away towards the stars. What castles in the air he built upon what Madame d’Arlange had said to him! He would build on the banks of the Loire, not far from Tours, an enchanting little villa. He already saw it, with its facade to the rising sun, nestling in the midst of flowers, and shaded with wide-spreading trees.

He wished to provide a marvellous casket, worthy the pearl he was about to possess. For he had not a doubt; not a cloud obscured the horizon made radiant by his hopes, no voice at the bottom of his heart raised itself to cry, “Beware!” From that day, his visits to the marchioness became more frequent. He might almost be said to live at her house. While he preserved his respectful and reserved demeanour towards Claire, he strove assiduously to be something in her life. He learnt to overcome his timidity, to speak to the well-beloved of his soul, to encourage her to converse with him, to interest her. He went in quest of all the news, to amuse her. He read all the new books, and brought to her all that were fit for her to read. Little by little he succeeded, thanks to the most delicate persistence, in taming this shy young girl. He began to perceive that her fear of him had almost disappeared, that she no longer received him with the cold and haughty air which had previously kept him at a distance. She still blushed when she spoke to him; but she no longer hesitated to address the first word.

She even ventured at times to ask him a question. If she had heard a play well spoken of and wished to know the subject, M. Daburon would at once go to see it, and commit a complete account of it to writing, which he would send her through the post.

Once he ventured to send her a magnificent bouquet. She accepted it with an air of uneasy surprise, but begged him not to repeat the offering. The tears came to his eyes; he left her presence broken-hearted, and the unhappiest of men. “She does not love me,” thought he, “she will never love me.” But, three days after, as he looked very sad, she begged him to procure her certain flowers, then very much in fashion, which she wished to place on her flower-stand. He sent enough to fill the house from the garret to the cellar. “She will love me,” he whispered to himself in his joy.

These events, so trifling but yet so great, had not interrupted the games of piquet; only the young girl now appeared to interest herself in the play, nearly always taking the magistrate’s side against the marchioness. She did not understand the game very well; but, when the old gambler cheated too openly, she would notice it, and say, laughingly,--“She is robbing you, M. Daburon,--she is robbing you!” He would willingly have been robbed of his entire fortune, to hear that sweet voice raised on his behalf.

She chatted gaily with him, as with a beloved brother, while he was obliged to do violence to his feelings, to refrain from imprinting a kiss upon the little blonde head, from which the light breeze lifted the curls and scattered them like fleecy clouds. At such moments, he seemed to tread an enchanted path strewn with flowers, at the end of which appeared happiness. When he attempted to speak of his hopes to the marchioness, she would say: “You know what we agreed upon. Already does the voice of conscience reproach me for lending my countenance to such an abomination.

To think that I may one day have a granddaughter calling herself Madame Daburon! You must petition the king, my friend, to change your name.” If instead of intoxicating himself with dreams of happiness, this acute observer had studied the character of his idol, the effect might have been to put him upon his guard. Seeing her in this state the day following a ball, to which her grandmother had made a point of taking her, he dared to ask her the reason of her sadness. “I also,” answered he, “have a secret, which I wish to confide to you in return.” When he retired towards midnight, he said to himself, “To-morrow I will confess everything to her.” Then passed a little more than fifty days, during which he kept repeating to himself,--“To-morrow!” It happened at last one evening in the month of August; the heat all day had been overpowering; towards dusk a breeze had risen, the leaves rustled; there were signs of a storm in the atmosphere. They were seated together at the bottom of the garden, under the arbour, adorned with exotic plants, and, through the branches, they perceived the fluttering gown of the marchioness, who was taking a turn after her dinner.

Daburon ventured to take the young girl’s hand. It was the first time, and the touch of her fine skin thrilled through every fibre of his frame, and drove the blood surging to his brain. “Mademoiselle,” stammered he, “Claire--” She turned towards him her beautiful eyes, filled with astonishment. I have spoken to your grandmother, before daring to raise my eyes to you.

Daburon, at this the most critical moment of his life was powerless to utter a word. What were then his feelings, when he saw Claire burst into tears. Anything rather then this anxiety which is killing me.” He knelt before her on the gravelled walk, and again made an attempt to take her hand.

“Let me weep,” said she: “I suffer so much, you are going to hate me, I feel it. you will, perhaps, despise me, and yet I swear before heaven that I never expected what you have just said to me, that I had not even a suspicion of it!” M. It is not possible, that, without a profound love, a man can be all that you have been to me. I gave myself up to the great happiness of having a friend! Silly and imprudent, I thoughtlessly confided in you, as in the best, the most indulgent of fathers.” These words revealed to the unfortunate magistrate the extent of his error. The same as a heavy hammer, they smashed into a thousand fragments the fragile edifice of his hopes. He raised himself slowly, and, in a tone of involuntary reproach, he repeated,--“Your father!” Mademoiselle d’Arlange felt how deeply she had wounded this man whose intense love she dare not even fathom. Seeing you, usually so grave and austere, become for me so good, so indulgent, I thanked heaven for sending me a protector to replace those who are dead.” M.

It was with such happiness that I leant on you as a child on its mother; and with what inward joy I said to myself, ‘I am sure of one friend, of one heart into which runs the overflow of mine!’ Ah! I ought to have told you long since. I no longer belong to myself freely and with happiness, I have given my life to another.” To hover in the clouds, and suddenly to fall rudely to the earth, such was M. Daburon’s fate; his sufferings are not to be described. “Far better to have spoken,” answered he; “yet no. I owe to your silence, Claire, six months of delicious illusions, six months of enchanting dreams. This shall be my share of life’s happiness.” The last beams of closing day still enabled the magistrate to see Mademoiselle d’Arlange. It seemed to M.

How is it the marchioness does not receive him?” “There are certain obstacles,” murmured Claire, “obstacles which perhaps we may never be able to remove; but a girl like me can love but once. She marries him she loves, or she belongs to heaven!” “Certain obstacles!” said M. “You love a man, he knows it, and he is stopped by obstacles?” “I am poor,” answered Mademoiselle d’Arlange, “and his family is immensely rich. You are poor, he is rich, and that stops him! To suffer, to struggle, to wait, to hope always, to devote oneself entirely to another; that is my idea of love.” “It is thus I love,” said Claire with simplicity. He knew that for him there was no hope; but he felt a terrible enjoyment in torturing himself, and proving his misfortune by intense suffering. “But,” insisted he, “how have you known him, spoken to him? Madame d’Arlange receives no one.” “I ought now to tell you everything, sir,” answered Claire proudly. There we spoke to each other; there we meet each other now.” “Ah!” exclaimed M.

A few days before your visit to Mademoiselle Goello, you are gayer than usual; and, when you return, you are often sad.” “That is because I see how much he is pained by the obstacles he cannot overcome.” “Is his family, then, so illustrious,” asked the magistrate harshly, “that it disdains alliance with yours?” “I should have told you everything, without waiting to be questioned, sir,” answered Mademoiselle d’Arlange, “even his name. He is called Albert de Commarin.” The marchioness at this moment, thinking she had walked enough, was preparing to return to her rose-coloured boudoir. “I have not asked you to keep my secret, sir,” said she. “It is certain,” continued she, “that what I, a young and inexperienced girl, have failed to see, has not passed unnoticed by my grandmother.

That she has continued to receive you is a tacit encouragement of your addresses; which I consider, permit me to say, as very honourable to myself.” “I have already mentioned, mademoiselle,” replied the magistrate, “that the marchioness has deigned to authorise my hopes.” And briefly he related his interview with Madame d’Arlange, having the delicacy, however, to omit absolutely the question of money, which had so strongly influenced the old lady.

“I have nothing to say to the marchioness. Sometimes you will say, ‘He loved me,’ I wish all the same to remain your friend, yes, your most devoted friend.” Claire, in her turn, clasped M. Let us forget what has happened, what you have said to-night, and remain to me, as in the past, the best, the most indulgent of brothers.” Darkness had come, and she could not see him; but she knew he was weeping, for he was slow to answer. is it you who talk to me of forgetting? Do you feel the power to forget? Do you not see that I love you a thousand times more than you love--” He stopped, unable to pronounce the name of Commarin; and then, with an effort he added: “And I shall love you always.” They had left the arbour, and were now standing not far from the steps leading to the house. Daburon, “permit me to say, adieu! I shall only return often enough to avoid the appearance of a rupture.” His voice trembled, so that it was with difficulty he made it distinct.

“Whatever may happen,” he added, “remember that there is one unfortunate being in the world who belongs to you absolutely. If ever you have need of a friend’s devotion, come to me, come to your friend. Instinctively she approached him, and for the first and last time he touched lightly with his cold lips the forehead of her he loved so well. He stammered some absurd excuses, spoke of pressing affairs, of duties to be attended to, of feeling suddenly unwell, and went out, clinging to the walls. She turned to her grand-daughter, who had gone to hide her confusion away from the candles of the card table, and asked, “What is the matter with Daburon this evening?” “I do not know, madame,” stammered Claire. “It appears to me,” continued the marchioness, “that the little magistrate permits himself to take singular liberties. He must be reminded of his proper place, or he will end by believing himself our equal.” Claire tried to explain the magistrate’s conduct: “He has been complaining all the evening, grandmamma; perhaps he is unwell.” “And what if he is?” exclaimed the old lady. “Is it not his duty to exercise some self-denial, in return for the honour of our company? I think I have already related to you the story of your granduncle, the Duke de St Hurluge, who, having been chosen to join the king’s card party on their return from the chase, played all through the evening and lost with the best grace in the world two hundred and twenty pistoles.

Who can tell what games he has gone to play elsewhere!” CHAPTER VII. All through the night he wandered about at random, seeking to cool his heated brow, and to allay his excessive weariness.

“Fool that I was!” said he to himself, “thousand times fool to have hoped, to have believed, that she would ever love me. how could I have dared to dream of possessing so much grace, nobleness, and beauty! She loves me as a father, she told me so,--as a father! Was it not a crime to dream of uniting that virginal simplicity to my detestable knowledge of the world? He understood Claire, and excused her. Ought he not to have foreseen what had happened?--that she would refuse him, that he would thus deprive himself of the happiness of seeing her, of hearing her, and of silently adoring her? Is it not my trade to descend into all moral sinks, to stir up the foulness of crime?

Am I not compelled to wash in secrecy and darkness the dirty linen of the most corrupt members of society? Ought not the magistrate, like the priest, to condemn himself to solitude and celibacy? To breathe more freely, he had torn off his cravat and thrown it to the winds. Sometimes, unconsciously, he crossed the path of a solitary wayfarer, who would pause, touched with pity, and turn to watch the retreating figure of the unfortunate wretch he thought deprived of reason. In a by-road, near Grenelle, some police officers stopped him, and tried to question him. They read it, and permitted him to pass, convinced that he was drunk. Anger,--a furious anger, began to replace his first feeling of resignation. He began to understand the hate that arms itself with a knife, and lays in ambush in out-of-the-way places; which strikes in the dark, whether in front or from behind matters little, but which strikes, which kills, whose vengeance blood alone can satisfy. At that very hour he was supposed to be occupied with an inquiry into the case of an unfortunate, accused of having stabbed one of her wretched companions. She was jealous of the woman, who had tried to take her lover from her.

Daburon felt himself seized with pity for this miserable creature, whom he had commenced to examine the day before. She was very ugly, in fact truly repulsive; but the expression of the eyes, when speaking of her soldier, returned to the magistrate’s memory. Perhaps not one in twenty.” He resolved to recommend this girl to the indulgence of the tribunal, and to extenuate as much as possible her guilt. He was resolved to kill Albert de Commarin. During the rest of the night he became all the more determined in this resolution, demonstrating to himself by a thousand mad reasons, which he found solid and inscrutable, the necessity for and the justifiableness of this vengeance. He made at once for the Porte Maillot, procured a cab, and was driven to his house. As soon as he arrived home he dressed himself with care, as was his custom formerly when visiting the Marchioness d’Arlange, and went out. He first called at an armourer’s and bought a small revolver, which he caused to be carefully loaded under his own eyes, and put it into his pocket.

He then called on the different persons he supposed capable of informing him to what club the viscount belonged. It was not until the afternoon that a young friend of his gave him the name of Albert de Commarin’s club, and offered to conduct him thither, as he too was a member. While passing along, he grasped with frenzy the handle of the revolver which he kept concealed, thinking only of the murder he was determined to commit, and the means of insuring the accuracy of his aim. I shall be arrested, thrown into prison, and placed upon my trial at the assizes. My father no doubt will die of grief, but I must have my revenge!” On arriving at the club, his friend pointed out a very dark young man, with a haughty air, or what appeared so to him, who, seated at a table, was reading a review. Daburon walked up to him without drawing his revolver. But when within two paces, his heart failed him; he turned suddenly and fled, leaving his friend astonished at a scene, to him, utterly inexplicable. On reaching the street, it seemed to M. He tried to cry out, but could not utter a sound; he struck at the air with his hands, reeled for an instant, and then fell all of a heap on the pavement. The passers-by ran and assisted the police to raise him.

With much caution they told him, that for six weeks he had wavered between life and death. The doctors had declared his life saved; and, now that reason was restored, all would go well.

He shut his eyes, and tried to collect his ideas; but they whirled hither and thither wildly, as autumn leaves in the wind. The past seemed shrouded in a dark mist; yet, in the midst of the darkness and confusion, all that concerned Mademoiselle d’Arlange stood out clear and luminous. The proof that he was restored to full possession of his faculties was, that a question of criminal law crossed his brain. “The crime committed,” said he to himself, “should I have been condemned? But who would believe me, were I to recount my experience?” Some days later, he was sufficiently recovered to tell his father all. The good old man was moved at the story of his son’s luckless wooing, without seeing therein, however, an irreparable misfortune. He advised him to think of something else, placed at his disposal his entire fortune, and recommended him to marry a stout Poitevine heiress, very gay and healthy, who would bear him some fine children. Once he ventured to pay a visit to his old friend, the marchioness. She took him for a spectre, so much was he changed in appearance.

As she dreaded dismal faces, she ever after shut her door to him. Can Albert love me as much?” She did not dare to answer herself. She felt a desire to console him, to speak to him, attempt something; but he came no more. Daburon was not, however, a man to give way without a struggle. He tried, as his father advised him, to distract his thoughts. Then he took refuge in work, as in a sanctuary; condemned himself to the most incessant labour, and forbade himself to think of Claire, as the consumptive forbids himself to meditate upon his malady. These were the events, recalled to M. At once actor and spectator, he was there seated in his arm-chair, and at the same time he appeared on the stage.

Chance had, so to say, delivered into his hands this man preferred by Claire, this man, now no longer a haughty nobleman, illustrious by his fortune and his ancestors, but the illegitimate offspring of a courtesan. To retain a stolen name, he had committed a most cowardly assassination.

And he, the magistrate, was about to experience the infinite gratification of striking his enemy with the sword of justice. Has an investigating magistrate the right to make use of his exceptional powers in dealing with a prisoner; so long as he harbours the least resentment against him?” M.

Daburon repeated to himself what he had so frequently thought during the year, when commencing a fresh investigation: “And I also, I almost stained myself with a vile murder!” And now it was his duty to cause to be arrested, to interrogate, and hand over to the assizes the man he had once resolved to kill. Was not this, of all others, a case in which he should decline to be mixed up? Ought he not to withdraw, and wash his hands of the blood that had been shed, leaving to another the task of avenging him in the name of society?

“No,” said he, “it would be a cowardice unworthy of me.” A project of mad generosity occurred to the bewildered man. To do so I shall be obliged to suppress old Tabaret’s discoveries, and make an accomplice of him by ensuring his silence. We shall have to follow a wrong track, join Gevrol in running after some imaginary murderer.

Besides, to spare Albert is to defame Noel; it is to assure impunity to the most odious of crimes. In short, it is still sacrificing justice to my feelings.” The magistrate suffered greatly. Impelled by different interests, he wavered, undecided between the most opposite decisions, his mind oscillating from one extreme to the other. His reason after this new and unforeseen shock vainly sought to regain its equilibrium. “Resign?” said he to himself. Ought I not rather to remain the representative of the law, incapable of emotion, insensible to prejudice? am I so weak that, in assuming my office, I am unable to divest myself of my personality? My duty is to pursue this investigation. Claire herself would desire me to act thus.

If he is innocent, he will be saved; if guilty, let him perish!” This was very sound reasoning; but, at the bottom of his heart, a thousand disquietudes darted their thorns. He wanted to reassure himself. If Claire has preferred him to me, it is to Claire and not to him I owe my suffering. If he is not guilty, he shall make use of all the means in my power to establish his innocence. Yes, I am worthy to be his judge. Heaven, who reads all my thoughts, sees that I love Claire enough to desire with all my heart the innocence of her lover.” Only then did M. Daburon seem to be vaguely aware of the lapse of time. Ten minutes had sufficed him to take an inventory of the contents of M. Taking up a lamp, he first admired six very valuable pictures, which ornamented the walls; he then examined with considerable curiosity some rare bronzes placed about the room, and bestowed on the bookcase the glance of a connoisseur.

The fixed idea, stronger than one’s will, and more interesting to him than politics, brought him forcibly back to La Jonchere, where lay the murdered Widow Lerouge. In his own mind there was certainly no longer a doubt as regards this sad affair, and it seemed to him that M. But yet, what difficulties there still remained to encounter! There exists between the investigating magistrate and the accused a supreme tribunal, an admirable institution which is a guarantee for all, a powerful moderator, the jury. The strongest probabilities cannot induce them to give an affirmative verdict. The deplorable execution of Lesurques has certainly assured impunity to many criminals; but, it is necessary to say it justifies hesitation in receiving circumstantial evidence in capital crimes. Nearly all crimes are in some particular point mysterious, perhaps impenetrable to justice and the police; and the duty of the advocate is, to discover this weak point, and thereon establish his client’s defence. By pointing out this doubt to the jury, he insinuates in their minds a distrust of the entire evidence; and frequently the detection of a distorted induction, cleverly exposed, can change the face of a prosecution, and make a strong case appear to the jury a weak one. And, in proportion to the march of civilisation, juries in important trials will become more timid and hesitating.

Already numbers recoil from the idea of capital punishment; and, whenever a jury can find a peg to hang a doubt on, they will wash their hands of the responsibility of condemnation. We have seen numbers of persons signing appeals for mercy to a condemned malefactor, condemned for what crime? Every juror, from the moment he is sworn, weighs infinitely less the evidence he has come to listen to than the risk he runs of incurring the pangs of remorse. Rather than risk the condemnation of one innocent man, he will allow twenty scoundrels to go unpunished. A task often tedious to the investigating magistrate, and bristling with difficulties, is the arrangement and condensation of this evidence, particularly when the accused is a cool hand, certain of having left no traces of his guilt. It is a terrible struggle, enough to make one tremble at the responsibility of the magistrate, when he remembers, that after all, this man imprisoned, without consolation or advice, may be innocent. How hard is it, then for the judge to resist his moral convictions! Even when presumptive evidence points clearly to the criminal, and common sense recognises him, justice is at times compelled to acknowledge her defeat, for lack of what the jury consider sufficient proof of guilt. An old advocate-general said one day that he knew as many as three assassins, living rich, happy, and respected, who would probably end by dying in their beds, surrounded by their families, and being followed to the grave with lamentations, and praised for their virtues in their epitaphs.

No crime can be committed, of which the author cannot be found, unless, indeed, he happens to be a madman, whose motive it would be difficult to understand. I would pass my life in pursuit of a criminal, before avowing myself vanquished, as Gevrol has done so many times.” Assisted by chance, he had again succeeded, so he kept repeating to himself, but what proofs could he furnish to the accusation, to that confounded jury, so difficult to convince, so precise and so cowardly? What could he imagine to force so cunning a culprit to betray himself? To what new and infallible stratagem could he have recourse? The amateur detective exhausted himself in subtle but impracticable combinations, always stopped by that exacting jury, so obnoxious to the agents of the Rue de Jerusalem.

“By my faith, sir,” replied he, “I have not had the leisure to perceive my solitude.” M. Daburon crossed the room, and seated himself, facing his agent before a small table encumbered with papers and documents relating to the crime. “I have reflected a good deal,” he commenced, “about this affair--” “And I,” interrupted old Tabaret, “was just asking myself what was likely to be the attitude assumed by the viscount at the moment of his arrest. Nothing is more important, according to my idea, than his manner of conducting himself then. Will he fly into a passion? Will he attempt to intimidate the agents? Will he threaten to turn them out of the house? Once that is accorded him, he will explain everything very quickly.” The old fellow spoke of matters of speculation in such a tone of assurance that M. Daburon was unable to repress a smile.

He felt now what a distance lies between a mental decision and the physical action required to execute it. Should we fail to establish his guilt, he will remain de Commarin more than ever; and my young advocate will be Noel Gerdy to the grave.” “Yes, but--” The old man fixed his eyes upon the magistrate with a look of astonishment. Public opinion, absurd and idiotic, will not pardon the man guilty of being suspected.” It was with a sinking heart that the old fellow listened to these remarks. “But, should they lead us into error, our precipitation would be a terrible misfortune for this young man, to say nothing of the effect it would have in abridging the authority and dignity of justice, of weakening the respect which constitutes her power. Such a mistake would call for discussion, provoke examination, and awaken distrust, at an epoch in our history when all minds are but too much disposed to defy the constituted authorities.” He leaned upon the table, and appeared to reflect profoundly. “I have to do with a trembler. He is astounded at my discovery, and is not equal to the situation. Instead of being delighted by my appearance with the news of our success, he would have given a twenty-franc piece, I dare say, to have been left undisturbed. The big fishes are dangerous, and he prefers to let them swim away.” “Perhaps,” said M. Daburon, aloud, “it will suffice to issue a search-warrant, and a summons for the appearance of the accused.” “Then all is lost!” cried old Tabaret.

If we give him time to breathe, he will escape.” The only answer was an inclination of the head, which M. “It is evident,” continued the old fellow, “that our adversary has foreseen everything, absolutely everything, even the possibility of suspicion attaching to one in his high position. He will appear before you as tranquilly as your clerk, as unconcerned as if he came to arrange the preliminaries of a duel. In short, his little machine will be so cleverly constructed, so nicely arranged, all its little wheels will play so well, that there will be nothing left for you but to open the door and usher him out with the most humble apologies. The only means of securing conviction is to surprise the miscreant by a rapidity against which it is impossible he can be on his guard. Fall upon him like a thunder-clap, arrest him as he wakes, drag him hither while yet pale with astonishment, and interrogate him at once. I wish I were an investigating magistrate.” Old Tabaret stopped short, frightened at the idea that he had been wanting in respect; but M. “Proceed,” said he, in a tone of encouragement, “proceed.” “Suppose, then,” continued the detective, “I am the investigating magistrate. I cause my man to be arrested, and, twenty minutes later, he is standing before me. I do not amuse myself by putting questions to him, more or less subtle.

No, I go straight to the mark. I overwhelm him at once by the weight of my certainty, prove to him so clearly that I know everything, that he must surrender, seeing no chance of escape. I should say to him, ‘My good man, you bring me an alibi; it is very well; but I am acquainted with that system of defence. At twenty minutes past eight, you slipped away adroitly; at thirty-five minutes past eight, you took the train at the St Lazare station; at nine o’clock, you alighted at the station at Rueil, and took the road to La Jonchere; at a quarter past nine, you knocked at the window-shutter of Widow Lerouge’s cottage. You asked for something to eat, and, above all, something to drink. You then overturned everything in the house, and burned certain documents of importance; after which, you tied up in a napkin all the valuables you could find, and carried them off, to lead the police to believe the murder was the work of a robber. Arrived at the Seine, you threw the bundle into the water, then hurried off to the railway station on foot, and at eleven o’clock you reappeared amongst your friends. Your game was well played; but you omitted to provide against two adversaries, a detective, not easily deceived, named Tirauclair, and another still more clever, named chance.

Moreover, you were foolish to wear such small boots, and to keep on your lavender kid gloves, besides embarrassing yourself with a silk hat and an umbrella. Now confess your guilt, for it is the only thing left you to do, and I will give you permission to smoke in your dungeon some of those excellent trabucos you are so fond of, and which you always smoke with an amber mouthpiece.’” During this speech, M. “Yes,” continued he, after taking breath, “I would say that, and nothing else; and, unless this man is a hundred times stronger than I suppose him to be, unless he is made of bronze, of marble, or of steel, he would fall at my feet and avow his guilt.” “But supposing he were of bronze,” said M. Daburon took a pen, and hurriedly wrote a few lines. The different formalities to be gone through and the perquisitions will occupy some time, which I wish to employ in interrogating the Count de Commarin, the young man’s father, and your friend M. The letters he possesses are indispensable to me.” At the name of Gerdy, M. Before eight days are past, my oldest friends will refuse to shake hands with me, as if it were not an honour to serve justice. I shall be obliged to change my residence, and assume a false name.” He almost wept, so great was his annoyance. Daburon was touched.

I will lead him to believe I have reached him by means of the widow’s papers.” The old fellow seized the magistrate’s hand in a transport of gratitude, and carried it to his lips. I should like to be permitted to witness the arrest; and I shall be glad to assist at the perquisitions.” “I intended to ask you to do so, M. “I have no time to lose,” continued M. I must at once see the public prosecutor, whether he is up or not.

I shall go direct from his house to the Palais de Justice, and be there before eight o’clock; and I desire, M. Tabaret, that you will there await my orders.” The old fellow bowed his thanks and was about to leave, when the magistrate’s servant appeared. “Ask the man to have some refreshment; at least offer him a glass of wine.” He opened the envelope. “Ah!” he cried, “a letter from Gevrol;” and he read: “‘To the investigating magistrate. Sir, I have the honour to inform you, that I am on the track of the man with the earrings. I heard of him at a wine shop, which he entered on Sunday morning, before going to Widow Lerouge’s cottage. to forget that to-morrow is the boat’s fete day!” and immediately called for three more litres. According to the almanac the boat must be called the Saint-Martin. I write to the Prefecture at the same time as I write to you, that inquiries may be made at Paris and Rouen.

Are you not going to put a stop to his inquiries, sir?” “No; certainly not,” answered M. Daburon; “to neglect the slightest clue often leads one into error. Tabaret made his memorable examination in the victim’s chamber, the Viscount Albert de Commarin entered his carriage, and proceeded to the Northern railway station, to meet his father. All the servants had observed, that, during the past five days, their young master had not been in his ordinary condition: he spoke but little, ate almost nothing, and refused to see any visitors. When setting forth to meet his father, the viscount appeared to suffer so acutely that M. Lubin, his valet, entreated him not to go out; suggesting that it would be more prudent to retire to his room, and call in the doctor. He had announced his intended arrival by telegraph, twenty-four hours in advance; therefore the house was expected to be in perfect readiness to receive him, and the absence of Albert at the railway station would have been resented as a flagrant omission of duty. Soon the doors leading on to the platform were opened, and the travelers crowded in.

The throng beginning to thin a little, the count appeared, followed by a servant, who carried a travelling pelisse lined with rare and valuable fur. His regular features presented a study to the physiognomist, all expressing easy, careless good nature, even to the handsome, smiling mouth; but in his eyes flashed the fiercest and the most arrogant pride. Imbued quite as deeply with aristocratic prejudice as the Marchioness d’Arlange, he had progressed with his century or at least appeared to have done so. She dreamed of the return of the absurd traditions of a former age; he hoped for things within the power of events to bring forth. de Commarin knew how to divest himself of his crushing urbanity in the company of his equals. Perceiving his father, Albert advanced towards him. The count uttered “Ah!” accompanied by a certain movement of the head, which, with him, expressed perfect incredulity; then, turning to his servant, he gave him some orders briefly.

“Now,” resumed he, “let us go quickly to the house. I am in haste to feel at home; and I am hungry, having had nothing to-day, but some detestable broth, at I know not what way station.” M. de Commarin had returned to Paris in a very bad temper, his journey to Austria had not brought the results he had hoped for. To crown his dissatisfaction, he had rested, on his homeward way, at the chateau of an old friend, with whom he had had so violent a discussion that they had parted without shaking hands. “I have quarrelled with the Duke de Sairmeuse,” said he to his son. “That seems to me to happen whenever you meet,” answered Albert, without intending any raillery. He has cut down the timber, and put up to auction the old chateau, a princely dwelling, which is to be converted into a sugar refinery; all this for the purpose, as he says, of raising money to increase his income!” “And was that the cause of your rupture?” inquired Albert, without much surprise.

The men of ‘93 well understood this principle, and acted upon it. The Minister of July, who said to the people, ‘Make yourselves rich,’ was not a fool. But they have not the sense to understand it.

They want to go too fast. They launch into speculations, and become rich, it is true; but in what? Stocks, bonds, paper,--rags, in short. They prefer to invest in merchandise, which pays eight or ten per cent, to investing in vines or corn which will return but three. From the moment he owns a piece of ground the size of a handkerchief, he wants to make it as large as a tablecloth. He goes directly to his object, pressing firmly against the yoke; and nothing can stop or turn him aside. He knows that stocks may rise or fall, fortunes be won or lost on ‘change; but the land always remains,--the real standard of wealth. To become landholders, the peasant starves himself, wears sabots in winter; and the imbeciles who laugh at him will be astonished by and by when he makes his ‘93, and the peasant becomes a baron in power if not in name.” “I do not understand the application,” said the viscount. Why, what the peasant is doing is what the nobles ought to have done! Ruined, their duty was to reconstruct their fortunes.

Commerce is interdicted to us; be it so: agriculture remains. Instead of grumbling uselessly during the half-century, instead of running themselves into debt, in the ridiculous attempt to support an appearance of grandeur, they ought to have retreated to their provinces, shut themselves up in their chateaux; there worked, economised, denied themselves, as the peasant is doing, purchased the land piece by piece. Had they taken this course, they would to-day possess France. Blauville, which cost my father a hundred crowns in 1817, is worth to-day more than a million: so that, when I hear the nobles complain, I shrug the shoulder. Who but they are to blame? They impoverish themselves from year to year. They sell their land to the peasants.

Soon they will be reduced to beggary, and their escutcheons. What consoles me is, that the peasant, having become the proprietor of our domains will then be all-powerful, and will yoke to his chariot wheels these traders in scrip and stocks, whom he hates as much as I execrate them myself.” The carriage at this moment stopped in the court-yard of the de Commarin mansion, after having described that perfect half-circle, the glory of coachmen who preserve the old tradition. In the immense vestibule, nearly all the servants, dressed in rich liveries, stood in a line. The count gave them a glance, in passing, as an officer might his soldiers on parade, and proceeded to his apartment on the first floor, above the reception rooms. They were necessary to him. As the count was known to have passed the day on the road, the dinner was served in advance of the usual hour. All the establishment, even to the lowest scullion, represented the spirit of the first article of the rules of the house, “Servants are not to execute orders, but anticipate them.” M. He was fond of recalling the names of great men, noted for their capacity of stomach.

He pretended that one can almost judge of men’s qualities by their digestive capacities; he compared them to lamps, whose power of giving light is in proportion to the oil they consume. de Commarin ate conscientiously, not perceiving or not caring to notice that Albert ate nothing, but merely sat at the table as if to countenance him. He was partial, moreover, to an after dinner argument, professing a theory that moderate discussion is a perfect digestive. A letter which had been delivered to him on his arrival, and which he had found time to glance over, gave him at once a subject and a point of departure. “Too much; he consumes himself in ink. On my word of honour, they seem to have lost their senses! They talk of lifting the world, only they want a lever and something to rest it on. It makes me die with laughter!” For ten minutes the count continued to discharge a volley of abuse and sarcasm against his best friends, without seeming to see that a great many of their foibles which he ridiculed were also a little his own. they count upon others to do for them what they ought to do for themselves. “No,” continued he, “I see but one hope for the French aristocracy, but one plank of salvation, one good little law, establishing the right of primogeniture.” “You will never obtain it.” “You think not?

Let all the younger sons and the daughters of our great families forego their rights, by giving up the entire patrimony to the first-born for five generations, contenting themselves each with a couple of thousand francs a year.

By that means great fortunes can be reconstructed, and families, instead of being divided by a variety of interests, become united by one common desire.” “Unfortunately,” objected the viscount, “the time is not favorable to such devotedness.” “I know it, sir,” replied the count quickly; “and in my own house I have the proof of it. I, your father, have conjured you to give up all idea of marrying the granddaughter of that old fool, the Marchioness d’Arlange. And all to no purpose; for I have at last been obliged to yield to your wishes.” “Father--” Albert commenced. You will be one of the largest proprietors in France; but have half a dozen children, and they will be hardly rich. She would have brought you four millions in her apron,--more than the kings of to-day give their daughters. He answered from time to time so as not to appear absolutely dumb, and then only a few syllables. This absence of opposition was more irritating to the count than the most obstinate contradiction.

He therefore directed his utmost efforts to excite his son to argue. During the last hour, Albert had suffered an intolerable punishment. All his animation forsook him, and in a hesitating voice, he asked: “What is that you say, viscount?” Albert had no sooner uttered the sentence than he regretted his precipitation, but he had gone too far to stop. “Sir,” he replied with some embarrassment, “I have to acquaint you with some important matters.

I intended postponing this conversation till to-morrow, not desiring to trouble you on the evening of your return. However, as you wish me to explain, I will do so.” The count listened with ill-concealed anxiety.

He seemed to have divined what his son was about to say, and was terrified at himself for having divined it. “Believe me, sir,” continued Albert slowly, “whatever may have been your acts, my voice will never be raised to reproach you. Your constant kindness to me--” M. “A truce to preambles; let me have the facts without phrases,” said he sternly. Albert was some time without answering, he hesitated how to commence. “I forbid you to speak!” But he no doubt soon felt ashamed of his violence, for he quietly raised his chair, and resumed in a tone which he strove to render light and rallying: “Who will hereafter refuse to believe in presentiments? With one accord, father and son avoided letting their eyes meet, lest they might encounter glances too eloquent to bear at so painful a moment. Will you follow me to my room?” He rang the bell, and a footman appeared almost immediately. “Neither the viscount nor I am at home to any one,” said M. For twenty years, he had been constantly expecting to see the truth brought to light.

He knew that there can be no secret so carefully guarded that it may not by some chance escape; and his had been known to four people, three of whom were still living. He had not forgotten that he had been imprudent enough to trust it to paper, knowing all the while that it ought never to have been written. How was it that he had allowed this fatal correspondence to remain in existence! Such imprudence could only have arisen from an absurd passion, blind and insensible, even to madness. If the idea had occurred to him, he would have repelled it as an insult to the character of his angel.

What reason could he have had to suspect her discretion? He would have been much more likely to have supposed her desirous of removing every trace, even the slightest, of what had taken place. When eight years after, believing her to be unfaithful, the count had put an end to the connection which had given him so much happiness he thought of obtaining possession of this unhappy correspondence.

But he knew not how to do so.

The principal one was, that he did not wish to see this woman, once so dearly loved. To look again upon this mistress of his youth would, he feared, result in his forgiving her; and he had been too cruelly wounded in his pride and in his affection to admit the idea of a reconciliation. On the other hand, to obtain the letters though a third party was entirely out of the question. “I will go to her,” said he to himself; “but not until I have so torn her from my heart that she will have become indifferent to me. I will not gratify her with the sight of my grief.” So months and years passed on; and finally he began to say and believe that it was too late. Never had he been able to forget that above his head a danger more terrible than the sword of Damocles hung, suspended by a thread, which the slightest accident might break. Albert stood respectfully, while his father sat in his great armorial chair, just beneath the large frame in which the genealogical tree of the illustrious family of Rheteau de Commarin spread its luxuriant branches. I need say nothing to you of the position of a father, obliged to blush before his son; you understand it, and will feel for me.

Let us spare each other, and try to be calm.

Tell me, how did you obtain your knowledge of this correspondence?” Albert had had time to recover himself, and prepare for the present struggle, as he had impatiently waited four days for this interview. The difficulty he experienced in uttering the first words had now given place to a dignified and proud demeanor. He then revealed to me that I, alas! I was about to answer him very sharply, of course; but, presenting me with a packet of letters, he begged me to read them before replying.” “Ah!” cried M. de Commarin, “you should have thrown them into the fire, for there was a fire, I suppose? And, recalling the position Noel had occupied against the mantelpiece, and the manner in which he stood, he added,--“Even if the thought had occurred to me, it was impracticable.

I therefore took the letters, and read them.” “And then?” “And then, sir, I returned the correspondence to the young man, and asked for a delay of eight days; not to think over it myself--there was no need of that,--but because I judged an interview with you indispensable. You know that it did, for you have read what I wrote to Madame Gerdy, your mother.” Albert had foreseen, had expected this reply; but it crushed him nevertheless. There are misfortunes so great, that one must constantly think of them to believe in their existence. All the letters that I read spoke distinctly of your purpose, detailed your plan minutely; but not one pointed to, or in any way confirmed, the execution of your project.” The count gazed at his son with a look of intense surprise.

He recollected distinctly all the letters; and he could remember, that, in writing to Valerie, he had over and over again rejoiced at their success, thanking her for having acted in accordance with his wishes. “You did not go to the end of them, then, viscount,” he said, “you did not read them all?” “Every line, sir, and with an attention that you may well understand. The last letter shown me simply announced to Madame Gerdy the arrival of Claudine Lerouge, the nurse who was charged with accomplishing the substitution. I know nothing beyond that.” “These proofs amount to nothing,” muttered the count. Albert had had only serious suspicions, and he had changed them to certainty.

“There can be no possible doubt,” he said to himself; “Valerie has destroyed the most conclusive letters, those which appeared to her the most dangerous, those I wrote after the substitution. True, she had deceived him; but did he not owe to her the only years of happiness he had ever known? Three or four times his eyelids trembled, as if a tear were about to fall. This was the first time since the viscount had grown to man’s estate that he had surprised in his father’s countenance other emotion than ambition or pride, triumphant or defeated. de Commarin was not the man to yield long to sentiment. “You have not told me, viscount,” he said, “who sent you that messenger of misfortune.” “He came in person, sir, not wishing, he told me to mix any others up in this sad affair. Noel Gerdy himself.” “Yes,” said the count in a low tone, “Noel, that is his name, I remember.” And then, with evident hesitation, he added: “Did he speak to you of his--of your mother?” “Scarcely, sir. He only told me that he came unknown to her; that he had accidentally discovered the secret which he revealed to me.” M. There was more for him to learn.

The decisive moment had come; and he saw but one way to escape. “Come, viscount,” he said, in a tone so affectionate that Albert was astonished, “do not stand; sit down here by me, and let us discuss this matter. Let us unite our efforts to shun, if possible, this great misfortune.

Have you thought of what is to be done? have you formed any determination?” “It seems to me, sir, that hesitation is impossible.” “In what way?” “My duty, father, is very plain. Before your legitimate son, I ought to give way without a murmur, if not without regret. I am ready to yield to him everything that I have so long kept from him without a suspicion of the truth--his father’s love, his fortune and his name.” At this most praiseworthy reply, the old nobleman could scarcely preserve the calmness he had recommended to his son in the earlier part of the interview. He, usually so guarded, so decorous on all occasions, uttered a volley of oaths that would not have done discredit to an old cavalry officer. You shall retain the title to your death, or at least to mine; for never, while I live, shall your absurd idea be carried out.” “But, sir,” began Albert, timidly. “You are very daring to interrupt me while I am speaking, sir,” exclaimed the count. You are going to tell me that it is a revolting injustice, a wicked robbery. And yet I learnt how to keep silence, and to hide the sorrow and remorse which have covered my pillow with thorns. No, I will never permit it!” The count read a reply on his son’s lips: he stopped him with a withering glance.

Do you think that I have never felt a burning desire to repair the wrong done him? There have been times, sir, when I would have given half of my fortune simply to embrace that child of a wife too tardily appreciated. I have sacrificed myself to the great name I bear. I received it from my ancestors without a stain. May you hand it down to your children equally spotless!

Think of the scandal, if our secret should be disclosed to the public gaze. I shudder at the thought of the odium and the ridicule which would cling to our name. Too many families already have stains upon their escutcheons; I will have none on mine.” M. de Commarin remained silent for several minutes, during which Albert did not dare say a word, so much had he been accustomed since infancy to respect the least wish of the terrible old gentleman. “Can I discard you to-morrow, and present this Noel as my son, saying, ‘Excuse me, but there has been a slight mistake; this one is the viscount?’ And then the tribunals will get hold of it. The same moral does not do for everyone; because we have not the same duties to perform. The storm is upon you; raise your head to meet it.” Albert’s impassibility contributed not a little to increase M. “What have you to reply?” he asked. “It seems to me sir, that you have no idea of all the dangers which I foresee.

It is difficult to master the revolts of conscience.” “Indeed!” interrupted the count contemptuously; “your conscience revolts, does it?

Your scruples come too late. To-day the name appears to you laden with a heavy fault, a crime, if you will; and your conscience revolts.

Children, sir, are accountable to their fathers; and they should obey them.

It is not I who you have to convince, it is M. And, if he should raise his voice, do you hope to move him by the considerations you have just mentioned?” “I do not fear him.” “Then you are wrong, sir, permit me to tell you. Suppose for a moment that this young man has a soul sufficiently noble to relinquish his claim upon your rank and your fortune. Is there not now the accumulated rancour of years to urge him to oppose you? He must passionately long for vengeance, or rather reparation.” “He has no proofs.” “He has your letters, sir.” “They are not decisive, you yourself have told me so.” “That is true, sir; and yet they convinced me, who have an interest in not being convinced. Suppose you were summoned before a tribunal, and that there, under oath, you should be required to speak the truth, what answer would you make?” M. “I would save the name of my ancestors,” he said at last. Yes,” he added with an effort, “I will call on her, I will speak to her; and I will guarantee that she will not betray us.” “And Claudine,” continued the young man; “will she be silent, too?” “For money, yes; and I will give her whatever she asks.” “And you would trust, father, to a paid silence, as if one could ever be sure of a purchased conscience? What is sold to you may be sold to another.

He spoke to me of her, as though he were sure of her testimony. He almost proposed my going to her for information.” “Alas!” cried the count, “why is not Claudine dead instead of my faithful Germain?” “You see, sir,” concluded Albert, “Claudine Lerouge would alone render all your efforts useless.” “Ah, no!” cried the count; “I shall find some expedient.” The obstinate old gentleman was not willing to give in to this argument, the very clearness of which blinded him. To acknowledge that he was conquered humiliated him, and seemed to him unworthy of himself. He did not remember to have met during his long career an invincible resistance or an absolute impediment. He was like all men of imagination, who fall in love with their projects, and who expect them to succeed on all occasions, as if wishing hard was all that was necessary to change their dreams into realities.

Albert this time broke the silence, which threatened to be prolonged. “I see, sir,” he said, “that you fear, above all things, the publicity of this sad history; the possible scandal renders you desperate. This might be borne, if we were sure of succeeding; but we are bound to lose, my father, we shall lose. think of the dishonour branded upon us by public opinion.” “I think,” said the count, “that you can have neither respect nor affection for me, when you speak in that way.” “It is my duty, sir, to point out to you the evils I see threatening, and which there is yet time to shun. It is easy to account for it, through a mistake of the nurse, Claudine Lerouge, for instance. What is to prevent the new Viscount de Commarin from quitting Paris, and disappearing for a time? We may be able to purchase these letters.

and I wish him to the devil! I will see him, and he will agree to what I wish. I will prove to him the bad policy of the earthen pot struggling with the iron kettle; and, if he is not a fool, he will understand.” The count rubbed his hands while speaking. It could not fail to result favorably. A crowd of arguments occurred to his mind in support of it. But Albert did not seem to share his father’s hopes, “You will perhaps think it unkind in me, sir,” said he, sadly, “to dispel this last illusion of yours; but I must. Gerdy, my father, and he is not one, I assure you, to be intimidated. I can still hear his voice trembling with resentment, while he spoke to me.

Strong in his rights, he will cling to you with stubborn animosity. He will drag you from court to court; he will not stop short of utter defeat or complete triumph.” Accustomed to absolute obedience from his son, the old nobleman was astounded at this unexpected obstinacy.

Your name does not belong to me; I will take my own. I am your natural son; I will give up my place to your legitimate son. Permit me to withdraw with at least the honour of having freely done my duty. Do not force me to wait till I am driven out in disgrace.” “What!” cried the count, stunned, “you will abandon me? You refuse to help me, you turn against me, you recognize the rights of this man in spite of my wishes?” Albert bowed his head. “I can never consent to despoil your son.” “Cruel, ungrateful boy!” cried M. His wrath was such, that, when he found he could do nothing by abuse, he passed at once to jeering. You will shake the dust from your shoes upon the threshold of my house; and you will go out into the world. How do you expect to live, my stoic philosopher? Then my name must have seemed very burdensome to you to bear, since you so eagerly introduced it into such a place!

Say, rather, that the company of my friends embarrasses you, and that you are anxious to go where you will be among your equals.” “I am very wretched, sir,” replied Albert to this avalanche of insults, “and you would crush me!” “You wretched! But let us get back to my question. How and on what will you live?” “I am not so romantic as you are pleased to say, sir. You are so rich, that five hundred thousand francs would not materially affect your fortune; and, on the interest of that sum, I could live quietly, if not happily.” “And suppose I refuse you this money?” “I know you well enough, sir, to feel sure that you will not do so. You are too just to wish that I alone should expiate wrongs that are not of my making.

Left to myself, I should at my present age have achieved a position. It is late for me to try and make one now; but I will do my best.” “Superb!” interrupted the count; “you are really superb! But tell me, what do you expect from all this astonishing disinterestedness?” “Nothing, sir.” The count shrugged his shoulders, looked sarcastically at his son, and observed: “The compensation is very slight. And you expect me to believe all this! You must have some reason for acting so grandly; some reason which I fail to see.” “None but what I have already told you.” “Therefore it is understood you intend to relinquish everything; you will even abandon your proposed union with Mademoiselle Claire d’Arlange? I have seen Mademoiselle Claire; I have explained my unhappy position to her.

Whatever happens, she has sworn to be my wife.” “And do you think that Madame d’Arlange will give her granddaughter to M. The marchioness is sufficiently infected with aristocratic ideas to prefer a nobleman’s bastard to the son of some honest tradesman; but should she refuse, we would await her death, though without desiring it.” The calm manner in which Albert said this enraged the count. No one shall insult her in my presence, I will not permit it, sir; and I will suffer it least of all from you.” The count made great efforts to keep his anger within bounds, but Albert’s behavior thoroughly enraged him. What, his son rebelled, he dared to brave him to his face, he threatened him! The old fellow jumped from his chair, and moved towards the young man as if he would strike him. Retire to your apartments, and take care not to leave them without my orders.

To-morrow I will let you know my decision.” Albert bowed respectfully, but without lowering his eyes and walked slowly to the door. “Albert,” said he, “come here and listen to me.” The young man turned back, much affected by this change. “Do not go,” continued the count, “until I have told you what I think.

For a long time their hands remained clasped, without either being able to utter a word. “I must ask you to leave me, Albert,” he said kindly.

“I must be alone to reflect, to try and accustom myself to this terrible blow.” And, as the young man closed the door, he added, as if giving vent to his inmost thoughts, “If he, in whom I have placed all my hope, deserts me, what will become of me? The old fellow has been in a dreadful passion.” “I got wind of it at dinner,” spoke up a valet de chambre: “the count restrained himself enough not to burst out before me; but he rolled his eyes fiercely.” “What can be the matter?” “Pshaw! Why, Denis, before whom they always speak freely, says that they often wrangle for hours together, like dogs, about things which he can never see through.” “Ah,” cried out a young fellow, who was being trained to service, “if I were in the viscount’s place, I’d settle the old gent pretty effectually!” “Joseph, my friend,” said the footman pointedly, “you are a fool.

You might give your father his walking ticket very properly, because you never expect five sous from him; and you have already learned how to earn your living without doing any work at all. But the viscount, pray tell me what he is good for, what he knows how to do? “I can’t for the life of me,” said the valet de chambre, “see what the count finds to complain of; for his son is a perfect model, and I shouldn’t be sorry to have one like him.

He was one who made it a point never to be in good humor. His eldest son, who is a friend of the viscount’s, and who comes here occasionally, is a pit without a bottom, as far as money is concerned. Every day there is some new story about his son.

He had an apartment in the house; he went in and out when he pleased; he passed his nights in gaming and drinking; he cut up so with the actresses that the police had to interfere. Besides all this, I have many a time had to help him up to his room, and put him to bed, when the waiters from the restaurants brought him home in a carriage, so drunk that he could scarcely say a word.” “Ha!” exclaimed Joseph enthusiastically, “this fellow’s service must be mighty profitable.” “That was according to circumstances. I must do him the justice to say, though, that his cigars were splendid. He is severe upon our faults, it is true; but he is never harsh nor brutal to his servants. He was wise enough to distrust those astonishing personages who are always praising everybody. When they speak, you know exactly what they are going to say; you have heard the same thing so many times already from them, you know all their ideas by heart. He was charged with sins of the most opposite character, with faults so contradictory that they were their own defence. Some accused him, for instance, of entertaining ideas entirely too liberal for one of his rank; and, at the same time, others complained of his excessive arrogance.

People knew him scarcely well enough to love him, while they were jealous of him and feared him. Forced by his relations, by his father, to go into society a great deal, he was bored, and committed the unpardonable sin of letting it be seen. Perhaps he had been disgusted by the constant court made to him, by the rather coarse attentions which were never spared the noble heir of one of the richest families in France.

He did not abuse his advantages; and no one ever heard of his getting into a scrape. Mothers who had daughters to dispose of upheld him; but, for the last two years, they had turned against him, when his love for Mademoiselle d’Arlange became well known. He had had, like others, his run of follies; but he had soon got disgusted with what it is the fashion to call pleasure. The noble profession of bon vivant appeared to him very tame and tiresome. He did not enjoy passing his nights at cards; nor did he appreciate the society of those frail sisters, who in Paris give notoriety to their lovers. As doing nothing wearied him, he attempted, like the parvenu, to give some meaning to life by work.

He purposed, after a while, to take part in public affairs; and, as he had often been struck with the gross ignorance of many men in power, he wished to avoid their example. The one word of “liberal” was enough to throw the count into convulsions; and he suspected his son of liberalism, ever since reading an article by the viscount, published in the “Revue des Deux Mondes.” His ideas, however, did not prevent his fully sustaining his rank. His establishment, distinct from the count’s, was arranged as that of a wealthy young gentleman’s ought to be. His liveries left nothing to be desired; and his horses and equipages were celebrated. Letters of invitation were eagerly sought for to the grand hunting parties, which he formed every year towards the end of October at Commarin,--an admirable piece of property, covered with immense woods.

Albert’s love for Claire--a deep, well-considered love--had contributed not a little to keep him from the habits and life of the pleasant and elegant idleness indulged in by his friends. This passion, so annoying to the count, was the source of the most vivid, the most powerful emotions in the viscount. All his thoughts took the same direction; all his actions had but one aim. Could he look to the right or the left, when, at the end of his journey, he perceived the reward so ardently desired? The effort to change this refusal had long been the business of his life. de Commarin, and while slowly mounting the stairs which led to his apartments, Albert’s thoughts reverted to Claire. Albert was thoroughly exhausted; his head felt dizzy, and seemed ready to burst.

“You do wrong in not sending for the doctor, sir,” said Lubin, his valet. “I ought to disobey you, and send for him myself.” “It would be useless,” replied Albert sadly; “he could do nothing for me.” As the valet was leaving the room, he added,--“Say nothing about my being unwell to any one, Lubin; it is nothing at all. If I should feel worse, I will ring.” At that moment, to see any one, to hear a voice, to have to reply, was more than he could bear. He longed to be left entirely to himself. Seen at this hour, by the mild, tremulous evening light, the gardens attached to the mansion seemed twice their usual size. The moving tops of the great trees stretched away like an immense plain, hiding the neighbouring houses; the flower-beds, set off by the green shrubs, looked like great black patches, while particles of shell, tiny pieces of glass, and shining pebbles sparkled in the carefully kept walks. In the coach-house the men were putting away for the night the carriage, always kept ready throughout the evening, in case the count should wish to go out. Have I not dreamed of a life of exceptional happiness for her, a result almost impossible to realise without wealth?” Midnight sounded from the neighbouring church of St. In the hope of obtaining a respite from his thoughts, he took up the evening paper, in which was an account of the assassination at La Jonchere; but he found it impossible to read: the lines danced before his eyes.

Then he thought of writing to Claire. At last, at break of day, he threw himself on to a sofa, and fell into a heavy sleep peopled with phantoms. me?” Albert, aroused suddenly from his painful dreams, seemed hardly to comprehend what was taking place, seemed to ask himself,--“Am I really awake? Is not this some hideous nightmare?” He threw a stupid, astonished look upon the commissary of police, his men, and M. Then very low, but distinct enough to be heard by the commissary, by one of his officers, and by old Tabaret, he added,--“I am lost!” While the commissary was making inquiries, which immediately follow all arrests, the police officers spread through the apartments, and proceeded to a searching examination of them.

They had received orders to obey M. Tabaret, and the old fellow guided them in their search, made them ransack drawers and closets, and move the furniture to look underneath or behind. They seized a number of articles belonging to the viscount,--documents, manuscripts, and a very voluminous correspondence; but it was with especial delight that M. These trousers had not been hung up with the other clothes; but appear to have been hidden between two large trunks full of clothing. “Our prisoner does not appear to know exactly how to act. But I must hurry off and find the investigating magistrate, who is impatiently expecting me.” Albert was beginning to recover a little from the stupor into which he had been plunged by the entrance of the commissary of police. “Sir,” he asked, “will you permit me to say a few words in your presence to the Count de Commarin? Have the goodness to accompany me to it.” In crossing the vestibule, Albert noticed a great stir among the servants; they all seemed to have lost their senses. Denis gave some orders in a sharp, imperative tone.

They almost carried him to the cab which drove off as fast as the two little horses could go. The visitor who risks himself in the labyrinth of galleries and stairways in the Palais de Justice, and mounts to the third story in the left wing, will find himself in a long, low-studded gallery, badly lighted by narrow windows, and pierced at short intervals by little doors, like a hall at the ministry or at a lodging-house. It is a place difficult to view calmly, the imagination makes it appear so dark and dismal. It needs a Dante to compose an inscription to place above the doors which lead from it. From morning to night, the flagstones resound under the heavy tread of the gendarmes, who accompany the prisoners. Each one of the little doors, which has its number painted over it in black, opens into the office of a judge of inquiry. They have nothing terrible nor sad in themselves; and yet it is difficult to enter one of them without a shudder. In the office of the judge of inquiry, Justice clothes herself in none of that apparel which she afterwards dons in order to strike fear into the masses. She is still simple, and almost disposed to kindness.

She says to the prisoner,-- “I have strong reasons for thinking you guilty; but prove to me your innocence, and I will release you.” On entering one of these rooms, a stranger would imagine that he got into a cheap shop by mistake. Of what consequence are surroundings to the judge hunting down the author of a crime, or to the accused who is defending his life? He had already had an interview with the public prosecutor, and had arranged everything with the police. Besides issuing the warrant against Albert, he had summoned the Count de Commarin, Madame Gerdy, Noel, and some of Albert’s servants, to appear before him with as little delay as possible.

He thought it essential to question all these persons before examining the prisoner. Several detectives had started off to execute his orders, and he himself sat in his office, like a general commanding an army, who sends off his aide-de-camp to begin the battle, and who hopes that victory will crown his combinations. He kept repeating this to himself; and yet he could not quiet his dreadful anxiety, which would not allow him a moment’s rest. He walked up and down the room, counting the minutes, drawing out his watch three times within a quarter of an hour, to compare it with the clock. Every time he heard a step in the passage, almost deserted at that hour, he moved near the door, stopped and listened. He was thirty-four years of age and during fifteen years had acted as clerk to four investigating magistrates in succession. He could hear the most astonishing things without moving a muscle.

He bowed to the magistrate, and excused himself for his tardiness. He had been busy with some book-keeping, which he did every morning; and his wife had had to send after him. From his firm step, his placid face, one would never imagine that, after an evening of emotion and excitement, after a secret visit to his mistress, he had passed the night by the pillow of a dying woman, and that woman his mother, or at least one who had filled his mother’s place. He bowed to M. He therefore welcomed him as a fellow-workman, and invited him to be seated. The preliminaries common in the examinations of all witnesses ended; the name, surname, age, place of business, and so on having been written down, the magistrate, who had followed his clerk with his eyes while he was writing, turned towards Noel. Then, calling to mind his promise to old Tabaret, he added, “If justice has summoned you so promptly, it is because we have found your name often mentioned in Widow Lerouge’s papers.” “I am not surprised at that,” replied the advocate: “we were greatly interested in that poor woman, who was my nurse; and I know that Madame Gerdy wrote to her frequently.” “Very well; then you can give me some information about her.” “I fear, sir, that it will be very incomplete. I was taken from her at a very early age; and, since I have been a man, I have thought but little about her, except to send her occasionally a little aid.” “You never went to visit her?” “Excuse me. I have gone there to see her many times, but I remained only a few minutes.

Madame Gerdy, who has often seen her, and to whom she talked of all her affairs, could have enlightened you much better than I.” “But,” said the magistrate, “I expect shortly to see Madame Gerdy here; she, too, must have received a summons.” “I know it, sir, but it is impossible for her to appear.

She is ill in bed.” “Seriously?” “So seriously that you will be obliged, I think, to give up all hope of her testimony. “And you think, my dear sir, that it will be impossible to obtain any information from her?” “It is useless even to hope for it. Yesterday, however, on rising from dinner, after having eaten but little, she took up a newspaper; and, by a most unfortunate hazard, her eyes fell exactly upon the lines which gave an account of this crime. She at once uttered a loud cry, fell back in her chair, and thence slipped to the floor, murmuring, ‘Oh, the unhappy man, the unhappy man!’” “The unhappy woman, you mean.” “No, sir. Evidently the exclamation did not refer to my poor nurse.” Upon this reply, so important and yet made in the most unconscious tone, M. Daburon raised his eyes to the witness.

Assisted by our servant, I carried her to her bed. The doctor was sent for; and, since then, she has not recovered consciousness. The doctor--” “It is well,” interrupted M. Well, now tell me, does there exist to your knowledge any one having the least interest in the death of this poor woman?” As he asked this question the investigating magistrate kept his eyes fixed on Noel’s, not wishing him to turn or lower his head. It would be too bad to cause the least trouble to that zealous and invaluable man.” He then added aloud: “An injury to you, my dear sir? Besides, it is very hard to be obliged to unveil such sad secrets, the revelation of which may sometimes--” M. Noel’s sad tone impressed him. Knowing, beforehand, what he was about to hear, he felt for the young advocate. He turned to his clerk. “Constant!” said he in a peculiar tone.

“I am very much obliged to you, sir,” he said with suppressed warmth, “for your considerateness. What I have to say is very painful; but it will be scarcely an effort to speak before you now.” “Fear nothing,” replied the magistrate; “I will only retain of your deposition, my dear sir, what seems to me absolutely indispensable.” “I feel scarcely master of myself, sir,” began Noel; “so pray pardon my emotion. Up to the past few days, I always believed that I was the offspring of illicit love. My history is short. I have passed a quiet life, retired and austere, as people must, who, starting at the foot of the ladder, wish to reach the top. I worshipped her whom I believed to be my mother; and I felt convinced that she loved me in return. The stain of my birth had some humiliations attached to it; but I despised them.

One day, Providence placed in my hands all the letters which my father, the Count de Commarin, had written to Madame Gerdy during the time she was his mistress. On reading these letters, I was convinced that I was not what I had hitherto believed myself to be,--that Madame Gerdy was not my mother!” And, without giving M. Daburon time to reply, he laid before him the facts which, twelve hours before, he had related to M. It was the same story, with the same circumstances, the same abundance of precise and conclusive details; but the tone in which it was told was entirely changed. When speaking to the old detective, the young advocate had been emphatic and violent; but now, in the presence of the investigating magistrate, he restrained his vehement emotions. One might imagine that he adapted his style to his auditors, wishing to produce the same effect on both, and using the method which would best accomplish his purpose.

To an ordinary mind like M. Tabaret’s he used the exaggeration of anger; but to a man of superior intelligence like M.

With the detective he had rebelled against his unjust lot; but with the magistrate he seemed to bow, full of resignation, before a blind fatality. To support this moral certainty, some positive testimony was needed.

But he had counted upon that of his nurse,--the poor old woman who loved him, and who, near the close of her life, would be glad to free her conscience from this heavy load. Then he passed on to his explanation with Madame Gerdy, and he gave the magistrate even fuller details than he had given his old neighbour. From this scene, in the advocate’s judgment, might be dated the first attacks of the illness, to which she was now succumbing. A few inaccuracies occurred in his narrative, but so slight that it would have been difficult to charge him with them. Besides, there was nothing in them at all unfavourable to Albert. Albert had received the revelation with a certain distrust, it is true, but with a noble firmness at the same time, and, like a brave heart, was ready to bow before the justification of right. In fact, he drew an almost enthusiastic portrait of this rival, who had not been spoiled by prosperity, who had left him without a look of hatred, towards whom he felt himself drawn, and who after all was his brother. Daburon listened to Noel with the most unremitting attention, without allowing a word, a movement, or a frown, to betray his feelings. “How, sir,” observed the magistrate when the young man ceased speaking, “could you have told me that, in your opinion, no one was interested in Widow Lerouge’s death?” The advocate made no reply.

“It seems to me,” continued M. It is evident that the crime is of the greatest service to this young man, and that it was committed at a singularly favourable moment.” “Oh sir!” cried Noel, protesting with all his energy, “this insinuation is dreadful.” The magistrate watched the advocate’s face narrowly. I did not present myself like a man who, furious at being robbed, demands that everything which had been taken from him should be restored on the spot. I merely presented the facts to Albert, saying, ‘Here is the truth? what do you think we ought to do? I had suggested his accompanying me to see Widow Lerouge, whose testimony might dispel all doubts; he did not seem to understand me. But he was well acquainted with her, having visited her with the count, who supplied her, I have since learned, liberally with money.” “Did not this generosity appear to you very singular?” “No.” “Can you explain why the viscount did not appear disposed to accompany you?” “Certainly. He had just said that he wished, before all, to have an explanation with his father, who was then absent, but who would return in a few days.” The truth, as all the world knows, and delights in proclaiming, has an accent which no one can mistake. Noel continued with the ingenuous candour of an honest heart which suspicion has never touched with its bat’s wing: “The idea of treating at once with my father pleased me exceedingly. I thought it so much better to wash all one’s dirty linen at home, I had never desired anything but an amicable arrangement.

Could I,” he added proudly, “to regain my rightful name, begin by dishonouring it?” This time M.

If things came to the worst, I had determined to leave my title with Albert. That which Madame Gerdy owed to the generosity of my father was almost entirely spent. But I have nothing to reproach myself with, whatever happens. On learning of the death of my nurse, though, I cast all my hopes into the sea.” “You were wrong, my dear sir,” said the magistrate. “I advise you to still hope. Perhaps, before the end of the day, you will enter into possession of your rights.

I dreaded to understand them.” “You have not mistaken me, sir,” said M. To-morrow,--for today my time is all taken up,--we will write down your deposition together if you like. I have nothing more to say, I believe, except to ask you for the letters in your possession, and which are indispensable to me.” “Within an hour, sir, you shall have them,” replied Noel. And he retired, after having warmly expressed his gratitude to the investigating magistrate. His cab had scarcely stopped at the gate of the Palais de Justice before he was in the courtyard and rushing towards the porch. To see him jumping more nimbly than a fifth-rate lawyer’s clerk up the steep flight of stairs leading to the magistrate’s office, one would never have believed that he was many years on the shady side of fifty. He did not remember how he had passed the night; he had never before felt so fresh, so agile, in such spirits; he seemed to have springs of steel in his limbs.

He burst like a cannon-shot into the magistrate’s office, knocking up against the methodical clerk in the rudest of ways, without even asking his pardon. We have got the man.” Old Tabaret, more Tirauclair than ever, gesticulated with such comical vehemence and such remarkable contortions that even the tall clerk smiled, for which, however, he took himself severely to task on going to bed that night. But no; my Gevrol wants to nab the man with the earrings; he is just capable of doing that. When they bring the fellow before you, merely show him the particles of kid taken from behind the nails of the victim, side by side with his torn gloves, and you will overwhelm him. all those delays are fatal to justice! Daburon resigned himself to this shower of words. “In his ordinary state, he would never have allowed himself to utter such words; for they in fact destroy him. I took good care to let a frightened servant run in in advance, and to follow closely upon him myself, to see the effect. This is the first time that a piece of news in the papers ever helped to nab a criminal.” “Yes,” murmured the magistrate, deep in thought, “yes, you are a valuable man, M.

The sentiments which I heard him express here, and the genuineness of which it is impossible to doubt, manifested an elevation of soul, unhappily, very rare. There is a small legacy, too, for Madame Gerdy; but I am going to have the paragraph that relates to that taken out at once.” “Madame Gerdy, M. Has the count--” “She is dying, and is not likely to live through the day; M. Gerdy told me so himself.” “Ah! It seems as though all the accomplices are passing away at the same time; for I forgot to tell you, that, just as I was leaving the Commarin mansion, I heard a servant tell another that the count had fallen down in a fit on learning the news of his son’s arrest.” “That will be a great misfortune for M.

de Commarin’s testimony to recover for him all that he so well deserves. The count dead, Widow Lerouge dead, Madame Gerdy dying, or in any event insane, who then can tell us whether the substitution alluded to in the letters was ever carried into execution?” “True,” murmured old Tabaret; “it is true!

His head, usually carried so high, leant upon his chest; his figure was bent; his eyes had no longer their accustomed fire; his hands trembled. This man, yesterday so proud of never having bent to a storm, was now completely shattered.

The count had not noticed their presence; he paid no attention to their departure. “I feel so weak,” said he, “you must excuse my sitting.” Apologies to an investigating magistrate! What an advance in civilisation, when the nobles consider themselves subject to the law, and bow to its decrees!

“You are, perhaps, too unwell, count,” said the magistrate, “to give me the explanations I had hoped for.” “I am better, thank you,” replied M. The strength of my constitution, my physician tells me, was all that saved me; but I believe that heaven wishes me to live, that I may drink to the bitter dregs my cup of humiliation.” He stopped suddenly, nearly choked by a flow of blood that rose to his mouth. The investigating magistrate remained standing near the table, almost afraid to move. ought I not to have expected it? Everything comes to light sooner or later. I thought myself out of reach of the thunderbolt; and I have been the means of drawing down the storm upon my house.

Daburon considered Count de Commarin’s conduct unpardonable, and had determined not to spare him. He had expected to meet a proud, haughty noble, almost unmanageable; and he had resolved to humble his arrogance.

Perhaps the harsh treatment he had received of old from the Marchioness d’Arlange had given him, unconsciously, a slight grudge against the aristocracy. He had vaguely thought of certain rather severe remarks, which were to overcome the old nobleman, and bring him to a sense of his position.

But when he found himself in the presence of such a sincere repentance, his indignation changed to profound pity; and he began to wonder how he could assuage the count’s grief. What have I to fear now?

Must not I, Count Rheteau de Commarin appear before the tribunal, to proclaim the infamy of our house? But they shall also know that the punishment has been already terrible, and that there was no need for this last and awful trial.” The count stopped for a moment, to concentrate and arrange his memory. He soon continued, in a firmer voice, and adapting his tone to what he had to say, “When I was of Albert’s age, sir, my parents made me marry, in spite of my protestations, the noblest and purest of young girls. I cherished a most passionate love for a mistress, who had trusted herself to me, and whom I had loved for a long time. My heart is, so to say, dead and cold in me, sir, but, ah! In spite of my marriage, I could not induce myself to part from her, though she wished me to. The idea of sharing my love with another was revolting to her. This coincidence suggested to me the fatal idea of sacrificing my legitimate son to his less fortunate brother.

I communicated this project to Valerie. To my great surprise, she refused it with horror. I have preserved, as a monument of my folly, the letters which she wrote to me at that time. why did I not listen to both her arguments and her prayers? She had a sort of presentiment of the evil which overwhelms me to-day. But I came to Paris;--I had absolute control over her.

I threatened to leave her, never to see her again. Noel Gerdy is the issue of your legitimate marriage, and that he alone is entitled to bear your name?” “Yes, sir. I was then more delighted at the success of my project than I should have been over the most brilliant victory. I was so intoxicated with the joy of having my Valerie’s child there, near me, that I forgot everything else. I had transferred to him a part of my love for his mother; or, rather, I loved him still more, if that be possible. The thought that he would bear my name, that he would inherit all my wealth, to the detriment of the other, transported me with delight. The Countess de Commarin adored him whom she believed to be her son, and always wished to have him on her knees.

not understanding what was passing within me, imagined that I was doing everything to prevent her son loving her. Daburon did not venture to interrupt the count, to ask him briefly for the immediate facts of the case.

He knew that fever alone gave him this unnatural energy, to which at any moment might succeed the most complete prostration. He feared, if he stopped him for an instant, that he would not have strength enough to resume. But God’s justice, in advance of man’s was about to take a terrible revenge. I could not believe it at first; it seemed to me impossible, absurd.

I had taken her from a garret, where she was working sixteen hours a day to earn a few pence; she owed all to me. I could not induce myself to feel jealous. However, I inquired into the matter; I had her watched; I even acted the spy upon her myself.

I had been told the truth.

In coming to her house he took every precaution. He usually left about midnight; but sometimes he came to pass the night, and in that case went away in the early morning. Being stationed near Paris, he frequently obtained leave of absence and came to visit her; and he would remain shut up in her apartments until his time expired. I hastened to the house. I thought that my spies had deceived me; and I was going to tell her all, when I saw upon the piano a buckskin glove, such as are worn by soldiers. Not wishing a scene, and not knowing to what excess my anger might carry me, I rushed out of the place without saying a word. She wrote to me. She attempted to force her way into my presence, but in vain; my servants had orders that they dared not ignore.” Could this be the Count de Commarin, celebrated for his haughty coldness, for his reserve so full of disdain, who spoke thus, who opened his whole life without restrictions, without reserve? And to whom? To a stranger.

But he was in one of those desperate states, allied to madness, when all reflection leaves us, when we must find some outlet for a too powerful emotion. What mattered to him this secret, so courageously borne for so many years? He disburdened himself of it, like the poor man, who, weighed down by a too heavy burden, casts it to the earth without caring where it falls, nor how much it may tempt the cupidity of the passers-by. “Nothing,” continued he, “no, nothing, can approach to what I then endured. In separating from her, it seemed to me that I was tearing away a part of my own flesh. And, to this day, her detestable image has been ever present to my imagination. And that is not all, terrible doubts about Albert occurred to me. Can you understand what my punishment was, when I thought to myself, ‘I have perhaps sacrificed my own son to the child of an utter stranger.’ This thought made me hate the bastard who called himself Commarin.

To my great affection for him succeeded an unconquerable aversion. How often, in those days I struggled against an insane desire to kill him! Since then, I have learned to subdue my aversion; but I have never completely mastered it. Nevertheless, there has always been an icy barrier between us, which he was unable to explain. I have often been on the point of appealing to the tribunals, of avowing all, of reclaiming my legitimate heir; but regard for my rank has prevented me. I feared the ridicule or disgrace that would attach to my name; and yet I have not been able to save it from infamy.” The old nobleman remained silent, after pronouncing these words. Daburon signed to him to enter, and then addressing M. It is your duty to repair the evil consequences of your sin as much as lies in your power.” “Such is my intention, sir, and, may I say so? “Yes, sir,” replied the old man, “yes, I understand you.” “It will be a consolation to you,” added the magistrate, “to learn that M. Noel Gerdy is worthy in all respects of the high position that you are about to restore to him.

You will have a son worthy of his ancestors.

He had neglected his usual prudence, had moved too quickly. A witness on his guard is no longer a witness to be depended upon; he trembles for fear of compromising himself, measures the weight of the questions, and hesitates as to his answers. On the other hand, justice, in the form of a magistrate, is disposed to doubt everything, to imagine everything, and to suspect everybody. How far was the count a stranger to the crime at La Jonchere? Although doubting Albert’s paternity, he would certainly have made great efforts to save him. His story showed that he thought his honour in peril just as much as his son. Was he not the man to suppress, by every means, an inconvenient witness? He spoke to me of this sad story, in a way which I now seek in vain to explain, unless--” The count stopped short, as if his reason had been struck by the improbability of the supposition which he had formed. “Sir,” said the count, without replying directly, “Albert is a hero, if he is not guilty.” “Ah!” said the magistrate quickly, “have you, then, reason to think him innocent?” M.

Daburon’s spite was so plainly visible in the tone of his words that M.

de Commarin could and ought to have seen the semblance of an insult. I desire only to render what assistance I can to justice, in accordance with my duty.” “Confound it,” said M. Daburon to himself, “here I have offended him now! Is this the way to do things, making mistake after mistake?” “The facts are these,” resumed the count. “Yesterday, after having spoken to me of these cursed letters, Albert began to set a trap to discover the truth,--for he still had doubts, Noel Gerdy not having obtained the complete correspondence. He declared his resolution to give way to Noel. I, on the other hand, was resolved to compromise the matter, cost what it might. Albert dared to oppose me. All my efforts to convert him to my views were useless.

Vainly I tried to touch those chords in his breast which I supposed the most sensitive. He firmly repeated his intention to retire in spite of me, declaring himself satisfied, if I would consent to allow him a modest competence. I again attempted to shake him, by showing him that his marriage, so ardently looked forward to for two years, would be broken off by this blow. Feeling that his face was turning crimson, he took up a large bundle of papers from his table, and, to hide his emotion, he raised them to his face, as though trying to decipher an illegible word. He began to understand the difficult duty with which he was charged. Gladly would he put off to another time the further examination of the count; but could he? His conscience told him that this would be another blunder. “Sir,” said he, “the sentiments expressed by the viscount are very fine, without doubt; but did he not mention Widow Lerouge?” “Yes,” replied the count, who appeared suddenly to brighten, as by the remembrance of some unnoticed circumstances,--“yes, certainly.” “He must have shown you that this woman’s testimony rendered a struggle with M. Gerdy impossible.” “Precisely; sir; and, aside from the question of duty, it was upon that that he based his refusal to follow my wishes.” “It will be necessary, count, for you to repeat to me very exactly all that passed between the viscount and yourself.

Appeal, then, I beseech you, to your memory, and try to repeat his own words as nearly as possible.” M.

His blood, excited by the persistence of the examination, moved in its accustomed course. The scene of the previous evening was admirably presented to his memory, even to the most insignificant details. As his story advanced, alive with clearness and precision, M. To his inconceivable boldness, this young man joins an infernal cleverness. It is a miracle that we are able to unmask him. How marvellously this scene with his father was brought about, in order to procure doubt in case of discovery? There is not a sentence which lacks a purpose, which does not tend to ward off suspicion. Probably I might find out; but I should have to see her again, to speak to her.

to love such a man! It committed him to nothing, and gained time. And, when Noel returned to the charge, he would find himself in presence of the count, who would boldly deny everything, politely refuse to have anything to do with him and would possibly have him driven out of the house, as an impostor and forger.” It was a strange coincidence, but yet easily explained, that M. de Commarin, while telling his story, arrived at the same ideas as the magistrate, and at conclusions almost identical. In fact, why that persistence with respect to Claudine? He remembered plainly, that, in his anger, he had said to his son, “Mankind is not in the habit of doing such fine actions for its own satisfaction.” That great disinterestedness was now explained. I can say nothing positive; but justice has weighty reasons to believe that, in the scene which you have just related to me, Viscount Albert played a part previously arranged.” “And well arranged,” murmured the count; “for he deceived me!” He was interrupted by the entrance of Noel, who carried under his arm a black shagreen portfolio, ornamented with his monogram. The advocate bowed to the old gentleman, who in his turn rose and retired politely to the end of the room. “Sir,” said Noel, in an undertone to the magistrate, “you will find all the letters in this portfolio.

I must ask permission to leave you at once, as Madame Gerdy’s condition grows hourly more alarming.” Noel had raised his voice a little, in pronouncing these last words; and the count heard them. He started, and made a great effort to restrain the question which leaped from his heart to his lips. Daburon then quitted his chair, and, taking the advocate by the hand, led him to the count.

de Commarin,” said he, “I have the honour of presenting to you M. Noel, on his side, was like a man who had received a blow on the head; he staggered, and was obliged to seek support from the back of a chair. Then these two, father and son, stood face to face, apparently deep in thought, but in reality examining one another with mutual distrust, each striving to gather something of the other’s thoughts.

The count would open his arms: Noel would throw himself into them; and this reconciliation would only await the sanction of the tribunals, to be complete. He therefore thought it necessary to intervene. de Commarin made no reply; to judge from his lack of emotion, he could not have heard. So Noel, summoning all his courage, ventured to speak first,--“Sir,” he stammered, “I entertain no--” “You may call me father,” interrupted the haughty old man, in a tone which was by no means affectionate.

Then addressing the magistrate he said: “Can I be of any further use to you, sir?” “Only to hear your evidence read over,” replied M. Daburon, “and to sign it if you find everything correct.

He read very quickly, all at a stretch, without paying the least attention to either full stops or commas, questions or replies; but went on reading as long as his breath lasted.

When he could go on no longer, he took a breath, and then continued as before. Noel was the only one to listen attentively to the reading, which to unpractised ears was unintelligible. It apprised him of many things which it was important for him to know. He handed the pen to the count, who signed without hesitation. The old nobleman then turned towards Noel. “I am not very strong,” he said; “you must therefore, my son,” emphasizing the word, “help your father to his carriage.” The young advocate advanced eagerly. He hastened to the door, which he opened slightly; and, keeping his body in the background that he might not himself be seen, he looked out into the passage. The count seemed to drag heavily and painfully along; the advocate took short steps, bending slightly towards his father; and all his movements were marked with the greatest solicitude. Then he returned to his seat, heaving a deep sigh.

“At least,” thought he, “I have helped to make one person happy. The day will not be entirely a bad one.” But he had no time to give way to his thoughts, the hours flew by so quickly. He wished to interrogate Albert as soon as possible; and he had still to receive the evidence of several of the count’s servants, and the report of the commissary of police charged with the arrest. They had but little information to give; but the testimony of each was so to say a fresh accusation.

It was easy to see that all believed their master guilty. Daburon was able to follow his prisoner hour by hour from the Sunday morning. Directly Noel left, the viscount gave orders that all visitors should be informed that he had gone into the country.

He did not leave his study on that day, but had his dinner brought up to him. While eating, he said to M. Contois, the butler: “Remind the cook to spice the sauce a little more, in future,” and then added in a low tone, “Ah! to what purpose?” In the evening he dismissed his servants from all duties, saying, “Go, and amuse yourselves.” He expressly warned them not to disturb him unless he rang. He took, however a cup of tea. Lubin, his valet, heard him say: “I am hesitating too much;” and a few moments later, “I must make up my mind.” Shortly afterwards he began writing.

He then gave Lubin a letter to carry to Mademoiselle Claire d’Arlange, with orders to deliver it only to herself or to Mademoiselle Schmidt, the governess. A second letter, containing two thousand franc notes, was intrusted to Joseph, to be taken to the viscount’s club. Joseph no longer remembered the name of the person to whom the letter was addressed; but it was not a person of title. That evening, Albert only took a little soup, and remained shut up in his room. On his going into the garden, the gardener asked his advice concerning a lawn. About one o’clock, he went down to stables, and caressed, with an air of sadness, his favorite mare, Norma. The viscount took it, and opened it hastily. Two footmen distinctly heard him say, “She cannot resist.” He returned to the house, and burnt the letter in the large stove in the hall.

As he was sitting down to dinner, at six o’clock, two of his friends, M.

These gentlemen were anxious for him to join them in some pleasure party, but he declined, saying that he had a very important appointment. While taking his coffee, he smoked a cigar in the dining room, contrary to the rules of the house. At half-past seven, according to Joseph and two footmen, or at eight according to the Swiss porter and Lubin, the viscount went out on foot, taking an umbrella with him. They were wet, and stained with mud; the trousers were torn. He ventured to make a remark about them. Albert replied, in a furious manner, “Throw the old things in a corner, ready to be given away.” He appeared to be much better all that day. He was scarcely able to go and meet the count.

That evening, after his interview with his father, he went to his room looking extremely ill. Lubin wanted to run for the doctor: he forbade him to do so, or to mention to any one that he was not well. Such was the substance of twenty large pages, which the tall clerk had covered with writing, without once turning his head to look at the witnesses who passed by in their fine livery. Daburon managed to obtain this evidence in less than two hours. The difficulty was, to stop them when they had once started. From all they said, it appeared that Albert was a very good master,--easily served, kind and polite to his servants. Wonderful to relate! He did not forget to mention the one word “Lost,” which had escaped Albert; to his mind, it was a confession. Daburon had no more than sufficient time to examine the prisoner before night. All the while that he was eating and drinking, his thoughts kept repeating this strange sentence, “I am about to appear before the Viscount de Commarin.” At any other time, he would have laughed at the absurdity of the idea, but, at this moment, it seemed to him like the will of Providence.

“So be it,” said he to himself; “this is my punishment.” And immediately he gave the necessary orders for Viscount Albert to be brought before him. Albert scarcely noticed his removal from home to the seclusion of the prison. “In the name of the law I arrest you,” his mind, completely upset, was a long time in recovering its equilibrium, Everything that followed appeared to him to float indistinctly in a thick mist, like those dream-scenes represented on the stage behind a quadruple curtain of gauze. To the questions put to him he replied, without knowing what he said. Two police agents took hold of his arms, and helped him down the stairs. The only thing he understood of all that was said around him was that the count had been struck with apoplexy; but even that he soon forgot. They lifted him into the cab, which was waiting in the court-yard at the foot of the steps, rather ashamed at finding itself in such a place; and they placed him on the back seat. His body, which followed every jolt, scarcely allayed by the worn-out springs, rolled from one side to the other and his head oscillated on his shoulders, as if the muscles of his neck were broken. He recalled her as she was when he went with his father to La Jonchere. The old woman, in a white cap, stood at her garden gate: she spoke beseechingly.

The count looked sternly at her as he listened, then, taking some gold from his purse, he gave it to her. During the formality of entering his name in the jail-book in the dingy, stinking record office, and whilst replying mechanically to everything, he gave himself up with delight to recollections of Claire. He went back to the time of the early days of their love, when he doubted whether he would ever have the happiness of being loved by her in return; when they used to meet at Mademoiselle Goello’s.

On all the dining-room furniture, and on the mantel-piece, were placed a dozen or fifteen stuffed dogs, of various breeds, which together or successively had helped to cheer the maiden’s lonely hours. She loved to relate stories of these pets whose affection had never failed her. One especially, outrageously stuffed seemed ready to burst.

The officials next began to search him. This crowning humiliation, these rough hands passing all over his body brought him somewhat to himself, and roused his anger. They opened a door, and pushed him into a small cell. It seemed to him that he had forever escaped from society; and he rejoiced at it. He wanted to sit down, when he perceived a small bed, to the right, in front of the grated window, which let in the little light there was. This bed was as welcome to him as a plank would be to a drowning man. In the corridor, two detectives, one still young, the other rather old, applied alternately their eyes and ears to the peep-hole in the door, watching every movement of the prisoner; “What a fellow he is!” murmured the younger officer. “If a man has no more nerve than that, he ought to remain honest.

Lecoq told me that he was a terrible rascal.” “Ah! Can he be going to sleep? All rascals of position--and I have had to do with more than one--are this sort. At the moment of arrest, they are incapable of anything; their heart fails them; but they recover themselves next day.” “Upon my word, one would say he has gone to sleep! If you only possessed an income of ten thousand francs, I would show you a way to prove this.

I would tell you to go to Hamburg and risk your entire fortune on one chance at rouge et noir. You could relate to me, afterwards, what your feelings were while the ball was rolling. It is, my boy, as though your brain was being torn with pincers, as though molten lead was being poured into your bones, in place of marrow. Balan, one would think that you yourself had had just such an experience.” “Alas!” sighed the old detective, “it is to my love for the queen of spades, my unhappy love, that you owe the honour of looking through this peephole in my company.

But this fellow will sleep for a couple of hours, do not lose sight of him; I am going to smoke a cigarette in the courtyard.” Albert slept four hours. “Now, indeed,” said he, “I require all my courage.” He longed to see some one, to speak, to be questioned, to explain. He felt a desire to call out. “Some one will be coming soon.” He looked for his watch, to see what time it was, and found that they had taken it away. He thought now of his personal appearance; and, getting up, he repaired as much as possible the disorder of his toilet. Then he endeavoured to smooth his beard and hair. “I told you,” put in Balan, “that he was only staggered.

That which they most fear is the opinion of some dozen friends, and several thousand strangers, who read the ‘Gazette des Tribunaux.’ They only think of their own heads later on.” When the gendarmes came to conduct Albert before the investigating magistrate, they found him seated on the side of his bed, his feet pressed upon the iron rail, his elbows on his knees, and his head buried in his hands. He rose, as they entered, and took a few steps towards them; but his throat was so dry that he was scarcely able to speak. He asked for a moment, and, turning towards the little table, he filled and drank two large glassfuls of water in succession. And, with a firm step, he followed the gendarmes along the passage which led to the Palais de Justice. “I have in vain attempted to reassure myself by the aid of sophisms. Nothing in the world can change my feelings towards this young man. I am his judge; and it is no less true, that at one time I longed to assassinate him.

What power held my finger, when an almost insensible pressure would have sufficed to kill him? If the intention was as punishable as the deed, I ought to be guillotined. “It is he,” he said aloud and then hastily seated himself at his table, bending over his portfolios, as though striving to hide himself. If the tall clerk had used his eyes, he would have noticed the singular spectacle of an investigating magistrate more agitated than the prisoner he was about to examine. But he was blind to all around him; and, at this moment, he was only aware of an error of fifteen centimes, which had slipped into his accounts, and which he was unable to rectify. Daburon an opportunity to recover himself.

Fortunately, he had found time in the morning to prepare a plan, which he had now simply to follow. “You are aware, sir,” he commenced in a tone of perfect politeness, “that you have no right to the name you bear?” “I know, sir,” replied Albert, “that I am the natural son of M. I know further that my father would be unable to recognise me, even if he wished to, since I was born during his married life.” “What were your feelings upon learning this?” “I should speak falsely, sir, if I said I did not feel very bitterly. I always purposed, and still purpose, to yield, I have so informed M. Did it not enter into the line of defence which he had foreseen? It was now his duty to seek some way of demolishing this defence, in which the prisoner evidently meant to shut himself up like a tortoise in its shell. Gerdy was in possession of evidence that was certain to win his cause, that of Widow Lerouge.” “I have never doubted that, sir.” “Now,” continued the magistrate, seeking to hide the look which he fastened upon Albert, “justice supposes that, to do away with the only existing proof, you have assassinated Widow Lerouge.” This terrible accusation, terribly emphasised, caused no change in Albert’s features. “Before God,” he answered, “and by all that is most sacred on earth, I swear to you, sir, that I am innocent! I am at this moment a close prisoner, without communication with the outer world, reduced consequently to the most absolute helplessness. It is through your probity that I hope to demonstrate my innocence.” “What an actor!” thought the magistrate.

I understood the weight of the accusation, its probability, and the difficulties I should have in defending myself. A voice cried out to me, ‘Who was most interested in Claudine’s death?’ And the knowledge of my imminent peril forced from me the exclamation you speak of.” His explanation was more than plausible, was possible, and even likely. It had the advantage, too, of anticipating the axiom, “Search out the one whom the crime will benefit!” Tabaret had spoken truly, when he said that they would not easily make the prisoner confess. “You do indeed,” continued the magistrate, “appear to have had the greatest interest in this death. The things thrown into the Seine have been recovered. Nothing.” “Have you often gone to see this woman?” “Three or four times with my father.” “One of your coachmen pretends to have driven you there at least ten times.” “The man is mistaken. Claudine slept in the back room.” “You were in no way a stranger to Widow Lerouge. If you had knocked one evening at her window-shutter, do you think she would have let you in?” “Certainly, sir, and eagerly.” “You have been unwell these last few days?” “Very unwell, to say the least, sir.

My body bent under the weight of a burden too great for my strength. It was not, however, for want of courage.” “Why did you forbid your valet, Lubin, to call in the doctor?” “Ah, sir, how could the doctor cure my disease? You seemed to be no longer interested in anything concerning your home. You destroyed a large number of papers and letters.” “I had decided to leave the count, sir. My resolution explains my conduct.” Albert replied promptly to the magistrate’s questions, without the least embarrassment, and in a confident tone. His voice, which was very pleasant to the ear, did not tremble.

Daburon deemed it wise to suspend the examination for a short time. To proceed in detail was folly, he neither intimidated the prisoner, nor made him break through his reserve. It was necessary to take him unawares. “During Tuesday evening,” he stammered, repeating the phrase to gain time. “I have him,” thought the magistrate, starting with joy, and then added aloud, “yes, from six o’clock until midnight.” “I am afraid, sir,” answered Albert, “it will be difficult for me to satisfy you. That circumstance ought to help your memory.” “That evening, I went out walking,” murmured Albert.

Two friends came to seek you.

You replied to them, before sitting down to dinner, that you had a very important engagement to keep.” “That was only a polite way of getting rid of them.” “Why?” “Can you not understand, sir? I was learning to get accustomed to the terrible blow. Would not one seek solitude in the great crisis of one’s life?” “The prosecution pretends that you wished to be left alone, that you might go to La Jonchere. During the day, you said, ‘She can not resist me.’ Of whom were you speaking?” “Of some one to whom I had written the evening before, and who had replied to me. I spoke the words, with her letter still in my hands.” “This letter was, then, from a woman?” “Yes.” “What have you done with it?” “I have burnt it.” “This precaution leads one to suppose that you considered the letter compromising.” “Not at all, sir; it treated entirely of private matters.” M. He ventured to do so, leaning over his papers, so that the prisoner could not detect his emotion. You are here to tell everything, sir.” “My own affairs, yes, not those of others.” Albert gave this last answer in a dry tone. He was giddy, flurried, exasperated, by the prying and irritating mode of the examination, which scarcely gave him time to breathe. The magistrate’s questions fell upon him more thickly than the blows of the blacksmith’s hammer upon the red-hot iron which he is anxious to beat into shape before it cools.

He was further extremely surprised to find the discernment of the old detective at fault; just as though Tabaret were infallible. What artful defence had he to fall back upon? The bottle emptied, you smoked a cigar in the dining-room, which was so unusual as to be noticed. What kind of cigars do you usually smoke?” “Trabucos.” “Do you not use a cigar-holder, to keep your lips from contact with the tobacco?” “Yes, sir,” replied Albert, much surprised at this series of questions. “At what time did you go out?” “About eight o’clock.” “Did you carry an umbrella?” “Yes.” “Where did you go?” “I walked about.” “Alone, without any object, all the evening?” “Yes, sir.” “Now trace out your wanderings for me very carefully.” “Ah, sir, that is very difficult to do! I went out simply to walk about, for the sake of exercise, to drive away the torpor which had depressed me for three days. I don’t know whether you can picture to yourself my exact condition. But he had forgotten this; and his previous hesitations, too, had all vanished. As the inquiry advanced, the fever of investigation took possession of him.

You did not speak to a living soul? You entered no place, not even a cafe or a theatre, or a tobacconist’s to light one of your favourite trabucos?” “No, sir.” “Well, it is a great misfortune for you, yes, a very great misfortune; for I must inform you, that it was precisely during this Tuesday evening, between eight o’clock and midnight, that Widow Lerouge was assassinated. Again, sir, in your own interest, I recommend you to reflect,--to make a strong appeal to your memory.” This pointing out of the exact day and hour of the murder seemed to astound Albert. He raised his hand to his forehead with a despairing gesture. He had never imagined it possible for the accusation to fall upon him; and it was almost by a miracle it had done so.

“We will pass,” he continued, “to the examination of the charges which weigh against you. Do you recognize these articles as belonging to yourself?” “Yes, sir, they are all mine.” “Well, take this foil. de Courtivois, who can bear witness to it.” “He will be heard. This piece of stuff, on which the assassin wiped his weapon, is a proof of what I state.” “I beseech you, sir, to order a most minute search to be made.

It is impossible that the other half of the foil is not to be found.” “Orders shall be given to that effect. This plaster was poured into the hollow left by the heel: you observe that it is, in all respects, similar in shape to the heels of your own boots. I perceive, too, the mark of a peg, which appears in both.” Albert followed with marked anxiety every movement of the magistrate.

To all the magistrate’s remarks, he answered in a low voice,--“It is true--perfectly true.” “That is so,” continued M. Daburon; “yet listen further, before attempting to defend yourself. Look at this cigar end, found on the scene of the crime, and tell me of what brand it is, and how it was smoked.” “It is a trabucos, and was smoked in a cigar-holder.” “Like these?” persisted the magistrate, pointing to the cigars and the amber and meerschaum-holders found in the viscount’s library. They, too, are lavender, and they are frayed.

Are they not of the same colour, the same skin?” It was useless to deny it, equivocate, or seek subterfuges.

While appearing to occupy himself solely with the objects lying upon his table, M. His hands trembled so much that they were of no use to him. Besides that they are torn at the knees. We will admit, for the moment that you might not remember where you went on that evening; but who would believe that you do not know when you tore your trousers and how you frayed your gloves?” What courage could resist such assaults? He fell heavily into a chair, exclaiming,--“It is enough to drive me mad!” “Do you admit,” insisted the magistrate, whose gaze had become firmly fixed upon the prisoner, “do you admit that Widow Lerouge could only have been stabbed by you?” “I admit,” protested Albert, “that I am the victim of one of those terrible fatalities which make men doubt the evidence of their reason. I am innocent.” “Then tell me where you passed Tuesday evening.” “Ah, sir!” cried the prisoner, “I should have to--” But, restraining himself, he added in a faint voice, “I have made the only answer that I can make.” M. “It is, then, my duty,” said he, with a shade of irony, “to supply your failure of memory. I am going to remind you of where you went and what you did. At thirty-five minutes past eight, you took the train at the St.

At nine o’clock, you alighted at the station at Rueil.” And, not disdaining to employ Tabaret’s ideas, the investigating magistrate repeated nearly word for word the tirade improvised the night before by the amateur detective. He had every reason, while speaking, to admire the old fellow’s penetration. Every sentence, every word, told. Albert was, as the magistrate perceived, like a man, who, rolling to the bottom of a precipice, sees every branch and every projecture which might retard his fall fail him, and who feels a new and more painful bruise each time his body comes in contact with them. “And now,” concluded the investigating magistrate, “listen to good advice: do not persist in a system of denying, impossible to sustain. Justice, rest assured, is ignorant of nothing which it is important to know.

Believe me; seek to deserve the indulgence of your judges, confess your guilt.” M. Albert, in spite of his great prostration, found, in one last effort of his will, sufficient strength to recover himself and again protest,--“You are right, sir,” he said in a sad, but firm voice; “everything seems to prove me guilty. In your place, I should have spoken as you have done; yet all the same, I swear to you that I am innocent.” “Come now, do you really--” began the magistrate. At this very hour when to you I appear lost,--for I in no way deceive myself, sir,--I do not despair of a complete justification.

Daburon; “that is enough for to-day. You will hear the official report of your examination read, and will then be taken back to solitary confinement.

I exhort you to reflect.

Night will perhaps bring on a better feeling; if you wish at any time to speak to me, send word, and I will come to you. I will give orders to that effect. You may read now, Constant.” When Albert had departed under the escort of the gendarmes, the magistrate muttered in a low tone, “There’s an obstinate fellow for you.” He certainly no longer entertained the shadow of a doubt. To him, Albert was as surely the murderer as if he had admitted his guilt Even if he should persist in his system of denial to the end of the investigation, it was impossible, that, with the proofs already in the possession of the police, a true bill should not be found against him. It was a hundred to one, that the jury would bring in a verdict of guilty.

Left to himself, however, M. Daburon did not experience that intense satisfaction, mixed with vanity, which he ordinarily felt after he had successfully conducted an examination, and had succeeded in getting his prisoner into the same position as Albert. At the bottom of his heart, he felt ill at ease. He had triumphed; but his victory gave him only uneasiness, pain, and vexation. A reflection so simple that he could hardly understand why it had not occurred to him at first, increased his discontent, and made him angry with himself.

“Something told me,” he muttered, “that I was wrong to undertake this business.

I ought to have declined to proceed with the investigation. The Viscount de Commarin, was, all the same, certain to be arrested, imprisoned, examined, confounded, tried, and probably condemned. She could not have helped feeling grateful to me, and then who knows--? While now, whatever may happen, I shall be an object of loathing to her: she will never be able to endure the sight of me. He had never so hated Albert,--that wretch, who, stained with a crime, stood in the way of his happiness. Then too he cursed old Tabaret!

He would have waited, thought over the matter, matured his decision, and certainly have perceived the inconveniences, which now occurred to him. The old fellow, always carried away like a badly trained bloodhound, and full of stupid enthusiasm, had confused him, and led him to do what he now so much regretted. He had just been informed of the termination of the inquiry; and he arrived, impatient to know what had passed, swelling with curiosity, and full of the sweet hope of hearing of the fulfilment of his predictions. “He is evidently guilty,” replied the magistrate, with a harshness very different to his usual manner. Old Tabaret, who expected to receive praises by the basketful, was astounded at this tone! “I have come,” he said modestly, “to know if any investigations are necessary to demolish the alibi pleaded by the prisoner.” “He pleaded no alibi,” replied the magistrate, dryly. Tabaret stood with his mouth wide open, and his eyes staring wildly, and altogether in the most grotesque attitude his astonishment could effect. Daburon could not help smiling; and even Constant gave a grin, which on his lips was equivalent to a paroxysm of laughter. It is but too clearly shown that M. When he had finished, he arose with pale and distorted features.

“Sir,” said he to the magistrate in a strange voice, “I have been the involuntary cause of a terrible mistake. Daburon, without stopping his preparations for departure, “you are going out of your mind, my dear M. How, after all that you have read there, can--” “Yes, sir, yes: it is because I have read this that I entreat you to pause, or we shall add one more mistake to the sad list of judicial errors. “It becomes you well to talk in this manner, after the way you spoke last night, when I hesitated so much.” “But, sir,” cried the old detective, “I still say precisely the same. Pardon me, sir, if I lack the respect due to you; but you have not grasped my method. If a man is found to whom this plan applies exactly in every particular the author of the crime is found: otherwise, one has laid hands upon an innocent person. It is not sufficient that such and such particulars seem to point to him; it must be all or nothing. Through proceeding by inference from the known to the unknown. Reason and logic lead us to what? To a villain, determined, audacious, and prudent, versed in the business.

this man is so skillful as to leave such feeble traces that they escape Gevrol’s practised eye, and you think he would risk his safety by leaving an entire night unaccounted for? Tabaret,” the magistrate said to him: “you have but one fault. You err through an excess of subtlety, you accord too freely to others the wonderful sagacity with which you yourself are endowed.

He is overwhelmed because he perceives coincidences so fatal that they appear to condemn him, without a chance of escape. Does he try to excuse himself? He took up his hat, and, as he prepared to leave, replied: “You must then see that I am right.

To-morrow we will talk the whole matter over again. I am rather tired to-night.” Then he added, addressing his clerk, “Constant, look in at the record office, in case the prisoner Commarin should wish to speak to me.” He moved towards the door; but M. “Sir,” said the old man, “in the name of heaven listen to me! He is innocent, I swear to you. Help me, then, to find the real culprit.

The old man now turned to Constant. He wished to convince him. Lost trouble: the tall clerk hastened to put his things away, thinking of his soup, which was getting cold. All the usual sounds of the Palais had ceased: the place was silent as the tomb. The old detective desperately tore his hair with both hands. It is I, fool that I am, who have infused into the obstinate spirit of this magistrate a conviction that I can no longer destroy. After seeing the Count de Commarin safely in his carriage at the entrance of the Palais de Justice, Noel Gerdy seemed inclined to leave him. Resting one hand against the half-opened carriage door, he bowed respectfully, and said: “When, sir, shall I have the honour of paying my respects to you?” “Come with me now,” said the old nobleman. “Come,” repeated the count, in a tone which admitted no reply.

de Commarin in a low tone; “but I must warn you, that at the same time you lose your independence.” The carriage started; and only then did the count notice that Noel had very modestly seated himself opposite him.

This humility seemed to displease him greatly.

“Sit here by my side, sir,” he exclaimed; “are you not my son?” The advocate, without replying, took his seat by the side of the terrible old man, but occupied as little room as possible. Daburon; for he retained none of his usual assurance, none of that exterior coolness by which he was accustomed to conceal his feelings. Fortunately, the ride gave him time to breathe, and to recover himself a little. On the way from the Palais de Justice to the De Commarin mansion, not a word passed between the father and son. When the carriage stopped before the steps leading to the principal entrance, and the count got out with Noel’s assistance, there was great commotion among the servants. There were, it is true, few of them present, nearly all having been summoned to the Palais; but the count and the advocate had scarcely disappeared, when, as if by enchantment, they were all assembled in the hall. One of them recognised Noel as the visitor of the previous Sunday; and that was enough to set fire to all these gossip-mongers, thirsting for scandal. A thousand stories were circulated, talked over, corrected, and added to by the ill-natured and malicious,--some abominably absurd, others simply idiotic. Twenty people, very noble and still more proud, had not been above sending their most intelligent servants to pay a little visit among the count’s retainers, for the sole purpose of learning something positive. As it was, nobody knew anything; and yet everybody pretended to be fully informed.

de Commarin; “as for the other, he is no more his son than Jean here; who, by the way, will be kicked out of doors, if he is caught in this part of the house with his dirty working-shoes on.” “What a romance,” exclaimed Jean, supremely indifferent to the danger which threatened him.

“How ever did it happen?” “Well, you see, one day, long ago, when the countess who is now dead was out walking with her little son, who was about six months old, the child was stolen by gypsies. She purchased a brat from a woman, who happened to be passing; and, never having noticed his child, the count has never known the difference.” “But the assassination!” “That’s very simple. So he resolved at last to put an end to it, and come to a final settling with her.” “And the other, who is up there, the dark fellow?” The orator would have gone on, without doubt, giving the most satisfactory explanations of everything, if he had not been interrupted by the entrance of M. His success, so brilliant up to this time, was cut short, just like that of a second-rate singer when the star of the evening comes on the stage.

The entire assembly turned towards Albert’s valet, all eyes questioning him. You see now to what we are exposed every day in our profession, and it is dreadfully disagreeable. Lubin,’ said he, ‘it is very sad for a man like you to have waited on such a scoundrel.’ For you must know, that, besides an old woman over eighty years old, he also assassinated a young girl of twelve. The little child, the magistrate told me, was chopped into bits.” “Ah!” put in Joseph; “he must have been a great fool. Do people do those sort of things themselves when they are rich, and when there are so many poor devils who only ask to gain their living?” “Pshaw!” said M. Lubin in a knowing tone; “you will see him come out of it as white as snow. These rich men can do anything.” “Anyhow,” said the cook, “I’d willingly give a month’s wages to be a mouse, and to listen to what the count and the tall dark fellow are talking about.

Suppose some one went up and tried to find out what is going on.” This proposition did not meet with the least favour. One alone, Denis, the count’s valet, had the opportunity of gathering information; but he was well paid to be discreet, and he was so. de Commarin was sitting in the same arm-chair on which the evening before he had bestowed such furious blows while listening to Albert. He wondered how he could have yielded to a momentary impulse, how his grief could have so basely betrayed him. The same as Albert, the night before, Noel, having fully recovered himself, stood erect, cold as marble, respectful, but no longer humble.

I wish, at once, to relieve you of all misunderstanding. “I don’t think that I could ever bring myself to do an act like that by which you deprived me of my birthright; but I declare that, if I had the misfortune to do so, I should afterwards have acted as you have. Your rank was too conspicuous to permit a voluntary acknowledgment. It was a thousand times better to suffer an injustice to continue in secret, than to expose the name to the comments of the malicious.” This answer surprised the count, and very agreeably too. I have decided in order to put a stop to all foolish gossip, and to make your position the easier, that you should live on a grander scale; this matter concerns myself. Further, I will increase your monthly allowance to six thousand francs; which I trust you will spend as nobly as possible, giving the least possible cause for ridicule. I cannot too strongly exhort you to the utmost caution.

You will occupy the other wing; and there will be a separate entrance to your apartments, by another staircase. A prudent father might send you away for a few months to the Austrian or Russian courts; but, in this instance, such prudence would be absurd. Dare public opinion; and, in eight days, it will have exhausted its comments, and the story will have become old. So, to work! This very evening the workmen shall be here; and, in the first place, I must present you to my servants.” To put his purpose into execution, the count moved to touch the bell-rope. Noel stopped him. The fairy reality cast into the shade his wildest dreams. He was dazzled by the count’s words, and had need of all his reason to struggle against the giddiness which came over him, on realising his great good fortune. Touched by a magic wand, he seemed to awake to a thousand novel and unknown sensations.

But he knew how to appear unmoved. While all his passions vibrated within him, he appeared to listen with a sad and almost indifferent coldness. “Permit me, sir,” he said to the count “without overstepping the bounds of the utmost respect, to say a few words. I am touched more than I can express by your goodness; and yet I beseech you, to delay its manifestation.

The proposition I am about to suggest may perhaps appear to you worthy of consideration. It seems to me that the situation demands the greatest delicacy on my part. It is well to despise public opinion, but not to defy it. I am certain to be judged with the utmost severity. They will certainly compare me to Albert, and the comparison will be to my disadvantage, since I should appear to triumph at a time when a great disaster has fallen upon our house.” The count listened without showing any signs of disapprobation, struck perhaps by the justice of these reasons. “I beseech you then, sir,” he continued, “to permit me for the present in no way to change my mode of living, By not showing myself, I leave all malicious remarks to waste themselves in air,--I let public opinion the better familiarise itself with the idea of a coming change. Absent, I shall have the advantages which the unknown always possess; I shall obtain the good opinion of all those who have envied Albert; and I shall secure as champions all those who would to-morrow assail me, if my elevation came suddenly upon them.

Besides, by this delay, I shall accustom myself to my abrupt change of fortune. I ought not to bring into your world, which is now mine, the manners of a parvenu. My name ought not to inconvenience me, like a badly fitting coat.” “Perhaps it would be wisest,” murmured the count. He got the idea that the count had only wished to prove him, to tempt him. This event has surprised me, just as I am beginning to reap the reward of ten years of hard work and perseverance. I confess, without shame, that I have heretofore professed ideas and opinions that would not be suited to this house; and it is impossible in the space of a day--” “Ah!” interrupted the count in a bantering tone, “you are a liberal. Albert also was a great liberal.” “My ideas, sir,” said Noel quickly, “were those of every intelligent man who wishes to succeed. Be assured, sir, that I shall know how to bear my name, and think and act as a man of my rank should.” “I trust so,” said M.

Innocent, or guilty, he has a right to count upon us; and we owe him our assistance.” “What do you then hope for, sir?” asked the count. “To save him, if he is innocent; and I love to believe that he is. I am an advocate, sir, and I wish to defend him. I have been told that I have some talent; in such a cause I must have. I will find new accents to imbue the judges with my own conviction. I will save him, and this shall be my last cause.” “And if he should confess,” said the count, “if he has already confessed?” “Then, sir,” replied Noel with a dark look, “I will render him the last service, which in such a misfortune I should ask of a brother, I will procure him the means of avoiding judgment.” “That is well spoken, sir,” said the count, “very well, my son!” And he held out his hand to Noel, who pressed it, bowing a respectful acknowledgment. The advocate took a long breath. At last he had found the way to this haughty noble’s heart; he had conquered, he had pleased him. “Let us return to yourself, sir,” continued the count.

“I yield to the reasons which you have suggested. I never change my plans, even though they are proved to be bad, and contrary to my interests. But at least nothing prevents your remaining here from to-day, and taking your meals with me. We will, first of all, see where you can be lodged, until you formally take possession of the apartments which are to be prepared for you.” Noel had the hardihood to again interrupt the old nobleman. Ought I to leave the deathbed of her who filled my mother’s place?” “Valerie!” murmured the count. “She has ruined my whole life; but ought I to be implacable? Doubtless, in this last hour, a word from me would be a great consolation to her. Her brain was unable to resist so violent a shock. The unfortunate woman would neither recognise nor understand you.” “Go then alone,” sighed the count, “go, my son!” The words “my son,” pronounced with a marked emphasis, sounded like a note of victory in Noel’s ears. He bowed to take his leave.

The count motioned him to wait. I shall be glad to see you.” He rang. You will tell this to all the servants. This gentleman is at home here.” The advocate took his leave; and the count felt great comfort in being once more alone. At last, he was able to reflect. “That, then,” said he to himself, “is my legitimate son. Besides I should be foolish to disown him, for I find him the exact picture of myself at thirty. He knows how to be humble without lowering himself, and firm without arrogance. I augur well of a man who knows how to bear himself in prosperity. And yet I feel no sympathy with him; it seems to me that I shall always regret my poor Albert.

I never knew how to appreciate him. To commit such a vile crime! He is without malice, and is ready to sacrifice himself to repay me for what I have done for him. It is enough to make one distrust him. Albert, too, was perfect; and he has assassinated Claudine! What will this one do?--All the same,” he added, half-aloud, “I ought to have accompanied him to see Valerie!” And, although the advocate had been gone at least a good ten minutes, M.

de Commarin, not realising how the time had passed, hastened to the window, in the hope of seeing Noel in the court-yard, and calling him back. On leaving the house, he took a cab and was quickly driven to the Rue St. On reaching his own door, he threw rather than gave five francs to the driver, and ran rapidly up the four flights of stairs. “Who has called to see me?” he asked of the servant. “No one, sir.” He seemed relieved from a great anxiety, and continued in a calmer tone, “And the doctor?” “He came this morning, sir,” replied the girl, “while you were out; and he did not seem at all hopeful. I will go and speak to him.

If any one calls, show them into my study, and let me know.” On entering Madame Gerdy’s chamber, Noel saw at a glance that no change for the better had taken place during his absence. At the foot of the bed, a piece of rag stained with blood showed that the doctor had just had recourse to leeches. Her immovably placid features, her mournful look, betokened the renunciation of the flesh, and the abdication of all independence of thought. “I was detained at the Palais,” said the advocate, as if he felt the necessity of explaining his absence; “and I have been, as you may well imagine, dreadfully anxious.” He leant towards the doctor’s ear, and in a trembling voice asked: “Well, is she at all better?” The doctor shook his head with an air of deep discouragement. “She is much worse,” he replied: “since morning bad symptoms have succeeded each other with frightful rapidity.” He checked himself. “I wish it were so,” said the doctor; “It would be most encouraging. However, we will see.” He went up to Madame Gerdy, and, whilst feeling her pulse, examined her carefully; then, with the tip of his finger, he lightly raised her eyelid. “Come, judge for yourself; take her hand, speak to her.” Noel, trembling all over, did as his friend wished. He drew near, and, leaning over the bed, so that his mouth almost touched the sick woman’s ear, he murmured: “Mother, it is I, Noel, your own Noel. Speak to me, make some sign, do you hear me, mother?” It was in vain; she retained her frightful immobility.

“You see,” said the doctor, “I told you the truth.” “Poor woman!” sighed Noel, “does she suffer?” “Not at present.” The nun now rose; and she too came beside the bed.

“Doctor,” said she: “all is ready.” “Then call the servant, sister, to help us. We are going to apply a mustard poultice.” The servant hastened in. She must have suffered much and long, poor woman, for it was pitiable to see how thin she was. The nun herself was affected, although she had become habituated to the sight of suffering. How many invalids had breathed their last in her arms during the fifteen years that she had gone from pillow to pillow! Noel, during this time, had retired into the window recess, and pressed his burning brow against the panes. “It is done,” said the doctor; “we have only now to wait the effect of the mustard. If she feels it, it will be a good sign; if it has no effect, we will try cupping.” “And if that does not succeed?” The doctor answered only with a shrug of the shoulders, which showed his inability to do more. you told me last night she was lost.” “Scientifically, yes; but I do not yet despair. It is hardly a year ago that the father-in-law of one of our comrades recovered from an almost identical attack; and I saw him when he was much worse than this; suppuration had set in.” “It breaks my heart to see her in this state,” resumed Noel.

Will she not recognise me, speak one word to me?” “Who knows? She is now in a state of utter insensibility, of complete prostration of all her intellectual faculties, of coma, of paralysis so to say; to-morrow, she may be seized with convulsions, accompanied with a fierce delirium.” “And will she speak then?” “Certainly; but that will neither modify the nature nor the gravity of the disease.” “And will she recover her reason?” “Perhaps,” answered the doctor, looking fixedly at his friend; “but why do you ask that?” “Ah, my dear Herve, one word from Madame Gerdy, only one, would be of such use to me!” “For your affair, eh! But I must go,” added the doctor; “I have still three calls to make.” Noel followed his friend. I know what you are going to say. If I had a rich old uncle whose heir I expected to be, I shouldn’t introduce one of them into his house.

But, what have you to fear from this one? But good-bye; I am in a hurry.” And, regardless of his professional dignity, the doctor hurried down the stairs; while Noel, full of thought, his countenance displaying the greatest anxiety, returned to Madame Gerdy. “Sir,” said she, “sir.” “You want something of me, sister?” “Sir, the servant bade me come to you for money; she has no more, and had to get credit at the chemist’s.” “Excuse me, sister,” interrupted Noel, seemingly very much vexed; “excuse me for not having anticipated your request; but you see I am rather confused.” And, taking a hundred-franc note out of his pocket-book, he laid it on the mantel piece. I have seen the dying recover their intelligence and sufficient strength to confess, and to receive the sacred body of our Lord Jesus Christ. I have often heard families say that they do not wish to alarm the invalid, that the sight of the minister of our Lord might inspire a terror that would hasten the final end.

He speaks in the name of the God of mercy, who comes to save, not to destroy. I could cite to you many cases of dying people who have been cured simply by contact with the sacred balm.” The nun spoke in a tone as mournful as her look. Then they expressed something she really felt, she spoke her own thoughts; but, since then, she had repeated the words over and over again to the friends of every sick person that she attended, until they lost all meaning so far as she was concerned.

To utter them became simply a part of her duties as nurse, the same as the preparation of draughts, and the making of poultices. Noel was not listening to her; his thoughts were far away. Do you wish to endanger her salvation? If she could speak in the midst of her cruel sufferings--” The advocate was on the point of replying, when the servant announced that a gentleman, who would not give his name, wished to speak with him on business. “I leave you free, sister, to do as you may judge best.” The worthy woman began to recite her lesson of thanks, but to no purpose. Clergeot, I had almost given you up!” The visitor, whom the advocate had been expecting, is a person well known in the Rue St.

Lazare, round about the Rue de Provence, the neighbourhood of Notre Dame de Lorette, and all along the exterior Boulevards, from the Chaussee des Martyrs to the Rond-Point of the old Barriere de Clichy. Only, as he has lots of money, and is very obliging, he lends it to his friends; and, in return for this kindness, he consents to receive interest, which varies from fifteen to five hundred per cent. He has never been known to seize a debtor’s goods; he prefers to follow him up without respite for ten years, and tear from him bit by bit what is his due. He lives near the top of the Rue de la Victoire. He has no shop, and yet he sells everything saleable, and some other things, too, that the law scarcely considers merchandise.

Anything to be useful or neighbourly. He is whimsical more than covetous, and fearfully bold. Free with his money when one pleases him, he would not lend five francs, even with a mortgage on the Chateau of Ferrieres as guarantee, to whosoever does not meet with his approval. His preferred customers consist of women of doubtful morality, actresses, artists, and those venturesome fellows who enter upon professions which depend solely upon those who practice them, such as lawyers and doctors. He lends to women upon their present beauty, to men upon their future talent.

A pretty girl furnished by Clergeot is sure to go far. For an artist to be in Clergeot’s debt was a recommendation preferable to the warmest criticism. Noel, who well knew how sensitive this worthy man was to kind attentions, and how pleased by politeness, began by offering him a seat, and asking after his health.

Clergeot went into details. His teeth were still good; but his sight was beginning to fail. Your bills fall due to-day; and I am devilishly in need of money.

I have one of ten, one of seven, and a third of five thousand francs, total, twenty-two thousand francs.” “Come, M. Why, it’s just eight days ago to-day that I wrote to tell you that I was not prepared to meet the bills, and asked for a renewal!” “I recollect very well receiving your letter.” “What do you say to it, then?” “By my not answering the note, I supposed that you would understand that I could not comply with your request; I hoped that you would exert yourself to find the amount for me.” Noel allowed a gesture of impatience to escape him.

“I do not complain; I only say that you take things too easily with me. If I had put your signature in circulation all would have been paid by now.” “Not at all.” “Yes, you would have found means to escape being sued. But you say to yourself: ‘Old Clergeot is a good fellow.’ And that is true. Now, to-day, I am absolutely in great need of my money.

The old fellow’s decided tone seemed to disturb the advocate. “Must I repeat it?” he said; “I am completely drained, com--plete--ly!” “Indeed?” said the usurer; “well, I am sorry for you; but I shall have to sue you.” “And what good will that do? Do you care to increase the lawyers’ fees? Even though, you may put me to great expense, will that procure you even a centime? Besides, the sale of everything here would not cover the amount.” “Then you intend to put me in prison, at Clichy! I should not know where to get it, unless by asking Madame Gerdy, a thing I would never do.” A sarcastic and most irritating little laugh, peculiar to old Clergeot, interrupted Noel. “Before a man risks his money, he takes care to make some inquiries. Mamma’s remaining bonds were sold last October. Juliette is a charming woman, to be sure; she has not her equal, I am convinced; but she is expensive, devilish expensive.” Noel was enraged at hearing his Juliette thus spoke of by this honourable personage.

“You have gone too fast,” he continued, without deigning to notice his client’s ill looks; “and I have told you so before.

When a pretty girl wants anything, you should let her long for it for a while; she has then something to occupy her mind and keep her from thinking of a quantity of other follies. Four good strong wishes, well managed, ought to last a year. You don’t know how to look after your own interests. I know that her glance would turn the head of a stone saint; but you should reason with yourself, hang it! Just now, if you try very hard, you will be able to hand me the twenty-two thousand francs in question. You need not frown: you will find means to do so to prevent my seizing your goods,--not here, for that would be absurd, but at your little woman’s apartments.

She would not be at all pleased, and would not hesitate to tell you so.” “But everything there belongs to her; and you have no right--” “What of that? She will oppose the seizure, no doubt, and I expect her to do so; but she will make you find the requisite sum. You would burn the wood from your dying mother’s bed to warm this creature’s feet. Who knows what you will next attempt to procure money? Listen to a little good advice, gratis. Do it to-day, then.” As you see, our worthy Clergeot never minces the truth to his customers, when they do not keep their engagements. Clergeot, I can procure twenty-two thousand francs; I could have a hundred thousand to-morrow morning, if I saw fit. My extravagance, with all due deference to you, will remain a secret as heretofore. In eight days, I shall be summoned to appear before the Tribunal de Commerce, and I shall ask for the twenty-five days’ delay, which the judges always grant to an embarrassed debtor.

You have two alternatives: either accept from me at once a new bill for twenty-four thousand francs payable in six weeks, or else, as I have an appointment, go off to your lawyer.” “And in six weeks,” replied the usurer, “you will be in precisely the same condition you are to-day.

“Only,” he continued, “I should very much like to know what you are counting upon.” “That I will not tell you. You are going to marry! You have found an heiress, of course, your little Juliette told me something of the sort this morning. you are going to marry! So you are going to start a home of your own?” “I did not say so.” “That’s right. Beware of the storm; your little woman has a suspicion of the truth. You are right; it wouldn’t do to be seeking money now.

The slightest inquiry would be sufficient to enlighten your father-in-law as to your financial position, and you would lose the damsel. And to be frank, I confess that, knowing well I should get nothing from you, I left them with others at my lawyer’s. Your little woman ordered some dresses, which I shall deliver to-morrow; in this way they will be paid for.” The advocate began to remonstrate. He certainly did not refuse to pay, only he thought he ought to be consulted when any purchases were made. “What a fellow!” said the usurer, shrugging his shoulders; “do you want to make the girl unhappy for nothing at all? And you know, if you need any money for the wedding, you have but to give me some guarantee. Procure me an introduction to the notary, and everything shall be arranged. On Monday then.” Noel listened, to make sure that the usurer had actually gone. He had quite made up his mind to sue me. It would have been a pleasant thing had the count come to hear of it.

I was afraid, one moment, of being obliged to tell him all.” While inveighing thus against the money-lender, the advocate looked at his watch. Ought he to go and dine with his father?

He longed to dine at the de Commarin mansion; yet, on the other hand, to leave a dying woman! “Decidedly,” he murmured, “I can’t go.” He sat down at his desk, and with all haste wrote a letter of apology to his father.

As he bade the servant give the note to a messenger, to carry it to the count, a sudden thought seemed to strike him. “Does madame’s brother,” he asked, “know that she is dangerously ill?” “I do not know, sir,” replied the servant, “at any rate, I have not informed him.” “What, did you not think to send him word? Run to his house quickly. She wore an air of satisfaction, that Noel did not fail to notice. But it is important not to leave her alone a minute. After the doctor has been, I shall lie down, and she will watch until one in the morning. I will then take her place and--” “You shall both go to bed, sister,” interrupted Noel, sadly. To the excess of despair to which he succumbed in the passage outside the magistrate’s office, there soon succeeded that firm resolution which is the enthusiasm called forth by danger.

Was it a time to yield to unworthy despair, when the life of a fellow-man depended on each minute?

He had plunged an innocent man into the abyss; and he must draw him out, he alone, if no one would help him. On reaching the open air, he perceived that he, too, was in want of food. While eating, not only his courage, but also his confidence came insensibly back to him. It was with him, as with the rest of mankind; who knows how much one’s ideas may change, from the beginning to the end of a repast, be it ever so modest! A philosopher has plainly demonstrated that heroism is but an affair of the stomach. His great regret was, his inability to let Albert know that some one was working for him. He was entirely another man, as he rose from the table; and it was with a sprightly step that he walked towards the Rue St. He went at once up to the fourth floor to inquire after the health of his former friend, her whom he used to call the excellent, the worthy Madame Gerdy. He knew very well, that, being with the advocate, he would be unavoidably led to speak of the Lerouge case; and how could he do this, knowing, as he did, the particulars much better than his young friend himself, without betraying his secret?

It was, above all others, from his dear Noel, now Viscount de Commarin, that he wished entirely to conceal his connection with the police. But, on the other hand, he thirsted to know what had passed between the advocate and the count. However, as he could not withdraw he resolved to keep close watch upon his language and remain constantly on his guard.

The advocate ushered the old man into Madame Gerdy’s room. Her condition, since the afternoon, had changed a little; though it was impossible to say whether for the better or the worse.

“What does the doctor say?” asked old Tabaret, in that low voice one unconsciously employs in a sick room. “He has just gone,” replied Noel; “before long all will be over.” The old man advanced on tip-toe, and looked at the dying woman with evident emotion. She perhaps suffers much; but what is this pain compared to what she would feel if she knew that her son, her true son, was in prison, accused of murder?” “That is what I keep thinking,” said Noel, “to console myself for this sight. I thought I hated her; but now, at the moment of losing her, I forget every wrong she has done me, only to remember her tenderness.

what, you too?” Old Tabaret put so much warmth and vivacity into this exclamation, that Noel looked at him with astonishment. He felt his face grow red, and he hastened to explain himself. “I said, ‘you too,’” he continued, “because I, thanks perhaps to my inexperience, am persuaded also of this young man’s innocence.

He has public opinion in his favor; that is already something.” Seated near the bed, sufficiently far from the lamp to be in the shade, the nun hastily knitted stockings destined for the poor. But, since old Tabaret entered the room, she forgot her everlasting prayers whilst listening to the conversation.

Before this she had overheard mysterious remarks pass between Noel and the doctor. Into what strange house had she entered? She resolved to tell all to the priest, when he returned. When a poor devil is arrested, entirely innocent, perhaps, of the crime charged against him, we are always ready to throw stones at him. I despise it to such an extent, that if, as I dare still hope, Albert is not released, I will defend him. Yes, I have told the Count de Commarin, my father, as much. He longed to say to him: “We will save him together.” But he restrained himself.

Would not the advocate despise him, if he told him his secret! He resolved, however, to reveal all should it become necessary, or should Albert’s position become worse.

I feared to see you spoiled by wealth and rank; pardon me. But, tell me, you have, then, seen your father, the count?” Now, for the first time, Noel seemed to notice the nun’s eyes, which, lighted by eager curiosity, glittered in the shadow like carbuncles. With a look, he drew the old man’s attention to her, and said: “I have seen him; and everything is arranged to my satisfaction.

Tabaret was obliged to content himself with this reply and this promise. Seeing that he would learn nothing that evening, he spoke of going to bed, declaring himself tired out by what he had had to do during the day. Noel did not ask him to stop. He hardly knew how he could again meet this brother, he added: he did not yet know what conduct he ought to pursue. On the other hand, silence would oblige him to play a difficult part. The old man advised him to say nothing; he could explain all later on. She had remained up all night, in a terrible fright, listening to the least sound on the stairs, expecting every moment to see her master brought home on a litter, assassinated. After that, they had sent for the doctor. Such goings on would be the death of her, without counting that her constitution was too weak to allow her to sit up so late.

But Mannette forgot that she did not sit up on her master’s account nor on Noel’s but was expecting one of her old friends, one of those handsome Gardes de Paris who had promised to marry her, and for whom she had waited in vain, the rascal! She burst forth in reproaches, while she prepared her master’s bed, too sincere, she declared, to keep anything on her mind, or to keep her mouth closed, when it was a question of his health and reputation.

He bent his head to the storm, and turned his back to the hail. His confidence in a judicial axiom had led him astray, when he pointed to Albert.

“That,” thought he, “is the result of following accepted opinions and those absurd phrases, all ready to hand, which are like mile-stones along a fool’s road! Left free to my own inspirations, I should have examined this case more thoroughly, I would have left nothing to chance. It is plain to me that Albert is not the criminal. He, therefore, had nothing whatever to do with the matter. To be quite sure though, I will make some inquiries about him.

Another thing, Widow Lerouge, who so readily exchanged the children while nursing them, would be very likely to undertake a number of other dangerous commissions. One thing is certain though, she was not assassinated to prevent Noel recovering his rights. She must have been suppressed for some analogous reason, by a bold and experienced scoundrel, prompted by similar motives to those of which I suspected Albert.

And, above all, I must obtain the past history of this obliging widow, and I will have it too, for in all probability the particulars which have been written for from her birthplace will arrive tomorrow.” Returning to Albert, old Tabaret weighed the charges which were brought against the young man, and reckoned the chances which he still had in favour of his release. “From the look of things,” he murmured, “I see only luck and myself, that is to say absolutely nothing, in his favor at present. As to the charges, they are countless.

What do signs prove, however striking they may be, in cases where one ought to disbelieve even the evidence of one’s own senses?

At five o’clock, he bought a knife, which he showed to ten of his friends, saying, ‘This is for my wife, who is an idle jade, and plays me false with my workmen.’ In the evening, the neighbours heard a terrible quarrel between the couple, cries, threats, stampings, blows; then suddenly all was quiet. The next day, the tailor had disappeared from his home, and the wife was discovered dead, with the very same knife buried to the hilt between her shoulders. After that, what is to be believed? The question for me is not to prove where he was, but that he was not at La Jonchere. I hope so, from the bottom of my heart. What would I not give to establish this man’s innocence? If, after having caused the evil, I should find myself powerless to undo it!” Old Tabaret went to bed, shuddering at this last thought. Lost in that vulgar crowd, which, on the days when society revenges itself, presses about the Place de la Rouquette and watches the last convulsions of one condemned to death, he attended Albert’s execution. He saw the unhappy man, his hands bound behind his back, his collar turned down, ascend, supported by a priest, the steep flight of steps leading on to the scaffold. Soon the eyes of the condemned man met his own; and, bursting his cords, he pointed him, Tabaret, out to the crowd, crying, in a loud voice: “That man is my assassin.” Then a great clamour arose to curse the detective.

He wished to escape; but his feet seemed fixed to the ground. He tried at least to close his eyes; he could not. A power unknown and irresistible compelled him to look. It took him some time to convince himself that nothing was real of what he had just heard and seen, and that he was actually in his own house, in his own bed. His imagination was so struck with what had just happened that he made unheard of efforts to recall the name pronounced by Albert.

The darkness made him afraid, the night was full of phantoms. And to think that he had been proud of his exploits, that he had boasted of his cunning, that he had plumed himself on his keenness of scent, that he had been flattered by that ridiculous sobriquet, “Tirauclair.” Old fool! What could he hope to gain from that bloodhound calling? All sorts of annoyance, the contempt of the world, without counting the danger of contributing to the conviction of an innocent man. Recalling his few satisfactions of the past, and comparing them with his present anguish, he resolved that he would have no more to do with it. To pass the time, he dressed himself slowly, with much care, trying to occupy his mind with needless details, and to deceive himself as to the time by looking constantly at the clock, to see if it had not stopped. In spite of all this delay, it was not eight o’clock when he presented himself at the magistrate’s house, begging him to excuse, on account of the importance of his business, a visit too early not to be indiscreet. This trifling tone in a magistrate, who was accused of being grave even to a fault, troubled the old man. Did not this quizzing hide a determination not to be influenced by anything that he could say?

He had appealed to the heart, he now appealed to reason; but, although doubt is essentially contagious, he neither succeeded in convincing the magistrate, nor in shaking his opinion. And such was the peculiarity of the case, that all the reasons brought forward by the old man to justify Albert simply reacted against him, and confirmed his guilt. A repulse at the magistrate’s hands had entered too much into M. Tabaret’s anticipations for him to appear troubled or discouraged. All he wished was to put him on his guard against the presumptions which he himself unfortunately had taken such pains to inspire. He was going, he added, to busy himself with obtaining more information. More facts might come to light. Though in a great rage internally, and longing to insult and chastise he whom he inwardly styled a “fool of a magistrate,” old Tabaret forced himself to be humble and polite.

He wished, he said, to keep well posted up in the different phases of the investigation, and to be informed of the result of future interrogations. He ended by asking permission to communicate with Albert, He thought his services deserved this slight favour. He declared, that, for the present, the prisoner must continue to remain strictly in solitary confinement. By way of consolation, he added that, in three or four days, he might perhaps be able to reconsider this decision, as the motives which prompted it would then no longer exist. “Three or four days,” he muttered, “that is the same as three or four years to the unfortunate prisoner. Daburon only required three or four days to wring a confession from Albert, or at least to make him abandon his system of defence. The difficulty of the prosecution was not being able to produce any witness who had seen the prisoner during the evening of Shrove Tuesday. One deposition alone to that effect would have such great weight, that M. It was only Saturday, the day of the murder was remarkable enough to fix people’s memories, and up till then there had not been time to start a proper investigation. He arranged for five of the most experienced detectives in the secret service to be sent to Bougival, supplied with photographs of the prisoner.

They were to scour the entire country between Rueil and La Jonchere, to inquire everywhere, and make the most minute investigations. The photographs would greatly aid their efforts. They had orders to show them everywhere and to everybody and even to leave a dozen about the neighbourhood, as they were furnished with a sufficient number to do so. It was impossible, that, on an evening when so many people were about, no one had noticed the original of the portrait either at the railway station at Rueil or upon one of the roads which lead to La Jonchere, the high road, and the path by the river. These arrangements made, the investigating magistrate proceeded to the Palais de Justice, and sent for Albert.

After eating lightly, he had gone to the window of his cell, and had there remained standing for more than an hour. Then he laid down, and had quietly gone to sleep. Albert was no longer the despairing man who, the night before, bewildered with the multiplicity of charges, surprised by the rapidity with which they were brought against him, had writhed beneath the magistrate’s gaze, and appeared ready to succumb. Innocent or guilty, he had made up his mind how to act; his face left no doubt of that. On beholding him, the magistrate understood that he would have to change his mode of attack. He recognized one of those natures which are provoked to resistance when assailed, and strengthened when menaced. He therefore gave up his former tactics, and attempted to move him by kindness. The criminal who has girt up his energy to sustain the shock of intimidation, finds himself without defence against the wheedling of kindness, the greater in proportion to its lack of sincerity. No one knew so well as he how to touch those old chords which vibrate still even in the most corrupt hearts: honour, love, and family ties. Recalling the past, the magistrate pictured to him the most touching reminiscences of his early youth, and stirred up the ashes of all his extinct affections.

Taking advantage of all that he knew of the prisoner’s life, he tortured him by the most mournful allusions to Claire. Had he no one in the world who would deem it happiness to share his sufferings? Should he not rather hasten to reassure her whose very life depended upon his? Then he would be, if not free, at least returned to the world.

His prison would become a habitable abode, no more solitary confinement; his friends would visit him, he might receive whomsoever he wished to see. He understood the motive which prompted the murder of Widow Lerouge; he could explain it to himself; he could almost excuse it. (Another trap.) It was certainly a great crime, but in no way revolting to conscience or to reason. It was one of those crimes which society might, if not forget, at least forgive up to a certain point, because the motive was not a shameful one. What tribunal would fail to find extenuating circumstances for a moment of frenzy so excusable. His son was the victim of fatality, and was in the highest degree to be pitied. Daburon spoke for a long time upon this text, seeking those things most suitable in his opinion to soften the hardened heart of an assassin. One test, which has often given the desired result, still remained to be tried. He appeared impressed by the sad sight, but no more than anyone would be, if forced to look at the victim of an assassination four days after the crime.

He had had to acknowledge the failure of his manoeuvres; and now this last attempt had not succeeded either. The prisoner’s continued calmness filled to overflowing the exasperation of this man so sure of his guilt. His spite was evident to all, when, suddenly ceasing his wheedling, he harshly gave the order to re-conduct the prisoner to his cell.

“I will compel him to confess!” he muttered between his teeth. Perhaps he regretted those gentle instruments of investigation of the middle ages, which compelled the prisoner to say whatever one wished to hear. This obstinacy, absurd in the presence of such absolute proofs, drove the magistrate into a rage. Daburon disposed to pity him; but as he denied it, he opposed himself to an implacable enemy. Having previously wished Albert innocent, he now absolutely longed to prove him guilty, and that for a hundred reasons which he was unable to analyze. He remembered, too well, his having had the Viscount de Commarin for a rival, and his having nearly assassinated him. Had he not repented even to remorse his having signed the warrant of arrest, and his having accepted the duty of investigating the case. Old Tabaret’s incomprehensible change of opinion troubled him, too. In fact, were the prisoner innocent, he would become inexcusable in his own eyes; and, in proportion as he reproached himself the more severely, and as the knowledge of his own failings grew, he felt the more disposed to try everything to conquer his former rival, even to abusing his own power. It seemed as though his honour itself was at stake; and he displayed a passionate activity, such as he had never before been known to show in any investigation.

Daburon passed all Sunday in listening to the reports of the detectives he had sent to Bougival. They had heard many people speak of a woman, who pretended, they said, to have seen the assassin leave Widow Lerouge’s cottage; but no one had been able to point this woman out to them, or even to give them her name. They all thought it their duty, however, to inform the magistrate that another inquiry was going on at the same time as theirs. He appeared to have under his orders a dozen men, four of whom at least certainly belonged to the Rue de Jerusalem. All the detectives had met him; and he had spoken to them. To one, he had said: “What the deuce are you showing this photograph for? In less than no time you will have a crowd of witnesses, who, to earn three francs, will describe some one more like the portrait than the portrait itself.” He had met another on the high-road, and had laughed at him. “You are a simple fellow,” he cried out, “to hunt for a hiding man on the high-way; look a little aside, and you may find him.” Again he had accosted two who were together in a cafe at Bougival, and had taken them aside.

“I have him,” he said to them. “He is a smart fellow; he came by Chatois. Three people have seen him--two railway porters and a third person whose testimony will be decisive, for she spoke to him. Daburon became so angry with old Tabaret, that he immediately started for Bougival, firmly resolved to bring the too zealous man back to Paris, and to report his conduct in the proper quarter. Tabaret, the cabriolet, the swift horse, and the twelve men had all disappeared, or at least were not to be found. On returning home, greatly fatigued, and very much out of temper, the investigating magistrate found the following telegram from the chief of the detective force awaiting him; it was brief, but to the point: “ROUEN, Sunday.

Daburon was preparing to start for the Palais de Justice, where he expected to find Gevrol and his man, and perhaps old Tabaret. His preparations were nearly made, when his servant announced that a young lady, accompanied by another considerably older, asked to speak with him. She declined giving her name, saying, however, that she would not refuse it, if it was absolutely necessary in order to be received. He determined to send her away quickly. At the sound of the opening of the door, at the rustling of a silk dress gliding by the window, he did not take the trouble to move, nor deign even to turn his head. He contented himself with merely casting a careless glance into the mirror. In his confusion, he dropped the card-plate, which fell noisily on to the hearth, and broke into a thousand pieces. This young girl, usually so proud and reserved, had had the courage to come to his house alone, or almost so, for her governess, whom she had left in the ante-room, could hardly count.

Never, even in the time when a sight of her was his greatest happiness, had she appeared to him more fascinating. She advanced calm and dignified, and held out her hand to the magistrate in that English style that some ladies can render so gracefully. The magistrate did not dare take the ungloved hand she held out to him. He scarcely touched it with the tips of his fingers, as though he feared too great an emotion. “Yes,” he replied indistinctly, “I am always devoted to you.” Mademoiselle d’Arlange sat down in the large armchair, where, two nights previously, old Tabaret had planned Albert’s arrest. He divined her object only too easily; and he was asking himself whether he would be able to resist prayers from such a mouth. What was she about to ask of him? “I only knew of this dreadful event yesterday,” pursued Claire; “my grandmother considered it best to hide it from me, and, but for my devoted Schmidt, I should still be ignorant of it all. At first I was terrified; but, when they told me that all depended upon you, my fears were dispelled.

Yes, he had at first thought of Mademoiselle d’Arlange, but since--He bowed his head to avoid Claire’s glance, so pure and so daring. “Do not thank me, mademoiselle,” he stammered, “I have not the claim that you think upon your gratitude.” Claire had been too troubled herself, at first, to notice the magistrate’s agitation. I might never have dared go to another magistrate, to speak to a stranger! Besides, what value would another attach to my words, not knowing me? While you, so generous, will re-assure me, will tell me by what awful mistake he has been arrested like a villain and thrown into prison.” “Alas!” sighed the magistrate, so low that Claire scarcely heard him, and did not understand the terrible meaning of the exclamation.

You are my friend, you told me so; you will not refuse my prayers. I do not know exactly of what he is accused, but I swear to you that he is innocent.” Claire spoke in the positive manner of one who saw no obstacle in the way of the very simple and natural desire which she had expressed.

A formal assurance given by her ought to be amply sufficient; with a word, M.

He hesitated to pronounce the words which, like a whirlwind, would overturn the fragile edifice of this young girl’s happiness.

He who had been so humiliated, so despised, he was going to have his revenge; and yet he did not experience the least feeling of a shameful, though easily understood, satisfaction. She asked herself this scarcely knowing what she did: for to her everything appeared possible, probable, rather than that which he had said.

Not daring to raise his eyes, he continued in a tone, expressive of the sincerest pity, “I suffer cruelly for you at this moment, mademoiselle; but I have the sad courage to tell you the truth, and you must summon yours to hear it. The Viscount de Commarin is accused of an assassination; and everything, you understand me, proves that he committed it.” Like a doctor, who pours out drop by drop a dangerous medicine, M.

He watched carefully the result, ready to cease speaking, if the shock was too great.

He did not suppose that this young girl, timid to excess, with a sensitiveness almost a disease, would be able to hear without flinching such a terrible revelation. She might perhaps faint away; and he stood ready to call in the worthy Schmidt. If he were here, sir, and should himself say, ‘It is true,’ I would refuse to believe it; I would still cry out, ‘It is false!’” “He has not yet admitted it,” continued the magistrate, “but he will confess. Even if he should not, there are more proofs than are needed to convict him. The charges against him are as impossible to deny as is the sun which shines upon us.” “Ah! Yes,” she persisted, in answer to the magistrate’s gesture of denial, “yes, he is innocent.

I am sure of it; and I would proclaim it, even were the whole world to join with you in accusing him. Do you not see that I know him better even than he can know himself, that my faith in him is absolute, as is my faith in God, that I would doubt myself before doubting him?” The investigating magistrate attempted timidly to make an objection; Claire quickly interrupted him. “Must I then, sir,” said she, “in order to convince you, forget that I am a young girl, and that I am not talking to my mother, but to a man! I alone can say how worthy he is to be loved; I alone know all that grandeur of soul, nobleness of thought, generosity of feelings, out of which you have so easily made an assassin.

tell me, why?” “Neither the name nor the fortune of the Count de Commarin would descend to him, mademoiselle; and the knowledge of it came upon him with a sudden shock. One old woman alone was able to prove this. To maintain his position, he killed her.” “What infamy,” cried the young girl, “what a shameful, wicked, calumny!

I know, sir, that story of fallen greatness; he himself told me of it.

He was distressed at thinking that perhaps I should be grieved, when he confessed to me that he could no longer give me all that his love dreamed of. what to me are that great name, that immense wealth? I owe to them the only unhappiness I have ever known. It was thus that I replied to him; and he, so sad, immediately recovered his gaiety. You would not dare repeat it.” Mademoiselle d’Arlange ceased speaking, a smile of victory on her lips.

That smile meant, “At last I have attained my end: you are conquered; what can you reply to all that I have said?” The investigating magistrate did not long leave this smiling illusion to the unhappy child. In persuading Claire, he would justify his own conduct to himself. God preserve me from doubting all that you have said; but picture to yourself the immensity of the blow which struck M.

Can you say that on leaving you he did not give way to despair? Think of the extremities to which it may have led him. The magistrate thought that at last doubt had begun to effect her pure and noble belief. Believe me, then, mademoiselle, and do not be too confident.

Listen to my voice, it is that of a friend. You used to have in me the confidence a daughter gives to her father, you told me so; do not, then, refuse my advice. Hide your grief to all; you might hereafter regret having exposed it.

Nothing more terrible could be imagined; few women would know how to bear it. There is no wound, I know by experience, which time does not heal.” Claire tried to grasp what the magistrate was saying, but his words reached her only as confused sounds, their meaning entirely escaped her. I speak to you as a kind and devoted brother. I say to you: ‘Courage, Claire, resign yourself to the saddest, the greatest sacrifice which honour can ask of a young girl. Pray heaven to help you do so. He whom you have loved is no longer worthy of you.’” The magistrate stopped slightly frightened. “You said, just now,” she murmured, “that he could only have committed this crime in a moment of distraction, in a fit of madness?” “Yes, it is possible.” “Then, sir, not knowing what he did, he can not be guilty.” The investigating magistrate forgot a certain troublesome question which he put to himself one morning in bed after his illness.

“Neither justice nor society, mademoiselle,” he replied, “can take that into account. God alone, who sees into the depths of our hearts, can judge, can decide those questions which human justice must pass by. There may be certain extenuating circumstances to soften the punishment; but the moral effect will be the same.

Therefore, forget him.” Mademoiselle d’Arlange stopped the magistrate with a look in which flashed the strongest resentment.

“That is to say,” she exclaimed, “that you counsel me to abandon him in his misfortune. All the world deserts him; and your prudence advises me to act with the world. Look about you; however humiliated, however wretched, however low, a man may be, you will always find a woman near to sustain and console him. When the last friend has boldly taken to flight, when the last relation has abandoned him, woman remains.” The magistrate regretted having been carried away perhaps a little too far. He tried, but in vain, to stop her. Between two, the burden will be less heavy to bear. I will cling so closely to him that no blow shall touch him without reaching me, too. You counsel me to forget him. Teach me, then, how to.

It is no more in my power to cease loving him than it is to arrest, by the sole effort of my will, the beating of my heart. You will send him to a convict prison. If he falls to the bottom of the abyss, I will fall with him. He did not wish Claire to perceive a trace of the emotion which affected him. He had, too, a young and ardent soul, a burning thirst for love. Why do so many men pass through life dispossessed of love, while others, the vilest beings sometimes, seem to possess a mysterious power, which charms and seduces, and inspires those blind and impetuous feelings which to assert themselves rush to the sacrifice all the while longing for it? Mademoiselle d’Arlange’s silence brought the magistrate back to the reality.

He raised his eyes to her. Daburon feared she was about to faint.

He moved quickly towards the bell, to summon aid; but Claire noticed the movement, and stopped him.

It is cruel for a young girl to have to do violence to all her feelings.

You ought to be satisfied, sir. I have torn aside all veils; and you have read even the inmost recesses of my heart. That which I do regret is my having lowered my self so far as to defend him; but he will forgive me that one doubt. Your assurance took me unawares. A man like him does not need defence; his innocence must be proved; and, God helping me, I will prove it.” As Claire was half-rising to depart, M.

In his blindness, he thought he would be doing wrong to leave this poor young girl in the slightest way deceived. Having gone so far as to begin, he persuaded himself that his duty bade him go on to the end.

He said to himself, in all good faith, that he would thus preserve Claire from herself, and spare her in the future many bitter regrets. If you were truly my friend, I would ask you to aid me in the task of saving him, to which I am about to devote myself.

But, doubtless, you would not do so.” “If you knew the proofs which I possess, mademoiselle,” he said in a cold tone, which expressed his determination not to give way to anger, “if I detailed them to you, you would no longer hope.” “Speak, sir,” cried Claire imperiously. He went out, however, and only returned home about two o’clock in the morning, his clothes soiled and torn, and his gloves frayed.” “Oh! “I told you truly that he could not be guilty.” She clasped her hands, and, from the movement of her lips, it was evident that she was praying. The expression of the most perfect faith represented by some of the Italian painters illuminated her beautiful face while she rendered thanks to God in the effusion of her gratitude. The magistrate was so disconcerted, that he forgot to admire her. Daburon was astounded.

Your grandmother, your companion, your servants, they all saw him and spoke to him?” “No, sir; he came and left in secret.

He wished no one to see him; he desired to be alone with me.” “Ah!” said the magistrate with a sigh of relief. The sigh signified: “It’s all clear--only too evident. She is determined to save him, at the risk even of compromising her reputation. But has this idea only just occurred to her?” The “Ah!” was interpreted very differently by Mademoiselle d’Arlange. Daburon was astonished at her consenting to receive Albert. “Mademoiselle!” “A daughter of my family, sir, may receive her betrothed without danger of anything occurring for which she would have to blush.” She spoke thus, and at the same time was red with shame, grief, and anger.

She began to hate M. de Commarin went secretly to your house, when his approaching marriage gave him the right to present himself openly at all hours. I still wonder, how, on such a visit, he could get his clothes in the condition in which we found them.” “That is to say, sir,” replied Claire bitterly, “that you doubt my word!” “The circumstances are such, mademoiselle,--” “You accuse me, then, of falsehood, sir. Know that, were we criminals, we should not descend to justifying ourselves; we should never pray nor ask for pardon.” Mademoiselle d’Arlange’s haughty, contemptuous tone could only anger the magistrate. And simply because he would not consent to be her dupe.

“Above all, mademoiselle,” he answered severely, “I am a magistrate; and I have a duty to perform. Everything points to M. Now it is the magistrate to whom you speak: and it is the magistrate who answers, ‘Prove it.’” “My word, sir,--” “Prove it!” Mademoiselle d’Arlange rose slowly, casting upon the magistrate a look full of astonishment and suspicion. “Would you, then, be glad, sir,” she asked, “to find Albert guilty? Would it give you such great pleasure to have him convicted? Are you sure that you are not, armed with the law, revenging yourself upon a rival?” “This is too much,” murmured the magistrate, “this is too much!” “Do you know the unusual, the dangerous position we are in at this moment? It appeared to me sincere and honest; it touched me. I was obliged to refuse you, because I loved another; and I pitied you.

Now that other is accused of murder, and you are his judge; and I find myself between you two, praying to you for him. In undertaking the investigation you acquired an opportunity to help him; and yet you seem to be against him.” Every word Claire uttered fell upon M. “Mademoiselle,” said he, “your grief has been too much for you. To convince me is nothing; it is necessary to convince others. But what weight will others attach to your testimony, when you go to them with a true story--most true, I believe, but yet highly improbable?” Tears came into Claire’s eyes. “I have already told you that I am devoted to your service.” “Then sir, help me to prove the truth of what I have said. Daburon was fully convinced that Claire was seeking to deceive him; but her confidence astonished him. He wondered what fable she was about to concoct. “Sir,” began Claire, “you know what obstacles have stood in the way of my marriage with Albert. It took Albert five years to triumph over his father’s objections.

Twice the count yielded; twice he recalled his consent, which he said had been extorted from him. Though the wedding day had been fixed, the marchioness declared that we should not be compromised nor laughed at again for any apparent haste to contract a marriage so advantageous, that we had often before been accused of ambition. She decided, therefore, that, until the publication of the banns, Albert should only be admitted into the house every other day, for two hours in the afternoon, and in her presence. We could not get her to alter this determination. Such was the state of affairs, when, on Sunday morning, a note came to me from Albert.

He told me that pressing business would prevent his coming, although it was his regular day. What could have happened to keep him away? In that letter, sir, Albert entreated me to grant him an interview.

He left me to fix the day and hour, urging me to confide in no one. I sent him word to meet me on the Tuesday evening, at the little garden gate, which opens into an unfrequented street. To inform me of his presence, he was to knock just as nine o’clock chimed at the Invalides. Daburon, “what day did you write to M. I retired during the evening, and I went into the garden a little before the appointed time. I told him of the accident; and I threw him the key, that he might try and unlock the door. I then begged him to postpone our interview. He replied that it was impossible, that what he had to say admitted of no delay; that, during three days he had hesitated about confiding in me, and had suffered martyrdom, and that he could endure it no longer.

I begged him not to do so, fearing an accident. The wall is very high, as you know; the top is covered with pieces of broken glass, and the acacia branches stretch out above like a hedge. But he laughed at my fears, and said that, unless I absolutely forbade him to do so, he was going to attempt to scale the wall. He had come, sir, to tell me of the misfortune which had befallen him. We first of all sat down upon the little seat you know of, in front of the grove; then, as the rain was falling, we took shelter in the summer house. What was he to think? “Mademoiselle,” he asked, “had the rain commenced to fall when M. In the first, he gave orders for Albert to be brought at once to his office in the Palais de Justice. In the second, he directed a detective to go immediately to the Faubourg St. Germain to the d’Arlange house, and examine the wall at the bottom of the garden, and make a note of any marks of its having been scaled, if any such existed.

He enjoined upon the detective to proceed with the utmost caution, and to invent a plausible pretext which would explain his investigations. “Here,” said he, “are two letters, which you must take to my clerk, Constant. Tell him to read them, and to have the orders they contain executed at once,--at once, you understand. Daburon then turned and said to Claire: “Have you kept the letter, mademoiselle, in which M. “Here it is!” The investigating magistrate took it. This compromising letter happened to be very conveniently in Claire’s pocket; and yet young girls do not usually carry about with them requests for secret interviews. “No date,” he murmured, “no stamp, nothing at all.” Claire did not hear him; she was racking her brain to find other proofs of the interview. “Sir,” said she suddenly, “it often happens, that when we wish to be, and believe ourselves alone, we are nevertheless observed. He could understand the violence she had been doing to her feelings during the past hour, he who knew her character so well.

“That is not all,” she added; “the key which I threw to Albert, he did not return it to me; he must have forgotten to do so.

If it is found in his possession, it will well prove that he was in the garden.” “I will give orders respecting it, mademoiselle.” “There is still another thing,” continued Claire; “while I am here, send some one to examine the wall.” She seemed to think of everything. “I will not hide from you that one of the letters which I have just sent off ordered an examination of your grandmother’s wall, a secret examination, though, be assured.” Claire rose joyfully, and for the second time held out her hand to the magistrate.

But I have still another idea: Albert ought to have the note I wrote on Tuesday.” “No, mademoiselle, he burnt it.” Claire drew back. She imagined she felt a touch of irony in the magistrate’s reply. Daburon remembered the letter thrown into the fire by Albert on the Tuesday afternoon. It was to her, then, that the words, “She cannot resist me,” applied. He understood, now, the action and the remark. de Commarin could lead justice astray, and expose me to committing a most deplorable error, when it would have been so easy to have told me all this?” “It seems to me, sir, that an honourable man cannot confess that he has obtained a secret interview from a lady, until he has full permission from her to do so. He ought to risk his life sooner than the honour of her who has trusted in him; but be assured Albert relied on me.” There was nothing to reply to this; and the sentiments expressed by Mademoiselle d’Arlange gave a meaning to one of Albert’s replies in the examination. “This is not all yet, mademoiselle,” continued the magistrate; “all that you have told me here, you must repeat in my office, at the Palais de Justice. This proceeding will be painful to you; but it is a necessary formality.” “Ah, sir, I will do so with pleasure. I was determined to do everything.

Yes, I would have presented myself, and there before all I would have told the truth. “Is it necessary,” she asked, “that I should await the return of the police agents who are examining the wall?” “It is needless, mademoiselle.” “Then,” she continued in a sweet voice, “I can only beseech you,” she clasped her hands, “conjure you,” her eyes implored, “to let Albert out of prison.” “He shall be liberated as soon as possible; I give you my word.” “Oh, to-day, dear M.

Daburon, to-day, I beg of you, now, at once! Do you wish me to go down on my knees?” The magistrate had only just time to extend his arms, and prevent her. if it depended upon me alone, I could not, even were he guilty, see you weep, and resist.” Mademoiselle d’Arlange, hitherto so firm, could no longer restrain her sobs. inspire me with accents to touch the hearts of men! At whose feet must I cast myself to obtain his pardon?” She suddenly stopped, surprised at having uttered such a word.

Yes,” she said after a moment’s reflection, “there is one man who owes himself to Albert; since he it was who put him in this position,--the Count de Commarin. I will remind him that he still has a son.” The magistrate rose to see her to the door; but she had already disappeared, taking the kind-hearted Schmidt with her. I had divined and understood all her good qualities.” He had never loved her so much; and he felt that he would never be consoled for not having won her love in return. How could he expose a plan, so well laid that the prisoner had been able without danger to await certain results, with his arms folded, and without himself moving in the matter? And yet, if Claire’s story were true, and Albert innocent! de Commarin was still more so, when his valet whispered to him that Mademoiselle d’Arlange desired a moment’s conversation with him. Like the magistrate he exclaimed, “Claire!” He hesitated to receive her, fearing a painful and disagreeable scene. To inquire about Albert, of course. He felt that it would be cruel, as well as unworthy of him, to keep away from her who was to have been his daughter-in-law, the Viscountess de Commarin.

He sent a message, asking her to wait a few minutes in one of the little drawing-rooms on the ground floor.

“You come, do you not, my poor child, to obtain news of the unhappy boy?” asked M. He interrupted Claire, and went straight to the point, in order to get the disagreeable business more quickly over. “No sir,” replied the young girl, “I come, on the contrary, to bring you news. Mademoiselle d’Arlange understood his thoughts; her interview with M. Daburon, the investigating magistrate, who is one of my grandmother’s friends; and, after what I told him, he is convinced that Albert is innocent.” “He told you that, Claire!” exclaimed the count. I told him something, of which every one was ignorant, and of which Albert, who is a gentleman, could not speak. I told him that Albert passed with me, in my grandmother’s garden, all that evening on which the crime was committed. He had asked to see me--” “But your word will not be sufficient.” “There are proofs, and justice has them by this time.” “Heavens! You were abandoning him, without trying to defend him. Ah, I did not hesitate one moment!” One is easily induced to believe true that which one is anxiously longing for.

de Commarin was not difficult to convince. He shared her convictions, without asking himself whether it were wise or prudent to do so. Yes, he had been overcome by the magistrate’s certitude, he had told himself that what was most unlikely was true; and he had bowed his head. Claire appeared to him like a bearer of happiness and hope. He had loved him tenderly, for he had never been able to discard him, in spite of his frightful suspicions as to his paternity.

For three days, the knowledge of the crime imputed to his unhappy son, the thought of the punishment which awaited him, had nearly killed the father. “But, then, mademoiselle,” asked the count, “are they going to release him?” “Alas! It was then that I resolved to come to you for aid.” “Can I then do something?” “I at least hope so. I do not know what can be done to get him released from prison. There ought, however, to be some means for obtaining justice. In his profound grief, seeing only ruin and disaster about him, he had done nothing to shake off this mental paralysis. He seemed to enjoy a condition which prevented his feeling the immensity of his misfortune.

Suddenly the radiance in his face changed to sadness, mixed with anger. But to-day!

He will tell me to await the decision of the tribunals, that he can do nothing. We shall certainly have justice; but to obtain it promptly is an art taught in schools that I have not frequented.” “Let us try, at least, sir,” persisted Claire. Only lead me to them. I will speak; and you shall see if we do not succeed.” The count took Claire’s little hands between his own, and held them a moment pressing them with paternal tenderness. Yes, you shall be my daughter; and you shall be happy together, Albert and you. We need some one to tell us whom we should address,--some guide, lawyer, advocate. Ah!” he cried, “I have it,--Noel!” Claire raised her eyes to the count’s in surprise. “He is a advocate; he knows all about the Palais; he will tell us what to do.” Noel’s name, thus thrown into the midst of this conversation so full of hope, oppressed Claire’s heart.

Do not shake your head so; Noel told me himself, on this very spot, that he did not believe Albert guilty. He declared that he intended doing everything to dispel the fatal mistake, and that he would be his advocate.” These assertions did not seem to reassure the young girl. She thought to herself, “What then has this Noel done for Albert?” But she made no remark. Albert will explain to you what may perhaps seem to you an enigma. But I think--” He stopped suddenly. and he had longed to see her again so much! But, if an opportunity occurs, one is only too happy to seize it; then one has an excuse with which to silence one’s conscience. In thus yielding to the impulse of one’s feelings, one can say: “It was not I who willed it, it was fate.” “It will be quicker, perhaps,” observed the count, “to go to Noel.” “Let us start then, sir.” “I hardly know though, my child,” said the old gentleman, hesitating, “whether I may, whether I ought to take you with me.

Propriety--” “Ah, sir, propriety has nothing to do with it!” replied Claire impetuously. Only send word to my grandmother by Schmidt, who will come back here and await my return. Then, ringing the bell violently, he called to the servant, “My carriage.” In descending the steps, he insisted upon Claire’s taking his arm. The gallant and elegant politeness of the friend of the Count d’Artois reappeared.

“You have taken twenty years from my age,” he said; “it is but right that I should devote to you the youth you have restored to me.” As soon as Claire had entered the carriage, he said to the footman: “Rue St. Lazare, quick!” Whenever the count said “quick,” on entering his carriage, the pedestrians had to get out of the way. Aided by the concierge’s directions, the count and the young girl went towards Madame Gerdy’s apartments. The count mounted slowly, holding tightly to the balustrade, stopping at every landing to recover his breath. He was, then, about to see her again! He advanced; and the servant drew back to let them pass. Noel had strictly forbidden her to admit any visitors; but the Count de Commarin was one of those whose appearance makes servants forget all their orders.

Three persons were in the room into which the servant introduced the count and Mademoiselle d’Arlange. They were the parish priest, the doctor, and a tall man, an officer of the Legion of Honour, whose figure and bearing indicated the old soldier. They were conversing near the fireplace, and the arrival of strangers appeared to astonish them exceedingly. In bowing, in response to M. de Commarin’s and Claire’s salutations, they seemed to inquire their business: but this hesitation was brief, for the soldier almost immediately offered Mademoiselle d’Arlange a chair. The count considered that his presence was inopportune; and he thought that he was called upon to introduce himself, and explain his visit. I did not think of being so when I asked to wait for Noel, whom I have the most pressing need of seeing. His lips moved, as if he were about to speak; but he restrained himself, and retired, bowing his head, to the window. While Mademoiselle d’Arlange sat down rather surprised, the count, much embarrassed at his position, went up to the priest, and asked in a low voice, “What is, I pray, M.

l’Abbe; Madame Gerdy’s condition?” The doctor, who had a sharp ear, heard the question, and approached quickly. He was very pleased to have an opportunity to speak to a person as celebrated as the Count de Commarin, and to become acquainted with him. He hesitated to inquire further. After a moment of chilling silence, he resolved to go on. I have been to see her nearly every week; I never knew a more worthy person.” “She must suffer dreadfully,” said the doctor.

Almost at the same instant, and as if to bear out the doctor’s words, they heard stifled cries from the next room, the door of which was slightly open. “Do you hear?” exclaimed the count, trembling from head to foot. Claire understood nothing of this strange scene. At any other time, the count would have noticed the soldier’s tone, and have resented it. He remained insensible to everything. Was she not there, close to him? His thoughts were in the past; it seemed to him but yesterday that he had quitted her for the last time. “I should very much like to see her,” he said timidly. “Nothing need prevent the count’s entering Madame Gerdy’s room,” put in the doctor, who purposely saw nothing of all this.

“I have just spoken to her, taken her hand, she remained quite insensible.” The old soldier reflected deeply. “Enter,” said he at last to the count; “perhaps it is God’s will.” The count tottered so that the doctor offered to assist him. The doctor and the priest entered with him; Claire and the old soldier remained at the threshold of the door, facing the bed. The count took three or four steps, and was obliged to stop. He wished to, but could not go further. He taxed his memory severely; nothing in those withered features, nothing in that distorted face, recalled the beautiful, the adored Valerie of his youth. Your friends wished to separate us; they said that I was deceiving you with another. But you did not believe the wicked calumny, you scorned it, for are you not here?” The nun, who had risen on seeing so many persons enter the sick room, opened her eyes with astonishment. To me you are everything: and there is nothing I could expect or hope for from another which you have not already given me. I never hesitated to give myself entirely to you; I felt that I was born for you, Guy, do you remember?

You told me you were a poor student; I thought you were depriving yourself for me. The first time that we went into the country together, one Sunday, you brought me a more beautiful dress than I had ever dreamed of, and such darling little boots, that it was a shame to walk out in them! That evening you told me the truth, that you were a nobleman and immensely rich.

Great tears rolled down the Count de Commarin’s wrinkled face, and the doctor and the priest were touched by the sad spectacle of an old man weeping like a child. Only the previous evening, the count had thought his heart dead; and now this penetrating voice was sufficient to regain the fresh and powerful feelings of his youth. You told me, that, to please you, I ought to look like a great lady.

You provided teachers for me, for I was so ignorant that I scarcely knew how to sign my name. I feared that you would think me covetous, that you would imagine that your fortune influenced my love. You thought to raise me, but you only sunk me lower. Vainly I asked you in mercy to leave me in obscurity, and unknown. Soon the whole town knew that I was your mistress. You were satisfied, because my beauty became celebrated; I wept, because my shame became so too. I resigned myself, without an effort, to the most humiliating, the most shameful of positions. I said to myself, ‘At this moment, a pure, noble young girl is giving herself to him.’ I said again, ‘What oaths is that mouth, which has so often pressed my lips, now taking?’ Often since that dreadful misfortune, I have asked heaven what crime I had committed that I should be so terribly punished? Ah, Guy, it was our love that killed her!” She stopped exhausted, but none of the bystanders moved. They listened breathlessly, and waited with feverish emotion for her to resume.

Mademoiselle d’Arlange had not the strength to remain standing; she had fallen upon her knees, and was pressing her handkerchief to her mouth to keep back her sobs. The worthy nun was alone unmoved; she had seen, she said to herself, many such deliriums before.

She understood absolutely nothing of what was passing. “These people are very foolish,” she muttered, “to pay so much attention to the ramblings of a person out of her mind.” She thought she had more sense than the others, so, approaching the bed, she began to cover up the sick woman.

“Come, madame,” said she, “cover yourself, or you will catch cold.” “Sister!” remonstrated the doctor and priest at the same moment. “For God’s sake!” exclaimed the soldier, “let her speak.” “Who,” continued the sick woman, unconscious of all that was passing about her, “who told you I was deceiving you? They set spies upon me; they discovered that an officer came frequently to see me.

When he was eighteen years old, and being unable to obtain work, he enlisted, saying to my mother, that there would then be one mouth the less in the family. He came to see me in secret, because I placed him in the unhappy position of blushing for his sister. I had condemned myself never to speak of him, never to mention his name. That it might not be known, I took the utmost precautions, but alas! only to make you doubt me. When Louis knew what was said, he wished in his blind rage to challenge you; and then I was obliged to make him think that he had no right to defend me. Ah, I have paid dearly for my years of stolen happiness! I will write to Louis; he will come, he will tell you that I do not lie, and you cannot doubt his, a soldier’s word.” “Yes, on my honour,” said the old soldier, “what my sister says is the truth.” The dying woman did not hear him; she continued in a voice panting from weariness: “How your presence revives me. I am afraid I am not very pretty today; but never mind, kiss me!” She opened her arms, and thrust out her lips as if to kiss him.

I beg of you, I entreat you not to take him from me; leave him to me. You are anxious to give him an illustrious name, an immense fortune. You wish to give me in exchange, that other woman’s child. Guy, I foresee the future; I see my son coming towards me, justly angered.

O my God, what torture! He pretends not to believe me. Lord, this is too much! I have neither the power to resist, nor the courage to obey you.” At this moment the door opening on to the landing opened, and Noel appeared, pale as usual, but calm and composed. A terrible shudder shook her frame; her eyes grew inordinately large, her hair seemed to stand on end. She raised herself on her pillows, stretched out her arm in the direction where Noel stood, and in a loud voice exclaimed, “Assassin!” She fell back convulsively on the bed. Involuntarily we are drawn together, when some mutual friend breathes his last in our presence. All the bystanders were deeply moved by this painful scene, this last confession, wrested so to say from the delirium. To him they applied the unfortunate mother’s malediction. Kneeling by the bedside of her who had been as a mother to him, he took one of her hands, and pressed it close to his lips.

They implored God to shed his peace and mercy on the departed soul.

Fallen into a chair, his head thrown back, the Count de Commarin was more overwhelmed and more livid than this dead woman, his old love, once so beautiful. Claire and the doctor hastened to assist him. They undid his cravat, and took off his shirt collar, for he was suffocating. With the help of the old soldier, whose red, tearful eyes, told of suppressed grief, they moved the count’s chair to the half-opened window to give him a little air. “His tears have saved him,” whispered the doctor to Claire.

Nature seems to collect her strength to sustain the misfortune. What would he not have given if God would have restored that unfortunate woman to life for a day, or even for an hour? With what transports of repentance he would have cast himself at her feet, to implore her pardon, to tell her how much he detested his past conduct! Upon a mere suspicion, without deigning to inquire, without giving her a hearing, he had treated her with the coldest contempt. He would have spared himself twenty years of doubt as to Albert’s birth. He had not understood them; he had killed them both.

The hour of expiation had come; and he could not say: “Lord, the punishment is too great.” And yet, what punishment, what misfortunes, during the last five days! Why did I not listen to her?” Madame Gerdy’s brother pitied the old man, so severely tried. It is my turn to-day; I forgive you sincerely.” “Thank you, sir,” murmured the count, “thank you!” and then he added: “What a death!” “Yes,” murmured Claire, “she breathed her last in the idea that her son was guilty of a crime. And we were not able to undeceive her.” “At least,” cried the count, “her son should be free to render her his last duties; yes, he must be. “I have promised, father,” he replied, “to save him.” For the first time, Mademoiselle d’Arlange was face to face with Noel. When he had finished, Noel replied: “You see, sir, my position at this moment, to-morrow--” “To-morrow?” interrupted the count, “you said, I believe, to-morrow! Honour demands, sir, that we act to-day, at this moment. “To hear your wish, sir, is to obey it,” he said; “I go. Perhaps I shall be able to bring Albert with me.” He spoke, and, again embracing the dead woman, went out.

The old soldier went to the Mayor, to give notice of the death, and to fulfil the necessary formalities. The nun alone remained, awaiting the priest, which the cure had promised to send to watch the corpse. Daburon was ascending the stairs that led to the offices of the investigating magistrates, when he saw old Tabaret coming towards him. Tabaret!” But the old fellow, who showed signs of the most intense agitation, was scarcely disposed to stop, or to lose a single minute. “I have already some proofs; and before three days--But you are going to see Gevrol’s man with the earrings. He is very cunning, Gevrol; I misjudged him.” And without listening to another word, he hurried away, jumping down three steps at a times, at the risk of breaking his neck.

“You will be summoned immediately, sir,” said the magistrate to the prisoner, as he opened his door. In the office, Constant was talking with a skinny little man, who might have been taken, from his dress, for a well-to-do inhabitant of Batignolles, had it not been for the enormous pin in imitation gold which shone in his cravat, and betrayed the detective.

Martin, who this moment arrived from the neighbourhood of the Invalides.” “That is well,” said the magistrate in a satisfied tone. And, turning towards the detective, “Well, M. This circumstance is easy to establish by examining the marks on the wall of the ascent and the descent on the side towards the street. The scamp--he was a nimble fellow--in getting in, pulled himself up by the strength of his wrists; but when going away, he enjoyed the luxury of a ladder, which he threw down as soon as he was on the top of the wall. It is to see where he placed it, by holes made in the ground by the fellow’s weight; and also by the mortar which has been knocked away from the top of the wall.” “Is that all?” asked the magistrate. Three of the pieces of glass which cover the top of the wall have been removed. Adhering to the thorns of one of these branches, I found this little piece of lavender kid, which appears to me to belong to a glove.” The magistrate eagerly seized the piece of kid. “You took care, I hope, M. Daburon, “not to attract attention at the house where you made this investigation?” “Certainly, sir.

After that, leaving my hat at a wine shop round the corner, I called at the Marchioness d’Arlange’s house, pretending to be the servant of a neighbouring duchess, who was in despair at having lost a favourite, and, if I may so speak, an eloquent parrot. I was very kindly given permission to explore the garden; and, as I spoke as disrespectfully as possible of my pretended mistress they, no doubt, took me for a genuine servant.” “You are an adroit and prompt fellow, M. “I am well satisfied with you; and I will report you favourably at headquarters.” He rang his bell, while the detective, delighted at the praise he had received, moved backwards to the door, bowing the while. “Have you decided, sir,” asked the investigating magistrate without preamble, “to give me a true account of how you spent last Tuesday evening?” “I have already told you, sir.” “No, sir, you have not; and I regret to say that you lied to me.” Albert, at this apparent insult, turned red, and his eyes flashed. “I know all that you did on that evening,” continued the magistrate, “because justice, as I have already told you, is ignorant of nothing that it is important for it to know.” Then, looking straight into Albert’s eyes, he continued slowly: “I have seen Mademoiselle Claire d’Arlange.” On hearing that name, the prisoner’s features, contracted by a firm resolve not to give way, relaxed. “Mademoiselle d’Arlange,” continued the magistrate, “has told me where you were on Tuesday evening.” Albert still hesitated.

She has told me all, you understand?” This time Albert decided to speak. “You see, sir,” said the magistrate severely to Albert, “you did deceive me. You risked your life, sir, and, what is also very serious, you exposed me, you exposed justice, to commit a most deplorable mistake. Daburon with a touch of irony. “If I told you that I did not count on Claire, I should be telling a falsehood.

I knew that, on learning of my arrest, she would brave everything to save me.

“Sir,” he said kindly, “you must return to your prison. You will be treated with every attention due to a prisoner whose innocence appears probable.” Albert bowed, and thanked him; and was then removed. “We are now ready for Gevrol,” said the magistrate to his clerk. He was told to enter. He was dressed in the costume of a well-to-do Normandy fisherman, out for a holiday. The clerk was obliged to push him into the office, for this son of the ocean was timid and abashed when on shore.

He advanced, balancing himself first on one leg, then on the other, with that irregular walk of the sailor, who, used to the rolling and tossing of the waves, is surprised to find anything immovable beneath his feet. To give himself confidence, he fumbled over his soft felt hat, decorated with little lead medals, like the cap of king Louis XI. It was also impossible to doubt his honesty. “Marie Pierre Lerouge.” “Are you, then, related to Claudine Lerouge?” “I am her husband, sir.” What, the husband of the victim alive, and the police ignorant of his existence! To-day, precisely as twenty years ago, when Justice is in doubt, it requires the same inordinate loss of time and money to obtain the slightest information. On Friday, they had written to inquire about Claudine’s past life; it was now Monday, and no reply had arrived. And yet photography was in existence, and the electric telegraph. She herself pretended to be one.” “Yes, for in that way she partly excused her conduct.

I had told her that I would have nothing more to do with her.” “Indeed? Well, you know that she is dead, victim of an odious crime?” “The detective who brought me here told me of it, sir,” replied the sailor, his face darkening. You, her husband, accuse her?” “I have but too good reason to do so, sir. The Lerouges have been honest people, from father to son, ever since the world began. Inquire of all who have ever had dealings with me, they will tell you, ‘Lerouge’s word is as good as another man’s writing.’ Yes, she was a wicked woman; and I have often told her that she would come to a bad end.” “You told her that?” “More than a hundred times, sir.” “Why? She had ambition even in her blood; she wished to mix herself up in the intrigues of the great. To help the great to hide their villainies, and to expect happiness from it, is like making your bed of thorns, in the hope of sleeping well. Daburon, “you had the right to command her obedience.” The sailor shook his head, and heaved a deep sigh.

it was I who obeyed.” To proceed by short inquiries with a witness, when you have no idea of the information he brings, is but to lose time in attempting to gain it. It is much better to give the witness the rein, and to listen carefully, putting him back on the track should he get too far away. Then he began alternately to pull his fingers, making them crack almost sufficiently to break them, and ultimately scratched his head violently. When I spoke to the old fellow of marrying Claudine he swore fiercely, and eight days after, he sent me to Porto on a schooner belonging to one of our neighbours, just to give me a change of air. Then my father, seeing that he could do nothing, that I was wasting away, and was on the road to join my mother in the cemetery, decided to let me complete my folly.

So one evening, after we had returned from fishing and I got up from supper without tasting it, he said to me, ‘Marry the hag’s daughter, and let’s have no more of this.’ I remember it distinctly, because, when I heard the old fellow call my love such a name, I flew into a great passion, and almost wanted to kill him. Ah, one never gains anything by marrying in opposition to one’s parents!” The worthy fellow was lost in the midst of his recollections. He was very far from his story. The investigating magistrate attempted to bring him back into the right path, “Come to the point,” he said. “I am going to, sir; but it was necessary to begin at the beginning. The evening after the wedding, and when the relatives and guests had departed, I was about to join my wife, when I perceived my father all alone in a corner weeping. The sight touched my heart, and I had a foreboding of evil; but it quickly passed away.

One seems to be surrounded by mists that change the very rocks into palaces and temples so completely that novices are taken in. She might have seized and bound me, and carried me to market and sold me, without my noticing it. At the baptism of our son, who was called Jacques after my father, to please her, I squandered all I had economized during my youth, more than three hundred pistoles, with which I had intended purchasing a meadow that lay in the midst of our property.” M. “Go on, go on,” he said every time Lerouge seemed inclined to stop. “I was well enough pleased,” continued the sailor, “until one morning I saw one of the Count de Commarin’s servants entering our house; the count’s chateau is only about a mile from where I lived on the other side of the town. It was said about the country that he had been mixed up in the seduction of poor Thomassine, a fine young girl who lived near us; she appears to have pleased the count, and one day suddenly disappeared. I asked my wife what the fellow wanted; she replied that he had come to ask her to take a child to nurse.

I would not hear of it at first, for our means were sufficient to allow Claudine to keep all her milk for our own child. She wished to earn a little money, being ashamed of doing nothing while I was killing myself with work.

She wanted to save, to economize, so that our child should not be obliged in his turn to go to sea. She was to get a very good price, that we could save up to go towards the three hundred pistoles. That confounded meadow, to which she alluded, decided me.” “Did she not tell you of the commission with which she was charged?” asked the magistrate. This question astonished Lerouge.

He thought that there was good reason to say that justice sees and knows everything. Eight days after, the postman brought a letter, asking her to go to Paris to fetch the child. ‘Very well,’ said she, ‘I will start to-morrow by the diligence.’ I didn’t say a word then; but next morning, when she was about to take her seat in the diligence, I declared that I was going with her. At Paris, she was to call for the little one at a Madame Gerdy’s, who lived on the Boulevard. One takes too much to drink, for instance, or goes out on the loose with some friends; but that a man with a wife and children should live with another woman and give her what really belongs to his legitimate offspring, I think is bad--very bad.

“Will this man never come to the point,” he muttered. Then she told me that we were not going to return home by the diligence. I was ass enough to be delighted, because it gave me a chance to see the country at my leisure. Seeing how I felt, Claudine, hoping to pacify me, resolved to tell me the whole truth. ‘See here,’ she said to me,--” Lerouge stopped, and, changing his tone, said, “You understand that it is my wife who is speaking?” “Yes, yes. Go on.” “She said to me, shaking her pocket full of money, ‘See here, my man, we shall always have as much of this as ever we may want, and this is why: The count, who also had a legitimate child at the same time as this bastard, wishes that this one shall bear his name instead of the other; and this can be accomplished, thanks to me. On the road, we shall meet at the inn, where we are to sleep, M. Germain and the nurse to whom they have entrusted the legitimate son. We shall be put in the same room, and, during the night, I am to change the little ones, who have been purposely dressed alike.

For this the count gives me eight thousand francs down, and a life annuity of a thousand francs.’” “And you!” exclaimed the magistrate, “you, who call yourself an honest man, permitted such villainy, when one word would have been sufficient to prevent it?” “Sir, I beg of you,” entreated Lerouge, “permit me to finish.” “Well, continue!” “I could say nothing at first, I was so choked with rage. The count is the only one who wants this change made; and he is the one that’s to pay for it. His mistress, this little one’s mother, doesn’t want it at all; she merely pretended to consent, so as not to quarrel with her lover, and because she has got a plan of her own. She took me aside, during my visit in her room, and, after having made me swear secrecy on a crucifix, she told me that she couldn’t bear the idea of separating herself from her babe forever, and of bringing up another’s child. She added that, if I would agree not to change the children, and not to tell the count, she would give me ten thousand francs down, and guarantee me an annuity equal to the one the count had promised me. Now kiss your little wife who has more sense than you, you old dear!’ That, sir, is word for word what Claudine said to me.” The rough sailor drew from his pocket a large blue-checked handkerchief, and blew his nose so violently that the windows shook. Scarcely had he got his ideas in order on one point, when all his attention was directed to another. What was he about to learn now? He longed to interrogate quickly, but he saw that Lerouge told his story with difficulty, laboriously disentangling his recollections; he was guided by a single thread which the least interruption might seriously entangle.

“What Claudine proposed to me,” continued the sailor, “was villainous; and I am an honest man. But she kneaded me to her will as easily as a baker kneads dough. She turned my heart topsy-turvy: she made me see white as snow that which was really as black as ink. She proved to me that we were wronging no one, that we were making little Jacques’s fortune, and I was silenced. At evening we arrived at some village; and the coachman, stopping the carriage before an inn, told us we were to sleep there. How could I be sure that Claudine had not invented the second story to pacify me? I had consented to the one wickedness, but not to the other.

I resolved not to lose sight of the little bastard, swearing that they shouldn’t change it; so I kept him all the evening on my knees, and to be all the more sure, I tied my handkerchief about his waist. Add to this, that during the evening I had surprised looks of intelligence passing between my wife and that rascally servant, and you can imagine how furious I was. It was conscience that spoke; and I was trying to silence it. “As for me, I upset that arrangement, pretending to be too jealous to leave my wife a minute. They were obliged to give way to me.

The other nurse went up to bed first. My wife undressed and got into bed with our son and the little bastard. Under the pretext that I should be in the way of the children, I installed myself in a chair near the bed, determined not to shut my eyes, and to keep close watch. I put out the candle, in order to let the women sleep, though I could not think of doing so myself; and I thought of my father, and of what he would say, if he ever heard of my behaviour. Towards midnight, I heard Claudine moving. Was she going to change the children? I was beside myself, and seizing her by the arm, I commenced to beat her roughly, giving free vent to all that I had on my heart. I spoke in a loud voice, the same as when I am on board ship in a storm; I swore like a fiend, I raised a frightful disturbance. Great drops of sweat stood out upon his brow, then, trickling down his cheeks, lodged in the deep wrinkles of his face. He wrote his name first, begging me to say nothing about it to the count, swearing that, for his part, he would never breathe a word of it, and pledging the other nurse to a like secrecy.” “And have you kept this paper?” asked M.

“Yes, sir, and as the detective to whom I confessed all, advised me to bring it with me, I went to take it from the place where I always kept it, and I have it here.” “Give it to me.” Lerouge took from his coat pocket an old parchment pocket-book, fastened with a leather thong, and withdrew from it a paper yellowed by age and carefully sealed. “The paper hasn’t been opened since that accursed night.” And, in fact, when the magistrate unfolded it, some dust fell out, which had been used to keep the writing, when wet, from blotting. “What has become of the witnesses who signed this declaration?” murmured the magistrate, speaking to himself. Lerouge, who thought the question was put to him, replied, “Germain is dead. I have been told that he was drowned when out rowing. I even know that she spoke of the affair to her husband, for he hinted as much to me.

“The next day, sir, Claudine managed to pacify me, and extorted a promise of secrecy. The child was scarcely ill at all; but he retained an enormous scar on his arm.” “Was Madame Gerdy informed of what took place?” “I do not think so, sir. When she realised how much money we had these vices showed themselves, just like a fire, smouldering at the bottom of the hold, bursts forth when you open the hatches. From slightly greedy as she had been, she became a regular glutton. Whenever I went to sea, she would entertain the worst women in the place; and there was nothing too good or too expensive for them. She would get so drunk that she would have to be put to bed. I took him by the neck and pitched him out of the window, without opening it! Then I fell upon my wife, and beat her until she couldn’t stir.” Lerouge spoke in a hoarse voice, every now and then thrusting his fists into his eyes.

In the future, she took better precautions, became a greater hypocrite, and that was all. In the meanwhile, Madame Gerdy took back her child; and Claudine had nothing more to restrain her. Protected and counselled by her mother, whom she had taken to live with us, on the pretence of looking after Jacques, she managed to deceive me for more than a year. When money failed, she wrote to the count or his mistress, and the orgies continued. To distinguish me from a cousin of mine, also named Lerouge, they tacked an infamous word on to my name.

One man, the priest, had the charity to tell me of it. Without losing a minute, I went and saw a lawyer, and asked him how an honest sailor who had had the misfortune to marry a hussy ought to act.

To go to law was simply to publish abroad one’s own dishonour, while a separation would accomplish nothing. When once a man has given his name to a woman, he told me, he cannot take it back; it belongs to her for the rest of her days, and she has a right to dispose of it. She may sully it, cover it with mire, drag it from wine shop to wine shop, and her husband can do nothing. That same day, I sold the fatal meadow, and sent the proceeds of it to Claudine, wishing to keep nothing of the price of shame. I then had a document drawn up, authorising her to administer our property, but not allowing her either to sell or mortgage it.

Then I wrote her a letter in which I told her that she need never expect to hear of me again, that I was nothing more to her, and that she might look upon herself as a widow.

I had had much trouble to find her, no one knew what had become of her. Fortunately my notary was able to procure Madame Gerdy’s address; he wrote to her, and that is how I learnt that Claudine was living at La Jonchere. Captain Gervais, who is a friend of mine, offered to take me to Paris on his boat, and I accepted. When I told her my name, she fell back in her chair. The wretched woman had not changed in the least; she had by her side a glass and a bottle of brandy--” “All this doesn’t explain why you went to seek your wife.” “It was on Jacques’s account, sir, that I went.

The youngster has grown to be a man; and he wants to marry. For that, his mother’s consent was necessary; and I was taking to Claudine a document which the notary had drawn up, and which she signed. Daburon took the paper, and appeared to read it attentively. I thought that Claudine had wearied out the people from whom she drew money, like water from a well; or else getting drunk one day, she had blabbed too freely.” The testimony being as complete as possible, M. Daburon dismissed Lerouge, at the same time telling him to wait for Gevrol, who would take him to a hotel, where he might wait, at the disposal of justice, until further orders. Lerouge had scarcely left, when an extraordinary, unheard of, unprecedented event took place in the magistrate’s office.

He forgot himself so far as to offer an opinion. Daburon, and calculated to rout all predictions, all preconceived opinions. Why before risking anything, had he not waited to possess all the elements of this important case, to hold all the threads of this complicated drama? One scarcely knows what a time evidence takes to produce itself. He had been led astray by a too great refinement of conscience. The scruples which troubled him had filled his mind with phantoms, and had prompted in him the passionate animosity he had displayed at a certain moment. Chance alone had stopped him.

A man may well feel so, when all women are as nothing to him except one, whom he may never dare hope to possess. Too pious a man to think of suicide, he asked himself with anguish what would become of him when he threw aside his magistrate’s robes. Then he turned again to the business in hand. Daburon suddenly, “I must speak to the Count de Commarin. Constant, send to his house a message for him to come here at once; if he is not at home, he must be sought for.” M. He would be obliged to say to the old nobleman: “Sir, your legitimate son is not Noel, but Albert.” What a position, not only painful, but bordering on the ridiculous! To Noel he would also have to tell the truth: hurl him to earth, after having raised him among the clouds. But, without a doubt, the count would make him some compensation; at least, he ought to. “Now,” murmured the magistrate, “who can be the criminal?” An idea crossed his mind, at first it seemed to him absurd.

Abandoned by the investigating magistrate to his own resources, he set to work without losing a minute and without taking a moment’s rest. The story of the cabriolet, drawn by a swift horse, was exact in every particular. Lavish with his money, the old fellow had gathered together a dozen detectives on leave or rogues out of work; and at the head of these worthy assistants, seconded by his friend Lecoq, he had gone to Bougival. After three days’ investigation, he felt comparatively certain that the assassin had not left the train at Rueil, as all the people of Bougival, La Jonchere, and Marly do, but had gone on as far as Chatou. Tabaret thought he recognized him in a man described to him by the porters at that station as rather young, dark, and with black whiskers, carrying an overcoat and an umbrella. Germain at thirty-five minutes past eight in the evening, had appeared to be in a very great hurry. On quitting the station, he had started off at a rapid pace on the road which led to Bougival.

It is usual to pay a toll on crossing this bridge; and the supposed assassin had apparently forgotten this circumstance.

He passed without paying, keeping up his rapid pace, pressing his elbows to his side, husbanding his breath, and the gate-keeper was obliged to run after him for his toll. The appearance of this man corresponded exactly with the description given of him by the porters at Chatou, and by the gatekeeper at the bridge. He had been told of a baker living at Asnieres, and he had written to him, asking him to call at his house. Such was old Tabaret’s information, when on the Monday morning he called at the Palais de Justice, in order to find out if the record of Widow Lerouge’s past life had been received. The chief of detectives was triumphant, and showed it too. Ah, you old rogue, you want to oust me from my place I can see!” The old man was sadly changed. These pleasantries, which a few days before would have made him angry, now did not touch him. Instead of retaliating, he bowed his head in such a penitent manner that Gevrol was astonished. “I have delivered up an innocent man,” he said, “and justice will not restore him his freedom.” Gevrol was delighted, and rubbed his hands until he almost wore away the skin.

To bring criminals to justice is of no account at all. But to free the innocent, by Jove! that is the last touch of art. I have learned too late that I am not all that I had thought myself; I am but an apprentice, and success has turned my head; while you, M. “I suppose,” he said patronisingly, “you refer to the La Jonchere affair?” “Alas! Gevrol, I wished to work without you, and I have got myself into a pretty mess.” Cunning old Tabaret kept his countenance as penitent as that of a sacristan caught eating meat on a Friday; but he was inwardly laughing and rejoicing all the while. Gevrol rubbed his nose, put out his lower lip, and said, “Ah,--hem!” He pretended to hesitate; but it was only because he enjoyed prolonging the old amateur’s discomfiture.

But, to-day, I’m too busy, I’ve an appointment to keep. Come to me to-morrow morning, and we’ll talk it over. But before we part I’ll give you a light to find your way with. Daburon, is the husband of the victim of the La Jonchere tragedy!” “Is it possible?” exclaimed old Tabaret, perfectly astounded. “And does he know anything?” In a few sentences, the chief of detectives related to his amateur colleague the story that Lerouge was about to tell the investigating magistrate.

“What do you say to that?” he asked when he came to the end. “What do I say to that?” stammered old Tabaret, whose countenance indicated intense astonishment; “what do I say to that? “And my baker!” he cried, “I will see you to-morrow, then, M. The old fellow was sane enough, but he had suddenly recollected the Asnieres baker, whom he had asked to call at his house. Daburon; but, as one has already seen, he hardly deigned to reply to him. “Now,” said he to himself, “let us consider. Anyhow, Gevrol’s story in no way affects Albert’s situation nor my convictions. That however, would not prove his innocence to me, if I doubted it.

Madame Gerdy, too, must have been ignorant of these facts; they probably invented some story to explain the scar.

Yes, but Madame Gerdy certainly knew that Noel was really her son, for when he was returned to her, she no doubt looked for the mark she had made on him. Then, when Noel discovered the count’s letters, she must have hastened to explain to him--” Old Tabaret stopped as suddenly as if further progress were obstructed by some dangerous reptile. “Noel, then, must have assassinated Widow Lerouge, to prevent her confessing that the substitution had never taken place, and have burnt the letters and papers which proved it!” But he repelled this supposition with horror, as every honest man drives away a detestable thought which by accident enters his mind. Noel, whom ten years of constant intercourse have taught me to esteem and admire to such a degree that I would speak for him as I would for myself! Men of his class must indeed be moved by terrible passions to cause them to shed blood; and I have always known Noel to have but two passions, his mother and his profession. And I dare even to breath a suspicion against this noble soul? I ought to be whipped! Will you never be more cautious?” Thus he reasoned, trying to dismiss his disquieting thoughts, and restraining his habits of investigation; but in his heart a tormenting voice constantly whispered, “Suppose it is Noel.” He at length reached the Rue St.

Before the door of his house stood a magnificent horse harnessed to an elegant blue brougham. At the sight of these he stopped. “A handsome animal!” he said to himself; “my tenants receive some swell people.” They apparently received visitors of an opposite class also, for, at that moment, he saw M. He stopped him and said: “Halloa! And, prompted by the very natural curiosity of a landlord who is bound to be very careful about the financial condition of his tenants, he added, “Who the deuce are you ruining now?” “I am ruining no one,” replied M. “Have you ever had reason to complain of me whenever we have done business together? Mention me to the young advocate up there, if you like; he will tell you whether he has reason to regret knowing me.” These words produced a painful impression on Tabaret. What, Noel, the prudent Noel, one of Clergeot’s customers! “Yes,” said he, wishing to obtain some more information, “I know that M.

Gerdy spends a pretty round sum.” Clergeot has the delicacy never to leave his clients undefended when attacked. “That’s well known,” replied Tabaret in a careless tone. According to my calculation, she must have, during the four years that she has been under his protection, cost him close upon five hundred thousand francs.” Four years? He is going to be married; and I have just renewed bills of his for twenty-six thousand francs. Tabaret.” The usurer hurried away, leaving the poor old fellow standing like a milestone in the middle of the pavement. He experienced something of that terrible grief which breaks a father’s heart when he begins to realize that his dearly loved son is perhaps the worst of scoundrels. And, yet, such was his confidence in Noel that he again struggled with his reason to resist the suspicions which tormented him.

Have not many men done just such insane things for women, without ceasing to be honest? As he was about to enter his house, a whirlwind of silk, lace, and velvet, stopped the way. A pretty young brunette came out and jumped as lightly as a bird into the blue brougham.

why?” “That elegant lady, who just went out, sir; she came to make some inquiries about M. It seems that the gentleman is going to be married; and she was evidently much annoyed about it. Gerdy?” “Yes, sir, but I never mentioned it to you, because he seemed to wish to hide it. He never asks me to open the door for him, no, not he. I have often said to myself, ‘Perhaps he doesn’t want to disturb me; it is very thoughtful on his part, and he seems to enjoy it so.’” The concierge spoke with his eyes fixed on the gold piece. When he raised his head to examine the countenance of his lord and master, old Tabaret had disappeared. “There’s another!” said the concierge to himself. He reached it just in time to see the blue brougham turn the corner of the Rue St. He ran to the end of the Rue St. He saw the blue brougham a short distance from him in the Rue du Havre, stopped in the midst of a block of carriages.

“I have her,” said he to himself.

He looked all about him, but there was not an empty cab to be seen. Gladly would he have cried, like Richard the III., “My kingdom for a cab!” The brougham got out of the entanglement, and started off rapidly towards the Rue Tronchet. While running in the middle of the street, at the same time looking out for a cab, he kept saying to himself: “Hurry on, old fellow, hurry on. Why didn’t you think to get this woman’s address from Clergeot? He made a supreme effort, and with a bound jumped into the vehicle without touching the step. He stood up in the cab leaning against the driver’s seat. But it is drawn by a splendid horse!” “Yours ought to be a better one. I wonder how such an ugly man can be so jealous.” Old Tabaret tried in every way to occupy his mind with other matters. He did not wish to reflect before seeing the woman, speaking with her, and carefully questioning her.

yes.” The idea that Noel was the assassin harassed and tormented him, and buzzed in his brain, like the moth which flies again and again against the window where it sees a light.

The cab driver turned, and said: “But the Brougham is stopping.” “Then stop also. Don’t lose sight of it; but be ready to follow it again as soon as it goes off.” Old Tabaret leaned as far as he could out of the cab. What can these creatures do with the money so lavishly bestowed upon them? They must have the devil’s own potions which they give to drink to the idiots who ruin themselves for them. They must possess some peculiar art of preparing and spicing pleasure; since, once they get hold of a man, he sacrifices everything before forsaking them.” The cab moved on once more, but soon stopped again. “The woman wants then to buy out half of Paris!” said old Tabaret to himself in a passion. “Yes, if Noel committed the crime, it was she who forced him to it. And to think that he would be my heir, if I should die here of rage! For it is written in my will in so many words, ‘I bequeath to my son, Noel Gerdy!’ If he is guilty, there isn’t a punishment sufficiently severe for him.

She visited three or four more shops, and at last stopped at a confectioner’s, where she remained for more than a quarter of an hour. It was torture thus to be kept from the key to a terrible enigma by the caprice of a worthless hussy! He was dying to rush after her, to seize her by the arm, and cry out to her: “Home, wretched, creature, home at once!

Go home, then, this anxiety is killing me!” She returned to her carriage. It started off once more, passed up the Rue de Faubourg Montmarte, turned into the Rue de Provence, deposited its fair freight at her own door, and drove away.

The concierge did not seem disposed to reply. The tone was so sharp, so imperative, that the concierge was upset.

Tabaret was astonished at the luxury of the room. He began to understand.

“You wished, sir, to speak with me?” she inquired, bowing gracefully. Noel has sent you here to scold me. He forbade my going to his house, but I couldn’t help it. It’s annoying to have a puzzle for a lover, a man whom one knows nothing whatever about, a riddle in a black coat and a white cravat, a sad and mysterious being--” “You have been imprudent.” “Why? Because he is going to get married? He told that old shark Clergeot so, who repeated it to me. Any way, he must be plotting something in that head of his; for the last month he has been so peculiar, he has changed so, that I hardly recognize him.” Old Tabaret was especially anxious to know whether Noel had prepared an alibi for the evening of the crime.

The young woman’s outburst disconcerted him a little; but trusting to the chances of conversation, he resumed. “Will you oppose Noel’s marriage, then?” “His marriage!” cried Juliette, bursting out into a laugh; “ah, the poor boy! For four years, I, who am so fond of pleasure, have passed an intolerable existence. If Noel doesn’t leave me, I shall be obliged to leave him. But what’s that to me! You are the first of his friends to whom I have ever spoken. Why, no longer ago than last Tuesday, we went to the theatre!

Were you obliged to return home alone?” “No. At the end of the play, towards midnight, he deigned to reappear. We had arranged to go to the masked ball at the Opera and then to have some supper. At the ball, he didn’t dare to let down his hood, or take off his mask. At supper, I had to treat him like a perfect stranger, because some of his friends were present.” This, then, was the alibi prepared in case of trouble. Juliette, had she been less carried away by her own feelings, would have noticed old Tabaret’s emotion, and would certainly have held her tongue. “Well,” he said, making a great effort to utter the words, “the supper, I suppose, was none the less gay for that.” “Gay!” echoed the young woman, shrugging her shoulders; “you do not seem to know much of your friend. If you ever ask him to dinner, take good care not to give him anything to drink. At the second bottle, he was more tipsy than a cork; so much so, that he lost nearly everything he had with him: his overcoat, purse, umbrella, cigar-case--” Old Tabaret couldn’t sit and listen any longer; he jumped to his feet like a raving madman. I am sure that something dreadful is going to happen; I feel it.

That old rogue was no friend of Noel’s, he came to circumvent me, to lead me by the nose; and he succeeded. I will write him a line, while you find a messenger to take it.” Old Tabaret was soon in his cab and hurrying towards the Prefecture of Police. “For he not only assassinated Claudine,” thought he, “but he so arranged the whole thing as to have an innocent man accused and condemned. And who can say that he did not kill his poor mother?” He regretted the abolition of torture, the refined cruelty of the middle ages: quartering, the stake, the wheel.

The guillotine acts so quickly that the condemned man has scarcely time to feel the cold steel cutting through his muscles; it is nothing more than a fillip on the neck. Through trying so much to mitigate the pain of death, it has now become little more than a joke, and might be abolished altogether. The certainty of confounding Noel, of delivering him up to justice, of taking vengeance upon him, alone kept old Tabaret up. “It is clear,” he murmured, “that the wretch forgot his things at the railway station, in his haste to rejoin his mistress. If he has had the prudence to go boldly, and ask for them under a false name, I can see no further proofs against him. The hussy, seeing her lover in danger, will deny what she has just told me; she will assert that Noel left her long after ten o’clock.

But I cannot think he has dared to go to the railway station again.” About half way down the Rue Richelieu, M. “I am going to have an attack, I fear,” thought he. A man should always keep his will constantly with him, to be able to destroy it, if necessary.” A few steps further on, he saw a doctor’s plate on a door; he stopped the cab, and rushed into the house.

He was so excited, so beside himself, his eyes had such a wild expression, that the doctor was almost afraid of his peculiar patient, who said to him hoarsely: “Bleed me!” The doctor ventured an objection; but already the old fellow had taken off his coat, and drawn up one of his shirtsleeves. “Do you want me to die?” The doctor finally obeyed, and old Tabaret came out quieted and relieved. An hour later, armed with the necessary power, and accompanied by a policeman, he proceeded to the lost property office at the St. Lazare railway station, to make the necessary search. He was shown the articles; and he at once recognised them as belonging to Noel. In one of the pockets of the overcoat, he found a pair of lavender kid gloves, frayed and soiled, as well as a return ticket from Chatou, which had not been used. In hurrying on, in pursuit of the truth, old Tabaret knew only too well, what it was.

His conviction, unwillingly formed when Clergeot had told him of Noel’s follies, had since been strengthened in a number of other ways. “Now to arrest him.” And, without losing an instant, he hastened to the Palais de Justice, where he hoped to find the investigating magistrate.

He was conversing with the Count de Commarin, having related to him the facts revealed by Pierre Lerouge whom the count had believed dead many years before. Old Tabaret entered like a whirlwind, too distracted to notice the presence of a stranger.

And then in a lower tone, he added, “I suspected it.” “A warrant is necessary at once,” continued the old fellow. He will know that he is discovered, if his mistress has time to warn him of my visit.

Daburon opened his lips to ask an explanation; but the old detective continued: “That is not all. An innocent man, Albert, is still in prison.” “He will not be so an hour longer,” replied the magistrate; “a moment before your arrival, I had made arrangements to have him released. On hearing Noel’s name mentioned, he gained the door quietly, and rushed out into the passage. Noel had promised to use every effort, to attempt even the impossible, to obtain Albert’s release. He in fact did interview the Public Prosecutor and some members of the bar, but managed to be repulsed everywhere. At four o’clock, he called at the Count de Commarin’s house, to inform his father of the ill success of his efforts. “The Count has gone out,” said Denis; “but if you will take the trouble to wait----” “I will wait,” answered Noel. I have the count’s orders to show you into his private room.” This confidence gave Noel an idea of his new power.

Every name which has a place in our history was there. As Noel was about to bow respectfully, he was petrified by the look of hatred, anger, and contempt on his father’s face. And, dreading his own violence, the old nobleman threw his cane into a corner. He was unwilling to strike his son; he considered him unworthy of being struck by his hand. Then there was a moment of mortal silence, which seemed to both of them a century. At the same time their minds were filled with thoughts, which would require a volume to transcribe. Noel had the courage to speak first. you not only committed this murder, but you did everything to cause an innocent man to be charged with your crime! you have also killed your mother.” The advocate attempted to stammer forth a protest.

You were listening, and, if you dared to enter at that moment when one word more would have betrayed you, it was because you had calculated the effect of your presence. It was to you that she addressed her last word, ‘Assassin!’” Little by little, Noel had retired to the end of the room, and he stood leaning against the wall, his head thrown back, his hair on end, his look haggard. His face betrayed a terror most horrible to see, the terror of the criminal found out. de Commarin, without seeming to pay any attention to Noel, approached his writing table, and opened a drawer. “My duty,” said he, “would be to leave you to the executioner who awaits you; but I remember that I have the misfortune to be your father. May heaven forgive you!” The old nobleman moved towards the door. Noel with a sign stopped him, and drawing at the same time a revolver from his pocket, he said: “Your fire-arms are needless, sir; my precautions, as you see, are already taken; they will never catch me alive. “I must tell you, sir,” continued the advocate coldly, “that I do not choose to kill myself--at least, not at present.” “Ah!” cried M. de Commarin in disgust, “you are a coward!” “No, sir, not a coward; but I will not kill myself until I am sure that every opening is closed against me, that I cannot save myself.” “Miserable wretch!” said the count, threateningly, “must I then do it myself?” He moved towards the drawer, but Noel closed it with a kick. “Listen to me, sir,” said he, in that hoarse, quick tone, which men use in moments of imminent danger, “do not let us waste in vain words the few moments’ respite left me.

I have committed a crime, it is true, and I do not attempt to justify it; but who laid the foundation of it, if not yourself? Now, you do me the favor of offering me a pistol. You only wish to avoid the scandal of my trial, and the disgrace which cannot fail to reflect upon your name.” The count was about to reply. “I do not choose to kill myself; I wish to save my life, if possible. There isn’t sufficient money at home to give my mother a decent burial. Therefore, I say, give me some money.” “Never!” “Then I will deliver myself up to justice, and you will see what will happen to the name you hold so dear!” The count, mad with rage, rushed to his table for a pistol. For a moment hesitating between love for his name and his burning desire to see this wretch punished, the old nobleman stood undecided. What do you demand of me?” “I have already told you, money, all that you have here. “That’s very little,” said the advocate; “but give them to me.

Will you pledge yourself to give them to me at the first demand? I will find some means of sending for them, without any risk to myself. At that price, you need never fear hearing of me again.” By way of reply, the count opened a little iron chest imbedded in the wall, and took out a roll of bank notes, which he threw at Noel’s feet. An angry look flashed in the advocate’s eyes, as he took one step towards his father. take care!” he said threateningly; “people who, like me, have nothing to lose are dangerous. I can yet give myself up, and----” He stooped down, however, and picked up the notes. “Will you give me your word,” he continued, “to let me have the rest whenever I ask for them?” “Yes.” “Then I am going. Do not fear, I will be faithful to our compact, they shall not take me alive. It seemed to him that the pavement oscillated beneath his feet, and that everything about him was turning round. But, at the same time, strange to relate, he felt an incredible relief, almost delight.

Henceforth he had nothing more to fear. His horrible part being played to the bitter end, he could now lay aside his mask and breathe freely. His insensibility bore a striking resemblance to that felt by persons afflicted with sea-sickness, who care for nothing, whom no sensations are capable of moving, who have neither strength nor courage to think, and who could not be aroused from their lethargy by the presence of any great danger, not even of death itself. Had any one come to him then he would never have thought of resisting, nor of defending himself; he would not have taken a step to hide himself, to fly, to save his head. For a moment he had serious thoughts of giving himself up, in order to secure peace, to gain quiet, to free himself from the anxiety about his safety. The consciousness of his position, and of his danger, returned to him. He began running in the direction of the Latin quarter without purpose, without aim, running for the sake of running, to get away, like Crime, as represented in paintings, fleeing under the lashes of the Furies. He very soon stopped, however, for it occurred to him that this extraordinary behaviour would attract attention. It seemed to him that everything in him betokened the murderer; he thought he read contempt and horror upon every face, and suspicion in every eye. He walked along, instinctively repeating to himself: “I must do something.” But he was so agitated that he was incapable of thinking or of planning anything.

When he still hesitated to commit the crime, he had said to himself; “I may be discovered.” And with that possibility in view, he had perfected a plan which should put him beyond all fear of pursuit. He would do this and that; he would have recourse to this ruse, he would take that precaution.

It occurred to him that as the police were doubtless already in pursuit of him, his description would soon be known to everyone, his white cravat and well trimmed whiskers would betray him as surely as though he carried a placard stating who he was. Seeing a barber’s shop, he hurried to the door; but, when on the point of turning the handle, he grew frightened. Gradually night had fallen, and, with the darkness, Noel seemed to recover his confidence and boldness. After this great shipwreck in port, hope rose to the surface. He could go to a foreign country, change his name, begin his life over again, become a new man entirely. He was already thinking of the disguise he should assume, and of the frontier to which he should proceed, when the recollection of Juliette pierced his heart like a red hot iron. Was he going to leave without her, going away with the certainty of never seeing her again? She would be delighted to be forever free of me. She will not regret me, for I am no longer necessary to her. Juliette is prudent; she has managed to save a nice little fortune.

She will forget me, she will live happily, while I--And I was about to go away without her!” The voice of prudence cried out to him: “Unhappy man! to drag a woman along with you, and a pretty woman too, is but to stupidly attract attention upon you, to render flight impossible, to give yourself up like a fool.” “What of that?” replied passion. “We will be saved or we will perish together.

She will come, otherwise--” But how to see Juliette, to speak with her, to persuade her. To go to her house, was a great risk for him to run. It will not be found out for two or three days and, besides, it would be more dangerous still to write.” He took a cab not far from the Carrefour de l’Observatoire, and in a low tone told the driver the number of the house in the Rue de Provence, which had proved so fatal to him. Stretched on the cushions of the cab, lulled by its monotonous jolts, Noel gave no thought to the future, he did not even think over what he should say to Juliette. Just one month before, ruined, at the end of his expedients and absolutely without resources, he had determined, cost what it might, to procure money, so as to be able to continue to keep Madame Juliette, when chance placed in his hands Count de Commarin’s correspondence. Not only the letters read to old Tabaret, and shown to Albert, but also those, which, written by the count when he believed the substitution an accomplished fact, plainly established it.

He believed himself the legitimate son; but his mother soon undeceived him, told him the truth, proved to him by several letters she had received from Widow Lerouge, called on Claudine to bear witness to it, and demonstrated it to him by the scar he bore. But a falling man never selects the branch he tries to save himself by. Noel resolved to make use of the letters all the same. He attempted to induce his mother to leave the count in his ignorance, so that he might thus blackmail him. Then the advocate made a confession of all his follies, laid bare his financial condition, showed himself in his true light, sunk in debt; and he finally begged his mother to have recourse to M. It was then that the idea of murdering Claudine occurred to him. Therefore, her testimony suppressed, who else stood in his way? If Madame Gerdy spoke, he could always reply: “After stealing my name for your son, you will do everything in the world to enable him to keep it.” But how to do away with Claudine without danger to himself? These last he went and showed to Albert, feeling sure, that, should justice ever discover the reason of Claudine’s death, it would naturally suspect he who appeared to have most interest in it.

Not that he really wished Albert to be suspected of the crime, it was simply a precaution. His plan settled, he decided to strike the fatal blow on the Shrove Tuesday. To neglect no precaution, he, that very same evening, took Juliette to the theatre, and afterwards to the masked ball at the opera. To put the police on Albert’s track was to guarantee his own safety, to insure to himself, in the event of a probable success, Count de Commarin’s name and fortune.

And now all was discovered, just as he was about to reach the goal of his ambition. But where is the use, when one is at the bottom of an abyss, of knowing which stone gave way, or of asking down what side one fell? The cab stopped in the Rue de Provence. Noel leaned out of the door, his eyes exploring the neighbourhood and throwing a searching glance into the depths of the hall of the house. The advocate did not stop to ask questions. On reaching this spot, he seemed suddenly to recover all his composure. He understood his imprudence; he knew the exact value of every minute he delayed here. “If any one rings,” said he to Charlotte, “don’t open the door.

No matter what may be said or done, don’t open the door!” On hearing Noel’s voice, Juliette ran out to meet him. He pushed her gently into the salon, and followed, closing the door. He was so changed; his look was so haggard that she could not keep from crying out, “What is the matter?” Noel made no reply; he advanced towards her and took her hand. “Juliette,” he demanded in a hollow voice, fastening his flashing eyes upon her,--“Juliette, be sincere; do you love me?” She instinctively felt that something dreadful had occurred: she seemed to breathe an atmosphere of evil; but she, as usual, affected indifference. “Answer me,” he continued, bruising her pretty hands in his grasp, “yes, or no,--do you love me?” A hundred times had she played with her lover’s anger, delighting to excite him into a fury, to enjoy the pleasure of appeasing him with a word; but she had never seen him like this before.

what has happened?” “Nothing, except that I have loved you too much, Juliette. To procure money, I,--I committed a crime,--a crime; do you understand? I must fly: will you follow me?” Juliette’s eyes grew wide with astonishment; but she doubted Noel. He was resigned to it in advance. With a bound, Juliette flew to him, throwing herself upon him, her arms about his neck, and embraced him as she had never embraced him before. I never really knew you before!” It had cost him dear to inspire this passion in Madame Juliette; but Noel never thought of that. He experienced a moment of intense delight: nothing appeared hopeless to him now.

But he had the presence of mind to free himself from her embrace. How they have discovered the truth is still a mystery to me.” Juliette remembered her alarming visitor of the afternoon; she understood it all. It occurred on Tuesday, did it not?” “Yes, Tuesday.” “Ah, then I have told all, without a doubt, to your friend, the old man I supposed you had sent, Tabaret!” “Has Tabaret been here?” “Yes; just a little while ago.” “Come, then,” cried Noel, “quickly; it’s a miracle that he hasn’t been back.” He took her arm, to hurry her away; but she nimbly released herself. I have a fortune, Juliette; let us fly!” She had already opened her jewel box, and was throwing everything of value that she possessed pell mell into a little travelling bag. She loves me truly,” he said to himself; “for my sake, she renounces her happy life without hesitation; for my sake, she sacrifices all!” Juliette had finished her preparations, and was hastily tying on her bonnet, when the door-bell rang. The young woman and her lover stood as immovable as two statues, with great drops of perspiration on their foreheads, their eyes dilated, and their ears listening intently. Charlotte appeared walking on tip-toe. “There are several,” she whispered; “I heard them talking together.” Grown tired of ringing, they knocked loudly on the door. “Don’t despair,” cried Juliette; “try the servants’ staircase!” “You may be sure they have not forgotten it.” Juliette went to see, and returned dejected and terrified.

She bad distinguished heavy foot-steps on the landing, made by some one endeavouring to walk softly. Fasten all the doors, and let them break them down; it will give me time.” Juliette and Charlotte ran to carry out his directions. The shot took effect, the bullet entering Noel’s stomach.

Juliette clung to him, trying to wrest the revolver from his grasp. What can they do to you? Ah, we will live so happily together, no matter where, far away in America where no one knows us!” The outer door had yielded; the police were now picking the lock of the door of the ante-chamber. Then, he once more aimed his revolver at the place where he felt his heart beating, pulled the trigger and rolled to the floor.

They knew of cases where people had romantically desired to quit this world in company; and, moreover, had they not heard two reports? “A doctor,” she cried, “a doctor! He can not be dead!” One man ran out; while the others, under old Tabaret’s direction, raised the body, and carried it to Madame Juliette’s bedroom where they laid it on the bed. “After all, I loved him as though he were my own child; his name is still in my will!” Old Tabaret stopped. The advocate shook his head feebly, and, for a moment, he tossed about painfully on the bed, passing his right hand first under his coat, and then under his pillow. He even succeeded in turning himself half-way towards the wall and then back again.

Upon a sign, which was at once understood, someone placed another pillow under his head. I owe him that at least.” While they were writing, he drew Juliette’s head close to his lips. “I give it all to you.” A flow of blood rose to his mouth; and they all thought him dead. But he still had strength enough to sign his confession, and to say jestingly to M. It must be great fun to trap one’s friends in person! Ah, I have had a fine game; but, with three women in the play, I was sure to lose.” The death struggle commenced, and, when the doctor arrived, he could only announce the decease of M. “The wedding,” said she, “took place on our estate in Normandy, without any flourish of trumpets. My son-in-law wished it; for which I think he is greatly to blame. It is, however, of no consequence; I defy anyone to find to-day a single individual with courage enough to confess that he ever for an instant doubted Albert’s innocence. Anyhow, my grandchild is settled, and grandly too.

I know what it has cost me, and how economical I shall have to be. But I do not think much of those parents who hesitate at any pecuniary sacrifice when their children’s happiness is at stake.” The marchioness forgot, however, to state that, a week before the wedding, Albert freed her from a very embarrassing position, and had discharged a considerable amount of her debts. Since then, she had not borrowed more than nine thousand francs of him; but she intends confessing to him some day how greatly she is annoyed by her upholsterer, by her dressmaker, by three linen drapers, and by five or six other tradesmen. Retiring to his father’s home in Poitou, after sending in his resignation, M. His friends do not yet despair of inducing him to marry.


“All these scoundrels have secret pockets in which they stow away their plunder.And while the company sipped the fragrant beverage which had been generously tinctured with cognac, provided by the butler, they all united in abusing their common enemy, the master of the house. A spasm had twisted his lips, and his distorted mouth, which was drawn on one side and hung half open imparted a most sinister expression to his face.

Perhaps they were overcome by that unconquerable fear which sudden and unexpected death always provokes.

From where she stood, she could not see the bed stationed in an alcove; but she instantly noted the dejected attitude of the servants, the clothing scattered about the floor, and the disorder that pervaded this magnificent but severely furnished chamber, which was only lighted by the lamp which M. Finding his endeavors fruitless, the doctor at last declared that all immediate remedies were exhausted, that “the women” might be allowed to return, and that nothing now remained but to wait for the effect of the remedies he was about to prescribe, and which they must procure from the nearest chemist. Nothing in the count’s constitution predisposes him to such an accident----” Then, suddenly turning toward Mademoiselle Marguerite: “Do you know, mademoiselle, whether the count has experienced any very violent emotion during the past few days?” “Something occurred this very morning, which seemed to annoy him very much.” “Ah! Still, those around her listened with breathless curiosity, as though they were expecting some startling revelation, so much does the human mind abhor that which is natural and incline to that which is mysterious. Here is the key of my escritoire; open it, and on the upper shelf you will find a small bottle which please bring to me.’ I noticed with some surprise that M. ‘Dear Marguerite,’ he said, on seeing me, ‘help me to find the fragments of that letter which I flung from the window this morning.

I would give half my fortune for an address which it must certainly have contained, but which I quite overlooked in my anger.’ I helped him as he asked. He declared that the gentleman had hired him at twelve o’clock, hoping by this means to extort pay for five hours’ driving, which, joined to the liberal gratuity he could not fail to obtain, would remunerate him handsomely for his day’s work. Was he upon the track of some lamentable family secret--one of those terrible scandals, concealed for a long time, but which at last burst forth with startling effect? “What can there be in that escritoire which she desires to conceal?” he thought. It was evident that she had a question on her lips which she scarcely dared to ask. de Chalusse should not recover, will he die without regaining consciousness--without being able to speak?” “I am unable to say, mademoiselle--the count’s malady is one of those which set at naught all the hypotheses of science.” She thanked him sadly, sent a servant to summon Madame Leon, and returned to the count’s room.

Casimir personally superintended the work which was intrusted to the grooms, and he was about to return indoors again, when a young man, who had been walking up and down in front of the mansion for more than an hour, hastily approached him. He had a handsome suite of apartments: a drawing-room, a dining-room, a bed-room, a large outer office where his clerks worked, and a private one, which was the sanctuary of his thoughts and meditations. He gave his attention to contested claims, liquidations, the recovery of legacies, and so on, as was shown by the inscription in large letters which figured on the elegant brass plate adorning his door. It had not taken him twenty-five minutes to cover the distance which separates the Rue de Courcelles from the Place de la Bourse. He was not usually allowed to enter this private room, the floor of which was covered with a magnificent carpet; and so, after carefully closing the door, he remained standing, hat in hand, and looking somewhat intimidated. “If you don’t, I shall run to the nearest stand.” The woman at once threw him five sous, which he pocketed with a satisfied grin. He then hastily returned to the office to inform his employer that the cab was waiting at the door, and found himself face to face with a sight which made him open his eyes to their widest extent.

But just as he was leaving the ante-room, he remembered an order of great importance which he wished to give. He was in excellent humor; and you might have supposed that he was starting on an enterprise from which he expected to derive both pleasure and profit. This establishment was not on the right, but on the left-hand side of the road, a perfect mire through which M.

The ground floor comprised two shops, one of which was closed, but the other was still open, and a faint light gleamed through the soiled red curtains. Fortunat did not reply at once; but he drew the note with which he had provided himself from his pocket, and displayed it. Fortunat listened with the mere superficial interest which ordinary politeness requires one to show, but in reality his heart was filled with intense delight.

He had preserved his power over the Vantrassons, had won their confidence, had succeeded in obtaining a tete-a-tete with the wife, and to crown all, this woman alluded, of her own accord, to the very subject upon which he was longing to question her. But you know how it is--one is never content with one’s lot, and then the heart is weak----” She had not succeeded in finding the sweet wine which she proposed to her guest; so in its place she substituted a mixture of ratafia and brandy in two large glasses which she placed upon the counter.

“Let me see,” said he; “I think--I am sure that I have heard--or that I have read--I cannot say which--some story about a Mademoiselle de Chalusse. But he was experienced in these examinations, and he had at his command little tricks for loosening tongues, which even an investigating magistrate might have envied. On the morning following her flight her parents received a letter, in which she implored their forgiveness. She went so far as to say that her children should never know who their mother was, and that never in her life again would she utter the name which she had so disgraced.” It was the old, sad story of a ruined girl paying for a moment’s madness with her happiness and all her after life.

Fortunat only imperfectly distinguished the words “thief,” “spy,” and “detective;” but he could not mistake the meaning of the looks which she alternately gave her husband and himself. Fortunat gave them in exchange the note which had served as a pretext for his visit. If ever I come here again, I’ll bring a foot-warmer with me.” But one of those fits of profound abstraction to which determined seekers after truth are subject had taken possession of M. His heart had been full of hope when he reached the Asnieres Road, but he went away gloomy and despondent; and quite unconscious of the darkness, the mud, and the rain, which was again falling, he silently plodded along in the middle of the highway. He entered the vehicle, certainly without knowing it; and as they rolled homeward, the thoughts that filled his brain to overflowing found vent in a sort of monologue, of which Chupin now and then caught a few words.

By his habits and tastes, the Marquis de Valorsay belonged to that section of the aristocracy which has coined the term “high life” in view of describing its own manners and customs. This was his every-day life, which had been enlivened by a few salient episodes: two duels, an elopement with a married woman, a twenty-six hours’ seance at the gaming table, and a fall from his horse, while hunting, which nearly cost him his life. These acts of valor had raised him considerably in the estimation of his friends, and procured him a celebrity of which he was not a little proud.

Wrinkles were beginning to show themselves; it required all the skill of his valet to conceal the bald spots on his cranium; and since his fall from his horse, he had been troubled by a slight stiffness in his right leg, which stiffness became perfect lameness in threatening weather. Occupying a certain position in the opinion of his acquaintances, he did not wish to descend from the heights to which they had exalted him; and the very fact that he had been foolishly extravagant one year made it necessary for him to be guilty of similar folly during the succeeding twelvemonth. Secretly disgusted with himself, and deeply humiliated by the shameful intrigue to which he had stooped, he took a secret satisfaction in crushing his accomplice with his imaginary superiority and lordly disdain.

The unvarying deference and submission which M.

The agent had no desire to show himself in the garb which he had assumed for his excursion with Chupin; and so he had hastened to his room to don his wonted habiliments. So he resorted to a stratagem which seemed to him likely to save his compromised dignity. He noticed, on the floor, a torn and crumpled newspaper, which betrayed the impatience and anger his client had experienced during his long waiting.

Only for private reasons, which he did not explain, the count stipulates that only two hundred thousand francs shall appear in the marriage contract. The letter, which is now in my possession, contains unmistakable proofs of that. She might proudly avow the love she has inspired, and which she undoubtedly returns. No doubt, it is grand to be honest; but in my case it is so impossible, that I prefer to be dishonest--to commit an act of shameful infamy which will yield a hundred thousand francs a year. The drowning man does not reject the plank, which is his only chance of salvation, because it chances to be dirty.” His gestures were even more forcible than his words; and when he concluded, he threw himself on to the sofa, holding his head tightly between his hands, as if he felt that it was bursting. Mademoiselle Marguerite is no longer the possessor of millions, and you have committed a useless crime.” However, it was this conviction which imparted such an accent of eagerness to his words as he continued to plead the cause of virtue and of honesty. “Alas!--unfortunately--no.” There was a moment’s silence, which the marquis probably spent in reflecting upon the probable consequences of this disappointment, for it was in an almost threatening tone that he eventually exclaimed: “You know that I must have this money at once--that I must have it.” M. de Valorsay was anything but unsophisticated, and his natural shrewdness had been rendered much more acute by the difficulties with which he had recently been obliged to contend. in fact, he was compelled to pause by the piercing glance which M. On that occasion my entire fortune consisted of a single louis, which I had won at baccarat the evening before.

“In forty-eight hours I shall be certain of the count’s fate,” he thought; “he will be dead, or he will be in a fair way to recovery--so by promising to give this frenzied man what he desires on the day after to-morrow, I shall incur no risk.” Taking advantage of an opportunity which M. Only the money was not his; he had taken it from the safe which was confided to his keeping, expecting, probably, to double the amount in a single night. The poor woman--she was a widow--sold all she possessed, even the bed on which she slept, and when she had succeeded in gathering together twenty thousand francs--the ransom of her son’s honor--she carried them to the banker by whom her boy had been employed. He was a young man of five or six-and-twenty, dark-complexioned and tall; each movement of his person was imbued with that natural grace which is the result of perfect harmony of the muscles, and of more than common vigor. Deserted by his sponsor, who was shaking hands right and left, he seated himself on a sofa a little in the background; not because he was embarrassed, but because he felt that instinctive distrust of self which frequently seizes hold of a person on entering a crowd of strangers. The card-room, into which Pascal had been ushered, was an apartment of noble proportions, furnished in a style of tasteful magnificence. The only thing at all peculiar about the room and its appointments was a reflector, ingeniously arranged above the chandelier in such a way as to throw the full glare of the candles upon the card-table which stood directly beneath it. Certain well-known names which Pascal overheard surprised him greatly. Pascal noticed that these ladies were treated with perfect indifference, and that, whenever the gentlemen spoke to them, they assumed an air of politeness which was too exaggerated not to be ironical.

And is not gaming a species of idolatry, symbolized by cards, and which has its images, its fetishes, its miracles, its fanatics, and its martyrs? It was the dull, lifeless white which suggests an excessive use of cosmetics and rice powder, and long baths, late hours, and sleep at day-time, in a darkened room. One might have fancied that its muscles had become relaxed after terrible efforts to feign or to conceal some violent emotions; and there was something melancholy, almost terrifying in the eternal, and perhaps involuntary smile, which curved her lips.

My philosopher is captivated.” “Not captivated, but interested, I confess.” Then, in the tone of good-humor which was habitual to him, he added: “As for being the sage you call me, that’s all nonsense. “It isn’t that which one has cause to fear. “I have purchased with my patrimony the right of saying: ‘Distrust yourself, and don’t do as I’ve done,’ to an inexperienced friend.” The wisest counsels, given in a certain fashion, never fail to produce an effect diametrically opposed to that which they seemingly aim at. The play, which had been rather timid at first--since it was necessary, as they say, to try the luck--had now become bolder. He came with Coralth.” “He is an advocate, I understand.” And all these whispered doubts and suspicions, these questions fraught with an evil significance, these uncharitable replies, grew into a malevolent murmur, which resounded in Pascal’s ears and bewildered him. Retreat and save the cash.” These words were like the drop which makes the cup overflow. There was a slight commotion round the table; and one of the players who had lost most heavily, remarked in an undertone: “Don’t look so hard at the gentleman--he won’t have any more luck.” As Pascal heard this ironical remark, uttered in a tone which made it as insulting as a blow, a gleam of light darted through his puzzled brain. The attention of the entire party was concentrated on Pascal; and he, with despair in his heart, followed the movements of the cards, which were passing from hand to hand, and fast approaching him again. I saw you slip other cards among those which were handed to you.” “Wretch!” gasped Pascal.

With a boldness which no one would have expected on his part, M. de Coralth placed himself in front of Pascal, and in a voice which betokened more indignation than sorrow, he exclaimed: “This is a terrible mistake, gentlemen. In the opinion of all his listeners, Ferdinand was simply fulfilling a duty which it would have been difficult for him to escape.

After struggling for a moment in the hands of his captors, he now stood perfectly motionless, glancing furiously around him as if hoping to discover the coward who had prepared the trap into which he had fallen.

“All these scoundrels have secret pockets in which they stow away their plunder. The danger seemed so great and so certain that his enemies paused--each encouraging his neighbor with his glance; but no one was inclined to engage in this struggle, by which the victor would merely gain a few bank-notes. de Coralth had employed; and which had, perhaps, prevented Pascal from yielding to Madame d’Argeles’s entreaties. But never, in any of these scoundrels, had the baron seen the proud, steadfast glance with which this man had awed his accusers. He was the only winner.” To this terrible argument--the same which had silenced Pascal--the baron made no reply. Indeed his intervention became necessary elsewhere, for the other guests were beginning to talk loudly and excitedly around the pile of gold and bank-notes which Pascal had left on the table.

They had counted it, and found it to amount to the sum of thirty-six thousand three hundred and twenty francs; and it was the question of dividing it properly among the losers which was causing all this uproar. “I--and why?” “Because it was you who slipped those cards, which made M. What prevented me from doing so?” “I did; or perhaps I ought rather to say, your own good sense, which closed your mouth when Monsieur Pascal entreated you to speak in his defence.

Your money doesn’t come from the treasure-box of an English peer, but from a small gambling den with which I am very well acquainted, having often had occasion to swell its revenues with my franc-pieces.’ And if he mourned his vanished dreams, I should tell him: ‘You are wrong; for, if the great nobleman is lost, the good fairy remains. If through the length and breadth of Paris there is a really quiet, peaceful street, a refuge for the thoughtfully inclined, it is surely the broad Rue d’Ulm, which starts from the Place du Pantheon, and finishes abruptly at the Rue des Feuillantines. But this was a burden which Pascal’s profession imposed upon him; for he, of course, required a private office and a little waiting-room for his clients. One day, in the full sunshine of happiness and success, while he was engaged in a series of experiments for the purpose of obtaining a durable, and at the same time perfectly harmless, green, the chemicals exploded, smashing the mortar which he held, and wounding him horribly about the head and chest. Nothing remains of the fortune which your father accumulated by dint of toil and self-sacrifice. As for the fortune which my father left you, I will restore it to you again. His remarks, which were at once comical and touching, were those of the head of a family, deeply impressed by a sense of his own responsibility. With a tact unusual at his age, or indeed at any other, he bore his misfortunes simply and proudly, without any of the servile humility or sullen envy which so often accompanies poverty. He wished to be a lawyer; and the law, he was forced to admit, is a profession which is almost beyond the reach of penniless young men. His duties, which were extremely tiresome at first, had the two-fold advantage of familiarizing him with the forms of legal procedure, and of furnishing him with the means of prosecuting his studies.

After he had been in the office six months, his employer agreed to pay him eight hundred francs a year, which were increased to fifteen hundred at the end of the second twelvemonth.

In three years, when he had passed his final examination qualifying him to practise, his patron raised him to the position of head-clerk, with a salary of three thousand francs, which Pascal was moreover able to increase considerably by drawing up documents for busy attorneys, and assisting them in the preparation of their least important cases. Eventually he succeeded to his satisfaction, though not without some difficulty, and only by employing that supreme finesse which consists in absolute frankness. The trouble arose from a little stock exchange operation which M. Ferdinand had engaged in--an affair which savored a trifle of knavery. However, the young advocate seemed to have no suspicions; they exchanged visits occasionally, and it was Pascal himself who one day requested the viscount to take him to one of those “Reunions in High Life” which the newspapers describe in such glowing terms. He knew that he had descended the staircase slowly and deliberately; that the servants in the vestibule had stood aside to allow him to pass; and that, while crossing the courtyard, he had thrown away the candelabrum with which he had defended himself. Perhaps the champagne which he had drank had contributed to this cerebral disorder. He had barely strength enough to throw himself on to the bed, and in a moment he was sleeping with that heavy slumber which so often seizes hold of one on the occasion of a great crisis, and which has so frequently been observed among persons condemned to death, on the night preceding their execution. it was not a trifling mortification, but despair, which awaited the sleeper on his wakening; for the past, the present, and the future were presented simultaneously and visionlike to his imagination.

de Coralth, who, seated at his right, had prepared the “hands” with which he had won. And the terrible conviction that there was no escape from the abyss into which he had fallen made his reason totter--he felt that he was incapable of deciding on the best course, and that he must have a friend’s advice. On Pascal’s entrance, two of them at once left the hall, while two of the others pretended to be very busily engaged in examining a brief which lay open on the table. Her blood froze in her veins; and yet she had sufficient self-control to repress the cry of terror which sprang to her lips. But on his desk there lay a letter addressed to his mother which would speak for him. I command you!” He complied with this at once supplicating and imperious behest, and related in a despairing voice the events which had wrought his woe. For this was one of those unexpected catastrophes which are beyond the range of human foresight or even imagination, and which her mind could scarcely conceive or admit. An honest name is a sacred trust which no one has a right to abuse.

How can I escape from the web which has been woven around me with such fiendish cunning? “This is one of those cases in which a mother should overstep reserve,” said she. “I will not conceal from you, monsieur,” began the baron, “that I have been led here by certain compunctions of conscience.” And, misinterpreting a gesture which Pascal made, “I mean what I say,” he continued; “compunctions of conscience. ‘The devil!’ I said to myself again; ‘if this young man is innocent, the culprit must be one of the habitues of Madame d’Argeles’s house--that is to say, a man with whom I play twice a week, and whom I shall play with again next Monday.’ And then I became uneasy, and here I am!” Was the absurd reason which the baron gave for his visit the true one? However, he did not seem in the slightest degree disconcerted by the glacial reserve with which his advances were received. Moreover, the particulars are incorrect, and I am going to write a line of correction which I shall take to the office myself.” So saying he transported his unwieldy person to Pascal’s desk, and hastily wrote as follows: “MR. And if I were in your place, I would obtain the notes from which that newspaper article was written. The remainder of his time was spent in waiting for patients who never came, and in cursing the profession of medicine, which was ruined, he declared, by excessive competition, combined with certain rules of decorum which hampered young practitioners beyond endurance. In spite of the greatest economy, very cleverly concealed, he had seen the little capital which constituted his entire fortune dwindle away.

He had originally possessed but twenty thousand francs, a sum which in no wise corresponded with his lofty pretensions. At times he was capable of doing almost anything to gratify his lust for gold, for the privations which he had endured so long were like oil cast upon the flame of covetousness which was ever burning in his breast.

Sometimes he thought of turning dentist, or of trying to find some capitalist who would join him in manufacturing one of those patent medicines which are warranted to yield their promoters a hundred thousand francs a year. The scene which he had just witnessed at the Count de Chalusse’s house recurred to his mind, and he turned it over and over again in his brain, striving to find some way by which he might derive an advantage from the mystery. However, when ten minutes or so had elapsed, he opened the door, and a tall lady came quickly forward, throwing back the veil which had concealed her face. She paused, as one always does before venturing upon a decisive act, from which there will be no return, whatever may be the consequences. At last, however, she shrugged her shoulders with a gesture which eloquently expressed the result of her deliberations; and drawing a letter from her bosom, she dropped it into the box, and then hastened on more quickly than before. As in the earlier part of the evening, the servants were assembled in the concierge’s lodge; but the careless gayety which shone upon their faces a few hours before had given place to evident anxiety respecting their future prospects. However, there was nobody to announce his presence; the door closed noiselessly behind him, the heavy carpet which covered the marble steps stifled the sound of his footsteps, and he ascended the first flight without seeing any one. The door opening into the count’s room was open, the room itself being brilliantly lighted by a large fire, and a lamp which stood on a corner of the mantel-shelf.

Two o’clock sounded from the church-tower near by, and then the solemn and terrible silence was only broken by the hard breathing of the unconscious man and the implacable ticktack of the clock on the mantel-shelf, numbering the seconds which were left for him to live. From the streets outside, not a sound reached this princely abode, which stood between a vast courtyard and a garden as large as a park. Moreover, the straw which had been spread over the paving-stones effectually deadened the rumble of the few vehicles that passed. But Mademoiselle Marguerite did not perceive this, absorbed as she was in thoughts which, by reason of their very profundity, had ceased to be sorrowful. Do you understand me?” His lips moved; but only a hollow, rattling sound, which was absolutely unintelligible, came from his throat.

After a terrible effort and intense suffering, however, he succeeded in tracing a few words, the meaning of which it was impossible to understand. I feared the responsibility which would fall upon us all.” The expression of the count’s face had become absolutely frightful.

His soul was writhing in a body from which life had fled. Intelligence, mind, and will were fast bound in a corpse which they could not electrify. He walked straight to the bedside, glanced at the motionless form, and solemnly exclaimed: “The Count de Chalusse is dead!” There was a moment’s stupor--the stupor which always follows death, especially when death comes suddenly and unexpectedly. With dry, fixed eyes and contracted features, she stood rooted to her place, gazing at the lifeless form as if she were expecting some miracle--as if she still hoped to hear those rigid lips reveal the secret which he had tried in vain to disclose, and which he had carried with him to the grave. But pray, doctor, remove my beloved Marguerite from this scene, which is too terrible for her young and tender heart. Persuade her to retire to her own room, so that she may ask God for strength to bear the misfortune which has befallen her.” The poor girl had certainly no intention of leaving the room, but before she could say so, M. Casimir gave vent to a contemptuous whistle, which, twenty-four hours earlier, would have been punished with a heavy blow from the man who was now lying there--dead.

But the valet turned toward him with an air which proved that he was well acquainted with the doctor’s servant, and, consequently, with all the secrets of the master’s life. If I go, however, I’ll show him the letter that caused the count’s illness; for the count threw it away, after tearing it into several pieces, and I found some of the bits which escaped his notice as well as mademoiselle’s.

A ring which he wore upon one of his fingers served as a barometer for those who knew him. On the marble hearth stood a chafing-dish full of embers from which rose spiral rings of smoke, filling the room with a pungent odor as a servant poured some vinegar and sugar on to the coals.

His clerk had already drawn a pen and some paper from his portfolio, and was engaged in reading the decision, rendered by the magistrate at the request of one Bourigeau, and in virtue of which, seals were about to be affixed to the deceased nobleman’s personal effects. We shall have no difficulty in discovering the culprit,” the magistrate exclaimed, still more imperiously: “Another word, and you all leave the room.” They were silenced; but there was a mute eloquence about their looks and gestures which it was impossible to misunderstand. She brought it down to him.” “Did she return the key?” “Yes; she gave it to him when she handed him the vial, and I saw him put it in his pocket.” The magistrate pointed to the bottle which was standing on the shelf. “Further comment is unnecessary; for, if the money had then been missing, he could not have failed to discover the fact.” No one had any reply to make to this quiet defence, which was, at the same time, a complete vindication. Which one of you knew it?” And as nobody still ventured any remark, he added in an even more severe tone, and without seeming to notice Mademoiselle Marguerite’s look of gratitude, “It is by no means a proof of honesty to be so extremely suspicious. He also was blase, having witnessed too many of those frightful and shameless dramas which are enacted at a dead man’s bedside, to be surprised at anything.

In the first which he opened, the magistrate found ample proofs of the accuracy of the information which had been furnished him by Mademoiselle Marguerite. The drawer contained a memorandum which established the fact that the Credit Foncier had lent M. de Chalusse the sum of eight hundred and fifty thousand francs, which had been remitted to him on the Saturday preceding his death. Beside this document lay a second memorandum, signed by a stockbroker named Pell, setting forth that the latter had sold for the count securities of various descriptions to the amount of fourteen hundred and twenty-three thousand francs, which sum had been paid to the count on the preceding Tuesday, partly in bank-notes and partly in gold. In the drawer which was next opened, the magistrate only found a number of deeds, bonds, leases, and mortgages; but they proved that public rumor, far from exaggerating the figures of the count’s fortune, had diminished it, and this made it difficult to explain why he had contracted a loan. Finally, in a small casket, the magistrate found a packet of letters, yellow with age and bound together with a broad piece of blue velvet; as well as three or four withered bouquets, and a woman’s glove, which had been worn by a hand of marvellous smallness. “Then here are eight thousand francs, for which you will be held accountable.” M. However, the magistrate had already resumed his dictation: “And at this moment we have affixed bands of white tape, sealed at either end with red wax, bearing the impress of our seal as justice of the peace, to wit: In the aforesaid chamber of the deceased: First, A band of tape, covering the keyhole of the lock of the escritoire, which had been previously opened by a locksmith summoned by us, and closed again by the said locksmith----” And so the magistrate and his clerk went from one piece of furniture to another, duly specifying in the report each instance in which the seals were affixed. By noon every article of furniture in which M.

The magistrate had pursued his investigation with the feverish energy which the most self-possessed of men are apt to display under such circumstances, especially when influenced by the conviction that the object they are seeking is somewhere within their reach, perhaps under their very hand.

One word more, and involuntarily, without even knowing it, she would have confessed her besetting sin, which was listening at, and peering through, the keyholes of the doors that were closed against her. Who knows what surprise may be in store for us in this immense house, of which we have only explored three rooms?” She shook her head gently and replied: “I can never be sufficiently grateful for your kindness, monsieur, and for the great service you rendered me in crushing that infamous accusation. “Your stomach, which is more exacting in its demands than mine, is not satisfied with a cup of chocolate till dinner-time. This room, which the count had preferred above all others, was a spacious, magnificent, but rather gloomy apartment, with lofty walls and dark, richly carved furniture. Having fathomed Mademoiselle Marguerite’s extreme sensitiveness and reserve, he said to himself that if he offended or alarmed her, she would refuse him her confidence, in which case he would be powerless to serve her as he wished to do. He had, in fact, an almost passionate desire to be of service to her, feeling himself drawn toward her by an inexplicable feeling of sympathy, in which esteem, respect, and admiration alike were blended, though he had only known her for a few hours. That letter which the Count de Chalusse received yesterday, that letter which I regard as the cause of his death--well, I have a presentiment that it came from his sister.

When I saw him for the first time, six years ago, I judged by the manner in which he forbade me to call him ‘father,’ that he would never answer any question I might ask on the subject.” If there was a man in the world inaccessible to idle curiosity, it was certainly this magistrate, whose profession condemned him to listen every day to family grievances, neighborly quarrels, complaints, accusations, and slander. And yet as he listened to Mademoiselle Marguerite, he experienced that strange disquietude which seizes hold of a person when a puzzling problem is presented. But I have nothing to conceal; and if I have cause to blush, it is for others, not for myself.” Perhaps she was impelled by an irresistible desire to relieve her overburdened heart, after long years of self-restraint; perhaps she no longer felt sure of herself, and desired some other advice than the dictates of her conscience, in presence of the calamity which had befallen her. There were five or six small, scrubby trees, with moss-grown trunks and feeble branches, which put forth a few yellow leaves at springtime. I do not know what has become of her, but often, when my heart fails me, I think of her, and even now I cannot mention her name without tears.” Mademoiselle Marguerite was indeed weeping--big tears which she made no attempt to conceal were coursing down her cheeks.

We slept in little white beds with snowy curtains, in a clean, well-ventilated dormitory, in the centre of which stood a statue of the Virgin, who seemed to smile on us all alike. Poor laborers’ children are often obliged to endure privations which we knew nothing of; they are often obliged to make their supper off a piece of dry bread--but, then, the crust is given them by their mother, with a kiss.” The magistrate, who was extremely ill at ease, had not yet succeeded in finding a syllable to offer in reply. It seemed to me that I was ascending on the clouds of incense to the celestial sphere which the sisters so often talked to us about, and where they said each little girl would find her mother.” Mademoiselle Marguerite hesitated for an instant, as if she were somewhat unwilling to give utterance to her thoughts; but at last, forcing herself to continue, she said: “Yes, I suffered exceedingly in that foundling asylum. I was unwilling to be confirmed because I did not wish to wear a certain dress, which a ‘benevolent lady’ had presented for the use of the asylum, and which had belonged to a little girl of my own age who had died of consumption. Go--I shall impose no other penance on you.’ I obeyed him, full of superstitious terror; for it seemed to me that this was a frightful omen which would bring me misfortune, my whole life through. I gasped for breath, and thought that anything would be preferable to this semblance of existence, which was not real life. I was thinking of applying for the ‘good situation,’ which had so often been mentioned to me, when one morning I was summoned into the steward’s office--a mysterious and frightful place to us children. Round the room were ranged the registers, in which our names were recorded and our appearances described, together with the boxes containing the articles found upon us, which were carefully preserved to assist in identifying us should occasion arise.

monsieur, it seemed to me that heaven had opened before me and I boldly replied: ‘Yes.’ The gentleman in the black skullcap immediately emerged from his place behind the grating to explain my obligations and duties to me at length, especially insisting upon the point, that I ought to be grateful--I, a miserable foundling, reared by public charity--for the generosity which this good gentleman and lady showed in offering to take charge of me and employ me in their workshop.

I must confess that I could not clearly realize in what this great generosity which he so highly praised consisted, nor did I perceive any reason why I should be particularly grateful. The gentleman with the spectacles and the skullcap then reminded the bookbinder of the duties of an employer toward his apprentices, and turning to a bookcase behind him, he even took down a large volume from which he read extract after extract, which I listened to without understanding a word, though I was quite sure that the book was written in French. At last, when the man and his wife had said ‘Amen’ to everything, the gentleman with the spectacles drew up a document which we all signed in turn. What I had at first done of my own freewill and from a wish to please, at last became my daily task, which I was rigidly required to fulfil. And I followed them along the dusty highways in the hot sunshine, panting, perspiring, and tottering under the weight of a heavy basket of provisions, which were eaten on the grass or in the woods, and the remnants of which fell to me. It was from that man’s mouth that I heard the first coarse word at which my unsophisticated heart took offence. “Fortunately, my pride, which I had so often been reproached with, shielded me. However, it was not long before Mademoiselle Marguerite shook off the torpor which had stolen over her. “Besides my pride, I had a hope to sustain me--a hope which I clung to with the tenacity of despair.

‘You must get into the carriage,’ said the sister; ‘it was sent for you.’ I obeyed her, and before I had recovered from my astonishment we had reached the asylum, and I was ushered into the office where the contract which bound me as an apprentice had been signed. I was certain of this by the glances they gave me, glances which, however, were full of kindness. But I must have overestimated my intelligence, for I could gain no meaning whatever from the phrases which followed each other in rapid succession; though the words ‘adoption,’ ‘emancipation,’ ‘dowry,’ ‘compensation,’ ‘reimbursement for sums expended,’ recurred again and again. That’s understood.’ But at last he began to grow impatient, and in a voice which impressed one with the idea that he was accustomed to command, he exclaimed, ‘I will do whatever you wish. “I was at last left alone with the superior, whom I longed to question, but she gave me no time to do so, for with extreme volubility she began to tell me of my surprising good fortune, which was an unanswerable and conclusive proof of the kindness and protection of Providence. What surprised me most of all was the deference with which I was treated. Was it really chance which had decided him in his choice?

In the street there was a carriage waiting for us, not such a beautiful one as that which had been sent to fetch me from my workshop, but a much larger one, with trunks and boxes piled on its roof. I felt more dead than alive, as I entered the carriage and took the seat which the count pointed out. Henceforth, an impassable gulf was to separate me from this asylum, whither I had been carried in my infancy half dead, and wrapped in swaddling clothes, from which every mark that could possibly lead to identification had been carefully cut away. An inward voice whispered that this was but the renewal of a former tie--one which had somehow been mysteriously broken.

That sad formula, ‘Father and mother unknown,’ which figures on certificates of birth, acts as a dangerous stimulant for unhealthy imaginations, and leaves an open door for the most extravagant hopes. I forbid it!’ He had become extremely pale, and he looked anxiously around him, as if he feared that some one had overheard me--as if he had forgotten that we were alone in a carriage which was dashing onward at full speed! “I was stupefied and alarmed by the sudden terror which M. And, in spite of my confusion and agitation, the inexplicable voice which we call presentiment whispered in my heart: ‘He has forbidden you to CALL him father, but he has not said that he is not your father.’ However, I had not time to reflect or to question M. I had scarcely time to glance round me before we were on the platform in front of a train, which was ready to start. Our carriage was one of those costly whims which some millionaires indulge in. de Chalusse said to me: ‘Here is Cannes--we are at our journey’s end.’ “In this town, which is one of the most charming that overlook the blue waters of the Mediterranean, the count owned a palace embowered among lovely orange-trees, only a few steps from the sea, and in full view of the myrtle and laurel groves which deck the isles of Sainte Marguerite. I saw my blunders, and knew that I spoke a different language to that which was spoken around me.

Each moment increases the peril that threatens us.’ “I was very young, inexperienced, and totally ignorant of life; but my sufferings, my loneliness, and the prospect of being compelled to rely upon myself, had imparted to my mind that precocious maturity which is so often observed among the children of the poor.

Knowing from the very first that there was some mystery connected with the count’s life, I had studied him with a child’s patient sagacity--a sagacity which is all the more dangerous, as it is unsuspected--and I had come to the conclusion that a constant dread rendered his life a burden. de Chalusse desired was a vessel ready for sea, and the bark which the valet had chartered now came up to the quay. He had, accordingly, made arrangements for me to enter the convent of Sainte-Marthe, an educational establishment which is as celebrated in the department of the Rhone as the Convent des Oiseaux is in Paris. I was to send any letters I might write to an address which he would give me, and he would sign his answers with a fictitious name. de Chalusse had forgotten one circumstance, which made my two years’ sojourn at Sainte-Marthe a lingering and cruel agony. I had been silly enough to show my companions the costly jewels which M.

de Chalusse had given me, but which I never wore. It was war; and one of those merciless wars which sometimes rage so furiously in convents, despite their seeming quiet. Once before, that very morning, the magistrate had witnessed a display of the virile energy with which misfortune and suffering had endowed this proud but naturally timid girl. But he was none the less surprised at the sudden explosion of hatred which he now beheld; for it was hatred. The way in which Mademoiselle Marguerite’s voice had quivered as she pronounced the name of Anais de Rochecote proved, unmistakably, that hers was one of those haughty natures that never forget an insult.

‘Yes,’ he concluded, embracing me, ‘the die is cast, come what may!’ “However, these measures required a certain delay; and, in the meantime, he decided to install me in Paris, which is the only place where one can successfully hide from prying eyes. So I waited, with that secret anguish which still haunts those who have been unhappy even when their present is peaceful, and their future seems bright. de Chalusse would somewhat dispel the uncertainty of my position, and furnish me at least with some idea of the vague danger which threatened me. At others there was a look of hatred in his eyes which terrified me. It is certain that he often requested me to dress myself or to arrange my hair in a certain fashion, to wear such and such a color, or to use a particular perfume which he gave me.

de Chalusse seemed to take a malicious pleasure in destroying all my carefully-arranged theories, and in upsetting the conjectures which he had encouraged himself only twenty-four hours previously. He frequently alluded to her, sometimes with an outburst of passion which made me think that he had once adored, and still loved her; sometimes, with insults and curses which impressed me with the idea that she had cruelly injured him. “Then those letters which we found just now in the escritoire are from your mother, mademoiselle?” he remarked. Now, she hesitated for a moment, and then quietly said: “Your opinion coincides with mine, monsieur.” Thereupon, as if she wished to avoid any further questioning on the subject, she hurriedly continued: “At last a new and even greater trouble came--a positive calamity, which made me forget the disgrace attached to my birth. At dinner he addressed his conversation exclusively to me, and I particularly remember a certain picture he drew of a model household, which positively disgusted me. I felt indignant that he should suppose me so wanting in delicacy of feeling and nobility of character as to be dazzled by the life of display and facile pleasure which he had depicted. Having occasion to enter the room, after the marquis’s departure, I noticed on the table a number of title deeds which he had probably brought for the count’s inspection. I did not wish to bind him by the advice which he would certainly have given me. Less than a fortnight after he had taken me from the asylum, he drew up a will, in which he adopted me and made me his sole legatee.

I have thought of a better way; I have found an expedient which will provide for all emergencies.’ And as I ventured some timid objection--for it was repugnant to my sense of honor to act as an instrument of vengeance or injustice, or assist, even passively, in despoiling any person of his rightful inheritance--he harshly, almost brutally, replied: ‘Mind your own business! He was in constant terror concerning my safety, and he died without even telling me what were the mysterious dangers which threatened me; without even telling me something which I am morally certain of--that he was my father. He raised me against my will to the highest social position--he placed that wonderful talisman, gold, in my hand; he showed me the world at my feet; and suddenly he allowed me to fall even to lower depths of misery than those in which he found me. “You are a noble creature, my child,” he replied, in a voice faltering with emotion; “and if I had a son, I should deem myself fortunate if he chose a wife like you.” She clasped her hands, with a gesture of intense joy and relief, and then sank into an arm-chair, murmuring: “Oh, thanks, monsieur, thanks!” For she was thinking of Pascal; and she had feared he might shrink from her when she fully revealed to him her wretched, sorrowful past, of which he was entirely ignorant. de Chalusse replaced the vial; but now they are not to be found, so that the count must have taken them away with him.” “That thought occurred to me also.” “Did the treasure form a large package?” “Yes, it was large; but it could have been easily concealed under the cloak which M. This affair interested, almost fascinated, him on account of its mysterious surroundings, and influenced by the desire for arriving at the truth which is inherent in every human heart, he was anxious to solve the riddle. de Chalusse going?” “To the house of a gentleman who would, he thought, be able to furnish the address given in the letter he had torn up.” “What was this gentleman’s name?” “Fortunat.” The magistrate wrote the name down on his tablets, and then, resuming his examination, he said: “Now, in reference to this unfortunate letter which, in your opinion, was the cause of the count’s death, what did it say?” “I don’t know, monsieur.

I have only to compare the handwriting with that of the letters found in the escritoire.” Mademoiselle Marguerite sprang up, exclaiming: “What a happy idea!” But without seeming to notice the girl’s surprise, he added: “Where are the remnants of this letter which you and the count picked up in the garden?” “M. By carefully studying the last words which M. de Chalusse had written and spoken he might arrive at the intention which had dictated them. Experience had wonderfully sharpened his penetration, and perhaps he might discover a hidden meaning which would throw light upon all this doubt and uncertainty.

Accordingly, he asked Mademoiselle Marguerite for the paper upon which the count had endeavored to pen his last wishes; and in addition he requested her to write on a card the dying man’s last words in the order they had been uttered. But on combining the written and the spoken words the only result obtained was as follows:--“My entire fortune--give--friends--against--Marguerite--despoiled--your mother--take care.” These twelve incoherent words revealed the count’s absorbing and poignant anxiety concerning his fortune and Marguerite’s future, and also the fear and aversion with which Marguerite’s mother inspired him. But there were two words which seemed absolutely incomprehensible to the magistrate, and which he vainly strove to connect with the others in an intelligible manner. “There was a great sensation and a terrible scandal last evening at the residence of Madame d’A----, a well known star of the first magnitude----” It was the shameful article which described the events that had robbed Pascal of his honor. there!” The magistrate understood everything at the first glance; and this man, who had witnessed so much misery--who had been the confidant of so many martyrs--was filled with consternation at thought of the misfortunes which destiny was heaping upon this defenceless girl. He approached her, and led her gently to an arm-chair, upon which she sank, half fainting. Wife, friend, sister--I will be which ever you desire.

I am yours--yours unconditionally.’” And as if in reply to a gesture of surprise which escaped the magistrate, she added: “He is unhappy--I am free--I love him!” The magistrate was struck dumb with astonishment. This is one of those charges--one of those slanders, if you prefer that term, which a man can never shake off. But she was urged on by circumstances, the influence of which was stronger than her own will. However, the magistrate concealed the emotion and sympathy which filled his heart and refused to admit that the girl’s hopes were likely to be realized.

Calm yourself, and submit to necessity.” In a sort of bewilderment, the girl hastily arranged her disordered dress, and caught up her wavy hair which had fallen over her shoulders. In his eyes, I am still surrounded by the glamor of the millions which are mine no longer.” “Hush! His right leg--the unfortunate limb which had been broken when he fell from his horse in Ireland--seemed stiff, and dragged a trifle more than usual, but this was probably solely due to the influence of the atmosphere. I have just heard of the terrible misfortune which has befallen you--the sudden death of your father.” She drew back as if she were terrified, and repeated: “My father!” The marquis did not evince the slightest surprise.

“I know,” said he, in a voice which he tried to make as feeling as possible, “I know that M. The marquis turned haughtily to this old man dressed in black, and in the dry tone one uses in speaking to an indiscreet inferior, he replied: “To me, yes, monsieur; and he acquainted me not only by word of mouth, but in writing also, with the motives which influenced him, expressing his fixed intention, not only of recognizing Mademoiselle Marguerite as his daughter, but also of adopting her in order to insure her undisputed right to his fortune and his name.” “Ah!” said the magistrate as if suddenly enlightened; “ah! ah!” But without noticing this exclamation which was, at least, remarkable in tone, M. But they have told me one thing which I cannot believe. They have told me that the count made no provision for you, that he left no will, and that--excuse a liberty which is prompted only by the most respectful interest--and that, the result of this incomprehensible and culpable neglect is that you are ruined and almost without means. “If you were still rich, mademoiselle,” he replied, in the reproachful tone of an honest man who feels that he is misunderstood, “I should, perhaps, have strength to keep the sentiments with which you have inspired me a secret in my own heart; but--” He rose, and with a gesture which was not devoid of grace, and in a full ringing voice he added: “But you are no longer the possessor of millions; and so I may tell you, Mademoiselle Marguerite, that I love you. that I advocated in your presence a number of stupid theories, which must have given you a very poor opinion of me.

I thoughtlessly spoke to you in the language which is usually addressed to young ladies of our rank of life--frivolous beauties, who are spoiled by vanity and luxury, and who look upon marriage only as a means of enfranchisement.” His words were disjointed as if emotion choked his utterance. His eyes wandered restlessly from Mademoiselle Marguerite to the countenance of the old magistrate, who remained as impassive as a sphinx, and at last they lighted on a newspaper which was lying on the floor at the young girl’s feet. He was very tall, and as straight as the letter I, being arrayed in a long blue frock-coat, while his neck, which was as red and as wrinkled as that of a turkey-cock, was encased in a very high and stiff satin cravat. He was sitting at the count’s desk and was toying with the letters which Madame Leon had brought into the room a short time previously. He turned on his heel and resumed his promenade, wildly gesticulating and indulging in a furious monologue which was certainly not very easy to follow. She raised her beautiful eyes, in which angry tears were still glittering, and then answered in a voice which quivered with suppressed passion, “I have fathomed the infamy of those two men who have just left the house. “I wish to tell you,” he said, “that you have mistaken the motives which induced these gentlemen to ask for your hand in marriage.” “Do you believe, then, that you have fathomed them?” “I could almost swear that I had. Didn’t one of them, the marquis, behave with all the calmness and composure which are the result of reflection and calculation? The magistrate’s words seemed to dispel the mist which had hitherto hidden the truth from view.

de Chalusse had taken certain precautions we are ignorant of, but which he is no doubt fully acquainted with.

And, indeed, judging by the agitation he displayed when he was imploring you to become his son’s wife, one might almost imagine that the sight of your misery awakened a remorse which he was endeavoring to quiet. Now, draw your own conclusions.” The wretched girl looked questioningly at the magistrate as if she hesitated to trust the thoughts which his words had awakened in her mind. Casimir respecting the arrangements which he had made for the funeral, and when this sad duty was concluded, she consented to take a little food standing in front of the sideboard in the dining-room. But she had another task to fulfil, a task which she deemed a sacred duty. Few people have any idea of the great number of estates which, in default of heirs to claim them, annually revert to the government. That same year, indeed, assisted by a little capital which he had obtained no one knew how, he created a new, strange, and untried profession to supply a new demand. It is curious to observe the incomparable address which the agent displays in his efforts to learn the particulars of the deceased’s life, by consulting his friends, his enemies, his debtors, and all who ever knew him, until at last some one is found who says: “Such and such a man--why, he came from our part of the country. The portion of his task which depended on chance alone is concluded. The negotiation is a very delicate and difficult one, requiring prodigious presence of mind, and an amount of duplicity which would make the most astute diplomatist turn pale with envy.

Undoubtedly he often engaged in other business which was a trifle less respectable; but heir-hunting was one of the best and most substantial sources of his income. Fortunat had gained some valuable information respecting his client, and the additional particulars which he had obtained from Madame Vantrasson elated him to such an extent that more than once he exclaimed: “Ah, well! So he twisted, and turned, and tossed on his bed as if it had been a hot gridiron, exhausting himself in surmises, and preparing his mind for the difficulties which he would be obliged to overcome. Let us suppose, for a moment, that some time ago you purchased, at a very high figure, a quantity of stocks and shares, which are to-day almost worthless, could not this unfortunate investment account for the absence of the sum which you wish to set aside? Fortunat enlightened him by opening his safe, and displaying an enormous bundle of stocks and shares which had flooded the country a few years previously, and ruined a great many poor, ignorant fools which were hungering for wealth; among them were shares in the Tifila Mining Company, the Berchem Coal Mines, the Greenland Fisheries, the Mutual Trust and Loan Association, and so on. There had been a time when each of these securities would have fetched five hundred or a thousand francs at the Bourse, but now they were not worth the paper on which they were printed.

I ask only three per cent., which is certainly not dear. He gave what he had promised--neither more nor less--in exchange for the bank-notes, and even gravely exclaimed: “See if the amount is correct.” His client pocketed the shares without counting them: but before leaving the room he made his estimable adviser promise to assist him at the decisive moment, and help him to prepare one of those clear financial statements which make creditors say: “This is an honest man who has been extremely unfortunate.” M. Fortunat was admirably fitted to render this little service; for he devoted such part of his time as was not spent in hunting for missing heirs to difficult liquidations, and he had indeed made bankruptcy a specialty in which he was without a rival. The business was a remunerative one, thanks to the expedient he had revealed to the coal-merchant--an expedient which is common enough nowadays, but of which he might almost be called the inventor.

In settling bankrupts’ estates it was easy for him to purchase a large number of debts which were considered worthless, at a trifling cost, and he reaped a bountiful harvest on a field which would have yielded nothing to another person. “I must confess, Monsieur le Marquis,” he at last replied, “that I had not the courage to tell you of the dreadful misfortune which had befallen us.” “How--US?” “Certainly. From the debris of your fortune, I will undertake to guarantee you a competence which would satisfy many an ambitious man.” The marquis laughed sneeringly. I still hold some valuable cards which you are ignorant of. Wait, at least, until I have told you my plans, and shown you the solid foundation which my hopes rest upon.” But M. “And so,” said he, in a tone which he strove to make persuasive, but which was threatening instead, “it is settled--your decision is final?” “Final.” “You will not even condescend to listen to my explanation?” “It would be a loss of time.” On receiving this cruel reply, M. The key of the wine-cellar is not confided to these unreliable inmates; they are intrusted with the charge of little else than the children--a practice which is often productive of terrible results.

Casimir saw Mademoiselle Marguerite and the count searching in the garden for the fragments of a letter destroyed in a paroxysm of rage which he had personally witnessed, his natural curiosity was heightened to such a degree as to become unendurable. He would have given a month’s wages, and something over, to have known the contents of that letter, the fragments of which were being so carefully collected by the count. de Chalusse tell Mademoiselle Marguerite that the most important part of the letter was still lacking, and saw his master relinquish his fruitless search, the worthy valet vowed that he would be more skilful or more fortunate than his master; and after diligent effort, he actually succeeded in recovering five tiny scraps of paper, which had been blown into the shrubbery. The incoherent words which he had deciphered on these scraps of paper mixed strangely in his brain, and he grew more and more anxious to learn what connection there was between this letter and the count’s attack. The infamous slander which Mademoiselle Marguerite had overheard on her way home from church, “There goes the rich Count de Chalusse’s mistress,” was M. First and foremost, it afforded him a magnificent opportunity to display his authority and act the master, and it also enabled him to carry out his compact with Victor Chupin, and repair to the rendezvous which M. Not that it was more spacious or elegant than the others, but it was isolated, and this was a very great advantage; for every one knows how unsafe and perfidious are those so-called private rooms which are merely separated from each other by a thin partition, scarcely thicker than a sheet of paper.

He wandered from one absurd story to another, and from slander to slander, until suddenly, and without the slightest warning, he began to speak of the mysterious letter which he considered the undoubted cause of the count’s illness. They’ve tried the game with me more than a dozen times, but I’m not so easily caught.” And bursting with vanity, he related three or four love affairs in which, according to his own account, he must have played a most ignoble part. Casimir drew the letter, the scraps of which were fixed together, from his pocket, and unfolded it, saying: “Attention; I’m going to read.” This did not suit M. He must not know the shame to which he owes his livelihood. Casimir resumed his reading: “‘If I apply to you again, if from the depth of infamy into which I have fallen, I again call upon you for help, it is because I am at the end of my resources--because, before I die, I must see my son’s future assured. It is painful to me to add that if I do not hear from you, I am resolved to demand and OBTAIN--no matter what may be the consequences--the means which I have, so far, asked of you on my bended knees and with clasped hands.’” Having finished the letter, M. Casimir laid it on the table, and poured out a glassful of brandy, which he drained at a single draught. Fortunat complied, but he performed the task so awkwardly, or, rather, so skilfully, that he drew toward him, with his sleeve, the letter which was lying beside M. “For it was certainly the count’s sister who wrote the letter which I have in my pocket,” he murmured.

Each person was called by the title which it pleased him to give on his arrival--Excellency or Prince, according to his fancy. He could also find numerous servants carefully drilled to play the part of old family retainers, and carriages upon which the most elaborate coat-of-arms could be painted at an hour’s notice. They applied their eyes to the glass in turn, and were engaged in examining some very handsome diamonds, which had no doubt been offered in lieu of money by some noble but impecunious foreigner. “The person I wished to see was here on Friday, between three and six in the afternoon; and she was waiting for a visitor with an anxiety which could not possibly have escaped your notice.” This detail quickened the memory of the man with the magnifying glass--none other than the woman’s husband and landlord of the hotel. If you will follow me, we will make some inquiries on the subject.” And rising with a willingness that augured well for their success, he led the agent into the courtyard, where five or six vehicles were stationed, while the drivers lounged on a bench, chatting and smoking their pipes “Which of you was employed by a lady yesterday evening at about eight o’clock?” “What sort of a person was she?” “She was a handsome woman, between thirty and forty years’ old, very fair, rather stout, and dressed in black. Give her my card.” So saying, he held out a bit of pasteboard, on which, below his name, were inscribed the words: “Liquidations. Left to himself, he began an inventory of the apartment, as a general studies the ground on which he is about to give battle.

It was the one which Pascal Ferailleur had armed himself with, when they talked of searching him, and which he had thrown down in the courtyard, as he left the house. If Madame d’Argeles lacked bread in days gone by, she does so no longer--that’s evident.” Naturally enough this reflection led him to wonder why such a rich woman should become the Marquis de Valorsay’s accomplice, and lend a hand in so vile and cowardly a plot, which horrified even him--Fortunat. And he marvelled at the freak of fate which had connected the unfortunate man who had been sacrificed with the unacknowledged daughter, and the cast-off sister, of the Count de Chalusse.

You’ll learn some day, to your cost, the real nature of this villain of a Coralth whom you now defend so warmly.” This name of Coralth was also one of those which were engraven upon M. Fortunat’s knowledge of the importance of the game in which he had already risked so much had already restored his presence of mind. Struck with death at the very moment he was repairing to the appointment you had given him at the Hotel de Homburg.” This clever falsehood, which was not entirely one, would, so the agent thought, be of advantage to him, since it would prove he was acquainted with previous events. Fortunat saw so plainly that Madame d’Argeles did not understand a word of this sentimental exordium that he thought it necessary to add: “I tell you this, not so much to gain your consideration and good-will, as to explain to you how I became acquainted with these matters relating to your family--how I became aware of your existence, for instance, which no one else suspected.” He paused, hoping for some reply, a word, a sign, but not receiving this encouragement, he continued: “I must, first of all, call your attention to the peculiar situation of M. de Chalusse, and to the circumstances which immediately preceded and attended his departure from life. With this intention he had already begun to convert his estates into ready money, and had he lived six months longer you would not have received a penny.” With a gesture of indifference, which was difficult to explain after the vehemence and the threatening tone of her letter, Madame d’Argeles murmured: “Ah, well! But she seemed literally transfigured by the storm of passion which was raging in her heart and mind; her cheeks were crimson, and an unwonted energy sparkled in her eyes. This is indeed, a terrible ordeal, and requires an amount of resolution and energy which few human beings possess. And seating himself at his desk, he wrote his beloved a concise and exact account of the events which had taken place. In conclusion, he entreated her to grant him an interview, in which he could give her the full particulars of the affair and acquaint her with his hopes.

Have no fear, my dear mother.” As he spoke, he began to pack all the legal documents which had been confided to him into a large box, which was to be carried to one of his former friends, who would distribute the papers among the people they belonged to. And yet now, as on the day following her husband’s death, she found in her heart the robust energy and heroic maternal constancy which enable one to rise above every misfortune. It was in a firm voice that she ordered her servant to go in search of the nearest furniture dealer, no matter which, provided he would pay cash.

The rich, who are accustomed from birth to the luxury that surrounds them, are ignorant of the terrible sufferings which attend such cases as these.

Their hearts bleed when inexorable necessity deprives them of all the little comforts with which they had gradually surrounded themselves, for there is not an object that does not recall a long ungratified desire, and the almost infantile joy of possession. “She is going to meet her son; and with what he has stolen they will live like princes in America.” Rumor, which enlarges and misrepresents everything, had, indeed, absurdly exaggerated the affair at Madame d’Argeles’s house.

Faithfully observing the directions which had been given her, the worthy woman had her trunks taken to the baggage-room, declaring that she should not leave Paris until the next day, whereupon she received a receipt from the man in charge of the room. So she took her son’s arm, and led him away, saying: “Come, let us go.” Pascal had kept the cab which he had been using during the afternoon; and having installed his mother inside, he got in himself, and gave his new address to the driver. Poor Pascal was in that state of mind in which it costs one actual suffering to talk; but he wished to mitigate his mother’s anxiety as much as possible; and moreover, he did not like her to suppose him wanting in endurance. Here is the receipt, drawn up in the name we shall henceforth bear.” So saying, he showed his mother a document in which the landlord declared that he had received from M. There is an instinctive delicacy and dislike of publicity in all deep passion, and true and chaste love is ever averse to laying aside the veil with which it conceals itself from the inquisitive. I looked out and saw that we were driving over a thick layer of straw which had been spread across the street.

I do not perceive it.” With an almost threatening gesture, and in a gloomy voice, he answered: “The misfortune is this: if it had not been for this abominable conspiracy, which has dishonored me, Marguerite would have been my wife before a month had elapsed, for now she is free, absolutely free to obey the dictates of her own will and heart.” “Then why do you complain?” “Oh, mother! It seems to me that I should be guilty of a most contemptible act--of something even worse than a crime--if I dared speak to her of my love and our future before I have crushed the villains who have ruined me.” Regret, anger, and the consciousness of his present powerlessness drew from him tears which fell upon Madame Ferailleur’s heart like molten lead; but she succeeded in concealing her agony. Leaving the Route d’Asnieres, the driver had turned into the Route de la Revolte, and had drawn up in front of an unpretentious two-storied house which stood entirely alone. The story above, which had an independent entrance and staircase, was occupied by the quiet family of the owner. The furniture which Pascal had purchased was more than plain; but it was well suited to this humble abode. He very quietly explained the reasons which had influenced him in choosing these rooms, the principal one being that there was no concierge, and he was therefore assured absolute liberty in his movements, as well as entire immunity from indiscreet gossip.

A prey to the indescribable agony which seizes a man when he feels that his life is at stake--that his future is about to be irrevocably decided--Pascal counted the seconds as they passed by. He had been listening to that mysterious echo of our own desires which we so often mistake for a presentiment; and it had whispered in his heart: “Marguerite herself will come!” With the candor of wretchedness, he could not refrain from telling Madame Leon the hope he had entertained. He only understood one thing, that Marguerite was lost to him, and that she was on the point of becoming the wife of the vile scoundrel who had planned the snare which had ruined him at the Hotel d’Argeles. I must tell her that she has been deceived; I will unmask the scoundrel who----” The frightened housekeeper struggled with all her might, trying her best to reach the little gate which was standing open. His condition was not unlike that of a man who, after falling to the bottom of a precipice, is dragging himself up, all mangled and bleeding, swearing that he will yet save himself, when suddenly a heavy stone which he had loosened in his descent, falls forward and crushes him. “I will murder the scoundrel rather; and afterward justice may do whatever it likes with me.” He experienced that implacable, merciless thirsting for vengeance which does not even recoil before the commission of a crime to secure satisfaction, and this longing inflamed him with such energy that, although he had been so utterly exhausted a few moments before--he was not half an hour in making his way back to his new home.

His only answer was to hand her the letter which Madame Leon had given him, saying as he did so, “Read.” Madame Ferailleur’s eyes fell upon the words: “Once more, and for the last time, farewell!” She understood everything, turned very pale, and in a trembling voice exclaimed: “Don’t grieve, my son; the girl did not love you.” “Oh, mother! Having sworn that he would find out Madame d’Argeles’s son, the heir to the Count de Chalusse’s millions, it did not take him long to decide which of his agents he would select to assist him in this difficult task. Fortunat did not lose his way more than five times before reaching the door upon which was fastened a bit of pasteboard bearing Victor Chupin’s name. Fortunat pulled it, whereupon there was a tinkling, and a voice called out, “Come in!” He complied, and found himself in a small and cheaply furnished room, which was, however, radiant with the cleanliness which is in itself a luxury. He marvelled at the perfume of honesty which exhaled from these poor people, at the dignity of this humble woman, and at the protecting and respectful affection evinced by her son--a young man, whose usual tone of voice and general behavior had seemed to indicate that he was decidedly a scapegrace. Accordingly, he took up the lamp, opened a door, and, in the pompous tone of a rich banker who is inviting some important personage to enter his private room, he said: “Will you be kind enough to step into my chamber, m’sieur?” The room which Chupin so emphatically denominated his “chamber” was a tiny nook, extraordinarily clean, it is true, but scantily furnished with a small iron bedstead, a trunk, and a chair. What he refrained from telling was that years before, when he was still a mere child, without will or discernment, his father had taken him from his mother, and had started him down that terrible descent, which inevitably leads one to prison or the gallows, unless there be an almost miraculous interposition on one’s behalf. What did you do with the fool after my departure?” “First, monsieur, I sobered him; which was no easy task. And to prove this, I’m about to employ you in an affair which will pay you handsomely if you prosecute it successfully.” Chupin’s eyes brightened at first but grew dark a moment afterward, for delight had been quickly followed by a feeling of distrust. a mere trifle,” replied the agent; “almost nothing, indeed.” And drawing his chair nearer to the bed on which his employee was seated, he added: “But first, one question, Victor.

By the way in which a woman looks at a young man in the street, at the theatre or anywhere--would you know if she were watching her son?” Chupin shrugged his shoulders. Fortunat’s mind by Chupin’s features, which were expressive of lively astonishment and discontent. Thanks--some one else may have the job!” He had become as red as a turkey-cock, and such was his indignation that he forgot his accustomed reserve and the caution with which he had so far concealed his antecedents. It was due also to chance, and, since he had no decided calling, to the necessity of depending for a livelihood upon the many strange professions which impecunious and untrained individuals, both of the higher and lower classes, adopt in Paris. Before entering, however, he pointed out Madame d’Argeles’s pretty house on the opposite side of the street, and said to him: “The woman whom you are to follow, and whose son you are to discover, will emerge from that house.” At that moment, after a night passed in meditating upon his mother’s prophetic warnings, Chupin was again beset by the same scruples which had so greatly disturbed him on the previous evening. Fortunat, and flattered by the attention which such a well-dressed gentleman paid to his chatter, the landlord of the house mentioned the names of all the visitors he knew. The wine-vendor, moreover, told his customers that Madame d’Argeles never went out before half-past two or three o’clock, and then always in a carriage--a piece of information which must have troubled Chupin; for, as soon as the landlord had left them to serve some other customers, he leant forward and said to M. At last, at a little before three o’clock, the gates over the way turned upon their hinges, and a dark-blue victoria, in which a woman was seated, rolled forth into the street. She was attired in one of those startling costumes which are the rage nowadays, and which impart the same bold and brazen appearance to all who wear them: so much so, that the most experienced observers are no longer able to distinguish the honest mother of a family from a notorious character.

She wore an imperceptible hat, balanced on an immense pyramidal chignon, from which escaped a torrent of wavy hair. “Just follow that blue victoria, in which a handsome lady is seated, my good fellow.” The order did not surprise the cabman, but rather the person who gave it; for in spite of his fine apparel, Chupin did not seem quite the man for such an adventure. The victoria soon turned to the left, and took its place in the long line of equipages which were slowly winding round the lake. Having gained the foot-path which borders the sheet of water, Chupin followed the carriage easily enough, with his hands in his pockets, and his heart jubilant at the thought that he would gain the sum supposed to have been spent in cab hire, in addition to the compensation which had been promised him. Chupin hastened after the victoria, keeping it in sight until he was fortunate enough to meet an empty cab, which he at once hired. He saw her raise her veil and follow her insulter with a look which it was impossible to misunderstand.

He was attired with that studied carelessness which many consider to be the height of elegance, but which is just the reverse. He was carrying a letter which he wished to have delivered, and no doubt he feared he would not be able to find a commissionaire.

Hereabout you may hear all the latest news and gossip of the fashionable world, the last political canards--all the incidents of Parisian life which will be recorded by the papers on the following morning. He did not pass the Terrasse Jouffroy, but, pausing there, he purchased an evening paper, retraced his steps, and about seven o’clock reached the Cafe Riche, which he entered triumphantly. But he racked his brain in vain in trying to remember who this newcomer was, in trying to set a name on this face, which was positively annoying in its classical beauty, and which he felt convinced had occupied a place among the phantoms of his past. His companion had drawn out his pocketbook for the ostensible purpose of paying for the coffee he had taken; but Wilkie, with a cordial gesture, forbade it, and made that magnificent, imperious sign to the waiter, which so clearly implies: “Take nothing! His preoccupation had at least the advantage of shortening the time which he spent in promenading to and fro, while the friends sat outside a cafe smoking and drinking. But young Wilkie was evidently delighted, and seemed manifestly proud of the attention which the public was compelled to bestow upon his box. “I wonder if this is their everyday life?” He, too, was thirsty after his hastily eaten dinner; and necessity prevailing over economy, he seated himself at a table outside the cafe, and called for a glass of beer, in which he moistened his parched lips with a sigh of intense satisfaction. The police were watching everywhere, with a word of menace ever ready on their lips; and soon the only means of egress from the cafes were the narrow, low doorways cut in the shutters through which the last customers--the insatiable, who are always ordering one thimbleful more to finish--passed out. Fortunat won’t pay for conjectures, but for a certainty.” Love of money carried the day; so, weaving an interminable chaplet of oaths, he followed the party until they entered Brebant’s restaurant, one of the best known establishments which remain open at night-time. Reflecting on the manner in which M.

They were engaged in a friendly struggle; one of them seemed to be trying to seize hold of something which the other had in his hand, and which he refused to part with.

Entering the restaurant and climbing the staircase, he had just reached the landing when a pale-looking man, who had a smoothly-shaven face and was dressed in black, barred his way and asked: “What do you want?” “M’sieur, here’s a hat which fell from one of your windows and----” “All right, hand it here.” But Chupin did not seem to hear this order. de Coralth inspired him with one of those inexplicable aversions which cannot be restrained “Eh! The good-humored race of plebeians who respectfully submitted to the blows with which noblemen honored them after drinking, has died out.

He uttered a hoarse cry of rage, and, by the way in which he seized and brandished an empty bottle, it might have been imagined that M. “I’m going, only let me find the bank-note which this gentleman threw at me.” “That’s quite proper,” replied M. He had just experienced one of those sudden shocks which so disturb the mind, that one becomes insensible to outward circumstances, whatever they may be.

Fortunat, Chupin had been guilty of a cowardly and abominable act, which had nearly cost a man his life.

It had aroused in the recesses of his conscience a threatening voice which cried: “What are you doing here? It is folly to pretend that one may serve as a tool for villains, and still remain an honest man!” It was this voice which had given Chupin the courage to light his cigar with the bank-note.

But contrary to all expectations, this young fellow already knew of the inheritance which he was entitled to. Chupin had allowed himself to be carried away by a sudden impulse of anger which he regretted; he had made an ironical illusion to his enemy’s past life, but after all this had done no particular harm.

He could have his revenge on Coralth, and at the same time insure his patron a large fee, of which he could claim a considerable share for himself.

He would have quietly presented the government with this inheritance which he found M. They entered the only cab that remained, the most dilapidated one of all, and the driver of which had no little difficulty in setting his horse in motion; whereupon the gentlemen went off on foot. Many persons would have been vexed and even humiliated by the necessity of appearing at this hour on the boulevard in disorderly attire, which plainly indicated that they had spent the night in debauchery. What has happened?” His only answer was to fling his arms round her neck, following alike the impulse of his heart and the advice of experience, which told him that this would be the best explanation he could give. And while running to the Place de la Bourse, he carefully prepared the story he meant to relate, deeply impressed by the wisdom of the popular maxim which says: “It is not always well to tell the whole truth.” Ought he to describe the scene at the restaurant, mention Coralth, and say that there was nothing more to be done respecting M. Fortunat by no means regretted having conferred this favor on his clerk, for the story which the latter related, caused him intense delight. Fortunat understood how to force doors open, and his manoeuvres succeeded so well that he was finally allowed to enter a small sitting-room, while the servant went off, saying: “I will go and inform monsieur.” Instead of wasting time in congratulating himself on this first achievement the agent began to inspect the room in which he found himself, as well as another apartment, the door of which stood open. The only pictures on the wall were a few portraits of celebrated horses, which foreshadowed the fact that M. A couple of hours’ sleep had made him himself again; and he had regained the arrogance of manner which was the distinguishing trait of his character, and a sure sign that he was in prosperous circumstances. Fortunat began by closing the door which had been intentionally left open by the servant; and then, returning to M.

You come, don’t you, to sell me the secret of an unclaimed inheritance, which belongs to me?

It was really pitiful to see the despair which had succeeded M. I’ll find her for you--see if I don’t.” The sudden stopping of the vehicle which had reached the Place de la Bourse, cut his words short. In his absence a commissionaire had brought a letter for him which Madame Dodelin now produced.

She clung to it as a shipwrecked mariner clings to the plank which is his only hope of life.

Bourigeau, the concierge, appeared and handed her a letter which had just been brought to the house. Who was it that addressed her by this name which she no longer had the right to bear? Moreover, she well remembered certain glances with which Madame de Fondege had, on one occasion, tried to crush her--glances so full of cruel contempt that they had drawn bitter tears of sorrow, shame, and anger, from the poor girl.

She was losing her presence of mind at thought of the odious suspicions which rested on her, suspicions which she had seemed to read in the eyes of all who approached her, from Dr. de Chalusse’s bedroom that she thus reflected, but a few steps from the bed on which reposed all that was mortal of the man whose weakness had made her life one long martyrdom, whose want of foresight had ruined her future, but whom she had not the heart to censure. Mademoiselle Marguerite was not deceived when she said to herself: “I am on the track of some abominable act.” However, she had sufficient self-control to conceal her suspicions; and she pretended to be perfectly satisfied with the explanation which the house-keeper had concocted. And that white object which I saw, as plainly as I see you, what could it have been?” And, convinced that her fable was believed, she grew bolder, and ventured to add: “Oh, my dear young lady, I shall tremble all night if the garden isn’t searched. The cobwebs round about the bolts were torn and broken; the rust which had filled the keyhole had been removed, and on the dust covering the lock the impress of a hand could be detected. Her first impulse was to denounce and dismiss this miserable hypocrite; but as she was returning to the house, an idea which an old diplomatist need not have been ashamed of entered her mind. Was it mere chance which had struck them at the same time, and in much the same manner?

Who would have profited by the abominable crime which had dishonored her lover, had it not been for M. In the morning, about seven o’clock, Madame Leon was obliged to shake her to rouse her from the kind of lethargy into which she had fallen. “Retire--why?” He did not reply by words, but pointed to the bed on which the body was lying, and the poor girl realized that the moment of eternal separation had come. And she had scarcely reached her own room before a smell of resin told her that the men were closing the coffin which contained all that was mortal of M. So, none of those terrible details, which so increase one’s grief, were spared her. You are frightfully pale.” She succeeded in shaking off the torpor which was stealing over her, and replied in a faint voice; “I am not ill, monsieur.” “So much the better, my dear child, so much the better.

Her eyes sparkled and her lips trembled as she threw back her head with a superb gesture of scorn, which loosened her beautiful dark hair, and caused it to fall in rippling masses over her shoulders. Her heart revolted at the thought of meeting this woman, who had neither conscience nor shame, who could stoop so low as to intrigue for the millions which she fancied had been stolen. She wore a corsage and overskirt of black satin; but the upper part of the underskirt, which was not visible, was made of lute-string costing thirty sous a yard, and her laces were Chantilly only in appearance.

Still, her love of finery had never carried her so far as shop-lifting, or induced her to part with her honor for gewgaws--irregularities which are so common nowadays, even among wives and mothers of families, that people are no longer astonished to hear of them. She suppressed his pocket-money, and during these penitential seasons he was reduced to the necessity of asking his friends to lend him twenty-franc pieces, which he generally forgot to return. To learn the plans which the General’s wife had formed she must let her disclose them. You may tell madame, however, that you will certainly return in less than a quarter of an hour.” Marguerite followed him, and when they were alone in the count’s study and the doors had been carefully closed, the magistrate exclaimed: “I have been thinking a great deal of you, my child, a great deal; and it seems to me that I can explain certain things which worried you yesterday. But first of all, what has happened since I left you?” Briefly, but with remarkable precision, Marguerite recounted the various incidents which had occurred--her useless journey to the Rue d’Ulm, Madame Leon’s strange midnight ramble and conversation with the Marquis de Valorsay, Madame de Fondege’s letter, and lastly, her visit and all that she had said.

“Yes, it is my conviction that the Fondeges possess the millions you saw in the count’s escritoire, and which we have been unable to find. How they obtained possession of the money I can’t conceive--but they have it, or else logic is no longer logic.” He paused again for a moment, and then he resumed, more slowly: “In acquainting you with my opinion on this subject, I have given you, a young girl, almost a child, a proof of esteem and confidence which, it seems to me, few men are worthy of; for I may be deceived, and a magistrate ought not to accuse a person unless he is absolutely certain of his guilt. It is true that it will be a difficult task to collect such proofs; but it is not impossible, with the aid of time, which divulges so many crimes. And in support of his assertion, he quoted Article 367 of the Civil Code, which says: “In the event of the officially appointed guardian dying without adopting, his ward, the said ward shall be furnished during her minority with the means of subsistence from the said guardian’s estate,” etc., etc. The only point that now remained was to decide upon some plan by which she could communicate with her friend, the magistrate, without the knowledge of the General or his wife. The magistrate accordingly explained a system of correspondence which would defy the closest surveillance, and then added: “Now, make haste back to your visitor. de Chalusse’s possession a little note-book, in which he entered the names and addresses of the persons with whom he had business transactions.

She raised a great many objections, and parleyed for a long time before telling Madame de Fondege that she would be happy to accept the hospitality which had been offered her. almost too much, perhaps!” However, when the magistrate informed him that the court would undoubtedly order the restitution of the jewels, his face brightened again, and he went down to superintend the removal of Mademoiselle Marguerite’s trunks, which were being loaded on one of the vehicles of the establishment.

Mademoiselle Marguerite acknowledged the parting remarks of the servants, who were secretly delighted to be freed from her presence, and then, before entering the carriage, she cast a long, sad look upon this princely mansion which she had once had the right to believe her own, but which she was, alas! /

“Now,” says Mr.Only this morning (May twenty-first, Eighteen hundred and fifty), came my lady’s nephew, Mr. Franklin Blake, and held a short conversation with me, as follows:-- “Betteredge,” says Mr. Mr. Mr. And I think, Betteredge, Mr. “We have certain events to relate,” Mr. Mr.

Two hours have passed since Mr. Penelope’s notion is that I should set down what happened, regularly day by day, beginning with the day when we got the news that Mr.

I had not seen Mr. “I burn with indignation, and I ache with fatigue,” was the way Miss Rachel summed it up, “when I think of Franklin Blake.” Hearing what I now tell you, you will naturally ask how it was that Mr.

In two words, this was how the thing happened: My lady’s eldest sister married the celebrated Mr. When it was all over, and the Duke in possession was left in possession, Mr.

“How can I trust my native institutions,” was the form in which he put it, “after the way in which my native institutions have behaved to ME?” Add to this, that Mr. Master Franklin was taken from us in England, and was sent to institutions which his father COULD trust, in that superior country, Germany; Mr. Neither you nor I need trouble our heads any more about Mr. The Diamond takes us back to Mr. The more money he had, the more he wanted; there was a hole in Mr. Now you know as much of Mr. Franklin Blake as I did--before Mr. The Thursday was as fine a summer’s day as ever you saw: and my lady and Miss Rachel (not expecting Mr. She wanted to have the three Indian jugglers instantly taken up; for this reason, namely, that they knew who was coming from London to visit us, and that they meant some mischief to Mr. Mr.

The moral was, as I thought: First, that the chief juggler had heard Mr. Second, that he and his men and boy (with a view to making the said money) meant to hang about till they saw my lady drive home, and then to come back, and foretell Mr. What does ‘It’ mean?” “We’ll ask Mr. Franklin, my dear,” I said, “if you can wait till Mr. “What on earth should Mr. I settled it with myself, when she was gone, that I really would ask Mr. To my great surprise, Mr. But things must be put down in their places, as things actually happened--and you must please to jog on a little while longer with me, in expectation of Mr.

Let me alone, Mr.

“Now, tell me, my dear,” I said, “what are you crying about?” “About the years that are gone, Mr.

“But the place shows, Mr. “You’re late for dinner, Rosanna--and I have come to fetch you in.” “You, Mr. “You’re very kind, Mr. Sometimes,” says she in a low voice, as if she was frightened at her own fancy, “sometimes, Mr.

You know I am grateful, Mr. But I wonder sometimes whether the life here is too quiet and too good for such a woman as I am, after all I have gone through, Mr. Throw a stone in, Mr. Here--four good hours before we expected him--was Mr.

Before I could say a word, I saw Mr. She was blushing of a deeper red than ever, seemingly at having caught Mr. “That’s an odd girl,” says Mr. “I wonder what she sees in me to surprise her?” “I suppose, sir,” I answered, drolling on our young gentleman’s Continental education, “it’s the varnish from foreign parts.” I set down here Mr. Neither Mr. Mr. “Welcome back to the old place, Mr.

“All the more welcome, sir, that you have come some hours before we expected you.” “I have a reason for coming before you expected me,” answered Mr. They brought back to my mind, in a flash, the three jugglers, and Penelope’s notion that they meant some mischief to Mr.

“Tell me about the three Indians you have had at the house to-day,” says Mr. “I saw Penelope at the house,” says Mr. She was more like a fly than a woman: she couldn’t settle on anything.” “She would just have suited me,” says Mr. What did the jugglers do?” I was something dissatisfied with my daughter--not for letting Mr. Franklin kiss her; Mr. Mr. “‘Is it on the road to this house, and on no other, that the English gentleman will travel to-day?’ ‘Has the English gentleman got It about him?’ I suspect,” says Mr. And ‘this,’ Betteredge, means my uncle Herncastle’s famous Diamond.” “Good Lord, sir!” I broke out, “how do you come to be in charge of the wicked Colonel’s Diamond?” “The wicked Colonel’s will has left his Diamond as a birthday present to my cousin Rachel,” says Mr. “And my father, as the wicked Colonel’s executor, has given it in charge to me to bring down here.” If the sea, then oozing in smoothly over the Shivering Sand, had been changed into dry land before my own eyes, I doubt if I could have been more surprised than I was when Mr.

Why, I would have laid any bet you like, Mr.

This was the sum-total of what I had to tell Mr. Also, that the story of the Colonel being sent away from his sister’s door, on the occasion of his niece’s birthday, seemed to strike Mr. “My looks, on this occasion at any rate, tell the truth.” “In that case,” says Mr. Follow me carefully, Betteredge; and count me off on your fingers, if it will help you,” says Mr. There was our situation as revealed to me in Mr. Mr. CHAPTER VI Keeping my private sentiments to myself, I respectfully requested Mr. Mr. A chance word dropped by Mr. One thing led to another; and it ended in the lawyer mentioning what the present really was, and how the friendly connexion between the late Colonel and Mr.

I prefer trying to report Mr. Franklin’s discoveries, as nearly as may be, in Mr. “Do?” says Mr. The Diamond and the sealed instructions went into his banker’s strong-room, and the Colonel’s letters, periodically reporting him a living man, were received and opened by our family lawyer, Mr. Nothing in this world, Betteredge, is probable unless it appeals to our own trumpery experience; and we only believe in a romance when we see it in a newspaper.” It was plain to me from this, that Mr. “Let’s finish the story of the Colonel first,” says Mr. He has learned that way of girding at us in France, I suppose.” Mr.

Year after year, on the prearranged days, the prearranged letter came from the Colonel, and was opened by Mr. Come to me, and help me to make my will.’ Mr. On second thoughts, however, he gave way, partly because he was assured that the executorship would involve him in no trouble; partly because Mr. Bruff suggested, in Rachel’s interest, that the Diamond might be worth something, after all.” “Did the Colonel give any reason, sir,” I inquired, “why he left the Diamond to Miss Rachel?” “He not only gave the reason--he had the reason written in his will,” said Mr.


Bruff showed this document to me, with the other papers; and it suggests (to my mind) a clue to the nature of the conspiracy which threatened the Colonel’s life.” “Then you do believe, sir,” I said, “that there was a conspiracy?” “Not possessing my father’s excellent common sense,” answered Mr. They were of the slovenly English sort; and they consequently muddled it all, until Mr. “Remark,” says Mr. “It means lowering the value of the stone, and cheating the rogues in that way!” “Nothing of the sort,” says Mr. “What was the plot, then?” “A plot organised among the Indians who originally owned the jewel,” says Mr.

That is my opinion, confirmed by a family paper which I have about me at this moment.” I saw, now, why the appearance of the three Indian jugglers at our house had presented itself to Mr. “I don’t want to force my opinion on you,” Mr. “I was not very willing, when I discovered the story of the Moonstone,” said Mr. But Mr. “What are you thinking of?” says Mr. “I was thinking, sir,” I answered, “that I should like to shy the Diamond into the quicksand, and settle the question in THAT way.” “If you have got the value of the stone in your pocket,” answered Mr. We found a fund of merriment, at the time, in the notion of making away with Miss Rachel’s lawful property, and getting Mr. Mr.

I handed the paper back to Mr. “Well,” says Mr. Don’t ask me.” Mr. “Let’s extract the inner meaning of this,” says Mr. “Colonel Herncastle knew my lady well enough to know that she would have refused to accept any legacy that came to her from HIM.” “How did he know that Rachel might not refuse to accept it, too?” “Is there any young lady in existence, sir, who could resist the temptation of accepting such a birthday present as The Moonstone?” “That’s the Subjective view,” says Mr. What’s your interpretation, if you please?” “I can see,” says Mr. From all I can see, one interpretation is just as likely to be right as the other.” Having brought matters to this pleasant and comforting issue, Mr. It was not till later that I learned--by assistance of Miss Rachel, who was the first to make the discovery--that these puzzling shifts and transformations in Mr. Surely it can’t be mine?” Mr. If you were in my place, Betteredge, tell me, in one word, what would you do?” In one word, I told him: “Wait.” “With all my heart,” says Mr.

Let’s wait and see what happens in that time; and let’s warn my lady, or not, as the circumstances direct us.” “Perfect, Betteredge, as far as it goes!” says Mr. You put in the safe keeping of the bank at Frizinghall.” (Frizinghall was our nearest town, and the Bank of England wasn’t safer than the bank there.) “If I were you, sir,” I added, “I would ride straight away with it to Frizinghall before the ladies come back.” The prospect of doing something--and, what is more, of doing that something on a horse--brought Mr. We went back to the house in a hurry; we had the fleetest horse in the stables saddled in a hurry; and Mr. CHAPTER VII While I was in this bewildered frame of mind, sorely needing a little quiet time by myself to put me right again, my daughter Penelope got in my way (just as her late mother used to get in my way on the stairs), and instantly summoned me to tell her all that had passed at the conference between Mr. I accordingly replied that Mr. Needless to say how astonished they were, when they heard that Mr. Being at the end of my invention, I said Mr. Franklin’s arrival by the early train was entirely attributable to one of Mr.

Being asked, upon that, whether his galloping off again on horseback was another of Mr. After leaving Mr. In one breath she asked hundreds of questions about Mr.

She had been surprised, smiling, and scribbling Mr.

Had she and Mr. I could speak to Mr. Penelope could speak to the girl’s inquisitiveness as genuine, when she asked questions about Mr. Rosanna has fallen in love with Mr. The evening came, and the dressing-bell for dinner rang, before Mr. How the meeting between Mr.

Penelope mentioned that she had never known Miss Rachel so particular about the dressing of her hair, and had never seen her look so bright and pretty as she did when she went down to meet Mr. The footman’s report was, that the preservation of a respectful composure in the presence of his betters, and the waiting on Mr. Later in the evening, we heard them singing and playing duets, Mr. Later still, I went to Mr. On summoning up my own recollections--and on getting Penelope to help me, by consulting her journal--I find that we may pass pretty rapidly over the interval between Mr. On the next morning (the morning of the twenty-sixth) I showed Mr. In our country, as well as in the East, Mr.

“Depend upon it,” says Mr. “It depends,” says Mr. Whether the jugglers heard, in the town, of Mr. The jugglers remained in and about the town plying their trade; and Mr. On the twenty-ninth of the month, Miss Rachel and Mr.

As for Mr. Mr.

Miss Rachel being wild to try her hand at the new process, Mr. Mr. If he had occupied my place in the family, and had seen Miss Rachel with her brush, and Mr. Seeing the pleasure which Mr. Others (led by me) admitted it was likely enough Miss Rachel might be married; but we doubted (for reasons which will presently appear) whether her bridegroom would be Mr. That Mr. Her mouth and chin were (to quote Mr.

Like Mr. His name was Mr. There was terrible work in the family when the Honourable Caroline insisted on marrying plain Mr. We shall not be much troubled with them in these pages--excepting Mr. Godfrey, who was Mr. With all his brightness and cleverness and general good qualities, Mr. Franklin’s chance of topping Mr. In the first place, Mr. If you ever subscribed to a Ladies’ Charity in London, you know Mr. Wherever there was a table with a committee of ladies sitting round it in council there was Mr.

She sent me to the theatre to see a dancing woman who was all the rage; and she sent me to Exeter Hall to hear Mr. And with all this, the sweetest tempered person (I allude to Mr. What chance had Mr. On the fourteenth, came Mr. He also enclosed a copy of verses on what he elegantly called his cousin’s “natal day.” Miss Rachel, I was informed, joined Mr. Franklin in making fun of the verses at dinner; and Penelope, who was all on Mr. Wait till Mr.

Ablewhite’s verses are followed by Mr. Ablewhite himself.” My daughter replied, that Mr.

In favour of this view, I must acknowledge that Mr. All very well--but she had a photograph of Mr.

June the sixteenth brought an event which made Mr. A strange gentleman, speaking English with a foreign accent, came that morning to the house, and asked to see Mr. The business could not possibly have been connected with the Diamond, for these two reasons--first, that Mr. At any rate, Miss Rachel was reported to have said some severe things to Mr. I suspect some imprudence of Mr. In this case, not only Mr. If Penelope was to be believed, Mr. My girl was sure (from signs and tokens which I need not trouble you with) that her young mistress had fought Mr. Penelope’s notion that her fellow-servant was in love with Mr. For example, the girl constantly put herself in Mr.

She caught Rosanna at Mr. On the twentieth, there came a note from Mr. Mr.

After breakfast, Mr. But certain it is, that Mr. Nothing had happened to justify us in alarming my lady on the subject of the jewel; and nothing could alter the legal obligation that now lay on Mr. We arranged that he was to ride over, after lunch, to Frizinghall, and bring the Diamond back, with Mr. They consumed the whole morning, and part of the afternoon, in the everlasting business of decorating the door, Penelope standing by to mix the colours, as directed; and my lady, as luncheon time drew near, going in and out of the room, with her handkerchief to her nose (for they used a deal of Mr. Mr. This being one of the high festivals on which I took my place at the side-board, in command of the attendance at table, I had plenty to occupy my mind while Mr. I was aroused from what I am inclined to think must have been, not a nap, but a reverie, by the clatter of horses’ hoofs outside; and, going to the door, received a cavalcade comprising Mr. Franklin and his three cousins, escorted by one of old Mr.

Mr. Godfrey struck me, strangely enough, as being like Mr. Under cover of the noise made by the young ladies, I had an opportunity of saying a private word to Mr. The bell rang, before he had been a minute in the room, and Penelope was sent to tell Miss Rachel that Mr. There, at the opposite side of the table, stood Mr. exquisite!” There sat Mr.

It was plain enough that she was posed by the same difficulty which had posed Mr.

The only one of us who kept his senses was Mr. As I went out, Mr. Mr. What passed between my mistress and me, on this occasion, was, in the main, a repetition of what had passed between Mr. On my way back to my own part of the house, I was encountered by Mr. Mr. I hate him for trying to supplant Mr. There’s one woman in the world who can resist Mr. “Just on the other side of the holly,” Penelope went on, “Mr. “Mr.

Only the philanthropist’s father and mother--Mr. It was without any setting when it had been placed in her hands; but that universal genius, Mr. The guest on her left was Mr.

The other guest, who sat on my young lady’s right hand, was an eminent public character--being no other than the celebrated Indian traveller, Mr.

Mr. As ill-luck would have it, Mr. “They have got some remarkably fine skeletons lately at the College of Surgeons,” says Mr. She dropped her head, and said in a very low voice, “My beloved husband is no more.” Unluckily Mr. Threadgall dropped her head right into her tucker, and, in a lower voice still, repeated the solemn words, “My beloved husband is no more.” I winked hard at Mr. “The Professor has been dead these ten years.” “Oh, good heavens!” says Mr. So much for Mr. Mr. Religion (I understand Mr.

But why the mischief did Mr. Mr. Franklin again--surely, you will say, Mr. He had quite recovered himself, and he was in wonderful force and spirits, Penelope having informed him, I suspect, of Mr. What do you say, when our county member, growing hot, at cheese and salad time, about the spread of democracy in England, burst out as follows: “If we once lose our ancient safeguards, Mr. Blake, I beg to ask you, what have we got left?”--what do you say to Mr.

He not only terrified the company with such outbreaks as these, but, when the English side of him turned up in due course, he lost his foreign smoothness; and, getting on the subject of the medical profession, said such downright things in ridicule of doctors, that he actually put good-humoured little Mr. The dispute between them began in Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr.

Mr. In this way, they kept it going briskly, cut and thrust, till they both of them got hot--Mr. I had just ranged the decanters in a row before old Mr. Mr.

Mr. The first thing that I remember noticing was the sudden appearance on the scene of the Indian traveller, Mr. After a few words in the unknown tongue had passed on either side, Mr. I noticed that the fellow’s coffee-coloured face had turned grey since Mr.

The Bouncers, indescribably disappointed, burst out with a loud “O!” directed against Mr. The ladies withdrew to the drawing-room; and the gentlemen (excepting Mr. Franklin and Mr.

Going back by way of the shrubbery, I smelt tobacco, and found Mr. Franklin and Mr. Mr. “This,” says Mr. Tell him, if you please, what you have just told me.” Mr. “Mr. “Never,” says Mr.

Mr. Mr. Franklin, after what looked to me like a little private veering about between the different sides of his character, broke the silence as follows: “I feel some hesitation, Mr. Even the immovable Mr. “Now,” says Mr. Franklin, when he had done, “what does your experience say?” “My experience,” answered the traveller, “says that you have had more narrow escapes of your life, Mr. Franklin Blake, than I have had of mine; and that is saying a great deal.” It was Mr. “In my opinion it is,” answered Mr.

How you have escaped them I can’t imagine,” says the eminent traveller, lighting his cheroot again, and staring hard at Mr. It was daylight, both times, I suppose, when you took the jewel out of the bank in London?” “Broad daylight,” says Mr. If you ever feel inclined to travel beyond the civilised limits, Mr. “You don’t really mean to say, sir,” I asked, “that they would have taken Mr. Franklin’s life, to get their Diamond, if he had given them the chance?” “Do you smoke, Mr. Mr. Mr.

“What is to be done?” “What your uncle threatened to do,” answered Mr.

There is an end of its sacred identity as The Moonstone--and there is an end of the conspiracy.” Mr. “Suppose the Indians come back?” Mr. Murthwaite answered me before Mr. “In that case,” says Mr. In the present emergency, Mr. He threw away his cheroot, and took Mr.

Mr. He looked round at me, in his dry, droning way, and said: “The Indians will want their umbrellas, Mr. She had overheard Mr.

Franklin sharpening his wits on Mr. Godfrey, at the expense of Ladies’ Charities in general; and she had noticed that Mr. Threadgall by showing her some photographs, and really occupied in stealing looks at Mr. Finally, she had missed Mr. Candy, the doctor, who had mysteriously disappeared from the drawing-room, and had then mysteriously returned, and entered into conversation with Mr. I told Mr. Mr. Godfrey had some brandy and soda-water, Mr. She shook hands first with Mr. Then she turned back to Mr.

But standing near the old oak frame which holds our large looking-glass, I saw her reflected in it, slyly slipping the locket which Mr. As soon as Miss Rachel left him eyes to see with, Mr. “Betteredge,” he said, “I’m half inclined to think I took Mr. Do you really mean to let the dogs loose?” “I’ll relieve them of their collars, sir,” I answered, “and leave them free to take a turn in the night, if they smell a reason for it.” “All right,” says Mr. Mr.

He pressed Mr. Mr. Franklin declined the brandy-and-water, and went up-stairs with Mr. At any rate, I had a touch of Mr. Mr. Mr. Having searched in both places, and found nothing--having also questioned Penelope, and discovered from her no more than the little she had already told me--Mr. “The loss of the Diamond seems to have quite overwhelmed Rachel,” she said, in reply to Mr. “I suppose I have no alternative but to send for the police?” “And the first thing for the police to do,” added Mr.

Franklin, catching her up, “is to lay hands on the Indian jugglers who performed here last night.” My lady and Mr. Godfrey (not knowing what Mr. “I can’t stop to explain myself now,” Mr. Our chance of catching the thieves may depend on our not wasting one unnecessary minute.” (Nota bene: Whether it was the French side or the English, the right side of Mr. I went out with Mr. “One of them might have slipped into the hall, in the confusion, when the dinner company were going away,” says Mr.

The more I turned it over in my mind, the less satisfactory Mr. Mr. Mr. A little before eleven Mr. “Well,” says my lady, “are the police coming?” “Yes,” says Mr. “The poor ill-used Indians have been most unjustly put in prison,” says Mr. It’s been proved,” says Mr. Such was Mr. He reported passing Mr. Mr.

Mr. Look!” says Mr. Mr. “I’ve never been taught to tell lies Mr. Mr. We thereupon went downstairs again, and were met by Mr. Godfrey and Mr. Released from examination, Mr. Superintendent Seegrave is an ass.” Released in his turn, Mr. Mr.

She took up her garden hat from a chair, and then went straight to Penelope with this question:-- “Mr. Answering for my daughter, I said, “Mr.

Franklin is on the terrace, miss.” Without another word, without heeding Mr. She went up to Mr. Franklin without appearing to notice Mr. What she said to Mr. Miss Rachel saw her--said a few last words to Mr. My lady surprised herself, and noticing Mr. Mr. Mr. Mr. Taking what she had said at her bed-room door as a guide to guess by, I could only conclude that she was mortally offended by our sending for the police, and that Mr.

Mr. Mr. Godfrey, who, as a gentleman and a relative, had been probably admitted into Mr. In the second (as you shall presently judge), Mr. For all I can tell, everybody in the house may have known where the jewel was, last night.” My answer presenting rather a wide field for Mr. “And all have deserved the trust their mistress has placed in them.” After that, there was but one thing left for Mr. I could scarcely believe him (taking Mr. Still Mr. “I will never consent to make such a return as that,” she said, “for all I owe to the faithful servants who are employed in my house.” Mr. The cook looked as if she could grill Mr.

While the police-officer was still pondering in solitude, I was sent for to see Mr. “Mr. I found Mr. “Going to telegraph to London,” says Mr. Talking of mysteries, by-the-bye,” says Mr. If I had been younger, I might have confessed as much to Mr. “She came in here with a ring I dropped in my bed-room,” Mr.

Besides, even if I had made a clean breast of it, and even supposing she was the thief, the reason why she should let out her secret to Mr. “I can’t bear the idea of getting the poor girl into a scrape, merely because she has a flighty way with her, and talks very strangely,” Mr. If it’s a jewel lost, trust them for prophesying that it will never be found again.” This view (which I am bound to say, I thought a probable view myself, on reflection) seemed to relieve Mr. The poor thing is breaking her heart about Mr. If it was possible for Penelope to be right, the explanation of Rosanna’s strange language and behaviour might have been all in this--that she didn’t care what she said, so long as she could surprise Mr. Though he had only said three words, still she had carried her point, and Mr. Going round with the chaise to the front door, I found not only Mr. Franklin, but Mr. Mr. Hearing of this new move, Mr.


Godfrey, still devoutly believing in Mr. Before he took the reins to drive off, Mr. “It’s a matter of quieting Rachel’s mind,” answered Mr. My lady was in such low spirits about her daughter, that I could not bring myself to make her additionally anxious, by reporting what Rosanna Spearman had said to Mr. They had called on Mr. At Mr. On reaching that conclusion, Mr.

Worthy Mr. We were all sorry for the little doctor; but Mr. Breakfast had not been over long, when a telegram from Mr. At reading the name of the new police-officer, Mr. But my lady’s carriage and horses were not to be thought of, even for the celebrated Cuff; and the pony-chaise was required later for Mr.

Grass, Mr. Here’s the white musk rose, Mr.

“But when I have a moment’s fondness to bestow, most times, Mr. There will be grass walks, Mr. You find the damask rose a goodish stock for most of the tender sorts, don’t you, Mr. When they came out, Mr. Superintendent was excited, and Mr.

“The Sergeant wishes to see Miss Verinder’s sitting-room,” says Mr. The Sergeant went softly all over the Indian cabinet and all round the “boudoir;” asking questions (occasionally only of Mr. I answered that the women-servants had crowded into the room on the previous morning, and that some of their petticoats had done the mischief, “Superintendent Seegrave ordered them out, sir,” I added, “before they did any more harm.” “Right!” says Mr. “No, sir.” He turned to Superintendent Seegrave upon that, and said, “You noticed, I suppose?” Mr. “I can’t charge my memory, Sergeant,” he said, “a mere trifle--a mere trifle.” Sergeant Cuff looked at Mr. “I made a private inquiry last week, Mr. Before we go a step further in this business we must see the petticoat that made the smear, and we must know for certain when that paint was wet.” Mr. Is there anybody in the house who knows whether that paint was wet or dry, at eleven yesterday morning?” “Her ladyship’s nephew, Mr. “Is the gentleman in the house?” Mr. “Perfectly,” answered Mr.

That paint had been EIGHT HOURS DRY, Mr. Superintendent, when you supposed that the women-servants’ petticoats smeared it.” First knock-down blow for Mr. Having settled the question of the paint, Sergeant Cuff, from that moment, gave his brother-officer up as a bad job--and addressed himself to Mr. “Did you say,” she asked, pointing to Mr. Franklin, “that HE had put the clue into your hands?” (“This is Miss Verinder,” I whispered, behind the Sergeant.) “That gentleman, miss,” says the Sergeant--with his steely-grey eyes carefully studying my young lady’s face--“has possibly put the clue into our hands.” She turned for one moment, and tried to look at Mr. “I am Sergeant Cuff, miss, of the Detective Police.” “Do you think a young lady’s advice worth having?” “I shall be glad to hear it, miss.” “Do your duty by yourself--and don’t allow Mr Franklin Blake to help you!” She said those words so spitefully, so savagely, with such an extraordinary outbreak of ill-will towards Mr. I couldn’t bring myself to look at the Sergeant--I looked at Mr.

“A young lady’s tongue is a privileged member, sir,” says the Sergeant to Mr. YOU have got a head on your shoulders--and you understand what I mean.” Mr.

“Did you notice your work here, on the Wednesday afternoon, after you had done it?” Mr. “I can’t say I did either, sir.” “Who was the last person in the room, the last thing on Wednesday night?” “Miss Rachel, I suppose, sir.” Mr. “Mr. “THAT will smooth them down, sir,” I remarked, “from the cook to the scullion.” “Go, and do it at once, Mr. That somebody (putting together Penelope’s evidence and Mr. Having brought his investigation to this point, Sergeant Cuff discovered that such a person as Superintendent Seegrave was still left in the room, upon which he summed up the proceedings for his brother-officer’s benefit, as follows: “This trifle of yours, Mr. “I have abstained from expressing any opinion, so far,” says Mr. Mr. Leaving the room with this message, I heard Mr.

“Can you guess yet,” inquired Mr. I went back to the “boudoir.” Mr. Franklin strolled out into the garden, and joined Mr. “The women won’t, Mr. “The only gentlemen are my nephews, Mr. Blake and Mr. There is not the least fear of a refusal from any of the three.” I reminded my lady here that Mr. As I said the words, Mr.

Godfrey himself knocked at the door to say good-bye, and was followed in by Mr. Mr. “I am sorry to put you to any inconvenience, sir, for a mere formality; but the example of their betters will do wonders in reconciling the servants to this inquiry.” Mr. Mr. His views, you will observe, had been met with the utmost readiness by my lady, by Mr. Godfrey, and by Mr. That may turn out, Mr.

Send Mr. “Isn’t it her interest to help you?” “Wait a little, Mr. For the sake of your better understanding of what is now to come, I may add to this, that the shrubbery path was Mr. Never mind for the present what those conclusions are, Mr. I have decided to see the servants, and to search their thoughts and actions, Mr. I knew the shrubbery was Mr.

Franklin’s favourite walk; I knew he would most likely turn that way when he came back from the station; I knew that Penelope had over and over again caught her fellow-servant hanging about there, and had always declared to me that Rosanna’s object was to attract Mr. If my daughter was right, she might well have been lying in wait for Mr. Out of pure pity for the girl--on my soul and my character, out of pure pity for the girl--I gave the Sergeant the necessary explanations, and told him that Rosanna had been mad enough to set her heart on Mr. “The falling in love with a gentleman of Mr. Yes, I’ll keep it a secret, Mr.

You think Mr. “Mr. Report, on coming out: “I didn’t enter her ladyship’s service, Mr. Report, on coming out: “Sergeant Cuff has a heart; HE doesn’t cut jokes, Mr. “If Rosanna Spearman asks leave to go out,” said the Sergeant, “let the poor thing go; but let me know first.” I might as well have held my tongue about Rosanna and Mr. “I think I had better not tell you, Mr. Drifting towards the shrubbery, some time later, there I met Mr.

It was impossible to put Mr. Mr. “Why not just yet?” asked Mr.

What then?” Mr. “Do you think it’s wise, sir,” said Sergeant Cuff, quietly, “to put such a question as that to me--at such a time as this?” There was a moment’s silence between them: Mr. Mr. “I suppose you know, Mr. Mr. “Mr. “Mr. “Can’t you, Mr. “I feel particularly tender at the present moment, Mr. “Human life, Mr.

Is your sea-shore here considered a fine specimen of marine landscape, Mr. As it turned out, I found myself standing nearly in the same place where Rosanna Spearman and I had been talking together when Mr. I declare I almost heard her voice telling me again that the Shivering Sand seemed to draw her to it against her own will, whenever she went out--almost saw her face brighten again, as it brightened when she first set eyes upon Mr. “A treacherous place, Mr. “Here are a woman’s footsteps, Mr.

“What good can I do?” “The longer I know you, Mr.

“Why, only an hour ago she bought some things she wanted for travelling--of my own self, Mr. ‘It will just do,’ she says, ‘to put my cuffs and collars in, and keep them from being crumpled in my box.’ One and ninepence, Mr. Yolland, don’t make objections!’ says she; ‘let me have my chains!’ A strange girl, Mr. On the word of an honest woman, three and sixpence, Mr. “Ask Mr. “Thank you for your introduction, Mr. “Instead of putting me on the scent, it may console you to know, Mr. Mr. “Suppose we are?” “If I was a Yorkshireman,” proceeded the Sergeant, taking my arm, “I would lay you an even sovereign, Mr.

“But for her self-control, the mystery that puzzles you, Mr. “Don’t distress yourself, Mr. Collar me again, Mr. No, Mr. The head gardener (Mr. Mr. A certain great traveller, who understood the Indians and their language, had figured in Mr. “It may be worth while to find out to-morrow whether Superintendent Seegrave was wrong about the Indians as well.” With that he turned to Mr. “This question between us is a question of soils and seasons, and patience and pains, Mr. I answered, “Nothing.” Mr.

“She has just passed me, sir, with a very disturbed face, and in a very odd manner.” “I am afraid I am innocently the cause of that disturbance, Betteredge.” “You, sir!” “I can’t explain it,” says Mr.

Not feeling sure that I had really seen the Sergeant--and not desiring to make needless mischief, where, Heaven knows, there was mischief enough going on already--I told Mr. “Did you meet her accidentally, when she spoke to you?” Mr. If Rosanna had done nothing to compromise herself, the hope which Mr.

For all these reasons (sorry as I was for Rosanna) I could not but think that Mr. Franklin’s way of looking at the matter was neither unnatural nor unreasonable, in Mr.

I reported the result to Mr. “Good night, Mr. Don’t blame me for upsetting your sleeping arrangements, Mr. I left him to his own devices; and going into the grounds shortly after, met Mr. He made up to Mr. “Have you anything to say to me?” was all the return he got for politely wishing Mr. Naturally enough, also, you visit your own angry sense of your own family scandal upon Me.” “What do you want?” Mr. Under these circumstances, is it, or is it not, your duty as a good citizen, to assist me with any special information which you may happen to possess?” “I possess no special information,” says Mr. “You may save my time, sir, from being wasted on an inquiry at a distance,” he went on, “if you choose to understand me and speak out.” “I don’t understand you,” answered Mr.

Franklin; “and I have nothing to say.” “One of the female servants (I won’t mention names) spoke to you privately, sir, last night.” Once more Mr. Franklin cut him short; once more Mr. Sergeant Cuff had, no doubt, just heard enough, before I interrupted him, to make him suspect that Rosanna had relieved her mind by confessing something to Mr. Seeing that Mr.

Mr. Before either Mr. “You needn’t be afraid of harming the girl, sir,” he said to Mr. “On the contrary, I recommend you to honour me with your confidence, if you feel any interest in Rosanna Spearman.” Mr.

All I saw at the distance was that Rosanna suddenly turned round, the moment Mr. He said to me quietly, “I shall go to Frizinghall, Mr. “You must make it right with Rosanna,” Mr. He had remembered my telling him that the girl was in love with Mr. Franklin; and he had calculated on THAT, when he appealed to Mr. In another day or two, Mr. I’ll take the first opportunity of making it right with Rosanna Spearman.” “You haven’t said anything to her yet about last night, have you?” Mr.

My lady and Mr. After breakfast, Mr. “I am afraid, father,” she said, “Mr. She was bent on speaking to Mr. But Mr. “But you see, father (though Mr.

She frightened me, father, when Mr. I called to mind, now my thoughts were directed that way, what had passed between Mr. I had promised Mr. I have got something to say to you from Mr. “Mr. “No.” “To Mr. Franklin?” “Yes; to Mr. She was in no condition to understand the caution against speaking to him in private, which Mr. Feeling my way, little by little, I only told her Mr. “I shan’t trouble Mr.

“Thank you, Mr. “It’s beyond me.” My daughter reminded me of Mr.

His assistant--a certain Mr. He had been engaged by Mr. There isn’t a doubt on my mind, and there isn’t a doubt on Mr. But I can tell you one thing, Mr. You have not heard the last of the three jugglers yet.” Mr.

No, no, Mr. Possessed of this memorandum, the Sergeant would be furnished with all that he could desire.) “Now, Mr. Just as he closed it, Mr. “Drive on!” cried Miss Rachel, louder than ever, and taking no more notice of Mr. Mr. Mr. “Do me a last favour, Betteredge,” says Mr. “It’s no time for whistling, Mr. Your young lady has got a travelling companion in her mother’s carriage, Mr.

“I don’t think your talents are at all in our line, Mr. “No, Mr. Keep the pony-chaise ready, Mr. “Mr. “Penelope sent me with this, Mr. “You have often forgiven me, Mr. “It’s the dread of you, that has driven her to it.” “You are wrong, Mr.

My mistress came out among us (with Mr. She suffered Mr. Asked if she knew what had led her fellow-servant to destroy herself, my daughter answered (as you will foresee) that it was for love of Mr. I said, “And for Mr. On my way to answer it, I met Mr. “Miss Rachel will surely come right again, if you only give her time?” “She will come right again,” answered Mr.

His eyes once opened in that cruel way which you know of, Mr. I decline to take it, until my duty is done.” “I don’t understand you,” says Mr. As I rose to conduct him to my lady’s room, he asked if Mr. Mr. In Mr. In that case it is only doing my daughter justice to declare that she would stick at nothing, in the way of comforting Mr. My nephew has probably said something of this, before you came into my room?” “Mr. And I gave Mr. It ended, as you are aware, in the discovery of the smear on the door, and in Mr. And she is mortally offended with Mr.

She betrays an incomprehensible resentment against Mr. Blake, Mr. Your ladyship consented; Mr. Blake consented; Mr. If your ladyship and Mr. You saw yourself that, so far from forgiving Mr.

Blake for having done more than all the rest of you to put the clue into my hands, she publicly insulted Mr. In this case, I felt that a person of Mr.

I should have tried Mr. Where is the gardener, Mr. In the meantime, it was my business to find out whether Mr. This very natural alteration in his plans--which, with ordinary people, would have led to nothing in particular--proved, in Mr. A minute since, Mr.

On its production, in a violent hurry, by Samuel, Mr. Mr. Where’s the sherry?” My head was by this time in such a condition, that I was not quite sure whether it was my own head, or Mr. I got Mr. Don’t suppose, however, that I was quit of Mr. Betteredge,” I said, “I felt pretty often inclined to try your philosophy, Mr. Mr. The groom brought two letters from his mistress; one addressed to Mr. Mr.

He appeared, with his mind full of the gardener and the dog-rose, declaring that the equal of Mr. Have I anything to do with it, Mr. “Go on, Mr. “It’s no part of my duty, Mr. I’ll bear in mind the amount in this cheque, Mr. I answered what he said in these plain terms: “Sergeant Cuff, I consider your last observation as an insult to my lady and her daughter!” “Mr. The rain had given over; and, who should I see in the court-yard, but Mr. “My compliments to the Sairgent,” said Mr. “If he’s minded to walk to the station, I’m agreeable to go with him.” “What!” cries the Sergeant, behind me, “are you not convinced yet?” “The de’il a bit I’m convinced!” answered Mr.

“Then I’ll meet you at the gate!” says Mr. “I declare to heaven,” says this strange officer solemnly, “I would take to domestic service to-morrow, Mr. Give me your pocket-book, and I’ll make a note for you of his name and address--so that there may be no mistake about it if the thing really happens.” He wrote accordingly on a blank leaf--“Mr. There will be grass walks, Mr. There was the everlasting Mr. The last I saw of them, Mr. When I have reported Mr. CHAPTER XXIII I had kept the pony chaise ready, in case Mr.

The appearance of the luggage, followed downstairs by Mr. “Why not wait a day or two longer, and give Miss Rachel another chance?” The foreign varnish appeared to have all worn off Mr. But there was a bit about Miss Rachel added at the end, which will account for the steadiness of Mr. The only advice I can offer you is, to give her time.” I handed the letter back, sincerely sorry for Mr. Things can’t be much worse, Mr. Franklin, than they are now.” Mr. Mr.

Mr. On the next day (Sunday), the close carriage, which had been kept at Mr. Being reminded, by all this, of what Mr. Franklin had said about our being a scattered and disunited household, my mind was led naturally to Mr. It ended in my writing, by the Sunday’s post, to his father’s valet, Mr. Jeffco (whom I had known in former years) to beg he would let me know what Mr. “If you wish to inquire for my lady’s nephew, you will please to mention him as MR. “MR. “She had lived a miserable life, Mr.

Ha, Mr. “What do you want with Mr. “You can’t see Mr. “I expect news of Mr. The one way left to try was the chance, which might come with the morning, of writing to Mr. The other, from Mr. On reaching the metropolis, Mr. Mr.

Blake, the elder, was up to his eyes in the business of the House of Commons, and was amusing himself at home that night with the favourite parliamentary plaything which they call “a private bill.” Mr. Jeffco himself showed Mr. Good-night.” Such was the conversation, inside the study, as reported to me by Mr. “Jeffco, see what time the tidal train starts to-morrow morning.” “At six-forty, Mr. Franklin.” “Have me called at five.” “Going abroad, sir?” “Going, Jeffco, wherever the railway chooses to take me.” “Shall I tell your father, sir?” “Yes; tell him at the end of the session.” The next morning Mr. The chances were as equally divided as possible, in Mr. This news--by closing up all prospects of my bringing Limping Lucy and Mr. Penelope’s belief that her fellow-servant had destroyed herself through unrequited love for Mr. Whether the letter which Rosanna had left to be given to him after her death did, or did not, contain the confession which Mr.

The news of Mr. Mr. Certain speculations followed, referring to a poor relation of the family--one Miss Clack, whom I have mentioned in my account of the birthday dinner, as sitting next to Mr. Read it as I read it, and you will set the right value on the Sergeant’s polite attention in sending me the news of the day: “LAMBETH--Shortly before the closing of the court, Mr. Besides the annoyance complained of, Mr.

In reply to the magistrate, Mr. As to the valuables in Mr. Luker’s possession, Mr. If you desert me, and side with the Sergeant, on the evidence before you--if the only rational explanation you can see is, that Miss Rachel and Mr. I am fortunate enough to be useful to Mr. I find my insignificant existence suddenly remembered by Mr.

I am to re-open wounds that Time has barely closed; I am to recall the most intensely painful remembrances--and this done, I am to feel myself compensated by a new laceration, in the shape of Mr. With my diary, the poor labourer (who forgives Mr. It will be easy for Mr. I was a member, at that time, of the select committee; and I mention the Society here, because my precious and admirable friend, Mr. One of the gentlemen was Mr. The other was Mr. I was also deprived, at the time, of the inestimable advantage of hearing the events related by the fervid eloquence of Mr. Early on that memorable day, our gifted Mr.

What does matter is a circumstance that occurred when Mr.

The stranger insisted on making Mr.

Godfrey precede him; Mr. Merely premising that the polite stranger was Mr. Luker, of Lambeth, we will now follow Mr. Such incidents as these were not uncommon in Mr. Mr.

A most respectable though somewhat corpulent man answered the door, and, on hearing Mr. Here I should greatly enjoy saying a few cheering words on the devout confidence which could alone have sustained Mr. Let me pass over the next few moments, and return to Mr. Mr. Sal volatile and water followed, to compose dear Mr. It appeared from the statement of the landlord and landlady of the house (persons of good repute in the neighbourhood), that their first and second floor apartments had been engaged, on the previous day, for a week certain, by a most respectable-looking gentleman--the same who has been already described as answering the door to Mr.

Not more than ten minutes previous to Mr. Dear Mr. Taking the worldly point of view, it appeared to mean that Mr. We must leave Mr.

Godfrey to recover in Northumberland Street, and must follow the proceedings of Mr. After leaving the bank, Mr. In this case, as in Mr. Godfrey’s case, the handwriting was strange; but the name mentioned was the name of one of Mr.

He had just established himself in lodgings in Alfred Place, Tottenham Court Road; and he desired to see Mr. Mr. Exactly what had happened to Mr. Godfrey in Northumberland Street now happened to Mr. Mr. Luker’s attention was absorbed, as Mr.

A longer interval had then elapsed than had passed in the experience of Mr. Precisely the same explanation which the landlord in Northumberland Street had given to Mr.

Godfrey, the landlord in Alfred Place now gave to Mr. The one point of difference between the two cases occurred when the scattered contents of Mr. His watch and purse were safe, but (less fortunate than Mr. The paper in question acknowledged the receipt of a valuable of great price which Mr. As soon as he recovered himself, Mr. They had been plainly not sure whether Mr. Luker had, or had not, trusted the transmission of his precious gem to another person; and poor polite Mr. Add to this, that Mr. She even feels an interest in the other person who was roughly used--Mr.

Discovery through Mr. The servant opened the door, and announced Mr. CHAPTER II Mr. Godfrey followed the announcement of his name--as Mr. “Go to Miss Verinder,” said my aunt, addressing the servant, “and tell her Mr. But Mr. She approached dear Mr. “I wish you had brought Mr. I know the newspapers have left some of it out.” Even dear Mr.

“He has just been saying that he doesn’t care to speak of it.” “Why?” She put the question with a sudden flash in her eyes, and a sudden look up into Mr. But, hemmed in, as I am, between Mr. In the meantime, Rachel had settled herself at the window with our amiable and forbearing--our too forbearing--Mr. “Have the police done anything, Godfrey?” “Nothing whatever.” “It is certain, I suppose, that the three men who laid the trap for you were the same three men who afterwards laid the trap for Mr. How can I offer an opinion on it?” Even the angelic gentleness of Mr. I only report that, on Mr. “I want to know something about Mr. No man knows less of Mr. We have been examined together, as well as separately, to assist the police.” “Mr. A valuable gem, belonging to Mr.

Luker; deposited by Mr.

Luker; sealed with Mr. Luker’s seal; and only to be given up on Mr. She looked back again at Mr. “Some of our private affairs, at home,” she said, “seem to have got into the newspapers?” “I grieve to say, it is so.” “And some idle people, perfect strangers to us, are trying to trace a connexion between what happened at our house in Yorkshire and what has happened since, here in London?” “The public curiosity, in certain quarters, is, I fear, taking that turn.” “The people who say that the three unknown men who ill-used you and Mr. Dear Mr.

She turned once more to Mr.

Tell me plainly, Godfrey, do they any of them say that Mr. “There are people who don’t hesitate to accuse Mr. When he had done, she said, “Considering that Mr. I am certain that the scandal which has assailed Mr. Have a moment’s patience with me, and you will see.” She looked back at Mr. An unlucky accident has associated you in people’s minds with Mr. What does scandal say of you?” Even at the eleventh hour, dear Mr. “Nothing can do her such harm as your silence is doing now!” Mr. He cast one last appealing look at her--and then he spoke the fatal words: “If you will have it, Rachel--scandal says that the Moonstone is in pledge to Mr. She looked backwards and forwards from Mr.

Godfrey to my aunt, and from my aunt to Mr. Dear Mr. While this was going on, I heard dear Mr. I must be mad--mustn’t I?--not to own the truth NOW?” She was too vehement to notice her mother’s condition--she was on her feet again, and back with Mr. Indulgent Mr. Alas, for Mr. Returning to my aunt’s chair, I observed dear Mr. I should like to stop here--I should like to close my narrative with the record of Mr. Unhappily there is more, much more, which the unrelenting pecuniary pressure of Mr. Ablewhite, and to my lawyer Mr.

“You can wait here,” she went on, “till Mr. Mr. Mr. I was aroused from these consoling reflections by the voice of Mr. How is your friend Mr. But the tone in which he alluded to dear Mr. Feeling bound, after what had passed in my presence that afternoon, to assert the innocence of my admirable friend, whenever I found it called in question--I own to having also felt bound to include in the accomplishment of this righteous purpose, a stinging castigation in the case of Mr.


I ought to have told him that he was speaking in ignorance of a testimony to Mr. “By later events, Miss Clack, I mean events in which the Indians are concerned,” proceeded Mr. They go straight to London, and fix on Mr. Mr. Not Mr. Luker only--which would be intelligible enough--but Mr. Mr. Ablewhite’s explanation is, that they acted on blind suspicion, after seeing him accidentally speaking to Mr. Half-a-dozen other people spoke to Mr. The plain inference is, that Mr.

Ablewhite had his private interest in the ‘valuable’ as well as Mr. “But is it quite fair, sir, to Mr. Strong language, Miss Clack; but I mean it.” “Would you object to illustrate your meaning, Mr. Suppose you found Miss Verinder quite unaccountably interested in what has happened to Mr. Ablewhite and Mr. Suppose she asked the strangest questions about this dreadful scandal, and displayed the most ungovernable agitation when she found out the turn it was taking?” “Suppose anything you please, Miss Clack, it wouldn’t shake my belief in Rachel Verinder by a hair’s-breadth.” “She is so absolutely to be relied on as that?” “So absolutely to be relied on as that.” “Then permit me to inform you, Mr. Bruff, that Mr.

Godfrey Ablewhite was in this house not two hours since, and that his entire innocence of all concern in the disappearance of the Moonstone was proclaimed by Miss Verinder herself, in the strongest language I ever heard used by a young lady in my life.” I enjoyed the triumph--the unholy triumph, I fear I must admit--of seeing Mr. “And what do you say about Mr. He had not scrupled to suspect dear Mr. On Miss Verinder’s own authority--a perfectly unassailable authority, as you are aware, in the estimation of Mr. It seems hardly credible that I should not have been able to let Mr. “Pardon me for intruding on your reflections,” I said to the unsuspecting Mr. I own I don’t know what it is.” “Before I was so fortunate, sir, as to convince you of Mr. Permit me to remind you that Mr. You don’t know how to let well alone.” “I am afraid I fail to follow you, Mr.

I have suspected Mr. Ablewhite, on grounds which abstractedly justify suspecting Mr. The only question is, whether it was his interest to do so.” “Mr.

Franklin Blake’s debts,” I remarked, “are matters of family notoriety.” “And Mr. Why the devil----” “I beg your pardon, Mr. Mr.

And, on the other hand, we are equally sure that somebody has brought the Moonstone to London, and that Mr. Mr. A report of my conversation in the library with Mr. But Mr. Mr. Miss Rachel had gone with her, and Mr. Knowing how sadly dear Mr. Miss Rachel was going to a ball that night, and Mr. There was a morning concert advertised for to-morrow, and Samuel was ordered to take places for a large party, including a place for Mr.

We had a special meeting of the Mothers’-Small-Clothes-Conversion Society that night, summoned expressly with a view to obtaining Mr. I took it for granted that she and her party of pleasure-seekers (Mr. Mr. an unerring instinct told me it was not Mr. The words I heard were, “I’ll do it to-day!” And the voice that spoke them was Mr. So fervent still was the sisterly interest I felt in Mr. I thought of the struggling Female Boards, who, so to speak, drew the breath of their business-life through the nostrils of Mr.

Godfrey--of that same Mr. Before I had time to feel shocked, at this, I was horror-struck by an entirely unexpected proceeding on the part of Mr. There appeared, however, judging by Mr. Mr. CHAPTER VI (1.) “Miss Clack presents her compliments to Mr. And may those Extracts (Miss Clack fervently hopes) sound as the blast of a trumpet in the ears of her respected kinsman, Mr.

Franklin Blake.” (2.) “Mr.

She affectionately reminds Mr. persists in feeling the deepest interest in Mr. In the meanwhile she would be glad to know, before beginning the final chapters of her narrative, whether she may be permitted to make her humble contribution complete, by availing herself of the light which later discoveries have thrown on the mystery of the Moonstone.” (4.) “Mr. Later discoveries she will be good enough to leave to the pens of those persons who can write in the capacity of actual witnesses.” (5.) “Miss Clack is extremely sorry to trouble Mr. Her object in writing is to know whether Mr. Some explanation of the position in which Mr.

And Miss Clack, on her side, is most anxious that her letters should be produced to speak for themselves.” (6.) “Mr. Franklin Blake agrees to Miss Clack’s proposal, on the understanding that she will kindly consider this intimation of his consent as closing the correspondence between them.” (7.) “Miss Clack feels it an act of Christian duty (before the correspondence closes) to inform Mr. She affectionately requests Mr. solemnly pledges herself to send back the complete series of her Extracts to Mr. In the course of my visit, something happened, relative to her marriage-engagement with Mr. Lady Verinder’s death left her daughter under the care of her brother-in-law, Mr. Under these circumstances, Mr. At any rate, in ten days from my aunt’s death, the secret of the marriage-engagement was no secret at all within the circle of the family, and the grand question for Mr. It ended in a proposal, emanating from old Mr.

I decided, as a useful test, to probe her on the subject of her marriage-engagement to Mr. Looking at her, now, with this new interest--and calling to mind the headlong suddenness with which she had met Mr. To my indescribable surprise, they were escorted, not by Mr. Godfrey (as I had anticipated), but by the lawyer, Mr. Mr. By-the-by, Mr. And I was thinking, Drusilla, of the days that can never come again.” Mr. We found Aunt Ablewhite and Mr. “And the afternoon service, Rachel, begins at three.” “How can you expect me to go to church again,” she asked, petulantly, “with such a headache as mine?” Mr.

I had never before seen Mr. “Do you know, love,” I said, “I had an odd fancy, yesterday, about Mr. “It was news I was interested in hearing--and I am deeply indebted to Mr. “I suppose, my dear Rachel, that must be news of Mr. She checked herself--laid her head back on the pillow--considered a minute--and then answered in these remarkable words: “I SHALL NEVER MARRY MR. “The marriage is considered by the whole family as a settled thing!” “Mr. I privately ascertained the hour at which Mr. I entered the dining-room, always empty at that hour of the day, and found myself face to face with Mr.

CHAPTER VIII “I have lost a beautiful girl, an excellent social position, and a handsome income,” Mr. It was now--to my mind--easy to discern one of these salutary humiliations in the deplorable proceedings on dear Mr. Mr. I am well aware--to dwell for a moment yet on the subject of Mr. In less than a month from the time of which I am now writing, events in the money-market (which diminished even my miserable little income) forced me into foreign exile, and left me with nothing but a loving remembrance of Mr. Old Mr. But I knew the importance which his worldly greed attached to his son’s marriage with Miss Verinder--and I felt a positive conviction (do what Mr. I am not ignorant that old Mr.

He had barely been a minute in the house, before he was followed, to MY astonishment this time, by an unexpected complication in the shape of Mr.

“This is a pleasant surprise, sir,” said Mr. Ablewhite, addressing himself with his deceptive cordiality to Mr. “When I left your office yesterday, I didn’t expect to have the honour of seeing you at Brighton to-day.” “I turned over our conversation in my mind, after you had gone,” replied Mr. Mr. Whether she was determined to bring matters to a crisis, or whether she was prompted by some private sign from Mr. She declined doing old Mr. “Whatever you wish to say to me,” she answered, “can be said here--in the presence of my relatives, and in the presence” (she looked at Mr. Bruff) “of my mother’s trusted old friend.” “Just as you please, my dear,” said the amiable Mr. “I did engage myself to marry him.” “Very frankly answered!” said Mr.

“Pray let us understand each other, Mr.

If he told you that I proposed breaking off our marriage engagement, and that he agreed on his side--he told you the truth.” The self-registering thermometer at the top of Mr. He was always clumsy from a child--but he means well, Rachel, he means well!” “Mr. Is that plain enough?” The tone in which she said those words made it impossible, even for old Mr. “I am to understand, then,” he said, “that your marriage engagement is broken off?” “You are to understand that, Mr. “In justice to myself as his father--not in justice to HIM--I beg to ask you, Miss Verinder, what complaint you have to make of Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite?” Here Mr. Old Mr. Your interference would have come with a better grace if you had waited until it was asked for.” Mr. Rachel thanked him for the advice he had given to her, and then turned to old Mr.

I proposed that we should release each other, because reflection had convinced me that I should best consult his welfare and mine by retracting a rash promise, and leaving him free to make his choice elsewhere.” “What has my son done?” persisted Mr. Mr. She recovered herself, and answered Mr. Mr. “What do you mean?” “Insult!” reiterated Mr. I suspected it all along.” “A very unworthy suspicion,” remarked Mr. “I am astonished that you have the courage to acknowledge it.” Before Mr.

If he can think in THAT way, let us leave him to think as he pleases.” From scarlet, Mr. He gasped for breath; he looked backwards and forwards from Rachel to Mr.

“Dear Mr.

Manna in the wilderness, Mr. “Miss Clack is here,” she said, “as my guest.” Those words had a singular effect on Mr. She turned to the lawyer, and, pointing to Mr.

Ablewhite, asked haughtily, “What does he mean?” Mr. “You appear to forget,” he said, addressing Mr. Ablewhite, “that you took this house as Miss Verinder’s guardian, for Miss Verinder’s use.” “Not quite so fast,” interposed Mr. That was Mr. “If I may be permitted to answer for Miss Verinder,” said Mr.

“Ah!” said Mr. Mr. “My dear young lady,” he said, “Mr. I had never liked Mr. Mr.

If I suffered the arrangement thus made between them to be carried out--if she once passed the threshold of Mr. Mr. Rachel, dearest Rachel, I offer you my modest home; come to London by the next train, love, and share it with me!” Mr. But I have accepted Mr. Bruff’s invitation, and I think it will be best, for the present, if I remain under Mr.

I don’t understand it.” “No more do I,” said Mr. “Miss Clack, will you have the goodness to explain yourself?” Before I could answer, Mr. I put Mr. “Come away!” she said to Mr. You were at the funeral, Mr. “Pack my things,” she said, “and bring them to Mr. Mr.

Mr. Add to this, that I met with the celebrated traveller, Mr. “How do you do, Mr. Mr. My common-law clerk (a most competent and excellent man) was a brother of Mr. The moment I got back I spoke to my clerk; and, after telling him what had happened, I sent him to his brother’s office, “with Mr. Skipp and Smalley had found it necessary to examine Lady Verinder’s will.” This message brought Mr. “Choose, sir,” I said to Mr. Mr.

He smiled resignedly, and gave up the name of his client: Mr. I had the sincerest admiration and affection for her; and I had been inexpressibly grieved when I heard that she was about to throw herself away on Mr.

Would Mr. They informed me that they were going to Brighton the next day, and that an unexpected obstacle prevented Mr. “May I speak to you,” I asked, “about your marriage engagement?” “Yes,” she said, indifferently, “if you have nothing more interesting to talk about.” “Will you forgive an old friend and servant of your family, Miss Rachel, if I venture on asking whether your heart is set on this marriage?” “I am marrying in despair, Mr. “Mr. “Mr. I recommended her to tell Mr.

“Suppose you were asked to express your opinion of Mr. “Yes?” “What would you call it?” “I should call it the conduct of a meanly deceitful man.” “Mr. “I have done it already.” “What do you mean?” “You have forgotten the Moonstone, Mr. On the evening of my return, before it was possible for me to receive my promised letter, I was surprised by a visit from Mr. Ablewhite the elder, and was informed that Mr. With the view I already took of the case, the bare fact stated in the words that I have underlined, revealed Mr. Any exultation I might otherwise have felt at the lucky turn which things had now taken, was effectually checked by what passed at my interview with old Mr. The annoyance which I thus inflicted, following on the irritation produced by a recent interview with his son, threw Mr. How my reflections ended, and how thoroughly well founded my distrust of Mr. It was followed by a line written in English at the bottom of the card, which I remember perfectly well: “Recommended by Mr.

Septimus Luker.” The audacity of a person in Mr. So dark in the complexion that we all set him down in the office for an Indian, or something of that sort.” Associating the clerk’s idea with the line inscribed on the card in my hand, I thought it possible that the Moonstone might be at the bottom of Mr. And, lastly, I combated Mr.

“And you apply to me,” I rejoined, “at Mr. “May I ask how it is that Mr. Luker himself did not advance the money that you require?” “Mr.

Mr. I had satisfied myself of the correctness of this conclusion--and was trying to get on a step further, and penetrate the Indian’s motives next--when a letter was brought to me, which proved to be from no less a person that Mr.


The substance of what he had to tell me may be fairly stated as follows: The day before I had received the visit of the Indian, Mr. In spite of his European disguise, Mr.

As the speediest way of getting rid of him, Mr. Mr.

Asked to name some individual of that character and profession, Mr. And I hope you’ll look over it, Mr. Had the Indian said anything noticeable, at the moment of quitting Mr. The Indian had put precisely the same question to Mr. Mr.

CHAPTER III The prominent personage among the guests at the dinner party I found to be Mr.

When the gentlemen were left by themselves in the dining-room, I found myself sitting next to Mr.

Glancing at Mr. “If I am not mistaken, Mr. Mr. Murthwaite shifted round in his chair, so as to put the rest of the company behind him (Conservatives and Liberals alike), and concentrated his whole attention on plain Mr. “I have every reason to believe,” I answered, “that one of them had an interview with me, in my office, yesterday.” Mr. I described what had happened to Mr. “Why should he be so anxious to know the time at which a borrower of money is usually privileged to pay the money back?” “Is it possible that you don’t see his motive, Mr. Bruff?” “I am ashamed of my stupidity, Mr.

“The Indian plot is a mystery to me.” “The Indian plot, Mr. “Very good,” said Mr. I will only say, it is clear that these present Indians, at their age, must be the successors of three other Indians (high caste Brahmins all of them, Mr. That copy would inform them that the Moonstone was bequeathed to the daughter of Lady Verinder, and that Mr.

You will agree with me that the necessary information about persons in the position of Lady Verinder and Mr. One to follow anybody who went from Mr. These commonplace precautions would readily inform them that Mr. Franklin Blake had been to the bank, and that Mr. In putting this difficulty to Mr. “Nor to mine either,” said Mr. Have I succeeded to your satisfaction so far?” “Not a doubt of it, Mr. I am waiting, however, with some anxiety, to hear the rational explanation of the difficulty which I have just had the honour of submitting to you.” Mr. The Indians were undoubtedly not aware of what Mr.

Franklin Blake had done with the Diamond--for we find them making their first mistake, on the first night of Mr. However, they had the merit of seeing for themselves that they had taken a false step--for, as you say, again, with plenty of time at their disposal, they never came near the house for weeks afterwards.” “Why, Mr. Why?” “Because no Indian, Mr. To make their attempt on the Diamond while it was under the control of Mr. When I heard the story of the Colonel and the Diamond, later in the evening, I felt so sure about the risk Mr. “So far, so good,” resumed Mr. I handed it back to Mr. What was the next news we heard of them, Mr. Bruff?” “They were annoying Mr.

Luker,” I answered, “by loitering about the house at Lambeth.” “Did you read the report of Mr. The inference is pretty plain, Mr. Bruff, as to who wrote that letter which puzzled you just now, and as to which of Mr. I had never doubted that the Moonstone had found its way into Mr.

Luker’s hands, at the time Mr. Lawyer as I was, I began to feel that I might trust Mr. And somebody must have raised money on it, or it would never have been in Mr. Has there been any discovery made of who that person was?” “None that I know of.” “There was a story (was there not?) about Mr. I am told he is an eminent philanthropist--which is decidedly against him, to begin with.” I heartily agreed in this with Mr. At the same time, I felt bound to inform him (without, it is needless to say, mentioning Miss Verinder’s name) that Mr. “Very well,” said Mr. In the meanwhile, Mr. The loss of their second chance of seizing the Diamond is mainly attributable, as I think, to the cunning and foresight of Mr.

Now, Mr.

“The Indians take it for granted, as we do, that the Moonstone has been pledged; and they want to be certainly informed of the earliest period at which the pledge can be redeemed--because that will be the earliest period at which the Diamond can be removed from the safe keeping of the bank!” “I told you you would find it out for yourself, Mr. Mr. Luker’s own lips have told them how long they will have to wait, and your respectable authority has satisfied them that Mr. The Indians have been defeated twice running, Mr. “I am afraid I bring you bad news, sir,” he said, and pointed to one of the letters, which had a mourning border round it, and the address on which was in the handwriting of Mr. The wealth which had thus fallen into my hands brought its responsibilities with it, and Mr. On returning to England, she was the first person I inquired after, when Mr.

Mr. Under whose care had she been placed after leaving Mr.

Half an hour after receiving this information, I was on my way to Portland Place--without having had the courage to own it to Mr. “Miss Verinder begs to decline entering into any correspondence with Mr. Mr. Mr. Had she referred to me in any way while she was staying under Mr. And I pointed Mr. Moving blindfold in this matter, you have added to the burden of anxiety which she has had to bear, by innocently threatening her secret with discovery through your exertions.” “Is it possible,” I asked, “that the feeling towards me which is there described, is as bitter as ever against me now?” Mr.

Mr. “I am going to Yorkshire,” I answered, “by the next train.” “May I ask for what purpose?” “Mr. CHAPTER II “Betteredge!” I said, pointing to the well-remembered book on his knee, “has ROBINSON CRUSOE informed you, this evening, that you might expect to see Franklin Blake?” “By the lord Harry, Mr. “Here’s the bit, Mr. Page one hundred and fifty-six as follows:--‘I stood like one Thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an Apparition.’ If that isn’t as much as to say: ‘Expect the sudden appearance of Mr. “Walk in, Mr.

I’ll cook your dinner; and the gardener’s wife will make your bed--and if there’s a bottle of our famous Latour claret left in the cellar, down your throat, Mr. Lord, Mr. “Very well, Mr. ‘I’ve had my dinner, my dear,’ I said; ‘and I hope you will find that I have left the kitchen all that your fondest wishes can desire.’ For the rest of that woman’s life, Mr. “I had hoped, Mr. “Hotherstone lives, Mr. There stands the house, and here stands Mr.

“The next thing you’ll do, Mr. “Fine evening for a walk, Mr. “Supposing you had gone to the hotel at Frizinghall, sir?” “Yes?” “I should have had the honour of breakfasting with you, to-morrow morning.” “Come and breakfast with me at Hotherstone’s Farm, instead.” “Much obliged to you for your kindness, Mr. “The Moonstone, Mr. I have come here to do what nobody has done yet--to find out who took the Diamond.” “Let the Diamond be, Mr. Have you heard anything of him lately?” “The Sergeant won’t help you, Mr. I have it in his own handwriting, Mr.

And Mr. “You might trust to worse than me, Mr. “I expect more--from what you said just now.” “Mere boasting, Mr. “There is no ill-feeling in this, Mr. “If I am doing wrong to help you, Mr. You remember that poor girl of ours--Rosanna Spearman?” “Of course!” “You always thought she had some sort of confession in regard to this matter of the Moonstone, which she wanted to make to you?” “I certainly couldn’t account for her strange conduct in any other way.” “You may set that doubt at rest, Mr. You must have heard tell, when you were here last, sir, of Limping Lucy--a lame girl with a crutch.” “The fisherman’s daughter?” “The same, Mr. ‘There’s the Farm, Mr.

Make yourself comfortable for to-night, and come to me to-morrow morning if you’ll be so kind?’” “You will go with me to the fisherman’s cottage?” “Yes, sir.” “Early?” “As early, Mr. What do you complain of?” “I complain of a new disease, Mr. It will lay hold of you at Cobb’s Hole, Mr. “Mr. Betteredge,” she said, without taking her eyes off me, “mention his name again, if you please.” “This gentleman’s name,” answered Betteredge (with a strong emphasis on GENTLEMAN), “is Mr. “I can’t stand it any longer, Mr. Lord save us, Mr.

“We can go round by the coast, Mr. “But she died a dreadful death, poor soul--and I feel a kind of call on me, Mr. “Now, Mr. “Take a drop more grog, Mr. Rosanna Spearman had once been a thief?” “There’s no denying that, Mr. “You will be cleared of this, Mr.

“Did she say nothing about Rosanna Spearman?” “She never even mentioned Rosanna Spearman’s name.” “Please to go back to the letter, Mr. “Lady Verinder was very kind to me, and Mr. “Do you remember when you came out on us from among the sand hills, that morning, looking for Mr. Ah, Mr. “Mr. I went with the rest, because if I had done anything different from the rest, Mr. If Mr. “‘I was with Miss Rachel, and Mr.

And Mr. And I noticed the door, and there was nothing wrong with it then.’ “‘Oughtn’t you to mention this to Mr. Seegrave, Penelope?’ “‘I wouldn’t say a word to help Mr.

“If there is anything in it that I must look at, you can tell me as you go on.” “I understand you, Mr. “I had just finished your room when I was sent for to be questioned by Mr. “Penelope returned to us quite beside herself with rage at the manner in which Mr. ‘If the last person who was in the room is the person to be suspected,’ I thought to myself, ‘the thief is not Penelope, but Mr. Just at that moment, Mr. The ice, you see, was broken between us--and I thought I would take care, on the next occasion, that Mr. “Not a glimmer of light so far, Mr. In the meantime, Mr.

Franklin--I don’t want to hurry you--but would you mind telling me, in one word, whether you see your way out of this dreadful mess yet?” “I see my way back to London,” I said, “to consult Mr. If he can’t help me----” “Yes, sir?” “And if the Sergeant won’t leave his retirement at Dorking----” “He won’t, Mr. After Mr. “I had no idea that Mr. “Mr. “By-the-bye, Mr. THEY must put up with the man with the piebald hair, and the gipsy complexion--or they would get no doctoring at all.” “You don’t seem to like him, Betteredge?” “Nobody likes him, sir.” “Why is he so unpopular?” “Well, Mr. And then there’s a story that Mr.

I remember when Mr. Now it’s Mr.

“There’s a bottom of good sense, Mr. And we are all of us right.” Mr. “Ezra Jennings.” CHAPTER V Having told me the name of Mr. To go back to London that day; to put the whole case before Mr. The letter ended in these terms: “You have no need to be angry, Mr. It was then time for your return from seeing Mr.

“You never appeared; and, what was worse still, Mr. I wondered in myself which it would be harder to do, if things went on in this manner--to bear Mr. Why didn’t I call out, ‘Mr. Penelope had heard Miss Rachel, and I had heard Mr. You’re a plain girl; you have got a crooked shoulder; you’re only a housemaid--what do you mean by attempting to speak to Me?” You never uttered a word of that, Mr. The best thing that can happen for your advantage, Rosanna, will be for Mr. If she does that, Mr. ‘Do you mean to say Mr. If they don’t make it up before to-morrow, you will see Miss Rachel go one way, and Mr.

I am loth to distress you, Rosanna; but don’t run away with the notion that Mr. He’s a great deal too fond of her for that!’ “She had only just spoken those cruel words when there came a call to us from Mr. And then we were to go in, one by one, and be questioned in Mr. I went straight to Cobb’s Hole, to Mr.

“Then, Mr. “There is nothing to guide you, Mr. I had the letter in my pocket, and the nightgown safely packed in a little bag--both to be submitted, before I slept that night, to the investigation of Mr. They relate to myself, and I believe they will rather surprise you.” “If they will put that poor creature’s letter out of my head, Mr.

“Why it’s the great defect of your character, Mr. It is quite possible----” “Wait a bit, Mr. “I see your drift now, Mr. The Diamond has been pledged to Mr. And did you walk in your sleep to Mr. Excuse me for saying it, Mr. The sooner you lay your head alongside Mr.

There was Mr.

At all events, I began the momentous journey back which was to take me to Mr. The hour at which I arrived in London precluded all hope of my finding Mr.

I shall best describe the effect which my story produced on the mind of Mr. The reading completed, Mr. My resolution to obtain a personal interview with Rachel, rested really and truly on the ground just stated by Mr. “I own I should like to know.” “You would like to know how I can justify it,” inter-posed Mr. What then?” “I don’t see how the fact can be proved,” said Mr. Mr. Have you any suggestions to offer?” “I have made up my mind, Mr. Mr. “May I venture to suggest--if nothing was said about me beforehand--that I might see her here?” “Cool!” said Mr.

The next morning, Mr.

Informed on this point, he had mentioned having seen me to his master Mr. Mr. As the clock of Hampstead church struck three, I put Mr. The time had come to put Mr. “YOU VILLAIN, I SAW YOU TAKE THE DIAMOND WITH MY OWN EYES!” The revelation which burst upon me in those words, the overthrow which they instantly accomplished of the whole view of the case on which Mr. CHAPTER VIII Late that evening, I was surprised at my lodgings by a visit from Mr. “I know, Mr. May I depend on your making no second attempt to see her--except with my sanction and approval?” “After what she has suffered, and after what I have suffered,” I said, “you may rely on me.” “I have your promise?” “You have my promise.” Mr. “I only regret that she could not prevail on herself to speak more plainly to me at the time.” “You might as well regret that Rachel is not somebody else,” rejoined Mr.

Come, come, Mr. Let us close our minds resolutely to all that happened last year at Lady Verinder’s country house; and let us look to what we CAN discover in the future, instead of to what we can NOT discover in the past.” “Surely you forget,” I said, “that the whole thing is essentially a matter of the past--so far as I am concerned?” “Answer me this,” retorted Mr. What do we believe was done with the Moonstone, when it was taken to London?” “It was pledged to Mr. Do we know who did?” “No.” “Where do we believe the Moonstone to be now?” “Deposited in the keeping of Mr. If he redeems it, Mr.

Under these circumstances, I propose setting a watch at the bank, as the present month draws to an end, and discovering who the person is to whom Mr. “It’s Mr. Murthwaite’s idea quite as much as mine,” said Mr.

If Mr. Is that so very long?” “It’s a life-time, Mr. It’s useless to expect the Sergeant to help you.” “I know where to find him; and I can but try.” “Try,” said Mr. In the meanwhile,” he continued, rising, “if you make no discoveries between this, and the end of the month, am I free to try, on my side, what can be done by keeping a lookout at the bank?” “Certainly,” I answered--“unless I relieve you of all necessity for trying the experiment in the interval.” Mr. Some great man’s gardener in Ireland has found out something new in the growing of roses--and Mr. Mr. Mr. Candy’s assistant, otherwise Ezra Jennings, had told his master that he had seen me; and Mr. I sat idly drawing likenesses from memory of Mr.

Mr. Mr. Bruff--no: I called to mind that business had prevented Mr.

I drove off at once to Mr. Mr. In the second, third, and fourth places, Mr. Murthwaite was now on his way back to the scene of his past adventures; Miss Clack had suffered losses, and had settled, from motives of economy, in France; Mr. And suppose I excused Mr. These were my relatives, the Ablewhites, and Mr. So to Mr.

“I have often thought of you, Mr. On the journey to Frizinghall I had arranged what my explanation was to be--and I seized the opportunity now offered to me of trying the effect of it on Mr. “It is a matter, Mr. And I venture to appeal to her late mother’s friends who were present on that occasion, to lend me the assistance of their memories----” I had got as far as that in rehearsing my explanatory phrases, when I was suddenly checked by seeing plainly in Mr.

Now, Mr. Well, Mr. “We last saw each other at the last birthday dinner my poor aunt was ever to give.” “That’s it!” cried Mr. And here was the birthday dinner unmistakably proclaiming itself as the subject on which Mr.

Have you made any memorandum--in your diary, or otherwise--of what you wanted to say to me?” Mr. “I require no memorandum, Mr. Take the dinner at Lady Verinder’s, for instance----” Mr. “A very pleasant dinner, Mr. As we shook hands, Mr. “I had it on my mind--I really had it on my mind, Mr. Just as I reached the bottom of the stairs, and had turned a corner on my way to the outer hall, a door opened softly somewhere on the ground floor of the house, and a gentle voice said behind me:-- “I am afraid, sir, you find Mr. Pouring brightly into the hall, the morning light fell full on the face of Mr.

While my knowledge of the world warned me to answer the question which he had put, acknowledging that I did indeed find Mr. “Are you walking my way, Mr. Having already referred to Mr. “Judging by the change I see in him,” I began, “Mr. Perhaps we should all be happier,” he added, with a sad smile, “if we could but completely forget!” “There are some events surely in all men’s lives,” I replied, “the memory of which they would be unwilling entirely to lose?” “That is, I hope, to be said of most men, Mr. Have you any reason to suppose that the lost remembrance which Mr. “I believe I have a strong interest,” I said, “in tracing the lost remembrance which Mr. “Mr. “It may not, perhaps, be a final answer, Mr.

It may be possible to trace Mr. Candy’s lost recollection, without the necessity of appealing to Mr. May I trust to your patience, if I refer once more to Mr. My father was an Englishman; but my mother--We are straying away from our subject, Mr. The truth is, I have associations with these modest little hedgeside flowers--It doesn’t matter; we were speaking of Mr. To Mr. “You have heard, I dare say, of the original cause of Mr.

When I got back the next morning, I found Mr. I sent at once to two of Mr. They said, ‘Mr. ‘I mean to try it at once, gentlemen.’--‘Try it, Mr. “In your place, I am afraid I should have shrunk from it.” “In my place, Mr. Blake, you would have remembered that Mr. An hysterical relief, Mr.

“It is the only way I can see, Mr.

Now you know exactly what my position was, at the time of Mr. It has none the less been the friend of many lonely hours; and it helped me to while away the anxious time--the time of waiting, and nothing else--at Mr. Poor Mr. I understand the art of writing in shorthand; and I was able to take down the patient’s ‘wanderings’, exactly as they fell from his lips.--Do you see, Mr. “At odds and ends of time,” Ezra Jennings went on, “I reproduced my shorthand notes, in the ordinary form of writing--leaving large spaces between the broken phrases, and even the single words, as they had fallen disconnectedly from Mr.

“Did my name occur in any of his wanderings?” “You shall hear, Mr. For nearly the whole of one night, Mr. The product (as the arithmeticians would say) is an intelligible statement--first, of something actually done in the past; secondly, of something which Mr. “Let us go back directly, and look at the papers!” “Quite impossible, Mr.

“Wherever my notes included anything which Mr. He was so miserably ill, Mr. “I am sorry to have raised your expectations, Mr. “Throughout the whole period of Mr.

One led to Mr. “I am really and truly sorry, Mr. “Mr. My interest in tracing Mr. “I have no right, Mr. Allow me to ask your pardon, on my side, for having (most innocently) put you to a painful test.” “You have a perfect right,” I rejoined, “to fix the terms on which you feel justified in revealing what you heard at Mr. You ought to know, and you shall know, why I am interested in discovering what Mr. If I turn out to be mistaken in my anticipations, and if you prove unable to help me when you are really aware of what I want, I shall trust to your honour to keep my secret--and something tells me that I shall not trust in vain.” “Stop, Mr. “Before you place any confidence in me,” he went on, “you ought to know, and you MUST know, under what circumstances I have been received into Mr.

All I ask, is to be permitted to tell you, what I have told Mr. “Do you mind resting a little, Mr. “Mr. My employer said, ‘Mr. It ended in my drifting to this place, and meeting with Mr.

But when it follows me here, it will come too late.” “You will have left the place?” “No, Mr. There is no disguising, Mr. “I am absolutely certain, Mr. Blake, of one thing--I have got what Mr. Give me two hours from this time, and call at Mr.

“Can’t you quiet my mind by a word of explanation before we part?” “This is far too serious a matter to be explained in a hurry, Mr. This done, I made the best of my way out of the town again, and roamed the lonely moorland country which surrounds Frizinghall, until my watch told me that it was time, at last, to return to Mr. “I make no apology, Mr. “Tell me what I am to expect, before I attempt to read this.” “Willingly, Mr. To what?” “To my leaving off smoking.” “Had you been an habitual smoker?” “Yes.” “Did you leave off the habit suddenly?” “Yes.” “Betteredge was perfectly right, Mr. My next question refers to Mr. The foolish wrangle which took place, on that occasion, between Mr. All that I could now recall, and all that I could tell Ezra Jennings was, that I had attacked the art of medicine at the dinner-table with sufficient rashness and sufficient pertinacity to put even Mr. “Mr.

Secondly, that the opium was given to you by Mr.

“Try and forgive poor Mr. “Mr. I may forgive, but I shall not forget it.” “Every medical man commits that act of treachery, Mr. Every doctor in large practice finds himself, every now and then, obliged to deceive his patients, as Mr. Nothing relating to that part of the matter dropped from Mr. On this, the disconnected words, and fragments of sentences, which had dropped from Mr.

Mr. Well, Mr. out, Mr. Don’t suppose,” he added, pointing to the second sheet of paper, “that I claim to have reproduced the expressions which Mr. Once more, Mr. Mr.

‘Well, Mr. You will never sleep without it.’--‘There you are out, Mr.

“Useless, Mr. “And, come what may, I’ll do it.” “You shall do this, Mr. Observe, Mr. The book in your hand is Doctor Elliotson’s HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY; and the case which the doctor cites rests on the well-known authority of Mr.

Abel informed me,” says Mr.

I believe, Mr. I thought the influence of opium was first to stupefy you, and then to send you to sleep.” “The common error about opium, Mr. I am, at this moment, exerting my intelligence (such as it is) in your service, under the influence of a dose of laudanum, some ten times larger than the dose Mr. and what then?” “It is possible, Mr. How was it taken out of your keeping?” “I have no idea how it was taken out of my keeping.” “Did you see it, when you woke in the morning?” “No.” “Has Miss Verinder recovered possession of it?” “No.” “Mr. May I ask how you know that the Diamond is, at this moment, in London?” I had put precisely the same question to Mr. The Indians went to Mr. Luker’s house after the Diamond--and, therefore, in Mr. Have you any evidence that the jewel was pledged to Mr. The Indians assume that Mr.

What more, Mr. “Do you object to my writing to Mr. Bruff, and telling him what you have said?” “On the contrary, I shall be glad if you will write to Mr. It is absolutely necessary, Mr.

“Am I right, Mr.

“If I can do you this little service, Mr. The events of the next ten days--every one of them more or less directly connected with the experiment of which I was the passive object--are all placed on record, exactly as they happened, in the Journal habitually kept by Mr. If she consents to assist the experiment, she consents of her own free will, and not as a favour to Mr. My bad night made it late in the morning, before I could get to Mr.

By-the-by, I wrote to Mr. ‘You have done a wonderful number of foolish things in the course of your life, Mr. You will make allowance for his prejudices, I am sure, if you and he happen to meet?” I left Mr. Mr. June 17th.--Before breakfast, this morning, Mr. He would have been mortified if I had not informed him of the experiment which I am going to try with Mr. The post brought me Miss Verinder’s answer, after Mr.

She tells me, in the prettiest manner, that my letter has satisfied her of Mr. One of them prevents me from showing it to Mr. Not content with having written to Mr. What she has forbidden me to tell Mr.

I have no sort of doubt that the agitation which a meeting between them would produce on both sides--reviving dormant feelings, appealing to old memories, awakening new hopes--would, in their effect on the mind of Mr. I must try if I can discover some new arrangement, before post-time, which will allow me to say Yes to Miss Verinder, without damage to the service which I have bound myself to render to Mr. Mr. He has not heard yet from Mr.

After first stating the objections that there are to a meeting between Mr. At that hour, I have undertaken to see Mr.

On the next morning, she shall show Mr. To-morrow I must see Mr.

June 18th.--Late again, in calling on Mr. If I let myself sink, it may end in my becoming useless to Mr. Mr. I asked next if he had heard from Mr. Mr. On these grounds, Mr.

He was himself satisfied that the Moonstone had been pledged to Mr. His eminent absent friend, Mr. Time would show; and Mr. It was quite plain--even if Mr. I asked Mr. I was free after that to dismiss Mr. It ends, Mr.

Ezra Jennings, in a conjuring trick being performed on Mr. Franklin Blake, by a doctor’s assistant with a bottle of laudanum--and by the living jingo, I’m appointed, in my old age, to be conjurer’s boy!” Mr.

“Not a word, Mr. I may have my own opinion, which is also, you will please to remember, the opinion of Mr. Bruff--the Great Mr.

Give me your orders, Mr. Issue your directions, sir--issue your directions!” Mr. “Name the parts, Mr. “Impossible to furnish that, sir, as it was furnished last year--to begin with.” “Why?” “Because there was a stuffed buzzard, Mr. A burst buzzard alone excepted.’ Please to go on, Mr. But that can’t be done either.” “Why not?” “Because the man who laid that carpet down is dead, Mr. Also, the bedroom occupied last June by Mr. “I wish to know,” he began, “whether I may, or may not, wash my hands----” “You may decidedly,” said Mr. When we took up the carpet last year, Mr. But, as to Mr.

I say, who is responsible for untidying the tidiness of Mr. Franklin’s room, him or me?” Mr. I accepted Mr.

“Look in when you like, Mr. I respectfully beg to thank you, sir, for overlooking the case of the stuffed buzzard, and the other case of the Cupid’s wing--as also for permitting me to wash my hands of all responsibility in respect of the pins on the carpet, and the litter in Mr. “Implicitly,” answered Mr. Translated from plain English into polite commonplace, this means that Mr. Mr. June 20th.--Mr. He acknowledges the receipt (through his housekeeper) of a card and message which Mr. In the meantime, he requests to be favoured with Mr. If Mr.

After reading the letter, I had no hesitation in advising Mr. He would be a valuable witness to have, in any case; and, if I proved to be wrong in believing the Diamond to be hidden in Mr. This last consideration appeared to decide Mr.

Look where we might, we found, as Mr.

Having congratulated Betteredge on the progress that he had made (he persisted in taking notes every time I opened my lips; declining, at the same time, to pay the slightest attention to anything said by Mr. Mr. To my great surprise, Betteredge laid his hand confidentially on my arm, and put this extraordinary question to me: “Mr. “In respect to this hocus-pocus of yours, sir, with the laudanum and Mr. Last night, Mr. This awful bit, sir, page one hundred and seventy-eight, as follows.--‘Upon these, and many like Reflections, I afterwards made it a certain rule with me, That whenever I found those secret Hints or Pressings of my Mind, to doing, or not doing any Thing that presented; or to going this Way, or that Way, I never failed to obey the secret Dictate.’ As I live by bread, Mr. You don’t see anything at all out of the common in that, do you, sir?” “I see a coincidence--nothing more.” “You don’t feel at all shaken, Mr. I met Mr. Mr.

Mr. Mr. As Mr. Until Monday comes, there is nothing to be done but to watch Mr.

In the meanwhile, I have prevailed on him to write to Mr. Mr.

Mr. June 24th.--Mr. The first and foremost question, is the question of Mr. While I write these lines, Mr.

Let me set this right before I close these leaves for the present, and join Mr. Yesterday, also, Mr. Mr. For want of a better escort, Mr.

Betteredge has just come in, to say that Mr. * * * * * Seven o’clock.--We have been all over the refurnished rooms and staircases again; and we have had a pleasant stroll in the shrubbery, which was Mr.

* * * * * Half-past eight.--I have only this moment found an opportunity of attending to the most important duty of all; the duty of looking in the family medicine chest, for the laudanum which Mr. My notes inform me that Mr. This is a small dose to have produced the results which followed--even in the case of a person so sensitive as Mr. I think it highly probable that Mr.

On this occasion, Mr. A little before nine o’clock, I prevailed on Mr. I had previously arranged with Betteredge, that the bedchamber prepared for Mr. Bruff should be the next room to Mr. Five minutes after the clock in the hall had struck nine, I heard the knock; and, going out immediately, met Mr. Mr.

Bruff’s distrust looked at me plainly enough out of Mr. Being well used to producing this effect on strangers, I did not hesitate a moment in saying what I wanted to say, before the lawyer found his way into Mr. “Yes,” answered Mr. Merridew’s presence of course) to be kept a secret from Mr. Blake, until my experiment on him has been tried first?” “I know that I am to hold my tongue, sir!” said Mr. Betteredge gave me one look at parting, which said, as if in so many words, “You have caught a Tartar, Mr.

“Is that Mr. “I can’t treat you like a stranger, Mr. “Where is he now?” she asked, giving free expression to her one dominant interest--the interest in Mr. The Tartar’s upstairs, Mr. Merridew,” said Miss Verinder, “this is Mr. Jennings.” “I beg Mr. If it interferes with Mr. “If Mr.

Mr. If Mr.

“I am much obliged to Mr. “I beg your pardon, Mr. “Mr. Mr. Merridew?” “Tell her the explosion will take place at nine to-morrow morning.” “So as to send her to bed?” “Yes--so as to send her to bed.” Miss Verinder went back to the sitting-room, and I went upstairs to Mr. “Where is Mr. Mr.

Bruff had looked in on him, for a moment; had attempted to renew his protest against our proceedings; and had once more failed to produce the smallest impression on Mr. Mr. Time was money--and, as for Mr. Jennings, he might depend on it that Mr. “When are you going to give me the laudanum?” asked Mr. Inquiries which I had made, at various times, of Betteredge and Mr. Blake, had led me to the conclusion that the dose of laudanum given by Mr. Mr.

I left Mr. At eleven o’clock, I rang the bell for Betteredge, and told Mr. “Is there any objection, sir” he asked, “to taking Mr. I am now going to ask Mr. I went back into Mr. Mr. “But I am going to prepare the laudanum for Mr. Blake; and I must request you to be present, and to see what I do.” “Yes?” said Mr.

I must put you to the inconvenience of remaining in Mr. Blake’s room, and of waiting to see what happens.” “Oh, very good!” said Mr. “My room, or Mr. Unless you object, Mr.

Jennings, to my importing THAT amount of common sense into the proceedings?” Before I could answer, Mr. “Mr. Bruff, you have no more imagination than a cow!” “A cow is a very useful animal, Mr. Mr. Miss Verinder drew me aside, and reverted instantly to her one all-absorbing interest--her interest in Mr. I addressed myself again to Mr.

After adding the water as I had directed, Miss Verinder seized a moment--while Betteredge was locking the chest, and while Mr. Mr. Followed by Mr. Bruff and Betteredge, I went back to Mr. On one side, I drew the curtains completely--and in the part of the room thus screened from his view, I placed Mr.

The other candle I gave to Mr. Mr.

He forgot that I was performing a conjuring trick on Mr. Looking next towards Mr. I took care to revert to those portions of the story of the Moonstone, which related to the transport of it from London to Yorkshire; to the risk which Mr. And I purposely assumed, in referring to these events, to have misunderstood much of what Mr. Looking towards them now, I saw the Law (as represented by Mr. Mr. And Betteredge, oblivious of all respect for social distinctions, was peeping over Mr.

If Mr. I drew back, with Mr. Mr. I entered the room, telling Mr. I mentioned the suggestion to Mr. The first of these objects was to prove, that Mr. I told Mr.

But I myself look upon the first reason that I have given, as the true reason why we have to lament a failure, as well as to rejoice over a success.” After saying those words, I put the writing materials before Mr. I beg your pardon, Mr. “Mr. Mr. My theory is, that the Moonstone is in the possession of Mr. We will only ask, which of us is in a position to put his theory to the test?” “The test, in my case,” I answered, “has been tried to-night, and has failed.” “The test, in my case,” rejoined Mr.

For the last two days I have had a watch set for Mr. Mr.

Betteredge followed him out; I went to the sofa to look at Mr. “Oh, Mr. I dare not trust myself to write down, the kind words that have been said to me especially by Miss Verinder and Mr. Mr.

“Explosions, Mr. I assure you, I barely heard Mr. It is only due to him to say that he has managed it beautifully!” So, after vanquishing Betteredge and Mr. At breakfast, Mr. On our arrival in London, Mr. After listening to the boy, Mr. I had barely time to promise Rachel that I would return, and tell her everything that had happened, before Mr.

“News of Mr. Luker,” said Mr. If Mr.

Did you notice my boy--on the box, there?” “I noticed his eyes.” Mr. Gooseberry is one of the sharpest boys in London, Mr.

“Do you want to come in too?” asked Mr. He’s as quick as lightning,” pursued Mr. Two men among the crowd approached Mr.

“Have you seen him?” “He passed us here half an hour since, sir, and went on into the inner office.” “Has he not come out again yet?” “No, sir.” Mr. “They must have their spy somewhere,” said Mr. Mr. “Here is Mr. “Keep your eye on him,” whispered Mr. “If he passes the Diamond to anybody, he will pass it here.” Without noticing either of us, Mr. Mr. They were all three followed by one of Mr. “Yes!” whispered Mr.

“What the devil does it mean?” said Mr. “What is to be done?” asked Mr. “I wouldn’t lose sight of that man for ten thousand pounds!” “In that case,” rejoined Mr. There were latent reserves of youth still left in Mr. Mr. Mr. “Mr. “Come back to my office,” said Mr.

“Well!” asked Mr. I could have taken my oath that I saw Mr. The elderly gentleman turns out, sir, to be a most respectable master iron-monger in Eastcheap.” “Where is Gooseberry?” asked Mr. I have seen nothing of him since I left the bank.” Mr. I have got some good wine in the cellar, and we can get a chop from the coffee-house.” We dined at Mr. No: only the man who had been employed to follow Mr. Mr.

Mr. “Do you think Mr. “Not he,” said Mr. It was then time for Mr. “I thought I would look in here, Mr. Not the first mess, Mr. “I beg your pardon, Mr. Now tell me, Mr. “I don’t hold with Mr.

“And what happened then?” “Have you no suspicion yourself of what happened, sir?” “None whatever.” “Has Mr.

Wait to open the envelope, Mr. But there was another person who ought to have been looked after besides Mr. Luker.” “The person named in the letter you have just given to me?” “Yes, Mr. I shall have something to propose to you and Mr. Sergeant Cuff,” I added, “this is the boy from Mr.


Bruff and I thought he was a spy employed by the Indians.” Sergeant Cuff did not appear to be much impressed by what Mr. “Well?” he said--“and why did you follow the sailor?” “If you please, sir, Mr. Bruff wanted to know whether Mr. I saw Mr. Luker pass something to the sailor with the black beard.” “Why didn’t you tell Mr. and what did the sailor do, when he got into the street?” “He called a cab, sir.” “And what did you do?” “Held on behind, and run after it.” Before the Sergeant could put his next question, another visitor was announced--the head clerk from Mr. The agitation and excitement of the last two days had proved too much for Mr. The chief clerk had received orders to hold himself at my disposal, and was willing to do his best to replace Mr. I wrote at once to quiet the old gentleman’s mind, by telling him of Sergeant Cuff’s visit: adding that Gooseberry was at that moment under examination; and promising to inform Mr. “I beg your pardon, Mr.

You shall hear the substance, Mr. He described that person, Mr.

Blake, without any prompting from me, as having a dark face, like the face of an Indian.” It was plain, by this time, that Mr. “Well, Mr. ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ is a very respectable house, Mr. There you have the state of the case, Mr. And the sailor is evidently the person to whom Mr.

It seems odd that Mr. Bruff, and I, and the man in Mr. Bruff’s employment, should all have been mistaken about who the person was.” “Not at all, Mr. Considering the risk that person ran, it’s likely enough that Mr. Bushe, Lysaught, and Bushe, by Mr. on the personal application of Mr. “Mr. “Read the name, Mr. You will find, in these pages, answers to the greater part--if not all--of the questions, concerning the late Mr. I shall then endeavour--in the second place--to put you in possession of such discoveries as I have made, respecting the proceedings of Mr.

Mr. He has declared that the box did actually contain the diamond, called the Moonstone; and he has admitted having given the box (thus sealed up) to Mr. (3) It is certain that this same man dressed like a mechanic, was seen keeping Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite in view, all through the evening of the 26th, and was found in the bedroom (before Mr. Acting by himself, he could hardly have smothered Mr. Mr. In the meanwhile, having now written all that is needful on the subject of Mr. III With regard to the subject now in hand, I may state, at the outset, that Mr. I might have tried to find the right reading of this riddle, and tried in vain--but for Mr. The inquiry elicited these facts:-- That Mr.

That this income was regularly paid by the active Trustee, Mr. That the signature of the second Trustee (a retired army officer, living in the country) was a signature forged, in every case, by the active Trustee--otherwise Mr. In these facts lies the explanation of Mr. On the day before, Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite arrived at his father’s house, and asked (as I know from Mr. Mr. The next day Mr. A few hours afterwards, Mr.

On the night of the birthday, therefore, Mr. You exasperate Mr. He trusts the administration of the dose, prepared in a little phial, to Mr. Mr. Let us now shift the scene, if you please to Mr. And allow me to remark, by way of preface, that Mr. IV Late on the evening of Friday, the twenty-third of June [‘forty-eight), Mr. Luker was surprised by a visit from Mr.

He was more than surprised, when Mr. No such Diamond (according to Mr. Mr. First, Would Mr. Secondly, Would Mr. Mr. Having reached that result, Mr. Mr.

Mr. “That won’t do!” Mr. Mr. Upon this compulsion, Mr. On entering his own room Mr. Mr. Mr.

If Mr. V This was the story told by your cousin (under pressure of necessity) to Mr. Mr. Luker believed the story to be, as to all main essentials, true--on this ground, that Mr. Mr. Bruff and I agree with Mr. The next question, was the question of what Mr.

Mr. Luker would consent to lend Mr. If, at the expiration of one year from that date, Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite paid three thousand pounds to Mr. If he failed to produce the money at the expiration of the year, the pledge (otherwise the Moonstone) was to be considered as forfeited to Mr. Luker--who would, in this latter case, generously make Mr. It is needless to say, that Mr.

Mr. Mr. If Mr. Godfrey had accepted his terms, Mr. As things were, Mr. Receiving this reply, Mr. On the twenty-fourth he had three hundred pounds to pay to the young gentleman for whom he was trustee, and no chance of raising the money, except the chance that Mr. As matters stood, he had no choice but to accept Mr. Mr.

When they were signed, he gave Mr. How the Moonstone was trusted to the keeping of Mr Luker’s bankers, and how the Indians treated Mr. Luker and Mr.

One of his reasons for making this concession has been penetrated by Mr. A superb woman, Mr. She felt the utmost contempt for Mr. SEVENTH NARRATIVE In a Letter from MR. CANDY Frizinghall, Wednesday, September 26th, 1849.--Dear Mr. “I am indebted to Mr.

Don’t distress him, Mr. “Give those,” he said, “to Mr. I remain, dear Mr. The fact to which I allude is--the marriage of Miss Rachel and Mr. so had Mr. that might yet be Mr. I scored the bit about the Child with my pencil, and put a morsel of paper for a mark to keep the place; “Lie you there,” I said, “till the marriage of Mr. It was not till this present month of November, eighteen hundred and fifty, that Mr.

“It decidedly concerns the family,” says Mr. “Has your good lady anything to do with it, if you please, sir?” “She has a great deal to do with it,” says Mr. I’m heartily glad to hear it.” Mr.

Here was a chance of reading that domestic bit about the child which I had marked on the day of Mr. “Betteredge!” says Mr. III The Statement of MR. MURTHWAITE (1850) (In a letter to MR.


Accustomed as she was to all the comforts of boundless wealth, and to all the refinements of cleanliness, these privations became to her a genuine martyrdom.Accustomed as she was to all the comforts of boundless wealth, and to all the refinements of cleanliness, these privations became to her a genuine martyrdom. /

But he, the painter, took glory in his work, which went on from hour to hour, and from day to day.THE UNPARALLELED ADVENTURES OF ONE HANS PFAALL (*1) BY late accounts from Rotterdam, that city seems to be in a high state of philosophical excitement. Indeed, phenomena have there occurred of a nature so completely unexpected--so entirely novel--so utterly at variance with preconceived opinions--as to leave no doubt on my mind that long ere this all Europe is in an uproar, all physics in a ferment, all reason and astronomy together by the ears. It appears that on the---- day of---- (I am not positive about the date), a vast crowd of people, for purposes not specifically mentioned, were assembled in the great square of the Exchange in the well-conditioned city of Rotterdam. The day was warm--unusually so for the season--there was hardly a breath of air stirring; and the multitude were in no bad humor at being now and then besprinkled with friendly showers of momentary duration, that fell from large white masses of cloud which chequered in a fitful manner the blue vault of the firmament. Nevertheless, about noon, a slight but remarkable agitation became apparent in the assembly: the clattering of ten thousand tongues succeeded; and, in an instant afterward, ten thousand faces were upturned toward the heavens, ten thousand pipes descended simultaneously from the corners of ten thousand mouths, and a shout, which could be compared to nothing but the roaring of Niagara, resounded long, loudly, and furiously, through all the environs of Rotterdam. The origin of this hubbub soon became sufficiently evident. From behind the huge bulk of one of those sharply-defined masses of cloud already mentioned, was seen slowly to emerge into an open area of blue space, a queer, heterogeneous, but apparently solid substance, so oddly shaped, so whimsically put together, as not to be in any manner comprehended, and never to be sufficiently admired, by the host of sturdy burghers who stood open-mouthed below. In the name of all the vrows and devils in Rotterdam, what could it possibly portend? No one knew, no one could imagine; no one--not even the burgomaster Mynheer Superbus Von Underduk--had the slightest clew by which to unravel the mystery; so, as nothing more reasonable could be done, every one to a man replaced his pipe carefully in the corner of his mouth, and cocking up his right eye towards the phenomenon, puffed, paused, waddled about, and grunted significantly--then waddled back, grunted, paused, and finally--puffed again. In the meantime, however, lower and still lower toward the goodly city, came the object of so much curiosity, and the cause of so much smoke.

In a very few minutes it arrived near enough to be accurately discerned. it was undoubtedly a species of balloon; but surely no such balloon had ever been seen in Rotterdam before.

No man in Holland certainly; yet here, under the very noses of the people, or rather at some distance above their noses was the identical thing in question, and composed, I have it on the best authority, of the precise material which no one had ever before known to be used for a similar purpose. It was an egregious insult to the good sense of the burghers of Rotterdam. Being little or nothing better than a huge foolscap turned upside down. And this similitude was regarded as by no means lessened when, upon nearer inspection, there was perceived a large tassel depending from its apex, and, around the upper rim or base of the cone, a circle of little instruments, resembling sheep-bells, which kept up a continual tinkling to the tune of Betty Martin. Suspended by blue ribbons to the end of this fantastic machine, there hung, by way of car, an enormous drab beaver hat, with a brim superlatively broad, and a hemispherical crown with a black band and a silver buckle. It is, however, somewhat remarkable that many citizens of Rotterdam swore to having seen the same hat repeatedly before; and indeed the whole assembly seemed to regard it with eyes of familiarity; while the vrow Grettel Pfaall, upon sight of it, uttered an exclamation of joyful surprise, and declared it to be the identical hat of her good man himself. Now this was a circumstance the more to be observed, as Pfaall, with three companions, had actually disappeared from Rotterdam about five years before, in a very sudden and unaccountable manner, and up to the date of this narrative all attempts had failed of obtaining any intelligence concerning them whatsoever.

To be sure, some bones which were thought to be human, mixed up with a quantity of odd-looking rubbish, had been lately discovered in a retired situation to the east of Rotterdam, and some people went so far as to imagine that in this spot a foul murder had been committed, and that the sufferers were in all probability Hans Pfaall and his associates. The balloon (for such no doubt it was) had now descended to within a hundred feet of the earth, allowing the crowd below a sufficiently distinct view of the person of its occupant. This was in truth a very droll little somebody. He could not have been more than two feet in height; but this altitude, little as it was, would have been sufficient to destroy his equilibrium, and tilt him over the edge of his tiny car, but for the intervention of a circular rim reaching as high as the breast, and rigged on to the cords of the balloon. The body of the little man was more than proportionately broad, giving to his entire figure a rotundity highly absurd. His feet, of course, could not be seen at all, although a horny substance of suspicious nature was occasionally protruded through a rent in the bottom of the car, or to speak more properly, in the top of the hat. His hair was extremely gray, and collected in a cue behind. His nose was prodigiously long, crooked, and inflammatory; his eyes full, brilliant, and acute; his chin and cheeks, although wrinkled with age, were broad, puffy, and double; but of ears of any kind or character there was not a semblance to be discovered upon any portion of his head.

This odd little gentleman was dressed in a loose surtout of sky-blue satin, with tight breeches to match, fastened with silver buckles at the knees. His vest was of some bright yellow material; a white taffety cap was set jauntily on one side of his head; and, to complete his equipment, a blood-red silk handkerchief enveloped his throat, and fell down, in a dainty manner, upon his bosom, in a fantastic bow-knot of super-eminent dimensions. Having descended, as I said before, to about one hundred feet from the surface of the earth, the little old gentleman was suddenly seized with a fit of trepidation, and appeared disinclined to make any nearer approach to terra firma. Throwing out, therefore, a quantity of sand from a canvas bag, which, he lifted with great difficulty, he became stationary in an instant. He then proceeded, in a hurried and agitated manner, to extract from a side-pocket in his surtout a large morocco pocket-book. This he poised suspiciously in his hand, then eyed it with an air of extreme surprise, and was evidently astonished at its weight.

He at length opened it, and drawing there from a huge letter sealed with red sealing-wax and tied carefully with red tape, let it fall precisely at the feet of the burgomaster, Superbus Von Underduk. But the aeronaut, still greatly discomposed, and having apparently no farther business to detain him in Rotterdam, began at this moment to make busy preparations for departure; and it being necessary to discharge a portion of ballast to enable him to reascend, the half dozen bags which he threw out, one after another, without taking the trouble to empty their contents, tumbled, every one of them, most unfortunately upon the back of the burgomaster, and rolled him over and over no less than one-and-twenty times, in the face of every man in Rotterdam. It is not to be supposed, however, that the great Underduk suffered this impertinence on the part of the little old man to pass off with impunity. It is said, on the contrary, that during each and every one of his one-and twenty circumvolutions he emitted no less than one-and-twenty distinct and furious whiffs from his pipe, to which he held fast the whole time with all his might, and to which he intends holding fast until the day of his death. In the meantime the balloon arose like a lark, and, soaring far away above the city, at length drifted quietly behind a cloud similar to that from which it had so oddly emerged, and was thus lost forever to the wondering eyes of the good citizens of Rotterdam. All attention was now directed to the letter, the descent of which, and the consequences attending thereupon, had proved so fatally subversive of both person and personal dignity to his Excellency, the illustrious Burgomaster Mynheer Superbus Von Underduk. That functionary, however, had not failed, during his circumgyratory movements, to bestow a thought upon the important subject of securing the packet in question, which was seen, upon inspection, to have fallen into the most proper hands, being actually addressed to himself and Professor Rub-a-dub, in their official capacities of President and Vice-President of the Rotterdam College of Astronomy. It was accordingly opened by those dignitaries upon the spot, and found to contain the following extraordinary, and indeed very serious, communications. To their Excellencies Von Underduk and Rub-a-dub, President and Vice-President of the States’ College of Astronomers, in the city of Rotterdam. “Your Excellencies may perhaps be able to remember an humble artizan, by name Hans Pfaall, and by occupation a mender of bellows, who, with three others, disappeared from Rotterdam, about five years ago, in a manner which must have been considered by all parties at once sudden, and extremely unaccountable.

It is well known to most of my fellow citizens, that for the period of forty years I continued to occupy the little square brick building, at the head of the alley called Sauerkraut, in which I resided at the time of my disappearance. My ancestors have also resided therein time out of mind--they, as well as myself, steadily following the respectable and indeed lucrative profession of mending of bellows. For, to speak the truth, until of late years, that the heads of all the people have been set agog with politics, no better business than my own could an honest citizen of Rotterdam either desire or deserve. Credit was good, employment was never wanting, and on all hands there was no lack of either money or good-will. But, as I was saying, we soon began to feel the effects of liberty and long speeches, and radicalism, and all that sort of thing. People who were formerly, the very best customers in the world, had now not a moment of time to think of us at all. They had, so they said, as much as they could do to read about the revolutions, and keep up with the march of intellect and the spirit of the age. If a fire wanted fanning, it could readily be fanned with a newspaper, and as the government grew weaker, I have no doubt that leather and iron acquired durability in proportion, for, in a very short time, there was not a pair of bellows in all Rotterdam that ever stood in need of a stitch or required the assistance of a hammer.

This was a state of things not to be endured. I soon grew as poor as a rat, and, having a wife and children to provide for, my burdens at length became intolerable, and I spent hour after hour in reflecting upon the most convenient method of putting an end to my life. Duns, in the meantime, left me little leisure for contemplation. My house was literally besieged from morning till night, so that I began to rave, and foam, and fret like a caged tiger against the bars of his enclosure. There were three fellows in particular who worried me beyond endurance, keeping watch continually about my door, and threatening me with the law. Upon these three I internally vowed the bitterest revenge, if ever I should be so happy as to get them within my clutches; and I believe nothing in the world but the pleasure of this anticipation prevented me from putting my plan of suicide into immediate execution, by blowing my brains out with a blunderbuss. “One day, having given my creditors the slip, and feeling more than usually dejected, I continued for a long time to wander about the most obscure streets without object whatever, until at length I chanced to stumble against the corner of a bookseller’s stall. Seeing a chair close at hand, for the use of customers, I threw myself doggedly into it, and, hardly knowing why, opened the pages of the first volume which came within my reach.

It proved to be a small pamphlet treatise on Speculative Astronomy, written either by Professor Encke of Berlin or by a Frenchman of somewhat similar name. I had some little tincture of information on matters of this nature, and soon became more and more absorbed in the contents of the book, reading it actually through twice before I awoke to a recollection of what was passing around me. But the treatise had made an indelible impression on my mind, and, as I sauntered along the dusky streets, I revolved carefully over in my memory the wild and sometimes unintelligible reasonings of the writer. There are some particular passages which affected my imagination in a powerful and extraordinary manner. The longer I meditated upon these the more intense grew the interest which had been excited within me. The limited nature of my education in general, and more especially my ignorance on subjects connected with natural philosophy, so far from rendering me diffident of my own ability to comprehend what I had read, or inducing me to mistrust the many vague notions which had arisen in consequence, merely served as a farther stimulus to imagination; and I was vain enough, or perhaps reasonable enough, to doubt whether those crude ideas which, arising in ill-regulated minds, have all the appearance, may not often in effect possess all the force, the reality, and other inherent properties, of instinct or intuition; whether, to proceed a step farther, profundity itself might not, in matters of a purely speculative nature, be detected as a legitimate source of falsity and error. In other words, I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found. In the contemplation of the heavenly bodies it struck me forcibly that I could not distinguish a star with nearly as much precision, when I gazed on it with earnest, direct and undeviating attention, as when I suffered my eye only to glance in its vicinity alone. I was not, of course, at that time aware that this apparent paradox was occasioned by the center of the visual area being less susceptible of feeble impressions of light than the exterior portions of the retina. This knowledge, and some of another kind, came afterwards in the course of an eventful five years, during which I have dropped the prejudices of my former humble situation in life, and forgotten the bellows-mender in far different occupations.

But at the epoch of which I speak, the analogy which a casual observation of a star offered to the conclusions I had already drawn, struck me with the force of positive conformation, and I then finally made up my mind to the course which I afterwards pursued. My mind, however, was too much occupied to sleep, and I lay the whole night buried in meditation. Arising early in the morning, and contriving again to escape the vigilance of my creditors, I repaired eagerly to the bookseller’s stall, and laid out what little ready money I possessed, in the purchase of some volumes of Mechanics and Practical Astronomy. Having arrived at home safely with these, I devoted every spare moment to their perusal, and soon made such proficiency in studies of this nature as I thought sufficient for the execution of my plan. In the intervals of this period, I made every endeavor to conciliate the three creditors who had given me so much annoyance. In this I finally succeeded--partly by selling enough of my household furniture to satisfy a moiety of their claim, and partly by a promise of paying the balance upon completion of a little project which I told them I had in view, and for assistance in which I solicited their services.

By these means--for they were ignorant men--I found little difficulty in gaining them over to my purpose. “Matters being thus arranged, I contrived, by the aid of my wife and with the greatest secrecy and caution, to dispose of what property I had remaining, and to borrow, in small sums, under various pretences, and without paying any attention to my future means of repayment, no inconsiderable quantity of ready money. With the means thus accruing I proceeded to procure at intervals, cambric muslin, very fine, in pieces of twelve yards each; twine; a lot of the varnish of caoutchouc; a large and deep basket of wicker-work, made to order; and several other articles necessary in the construction and equipment of a balloon of extraordinary dimensions. This I directed my wife to make up as soon as possible, and gave her all requisite information as to the particular method of proceeding. In the meantime I worked up the twine into a net-work of sufficient dimensions; rigged it with a hoop and the necessary cords; bought a quadrant, a compass, a spy-glass, a common barometer with some important modifications, and two astronomical instruments not so generally known. I then took opportunities of conveying by night, to a retired situation east of Rotterdam, five iron-bound casks, to contain about fifty gallons each, and one of a larger size; six tinned ware tubes, three inches in diameter, properly shaped, and ten feet in length; a quantity of a particular metallic substance, or semi-metal, which I shall not name, and a dozen demijohns of a very common acid. The secret I would make no difficulty in disclosing, but that it of right belongs to a citizen of Nantz, in France, by whom it was conditionally communicated to myself.

The same individual submitted to me, without being at all aware of my intentions, a method of constructing balloons from the membrane of a certain animal, through which substance any escape of gas was nearly an impossibility. I found it, however, altogether too expensive, and was not sure, upon the whole, whether cambric muslin with a coating of gum caoutchouc, was not equally as good. I mention this circumstance, because I think it probable that hereafter the individual in question may attempt a balloon ascension with the novel gas and material I have spoken of, and I do not wish to deprive him of the honor of a very singular invention. “On the spot which I intended each of the smaller casks to occupy respectively during the inflation of the balloon, I privately dug a hole two feet deep; the holes forming in this manner a circle twenty-five feet in diameter. In the centre of this circle, being the station designed for the large cask, I also dug a hole three feet in depth. In each of the five smaller holes, I deposited a canister containing fifty pounds, and in the larger one a keg holding one hundred and fifty pounds, of cannon powder. These--the keg and canisters--I connected in a proper manner with covered trains; and having let into one of the canisters the end of about four feet of slow match, I covered up the hole, and placed the cask over it, leaving the other end of the match protruding about an inch, and barely visible beyond the cask. I then filled up the remaining holes, and placed the barrels over them in their destined situation. I found this machine, however, to require considerable alteration before it could be adapted to the purposes to which I intended making it applicable.

But, with severe labor and unremitting perseverance, I at length met with entire success in all my preparations. It would contain more than forty thousand cubic feet of gas; would take me up easily, I calculated, with all my implements, and, if I managed rightly, with one hundred and seventy-five pounds of ballast into the bargain. It had received three coats of varnish, and I found the cambric muslin to answer all the purposes of silk itself, quite as strong and a good deal less expensive. “Everything being now ready, I exacted from my wife an oath of secrecy in relation to all my actions from the day of my first visit to the bookseller’s stall; and promising, on my part, to return as soon as circumstances would permit, I gave her what little money I had left, and bade her farewell.

Indeed I had no fear on her account. She was what people call a notable woman, and could manage matters in the world without my assistance. I believe, to tell the truth, she always looked upon me as an idle boy, a mere make-weight, good for nothing but building castles in the air, and was rather glad to get rid of me. It was a dark night when I bade her good-bye, and taking with me, as aides-de-camp, the three creditors who had given me so much trouble, we carried the balloon, with the car and accoutrements, by a roundabout way, to the station where the other articles were deposited. We there found them all unmolested, and I proceeded immediately to business. The night, as I said before, was dark; there was not a star to be seen; and a drizzling rain, falling at intervals, rendered us very uncomfortable. But my chief anxiety was concerning the balloon, which, in spite of the varnish with which it was defended, began to grow rather heavy with the moisture; the powder also was liable to damage.

I therefore kept my three duns working with great diligence, pounding down ice around the central cask, and stirring the acid in the others. They did not cease, however, importuning me with questions as to what I intended to do with all this apparatus, and expressed much dissatisfaction at the terrible labor I made them undergo.

They could not perceive, so they said, what good was likely to result from their getting wet to the skin, merely to take a part in such horrible incantations. I began to get uneasy, and worked away with all my might, for I verily believe the idiots supposed that I had entered into a compact with the devil, and that, in short, what I was now doing was nothing better than it should be. I was, therefore, in great fear of their leaving me altogether. I contrived, however, to pacify them by promises of payment of all scores in full, as soon as I could bring the present business to a termination. To these speeches they gave, of course, their own interpretation; fancying, no doubt, that at all events I should come into possession of vast quantities of ready money; and provided I paid them all I owed, and a trifle more, in consideration of their services, I dare say they cared very little what became of either my soul or my carcass. “In about four hours and a half I found the balloon sufficiently inflated. I attached the car, therefore, and put all my implements in it--not forgetting the condensing apparatus, a copious supply of water, and a large quantity of provisions, such as pemmican, in which much nutriment is contained in comparatively little bulk.

I also secured in the car a pair of pigeons and a cat. Dropping a lighted cigar on the ground, as if by accident, I took the opportunity, in stooping to pick it up, of igniting privately the piece of slow match, whose end, as I said before, protruded a very little beyond the lower rim of one of the smaller casks. This manoeuvre was totally unperceived on the part of the three duns; and, jumping into the car, I immediately cut the single cord which held me to the earth, and was pleased to find that I shot upward, carrying with all ease one hundred and seventy-five pounds of leaden ballast, and able to have carried up as many more. “Scarcely, however, had I attained the height of fifty yards, when, roaring and rumbling up after me in the most horrible and tumultuous manner, came so dense a hurricane of fire, and smoke, and sulphur, and legs and arms, and gravel, and burning wood, and blazing metal, that my very heart sunk within me, and I fell down in the bottom of the car, trembling with unmitigated terror. Indeed, I now perceived that I had entirely overdone the business, and that the main consequences of the shock were yet to be experienced. Accordingly, in less than a second, I felt all the blood in my body rushing to my temples, and immediately thereupon, a concussion, which I shall never forget, burst abruptly through the night and seemed to rip the very firmament asunder. When I afterward had time for reflection, I did not fail to attribute the extreme violence of the explosion, as regarded myself, to its proper cause--my situation directly above it, and in the line of its greatest power. But at the time, I thought only of preserving my life. The balloon at first collapsed, then furiously expanded, then whirled round and round with horrible velocity, and finally, reeling and staggering like a drunken man, hurled me with great force over the rim of the car, and left me dangling, at a terrific height, with my head downward, and my face outwards, by a piece of slender cord about three feet in length, which hung accidentally through a crevice near the bottom of the wicker-work, and in which, as I fell, my left foot became most providentially entangled.

I gasped convulsively for breath--a shudder resembling a fit of the ague agitated every nerve and muscle of my frame--I felt my eyes starting from their sockets--a horrible nausea overwhelmed me--and at length I fainted away. “How long I remained in this state it is impossible to say. It must, however, have been no inconsiderable time, for when I partially recovered the sense of existence, I found the day breaking, the balloon at a prodigious height over a wilderness of ocean, and not a trace of land to be discovered far and wide within the limits of the vast horizon. My sensations, however, upon thus recovering, were by no means so rife with agony as might have been anticipated. Indeed, there was much of incipient madness in the calm survey which I began to take of my situation. I drew up to my eyes each of my hands, one after the other, and wondered what occurrence could have given rise to the swelling of the veins, and the horrible blackness of the fingernails. I afterward carefully examined my head, shaking it repeatedly, and feeling it with minute attention, until I succeeded in satisfying myself that it was not, as I had more than half suspected, larger than my balloon. Then, in a knowing manner, I felt in both my breeches pockets, and, missing therefrom a set of tablets and a toothpick case, endeavored to account for their disappearance, and not being able to do so, felt inexpressibly chagrined. It now occurred to me that I suffered great uneasiness in the joint of my left ankle, and a dim consciousness of my situation began to glimmer through my mind. If I felt any emotion at all, it was a kind of chuckling satisfaction at the cleverness I was about to display in extricating myself from this dilemma; and I never, for a moment, looked upon my ultimate safety as a question susceptible of doubt.

For a few minutes I remained wrapped in the profoundest meditation. I have a distinct recollection of frequently compressing my lips, putting my forefinger to the side of my nose, and making use of other gesticulations and grimaces common to men who, at ease in their arm-chairs, meditate upon matters of intricacy or importance. Having, as I thought, sufficiently collected my ideas, I now, with great caution and deliberation, put my hands behind my back, and unfastened the large iron buckle which belonged to the waistband of my inexpressibles.

This buckle had three teeth, which, being somewhat rusty, turned with great difficulty on their axis. I brought them, however, after some trouble, at right angles to the body of the buckle, and was glad to find them remain firm in that position. Holding the instrument thus obtained within my teeth, I now proceeded to untie the knot of my cravat. Drawing now my body upwards, with a prodigious exertion of muscular force, I succeeded, at the very first trial, in throwing the buckle over the car, and entangling it, as I had anticipated, in the circular rim of the wicker-work.

“My body was now inclined towards the side of the car, at an angle of about forty-five degrees; but it must not be understood that I was therefore only forty-five degrees below the perpendicular. So far from it, I still lay nearly level with the plane of the horizon; for the change of situation which I had acquired, had forced the bottom of the car considerably outwards from my position, which was accordingly one of the most imminent and deadly peril.

It should be remembered, however, that when I fell in the first instance, from the car, if I had fallen with my face turned toward the balloon, instead of turned outwardly from it, as it actually was; or if, in the second place, the cord by which I was suspended had chanced to hang over the upper edge, instead of through a crevice near the bottom of the car,--I say it may be readily conceived that, in either of these supposed cases, I should have been unable to accomplish even as much as I had now accomplished, and the wonderful adventures of Hans Pfaall would have been utterly lost to posterity, I had therefore every reason to be grateful; although, in point of fact, I was still too stupid to be anything at all, and hung for, perhaps, a quarter of an hour in that extraordinary manner, without making the slightest farther exertion whatsoever, and in a singularly tranquil state of idiotic enjoyment. But this feeling did not fail to die rapidly away, and thereunto succeeded horror, and dismay, and a chilling sense of utter helplessness and ruin. In fact, the blood so long accumulating in the vessels of my head and throat, and which had hitherto buoyed up my spirits with madness and delirium, had now begun to retire within their proper channels, and the distinctness which was thus added to my perception of the danger, merely served to deprive me of the self-possession and courage to encounter it. In good time came to my rescue the spirit of despair, and, with frantic cries and struggles, I jerked my way bodily upwards, till at length, clutching with a vise-like grip the long-desired rim, I writhed my person over it, and fell headlong and shuddering within the car. “It was not until some time afterward that I recovered myself sufficiently to attend to the ordinary cares of the balloon. I then, however, examined it with attention, and found it, to my great relief, uninjured. Indeed, I had so well secured them in their places, that such an accident was entirely out of the question. Looking at my watch, I found it six o’clock.

I was still rapidly ascending, and my barometer gave a present altitude of three and three-quarter miles. Immediately beneath me in the ocean, lay a small black object, slightly oblong in shape, seemingly about the size, and in every way bearing a great resemblance to one of those childish toys called a domino. Bringing my telescope to bear upon it, I plainly discerned it to be a British ninety four-gun ship, close-hauled, and pitching heavily in the sea with her head to the W.S.W. Besides this ship, I saw nothing but the ocean and the sky, and the sun, which had long arisen. “It is now high time that I should explain to your Excellencies the object of my perilous voyage. Your Excellencies will bear in mind that distressed circumstances in Rotterdam had at length driven me to the resolution of committing suicide. It was not, however, that to life itself I had any, positive disgust, but that I was harassed beyond endurance by the adventitious miseries attending my situation.

In this state of mind, wishing to live, yet wearied with life, the treatise at the stall of the bookseller opened a resource to my imagination.

I then finally made up my mind. I determined to depart, yet live--to leave the world, yet continue to exist--in short, to drop enigmas, I resolved, let what would ensue, to force a passage, if I could, to the moon. Now, lest I should be supposed more of a madman than I actually am, I will detail, as well as I am able, the considerations which led me to believe that an achievement of this nature, although without doubt difficult, and incontestably full of danger, was not absolutely, to a bold spirit, beyond the confines of the possible. “The moon’s actual distance from the earth was the first thing to be attended to. Now, the mean or average interval between the centres of the two planets is 59.9643 of the earth’s equatorial radii, or only about 237,000 miles.

I say the mean or average interval. But it must be borne in mind that the form of the moon’s orbit being an ellipse of eccentricity amounting to no less than 0.05484 of the major semi-axis of the ellipse itself, and the earth’s centre being situated in its focus, if I could, in any manner, contrive to meet the moon, as it were, in its perigee, the above mentioned distance would be materially diminished.

But, to say nothing at present of this possibility, it was very certain that, at all events, from the 237,000 miles I would have to deduct the radius of the earth, say 4,000, and the radius of the moon, say 1080, in all 5,080, leaving an actual interval to be traversed, under average circumstances, of 231,920 miles. Now this, I reflected, was no very extraordinary distance. Travelling on land has been repeatedly accomplished at the rate of thirty miles per hour, and indeed a much greater speed may be anticipated.

There were, however, many particulars inducing me to believe that my average rate of travelling might possibly very much exceed that of thirty miles per hour, and, as these considerations did not fail to make a deep impression upon my mind, I will mention them more fully hereafter. “The next point to be regarded was a matter of far greater importance. From indications afforded by the barometer, we find that, in ascensions from the surface of the earth we have, at the height of 1,000 feet, left below us about one-thirtieth of the entire mass of atmospheric air, that at 10,600 we have ascended through nearly one-third; and that at 18,000, which is not far from the elevation of Cotopaxi, we have surmounted one-half the material, or, at all events, one-half the ponderable, body of air incumbent upon our globe. It is also calculated that at an altitude not exceeding the hundredth part of the earth’s diameter--that is, not exceeding eighty miles--the rarefaction would be so excessive that animal life could in no manner be sustained, and, moreover, that the most delicate means we possess of ascertaining the presence of the atmosphere would be inadequate to assure us of its existence. But I did not fail to perceive that these latter calculations are founded altogether on our experimental knowledge of the properties of air, and the mechanical laws regulating its dilation and compression, in what may be called, comparatively speaking, the immediate vicinity of the earth itself; and, at the same time, it is taken for granted that animal life is and must be essentially incapable of modification at any given unattainable distance from the surface. Now, all such reasoning and from such data must, of course, be simply analogical. The greatest height ever reached by man was that of 25,000 feet, attained in the aeronautic expedition of Messieurs Gay-Lussac and Biot. This is a moderate altitude, even when compared with the eighty miles in question; and I could not help thinking that the subject admitted room for doubt and great latitude for speculation. “But, in point of fact, an ascension being made to any given altitude, the ponderable quantity of air surmounted in any farther ascension is by no means in proportion to the additional height ascended (as may be plainly seen from what has been stated before), but in a ratio constantly decreasing.

It is therefore evident that, ascend as high as we may, we cannot, literally speaking, arrive at a limit beyond which no atmosphere is to be found. It must exist, I argued; although it may exist in a state of infinite rarefaction. “On the other hand, I was aware that arguments have not been wanting to prove the existence of a real and definite limit to the atmosphere, beyond which there is absolutely no air whatsoever.

But a circumstance which has been left out of view by those who contend for such a limit seemed to me, although no positive refutation of their creed, still a point worthy very serious investigation. On comparing the intervals between the successive arrivals of Encke’s comet at its perihelion, after giving credit, in the most exact manner, for all the disturbances due to the attractions of the planets, it appears that the periods are gradually diminishing; that is to say, the major axis of the comet’s ellipse is growing shorter, in a slow but perfectly regular decrease. Now, this is precisely what ought to be the case, if we suppose a resistance experienced from the comet from an extremely rare ethereal medium pervading the regions of its orbit. For it is evident that such a medium must, in retarding the comet’s velocity, increase its centripetal, by weakening its centrifugal force. In other words, the sun’s attraction would be constantly attaining greater power, and the comet would be drawn nearer at every revolution. Indeed, there is no other way of accounting for the variation in question.

But again. The real diameter of the same comet’s nebulosity is observed to contract rapidly as it approaches the sun, and dilate with equal rapidity in its departure towards its aphelion. Was I not justifiable in supposing with M.

Valz, that this apparent condensation of volume has its origin in the compression of the same ethereal medium I have spoken of before, and which is only denser in proportion to its solar vicinity? This radiance, so apparent in the tropics, and which cannot be mistaken for any meteoric lustre, extends from the horizon obliquely upward, and follows generally the direction of the sun’s equator.

It appeared to me evidently in the nature of a rare atmosphere extending from the sun outward, beyond the orbit of Venus at least, and I believed indefinitely farther.(*2) Indeed, this medium I could not suppose confined to the path of the comet’s ellipse, or to the immediate neighborhood of the sun. It was easy, on the contrary, to imagine it pervading the entire regions of our planetary system, condensed into what we call atmosphere at the planets themselves, and perhaps at some of them modified by considerations, so to speak, purely geological. “Having adopted this view of the subject, I had little further hesitation. Granting that on my passage I should meet with atmosphere essentially the same as at the surface of the earth, I conceived that, by means of the very ingenious apparatus of M. Grimm, I should readily be enabled to condense it in sufficient quantity for the purposes of respiration. This would remove the chief obstacle in a journey to the moon.

I had indeed spent some money and great labor in adapting the apparatus to the object intended, and confidently looked forward to its successful application, if I could manage to complete the voyage within any reasonable period. This brings me back to the rate at which it might be possible to travel. “It is true that balloons, in the first stage of their ascensions from the earth, are known to rise with a velocity comparatively moderate. Now, the power of elevation lies altogether in the superior lightness of the gas in the balloon compared with the atmospheric air; and, at first sight, it does not appear probable that, as the balloon acquires altitude, and consequently arrives successively in atmospheric strata of densities rapidly diminishing--I say, it does not appear at all reasonable that, in this its progress upwards, the original velocity should be accelerated. On the other hand, I was not aware that, in any recorded ascension, a diminution was apparent in the absolute rate of ascent; although such should have been the case, if on account of nothing else, on account of the escape of gas through balloons ill-constructed, and varnished with no better material than the ordinary varnish. It seemed, therefore, that the effect of such escape was only sufficient to counterbalance the effect of some accelerating power. I now considered that, provided in my passage I found the medium I had imagined, and provided that it should prove to be actually and essentially what we denominate atmospheric air, it could make comparatively little difference at what extreme state of rarefaction I should discover it--that is to say, in regard to my power of ascending--for the gas in the balloon would not only be itself subject to rarefaction partially similar (in proportion to the occurrence of which, I could suffer an escape of so much as would be requisite to prevent explosion), but, being what it was, would, at all events, continue specifically lighter than any compound whatever of mere nitrogen and oxygen. In the meantime, the force of gravitation would be constantly diminishing, in proportion to the squares of the distances, and thus, with a velocity prodigiously accelerating, I should at length arrive in those distant regions where the force of the earth’s attraction would be superseded by that of the moon. In accordance with these ideas, I did not think it worth while to encumber myself with more provisions than would be sufficient for a period of forty days.

It has been observed, that, in balloon ascensions to any considerable height, besides the pain attending respiration, great uneasiness is experienced about the head and body, often accompanied with bleeding at the nose, and other symptoms of an alarming kind, and growing more and more inconvenient in proportion to the altitude attained.(*3) This was a reflection of a nature somewhat startling. Was it not probable that these symptoms would increase indefinitely, or at least until terminated by death itself? I finally thought not. Their origin was to be looked for in the progressive removal of the customary atmospheric pressure upon the surface of the body, and consequent distention of the superficial blood-vessels--not in any positive disorganization of the animal system, as in the case of difficulty in breathing, where the atmospheric density is chemically insufficient for the due renovation of blood in a ventricle of the heart.

Unless for default of this renovation, I could see no reason, therefore, why life could not be sustained even in a vacuum; for the expansion and compression of chest, commonly called breathing, is action purely muscular, and the cause, not the effect, of respiration. In a word, I conceived that, as the body should become habituated to the want of atmospheric pressure, the sensations of pain would gradually diminish--and to endure them while they continued, I relied with confidence upon the iron hardihood of my constitution. I shall now proceed to lay before you the result of an attempt so apparently audacious in conception, and, at all events, so utterly unparalleled in the annals of mankind. “Having attained the altitude before mentioned, that is to say three miles and three-quarters, I threw out from the car a quantity of feathers, and found that I still ascended with sufficient rapidity; there was, therefore, no necessity for discharging any ballast. I was glad of this, for I wished to retain with me as much weight as I could carry, for reasons which will be explained in the sequel. I as yet suffered no bodily inconvenience, breathing with great freedom, and feeling no pain whatever in the head.

The cat was lying very demurely upon my coat, which I had taken off, and eyeing the pigeons with an air of nonchalance. These latter being tied by the leg, to prevent their escape, were busily employed in picking up some grains of rice scattered for them in the bottom of the car. “At twenty minutes past six o’clock, the barometer showed an elevation of 26,400 feet, or five miles to a fraction. Indeed, it is very easily calculated by means of spherical geometry, what a great extent of the earth’s area I beheld. The convex surface of any segment of a sphere is, to the entire surface of the sphere itself, as the versed sine of the segment to the diameter of the sphere. Now, in my case, the versed sine--that is to say, the thickness of the segment beneath me--was about equal to my elevation, or the elevation of the point of sight above the surface.

In other words, I beheld as much as a sixteen-hundredth part of the whole surface of the globe. The sea appeared unruffled as a mirror, although, by means of the spy-glass, I could perceive it to be in a state of violent agitation. The ship was no longer visible, having drifted away, apparently to the eastward. I now began to experience, at intervals, severe pain in the head, especially about the ears--still, however, breathing with tolerable freedom. The cat and pigeons seemed to suffer no inconvenience whatsoever. “At twenty minutes before seven, the balloon entered a long series of dense cloud, which put me to great trouble, by damaging my condensing apparatus and wetting me to the skin. This was, to be sure, a singular recontre, for I had not believed it possible that a cloud of this nature could be sustained at so great an elevation. I thought it best, however, to throw out two five-pound pieces of ballast, reserving still a weight of one hundred and sixty-five pounds. Upon so doing, I soon rose above the difficulty, and perceived immediately, that I had obtained a great increase in my rate of ascent. In a few seconds after my leaving the cloud, a flash of vivid lightning shot from one end of it to the other, and caused it to kindle up, throughout its vast extent, like a mass of ignited and glowing charcoal.

This, it must be remembered, was in the broad light of day. No fancy may picture the sublimity which might have been exhibited by a similar phenomenon taking place amid the darkness of the night. Hell itself might have been found a fitting image. Even as it was, my hair stood on end, while I gazed afar down within the yawning abysses, letting imagination descend, as it were, and stalk about in the strange vaulted halls, and ruddy gulfs, and red ghastly chasms of the hideous and unfathomable fire. I had indeed made a narrow escape. Had the balloon remained a very short while longer within the cloud--that is to say--had not the inconvenience of getting wet, determined me to discharge the ballast, inevitable ruin would have been the consequence. Such perils, although little considered, are perhaps the greatest which must be encountered in balloons.

I had by this time, however, attained too great an elevation to be any longer uneasy on this head. “I was now rising rapidly, and by seven o’clock the barometer indicated an altitude of no less than nine miles and a half.

I began to find great difficulty in drawing my breath. My head, too, was excessively painful; and, having felt for some time a moisture about my cheeks, I at length discovered it to be blood, which was oozing quite fast from the drums of my ears. My eyes, also, gave me great uneasiness. Upon passing the hand over them they seemed to have protruded from their sockets in no inconsiderable degree; and all objects in the car, and even the balloon itself, appeared distorted to my vision. The accelerated rate of ascent thus obtained, carried me too rapidly, and without sufficient gradation, into a highly rarefied stratum of the atmosphere, and the result had nearly proved fatal to my expedition and to myself. I was suddenly seized with a spasm which lasted for more than five minutes, and even when this, in a measure, ceased, I could catch my breath only at long intervals, and in a gasping manner--bleeding all the while copiously at the nose and ears, and even slightly at the eyes.

The pigeons appeared distressed in the extreme, and struggled to escape; while the cat mewed piteously, and, with her tongue hanging out of her mouth, staggered to and fro in the car as if under the influence of poison. I now too late discovered the great rashness of which I had been guilty in discharging the ballast, and my agitation was excessive. I anticipated nothing less than death, and death in a few minutes. The physical suffering I underwent contributed also to render me nearly incapable of making any exertion for the preservation of my life. I had, indeed, little power of reflection left, and the violence of the pain in my head seemed to be greatly on the increase. Thus I found that my senses would shortly give way altogether, and I had already clutched one of the valve ropes with the view of attempting a descent, when the recollection of the trick I had played the three creditors, and the possible consequences to myself, should I return, operated to deter me for the moment. I lay down in the bottom of the car, and endeavored to collect my faculties. In this I so far succeeded as to determine upon the experiment of losing blood. Having no lancet, however, I was constrained to perform the operation in the best manner I was able, and finally succeeded in opening a vein in my right arm, with the blade of my penknife. The blood had hardly commenced flowing when I experienced a sensible relief, and by the time I had lost about half a moderate basin full, most of the worst symptoms had abandoned me entirely.

I nevertheless did not think it expedient to attempt getting on my feet immediately; but, having tied up my arm as well as I could, I lay still for about a quarter of an hour. At the end of this time I arose, and found myself freer from absolute pain of any kind than I had been during the last hour and a quarter of my ascension. The difficulty of breathing, however, was diminished in a very slight degree, and I found that it would soon be positively necessary to make use of my condenser. In the meantime, looking toward the cat, who was again snugly stowed away upon my coat, I discovered to my infinite surprise, that she had taken the opportunity of my indisposition to bring into light a litter of three little kittens.

It would afford me a chance of bringing to a kind of test the truth of a surmise, which, more than anything else, had influenced me in attempting this ascension. I had imagined that the habitual endurance of the atmospheric pressure at the surface of the earth was the cause, or nearly so, of the pain attending animal existence at a distance above the surface. Should the kittens be found to suffer uneasiness in an equal degree with their mother, I must consider my theory in fault, but a failure to do so I should look upon as a strong confirmation of my idea. “By eight o’clock I had actually attained an elevation of seventeen miles above the surface of the earth. Thus it seemed to me evident that my rate of ascent was not only on the increase, but that the progression would have been apparent in a slight degree even had I not discharged the ballast which I did. The pains in my head and ears returned, at intervals, with violence, and I still continued to bleed occasionally at the nose; but, upon the whole, I suffered much less than might have been expected. I breathed, however, at every moment, with more and more difficulty, and each inhalation was attended with a troublesome spasmodic action of the chest. I now unpacked the condensing apparatus, and got it ready for immediate use.

“The view of the earth, at this period of my ascension, was beautiful indeed. To the westward, the northward, and the southward, as far as I could see, lay a boundless sheet of apparently unruffled ocean, which every moment gained a deeper and a deeper tint of blue and began already to assume a slight appearance of convexity. At a vast distance to the eastward, although perfectly discernible, extended the islands of Great Britain, the entire Atlantic coasts of France and Spain, with a small portion of the northern part of the continent of Africa. Of individual edifices not a trace could be discovered, and the proudest cities of mankind had utterly faded away from the face of the earth. From the rock of Gibraltar, now dwindled into a dim speck, the dark Mediterranean sea, dotted with shining islands as the heaven is dotted with stars, spread itself out to the eastward as far as my vision extended, until its entire mass of waters seemed at length to tumble headlong over the abyss of the horizon, and I found myself listening on tiptoe for the echoes of the mighty cataract. “The pigeons about this time seeming to undergo much suffering, I determined upon giving them their liberty. He appeared extremely uneasy, looking anxiously around him, fluttering his wings, and making a loud cooing noise, but could not be persuaded to trust himself from off the car.

He made, however, no attempt to descend as I had expected, but struggled with great vehemence to get back, uttering at the same time very shrill and piercing cries. He at length succeeded in regaining his former station on the rim, but had hardly done so when his head dropped upon his breast, and he fell dead within the car. To prevent his following the example of his companion, and accomplishing a return, I threw him downward with all my force, and was pleased to find him continue his descent, with great velocity, making use of his wings with ease, and in a perfectly natural manner. In a very short time he was out of sight, and I have no doubt he reached home in safety. Puss, who seemed in a great measure recovered from her illness, now made a hearty meal of the dead bird and then went to sleep with much apparent satisfaction. Her kittens were quite lively, and so far evinced not the slightest sign of any uneasiness whatever.

“At a quarter-past eight, being no longer able to draw breath without the most intolerable pain, I proceeded forthwith to adjust around the car the apparatus belonging to the condenser. This apparatus will require some little explanation, and your Excellencies will please to bear in mind that my object, in the first place, was to surround myself and cat entirely with a barricade against the highly rarefied atmosphere in which I was existing, with the intention of introducing within this barricade, by means of my condenser, a quantity of this same atmosphere sufficiently condensed for the purposes of respiration. With this object in view I had prepared a very strong perfectly air-tight, but flexible gum-elastic bag. In this bag, which was of sufficient dimensions, the entire car was in a manner placed. Having pulled the bag up in this way, and formed a complete enclosure on all sides, and at bottom, it was now necessary to fasten up its top or mouth, by passing its material over the hoop of the net-work--in other words, between the net-work and the hoop.

But if the net-work were separated from the hoop to admit this passage, what was to sustain the car in the meantime? Now the net-work was not permanently fastened to the hoop, but attached by a series of running loops or nooses. I therefore undid only a few of these loops at one time, leaving the car suspended by the remainder. Having thus inserted a portion of the cloth forming the upper part of the bag, I refastened the loops--not to the hoop, for that would have been impossible, since the cloth now intervened--but to a series of large buttons, affixed to the cloth itself, about three feet below the mouth of the bag, the intervals between the buttons having been made to correspond to the intervals between the loops. This done, a few more of the loops were unfastened from the rim, a farther portion of the cloth introduced, and the disengaged loops then connected with their proper buttons. In this way it was possible to insert the whole upper part of the bag between the net-work and the hoop. It is evident that the hoop would now drop down within the car, while the whole weight of the car itself, with all its contents, would be held up merely by the strength of the buttons. This, at first sight, would seem an inadequate dependence; but it was by no means so, for the buttons were not only very strong in themselves, but so close together that a very slight portion of the whole weight was supported by any one of them.

Indeed, had the car and contents been three times heavier than they were, I should not have been at all uneasy. I now raised up the hoop again within the covering of gum-elastic, and propped it at nearly its former height by means of three light poles prepared for the occasion. This was done, of course, to keep the bag distended at the top, and to preserve the lower part of the net-work in its proper situation. All that now remained was to fasten up the mouth of the enclosure; and this was readily accomplished by gathering the folds of the material together, and twisting them up very tightly on the inside by means of a kind of stationary tourniquet. “In the sides of the covering thus adjusted round the car, had been inserted three circular panes of thick but clear glass, through which I could see without difficulty around me in every horizontal direction. In that portion of the cloth forming the bottom, was likewise, a fourth window, of the same kind, and corresponding with a small aperture in the floor of the car itself. This enabled me to see perpendicularly down, but having found it impossible to place any similar contrivance overhead, on account of the peculiar manner of closing up the opening there, and the consequent wrinkles in the cloth, I could expect to see no objects situated directly in my zenith. This, of course, was a matter of little consequence; for had I even been able to place a window at top, the balloon itself would have prevented my making any use of it. “About a foot below one of the side windows was a circular opening, eight inches in diameter, and fitted with a brass rim adapted in its inner edge to the windings of a screw.

In this rim was screwed the large tube of the condenser, the body of the machine being, of course, within the chamber of gum-elastic. Through this tube a quantity of the rare atmosphere circumjacent being drawn by means of a vacuum created in the body of the machine, was thence discharged, in a state of condensation, to mingle with the thin air already in the chamber.

This operation being repeated several times, at length filled the chamber with atmosphere proper for all the purposes of respiration. But in so confined a space it would, in a short time, necessarily become foul, and unfit for use from frequent contact with the lungs. It was then ejected by a small valve at the bottom of the car--the dense air readily sinking into the thinner atmosphere below. To avoid the inconvenience of making a total vacuum at any moment within the chamber, this purification was never accomplished all at once, but in a gradual manner--the valve being opened only for a few seconds, then closed again, until one or two strokes from the pump of the condenser had supplied the place of the atmosphere ejected.

For the sake of experiment I had put the cat and kittens in a small basket, and suspended it outside the car to a button at the bottom, close by the valve, through which I could feed them at any moment when necessary.

I did this at some little risk, and before closing the mouth of the chamber, by reaching under the car with one of the poles before mentioned to which a hook had been attached. “By the time I had fully completed these arrangements and filled the chamber as explained, it wanted only ten minutes of nine o’clock. During the whole period of my being thus employed, I endured the most terrible distress from difficulty of respiration, and bitterly did I repent the negligence or rather fool-hardiness, of which I had been guilty, of putting off to the last moment a matter of so much importance. But having at length accomplished it, I soon began to reap the benefit of my invention. Once again I breathed with perfect freedom and ease--and indeed why should I not?

I was also agreeably surprised to find myself, in a great measure, relieved from the violent pains which had hitherto tormented me. A slight headache, accompanied with a sensation of fulness or distention about the wrists, the ankles, and the throat, was nearly all of which I had now to complain. Thus it seemed evident that a greater part of the uneasiness attending the removal of atmospheric pressure had actually worn off, as I had expected, and that much of the pain endured for the last two hours should have been attributed altogether to the effects of a deficient respiration. “At twenty minutes before nine o’clock--that is to say, a short time prior to my closing up the mouth of the chamber, the mercury attained its limit, or ran down, in the barometer, which, as I mentioned before, was one of an extended construction. It then indicated an altitude on my part of 132,000 feet, or five-and-twenty miles, and I consequently surveyed at that time an extent of the earth’s area amounting to no less than the three hundred-and-twentieth part of its entire superficies. At nine o’clock I had again lost sight of land to the eastward, but not before I became aware that the balloon was drifting rapidly to the N. The convexity of the ocean beneath me was very evident indeed, although my view was often interrupted by the masses of cloud which floated to and fro. “At half past nine I tried the experiment of throwing out a handful of feathers through the valve. They did not float as I had expected; but dropped down perpendicularly, like a bullet, en masse, and with the greatest velocity--being out of sight in a very few seconds. I did not at first know what to make of this extraordinary phenomenon; not being able to believe that my rate of ascent had, of a sudden, met with so prodigious an acceleration.

But it soon occurred to me that the atmosphere was now far too rare to sustain even the feathers; that they actually fell, as they appeared to do, with great rapidity; and that I had been surprised by the united velocities of their descent and my own elevation.

Affairs went swimmingly, and I believed the balloon to be going upward with a speed increasing momently although I had no longer any means of ascertaining the progression of the increase. I suffered no pain or uneasiness of any kind, and enjoyed better spirits than I had at any period since my departure from Rotterdam, busying myself now in examining the state of my various apparatus, and now in regenerating the atmosphere within the chamber. This latter point I determined to attend to at regular intervals of forty minutes, more on account of the preservation of my health, than from so frequent a renovation being absolutely necessary. In the meanwhile I could not help making anticipations. Fancy revelled in the wild and dreamy regions of the moon. Imagination, feeling herself for once unshackled, roamed at will among the ever-changing wonders of a shadowy and unstable land. Now there were hoary and time-honored forests, and craggy precipices, and waterfalls tumbling with a loud noise into abysses without a bottom. Then I came suddenly into still noonday solitudes, where no wind of heaven ever intruded, and where vast meadows of poppies, and slender, lily-looking flowers spread themselves out a weary distance, all silent and motionless forever. Then again I journeyed far down away into another country where it was all one dim and vague lake, with a boundary line of clouds.

And I have in mind that the shadows of the trees which fell upon the lake remained not on the surface where they fell, but sunk slowly and steadily down, and commingled with the waves, while from the trunks of the trees other shadows were continually coming out, and taking the place of their brothers thus entombed. “This then,” I said thoughtfully, “is the very reason why the waters of this lake grow blacker with age, and more melancholy as the hours run on.” But fancies such as these were not the sole possessors of my brain. Horrors of a nature most stern and most appalling would too frequently obtrude themselves upon my mind, and shake the innermost depths of my soul with the bare supposition of their possibility. Yet I would not suffer my thoughts for any length of time to dwell upon these latter speculations, rightly judging the real and palpable dangers of the voyage sufficient for my undivided attention. “At five o’clock, p.m., being engaged in regenerating the atmosphere within the chamber, I took that opportunity of observing the cat and kittens through the valve. The cat herself appeared to suffer again very much, and I had no hesitation in attributing her uneasiness chiefly to a difficulty in breathing; but my experiment with the kittens had resulted very strangely. I had expected, of course, to see them betray a sense of pain, although in a less degree than their mother, and this would have been sufficient to confirm my opinion concerning the habitual endurance of atmospheric pressure. But I was not prepared to find them, upon close examination, evidently enjoying a high degree of health, breathing with the greatest ease and perfect regularity, and evincing not the slightest sign of any uneasiness whatever.

I could only account for all this by extending my theory, and supposing that the highly rarefied atmosphere around might perhaps not be, as I had taken for granted, chemically insufficient for the purposes of life, and that a person born in such a medium might, possibly, be unaware of any inconvenience attending its inhalation, while, upon removal to the denser strata near the earth, he might endure tortures of a similar nature to those I had so lately experienced. It has since been to me a matter of deep regret that an awkward accident, at this time, occasioned me the loss of my little family of cats, and deprived me of the insight into this matter which a continued experiment might have afforded. In passing my hand through the valve, with a cup of water for the old puss, the sleeves of my shirt became entangled in the loop which sustained the basket, and thus, in a moment, loosened it from the bottom. Had the whole actually vanished into air, it could not have shot from my sight in a more abrupt and instantaneous manner. Positively, there could not have intervened the tenth part of a second between the disengagement of the basket and its absolute and total disappearance with all that it contained. “At six o’clock, I perceived a great portion of the earth’s visible area to the eastward involved in thick shadow, which continued to advance with great rapidity, until, at five minutes before seven, the whole surface in view was enveloped in the darkness of night. It was not, however, until long after this time that the rays of the setting sun ceased to illumine the balloon; and this circumstance, although of course fully anticipated, did not fail to give me an infinite deal of pleasure. It was evident that, in the morning, I should behold the rising luminary many hours at least before the citizens of Rotterdam, in spite of their situation so much farther to the eastward, and thus, day after day, in proportion to the height ascended, would I enjoy the light of the sun for a longer and a longer period. I now determined to keep a journal of my passage, reckoning the days from one to twenty-four hours continuously, without taking into consideration the intervals of darkness. “At ten o’clock, feeling sleepy, I determined to lie down for the rest of the night; but here a difficulty presented itself, which, obvious as it may appear, had escaped my attention up to the very moment of which I am now speaking.

If I went to sleep as I proposed, how could the atmosphere in the chamber be regenerated in the interim? To breathe it for more than an hour, at the farthest, would be a matter of impossibility, or, if even this term could be extended to an hour and a quarter, the most ruinous consequences might ensue. The consideration of this dilemma gave me no little disquietude; and it will hardly be believed, that, after the dangers I had undergone, I should look upon this business in so serious a light, as to give up all hope of accomplishing my ultimate design, and finally make up my mind to the necessity of a descent. I reflected that man is the veriest slave of custom, and that many points in the routine of his existence are deemed essentially important, which are only so at all by his having rendered them habitual.

It was very certain that I could not do without sleep; but I might easily bring myself to feel no inconvenience from being awakened at intervals of an hour during the whole period of my repose. It would require but five minutes at most to regenerate the atmosphere in the fullest manner, and the only real difficulty was to contrive a method of arousing myself at the proper moment for so doing. But this was a question which, I am willing to confess, occasioned me no little trouble in its solution. To be sure, I had heard of the student who, to prevent his falling asleep over his books, held in one hand a ball of copper, the din of whose descent into a basin of the same metal on the floor beside his chair, served effectually to startle him up, if, at any moment, he should be overcome with drowsiness. My own case, however, was very different indeed, and left me no room for any similar idea; for I did not wish to keep awake, but to be aroused from slumber at regular intervals of time. I at length hit upon the following expedient, which, simple as it may seem, was hailed by me, at the moment of discovery, as an invention fully equal to that of the telescope, the steam-engine, or the art of printing itself.

“It is necessary to premise, that the balloon, at the elevation now attained, continued its course upward with an even and undeviating ascent, and the car consequently followed with a steadiness so perfect that it would have been impossible to detect in it the slightest vacillation whatever. This circumstance favored me greatly in the project I now determined to adopt. My supply of water had been put on board in kegs containing five gallons each, and ranged very securely around the interior of the car. I unfastened one of these, and taking two ropes tied them tightly across the rim of the wicker-work from one side to the other; placing them about a foot apart and parallel so as to form a kind of shelf, upon which I placed the keg, and steadied it in a horizontal position. About eight inches immediately below these ropes, and four feet from the bottom of the car I fastened another shelf--but made of thin plank, being the only similar piece of wood I had. I now bored a hole in the end of the keg over the pitcher, and fitted in a plug of soft wood, cut in a tapering or conical shape. This plug I pushed in or pulled out, as might happen, until, after a few experiments, it arrived at that exact degree of tightness, at which the water, oozing from the hole, and falling into the pitcher below, would fill the latter to the brim in the period of sixty minutes.

This, of course, was a matter briefly and easily ascertained, by noticing the proportion of the pitcher filled in any given time. Having arranged all this, the rest of the plan is obvious. My bed was so contrived upon the floor of the car, as to bring my head, in lying down, immediately below the mouth of the pitcher. It was evident, that, at the expiration of an hour, the pitcher, getting full, would be forced to run over, and to run over at the mouth, which was somewhat lower than the rim. It was also evident, that the water thus falling from a height of more than four feet, could not do otherwise than fall upon my face, and that the sure consequences would be, to waken me up instantaneously, even from the soundest slumber in the world. “It was fully eleven by the time I had completed these arrangements, and I immediately betook myself to bed, with full confidence in the efficiency of my invention. Nor in this matter was I disappointed.

Punctually every sixty minutes was I aroused by my trusty chronometer, when, having emptied the pitcher into the bung-hole of the keg, and performed the duties of the condenser, I retired again to bed. These regular interruptions to my slumber caused me even less discomfort than I had anticipated; and when I finally arose for the day, it was seven o’clock, and the sun had attained many degrees above the line of my horizon. I found the balloon at an immense height indeed, and the earth’s apparent convexity increased in a material degree. Below me in the ocean lay a cluster of black specks, which undoubtedly were islands. Far away to the northward I perceived a thin, white, and exceedingly brilliant line, or streak, on the edge of the horizon, and I had no hesitation in supposing it to be the southern disk of the ices of the Polar Sea. My curiosity was greatly excited, for I had hopes of passing on much farther to the north, and might possibly, at some period, find myself placed directly above the Pole itself. I now lamented that my great elevation would, in this case, prevent my taking as accurate a survey as I could wish. Much, however, might be ascertained.

Nothing else of an extraordinary nature occurred during the day. My apparatus all continued in good order, and the balloon still ascended without any perceptible vacillation. The cold was intense, and obliged me to wrap up closely in an overcoat.

The water-clock was punctual in its duty, and I slept until next morning soundly, with the exception of the periodical interruption. Arose in good health and spirits, and was astonished at the singular change which had taken place in the appearance of the sea. It had lost, in a great measure, the deep tint of blue it had hitherto worn, being now of a grayish-white, and of a lustre dazzling to the eye. The islands were no longer visible; whether they had passed down the horizon to the southeast, or whether my increasing elevation had left them out of sight, it is impossible to say. I was inclined, however, to the latter opinion.

The rim of ice to the northward was growing more and more apparent. Cold by no means so intense. Nothing of importance occurred, and I passed the day in reading, having taken care to supply myself with books. Beheld the singular phenomenon of the sun rising while nearly the whole visible surface of the earth continued to be involved in darkness. In time, however, the light spread itself over all, and I again saw the line of ice to the northward. It was now very distinct, and appeared of a much darker hue than the waters of the ocean. I was evidently approaching it, and with great rapidity. Fancied I could again distinguish a strip of land to the eastward, and one also to the westward, but could not be certain. Nothing of any consequence happened during the day. Was surprised at finding the rim of ice at a very moderate distance, and an immense field of the same material stretching away off to the horizon in the north.

It was evident that if the balloon held its present course, it would soon arrive above the Frozen Ocean, and I had now little doubt of ultimately seeing the Pole. During the whole of the day I continued to near the ice. Toward night the limits of my horizon very suddenly and materially increased, owing undoubtedly to the earth’s form being that of an oblate spheroid, and my arriving above the flattened regions in the vicinity of the Arctic circle. When darkness at length overtook me, I went to bed in great anxiety, fearing to pass over the object of so much curiosity when I should have no opportunity of observing it. Arose early, and, to my great joy, at length beheld what there could be no hesitation in supposing the northern Pole itself. I had now ascended to so vast a distance, that nothing could with accuracy be discerned. Indeed, to judge from the progression of the numbers indicating my various altitudes, respectively, at different periods, between six A.M. on the second of April, and twenty minutes before nine A.M. of the same day (at which time the barometer ran down), it might be fairly inferred that the balloon had now, at four o’clock in the morning of April the seventh, reached a height of not less, certainly, than 7,254 miles above the surface of the sea.

This elevation may appear immense, but the estimate upon which it is calculated gave a result in all probability far inferior to the truth. At all events I undoubtedly beheld the whole of the earth’s major diameter; the entire northern hemisphere lay beneath me like a chart orthographically projected: and the great circle of the equator itself formed the boundary line of my horizon. Your Excellencies may, however, readily imagine that the confined regions hitherto unexplored within the limits of the Arctic circle, although situated directly beneath me, and therefore seen without any appearance of being foreshortened, were still, in themselves, comparatively too diminutive, and at too great a distance from the point of sight, to admit of any very accurate examination. Nevertheless, what could be seen was of a nature singular and exciting. Northwardly from that huge rim before mentioned, and which, with slight qualification, may be called the limit of human discovery in these regions, one unbroken, or nearly unbroken, sheet of ice continues to extend. In the first few degrees of this its progress, its surface is very sensibly flattened, farther on depressed into a plane, and finally, becoming not a little concave, it terminates, at the Pole itself, in a circular centre, sharply defined, whose apparent diameter subtended at the balloon an angle of about sixty-five seconds, and whose dusky hue, varying in intensity, was, at all times, darker than any other spot upon the visible hemisphere, and occasionally deepened into the most absolute and impenetrable blackness. Farther than this, little could be ascertained. By twelve o’clock the circular centre had materially decreased in circumference, and by seven P.M. I lost sight of it entirely; the balloon passing over the western limb of the ice, and floating away rapidly in the direction of the equator. Found a sensible diminution in the earth’s apparent diameter, besides a material alteration in its general color and appearance.

The whole visible area partook in different degrees of a tint of pale yellow, and in some portions had acquired a brilliancy even painful to the eye. My view downward was also considerably impeded by the dense atmosphere in the vicinity of the surface being loaded with clouds, between whose masses I could only now and then obtain a glimpse of the earth itself. This difficulty of direct vision had troubled me more or less for the last forty-eight hours; but my present enormous elevation brought closer together, as it were, the floating bodies of vapor, and the inconvenience became, of course, more and more palpable in proportion to my ascent. Nevertheless, I could easily perceive that the balloon now hovered above the range of great lakes in the continent of North America, and was holding a course, due south, which would bring me to the tropics. Indeed, the direction I had hitherto taken, had filled me with uneasiness; for it was evident that, had I continued it much longer, there would have been no possibility of my arriving at the moon at all, whose orbit is inclined to the ecliptic at only the small angle of 5 degrees 8’ 48”. To-day the earth’s diameter was greatly diminished, and the color of the surface assumed hourly a deeper tint of yellow.

The balloon kept steadily on her course to the southward, and arrived, at nine P.M., over the northern edge of the Mexican Gulf. I was suddenly aroused from slumber, about five o’clock this morning, by a loud, crackling, and terrific sound, for which I could in no manner account.

It was of very brief duration, but, while it lasted resembled nothing in the world of which I had any previous experience. It is needless to say that I became excessively alarmed, having, in the first instance, attributed the noise to the bursting of the balloon. I examined all my apparatus, however, with great attention, and could discover nothing out of order. Spent a great part of the day in meditating upon an occurrence so extraordinary, but could find no means whatever of accounting for it. Went to bed dissatisfied, and in a state of great anxiety and agitation. Found a startling diminution in the apparent diameter of the earth, and a considerable increase, now observable for the first time, in that of the moon itself, which wanted only a few days of being full.

It now required long and excessive labor to condense within the chamber sufficient atmospheric air for the sustenance of life. A singular alteration took place in regard to the direction of the balloon, and although fully anticipated, afforded me the most unequivocal delight. Having reached, in its former course, about the twentieth parallel of southern latitude, it turned off suddenly, at an acute angle, to the eastward, and thus proceeded throughout the day, keeping nearly, if not altogether, in the exact plane of the lunar elipse. What was worthy of remark, a very perceptible vacillation in the car was a consequence of this change of route--a vacillation which prevailed, in a more or less degree, for a period of many hours. Was again very much alarmed by a repetition of the loud, crackling noise which terrified me on the tenth. Great decrease in the earth’s apparent diameter, which now subtended from the balloon an angle of very little more than twenty-five degrees. The moon could not be seen at all, being nearly in my zenith.

I still continued in the plane of the elipse, but made little progress to the eastward. Extremely rapid decrease in the diameter of the earth. To-day I became strongly impressed with the idea, that the balloon was now actually running up the line of apsides to the point of perigee--in other words, holding the direct course which would bring it immediately to the moon in that part of its orbit the nearest to the earth. Great and long-continued labor necessary for the condensation of the atmosphere. Not even the outlines of continents and seas could now be traced upon the earth with anything approaching distinctness.

About twelve o’clock I became aware, for the third time, of that appalling sound which had so astonished me before. It now, however, continued for some moments, and gathered intensity as it continued.

At length, while, stupefied and terror-stricken, I stood in expectation of I knew not what hideous destruction, the car vibrated with excessive violence, and a gigantic and flaming mass of some material which I could not distinguish, came with a voice of a thousand thunders, roaring and booming by the balloon. When my fears and astonishment had in some degree subsided, I had little difficulty in supposing it to be some mighty volcanic fragment ejected from that world to which I was so rapidly approaching, and, in all probability, one of that singular class of substances occasionally picked up on the earth, and termed meteoric stones for want of a better appellation. To-day, looking upward as well as I could, through each of the side windows alternately, I beheld, to my great delight, a very small portion of the moon’s disk protruding, as it were, on all sides beyond the huge circumference of the balloon.

My agitation was extreme; for I had now little doubt of soon reaching the end of my perilous voyage. Indeed, the labor now required by the condenser had increased to a most oppressive degree, and allowed me scarcely any respite from exertion. It was impossible that human nature could endure this state of intense suffering much longer.

During the now brief interval of darkness a meteoric stone again passed in my vicinity, and the frequency of these phenomena began to occasion me much apprehension. This morning proved an epoch in my voyage. On the fourteenth this had greatly diminished; on the fifteenth a still more remarkable decrease was observable; and, on retiring on the night of the sixteenth, I had noticed an angle of no more than about seven degrees and fifteen minutes. What, therefore, must have been my amazement, on awakening from a brief and disturbed slumber, on the morning of this day, the seventeenth, at finding the surface beneath me so suddenly and wonderfully augmented in volume, as to subtend no less than thirty-nine degrees in apparent angular diameter!

“The balloon, then, had actually burst!” These were the first tumultuous ideas that hurried through my mind: “The balloon had positively burst!--I was falling--falling with the most impetuous, the most unparalleled velocity! To judge by the immense distance already so quickly passed over, it could not be more than ten minutes, at the farthest, before I should meet the surface of the earth, and be hurled into annihilation!” But at length reflection came to my relief. I could not in any reason have so rapidly come down.

Besides, although I was evidently approaching the surface below me, it was with a speed by no means commensurate with the velocity I had at first so horribly conceived. This consideration served to calm the perturbation of my mind, and I finally succeeded in regarding the phenomenon in its proper point of view. In fact, amazement must have fairly deprived me of my senses, when I could not see the vast difference, in appearance, between the surface below me, and the surface of my mother earth. The latter was indeed over my head, and completely hidden by the balloon, while the moon--the moon itself in all its glory--lay beneath me, and at my feet. “The stupor and surprise produced in my mind by this extraordinary change in the posture of affairs was perhaps, after all, that part of the adventure least susceptible of explanation. For the bouleversement in itself was not only natural and inevitable, but had been long actually anticipated as a circumstance to be expected whenever I should arrive at that exact point of my voyage where the attraction of the planet should be superseded by the attraction of the satellite--or, more precisely, where the gravitation of the balloon toward the earth should be less powerful than its gravitation toward the moon.

To be sure I arose from a sound slumber, with all my senses in confusion, to the contemplation of a very startling phenomenon, and one which, although expected, was not expected at the moment. The revolution itself must, of course, have taken place in an easy and gradual manner, and it is by no means clear that, had I even been awake at the time of the occurrence, I should have been made aware of it by any internal evidence of an inversion--that is to say, by any inconvenience or disarrangement, either about my person or about my apparatus.

“It is almost needless to say that, upon coming to a due sense of my situation, and emerging from the terror which had absorbed every faculty of my soul, my attention was, in the first place, wholly directed to the contemplation of the general physical appearance of the moon. It lay beneath me like a chart--and although I judged it to be still at no inconsiderable distance, the indentures of its surface were defined to my vision with a most striking and altogether unaccountable distinctness. The entire absence of ocean or sea, and indeed of any lake or river, or body of water whatsoever, struck me, at first glance, as the most extraordinary feature in its geological condition. Yet, strange to say, I beheld vast level regions of a character decidedly alluvial, although by far the greater portion of the hemisphere in sight was covered with innumerable volcanic mountains, conical in shape, and having more the appearance of artificial than of natural protuberance. The highest among them does not exceed three and three-quarter miles in perpendicular elevation; but a map of the volcanic districts of the Campi Phlegraei would afford to your Excellencies a better idea of their general surface than any unworthy description I might think proper to attempt. The greater part of them were in a state of evident eruption, and gave me fearfully to understand their fury and their power, by the repeated thunders of the miscalled meteoric stones, which now rushed upward by the balloon with a frequency more and more appalling. To-day I found an enormous increase in the moon’s apparent bulk--and the evidently accelerated velocity of my descent began to fill me with alarm.

It will be remembered, that, in the earliest stage of my speculations upon the possibility of a passage to the moon, the existence, in its vicinity, of an atmosphere, dense in proportion to the bulk of the planet, had entered largely into my calculations; this too in spite of many theories to the contrary, and, it may be added, in spite of a general disbelief in the existence of any lunar atmosphere at all. But, in addition to what I have already urged in regard to Encke’s comet and the zodiacal light, I had been strengthened in my opinion by certain observations of Mr. He observed the moon when two days and a half old, in the evening soon after sunset, before the dark part was visible, and continued to watch it until it became visible. The two cusps appeared tapering in a very sharp faint prolongation, each exhibiting its farthest extremity faintly illuminated by the solar rays, before any part of the dark hemisphere was visible. Soon afterward, the whole dark limb became illuminated.

I computed, also, the height of the atmosphere (which could refract light enough into its dark hemisphere to produce a twilight more luminous than the light reflected from the earth when the moon is about 32 degrees from the new) to be 1,356 Paris feet; in this view, I supposed the greatest height capable of refracting the solar ray, to be 5,376 feet. My ideas on this topic had also received confirmation by a passage in the eighty-second volume of the Philosophical Transactions, in which it is stated that at an occultation of Jupiter’s satellites, the third disappeared after having been about 1” or 2” of time indistinct, and the fourth became indiscernible near the limb.(*4) “Cassini frequently observed Saturn, Jupiter, and the fixed stars, when approaching the moon to occultation, to have their circular figure changed into an oval one; and, in other occultations, he found no alteration of figure at all. Hence it might be supposed, that at some times and not at others, there is a dense matter encompassing the moon wherein the rays of the stars are refracted. “Upon the resistance or, more properly, upon the support of an atmosphere, existing in the state of density imagined, I had, of course, entirely depended for the safety of my ultimate descent. Should I then, after all, prove to have been mistaken, I had in consequence nothing better to expect, as a finale to my adventure, than being dashed into atoms against the rugged surface of the satellite.

And, indeed, I had now every reason to be terrified. My distance from the moon was comparatively trifling, while the labor required by the condenser was diminished not at all, and I could discover no indication whatever of a decreasing rarity in the air. This morning, to my great joy, about nine o’clock, the surface of the moon being frightfully near, and my apprehensions excited to the utmost, the pump of my condenser at length gave evident tokens of an alteration in the atmosphere. By ten, I had reason to believe its density considerably increased. By eleven, very little labor was necessary at the apparatus; and at twelve o’clock, with some hesitation, I ventured to unscrew the tourniquet, when, finding no inconvenience from having done so, I finally threw open the gum-elastic chamber, and unrigged it from around the car. But these and other difficulties attending respiration, as they were by no means so great as to put me in peril of my life, I determined to endure as I best could, in consideration of my leaving them behind me momently in my approach to the denser strata near the moon. This approach, however, was still impetuous in the extreme; and it soon became alarmingly certain that, although I had probably not been deceived in the expectation of an atmosphere dense in proportion to the mass of the satellite, still I had been wrong in supposing this density, even at the surface, at all adequate to the support of the great weight contained in the car of my balloon. Yet this should have been the case, and in an equal degree as at the surface of the earth, the actual gravity of bodies at either planet supposed in the ratio of the atmospheric condensation.

That it was not the case, however, my precipitous downfall gave testimony enough; why it was not so, can only be explained by a reference to those possible geological disturbances to which I have formerly alluded. At all events I was now close upon the planet, and coming down with the most terrible impetuosity. I lost not a moment, accordingly, in throwing overboard first my ballast, then my water-kegs, then my condensing apparatus and gum-elastic chamber, and finally every article within the car. As a last resource, therefore, having got rid of my coat, hat, and boots, I cut loose from the balloon the car itself, which was of no inconsiderable weight, and thus, clinging with both hands to the net-work, I had barely time to observe that the whole country, as far as the eye could reach, was thickly interspersed with diminutive habitations, ere I tumbled headlong into the very heart of a fantastical-looking city, and into the middle of a vast crowd of ugly little people, who none of them uttered a single syllable, or gave themselves the least trouble to render me assistance, but stood, like a parcel of idiots, grinning in a ludicrous manner, and eyeing me and my balloon askant, with their arms set a-kimbo. I turned from them in contempt, and, gazing upward at the earth so lately left, and left perhaps for ever, beheld it like a huge, dull, copper shield, about two degrees in diameter, fixed immovably in the heavens overhead, and tipped on one of its edges with a crescent border of the most brilliant gold. “Thus, may it please your Excellencies, after a series of great anxieties, unheard of dangers, and unparalleled escapes, I had, at length, on the nineteenth day of my departure from Rotterdam, arrived in safety at the conclusion of a voyage undoubtedly the most extraordinary, and the most momentous, ever accomplished, undertaken, or conceived by any denizen of earth.

But my adventures yet remain to be related. And indeed your Excellencies may well imagine that, after a residence of five years upon a planet not only deeply interesting in its own peculiar character, but rendered doubly so by its intimate connection, in capacity of satellite, with the world inhabited by man, I may have intelligence for the private ear of the States’ College of Astronomers of far more importance than the details, however wonderful, of the mere voyage which so happily concluded. This is, in fact, the case. I have much to say of the climate of the planet; of its wonderful alternations of heat and cold, of unmitigated and burning sunshine for one fortnight, and more than polar frigidity for the next; of a constant transfer of moisture, by distillation like that in vacuo, from the point beneath the sun to the point the farthest from it; of a variable zone of running water, of the people themselves; of their manners, customs, and political institutions; of their peculiar physical construction; of their ugliness; of their want of ears, those useless appendages in an atmosphere so peculiarly modified; of their consequent ignorance of the use and properties of speech; of their substitute for speech in a singular method of inter-communication; of the incomprehensible connection between each particular individual in the moon with some particular individual on the earth--a connection analogous with, and depending upon, that of the orbs of the planet and the satellites, and by means of which the lives and destinies of the inhabitants of the one are interwoven with the lives and destinies of the inhabitants of the other; and above all, if it so please your Excellencies--above all, of those dark and hideous mysteries which lie in the outer regions of the moon--regions which, owing to the almost miraculous accordance of the satellite’s rotation on its own axis with its sidereal revolution about the earth, have never yet been turned, and, by God’s mercy, never shall be turned, to the scrutiny of the telescopes of man. All this, and more--much more--would I most willingly detail. I am pining for a return to my family and to my home, and as the price of any farther communication on my part--in consideration of the light which I have it in my power to throw upon many very important branches of physical and metaphysical science--I must solicit, through the influence of your honorable body, a pardon for the crime of which I have been guilty in the death of the creditors upon my departure from Rotterdam. Its bearer, an inhabitant of the moon, whom I have prevailed upon, and properly instructed, to be my messenger to the earth, will await your Excellencies’ pleasure, and return to me with the pardon in question, if it can, in any manner, be obtained.

“I have the honor to be, etc., your Excellencies’ very humble servant, “HANS PFAALL.” Upon finishing the perusal of this very extraordinary document, Professor Rub-a-dub, it is said, dropped his pipe upon the ground in the extremity of his surprise, and Mynheer Superbus Von Underduk having taken off his spectacles, wiped them, and deposited them in his pocket, so far forgot both himself and his dignity, as to turn round three times upon his heel in the quintessence of astonishment and admiration.

There was no doubt about the matter--the pardon should be obtained. So at least swore, with a round oath, Professor Rub-a-dub, and so finally thought the illustrious Von Underduk, as he took the arm of his brother in science, and without saying a word, began to make the best of his way home to deliberate upon the measures to be adopted. Having reached the door, however, of the burgomaster’s dwelling, the professor ventured to suggest that as the messenger had thought proper to disappear--no doubt frightened to death by the savage appearance of the burghers of Rotterdam--the pardon would be of little use, as no one but a man of the moon would undertake a voyage to so vast a distance.

The letter, having been published, gave rise to a variety of gossip and opinion. Some of the over-wise even made themselves ridiculous by decrying the whole business; as nothing better than a hoax. That certain wags in Rotterdam have certain especial antipathies to certain burgomasters and astronomers. That an odd little dwarf and bottle conjurer, both of whose ears, for some misdemeanor, have been cut off close to his head, has been missing for several days from the neighboring city of Bruges. That the newspapers which were stuck all over the little balloon were newspapers of Holland, and therefore could not have been made in the moon. They were dirty papers--very dirty--and Gluck, the printer, would take his Bible oath to their having been printed in Rotterdam. Fourthly, That Hans Pfaall himself, the drunken villain, and the three very idle gentlemen styled his creditors, were all seen, no longer than two or three days ago, in a tippling house in the suburbs, having just returned, with money in their pockets, from a trip beyond the sea.

That it is an opinion very generally received, or which ought to be generally received, that the College of Astronomers in the city of Rotterdam, as well as other colleges in all other parts of the world,--not to mention colleges and astronomers in general,--are, to say the least of the matter, not a whit better, nor greater, nor wiser than they ought to be. ~~~ End of Text ~~~ Notes to Hans Pfaal (*1) NOTE--Strictly speaking, there is but little similarity between the above sketchy trifle and the celebrated “Moon-Story” of Mr. Locke; but as both have the character of hoaxes (although the one is in a tone of banter, the other of downright earnest), and as both hoaxes are on the same subject, the moon--moreover, as both attempt to give plausibility by scientific detail--the author of “Hans Pfaall” thinks it necessary to say, in self-defence, that his own jeu d’esprit was published in the “Southern Literary Messenger” about three weeks before the commencement of Mr. L’s in the “New York Sun.” Fancying a likeness which, perhaps, does not exist, some of the New York papers copied “Hans Pfaall,” and collated it with the “Moon-Hoax,” by way of detecting the writer of the one in the writer of the other. As many more persons were actually gulled by the “Moon-Hoax” than would be willing to acknowledge the fact, it may here afford some little amusement to show why no one should have been deceived-to point out those particulars of the story which should have been sufficient to establish its real character. Indeed, however rich the imagination displayed in this ingenious fiction, it wanted much of the force which might have been given it by a more scrupulous attention to facts and to general analogy. That the public were misled, even for an instant, merely proves the gross ignorance which is so generally prevalent upon subjects of an astronomical nature. The moon’s distance from the earth is, in round numbers, 240,000 miles. If we desire to ascertain how near, apparently, a lens would bring the satellite (or any distant object), we, of course, have but to divide the distance by the magnifying or, more strictly, by the space-penetrating power of the glass.

No animal at all could be seen so far; much less the minute points particularized in the story. speaks about Sir John Herschel’s perceiving flowers (the Papaver rheas, etc.), and even detecting the color and the shape of the eyes of small birds. Shortly before, too, he has himself observed that the lens would not render perceptible objects of less than eighteen inches in diameter; but even this, as I have said, is giving the glass by far too great power.

It may be observed, in passing, that this prodigious glass is said to have been molded at the glasshouse of Messrs. Hartley and Grant, in Dumbarton; but Messrs. On page 13, pamphlet edition, speaking of “a hairy veil” over the eyes of a species of bison, the author says: “It immediately occurred to the acute mind of Dr. Herschel that this was a providential contrivance to protect the eyes of the animal from the great extremes of light and darkness to which all the inhabitants of our side of the moon are periodically subjected.” But this cannot be thought a very “acute” observation of the Doctor’s.

The inhabitants of our side of the moon have, evidently, no darkness at all, so there can be nothing of the “extremes” mentioned. In the absence of the sun they have a light from the earth equal to that of thirteen full unclouded moons. The topography throughout, even when professing to accord with Blunt’s Lunar Chart, is entirely at variance with that or any other lunar chart, and even grossly at variance with itself. The points of the compass, too, are in inextricable confusion; the writer appearing to be ignorant that, on a lunar map, these are not in accordance with terrestrial points; the east being to the left, etc. has entered into details regarding oceans and other large bodies of water in the moon; whereas there is no astronomical point more positively ascertained than that no such bodies exist there. In examining the boundary between light and darkness (in the crescent or gibbous moon) where this boundary crosses any of the dark places, the line of division is found to be rough and jagged; but, were these dark places liquid, it would evidently be even. The description of the wings of the man-bat, on page 21, is but a literal copy of Peter Wilkins’ account of the wings of his flying islanders. This simple fact should have induced suspicion, at least, it might be thought. On page 23, we have the following: “What a prodigious influence must our thirteen times larger globe have exercised upon this satellite when an embryo in the womb of time, the passive subject of chemical affinity!” This is very fine; but it should be observed that no astronomer would have made such remark, especially to any journal of Science; for the earth, in the sense intended, is not only thirteen, but forty-nine times larger than the moon.

A similar objection applies to the whole of the concluding pages, where, by way of introduction to some discoveries in Saturn, the philosophical correspondent enters into a minute schoolboy account of that planet--this to the “Edinburgh journal of Science!” But there is one point, in particular, which should have betrayed the fiction. Let us imagine the power actually possessed of seeing animals upon the moon’s surface--what would first arrest the attention of an observer from the earth? Certainly neither their shape, size, nor any other such peculiarity, so soon as their remarkable situation. They would appear to be walking, with heels up and head down, in the manner of flies on a ceiling.

The real observer would have uttered an instant ejaculation of surprise (however prepared by previous knowledge) at the singularity of their position; the fictitious observer has not even mentioned the subject, but speaks of seeing the entire bodies of such creatures, when it is demonstrable that he could have seen only the diameter of their heads! It might as well be remarked, in conclusion, that the size, and particularly the powers of the man-bats (for example, their ability to fly in so rare an atmosphere--if, indeed, the moon have any), with most of the other fancies in regard to animal and vegetable existence, are at variance, generally, with all analogical reasoning on these themes; and that analogy here will often amount to conclusive demonstration. It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to add, that all the suggestions attributed to Brewster and Herschel, in the beginning of the article, about “a transfusion of artificial light through the focal object of vision,” etc., etc., belong to that species of figurative writing which comes, most properly, under the denomination of rigmarole. There is a real and very definite limit to optical discovery among the stars--a limit whose nature need only be stated to be understood. If, indeed, the casting of large lenses were all that is required, man’s ingenuity would ultimately prove equal to the task, and we might have them of any size demanded. But, unhappily, in proportion to the increase of size in the lens, and consequently of space-penetrating power, is the diminution of light from the object, by diffusion of its rays. And for this evil there is no remedy within human ability; for an object is seen by means of that light alone which proceeds from itself, whether direct or reflected. It has been easily calculated that, when the light proceeding from a star becomes so diffused as to be as weak as the natural light proceeding from the whole of the stars, in a clear and moonless night, then the star is no longer visible for any practical purpose.

The Earl of Ross’s telescope, lately constructed in England, has a speculum with a reflecting surface of 4,071 square inches; the Herschel telescope having one of only 1,811. The metal of the Earl of Ross’s is 6 feet diameter; it is 5 1/2 inches thick at the edges, and 5 at the centre. I have lately read a singular and somewhat ingenious little book, whose title-page runs thus: “L’Homme dans la lvne ou le Voyage Chimerique fait au Monde de la Lvne, nouellement decouvert par Dominique Gonzales, Aduanturier Espagnol, autrem?t dit le Courier volant. Paris, chez Francois Piot, pres la Fontaine de Saint Benoist. D’Avisson (Davidson?) although there is a terrible ambiguity in the statement. “J’ en ai eu,” says he “l’original de Monsieur D’Avisson, medecin des mieux versez qui soient aujourd’huy dans la cõnoissance des Belles Lettres, et sur tout de la Philosophic Naturelle. Je lui ai cette obligation entre les autres, de m’ auoir non seulement mis en main cc Livre en anglois, mais encore le Manuscrit du Sieur Thomas D’Anan, gentilhomme Eccossois, recommandable pour sa vertu, sur la version duquel j’ advoue que j’ ay tiré le plan de la mienne.” After some irrelevant adventures, much in the manner of Gil Blas, and which occupy the first thirty pages, the author relates that, being ill during a sea voyage, the crew abandoned him, together with a negro servant, on the island of St.

To increase the chances of obtaining food, the two separate, and live as far apart as possible.

This brings about a training of birds, to serve the purpose of carrier-pigeons between them. By and by these are taught to carry parcels of some weight-and this weight is gradually increased. At length the idea is entertained of uniting the force of a great number of the birds, with a view to raising the author himself. A machine is contrived for the purpose, and we have a minute description of it, which is materially helped out by a steel engraving.

Here we perceive the Signor Gonzales, with point ruffles and a huge periwig, seated astride something which resembles very closely a broomstick, and borne aloft by a multitude of wild swans (ganzas) who had strings reaching from their tails to the machine. The main event detailed in the Signor’s narrative depends upon a very important fact, of which the reader is kept in ignorance until near the end of the book. Thence it had been their custom, time out of mind, to migrate annually to some portion of the earth. In proper season, of course, they would return home; and the author, happening, one day, to require their services for a short voyage, is unexpectedly carried straight tip, and in a very brief period arrives at the satellite. Here he finds, among other odd things, that the people enjoy extreme happiness; that they have no law; that they die without pain; that they are from ten to thirty feet in height; that they live five thousand years; that they have an emperor called Irdonozur; and that they can jump sixty feet high, when, being out of the gravitating influence, they fly about with fans. I cannot forbear giving a specimen of the general philosophy of the volume. As to the stars, since there was no night where I was, they always had the same appearance; not brilliant, as usual, but pale, and very nearly like the moon of a morning. But few of them were visible, and these ten times larger (as well as I could judge) than they seem to the inhabitants of the earth. The moon, which wanted two days of being full, was of a terrible bigness. I have also to inform you that, whether it was calm weather or stormy, I found myself always immediately between the moon and the earth. I was convinced of this for two reasons-because my birds always flew in a straight line; and because whenever we attempted to rest, we were carried insensibly around the globe of the earth.

For I admit the opinion of Copernicus, who maintains that it never ceases to revolve from the east to the west, not upon the poles of the Equinoctial, commonly called the poles of the world, but upon those of the Zodiac, a question of which I propose to speak more at length here-after, when I shall have leisure to refresh my memory in regard to the astrology which I learned at Salamanca when young, and have since forgotten.” Notwithstanding the blunders italicized, the book is not without some claim to attention, as affording a naive specimen of the current astronomical notions of the time.

One of these assumed, that the “gravitating power” extended but a short distance from the earth’s surface, and, accordingly, we find our voyager “carried insensibly around the globe,” etc. That of Bergerac is utterly meaningless. In the third volume of the “American Quarterly Review” will be found quite an elaborate criticism upon a certain “journey” of the kind in question--a criticism in which it is difficult to say whether the critic most exposes the stupidity of the book, or his own absurd ignorance of astronomy. The adventurer, in digging the earth, happens to discover a peculiar metal for which the moon has a strong attraction, and straightway constructs of it a box, which, when cast loose from its terrestrial fastenings, flies with him, forthwith, to the satellite.

The “Flight of Thomas O’Rourke,” is a jeu d’ esprit not altogether contemptible, and has been translated into German. Thomas, the hero, was, in fact, the gamekeeper of an Irish peer, whose eccentricities gave rise to the tale.

The “flight” is made on an eagle’s back, from Hungry Hill, a lofty mountain at the end of Bantry Bay. In these various brochures the aim is always satirical; the theme being a description of Lunarian customs as compared with ours.

In none is there any effort at plausibility in the details of the voyage itself. The writers seem, in each instance, to be utterly uninformed in respect to astronomy. In “Hans Pfaall” the design is original, inasmuch as regards an attempt at verisimilitude, in the application of scientific principles (so far as the whimsical nature of the subject would permit), to the actual passage between the earth and the moon. Emicant Trabes quos docos vocant.--Pliny, lib. (*3) Since the original publication of Hans Pfaall, I find that Mr. Green, of Nassau balloon notoriety, and other late aeronauts, deny the assertions of Humboldt, in this respect, and speak of a decreasing inconvenience,--precisely in accordance with the theory here urged in a mere spirit of banter. (*4) Havelius writes that he has several times found, in skies perfectly clear, when even stars of the sixth and seventh magnitude were conspicuous, that, at the same altitude of the moon, at the same elongation from the earth, and with one and the same excellent telescope, the moon and its maculae did not appear equally lucid at all times. From the circumstances of the observation, it is evident that the cause of this phenomenon is not either in our air, in the tube, in the moon, or in the eye of the spectator, but must be looked for in something (an atmosphere?) existing about the moon.

this fellow is dancing mad! --All in the Wrong. MANY years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. To avoid the mortification consequent upon his disasters, he left New Orleans, the city of his forefathers, and took up his residence at Sullivan’s Island, near Charleston, South Carolina. This Island is a very singular one. Its breadth at no point exceeds a quarter of a mile. It is separated from the main land by a scarcely perceptible creek, oozing its way through a wilderness of reeds and slime, a favorite resort of the marsh hen.

Near the western extremity, where Fort Moultrie stands, and where are some miserable frame buildings, tenanted, during summer, by the fugitives from Charleston dust and fever, may be found, indeed, the bristly palmetto; but the whole island, with the exception of this western point, and a line of hard, white beach on the seacoast, is covered with a dense undergrowth of the sweet myrtle, so much prized by the horticulturists of England. The shrub here often attains the height of fifteen or twenty feet, and forms an almost impenetrable coppice, burthening the air with its fragrance. In the inmost recesses of this coppice, not far from the eastern or more remote end of the island, Legrand had built himself a small hut, which he occupied when I first, by mere accident, made his acquaintance. This soon ripened into friendship--for there was much in the recluse to excite interest and esteem. I found him well educated, with unusual powers of mind, but infected with misanthropy, and subject to perverse moods of alternate enthusiasm and melancholy. His chief amusements were gunning and fishing, or sauntering along the beach and through the myrtles, in quest of shells or entomological specimens;--his collection of the latter might have been envied by a Swammerdamm. In these excursions he was usually accompanied by an old negro, called Jupiter, who had been manumitted before the reverses of the family, but who could be induced, neither by threats nor by promises, to abandon what he considered his right of attendance upon the footsteps of his young “Massa Will.” It is not improbable that the relatives of Legrand, conceiving him to be somewhat unsettled in intellect, had contrived to instil this obstinacy into Jupiter, with a view to the supervision and guardianship of the wanderer. The winters in the latitude of Sullivan’s Island are seldom very severe, and in the fall of the year it is a rare event indeed when a fire is considered necessary. About the middle of October, 18-, there occurred, however, a day of remarkable chilliness. Just before sunset I scrambled my way through the evergreens to the hut of my friend, whom I had not visited for several weeks--my residence being, at that time, in Charleston, a distance of nine miles from the Island, while the facilities of passage and re-passage were very far behind those of the present day.

Upon reaching the hut I rapped, as was my custom, and getting no reply, sought for the key where I knew it was secreted, unlocked the door and went in. A fine fire was blazing upon the hearth. I threw off an overcoat, took an arm-chair by the crackling logs, and awaited patiently the arrival of my hosts. Jupiter, grinning from ear to ear, bustled about to prepare some marsh-hens for supper. Legrand was in one of his fits--how else shall I term them?--of enthusiasm.

He had found an unknown bivalve, forming a new genus, and, more than this, he had hunted down and secured, with Jupiter’s assistance, a scarabæus which he believed to be totally new, but in respect to which he wished to have my opinion on the morrow. “And why not to-night?” I asked, rubbing my hands over the blaze, and wishing the whole tribe of scarabæi at the devil. “Ah, if I had only known you were here!” said Legrand, “but it’s so long since I saw you; and how could I foresee that you would pay me a visit this very night of all others? As I was coming home I met Lieutenant G--, from the fort, and, very foolishly, I lent him the bug; so it will be impossible for you to see it until the morning. It is the loveliest thing in creation!” “What?--sunrise?” “Nonsense! The antennæ are--” “Dey aint no tin in him, Massa Will, I keep a tellin on you,” here interrupted Jupiter; “de bug is a goole bug, solid, ebery bit of him, inside and all, sep him wing--neber feel half so hebby a bug in my life.” “Well, suppose it is, Jup,” replied Legrand, somewhat more earnestly, it seemed to me, than the case demanded, “is that any reason for your letting the birds burn?

In the mean time I can give you some idea of the shape.” Saying this, he seated himself at a small table, on which were a pen and ink, but no paper. He looked for some in a drawer, but found none. “Never mind,” said he at length, “this will answer;” and he drew from his waistcoat pocket a scrap of what I took to be very dirty foolscap, and made upon it a rough drawing with the pen. While he did this, I retained my seat by the fire, for I was still chilly.

When the design was complete, he handed it to me without rising. As I received it, a loud growl was heard, succeeded by a scratching at the door. Jupiter opened it, and a large Newfoundland, belonging to Legrand, rushed in, leaped upon my shoulders, and loaded me with caresses; for I had shown him much attention during previous visits. “Well!” I said, after contemplating it for some minutes, “this is a strange scarabæus, I must confess: new to me: never saw anything like it before--unless it was a skull, or a death’s-head--which it more nearly resembles than anything else that has come under my observation.” “A death’s-head!” echoed Legrand--“Oh--yes--well, it has something of that appearance upon paper, no doubt. I must wait until I see the beetle itself, if I am to form any idea of its personal appearance.” “Well, I don’t know,” said he, a little nettled, “I draw tolerably--should do it at least--have had good masters, and flatter myself that I am not quite a blockhead.” “But, my dear fellow, you are joking then,” said I, “this is a very passable skull--indeed, I may say that it is a very excellent skull, according to the vulgar notions about such specimens of physiology--and your scarabæus must be the queerest scarabæus in the world if it resembles it. Why, we may get up a very thrilling bit of superstition upon this hint. I presume you will call the bug scarabæus caput hominis, or something of that kind--there are many similar titles in the Natural Histories.

But where are the antennæ you spoke of?” “The antennæ!” said Legrand, who seemed to be getting unaccountably warm upon the subject; “I am sure you must see the antennæ. I made them as distinct as they are in the original insect, and I presume that is sufficient.” “Well, well,” I said, “perhaps you have--still I don’t see them;” and I handed him the paper without additional remark, not wishing to ruffle his temper; but I was much surprised at the turn affairs had taken; his ill humor puzzled me--and, as for the drawing of the beetle, there were positively no antennæ visible, and the whole did bear a very close resemblance to the ordinary cuts of a death’s-head. He received the paper very peevishly, and was about to crumple it, apparently to throw it in the fire, when a casual glance at the design seemed suddenly to rivet his attention.

In an instant his face grew violently red--in another as excessively pale. For some minutes he continued to scrutinize the drawing minutely where he sat. At length he arose, took a candle from the table, and proceeded to seat himself upon a sea-chest in the farthest corner of the room. Here again he made an anxious examination of the paper; turning it in all directions. He said nothing, however, and his conduct greatly astonished me; yet I thought it prudent not to exacerbate the growing moodiness of his temper by any comment. Presently he took from his coat pocket a wallet, placed the paper carefully in it, and deposited both in a writing-desk, which he locked. He now grew more composed in his demeanor; but his original air of enthusiasm had quite disappeared.

As the evening wore away he became more and more absorbed in reverie, from which no sallies of mine could arouse him.

It had been my intention to pass the night at the hut, as I had frequently done before, but, seeing my host in this mood, I deemed it proper to take leave. He did not press me to remain, but, as I departed, he shook my hand with even more than his usual cordiality.

It was about a month after this (and during the interval I had seen nothing of Legrand) when I received a visit, at Charleston, from his man, Jupiter.

What does he complain of?” “Dar!

dat’s it!--him neber plain of notin--but him berry sick for all dat.” “Very sick, Jupiter!--why didn’t you say so at once? Is he confined to bed?” “No, dat he aint!--he aint find nowhar--dat’s just whar de shoe pinch--my mind is got to be berry hebby bout poor Massa Will.” “Jupiter, I should like to understand what it is you are talking about. Hasn’t he told you what ails him?” “Why, massa, taint worf while for to git mad about de matter--Massa Will say noffin at all aint de matter wid him--but den what make him go about looking dis here way, wid he head down and he soldiers up, and as white as a gose? Ise gittin to be skeered, I tell you. I had a big stick ready cut for to gib him deuced good beating when he did come--but Ise sich a fool dat I hadn’t de heart arter all--he look so berry poorly.” “Eh?--what?--ah yes!--upon the whole I think you had better not be too severe with the poor fellow--don’t flog him, Jupiter--he can’t very well stand it--but can you form no idea of what has occasioned this illness, or rather this change of conduct? Has anything unpleasant happened since I saw you?” “No, massa, dey aint bin noffin unpleasant since den--‘twas fore den I’m feared--‘twas de berry day you was dare.” “How?

what do you mean?” “Why, massa, I mean de bug--dare now.” “The what?” “De bug,--I’m berry sartain dat Massa Will bin bit somewhere bout de head by dat goole-bug.” “And what cause have you, Jupiter, for such a supposition?” “Claws enuff, massa, and mouth too. I nebber did see sick a deuced bug--he kick and he bite ebery ting what cum near him. Massa Will cotch him fuss, but had for to let him go gin mighty quick, I tell you--den was de time he must ha got de bite. I did n’t like de look oh de bug mouff, myself, no how, so I would n’t take hold ob him wid my finger, but I cotch him wid a piece ob paper dat I found.

I rap him up in de paper and stuff piece ob it in he mouff--dat was de way.” “And you think, then, that your master was really bitten by the beetle, and that the bite made him sick?” “I do n’t tink noffin about it--I nose it. What make him dream bout de goole so much, if taint cause he bit by de goole-bug? why cause he talk about it in he sleep--dat’s how I nose.” “Well, Jup, perhaps you are right; but to what fortunate circumstance am I to attribute the honor of a visit from you to-day?” “What de matter, massa?” “Did you bring any message from Mr. Legrand?” “No, massa, I bring dis here pissel;” and here Jupiter handed me a note which ran thus: MY DEAR ---- Why have I not seen you for so long a time? I hope you have not been so foolish as to take offence at any little brusquerie of mine; but no, that is improbable. Since I saw you I have had great cause for anxiety. I have something to tell you, yet scarcely know how to tell it, or whether I should tell it at all. I have not been quite well for some days past, and poor old Jup annoys me, almost beyond endurance, by his well-meant attentions Would you believe it?--he had prepared a huge stick, the other day, with which to chastise me for giving him the slip, and spending the day, solus, among the hills on the main land. I verily believe that my ill looks alone saved me a flogging. I have made no addition to my cabinet since we met.

If you can, in any way, make it convenient, come over with Jupiter.

I wish to see you to-night, upon business of importance. There was something in the tone of this note which gave me great uneasiness. What could he be dreaming of? What new crotchet possessed his excitable brain? What “business of the highest importance” could he possibly have to transact? I dreaded lest the continued pressure of misfortune had, at length, fairly unsettled the reason of my friend. Upon reaching the wharf, I noticed a scythe and three spades, all apparently new, lying in the bottom of the boat in which we were to embark.

“What is the meaning of all this, Jup?” I inquired. “Him syfe, massa, and spade.” “Very true; but what are they doing here?” “Him de syfe and de spade what Massa Will sis pon my buying for him in de town, and de debbils own lot of money I had to gib for em.” “But what, in the name of all that is mysterious, is your ‘Massa Will’ going to do with scythes and spades?” “Dat’s more dan I know, and debbil take me if I don’t blieve ‘tis more dan he know, too. But it’s all cum ob do bug.” Finding that no satisfaction was to be obtained of Jupiter, whose whole intellect seemed to be absorbed by “de bug,” I now stepped into the boat and made sail. With a fair and strong breeze we soon ran into the little cove to the northward of Fort Moultrie, and a walk of some two miles brought us to the hut. It was about three in the afternoon when we arrived. Legrand had been awaiting us in eager expectation. He grasped my hand with a nervous empressement which alarmed me and strengthened the suspicions already entertained. His countenance was pale even to ghastliness, and his deep-set eyes glared with unnatural lustre. After some inquiries respecting his health, I asked him, not knowing what better to say, if he had yet obtained the scarabæus from Lieutenant G ----.

“Oh, yes,” he replied, coloring violently, “I got it from him the next morning. Nothing should tempt me to part with that scarabæus. Do you know that Jupiter is quite right about it?” “In what way?” I asked, with a sad foreboding at heart. “In supposing it to be a bug of real gold.” He said this with an air of profound seriousness, and I felt inexpressibly shocked. “This bug is to make my fortune,” he continued, with a triumphant smile, “to reinstate me in my family possessions. Since Fortune has thought fit to bestow it upon me, I have only to use it properly and I shall arrive at the gold of which it is the index. Jupiter; bring me that scarabæus!” “What!

I’d rudder not go fer trubble dat bug--you mus git him for your own self.” Hereupon Legrand arose, with a grave and stately air, and brought me the beetle from a glass case in which it was enclosed. It was a beautiful scarabæus, and, at that time, unknown to naturalists--of course a great prize in a scientific point of view.

The scales were exceedingly hard and glossy, with all the appearance of burnished gold. The weight of the insect was very remarkable, and, taking all things into consideration, I could hardly blame Jupiter for his opinion respecting it; but what to make of Legrand’s concordance with that opinion, I could not, for the life of me, tell. “I sent for you,” said he, in a grandiloquent tone, when I had completed my examination of the beetle, “I sent for you, that I might have your counsel and assistance in furthering the views of Fate and of the bug”-- “My dear Legrand,” I cried, interrupting him, “you are certainly unwell, and had better use some little precautions. You shall go to bed, and I will remain with you a few days, until you get over this. I felt it, and, to say the truth, found not the slightest indication of fever.

In the first place, go to bed. In the next”-- “You are mistaken,” he interposed, “I am as well as I can expect to be under the excitement which I suffer. Jupiter and myself are going upon an expedition into the hills, upon the main land, and, in this expedition we shall need the aid of some person in whom we can confide. Whether we succeed or fail, the excitement which you now perceive in me will be equally allayed.” “I am anxious to oblige you in any way,” I replied; “but do you mean to say that this infernal beetle has any connection with your expedition into the hills?” “It has.” “Then, Legrand, I can become a party to no such absurd proceeding.” “I am sorry--very sorry--for we shall have to try it by ourselves.” “Try it by yourselves!

We shall start immediately, and be back, at all events, by sunrise.” “And will you promise me, upon your honor, that when this freak of yours is over, and the bug business (good God!) settled to your satisfaction, you will then return home and follow my advice implicitly, as that of your physician?” “Yes; I promise; and now let us be off, for we have no time to lose.” With a heavy heart I accompanied my friend. Jupiter had with him the scythe and spades--the whole of which he insisted upon carrying--more through fear, it seemed to me, of trusting either of the implements within reach of his master, than from any excess of industry or complaisance. His demeanor was dogged in the extreme, and “dat deuced bug” were the sole words which escaped his lips during the journey. For my own part, I had charge of a couple of dark lanterns, while Legrand contented himself with the scarabæus, which he carried attached to the end of a bit of whip-cord; twirling it to and fro, with the air of a conjuror, as he went. When I observed this last, plain evidence of my friend’s aberration of mind, I could scarcely refrain from tears. In the mean time I endeavored, but all in vain, to sound him in regard to the object of the expedition.

Having succeeded in inducing me to accompany him, he seemed unwilling to hold conversation upon any topic of minor importance, and to all my questions vouchsafed no other reply than “we shall see!” We crossed the creek at the head of the island by means of a skiff; and, ascending the high grounds on the shore of the main land, proceeded in a northwesterly direction, through a tract of country excessively wild and desolate, where no trace of a human footstep was to be seen. Legrand led the way with decision; pausing only for an instant, here and there, to consult what appeared to be certain landmarks of his own contrivance upon a former occasion. In this manner we journeyed for about two hours, and the sun was just setting when we entered a region infinitely more dreary than any yet seen. It was a species of table land, near the summit of an almost inaccessible hill, densely wooded from base to pinnacle, and interspersed with huge crags that appeared to lie loosely upon the soil, and in many cases were prevented from precipitating themselves into the valleys below, merely by the support of the trees against which they reclined. Deep ravines, in various directions, gave an air of still sterner solemnity to the scene. The natural platform to which we had clambered was thickly overgrown with brambles, through which we soon discovered that it would have been impossible to force our way but for the scythe; and Jupiter, by direction of his master, proceeded to clear for us a path to the foot of an enormously tall tulip-tree, which stood, with some eight or ten oaks, upon the level, and far surpassed them all, and all other trees which I had then ever seen, in the beauty of its foliage and form, in the wide spread of its branches, and in the general majesty of its appearance.

At length he approached the huge trunk, walked slowly around it, and examined it with minute attention. When he had completed his scrutiny, he merely said, “Yes, massa, Jup climb any tree he ebber see in he life.” “Then up with you as soon as possible, for it will soon be too dark to see what we are about.” “How far mus go up, massa?” inquired Jupiter. “Get up the main trunk first, and then I will tell you which way to go--and here--stop! take this beetle with you.” “De bug, Massa Will!--de goole bug!” cried the negro, drawing back in dismay--“what for mus tote de bug way up de tree?--d-n if I do!” “If you are afraid, Jup, a great big negro like you, to take hold of a harmless little dead beetle, why you can carry it up by this string--but, if you do not take it up with you in some way, I shall be under the necessity of breaking your head with this shovel.” “What de matter now, massa?” said Jup, evidently shamed into compliance; “always want for to raise fuss wid old nigger. Was only funnin any how. what I keer for de bug?” Here he took cautiously hold of the extreme end of the string, and, maintaining the insect as far from his person as circumstances would permit, prepared to ascend the tree.

In youth, the tulip-tree, or Liriodendron Tulipferum, the most magnificent of American foresters, has a trunk peculiarly smooth, and often rises to a great height without lateral branches; but, in its riper age, the bark becomes gnarled and uneven, while many short limbs make their appearance on the stem. Thus the difficulty of ascension, in the present case, lay more in semblance than in reality. Embracing the huge cylinder, as closely as possible, with his arms and knees, seizing with his hands some projections, and resting his naked toes upon others, Jupiter, after one or two narrow escapes from falling, at length wriggled himself into the first great fork, and seemed to consider the whole business as virtually accomplished. The risk of the achievement was, in fact, now over, although the climber was some sixty or seventy feet from the ground.

The negro obeyed him promptly, and apparently with but little trouble; ascending higher and higher, until no glimpse of his squat figure could be obtained through the dense foliage which enveloped it. Presently his voice was heard in a sort of halloo. “Ebber so fur,” replied the negro; “can see de sky fru de top ob de tree.” “Never mind the sky, but attend to what I say. How many limbs have you passed?” “One, two, tree, four, fibe--I done pass fibe big limb, massa, pon dis side.” “Then go one limb higher.” In a few minutes the voice was heard again, announcing that the seventh limb was attained.

If you see anything strange, let me know.” By this time what little doubt I might have entertained of my poor friend’s insanity, was put finally at rest. I had no alternative but to conclude him stricken with lunacy, and I became seriously anxious about getting him home. While I was pondering upon what was best to be done, Jupiter’s voice was again heard. “Mos feerd for to ventur pon dis limb berry far--tis dead limb putty much all de way.” “Did you say it was a dead limb, Jupiter?” cried Legrand in a quavering voice. “Yes, massa, him dead as de door-nail--done up for sartain--done departed dis here life.” “What in the name heaven shall I do?” asked Legrand, seemingly in the greatest distress.

“Do!” said I, glad of an opportunity to interpose a word, “why come home and go to bed. Come now!--that’s a fine fellow. It’s getting late, and, besides, you remember your promise.” “Jupiter,” cried he, without heeding me in the least, “do you hear me?” “Yes, Massa Will, hear you ebber so plain.” “Try the wood well, then, with your knife, and see if you think it very rotten.” “Him rotten, massa, sure nuff,” replied the negro in a few moments, “but not so berry rotten as mought be. Spose I drop him down fuss, and den de limb won’t break wid just de weight ob one nigger.” “You infernal scoundrel!” cried Legrand, apparently much relieved, “what do you mean by telling me such nonsense as that?

now listen!--if you will venture out on the limb as far as you think safe, and not let go the beetle, I’ll make you a present of a silver dollar as soon as you get down.” “I’m gwine, Massa Will--deed I is,” replied the negro very promptly--“mos out to the eend now.” “Out to the end!” here fairly screamed Legrand, “do you say you are out to the end of that limb?” “Soon be to de eend, massa,--o-o-o-o-oh! what is dis here pon de tree?” “Well!” cried Legrand, highly delighted, “what is it?” “Why taint noffin but a skull--somebody bin lef him head up de tree, and de crows done gobble ebery bit ob de meat off.” “A skull, you say!--very well!--how is it fastened to the limb?--what holds it on?” “Sure nuff, massa; mus look.

Why dis berry curous sarcumstance, pon my word--dare’s a great big nail in de skull, what fastens ob it on to de tree.” “Well now, Jupiter, do exactly as I tell you--do you hear?” “Yes, massa.” “Pay attention, then!--find the left eye of the skull.” “Hum! why dare aint no eye lef at all.” “Curse your stupidity! Now, I suppose, you can find the left eye of the skull, or the place where the left eye has been.

At length the negro asked, “Is de lef eye of de skull pon de same side as de lef hand of de skull, too?--cause de skull aint got not a bit ob a hand at all--nebber mind! what mus do wid it?” “Let the beetle drop through it, as far as the string will reach--but be careful and not let go your hold of the string.” “All dat done, Massa Will; mighty easy ting for to put de bug fru de hole--look out for him dare below!” During this colloquy no portion of Jupiter’s person could be seen; but the beetle, which he had suffered to descend, was now visible at the end of the string, and glistened, like a globe of burnished gold, in the last rays of the setting sun, some of which still faintly illumined the eminence upon which we stood. Legrand immediately took the scythe, and cleared with it a circular space, three or four yards in diameter, just beneath the insect, and, having accomplished this, ordered Jupiter to let go the string and come down from the tree. Driving a peg, with great nicety, into the ground, at the precise spot where the beetle fell, my friend now produced from his pocket a tape measure. Fastening one end of this at that point of the trunk, of the tree which was nearest the peg, he unrolled it till it reached the peg, and thence farther unrolled it, in the direction already established by the two points of the tree and the peg, for the distance of fifty feet--Jupiter clearing away the brambles with the scythe.

At the spot thus attained a second peg was driven, and about this, as a centre, a rude circle, about four feet in diameter, described. Taking now a spade himself, and giving one to Jupiter and one to me, Legrand begged us to set about digging as quickly as possible. To speak the truth, I had no especial relish for such amusement at any time, and, at that particular moment, would most willingly have declined it; for the night was coming on, and I felt much fatigued with the exercise already taken; but I saw no mode of escape, and was fearful of disturbing my poor friend’s equanimity by a refusal. Could I have depended, indeed, upon Jupiter’s aid, I would have had no hesitation in attempting to get the lunatic home by force; but I was too well assured of the old negro’s disposition, to hope that he would assist me, under any circumstances, in a personal contest with his master. I made no doubt that the latter had been infected with some of the innumerable Southern superstitions about money buried, and that his phantasy had received confirmation by the finding of the scarabæus, or, perhaps, by Jupiter’s obstinacy in maintaining it to be “a bug of real gold.” A mind disposed to lunacy would readily be led away by such suggestions--especially if chiming in with favorite preconceived ideas--and then I called to mind the poor fellow’s speech about the beetle’s being “the index of his fortune.” Upon the whole, I was sadly vexed and puzzled, but, at length, I concluded to make a virtue of necessity--to dig with a good will, and thus the sooner to convince the visionary, by ocular demonstration, of the fallacy of the opinions he entertained.

The lanterns having been lit, we all fell to work with a zeal worthy a more rational cause; and, as the glare fell upon our persons and implements, I could not help thinking how picturesque a group we composed, and how strange and suspicious our labors must have appeared to any interloper who, by chance, might have stumbled upon our whereabouts.

Little was said; and our chief embarrassment lay in the yelpings of the dog, who took exceeding interest in our proceedings. He, at length, became so obstreperous that we grew fearful of his giving the alarm to some stragglers in the vicinity;--or, rather, this was the apprehension of Legrand;--for myself, I should have rejoiced at any interruption which might have enabled me to get the wanderer home. The noise was, at length, very effectually silenced by Jupiter, who, getting out of the hole with a dogged air of deliberation, tied the brute’s mouth up with one of his suspenders, and then returned, with a grave chuckle, to his task. Still nothing appeared. The gold-seeker, whom I sincerely pitied, at length clambered from the pit, with the bitterest disappointment imprinted upon every feature, and proceeded, slowly and reluctantly, to put on his coat, which he had thrown off at the beginning of his labor. In the mean time I made no remark.

This done, and the dog having been unmuzzled, we turned in profound silence towards home.

We had taken, perhaps, a dozen steps in this direction, when, with a loud oath, Legrand strode up to Jupiter, and seized him by the collar. “You scoundrel,” said Legrand, hissing out the syllables from between his clenched teeth--“you infernal black villain!--speak, I tell you!--answer me this instant, without prevarication!--which--which is your left eye?” “Oh, my golly, Massa Will! aint dis here my lef eye for sartain?” roared the terrified Jupiter, placing his hand upon his right organ of vision, and holding it there with a desperate pertinacity, as if in immediate dread of his master’s attempt at a gouge. hurrah!” vociferated Legrand, letting the negro go, and executing a series of curvets and caracols, much to the astonishment of his valet, who, arising from his knees, looked, mutely, from his master to myself, and then from myself to his master. we must go back,” said the latter, “the game’s not up yet;” and he again led the way to the tulip-tree. “Twas dis eye, massa--de lef eye--jis as you tell me,” and here it was his right eye that the negro indicated. “That will do--must try it again.” Here my friend, about whose madness I now saw, or fancied that I saw, certain indications of method, removed the peg which marked the spot where the beetle fell, to a spot about three inches to the westward of its former position. Taking, now, the tape measure from the nearest point of the trunk to the peg, as before, and continuing the extension in a straight line to the distance of fifty feet, a spot was indicated, removed, by several yards, from the point at which we had been digging.

Around the new position a circle, somewhat larger than in the former instance, was now described, and we again set to work with the spades.

I was dreadfully weary, but, scarcely understanding what had occasioned the change in my thoughts, I felt no longer any great aversion from the labor imposed. I had become most unaccountably interested--nay, even excited. Perhaps there was something, amid all the extravagant demeanor of Legrand--some air of forethought, or of deliberation, which impressed me. I dug eagerly, and now and then caught myself actually looking, with something that very much resembled expectation, for the fancied treasure, the vision of which had demented my unfortunate companion. At a period when such vagaries of thought most fully possessed me, and when we had been at work perhaps an hour and a half, we were again interrupted by the violent howlings of the dog. His uneasiness, in the first instance, had been, evidently, but the result of playfulness or caprice, but he now assumed a bitter and serious tone. Upon Jupiter’s again attempting to muzzle him, he made furious resistance, and, leaping into the hole, tore up the mould frantically with his claws.

In a few seconds he had uncovered a mass of human bones, forming two complete skeletons, intermingled with several buttons of metal, and what appeared to be the dust of decayed woollen. One or two strokes of a spade upturned the blade of a large Spanish knife, and, as we dug farther, three or four loose pieces of gold and silver coin came to light. At sight of these the joy of Jupiter could scarcely be restrained, but the countenance of his master wore an air of extreme disappointment He urged us, however, to continue our exertions, and the words were hardly uttered when I stumbled and fell forward, having caught the toe of my boot in a large ring of iron that lay half buried in the loose earth. We now worked in earnest, and never did I pass ten minutes of more intense excitement. During this interval we had fairly unearthed an oblong chest of wood, which, from its perfect preservation and wonderful hardness, had plainly been subjected to some mineralizing process--perhaps that of the Bi-chloride of Mercury. It was firmly secured by bands of wrought iron, riveted, and forming a kind of open trelliswork over the whole. On each side of the chest, near the top, were three rings of iron--six in all--by means of which a firm hold could be obtained by six persons.

Our utmost united endeavors served only to disturb the coffer very slightly in its bed. We at once saw the impossibility of removing so great a weight. Luckily, the sole fastenings of the lid consisted of two sliding bolts. These we drew back--trembling and panting with anxiety. In an instant, a treasure of incalculable value lay gleaming before us. As the rays of the lanterns fell within the pit, there flashed upwards a glow and a glare, from a confused heap of gold and of jewels, that absolutely dazzled our eyes. I shall not pretend to describe the feelings with which I gazed. Amazement was, of course, predominant. Jupiter’s countenance wore, for some minutes, as deadly a pallor as it is possible, in nature of things, for any negro’s visage to assume.

Presently he fell upon his knees in the pit, and, burying his naked arms up to the elbows in gold, let them there remain, as if enjoying the luxury of a bath. At length, with a deep sigh, he exclaimed, as if in a soliloquy, “And dis all cum ob de goole-bug! de poor little goole-bug, what I boosed in dat sabage kind ob style! Aint you shamed ob yourself, nigger?--answer me dat!” It became necessary, at last, that I should arouse both master and valet to the expediency of removing the treasure. It was growing late, and it behooved us to make exertion, that we might get every thing housed before daylight. It was difficult to say what should be done, and much time was spent in deliberation--so confused were the ideas of all.

We, finally, lightened the box by removing two thirds of its contents, when we were enabled, with some trouble, to raise it from the hole. We then hurriedly made for home with the chest; reaching the hut in safety, but after excessive toil, at one o’clock in the morning. Worn out as we were, it was not in human nature to do more immediately. We rested until two, and had supper; starting for the hills immediately afterwards, armed with three stout sacks, which, by good luck, were upon the premises. A little before four we arrived at the pit, divided the remainder of the booty, as equally as might be, among us, and, leaving the holes unfilled, again set out for the hut, at which, for the second time, we deposited our golden burthens, just as the first faint streaks of the dawn gleamed from over the tree-tops in the East. We were now thoroughly broken down; but the intense excitement of the time denied us repose.

After an unquiet slumber of some three or four hours’ duration, we arose, as if by preconcert, to make examination of our treasure.

The chest had been full to the brim, and we spent the whole day, and the greater part of the next night, in a scrutiny of its contents. There had been nothing like order or arrangement. Every thing had been heaped in promiscuously. Having assorted all with care, we found ourselves possessed of even vaster wealth than we had at first supposed. In coin there was rather more than four hundred and fifty thousand dollars--estimating the value of the pieces, as accurately as we could, by the tables of the period. All was gold of antique date and of great variety--French, Spanish, and German money, with a few English guineas, and some counters, of which we had never seen specimens before. There were several very large and heavy coins, so worn that we could make nothing of their inscriptions. The value of the jewels we found more difficulty in estimating. There were diamonds--some of them exceedingly large and fine--a hundred and ten in all, and not one of them small; eighteen rubies of remarkable brilliancy;--three hundred and ten emeralds, all very beautiful; and twenty-one sapphires, with an opal. These stones had all been broken from their settings and thrown loose in the chest.

The settings themselves, which we picked out from among the other gold, appeared to have been beaten up with hammers, as if to prevent identification. Besides all this, there was a vast quantity of solid gold ornaments;--nearly two hundred massive finger and earrings;--rich chains--thirty of these, if I remember;--eighty-three very large and heavy crucifixes;--five gold censers of great value;--a prodigious golden punch bowl, ornamented with richly chased vine-leaves and Bacchanalian figures; with two sword-handles exquisitely embossed, and many other smaller articles which I cannot recollect. The weight of these valuables exceeded three hundred and fifty pounds avoirdupois; and in this estimate I have not included one hundred and ninety-seven superb gold watches; three of the number being worth each five hundred dollars, if one. Many of them were very old, and as time keepers valueless; the works having suffered, more or less, from corrosion--but all were richly jewelled and in cases of great worth. We estimated the entire contents of the chest, that night, at a million and a half of dollars; and upon the subsequent disposal of the trinkets and jewels (a few being retained for our own use), it was found that we had greatly undervalued the treasure. When, at length, we had concluded our examination, and the intense excitement of the time had, in some measure, subsided, Legrand, who saw that I was dying with impatience for a solution of this most extraordinary riddle, entered into a full detail of all the circumstances connected with it. You recollect also, that I became quite vexed at you for insisting that my drawing resembled a death’s-head. When you first made this assertion I thought you were jesting; but afterwards I called to mind the peculiar spots on the back of the insect, and admitted to myself that your remark had some little foundation in fact.

Still, the sneer at my graphic powers irritated me--for I am considered a good artist--and, therefore, when you handed me the scrap of parchment, I was about to crumple it up and throw it angrily into the fire.” “The scrap of paper, you mean,” said I. “No; it had much of the appearance of paper, and at first I supposed it to be such, but when I came to draw upon it, I discovered it, at once, to be a piece of very thin parchment. Well, as I was in the very act of crumpling it up, my glance fell upon the sketch at which you had been looking, and you may imagine my astonishment when I perceived, in fact, the figure of a death’s-head just where, it seemed to me, I had made the drawing of the beetle. For a moment I was too much amazed to think with accuracy. I knew that my design was very different in detail from this--although there was a certain similarity in general outline. Presently I took a candle, and seating myself at the other end of the room, proceeded to scrutinize the parchment more closely.

Upon turning it over, I saw my own sketch upon the reverse, just as I had made it.

My first idea, now, was mere surprise at the really remarkable similarity of outline--at the singular coincidence involved in the fact, that unknown to me, there should have been a skull upon the other side of the parchment, immediately beneath my figure of the scarabæus, and that this skull, not only in outline, but in size, should so closely resemble my drawing. I say the singularity of this coincidence absolutely stupified me for a time. This is the usual effect of such coincidences. The mind struggles to establish a connexion--a sequence of cause and effect--and, being unable to do so, suffers a species of temporary paralysis. But, when I recovered from this stupor, there dawned upon me gradually a conviction which startled me even far more than the coincidence. I began distinctly, positively, to remember that there had been no drawing upon the parchment when I made my sketch of the scarabæus. I became perfectly certain of this; for I recollected turning up first one side and then the other, in search of the cleanest spot.

Here was indeed a mystery which I felt it impossible to explain; but, even at that early moment, there seemed to glimmer, faintly, within the most remote and secret chambers of my intellect, a glow-worm-like conception of that truth which last night’s adventure brought to so magnificent a demonstration. I arose at once, and putting the parchment securely away, dismissed all farther reflection until I should be alone. “When you had gone, and when Jupiter was fast asleep, I betook myself to a more methodical investigation of the affair. In the first place I considered the manner in which the parchment had come into my possession.

The spot where we discovered the scarabaeus was on the coast of the main land, about a mile eastward of the island, and but a short distance above high water mark. Upon my taking hold of it, it gave me a sharp bite, which caused me to let it drop.

Jupiter, with his accustomed caution, before seizing the insect, which had flown towards him, looked about him for a leaf, or something of that nature, by which to take hold of it. It was at this moment that his eyes, and mine also, fell upon the scrap of parchment, which I then supposed to be paper.

It was lying half buried in the sand, a corner sticking up. “Well, Jupiter picked up the parchment, wrapped the beetle in it, and gave it to me. I showed him the insect, and he begged me to let him take it to the fort. Upon my consenting, he thrust it forthwith into his waistcoat pocket, without the parchment in which it had been wrapped, and which I had continued to hold in my hand during his inspection. Perhaps he dreaded my changing my mind, and thought it best to make sure of the prize at once--you know how enthusiastic he is on all subjects connected with Natural History. At the same time, without being conscious of it, I must have deposited the parchment in my own pocket. “You remember that when I went to the table, for the purpose of making a sketch of the beetle, I found no paper where it was usually kept.

I looked in the drawer, and found none there. I searched my pockets, hoping to find an old letter, when my hand fell upon the parchment.

I thus detail the precise mode in which it came into my possession; for the circumstances impressed me with peculiar force. “No doubt you will think me fanciful--but I had already established a kind of connexion. I had put together two links of a great chain. There was a boat lying upon a sea-coast, and not far from the boat was a parchment--not a paper--with a skull depicted upon it. The flag of the death’s head is hoisted in all engagements. Matters of little moment are rarely consigned to parchment; since, for the mere ordinary purposes of drawing or writing, it is not nearly so well adapted as paper. This reflection suggested some meaning--some relevancy--in the death’s-head. Although one of its corners had been, by some accident, destroyed, it could be seen that the original form was oblong.

It was just such a slip, indeed, as might have been chosen for a memorandum--for a record of something to be long remembered and carefully preserved.” “But,” I interposed, “you say that the skull was not upon the parchment when you made the drawing of the beetle. How then do you trace any connexion between the boat and the skull--since this latter, according to your own admission, must have been designed (God only knows how or by whom) at some period subsequent to your sketching the scarabæus?” “Ah, hereupon turns the whole mystery; although the secret, at this point, I had comparatively little difficulty in solving. My steps were sure, and could afford but a single result. When I had completed the drawing I gave it to you, and observed you narrowly until you returned it.

“At this stage of my reflections I endeavored to remember, and did remember, with entire distinctness, every incident which occurred about the period in question. The weather was chilly (oh rare and happy accident!), and a fire was blazing upon the hearth. Just as I placed the parchment in your hand, and as you were in the act of inspecting it, Wolf, the Newfoundland, entered, and leaped upon your shoulders. With your left hand you caressed him and kept him off, while your right, holding the parchment, was permitted to fall listlessly between your knees, and in close proximity to the fire. At one moment I thought the blaze had caught it, and was about to caution you, but, before I could speak, you had withdrawn it, and were engaged in its examination. When I considered all these particulars, I doubted not for a moment that heat had been the agent in bringing to light, upon the parchment, the skull which I saw designed upon it. You are well aware that chemical preparations exist, and have existed time out of mind, by means of which it is possible to write upon either paper or vellum, so that the characters shall become visible only when subjected to the action of fire.

Zaffre, digested in aqua regia, and diluted with four times its weight of water, is sometimes employed; a green tint results. The regulus of cobalt, dissolved in spirit of nitre, gives a red. These colors disappear at longer or shorter intervals after the material written upon cools, but again become apparent upon the re-application of heat. “I now scrutinized the death’s-head with care. Its outer edges--the edges of the drawing nearest the edge of the vellum--were far more distinct than the others. I immediately kindled a fire, and subjected every portion of the parchment to a glowing heat.

At first, the only effect was the strengthening of the faint lines in the skull; but, upon persevering in the experiment, there became visible, at the corner of the slip, diagonally opposite to the spot in which the death’s-head was delineated, the figure of what I at first supposed to be a goat. A closer scrutiny, however, satisfied me that it was intended for a kid.” “Ha! ha!” said I, “to be sure I have no right to laugh at you--a million and a half of money is too serious a matter for mirth--but you are not about to establish a third link in your chain--you will not find any especial connexion between your pirates and a goat--pirates, you know, have nothing to do with goats; they appertain to the farming interest.” “But I have just said that the figure was not that of a goat.” “Well, a kid then--pretty much the same thing.” “Pretty much, but not altogether,” said Legrand. “You may have heard of one Captain Kidd. I at once looked upon the figure of the animal as a kind of punning or hieroglyphical signature. The death’s-head at the corner diagonally opposite, had, in the same manner, the air of a stamp, or seal.

But I was sorely put out by the absence of all else--of the body to my imagined instrument--of the text for my context.” “I presume you expected to find a letter between the stamp and the signature.” “Something of that kind. The fact is, I felt irresistibly impressed with a presentiment of some vast good fortune impending. Perhaps, after all, it was rather a desire than an actual belief;--but do you know that Jupiter’s silly words, about the bug being of solid gold, had a remarkable effect upon my fancy? And then the series of accidents and coincidences--these were so very extraordinary. Do you observe how mere an accident it was that these events should have occurred upon the sole day of all the year in which it has been, or may be, sufficiently cool for fire, and that without the fire, or without the intervention of the dog at the precise moment in which he appeared, I should never have become aware of the death’s-head, and so never the possessor of the treasure?” “But proceed--I am all impatience.” “Well; you have heard, of course, the many stories current--the thousand vague rumors afloat about money buried, somewhere upon the Atlantic coast, by Kidd and his associates. These rumors must have had some foundation in fact. And that the rumors have existed so long and so continuous, could have resulted, it appeared to me, only from the circumstance of the buried treasure still remaining entombed. Had Kidd concealed his plunder for a time, and afterwards reclaimed it, the rumors would scarcely have reached us in their present unvarying form.

You will observe that the stories told are all about money-seekers, not about money-finders. It seemed to me that some accident--say the loss of a memorandum indicating its locality--had deprived him of the means of recovering it, and that this accident had become known to his followers, who otherwise might never have heard that treasure had been concealed at all, and who, busying themselves in vain, because unguided attempts, to regain it, had given first birth, and then universal currency, to the reports which are now so common. Have you ever heard of any important treasure being unearthed along the coast?” “Never.” “But that Kidd’s accumulations were immense, is well known. I took it for granted, therefore, that the earth still held them; and you will scarcely be surprised when I tell you that I felt a hope, nearly amounting to certainty, that the parchment so strangely found, involved a lost record of the place of deposit.” “But how did you proceed?” “I held the vellum again to the fire, after increasing the heat; but nothing appeared. I now thought it possible that the coating of dirt might have something to do with the failure; so I carefully rinsed the parchment by pouring warm water over it, and, having done this, I placed it in a tin pan, with the skull downwards, and put the pan upon a furnace of lighted charcoal. In a few minutes, the pan having become thoroughly heated, I removed the slip, and, to my inexpressible joy, found it spotted, in several places, with what appeared to be figures arranged in lines. Again I placed it in the pan, and suffered it to remain another minute.

Upon taking it off, the whole was just as you see it now.” Here Legrand, having re-heated the parchment, submitted it to my inspection. The following characters were rudely traced, in a red tint, between the death’s-head and the goat: “53‡‡†305))6*;4826)4‡)4‡);806*;48†8¶60))85;1‡);:‡ *8†83(88)5*†;46(;88*96*?;8)*‡(;485);5*†2:*‡(;4956* 2(5*--4)8¶8*;4069285);)6†8)4‡‡;1(‡9;48081;8:8‡1;4 8†85;4)485†528806*81(‡9;48;(88;4(‡?34;48)4‡;161;: 188;‡?;” “But,” said I, returning him the slip, “I am as much in the dark as ever. Were all the jewels of Golconda awaiting me upon my solution of this enigma, I am quite sure that I should be unable to earn them.” “And yet,” said Legrand, “the solution is by no means so difficult as you might be lead to imagine from the first hasty inspection of the characters. These characters, as any one might readily guess, form a cipher--that is to say, they convey a meaning; but then, from what is known of Kidd, I could not suppose him capable of constructing any of the more abstruse cryptographs. I made up my mind, at once, that this was of a simple species--such, however, as would appear, to the crude intellect of the sailor, absolutely insoluble without the key.” “And you really solved it?” “Readily; I have solved others of an abstruseness ten thousand times greater. Circumstances, and a certain bias of mind, have led me to take interest in such riddles, and it may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma of the kind which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve. In fact, having once established connected and legible characters, I scarcely gave a thought to the mere difficulty of developing their import. “In the present case--indeed in all cases of secret writing--the first question regards the language of the cipher; for the principles of solution, so far, especially, as the more simple ciphers are concerned, depend upon, and are varied by, the genius of the particular idiom. In general, there is no alternative but experiment (directed by probabilities) of every tongue known to him who attempts the solution, until the true one be attained. The pun upon the word ‘Kidd’ is appreciable in no other language than the English.

But for this consideration I should have begun my attempts with the Spanish and French, as the tongues in which a secret of this kind would most naturally have been written by a pirate of the Spanish main. In such case I should have commenced with a collation and analysis of the shorter words, and, had a word of a single letter occurred, as is most likely, (a or I, for example,) I should have considered the solution as assured. But, there being no division, my first step was to ascertain the predominant letters, as well as the least frequent. Counting all, I constructed a table, thus: Of the character 8 there are 33. “Now, in English, the letter which most frequently occurs is e. E predominates so remarkably that an individual sentence of any length is rarely seen, in which it is not the prevailing character. “Here, then, we leave, in the very beginning, the groundwork for something more than a mere guess.

The general use which may be made of the table is obvious--but, in this particular cipher, we shall only very partially require its aid. As our predominant character is 8, we will commence by assuming it as the e of the natural alphabet. To verify the supposition, let us observe if the 8 be seen often in couples--for e is doubled with great frequency in English--in such words, for example, as ‘meet,’ ‘.fleet,’ ‘speed,’ ‘seen,’ been,’ ‘agree,’ &c. In the present instance we see it doubled no less than five times, although the cryptograph is brief.

Now, of all words in the language, ‘the’ is most usual; let us see, therefore, whether there are not repetitions of any three characters, in the same order of collocation, the last of them being 8. If we discover repetitions of such letters, so arranged, they will most probably represent the word ‘the.’ Upon inspection, we find no less than seven such arrangements, the characters being;48. We may, therefore, assume that; represents t, 4 represents h, and 8 represents e--the last being now well confirmed. “But, having established a single word, we are enabled to establish a vastly important point; that is to say, several commencements and terminations of other words.

Let us refer, for example, to the last instance but one, in which the combination;48 occurs--not far from the end of the cipher.

We know that the; immediately ensuing is the commencement of a word, and, of the six characters succeeding this ‘the,’ we are cognizant of no less than five. Let us set these characters down, thus, by the letters we know them to represent, leaving a space for the unknown-- t eeth. “Here we are enabled, at once, to discard the ‘th,’ as forming no portion of the word commencing with the first t; since, by experiment of the entire alphabet for a letter adapted to the vacancy, we perceive that no word can be formed of which this th can be a part. We are thus narrowed into t ee, and, going through the alphabet, if necessary, as before, we arrive at the word ‘tree,’ as the sole possible reading. We thus gain another letter, r, represented by (, with the words ‘the tree’ in juxtaposition. “Looking beyond these words, for a short distance, we again see the combination;48, and employ it by way of termination to what immediately precedes. We have thus this arrangement: the tree;4(‡?34 the, or, substituting the natural letters, where known, it reads thus: the tree thr‡?3h the. “Now, if, in place of the unknown characters, we leave blank spaces, or substitute dots, we read thus: the tree thr...h the, when the word ‘through’ makes itself evident at once. “Looking now, narrowly, through the cipher for combinations of known characters, we find, not very far from the beginning, this arrangement, 83(88, or egree, which, plainly, is the conclusion of the word ‘degree,’ and gives us another letter, d, represented by †.

“Four letters beyond the word ‘degree,’ we perceive the combination ;46(;88. “Translating the known characters, and representing the unknown by dots, as before, we read thus: th rtee. an arrangement immediately suggestive of the word ‘thirteen,’ and again furnishing us with two new characters, I and n, represented by 6 and *.

“Referring, now, to the beginning of the cryptograph, we find the combination, 53‡‡†. “Translating, as before, we obtain good, which assures us that the first letter is A, and that the first two words are ‘A good.’ “It is now time that we arrange our key, as far as discovered, in a tabular form, to avoid confusion. I have said enough to convince you that ciphers of this nature are readily soluble, and to give you some insight into the rationale of their development. But be assured that the specimen before us appertains to the very simplest species of cryptograph. It now only remains to give you the full translation of the characters upon the parchment, as unriddled. Here it is: “‘A good glass in the bishop’s hostel in the devil’s seat forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes northeast and by north main branch seventh limb east side shoot from the left eye of the death’s-head a bee line from the tree through the shot fifty feet out.’” “But,” said I, “the enigma seems still in as bad a condition as ever. How is it possible to extort a meaning from all this jargon about ‘devil’s seats,’ ‘death’s heads,’ and ‘bishop’s hotels?’” “I confess,” replied Legrand, “that the matter still wears a serious aspect, when regarded with a casual glance. My first endeavor was to divide the sentence into the natural division intended by the cryptographist.” “You mean, to punctuate it?” “Something of that kind.” “But how was it possible to effect this?” “I reflected that it had been a point with the writer to run his words together without division, so as to increase the difficulty of solution. Now, a not over-acute man, in pursuing such an object would be nearly certain to overdo the matter.

When, in the course of his composition, he arrived at a break in his subject which would naturally require a pause, or a point, he would be exceedingly apt to run his characters, at this place, more than usually close together. If you will observe the MS., in the present instance, you will easily detect five such cases of unusual crowding. Acting upon this hint, I made the division thus: ‘A good glass in the Bishop’s hostel in the Devil’s seat--forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes--northeast and by north--main branch seventh limb east side--shoot from the left eye of the death’s-head--a bee-line from the tree through the shot fifty feet out.’” “Even this division,” said I, “leaves me still in the dark.” “It left me also in the dark,” replied Legrand, “for a few days; during which I made diligent inquiry, in the neighborhood of Sullivan’s Island, for any building which went by the name of the ‘Bishop’s Hotel;’ for, of course, I dropped the obsolete word ‘hostel.’ Gaining no information on the subject, I was on the point of extending my sphere of search, and proceeding in a more systematic manner, when, one morning, it entered into my head, quite suddenly, that this ‘Bishop’s Hostel’ might have some reference to an old family, of the name of Bessop, which, time out of mind, had held possession of an ancient manor-house, about four miles to the northward of the Island. I accordingly went over to the plantation, and re-instituted my inquiries among the older negroes of the place. We found it without much difficulty, when, dismissing her, I proceeded to examine the place. The ‘castle’ consisted of an irregular assemblage of cliffs and rocks--one of the latter being quite remarkable for its height as well as for its insulated and artificial appearance I clambered to its apex, and then felt much at a loss as to what should be next done.

“While I was busied in reflection, my eyes fell upon a narrow ledge in the eastern face of the rock, perhaps a yard below the summit upon which I stood. This ledge projected about eighteen inches, and was not more than a foot wide, while a niche in the cliff just above it, gave it a rude resemblance to one of the hollow-backed chairs used by our ancestors. I made no doubt that here was the ‘devil’s seat’ alluded to in the MS., and now I seemed to grasp the full secret of the riddle.

“The ‘good glass,’ I knew, could have reference to nothing but a telescope; for the word ‘glass’ is rarely employed in any other sense by seamen. Now here, I at once saw, was a telescope to be used, and a definite point of view, admitting no variation, from which to use it. Nor did I hesitate to believe that the phrases, “forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes,’ and ‘northeast and by north,’ were intended as directions for the levelling of the glass.

“I let myself down to the ledge, and found that it was impossible to retain a seat upon it except in one particular position.

Of course, the ‘forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes’ could allude to nothing but elevation above the visible horizon, since the horizontal direction was clearly indicated by the words, ‘northeast and by north.’ This latter direction I at once established by means of a pocket-compass; then, pointing the glass as nearly at an angle of forty-one degrees of elevation as I could do it by guess, I moved it cautiously up or down, until my attention was arrested by a circular rift or opening in the foliage of a large tree that overtopped its fellows in the distance. In the centre of this rift I perceived a white spot, but could not, at first, distinguish what it was. Adjusting the focus of the telescope, I again looked, and now made it out to be a human skull.

“Upon this discovery I was so sanguine as to consider the enigma solved; for the phrase ‘main branch, seventh limb, east side,’ could refer only to the position of the skull upon the tree, while ‘shoot from the left eye of the death’s head’ admitted, also, of but one interpretation, in regard to a search for buried treasure. I perceived that the design was to drop a bullet from the left eye of the skull, and that a bee-line, or, in other words, a straight line, drawn from the nearest point of the trunk through ‘the shot,’ (or the spot where the bullet fell,) and thence extended to a distance of fifty feet, would indicate a definite point--and beneath this point I thought it at least possible that a deposit of value lay concealed.” “All this,” I said, “is exceedingly clear, and, although ingenious, still simple and explicit. When you left the Bishop’s Hotel, what then?” “Why, having carefully taken the bearings of the tree, I turned homewards. The instant that I left ‘the devil’s seat,’ however, the circular rift vanished; nor could I get a glimpse of it afterwards, turn as I would. What seems to me the chief ingenuity in this whole business, is the fact (for repeated experiment has convinced me it is a fact) that the circular opening in question is visible from no other attainable point of view than that afforded by the narrow ledge upon the face of the rock. “In this expedition to the ‘Bishop’s Hotel’ I had been attended by Jupiter, who had, no doubt, observed, for some weeks past, the abstraction of my demeanor, and took especial care not to leave me alone. But, on the next day, getting up very early, I contrived to give him the slip, and went into the hills in search of the tree.

When I came home at night my valet proposed to give me a flogging. With the rest of the adventure I believe you are as well acquainted as myself.” “I suppose,” said I, “you missed the spot, in the first attempt at digging, through Jupiter’s stupidity in letting the bug fall through the right instead of through the left eye of the skull.” “Precisely. This mistake made a difference of about two inches and a half in the ‘shot’--that is to say, in the position of the peg nearest the tree; and had the treasure been beneath the ‘shot,’ the error would have been of little moment; but ‘the shot,’ together with the nearest point of the tree, were merely two points for the establishment of a line of direction; of course the error, however trivial in the beginning, increased as we proceeded with the line, and by the time we had gone fifty feet, threw us quite off the scent. But for my deep-seated impressions that treasure was here somewhere actually buried, we might have had all our labor in vain.” “But your grandiloquence, and your conduct in swinging the beetle--how excessively odd! And why did you insist upon letting fall the bug, instead of a bullet, from the skull?” “Why, to be frank, I felt somewhat annoyed by your evident suspicions touching my sanity, and so resolved to punish you quietly, in my own way, by a little bit of sober mystification.

An observation of yours about its great weight suggested the latter idea.” “Yes, I perceive; and now there is only one point which puzzles me. What are we to make of the skeletons found in the hole?” “That is a question I am no more able to answer than yourself. There seems, however, only one plausible way of accounting for them--and yet it is dreadful to believe in such atrocity as my suggestion would imply. It is clear that Kidd--if Kidd indeed secreted this treasure, which I doubt not--it is clear that he must have had assistance in the labor. But this labor concluded, he may have thought it expedient to remove all participants in his secret.

Perhaps a couple of blows with a mattock were sufficient, while his coadjutors were busy in the pit; perhaps it required a dozen--who shall tell?” FOUR BEASTS IN ONE--THE HOMO-CAMELEOPARD Chacun a ses vertus. And, indeed, the character of the Syrian monarch does by no means stand in need of any adventitious embellishment. His accession to the throne, or rather his usurpation of the sovereignty, a hundred and seventy-one years before the coming of Christ; his attempt to plunder the temple of Diana at Ephesus; his implacable hostility to the Jews; his pollution of the Holy of Holies; and his miserable death at Taba, after a tumultuous reign of eleven years, are circumstances of a prominent kind, and therefore more generally noticed by the historians of his time than the impious, dastardly, cruel, silly, and whimsical achievements which make up the sum total of his private life and reputation.

Let us suppose, gentle reader, that it is now the year of the world three thousand eight hundred and thirty, and let us, for a few minutes, imagine ourselves at that most grotesque habitation of man, the remarkable city of Antioch.

To be sure there were, in Syria and other countries, sixteen cities of that appellation, besides the one to which I more particularly allude. But ours is that which went by the name of Antiochia Epidaphne, from its vicinity to the little village of Daphne, where stood a temple to that divinity.

It was built (although about this matter there is some dispute) by Seleucus Nicanor, the first king of the country after Alexander the Great, in memory of his father Antiochus, and became immediately the residence of the Syrian monarchy. In the flourishing times of the Roman Empire, it was the ordinary station of the prefect of the eastern provinces; and many of the emperors of the queen city (among whom may be mentioned, especially, Verus and Valens) spent here the greater part of their time. Let us ascend this battlement, and throw our eyes upon the town and neighboring country. “What broad and rapid river is that which forces its way, with innumerable falls, through the mountainous wilderness, and finally through the wilderness of buildings?” That is the Orontes, and it is the only water in sight, with the exception of the Mediterranean, which stretches, like a broad mirror, about twelve miles off to the southward. Were it later--for example, were it the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty-five, we should be deprived of this extraordinary spectacle. In the nineteenth century Antioch is--that is to say, Antioch will be--in a lamentable state of decay. Indeed, to say the truth, what little of its former self may then remain, will be found in so desolate and ruinous a state that the patriarch shall have removed his residence to Damascus. I see you profit by my advice, and are making the most of your time in inspecting the premises--in -satisfying your eyes With the memorials and the things of fame That most renown this city.-- I beg pardon; I had forgotten that Shakespeare will not flourish for seventeen hundred and fifty years to come. But does not the appearance of Epidaphne justify me in calling it grotesque? “It is well fortified; and in this respect is as much indebted to nature as to art.” Very true.

Still there is an infinity of mud huts, and abominable hovels. We cannot help perceiving abundance of filth in every kennel, and, were it not for the over-powering fumes of idolatrous incense, I have no doubt we should find a most intolerable stench. Did you ever behold streets so insufferably narrow, or houses so miraculously tall? It is well the swinging lamps in those endless colonnades are kept burning throughout the day; we should otherwise have the darkness of Egypt in the time of her desolation. “It is certainly a strange place! What is the meaning of yonder singular building?

it towers above all others, and lies to the eastward of what I take to be the royal palace.” That is the new Temple of the Sun, who is adored in Syria under the title of Elah Gabalah. Hereafter a very notorious Roman Emperor will institute this worship in Rome, and thence derive a cognomen, Heliogabalus.

I dare say you would like to take a peep at the divinity of the temple. That deity will be found in the interior of yonder building. He is worshipped under the figure of a large stone pillar terminating at the summit in a cone or pyramid, whereby is denoted Fire. “Hark--behold!--who can those ridiculous beings be, half naked, with their faces painted, shouting and gesticulating to the rabble?” Some few are mountebanks. The greatest portion, however--those especially who belabor the populace with clubs--are the principal courtiers of the palace, executing as in duty bound, some laudable comicality of the king’s. the town is swarming with wild beasts!

How terrible a spectacle!--how dangerous a peculiarity!” Terrible, if you please; but not in the least degree dangerous. Each animal if you will take the pains to observe, is following, very quietly, in the wake of its master. The lion, the tiger, and the leopard are entirely without restraint. They have been trained without difficulty to their present profession, and attend upon their respective owners in the capacity of valets-de-chambre.

It is true, there are occasions when Nature asserts her violated dominions;--but then the devouring of a man-at-arms, or the throttling of a consecrated bull, is a circumstance of too little moment to be more than hinted at in Epidaphne. “But what extraordinary tumult do I hear? It argues some commotion of unusual interest.” Yes--undoubtedly. The king has ordered some novel spectacle--some gladiatorial exhibition at the hippodrome--or perhaps the massacre of the Scythian prisoners--or the conflagration of his new palace--or the tearing down of a handsome temple--or, indeed, a bonfire of a few Jews.

The uproar increases. The air becomes dissonant with wind instruments, and horrible with clamor of a million throats.

Let us descend, for the love of fun, and see what is going on! Here we are in the principal street, which is called the street of Timarchus. The sea of people is coming this way, and we shall find a difficulty in stemming the tide. They are pouring through the alley of Heraclides, which leads directly from the palace;--therefore the king is most probably among the rioters. Yes;--I hear the shouts of the herald proclaiming his approach in the pompous phraseology of the East. Let us ensconce ourselves in the vestibule of the sanctuary; he will be here anon. In the meantime let us survey this image.

it is the god Ashimah in proper person. But see!--see!--yonder scampers a ragged little urchin. Where is he going? What is he bawling about? he says the king is coming in triumph; that he is dressed in state; that he has just finished putting to death, with his own hand, a thousand chained Israelitish prisoners! For this exploit the ragamuffin is lauding him to the skies. They have made a Latin hymn upon the valor of the king, and are singing it as they go: Mille, mille, mille, Mille, mille, mille, Decollavimus, unus homo!

Tantum vini habet nemo Quantum sanguinis effudit!(*1) Which may be thus paraphrased: A thousand, a thousand, a thousand, A thousand, a thousand, a thousand, We, with one warrior, have slain! Sing a thousand over again! Soho!--let us sing Long life to our king, Who knocked over a thousand so fine! Soho!--let us roar, He has given us more Red gallons of gore Than all Syria can furnish of wine! “Do you hear that flourish of trumpets?” Yes: the king is coming! the people are aghast with admiration, and lift up their eyes to the heavens in reverence. He comes;--he is coming;--there he is! “Who?--where?--the king?--do not behold him--cannot say that I perceive him.” Then you must be blind.

Still I see nothing but a tumultuous mob of idiots and madmen, who are busy in prostrating themselves before a gigantic cameleopard, and endeavoring to obtain a kiss of the animal’s hoofs. Indeed, I cannot help admiring the animal for the excellent use he is making of his feet.” Rabble, indeed!--why these are the noble and free citizens of Epidaphne!

Why, my dear sir, that cameleopard is no other than Antiochus Epiphanes, Antiochus the Illustrious, King of Syria, and the most potent of all the autocrats of the East! It is also certain that he is at present ensconced in the hide of a beast, and is doing his best to play the part of a cameleopard; but this is done for the better sustaining his dignity as king.

Besides, the monarch is of gigantic stature, and the dress is therefore neither unbecoming nor over large. His tail, you perceive, is held aloft by his two principal concubines, Elline and Argelais; and his whole appearance would be infinitely prepossessing, were it not for the protuberance of his eyes, which will certainly start out of his head, and the queer color of his face, which has become nondescript from the quantity of wine he has swallowed. Let us follow him to the hippodrome, whither he is proceeding, and listen to the song of triumph which he is commencing: Who is king but Epiphanes?

Who is king but Epiphanes? The populace are hailing him ‘Prince of Poets,’ as well as ‘Glory of the East,’ ‘Delight of the Universe,’ and ‘Most Remarkable of Cameleopards.’ They have encored his effusion, and do you hear?--he is singing it over again. When he arrives at the hippodrome, he will be crowned with the poetic wreath, in anticipation of his victory at the approaching Olympics. what is the matter in the crowd behind us?” Behind us, did you say?--oh! My friend, it is well that you spoke in time.

Let us get into a place of safety as soon as possible. Here!--let us conceal ourselves in the arch of this aqueduct, and I will inform you presently of the origin of the commotion. It has turned out as I have been anticipating. The singular appearance of the cameleopard and the head of a man, has, it seems, given offence to the notions of propriety entertained, in general, by the wild animals domesticated in the city. A mutiny has been the result; and, as is usual upon such occasions, all human efforts will be of no avail in quelling the mob. Several of the Syrians have already been devoured; but the general voice of the four-footed patriots seems to be for eating up the cameleopard.

‘The Prince of Poets,’ therefore, is upon his hinder legs, running for his life. His courtiers have left him in the lurch, and his concubines have followed so excellent an example. ‘Delight of the Universe,’ thou art in a sad predicament! ‘Glory of the East,’ thou art in danger of mastication! Therefore never regard so piteously thy tail; it will undoubtedly be draggled in the mud, and for this there is no help. Look not behind thee, then, at its unavoidable degradation; but take courage, ply thy legs with vigor, and scud for the hippodrome!

Antiochus the Illustrious!--also ‘Prince of Poets,’ ‘Glory of the East,’ ‘Delight of the Universe,’ and ‘Most Remarkable of Cameleopards!’ Heavens! what a power of speed thou art displaying! What a capacity for leg-bail thou art developing! Run, Prince!--Bravo, Epiphanes! This is well; for hadst thou, ‘Glory of the East,’ been half a second longer in reaching the gates of the Amphitheatre, there is not a bear’s cub in Epidaphne that would not have had a nibble at thy carcase. Let us be off--let us take our departure!--for we shall find our delicate modern ears unable to endure the vast uproar which is about to commence in celebration of the king’s escape!

what a screaming of beasts! what a tinkling of instruments! I see a vast hubbub in the hippodrome; what is the meaning of it, I beseech you?” That?--oh, nothing!

The noble and free citizens of Epidaphne being, as they declare, well satisfied of the faith, valor, wisdom, and divinity of their king, and having, moreover, been eye-witnesses of his late superhuman agility, do think it no more than their duty to invest his brows (in addition to the poetic crown) with the wreath of victory in the footrace--a wreath which it is evident he must obtain at the celebration of the next Olympiad, and which, therefore, they now give him in advance. Footnotes--Four Beasts (*1) Flavius Vospicus says, that the hymn here introduced was sung by the rabble upon the occasion of Aurelian, in the Sarmatic war, having slain, with his own hand, nine hundred and fifty of the enemy. THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, although puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture.

--Sir Thomas Browne. The mental features discoursed of as the analytical, are, in themselves, but little susceptible of analysis.

We appreciate them only in their effects. We know of them, among other things, that they are always to their possessor, when inordinately possessed, a source of the liveliest enjoyment. As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles. He derives pleasure from even the most trivial occupations bringing his talent into play. He is fond of enigmas, of conundrums, of hieroglyphics; exhibiting in his solutions of each a degree of acumen which appears to the ordinary apprehension præternatural. His results, brought about by the very soul and essence of method, have, in truth, the whole air of intuition.

The faculty of re-solution is possibly much invigorated by mathematical study, and especially by that highest branch of it which, unjustly, and merely on account of its retrograde operations, has been called, as if par excellence, analysis. Yet to calculate is not in itself to analyse. It follows that the game of chess, in its effects upon mental character, is greatly misunderstood.

I am not now writing a treatise, but simply prefacing a somewhat peculiar narrative by observations very much at random; I will, therefore, take occasion to assert that the higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by all the elaborate frivolity of chess. In this latter, where the pieces have different and bizarre motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound. The attention is here called powerfully into play. If it flag for an instant, an oversight is committed resulting in injury or defeat. The possible moves being not only manifold but involute, the chances of such oversights are multiplied; and in nine cases out of ten it is the more concentrative rather than the more acute player who conquers. In draughts, on the contrary, where the moves are unique and have but little variation, the probabilities of inadvertence are diminished, and the mere attention being left comparatively unemployed, what advantages are obtained by either party are obtained by superior acumen. To be less abstract--Let us suppose a game of draughts where the pieces are reduced to four kings, and where, of course, no oversight is to be expected. It is obvious that here the victory can be decided (the players being at all equal) only by some recherché movement, the result of some strong exertion of the intellect. Deprived of ordinary resources, the analyst throws himself into the spirit of his opponent, identifies himself therewith, and not unfrequently sees thus, at a glance, the sole methods (sometime indeed absurdly simple ones) by which he may seduce into error or hurry into miscalculation. Whist has long been noted for its influence upon what is termed the calculating power; and men of the highest order of intellect have been known to take an apparently unaccountable delight in it, while eschewing chess as frivolous.

Beyond doubt there is nothing of a similar nature so greatly tasking the faculty of analysis. The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all those more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind. When I say proficiency, I mean that perfection in the game which includes a comprehension of all the sources whence legitimate advantage may be derived. These are not only manifold but multiform, and lie frequently among recesses of thought altogether inaccessible to the ordinary understanding. To observe attentively is to remember distinctly; and, so far, the concentrative chess-player will do very well at whist; while the rules of Hoyle (themselves based upon the mere mechanism of the game) are sufficiently and generally comprehensible. Thus to have a retentive memory, and to proceed by “the book,” are points commonly regarded as the sum total of good playing. But it is in matters beyond the limits of mere rule that the skill of the analyst is evinced. He makes, in silence, a host of observations and inferences.

So, perhaps, do his companions; and the difference in the extent of the information obtained, lies not so much in the validity of the inference as in the quality of the observation. Our player confines himself not at all; nor, because the game is the object, does he reject deductions from things external to the game. He examines the countenance of his partner, comparing it carefully with that of each of his opponents. He considers the mode of assorting the cards in each hand; often counting trump by trump, and honor by honor, through the glances bestowed by their holders upon each. He notes every variation of face as the play progresses, gathering a fund of thought from the differences in the expression of certainty, of surprise, of triumph, or of chagrin.

From the manner of gathering up a trick he judges whether the person taking it can make another in the suit. He recognises what is played through feint, by the air with which it is thrown upon the table. A casual or inadvertent word; the accidental dropping or turning of a card, with the accompanying anxiety or carelessness in regard to its concealment; the counting of the tricks, with the order of their arrangement; embarrassment, hesitation, eagerness or trepidation--all afford, to his apparently intuitive perception, indications of the true state of affairs.

The first two or three rounds having been played, he is in full possession of the contents of each hand, and thenceforward puts down his cards with as absolute a precision of purpose as if the rest of the party had turned outward the faces of their own. The analytical power should not be confounded with ample ingenuity; for while the analyst is necessarily ingenious, the ingenious man is often remarkably incapable of analysis. The constructive or combining power, by which ingenuity is usually manifested, and to which the phrenologists (I believe erroneously) have assigned a separate organ, supposing it a primitive faculty, has been so frequently seen in those whose intellect bordered otherwise upon idiocy, as to have attracted general observation among writers on morals.

Between ingenuity and the analytic ability there exists a difference far greater, indeed, than that between the fancy and the imagination, but of a character very strictly analogous. It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.

The narrative which follows will appear to the reader somewhat in the light of a commentary upon the propositions just advanced. Residing in Paris during the spring and part of the summer of 18--, I there became acquainted with a Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin. This young gentleman was of an excellent--indeed of an illustrious family, but, by a variety of untoward events, had been reduced to such poverty that the energy of his character succumbed beneath it, and he ceased to bestir himself in the world, or to care for the retrieval of his fortunes. By courtesy of his creditors, there still remained in his possession a small remnant of his patrimony; and, upon the income arising from this, he managed, by means of a rigorous economy, to procure the necessaries of life, without troubling himself about its superfluities. Books, indeed, were his sole luxuries, and in Paris these are easily obtained. Our first meeting was at an obscure library in the Rue Montmartre, where the accident of our both being in search of the same very rare and very remarkable volume, brought us into closer communion. We saw each other again and again.

I was deeply interested in the little family history which he detailed to me with all that candor which a Frenchman indulges whenever mere self is his theme. I was astonished, too, at the vast extent of his reading; and, above all, I felt my soul enkindled within me by the wild fervor, and the vivid freshness of his imagination. Seeking in Paris the objects I then sought, I felt that the society of such a man would be to me a treasure beyond price; and this feeling I frankly confided to him.

It was at length arranged that we should live together during my stay in the city; and as my worldly circumstances were somewhat less embarrassed than his own, I was permitted to be at the expense of renting, and furnishing in a style which suited the rather fantastic gloom of our common temper, a time-eaten and grotesque mansion, long deserted through superstitions into which we did not inquire, and tottering to its fall in a retired and desolate portion of the Faubourg St. Germain. Had the routine of our life at this place been known to the world, we should have been regarded as madmen--although, perhaps, as madmen of a harmless nature. Indeed the locality of our retirement had been carefully kept a secret from my own former associates; and it had been many years since Dupin had ceased to know or be known in Paris. We existed within ourselves alone. It was a freak of fancy in my friend (for what else shall I call it?) to be enamored of the Night for her own sake; and into this bizarrerie, as into all his others, I quietly fell; giving myself up to his wild whims with a perfect abandon. The sable divinity would not herself dwell with us always; but we could counterfeit her presence. At the first dawn of the morning we closed all the messy shutters of our old building; lighting a couple of tapers which, strongly perfumed, threw out only the ghastliest and feeblest of rays. By the aid of these we then busied our souls in dreams--reading, writing, or conversing, until warned by the clock of the advent of the true Darkness. Then we sallied forth into the streets arm in arm, continuing the topics of the day, or roaming far and wide until a late hour, seeking, amid the wild lights and shadows of the populous city, that infinity of mental excitement which quiet observation can afford.

At such times I could not help remarking and admiring (although from his rich ideality I had been prepared to expect it) a peculiar analytic ability in Dupin. He seemed, too, to take an eager delight in its exercise--if not exactly in its display--and did not hesitate to confess the pleasure thus derived. He boasted to me, with a low chuckling laugh, that most men, in respect to himself, wore windows in their bosoms, and was wont to follow up such assertions by direct and very startling proofs of his intimate knowledge of my own. His manner at these moments was frigid and abstract; his eyes were vacant in expression; while his voice, usually a rich tenor, rose into a treble which would have sounded petulantly but for the deliberateness and entire distinctness of the enunciation. Observing him in these moods, I often dwelt meditatively upon the old philosophy of the Bi-Part Soul, and amused myself with the fancy of a double Dupin--the creative and the resolvent. Let it not be supposed, from what I have just said, that I am detailing any mystery, or penning any romance. What I have described in the Frenchman, was merely the result of an excited, or perhaps of a diseased intelligence. But of the character of his remarks at the periods in question an example will best convey the idea.

We were strolling one night down a long dirty street in the vicinity of the Palais Royal. Being both, apparently, occupied with thought, neither of us had spoken a syllable for fifteen minutes at least. All at once Dupin broke forth with these words: “He is a very little fellow, that’s true, and would do better for the Théâtre des Variétés.” “There can be no doubt of that,” I replied unwittingly, and not at first observing (so much had I been absorbed in reflection) the extraordinary manner in which the speaker had chimed in with my meditations. In an instant afterward I recollected myself, and my astonishment was profound. “Dupin,” said I, gravely, “this is beyond my comprehension. How was it possible you should know I was thinking of -----?” Here I paused, to ascertain beyond a doubt whether he really knew of whom I thought. You were remarking to yourself that his diminutive figure unfitted him for tragedy.” This was precisely what had formed the subject of my reflections.

Denis, who, becoming stage-mad, had attempted the rôle of Xerxes, in Crébillon’s tragedy so called, and been notoriously Pasquinaded for his pains. “Tell me, for Heaven’s sake,” I exclaimed, “the method--if method there is--by which you have been enabled to fathom my soul in this matter.” In fact I was even more startled than I would have been willing to express. “It was the fruiterer,” replied my friend, “who brought you to the conclusion that the mender of soles was not of sufficient height for Xerxes et id genus omne.” “The fruiterer!--you astonish me--I know no fruiterer whomsoever.” “The man who ran up against you as we entered the street--it may have been fifteen minutes ago.” I now remembered that, in fact, a fruiterer, carrying upon his head a large basket of apples, had nearly thrown me down, by accident, as we passed from the Rue C ---- into the thoroughfare where we stood; but what this had to do with Chantilly I could not possibly understand. There was not a particle of charlatanerie about Dupin.

“I will explain,” he said, “and that you may comprehend all clearly, we will first retrace the course of your meditations, from the moment in which I spoke to you until that of the rencontre with the fruiterer in question. The larger links of the chain run thus--Chantilly, Orion, Dr. Nichols, Epicurus, Stereotomy, the street stones, the fruiterer.” There are few persons who have not, at some period of their lives, amused themselves in retracing the steps by which particular conclusions of their own minds have been attained. The occupation is often full of interest and he who attempts it for the first time is astonished by the apparently illimitable distance and incoherence between the starting-point and the goal. What, then, must have been my amazement when I heard the Frenchman speak what he had just spoken, and when I could not help acknowledging that he had spoken the truth. He continued: “We had been talking of horses, if I remember aright, just before leaving the Rue C ----. As we crossed into this street, a fruiterer, with a large basket upon his head, brushing quickly past us, thrust you upon a pile of paving stones collected at a spot where the causeway is undergoing repair. You stepped upon one of the loose fragments, slipped, slightly strained your ankle, appeared vexed or sulky, muttered a few words, turned to look at the pile, and then proceeded in silence. “You kept your eyes upon the ground--glancing, with a petulant expression, at the holes and ruts in the pavement, (so that I saw you were still thinking of the stones,) until we reached the little alley called Lamartine, which has been paved, by way of experiment, with the overlapping and riveted blocks. Here your countenance brightened up, and, perceiving your lips move, I could not doubt that you murmured the word ‘stereotomy,’ a term very affectedly applied to this species of pavement.

I knew that you could not say to yourself ‘stereotomy’ without being brought to think of atomies, and thus of the theories of Epicurus; and since, when we discussed this subject not very long ago, I mentioned to you how singularly, yet with how little notice, the vague guesses of that noble Greek had met with confirmation in the late nebular cosmogony, I felt that you could not avoid casting your eyes upward to the great nebula in Orion, and I certainly expected that you would do so. But in that bitter tirade upon Chantilly, which appeared in yesterday’s ‘Musée,’ the satirist, making some disgraceful allusions to the cobbler’s change of name upon assuming the buskin, quoted a Latin line about which we have often conversed. I mean the line Perdidit antiquum litera sonum. “I had told you that this was in reference to Orion, formerly written Urion; and, from certain pungencies connected with this explanation, I was aware that you could not have forgotten it. It was clear, therefore, that you would not fail to combine the two ideas of Orion and Chantilly. That you did combine them I saw by the character of the smile which passed over your lips. So far, you had been stooping in your gait; but now I saw you draw yourself up to your full height. I was then sure that you reflected upon the diminutive figure of Chantilly. At this point I interrupted your meditations to remark that as, in fact, he was a very little fellow--that Chantilly--he would do better at the Théâtre des Variétés.” Not long after this, we were looking over an evening edition of the “Gazette des Tribunaux,” when the following paragraphs arrested our attention.

“EXTRAORDINARY MURDERS.--This morning, about three o’clock, the inhabitants of the Quartier St. Roch were aroused from sleep by a succession of terrific shrieks, issuing, apparently, from the fourth story of a house in the Rue Morgue, known to be in the sole occupancy of one Madame L’Espanaye, and her daughter Mademoiselle Camille L’Espanaye. After some delay, occasioned by a fruitless attempt to procure admission in the usual manner, the gateway was broken in with a crowbar, and eight or ten of the neighbors entered accompanied by two gendarmes. By this time the cries had ceased; but, as the party rushed up the first flight of stairs, two or more rough voices in angry contention were distinguished and seemed to proceed from the upper part of the house. As the second landing was reached, these sounds, also, had ceased and everything remained perfectly quiet. Upon arriving at a large back chamber in the fourth story, (the door of which, being found locked, with the key inside, was forced open,) a spectacle presented itself which struck every one present not less with horror than with astonishment.

“The apartment was in the wildest disorder--the furniture broken and thrown about in all directions. There was only one bedstead; and from this the bed had been removed, and thrown into the middle of the floor. On the hearth were two or three long and thick tresses of grey human hair, also dabbled in blood, and seeming to have been pulled out by the roots. Upon the floor were found four Napoleons, an ear-ring of topaz, three large silver spoons, three smaller of métal d’Alger, and two bags, containing nearly four thousand francs in gold. The drawers of a bureau, which stood in one corner were open, and had been, apparently, rifled, although many articles still remained in them.

It was open, with the key still in the door. “Of Madame L’Espanaye no traces were here seen; but an unusual quantity of soot being observed in the fire-place, a search was made in the chimney, and (horrible to relate!) the corpse of the daughter, head downward, was dragged therefrom; it having been thus forced up the narrow aperture for a considerable distance.

Upon examining it, many excoriations were perceived, no doubt occasioned by the violence with which it had been thrust up and disengaged. Upon the face were many severe scratches, and, upon the throat, dark bruises, and deep indentations of finger nails, as if the deceased had been throttled to death. “After a thorough investigation of every portion of the house, without farther discovery, the party made its way into a small paved yard in the rear of the building, where lay the corpse of the old lady, with her throat so entirely cut that, upon an attempt to raise her, the head fell off. The body, as well as the head, was fearfully mutilated--the former so much so as scarcely to retain any semblance of humanity. “The Tragedy in the Rue Morgue. Many individuals have been examined in relation to this most extraordinary and frightful affair. “but nothing whatever has transpired to throw light upon it. “Pauline Dubourg, laundress, deposes that she has known both the deceased for three years, having washed for them during that period. Could not speak in regard to their mode or means of living. told fortunes for a living. Never met any persons in the house when she called for the clothes or took them home.

Was sure that they had no servant in employ. There appeared to be no furniture in any part of the building except in the fourth story.

“Pierre Moreau, tobacconist, deposes that he has been in the habit of selling small quantities of tobacco and snuff to Madame L’Espanaye for nearly four years. Was born in the neighborhood, and has always resided there.

The deceased and her daughter had occupied the house in which the corpses were found, for more than six years. She became dissatisfied with the abuse of the premises by her tenant, and moved into them herself, refusing to let any portion.

Witness had seen the daughter some five or six times during the six years. The two lived an exceedingly retired life--were reputed to have money.

No one was spoken of as frequenting the house. It was not known whether there were any living connexions of Madame L. The shutters of the front windows were seldom opened. Those in the rear were always closed, with the exception of the large back room, fourth story. “Isidore Muset, gendarme, deposes that he was called to the house about three o’clock in the morning, and found some twenty or thirty persons at the gateway, endeavoring to gain admittance. Had but little difficulty in getting it open, on account of its being a double or folding gate, and bolted neither at bottom not top. The shrieks were continued until the gate was forced--and then suddenly ceased. They seemed to be screams of some person (or persons) in great agony--were loud and drawn out, not short and quick. Upon reaching the first landing, heard two voices in loud and angry contention--the one a gruff voice, the other much shriller--a very strange voice. Could distinguish some words of the former, which was that of a Frenchman.

Could distinguish the words ‘sacré’ and ‘diable.’ The shrill voice was that of a foreigner. Corroborates the testimony of Muset in general. As soon as they forced an entrance, they reclosed the door, to keep out the crowd, which collected very fast, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour. The shrill voice, this witness thinks, was that of an Italian. Was certain it was not French. Was not acquainted with the Italian language.

Could not distinguish the words, but was convinced by the intonation that the speaker was an Italian. Not speaking French, was examined through an interpreter. Was passing the house at the time of the shrieks. They lasted for several minutes--probably ten. They were long and loud--very awful and distressing. Was one of those who entered the building. Corroborated the previous evidence in every respect but one.

Could not distinguish the words uttered. They were loud and quick--unequal--spoken apparently in fear as well as in anger. The gruff voice said repeatedly ‘sacré,’ ‘diable,’ and once ‘mon Dieu.’ “Jules Mignaud, banker, of the firm of Mignaud et Fils, Rue Deloraine. Had opened an account with his banking house in the spring of the year--(eight years previously). Made frequent deposits in small sums. Had checked for nothing until the third day before her death, when she took out in person the sum of 4000 francs. This sum was paid in gold, and a clerk went home with the money. “Adolphe Le Bon, clerk to Mignaud et Fils, deposes that on the day in question, about noon, he accompanied Madame L’Espanaye to her residence with the 4000 francs, put up in two bags.

Upon the door being opened, Mademoiselle L. Did not see any person in the street at the time. Has lived in Paris two years. Heard the voices in contention. Heard distinctly ‘sacré’ and ‘mon Dieu.’ There was a sound at the moment as if of several persons struggling--a scraping and scuffling sound. “Four of the above-named witnesses, being recalled, deposed that the door of the chamber in which was found the body of Mademoiselle L.

was locked on the inside when the party reached it. Every thing was perfectly silent--no groans or noises of any kind.

Upon forcing the door no person was seen. The windows, both of the back and front room, were down and firmly fastened from within. The door leading from the front room into the passage was locked, with the key on the inside. A small room in the front of the house, on the fourth story, at the head of the passage was open, the door being ajar.

There was not an inch of any portion of the house which was not carefully searched.

The time elapsing between the hearing of the voices in contention and the breaking open of the room door, was variously stated by the witnesses. Some made it as short as three minutes--some as long as five. “Alfonzo Garcio, undertaker, deposes that he resides in the Rue Morgue. Is a native of Spain. Heard the voices in contention. Could not distinguish what was said. Does not understand the English language, but judges by the intonation. Heard the voices in question.

Distinguished several words. The speaker appeared to be expostulating. Thinks it the voice of a Russian. “Several witnesses, recalled, here testified that the chimneys of all the rooms on the fourth story were too narrow to admit the passage of a human being. By ‘sweeps’ were meant cylindrical sweeping brushes, such as are employed by those who clean chimneys. These brushes were passed up and down every flue in the house. The body of Mademoiselle L’Espanaye was so firmly wedged in the chimney that it could not be got down until four or five of the party united their strength. They were both then lying on the sacking of the bedstead in the chamber where Mademoiselle L. There were several deep scratches just below the chin, together with a series of livid spots which were evidently the impression of fingers.

In the opinion of M. The left tibia much splintered, as well as all the ribs of the left side.

It was not possible to say how the injuries had been inflicted.

No woman could have inflicted the blows with any weapon. The throat had evidently been cut with some very sharp instrument--probably with a razor. Corroborated the testimony, and the opinions of M.

“Nothing farther of importance was elicited, although several other persons were examined. A murder so mysterious, and so perplexing in all its particulars, was never before committed in Paris--if indeed a murder has been committed at all.

The police are entirely at fault--an unusual occurrence in affairs of this nature. There is not, however, the shadow of a clew apparent.” The evening edition of the paper stated that the greatest excitement still continued in the Quartier St. Roch--that the premises in question had been carefully re-searched, and fresh examinations of witnesses instituted, but all to no purpose. A postscript, however, mentioned that Adolphe Le Bon had been arrested and imprisoned--although nothing appeared to criminate him, beyond the facts already detailed.

Dupin seemed singularly interested in the progress of this affair--at least so I judged from his manner, for he made no comments. It was only after the announcement that Le Bon had been imprisoned, that he asked me my opinion respecting the murders. I could merely agree with all Paris in considering them an insoluble mystery. “We must not judge of the means,” said Dupin, “by this shell of an examination. The Parisian police, so much extolled for acumen, are cunning, but no more. There is no method in their proceedings, beyond the method of the moment. They make a vast parade of measures; but, not unfrequently, these are so ill adapted to the objects proposed, as to put us in mind of Monsieur Jourdain’s calling for his robe-de-chambre--pour mieux entendre la musique. The results attained by them are not unfrequently surprising, but, for the most part, are brought about by simple diligence and activity. When these qualities are unavailing, their schemes fail.

Vidocq, for example, was a good guesser and a persevering man. But, without educated thought, he erred continually by the very intensity of his investigations. He impaired his vision by holding the object too close. He might see, perhaps, one or two points with unusual clearness, but in so doing he, necessarily, lost sight of the matter as a whole. Thus there is such a thing as being too profound. Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found.

The modes and sources of this kind of error are well typified in the contemplation of the heavenly bodies.

To look at a star by glances--to view it in a side-long way, by turning toward it the exterior portions of the retina (more susceptible of feeble impressions of light than the interior), is to behold the star distinctly--is to have the best appreciation of its lustre--a lustre which grows dim just in proportion as we turn our vision fully upon it. A greater number of rays actually fall upon the eye in the latter case, but, in the former, there is the more refined capacity for comprehension. By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmanent by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct.

“As for these murders, let us enter into some examinations for ourselves, before we make up an opinion respecting them. An inquiry will afford us amusement,” “and, besides, Le Bon once rendered me a service for which I am not ungrateful. I know G----, the Prefect of Police, and shall have no difficulty in obtaining the necessary permission.” The permission was obtained, and we proceeded at once to the Rue Morgue. This is one of those miserable thoroughfares which intervene between the Rue Richelieu and the Rue St. It was late in the afternoon when we reached it; as this quarter is at a great distance from that in which we resided.

The house was readily found; for there were still many persons gazing up at the closed shutters, with an objectless curiosity, from the opposite side of the way. It was an ordinary Parisian house, with a gateway, on one side of which was a glazed watch-box, with a sliding panel in the window, indicating a loge de concierge. Before going in we walked up the street, turned down an alley, and then, again turning, passed in the rear of the building--Dupin, meanwhile examining the whole neighborhood, as well as the house, with a minuteness of attention for which I could see no possible object. Retracing our steps, we came again to the front of the dwelling, rang, and, having shown our credentials, were admitted by the agents in charge. We went up stairs--into the chamber where the body of Mademoiselle L’Espanaye had been found, and where both the deceased still lay. I saw nothing beyond what had been stated in the “Gazette des Tribunaux.” Dupin scrutinized every thing--not excepting the bodies of the victims.

We then went into the other rooms, and into the yard; a gendarme accompanying us throughout. The examination occupied us until dark, when we took our departure. On our way home my companion stepped in for a moment at the office of one of the daily papers. It was his humor, now, to decline all conversation on the subject of the murder, until about noon the next day. He then asked me, suddenly, if I had observed any thing peculiar at the scene of the atrocity. There was something in his manner of emphasizing the word “peculiar,” which caused me to shudder, without knowing why. “No, nothing peculiar,” I said; “nothing more, at least, than we both saw stated in the paper.” “The ‘Gazette,’” he replied, “has not entered, I fear, into the unusual horror of the thing. But dismiss the idle opinions of this print.

It appears to me that this mystery is considered insoluble, for the very reason which should cause it to be regarded as easy of solution--I mean for the outré character of its features. The police are confounded by the seeming absence of motive--not for the murder itself--but for the atrocity of the murder. They are puzzled, too, by the seeming impossibility of reconciling the voices heard in contention, with the facts that no one was discovered up stairs but the assassinated Mademoiselle L’Espanaye, and that there were no means of egress without the notice of the party ascending. The wild disorder of the room; the corpse thrust, with the head downward, up the chimney; the frightful mutilation of the body of the old lady; these considerations, with those just mentioned, and others which I need not mention, have sufficed to paralyze the powers, by putting completely at fault the boasted acumen, of the government agents. They have fallen into the gross but common error of confounding the unusual with the abstruse. But it is by these deviations from the plane of the ordinary, that reason feels its way, if at all, in its search for the true. In investigations such as we are now pursuing, it should not be so much asked ‘what has occurred,’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before.’ In fact, the facility with which I shall arrive, or have arrived, at the solution of this mystery, is in the direct ratio of its apparent insolubility in the eyes of the police.” I stared at the speaker in mute astonishment.

“I am now awaiting,” continued he, looking toward the door of our apartment--“I am now awaiting a person who, although perhaps not the perpetrator of these butcheries, must have been in some measure implicated in their perpetration. Of the worst portion of the crimes committed, it is probable that he is innocent. I hope that I am right in this supposition; for upon it I build my expectation of reading the entire riddle. I look for the man here--in this room--every moment. Should he come, it will be necessary to detain him. Here are pistols; and we both know how to use them when occasion demands their use.” I took the pistols, scarcely knowing what I did, or believing what I heard, while Dupin went on, very much as if in a soliloquy. His discourse was addressed to myself; but his voice, although by no means loud, had that intonation which is commonly employed in speaking to some one at a great distance.

His eyes, vacant in expression, regarded only the wall. “That the voices heard in contention,” he said, “by the party upon the stairs, were not the voices of the women themselves, was fully proved by the evidence. I speak of this point chiefly for the sake of method; for the strength of Madame L’Espanaye would have been utterly unequal to the task of thrusting her daughter’s corpse up the chimney as it was found; and the nature of the wounds upon her own person entirely preclude the idea of self-destruction. Murder, then, has been committed by some third party; and the voices of this third party were those heard in contention. Let me now advert--not to the whole testimony respecting these voices--but to what was peculiar in that testimony.

Did you observe any thing peculiar about it?” I remarked that, while all the witnesses agreed in supposing the gruff voice to be that of a Frenchman, there was much disagreement in regard to the shrill, or, as one individual termed it, the harsh voice. “That was the evidence itself,” said Dupin, “but it was not the peculiarity of the evidence. You have observed nothing distinctive. Yet there was something to be observed. But in regard to the shrill voice, the peculiarity is--not that they disagreed--but that, while an Italian, an Englishman, a Spaniard, a Hollander, and a Frenchman attempted to describe it, each one spoke of it as that of a foreigner. Each likens it--not to the voice of an individual of any nation with whose language he is conversant--but the converse. The Frenchman supposes it the voice of a Spaniard, and ‘might have distinguished some words had he been acquainted with the Spanish.’ The Dutchman maintains it to have been that of a Frenchman; but we find it stated that ‘not understanding French this witness was examined through an interpreter.’ The Englishman thinks it the voice of a German, and ‘does not understand German.’ The Spaniard ‘is sure’ that it was that of an Englishman, but ‘judges by the intonation’ altogether, ‘as he has no knowledge of the English.’ The Italian believes it the voice of a Russian, but ‘has never conversed with a native of Russia.’ A second Frenchman differs, moreover, with the first, and is positive that the voice was that of an Italian; but, not being cognizant of that tongue, is, like the Spaniard, ‘convinced by the intonation.’ Now, how strangely unusual must that voice have really been, about which such testimony as this could have been elicited!--in whose tones, even, denizens of the five great divisions of Europe could recognise nothing familiar! Neither Asiatics nor Africans abound in Paris; but, without denying the inference, I will now merely call your attention to three points.

The voice is termed by one witness ‘harsh rather than shrill.’ It is represented by two others to have been ‘quick and unequal.’ No words--no sounds resembling words--were by any witness mentioned as distinguishable. “I know not,” continued Dupin, “what impression I may have made, so far, upon your own understanding; but I do not hesitate to say that legitimate deductions even from this portion of the testimony--the portion respecting the gruff and shrill voices--are in themselves sufficient to engender a suspicion which should give direction to all farther progress in the investigation of the mystery. I said ‘legitimate deductions;’ but my meaning is not thus fully expressed. I designed to imply that the deductions are the sole proper ones, and that the suspicion arises inevitably from them as the single result. I merely wish you to bear in mind that, with myself, it was sufficiently forcible to give a definite form--a certain tendency--to my inquiries in the chamber. “Let us now transport ourselves, in fancy, to this chamber. It is not too much to say that neither of us believe in præternatural events.

Fortunately, there is but one mode of reasoning upon the point, and that mode must lead us to a definite decision.--Let us examine, each by each, the possible means of egress. It is clear that the assassins were in the room where Mademoiselle L’Espanaye was found, or at least in the room adjoining, when the party ascended the stairs. The police have laid bare the floors, the ceilings, and the masonry of the walls, in every direction. But, not trusting to their eyes, I examined with my own. Both doors leading from the rooms into the passage were securely locked, with the keys inside. These, although of ordinary width for some eight or ten feet above the hearths, will not admit, throughout their extent, the body of a large cat.

The impossibility of egress, by means already stated, being thus absolute, we are reduced to the windows. Through those of the front room no one could have escaped without notice from the crowd in the street. Now, brought to this conclusion in so unequivocal a manner as we are, it is not our part, as reasoners, to reject it on account of apparent impossibilities. It is only left for us to prove that these apparent ‘impossibilities’ are, in reality, not such. “There are two windows in the chamber. The lower portion of the other is hidden from view by the head of the unwieldy bedstead which is thrust close up against it. The former was found securely fastened from within. A large gimlet-hole had been pierced in its frame to the left, and a very stout nail was found fitted therein, nearly to the head. Upon examining the other window, a similar nail was seen similarly fitted in it; and a vigorous attempt to raise this sash, failed also. The police were now entirely satisfied that egress had not been in these directions.

And, therefore, it was thought a matter of supererogation to withdraw the nails and open the windows. “My own examination was somewhat more particular, and was so for the reason I have just given--because here it was, I knew, that all apparent impossibilities must be proved to be not such in reality. “I proceeded to think thus--a posteriori. The murderers did escape from one of these windows. This being so, they could not have refastened the sashes from the inside, as they were found fastened;--the consideration which put a stop, through its obviousness, to the scrutiny of the police in this quarter. They must, then, have the power of fastening themselves. A concealed spring must, I now know, exist; and this corroboration of my idea convinced me that my premises at least, were correct, however mysterious still appeared the circumstances attending the nails. A careful search soon brought to light the hidden spring. A person passing out through this window might have reclosed it, and the spring would have caught--but the nail could not have been replaced. The conclusion was plain, and again narrowed in the field of my investigations.

The assassins must have escaped through the other window. Supposing, then, the springs upon each sash to be the same, as was probable, there must be found a difference between the nails, or at least between the modes of their fixture. Getting upon the sacking of the bedstead, I looked over the head-board minutely at the second casement. Passing my hand down behind the board, I readily discovered and pressed the spring, which was, as I had supposed, identical in character with its neighbor. It was as stout as the other, and apparently fitted in the same manner--driven in nearly up to the head. “You will say that I was puzzled; but, if you think so, you must have misunderstood the nature of the inductions. To use a sporting phrase, I had not been once ‘at fault.’ The scent had never for an instant been lost. There was no flaw in any link of the chain.

I had traced the secret to its ultimate result,--and that result was the nail. It had, I say, in every respect, the appearance of its fellow in the other window; but this fact was an absolute nullity (conclusive us it might seem to be) when compared with the consideration that here, at this point, terminated the clew. ‘There must be something wrong,’ I said, ‘about the nail.’ I touched it; and the head, with about a quarter of an inch of the shank, came off in my fingers. The rest of the shank was in the gimlet-hole where it had been broken off. The fracture was an old one (for its edges were incrusted with rust), and had apparently been accomplished by the blow of a hammer, which had partially imbedded, in the top of the bottom sash, the head portion of the nail. I now carefully replaced this head portion in the indentation whence I had taken it, and the resemblance to a perfect nail was complete--the fissure was invisible. Pressing the spring, I gently raised the sash for a few inches; the head went up with it, remaining firm in its bed.

I closed the window, and the semblance of the whole nail was again perfect. The assassin had escaped through the window which looked upon the bed. Dropping of its own accord upon his exit (or perhaps purposely closed), it had become fastened by the spring; and it was the retention of this spring which had been mistaken by the police for that of the nail,--farther inquiry being thus considered unnecessary. Upon this point I had been satisfied in my walk with you around the building. About five feet and a half from the casement in question there runs a lightning-rod. From this rod it would have been impossible for any one to reach the window itself, to say nothing of entering it. I observed, however, that the shutters of the fourth story were of the peculiar kind called by Parisian carpenters ferrades--a kind rarely employed at the present day, but frequently seen upon very old mansions at Lyons and Bordeaux. They are in the form of an ordinary door, (a single, not a folding door) except that the lower half is latticed or worked in open trellis--thus affording an excellent hold for the hands. In the present instance these shutters are fully three feet and a half broad. It is probable that the police, as well as myself, examined the back of the tenement; but, if so, in looking at these ferrades in the line of their breadth (as they must have done), they did not perceive this great breadth itself, or, at all events, failed to take it into due consideration.

In fact, having once satisfied themselves that no egress could have been made in this quarter, they would naturally bestow here a very cursory examination. It was clear to me, however, that the shutter belonging to the window at the head of the bed, would, if swung fully back to the wall, reach to within two feet of the lightning-rod. It was also evident that, by exertion of a very unusual degree of activity and courage, an entrance into the window, from the rod, might have been thus effected.--By reaching to the distance of two feet and a half (we now suppose the shutter open to its whole extent) a robber might have taken a firm grasp upon the trellis-work. Letting go, then, his hold upon the rod, placing his feet securely against the wall, and springing boldly from it, he might have swung the shutter so as to close it, and, if we imagine the window open at the time, might even have swung himself into the room. “I wish you to bear especially in mind that I have spoken of a very unusual degree of activity as requisite to success in so hazardous and so difficult a feat. It is my design to show you, first, that the thing might possibly have been accomplished:--but, secondly and chiefly, I wish to impress upon your understanding the very extraordinary--the almost præternatural character of that agility which could have accomplished it. “You will say, no doubt, using the language of the law, that ‘to make out my case,’ I should rather undervalue, than insist upon a full estimation of the activity required in this matter. This may be the practice in law, but it is not the usage of reason. My immediate purpose is to lead you to place in juxtaposition, that very unusual activity of which I have just spoken with that very peculiar shrill (or harsh) and unequal voice, about whose nationality no two persons could be found to agree, and in whose utterance no syllabification could be detected.” At these words a vague and half-formed conception of the meaning of Dupin flitted over my mind.

I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension without power to comprehend--men, at times, find themselves upon the brink of remembrance without being able, in the end, to remember. “You will see,” he said, “that I have shifted the question from the mode of egress to that of ingress. It was my design to convey the idea that both were effected in the same manner, at the same point. Let us now revert to the interior of the room.

The drawers of the bureau, it is said, had been rifled, although many articles of apparel still remained within them. How are we to know that the articles found in the drawers were not all these drawers had originally contained? Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter lived an exceedingly retired life--saw no company--seldom went out--had little use for numerous changes of habiliment. In a word, why did he abandon four thousand francs in gold to encumber himself with a bundle of linen? Nearly the whole sum mentioned by Monsieur Mignaud, the banker, was discovered, in bags, upon the floor. I wish you, therefore, to discard from your thoughts the blundering idea of motive, engendered in the brains of the police by that portion of the evidence which speaks of money delivered at the door of the house. Coincidences ten times as remarkable as this (the delivery of the money, and murder committed within three days upon the party receiving it), happen to all of us every hour of our lives, without attracting even momentary notice.

Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities--that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration. In the present instance, had the gold been gone, the fact of its delivery three days before would have formed something more than a coincidence. But, under the real circumstances of the case, if we are to suppose gold the motive of this outrage, we must also imagine the perpetrator so vacillating an idiot as to have abandoned his gold and his motive together. “Keeping now steadily in mind the points to which I have drawn your attention--that peculiar voice, that unusual agility, and that startling absence of motive in a murder so singularly atrocious as this--let us glance at the butchery itself.

Ordinary assassins employ no such modes of murder as this. In the manner of thrusting the corpse up the chimney, you will admit that there was something excessively outré--something altogether irreconcilable with our common notions of human action, even when we suppose the actors the most depraved of men. Think, too, how great must have been that strength which could have thrust the body up such an aperture so forcibly that the united vigor of several persons was found barely sufficient to drag it down! “Turn, now, to other indications of the employment of a vigor most marvellous.

You are aware of the great force necessary in tearing thus from the head even twenty or thirty hairs together.

You saw the locks in question as well as myself. Their roots (a hideous sight!) were clotted with fragments of the flesh of the scalp--sure token of the prodigious power which had been exerted in uprooting perhaps half a million of hairs at a time. The throat of the old lady was not merely cut, but the head absolutely severed from the body: the instrument was a mere razor. Monsieur Dumas, and his worthy coadjutor Monsieur Etienne, have pronounced that they were inflicted by some obtuse instrument; and so far these gentlemen are very correct. The obtuse instrument was clearly the stone pavement in the yard, upon which the victim had fallen from the window which looked in upon the bed. This idea, however simple it may now seem, escaped the police for the same reason that the breadth of the shutters escaped them--because, by the affair of the nails, their perceptions had been hermetically sealed against the possibility of the windows having ever been opened at all.

“If now, in addition to all these things, you have properly reflected upon the odd disorder of the chamber, we have gone so far as to combine the ideas of an agility astounding, a strength superhuman, a ferocity brutal, a butchery without motive, a grotesquerie in horror absolutely alien from humanity, and a voice foreign in tone to the ears of men of many nations, and devoid of all distinct or intelligible syllabification. What impression have I made upon your fancy?” I felt a creeping of the flesh as Dupin asked me the question. “A madman,” I said, “has done this deed--some raving maniac, escaped from a neighboring Maison de Santé.” “In some respects,” he replied, “your idea is not irrelevant. But the voices of madmen, even in their wildest paroxysms, are never found to tally with that peculiar voice heard upon the stairs. Madmen are of some nation, and their language, however incoherent in its words, has always the coherence of syllabification. Besides, the hair of a madman is not such as I now hold in my hand. I disentangled this little tuft from the rigidly clutched fingers of Madame L’Espanaye. Tell me what you can make of it.” “Dupin!” I said, completely unnerved; “this hair is most unusual--this is no human hair.” “I have not asserted that it is,” said he; “but, before we decide this point, I wish you to glance at the little sketch I have here traced upon this paper. It is a fac-simile drawing of what has been described in one portion of the testimony as ‘dark bruises, and deep indentations of finger nails,’ upon the throat of Mademoiselle L’Espanaye, and in another, (by Messrs.

Dumas and Etienne,) as a ‘series of livid spots, evidently the impression of fingers.’ “You will perceive,” continued my friend, spreading out the paper upon the table before us, “that this drawing gives the idea of a firm and fixed hold. There is no slipping apparent. Each finger has retained--possibly until the death of the victim--the fearful grasp by which it originally imbedded itself. Attempt, now, to place all your fingers, at the same time, in the respective impressions as you see them.” I made the attempt in vain. “We are possibly not giving this matter a fair trial,” he said. “The paper is spread out upon a plane surface; but the human throat is cylindrical. Wrap the drawing around it, and try the experiment again.” I did so; but the difficulty was even more obvious than before. “This,” I said, “is the mark of no human hand.” “Read now,” replied Dupin, “this passage from Cuvier.” It was a minute anatomical and generally descriptive account of the large fulvous Ourang-Outang of the East Indian Islands. “The description of the digits,” said I, as I made an end of reading, “is in exact accordance with this drawing.

I see that no animal but an Ourang-Outang, of the species here mentioned, could have impressed the indentations as you have traced them. This tuft of tawny hair, too, is identical in character with that of the beast of Cuvier. Besides, there were two voices heard in contention, and one of them was unquestionably the voice of a Frenchman.” “True; and you will remember an expression attributed almost unanimously, by the evidence, to this voice,--the expression, ‘mon Dieu!’ This, under the circumstances, has been justly characterized by one of the witnesses (Montani, the confectioner,) as an expression of remonstrance or expostulation. Upon these two words, therefore, I have mainly built my hopes of a full solution of the riddle. It is possible--indeed it is far more than probable--that he was innocent of all participation in the bloody transactions which took place. He may have traced it to the chamber; but, under the agitating circumstances which ensued, he could never have re-captured it. I will not pursue these guesses--for I have no right to call them more--since the shades of reflection upon which they are based are scarcely of sufficient depth to be appreciable by my own intellect, and since I could not pretend to make them intelligible to the understanding of another. If the Frenchman in question is indeed, as I suppose, innocent of this atrocity, this advertisement which I left last night, upon our return home, at the office of ‘Le Monde,’ (a paper devoted to the shipping interest, and much sought by sailors,) will bring him to our residence.” He handed me a paper, and I read thus: CAUGHT--In the Bois de Boulogne, early in the morning of the--inst., (the morning of the murder,) a very large, tawny Ourang-Outang of the Bornese species. The owner, (who is ascertained to be a sailor, belonging to a Maltese vessel,) may have the animal again, upon identifying it satisfactorily, and paying a few charges arising from its capture and keeping. Germain--au troisiême. “How was it possible,” I asked, “that you should know the man to be a sailor, and belonging to a Maltese vessel?” “I do not know it,” said Dupin.

Here, however, is a small piece of ribbon, which from its form, and from its greasy appearance, has evidently been used in tying the hair in one of those long queues of which sailors are so fond. I picked the ribbon up at the foot of the lightning-rod. Now if, after all, I am wrong in my induction from this ribbon, that the Frenchman was a sailor belonging to a Maltese vessel, still I can have done no harm in saying what I did in the advertisement. If I am in error, he will merely suppose that I have been misled by some circumstance into which he will not take the trouble to inquire. But if I am right, a great point is gained.

Cognizant although innocent of the murder, the Frenchman will naturally hesitate about replying to the advertisement--about demanding the Ourang-Outang. He will reason thus:--‘I am innocent; I am poor; my Ourang-Outang is of great value--to one in my circumstances a fortune of itself--why should I lose it through idle apprehensions of danger? Here it is, within my grasp. It was found in the Bois de Boulogne--at a vast distance from the scene of that butchery. Should they even trace the animal, it would be impossible to prove me cognizant of the murder, or to implicate me in guilt on account of that cognizance. Should I avoid claiming a property of so great value, which it is known that I possess, I will render the animal at least, liable to suspicion. “Be ready,” said Dupin, “with your pistols, but neither use them nor show them until at a signal from myself.” The front door of the house had been left open, and the visiter had entered, without ringing, and advanced several steps upon the staircase. Presently we heard him descending.

Dupin was moving quickly to the door, when we again heard him coming up. “Come in,” said Dupin, in a cheerful and hearty tone. He was a sailor, evidently,--a tall, stout, and muscular-looking person, with a certain dare-devil expression of countenance, not altogether unprepossessing.

He bowed awkwardly, and bade us “good evening,” in French accents, which, although somewhat Neufchatelish, were still sufficiently indicative of a Parisian origin.

“Sit down, my friend,” said Dupin. Upon my word, I almost envy you the possession of him; a remarkably fine, and no doubt a very valuable animal. How old do you suppose him to be?” The sailor drew a long breath, with the air of a man relieved of some intolerable burden, and then replied, in an assured tone: “I have no way of telling--but he can’t be more than four or five years old. Have you got him here?” “Oh no, we had no conveniences for keeping him here. He is at a livery stable in the Rue Dubourg, just by. You can get him in the morning. Of course you are prepared to identify the property?” “To be sure I am, sir.” “I shall be sorry to part with him,” said Dupin. “I don’t mean that you should be at all this trouble for nothing, sir,” said the man. Am very willing to pay a reward for the finding of the animal--that is to say, any thing in reason.” “Well,” replied my friend, “that is all very fair, to be sure. Let me think!--what should I have?

You shall give me all the information in your power about these murders in the Rue Morgue.” Dupin said the last words in a very low tone, and very quietly. Just as quietly, too, he walked toward the door, locked it and put the key in his pocket.

The sailor’s face flushed up as if he were struggling with suffocation. He started to his feet and grasped his cudgel, but the next moment he fell back into his seat, trembling violently, and with the countenance of death itself. “My friend,” said Dupin, in a kind tone, “you are alarming yourself unnecessarily--you are indeed. I pledge you the honor of a gentleman, and of a Frenchman, that we intend you no injury. I perfectly well know that you are innocent of the atrocities in the Rue Morgue. It will not do, however, to deny that you are in some measure implicated in them. From what I have already said, you must know that I have had means of information about this matter--means of which you could never have dreamed. Now the thing stands thus. You have done nothing which you could have avoided--nothing, certainly, which renders you culpable. You have nothing to conceal.

On the other hand, you are bound by every principle of honor to confess all you know. An innocent man is now imprisoned, charged with that crime of which you can point out the perpetrator.” The sailor had recovered his presence of mind, in a great measure, while Dupin uttered these words; but his original boldness of bearing was all gone.

“So help me God,” said he, after a brief pause, “I will tell you all I know about this affair;--but I do not expect you to believe one half I say--I would be a fool indeed if I did. Still, I am innocent, and I will make a clean breast if I die for it.” What he stated was, in substance, this.

He had lately made a voyage to the Indian Archipelago. A party, of which he formed one, landed at Borneo, and passed into the interior on an excursion of pleasure. This companion dying, the animal fell into his own exclusive possession.

After great trouble, occasioned by the intractable ferocity of his captive during the home voyage, he at length succeeded in lodging it safely at his own residence in Paris, where, not to attract toward himself the unpleasant curiosity of his neighbors, he kept it carefully secluded, until such time as it should recover from a wound in the foot, received from a splinter on board ship. Returning home from some sailors’ frolic the night, or rather in the morning of the murder, he found the beast occupying his own bed-room, into which it had broken from a closet adjoining, where it had been, as was thought, securely confined. Razor in hand, and fully lathered, it was sitting before a looking-glass, attempting the operation of shaving, in which it had no doubt previously watched its master through the key-hole of the closet. Terrified at the sight of so dangerous a weapon in the possession of an animal so ferocious, and so well able to use it, the man, for some moments, was at a loss what to do. He had been accustomed, however, to quiet the creature, even in its fiercest moods, by the use of a whip, and to this he now resorted. Upon sight of it, the Ourang-Outang sprang at once through the door of the chamber, down the stairs, and thence, through a window, unfortunately open, into the street. The Frenchman followed in despair; the ape, razor still in hand, occasionally stopping to look back and gesticulate at its pursuer, until the latter had nearly come up with it. It then again made off. In this manner the chase continued for a long time.

The streets were profoundly quiet, as it was nearly three o’clock in the morning. In passing down an alley in the rear of the Rue Morgue, the fugitive’s attention was arrested by a light gleaming from the open window of Madame L’Espanaye’s chamber, in the fourth story of her house. Rushing to the building, it perceived the lightning rod, clambered up with inconceivable agility, grasped the shutter, which was thrown fully back against the wall, and, by its means, swung itself directly upon the headboard of the bed. The whole feat did not occupy a minute. The shutter was kicked open again by the Ourang-Outang as it entered the room. The sailor, in the meantime, was both rejoiced and perplexed. He had strong hopes of now recapturing the brute, as it could scarcely escape from the trap into which it had ventured, except by the rod, where it might be intercepted as it came down.

On the other hand, there was much cause for anxiety as to what it might do in the house. A lightning rod is ascended without difficulty, especially by a sailor; but, when he had arrived as high as the window, which lay far to his left, his career was stopped; the most that he could accomplish was to reach over so as to obtain a glimpse of the interior of the room. Now it was that those hideous shrieks arose upon the night, which had startled from slumber the inmates of the Rue Morgue. Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, habited in their night clothes, had apparently been occupied in arranging some papers in the iron chest already mentioned, which had been wheeled into the middle of the room. The victims must have been sitting with their backs toward the window; and, from the time elapsing between the ingress of the beast and the screams, it seems probable that it was not immediately perceived. The flapping-to of the shutter would naturally have been attributed to the wind. As the sailor looked in, the gigantic animal had seized Madame L’Espanaye by the hair, (which was loose, as she had been combing it,) and was flourishing the razor about her face, in imitation of the motions of a barber.

The screams and struggles of the old lady (during which the hair was torn from her head) had the effect of changing the probably pacific purposes of the Ourang-Outang into those of wrath. With one determined sweep of its muscular arm it nearly severed her head from her body. The sight of blood inflamed its anger into phrenzy. Gnashing its teeth, and flashing fire from its eyes, it flew upon the body of the girl, and imbedded its fearful talons in her throat, retaining its grasp until she expired. Its wandering and wild glances fell at this moment upon the head of the bed, over which the face of its master, rigid with horror, was just discernible. The fury of the beast, who no doubt bore still in mind the dreaded whip, was instantly converted into fear. Conscious of having deserved punishment, it seemed desirous of concealing its bloody deeds, and skipped about the chamber in an agony of nervous agitation; throwing down and breaking the furniture as it moved, and dragging the bed from the bedstead. In conclusion, it seized first the corpse of the daughter, and thrust it up the chimney, as it was found; then that of the old lady, which it immediately hurled through the window headlong. As the ape approached the casement with its mutilated burden, the sailor shrank aghast to the rod, and, rather gliding than clambering down it, hurried at once home--dreading the consequences of the butchery, and gladly abandoning, in his terror, all solicitude about the fate of the Ourang-Outang. The words heard by the party upon the staircase were the Frenchman’s exclamations of horror and affright, commingled with the fiendish jabberings of the brute.

I have scarcely anything to add.

It must have closed the window as it passed through it. It was subsequently caught by the owner himself, who obtained for it a very large sum at the Jardin des Plantes. Le Don was instantly released, upon our narration of the circumstances (with some comments from Dupin) at the bureau of the Prefect of Police. This functionary, however well disposed to my friend, could not altogether conceal his chagrin at the turn which affairs had taken, and was fain to indulge in a sarcasm or two, about the propriety of every person minding his own business. “Let him talk,” said Dupin, who had not thought it necessary to reply. “Let him discourse; it will ease his conscience, I am satisfied with having defeated him in his own castle. Nevertheless, that he failed in the solution of this mystery, is by no means that matter for wonder which he supposes it; for, in truth, our friend the Prefect is somewhat too cunning to be profound. In his wisdom is no stamen. It is all head and no body, like the pictures of the Goddess Laverna,--or, at best, all head and shoulders, like a codfish. I like him especially for one master stroke of cant, by which he has attained his reputation for ingenuity. THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET.(*1) A SEQUEL TO “THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE.” Es giebt eine Reihe idealischer Begebenheiten, die der Wirklichkeit parallel lauft. Menschen und zufalle modifieiren gewohulich die idealische Begebenheit, so dass sie unvollkommen erscheint, und ihre Folgen gleichfalls unvollkommen sind.

They rarely coincide. Men and circumstances generally modify the ideal train of events, so that it seems imperfect, and its consequences are equally imperfect. Thus with the Reformation; instead of Protestantism came Lutheranism. THERE are few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half-credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvellous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them. Such sentiments--for the half-credences of which I speak have never the full force of thought--such sentiments are seldom thoroughly stifled unless by reference to the doctrine of chance, or, as it is technically termed, the Calculus of Probabilities. Now this Calculus is, in its essence, purely mathematical; and thus we have the anomaly of the most rigidly exact in science applied to the shadow and spirituality of the most intangible in speculation. The extraordinary details which I am now called upon to make public, will be found to form, as regards sequence of time, the primary branch of a series of scarcely intelligible coincidences, whose secondary or concluding branch will be recognized by all readers in the late murder of Mary Cecila Rogers, at New York.

When, in an article entitled “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” I endeavored, about a year ago, to depict some very remarkable features in the mental character of my friend, the Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, it did not occur to me that I should ever resume the subject. This depicting of character constituted my design; and this design was thoroughly fulfilled in the wild train of circumstances brought to instance Dupin’s idiosyncrasy. Late events, however, in their surprising development, have startled me into some farther details, which will carry with them the air of extorted confession. Hearing what I have lately heard, it would be indeed strange should I remain silent in regard to what I both heard and saw so long ago. Upon the winding up of the tragedy involved in the deaths of Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, the Chevalier dismissed the affair at once from his attention, and relapsed into his old habits of moody reverie. Prone, at all times, to abstraction, I readily fell in with his humor; and, continuing to occupy our chambers in the Faubourg Saint Germain, we gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams. But these dreams were not altogether uninterrupted. It may readily be supposed that the part played by my friend, in the drama at the Rue Morgue, had not failed of its impression upon the fancies of the Parisian police.

With its emissaries, the name of Dupin had grown into a household word. The simple character of those inductions by which he had disentangled the mystery never having been explained even to the Prefect, or to any other individual than myself, of course it is not surprising that the affair was regarded as little less than miraculous, or that the Chevalier’s analytical abilities acquired for him the credit of intuition. His frankness would have led him to disabuse every inquirer of such prejudice; but his indolent humor forbade all farther agitation of a topic whose interest to himself had long ceased. It thus happened that he found himself the cynosure of the political eyes; and the cases were not few in which attempt was made to engage his services at the Prefecture.

One of the most remarkable instances was that of the murder of a young girl named Marie Rogêt. This event occurred about two years after the atrocity in the Rue Morgue. The father had died during the child’s infancy, and from the period of his death, until within eighteen months before the assassination which forms the subject of our narrative, the mother and daughter had dwelt together in the Rue Pavée Saint Andrée; (*3) Madame there keeping a pension, assisted by Marie. Affairs went on thus until the latter had attained her twenty-second year, when her great beauty attracted the notice of a perfumer, who occupied one of the shops in the basement of the Palais Royal, and whose custom lay chiefly among the desperate adventurers infesting that neighborhood. Monsieur Le Blanc (*4) was not unaware of the advantages to be derived from the attendance of the fair Marie in his perfumery; and his liberal proposals were accepted eagerly by the girl, although with somewhat more of hesitation by Madame. She had been in his employ about a year, when her admirers were thrown info confusion by her sudden disappearance from the shop.

The public papers immediately took up the theme, and the police were upon the point of making serious investigations, when, one fine morning, after the lapse of a week, Marie, in good health, but with a somewhat saddened air, made her re-appearance at her usual counter in the perfumery. All inquiry, except that of a private character, was of course immediately hushed. Marie, with Madame, replied to all questions, that the last week had been spent at the house of a relation in the country. Thus the affair died away, and was generally forgotten; for the girl, ostensibly to relieve herself from the impertinence of curiosity, soon bade a final adieu to the perfumer, and sought the shelter of her mother’s residence in the Rue Pavée Saint Andrée. Three days elapsed, and nothing was heard of her. On the fourth her corpse was found floating in the Seine, * near the shore which is opposite the Quartier of the Rue Saint Andree, and at a point not very far distant from the secluded neighborhood of the Barrière du Roule.

(*6) The atrocity of this murder, (for it was at once evident that murder had been committed,) the youth and beauty of the victim, and, above all, her previous notoriety, conspired to produce intense excitement in the minds of the sensitive Parisians. I can call to mind no similar occurrence producing so general and so intense an effect. For several weeks, in the discussion of this one absorbing theme, even the momentous political topics of the day were forgotten. Upon the first discovery of the corpse, it was not supposed that the murderer would be able to elude, for more than a very brief period, the inquisition which was immediately set on foot. In the mean time the investigation proceeded with vigor, if not always with judgment, and numerous individuals were examined to no purpose; while, owing to the continual absence of all clue to the mystery, the popular excitement greatly increased. At the end of the tenth day it was thought advisable to double the sum originally proposed; and, at length, the second week having elapsed without leading to any discoveries, and the prejudice which always exists in Paris against the Police having given vent to itself in several serious émeutes, the Prefect took it upon himself to offer the sum of twenty thousand francs “for the conviction of the assassin,” or, if more than one should prove to have been implicated, “for the conviction of any one of the assassins.” In the proclamation setting forth this reward, a full pardon was promised to any accomplice who should come forward in evidence against his fellow; and to the whole was appended, wherever it appeared, the private placard of a committee of citizens, offering ten thousand francs, in addition to the amount proposed by the Prefecture.

The entire reward thus stood at no less than thirty thousand francs, which will be regarded as an extraordinary sum when we consider the humble condition of the girl, and the great frequency, in large cities, of such atrocities as the one described. But although, in one or two instances, arrests were made which promised elucidation, yet nothing was elicited which could implicate the parties suspected; and they were discharged forthwith. Strange as it may appear, the third week from the discovery of the body had passed, and passed without any light being thrown upon the subject, before even a rumor of the events which had so agitated the public mind, reached the ears of Dupin and myself. Engaged in researches which absorbed our whole attention, it had been nearly a month since either of us had gone abroad, or received a visiter, or more than glanced at the leading political articles in one of the daily papers. The first intelligence of the murder was brought us by G ----, in person. He called upon us early in the afternoon of the thirteenth of July, 18--, and remained with us until late in the night. He had been piqued by the failure of all his endeavors to ferret out the assassins. The eyes of the public were upon him; and there was really no sacrifice which he would not be willing to make for the development of the mystery. He concluded a somewhat droll speech with a compliment upon what he was pleased to term the tact of Dupin, and made him a direct, and certainly a liberal proposition, the precise nature of which I do not feel myself at liberty to disclose, but which has no bearing upon the proper subject of my narrative. This point being settled, the Prefect broke forth at once into explanations of his own views, interspersing them with long comments upon the evidence; of which latter we were not yet in possession.

Dupin, sitting steadily in his accustomed arm-chair, was the embodiment of respectful attention. He wore spectacles, during the whole interview; and an occasional signal glance beneath their green glasses, sufficed to convince me that he slept not the less soundly, because silently, throughout the seven or eight leaden-footed hours which immediately preceded the departure of the Prefect. In the morning, I procured, at the Prefecture, a full report of all the evidence elicited, and, at the various newspaper offices, a copy of every paper in which, from first to last, had been published any decisive information in regard to this sad affair. Freed from all that was positively disproved, this mass of information stood thus: Marie Rogêt left the residence of her mother, in the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, about nine o’clock in the morning of Sunday June the twenty-second, 18--.

In going out, she gave notice to a Monsieur Jacques St. Eustache, (*7) and to him only, of her intent intention to spend the day with an aunt who resided in the Rue des Drômes. The Rue des Drômes is a short and narrow but populous thoroughfare, not far from the banks of the river, and at a distance of some two miles, in the most direct course possible, from the pension of Madame Rogêt. In the afternoon, however, it came on to rain heavily; and, supposing that she would remain all night at her aunt’s, (as she had done under similar circumstances before,) he did not think it necessary to keep his promise. As night drew on, Madame Rogêt (who was an infirm old lady, seventy years of age,) was heard to express a fear “that she should never see Marie again;” but this observation attracted little attention at the time.

On Monday, it was ascertained that the girl had not been to the Rue des Drômes; and when the day elapsed without tidings of her, a tardy search was instituted at several points in the city, and its environs. It was not, however until the fourth day from the period of disappearance that any thing satisfactory was ascertained respecting her. On this day, (Wednesday, the twenty-fifth of June,) a Monsieur Beauvais, (*8) who, with a friend, had been making inquiries for Marie near the Barrière du Roule, on the shore of the Seine which is opposite the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, was informed that a corpse had just been towed ashore by some fishermen, who had found it floating in the river. Upon seeing the body, Beauvais, after some hesitation, identified it as that of the perfumery-girl. No foam was seen, as in the case of the merely drowned. There was no discoloration in the cellular tissue.

About the throat were bruises and impressions of fingers. On the left wrist were two circular excoriations, apparently the effect of ropes, or of a rope in more than one volution. In bringing the body to the shore the fishermen had attached to it a rope; but none of the excoriations had been effected by this. A piece of lace was found tied so tightly around the neck as to be hidden from sight; it was completely buried in the flesh, and was fasted by a knot which lay just under the left ear.

The corpse was in such condition when found, that there could have been no difficulty in its recognition by friends. In the outer garment, a slip, about a foot wide, had been torn upward from the bottom hem to the waist, but not torn off. It was wound three times around the waist, and secured by a sort of hitch in the back. The dress immediately beneath the frock was of fine muslin; and from this a slip eighteen inches wide had been torn entirely out--torn very evenly and with great care. It was found around her neck, fitting loosely, and secured with a hard knot. Over this muslin slip and the slip of lace, the strings of a bonnet were attached; the bonnet being appended. The knot by which the strings of the bonnet were fastened, was not a lady’s, but a slip or sailor’s knot. After the recognition of the corpse, it was not, as usual, taken to the Morgue, (this formality being superfluous,) but hastily interred not far from the spot at which it was brought ashore.

Through the exertions of Beauvais, the matter was industriously hushed up, as far as possible; and several days had elapsed before any public emotion resulted. A weekly paper, (*9) however, at length took up the theme; the corpse was disinterred, and a re-examination instituted; but nothing was elicited beyond what has been already noted. The clothes, however, were now submitted to the mother and friends of the deceased, and fully identified as those worn by the girl upon leaving home. Meantime, the excitement increased hourly. Several individuals were arrested and discharged.

Eustache fell especially under suspicion; and he failed, at first, to give an intelligible account of his whereabouts during the Sunday on which Marie left home.

Subsequently, however, he submitted to Monsieur G----, affidavits, accounting satisfactorily for every hour of the day in question. As time passed and no discovery ensued, a thousand contradictory rumors were circulated, and journalists busied themselves in suggestions. Among these, the one which attracted the most notice, was the idea that Marie Rogêt still lived--that the corpse found in the Seine was that of some other unfortunate. These passages are literal translations from L’Etoile, (*10) a paper conducted, in general, with much ability. “Mademoiselle Rogêt left her mother’s house on Sunday morning, June the twenty-second, 18--, with the ostensible purpose of going to see her aunt, or some other connexion, in the Rue des Drômes. There is no trace or tidings of her at all....

Now, though we have no evidence that Marie Rogêt was in the land of the living after nine o’clock on Sunday, June the twenty-second, we have proof that, up to that hour, she was alive. This was, even if we presume that Marie Rogêt was thrown into the river within three hours after she left her mother’s house, only three days from the time she left her home--three days to an hour. But it is folly to suppose that the murder, if murder was committed on her body, could have been consummated soon enough to have enabled her murderers to throw the body into the river before midnight. Thus we see that if the body found in the river was that of Marie Rogêt, it could only have been in the water two and a half days, or three at the outside. All experience has shown that drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into the water immediately after death by violence, require from six to ten days for decomposition to take place to bring them to the top of the water.

Even where a cannon is fired over a corpse, and it rises before at least five or six days’ immersion, it sinks again, if let alone. Now, we ask, what was there in this cave to cause a departure from the ordinary course of nature?... If the body had been kept in its mangled state on shore until Tuesday night, some trace would be found on shore of the murderers. It is a doubtful point, also, whether the body would be so soon afloat, even were it thrown in after having been dead two days. And, furthermore, it is exceedingly improbable that any villains who had committed such a murder as is here supposed, would have thrown the body in without weight to sink it, when such a precaution could have so easily been taken.” The editor here proceeds to argue that the body must have been in the water “not three days merely, but, at least, five times three days,” because it was so far decomposed that Beauvais had great difficulty in recognizing it. This latter point, however, was fully disproved. I continue the translation: “What, then, are the facts on which M. He rubbed the arm and found hair upon it--something as indefinite, we think, as can readily be imagined--as little conclusive as finding an arm in the sleeve. Beauvais did not return that night, but sent word to Madame Rogêt, at seven o’clock, on Wednesday evening, that an investigation was still in progress respecting her daughter. If we allow that Madame Rogêt, from her age and grief, could not go over, (which is allowing a great deal,) there certainly must have been some one who would have thought it worth while to go over and attend the investigation, if they thought the body was that of Marie.

There was nothing said or heard about the matter in the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, that reached even the occupants of the same building. Eustache, the lover and intended husband of Marie, who boarded in her mother’s house, deposes that he did not hear of the discovery of the body of his intended until the next morning, when M.

Beauvais came into his chamber and told him of it. For an item of news like this, it strikes us it was very coolly received.” In this way the journal endeavored to create the impression of an apathy on the part of the relatives of Marie, inconsistent with the supposition that these relatives believed the corpse to be hers.

Its insinuations amount to this:--that Marie, with the connivance of her friends, had absented herself from the city for reasons involving a charge against her chastity; and that these friends, upon the discovery of a corpse in the Seine, somewhat resembling that of the girl, had availed themselves of the opportunity to impress the public with the belief of her death. But L’Etoile was again over-hasty. It was distinctly proved that no apathy, such as was imagined, existed; that the old lady was exceedingly feeble, and so agitated as to be unable to attend to any duty, that St. Eustache, so far from receiving the news coolly, was distracted with grief, and bore himself so frantically, that M. Beauvais prevailed upon a friend and relative to take charge of him, and prevent his attending the examination at the disinterment.

Moreover, although it was stated by L’Etoile, that the corpse was re-interred at the public expense--that an advantageous offer of private sculpture was absolutely declined by the family--and that no member of the family attended the ceremonial:--although, I say, all this was asserted by L’Etoile in furtherance of the impression it designed to convey--yet all this was satisfactorily disproved. In a subsequent number of the paper, an attempt was made to throw suspicion upon Beauvais himself. Beauvais, who was going out, told her that a gendarme was expected there, and she, Madame B., must not say anything to the gendarme until he returned, but let the matter be for him.... In the present posture of affairs, M. Beauvais appears to have the whole matter locked up in his head. A single step cannot be taken without M. Beauvais; for, go which way you will, you run against him....

For some reason, he determined that nobody shall have any thing to do with the proceedings but himself, and he has elbowed the male relatives out of the way, according to their representations, in a very singular manner. He seems to have been very much averse to permitting the relatives to see the body.” By the following fact, some color was given to the suspicion thus thrown upon Beauvais. A visiter at his office, a few days prior to the girl’s disappearance, and during the absence of its occupant, had observed a rose in the key-hole of the door, and the name “Marie” inscribed upon a slate which hung near at hand. Le Commerciel, (*11) however, a print of extensive influence, was earnest in combating this popular idea. It is impossible that a person so well known to thousands as this young woman was, should have passed three blocks without some one having seen her; and any one who saw her would have remembered it, for she interested all who knew her. It is impossible that she could have gone to the Barrière du Roule, or to the Rue des Drômes, without being recognized by a dozen persons; yet no one has come forward who saw her outside of her mother’s door, and there is no evidence, except the testimony concerning her expressed intentions, that she did go out at all. The fact that the body was found floating near the Barrière, is no proof as to where it was thrown into the water..... A piece of one of the unfortunate girl’s petticoats, two feet long and one foot wide, was torn out and tied under her chin around the back of her head, probably to prevent screams. This was done by fellows who had no pocket-handkerchief.” A day or two before the Prefect called upon us, however, some important information reached the police, which seemed to overthrow, at least, the chief portion of Le Commerciel’s argument. Two small boys, sons of a Madame Deluc, while roaming among the woods near the Barrière du Roule, chanced to penetrate a close thicket, within which were three or four large stones, forming a kind of seat, with a back and footstool.

Between the thicket and the river, the fences were found taken down, and the ground bore evidence of some heavy burthen having been dragged along it. A weekly paper, Le Soleil,(*12) had the following comments upon this discovery--comments which merely echoed the sentiment of the whole Parisian press: “The things had all evidently been there at least three or four weeks; they were all mildewed down hard with the action of the rain and stuck together from mildew. The silk on the parasol was strong, but the threads of it were run together within. The upper part, where it had been doubled and folded, was all mildewed and rotten, and tore on its being opened..... The pieces of her frock torn out by the bushes were about three inches wide and six inches long. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the spot of this appalling outrage has been discovered.” Consequent upon this discovery, new evidence appeared. Madame Deluc testified that she keeps a roadside inn not far from the bank of the river, opposite the Barrière du Roule. It is the usual Sunday resort of blackguards from the city, who cross the river in boats. About three o’clock, in the afternoon of the Sunday in question, a young girl arrived at the inn, accompanied by a young man of dark complexion.

The two remained here for some time. On their departure, they took the road to some thick woods in the vicinity. Soon after the departure of the couple, a gang of miscreants made their appearance, behaved boisterously, ate and drank without making payment, followed in the route of the young man and girl, returned to the inn about dusk, and re-crossed the river as if in great haste. It was soon after dark, upon this same evening, that Madame Deluc, as well as her eldest son, heard the screams of a female in the vicinity of the inn. recognized not only the scarf which was found in the thicket, but the dress which was discovered upon the corpse.

An omnibus driver, Valence, (*13) now also testified that he saw Marie Rogêt cross a ferry on the Seine, on the Sunday in question, in company with a young man of dark complexion. He, Valence, knew Marie, and could not be mistaken in her identity. The articles found in the thicket were fully identified by the relatives of Marie. The items of evidence and information thus collected by myself, from the newspapers, at the suggestion of Dupin, embraced only one more point--but this was a point of seemingly vast consequence. Eustache, Marie’s betrothed, was found in the vicinity of what all now supposed the scene of the outrage. He died without speaking. Upon his person was found a letter, briefly stating his love for Marie, with his design of self-destruction. “I need scarcely tell you,” said Dupin, as he finished the perusal of my notes, “that this is a far more intricate case than that of the Rue Morgue; from which it differs in one important respect. This is an ordinary, although an atrocious instance of crime.

There is nothing peculiarly outré about it. They could picture to their imaginations a mode--many modes--and a motive--many motives; and because it was not impossible that either of these numerous modes and motives could have been the actual one, they have taken it for granted that one of them must. But the case with which these variable fancies were entertained, and the very plausibility which each assumed, should have been understood as indicative rather of the difficulties than of the facilities which must attend elucidation. I have before observed that it is by prominences above the plane of the ordinary, that reason feels her way, if at all, in her search for the true, and that the proper question in cases such as this, is not so much ‘what has occurred?’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before?’ In the investigations at the house of Madame L’Espanaye, (*14) the agents of G---- were discouraged and confounded by that very unusualness which, to a properly regulated intellect, would have afforded the surest omen of success; while this same intellect might have been plunged in despair at the ordinary character of all that met the eye in the case of the perfumery-girl, and yet told of nothing but easy triumph to the functionaries of the Prefecture. “In the case of Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter there was, even at the beginning of our investigation, no doubt that murder had been committed. The body found at the Barrière du Roule, was found under such circumstances as to leave us no room for embarrassment upon this important point. But it has been suggested that the corpse discovered, is not that of the Marie Rogêt for the conviction of whose assassin, or assassins, the reward is offered, and respecting whom, solely, our agreement has been arranged with the Prefect. If, dating our inquiries from the body found, and thence tracing a murderer, we yet discover this body to be that of some other individual than Marie; or, if starting from the living Marie, we find her, yet find her unassassinated--in either case we lose our labor; since it is Monsieur G---- with whom we have to deal.

For our own purpose, therefore, if not for the purpose of justice, it is indispensable that our first step should be the determination of the identity of the corpse with the Marie Rogêt who is missing. “With the public the arguments of L’Etoile have had weight; and that the journal itself is convinced of their importance would appear from the manner in which it commences one of its essays upon the subject--‘Several of the morning papers of the day,’ it says, ‘speak of the conclusive article in Monday’s Etoile.’ To me, this article appears conclusive of little beyond the zeal of its inditer. We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation--to make a point--than to further the cause of truth.

The latter end is only pursued when it seems coincident with the former. The print which merely falls in with ordinary opinion (however well founded this opinion may be) earns for itself no credit with the mob. In ratiocination, not less than in literature, it is the epigram which is the most immediately and the most universally appreciated.

In both, it is of the lowest order of merit. “What I mean to say is, that it is the mingled epigram and melodrame of the idea, that Marie Rogêt still lives, rather than any true plausibility in this idea, which have suggested it to L’Etoile, and secured it a favorable reception with the public. Let us examine the heads of this journal’s argument; endeavoring to avoid the incoherence with which it is originally set forth. “The first aim of the writer is to show, from the brevity of the interval between Marie’s disappearance and the finding of the floating corpse, that this corpse cannot be that of Marie.

The reduction of this interval to its smallest possible dimension, becomes thus, at once, an object with the reasoner. In the rash pursuit of this object, he rushes into mere assumption at the outset.

‘It is folly to suppose,’ he says, ‘that the murder, if murder was committed on her body, could have been consummated soon enough to have enabled her murderers to throw the body into the river before midnight.’ We demand at once, and very naturally, why? Why is it folly to suppose that the murder was committed within five minutes after the girl’s quitting her mother’s house? There have been assassinations at all hours. But, had the murder taken place at any moment between nine o’clock in the morning of Sunday, and a quarter before midnight, there would still have been time enough ‘to throw the body into the river before midnight.’ This assumption, then, amounts precisely to this--that the murder was not committed on Sunday at all--and, if we allow L’Etoile to assume this, we may permit it any liberties whatever. The paragraph beginning ‘It is folly to suppose that the murder, etc.,’ however it appears as printed in L’Etoile, may be imagined to have existed actually thus in the brain of its inditer--‘It is folly to suppose that the murder, if murder was committed on the body, could have been committed soon enough to have enabled her murderers to throw the body into the river before midnight; it is folly, we say, to suppose all this, and to suppose at the same time, (as we are resolved to suppose,) that the body was not thrown in until after midnight’--a sentence sufficiently inconsequential in itself, but not so utterly preposterous as the one printed. “Were it my purpose,” continued Dupin, “merely to make out a case against this passage of L’Etoile’s argument, I might safely leave it where it is.

The sentence in question has but one meaning, as it stands; and this meaning I have fairly stated: but it is material that we go behind the mere words, for an idea which these words have obviously intended, and failed to convey. It was the design of the journalist to say that, at whatever period of the day or night of Sunday this murder was committed, it was improbable that the assassins would have ventured to bear the corpse to the river before midnight. And herein lies, really, the assumption of which I complain. It is assumed that the murder was committed at such a position, and under such circumstances, that the bearing it to the river became necessary. Now, the assassination might have taken place upon the river’s brink, or on the river itself; and, thus, the throwing the corpse in the water might have been resorted to, at any period of the day or night, as the most obvious and most immediate mode of disposal. You will understand that I suggest nothing here as probable, or as cöincident with my own opinion.

I wish merely to caution you against the whole tone of L’Etoile’s suggestion, by calling your attention to its ex parte character at the outset. “Having prescribed thus a limit to suit its own preconceived notions; having assumed that, if this were the body of Marie, it could have been in the water but a very brief time; the journal goes on to say: ‘All experience has shown that drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into the water immediately after death by violence, require from six to ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to the top of the water. Even when a cannon is fired over a corpse, and it rises before at least five or six days’ immersion, it sinks again if let alone.’ “These assertions have been tacitly received by every paper in Paris, with the exception of Le Moniteur. (*15) This latter print endeavors to combat that portion of the paragraph which has reference to ‘drowned bodies’ only, by citing some five or six instances in which the bodies of individuals known to be drowned were found floating after the lapse of less time than is insisted upon by L’Etoile. But there is something excessively unphilosophical in the attempt on the part of Le Moniteur, to rebut the general assertion of L’Etoile, by a citation of particular instances militating against that assertion. Had it been possible to adduce fifty instead of five examples of bodies found floating at the end of two or three days, these fifty examples could still have been properly regarded only as exceptions to L’Etoile’s rule, until such time as the rule itself should be confuted. Admitting the rule, (and this Le Moniteur does not deny, insisting merely upon its exceptions,) the argument of L’Etoile is suffered to remain in full force; for this argument does not pretend to involve more than a question of the probability of the body having risen to the surface in less than three days; and this probability will be in favor of L’Etoile’s position until the instances so childishly adduced shall be sufficient in number to establish an antagonistical rule. “You will see at once that all argument upon this head should be urged, if at all, against the rule itself; and for this end we must examine the rationale of the rule.

Now the human body, in general, is neither much lighter nor much heavier than the water of the Seine; that is to say, the specific gravity of the human body, in its natural condition, is about equal to the bulk of fresh water which it displaces. The bodies of fat and fleshy persons, with small bones, and of women generally, are lighter than those of the lean and large-boned, and of men; and the specific gravity of the water of a river is somewhat influenced by the presence of the tide from sea. But, leaving this tide out of question, it may be said that very few human bodies will sink at all, even in fresh water, of their own accord. Almost any one, falling into a river, will be enabled to float, if he suffer the specific gravity of the water fairly to be adduced in comparison with his own--that is to say, if he suffer his whole person to be immersed, with as little exception as possible. The proper position for one who cannot swim, is the upright position of the walker on land, with the head thrown fully back, and immersed; the mouth and nostrils alone remaining above the surface.

Thus circumstanced, we shall find that we float without difficulty and without exertion. An arm, for instance, uplifted from the water, and thus deprived of its support, is an additional weight sufficient to immerse the whole head, while the accidental aid of the smallest piece of timber will enable us to elevate the head so as to look about. Now, in the struggles of one unused to swimming, the arms are invariably thrown upwards, while an attempt is made to keep the head in its usual perpendicular position.

The result is the immersion of the mouth and nostrils, and the inception, during efforts to breathe while beneath the surface, of water into the lungs. Much is also received into the stomach, and the whole body becomes heavier by the difference between the weight of the air originally distending these cavities, and that of the fluid which now fills them. This difference is sufficient to cause the body to sink, as a general rule; but is insufficient in the cases of individuals with small bones and an abnormal quantity of flaccid or fatty matter. Such individuals float even after drowning. “The corpse, being supposed at the bottom of the river, will there remain until, by some means, its specific gravity again becomes less than that of the bulk of water which it displaces. The result of decomposition is the generation of gas, distending the cellular tissues and all the cavities, and giving the puffed appearance which is so horrible. When this distension has so far progressed that the bulk of the corpse is materially increased without a corresponding increase of mass or weight, its specific gravity becomes less than that of the water displaced, and it forthwith makes its appearance at the surface. But decomposition is modified by innumerable circumstances--is hastened or retarded by innumerable agencies; for example, by the heat or cold of the season, by the mineral impregnation or purity of the water, by its depth or shallowness, by its currency or stagnation, by the temperament of the body, by its infection or freedom from disease before death. Thus it is evident that we can assign no period, with any thing like accuracy, at which the corpse shall rise through decomposition.

Under certain conditions this result would be brought about within an hour; under others, it might not take place at all. There are chemical infusions by which the animal frame can be preserved forever from corruption; the Bi-chloride of Mercury is one. But, apart from decomposition, there may be, and very usually is, a generation of gas within the stomach, from the acetous fermentation of vegetable matter (or within other cavities from other causes) sufficient to induce a distension which will bring the body to the surface.

The effect produced by the firing of a cannon is that of simple vibration. This may either loosen the corpse from the soft mud or ooze in which it is imbedded, thus permitting it to rise when other agencies have already prepared it for so doing; or it may overcome the tenacity of some putrescent portions of the cellular tissue; allowing the cavities to distend under the influence of the gas. “Having thus before us the whole philosophy of this subject, we can easily test by it the assertions of L’Etoile. ‘All experience shows,’ says this paper, ‘that drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into the water immediately after death by violence, require from six to ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to the top of the water. Even when a cannon is fired over a corpse, and it rises before at least five or six days’ immersion, it sinks again if let alone.’ “The whole of this paragraph must now appear a tissue of inconsequence and incoherence. All experience does not show that ‘drowned bodies’ require from six to ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to the surface. Both science and experience show that the period of their rising is, and necessarily must be, indeterminate. If, moreover, a body has risen to the surface through firing of cannon, it will not ‘sink again if let alone,’ until decomposition has so far progressed as to permit the escape of the generated gas. But I wish to call your attention to the distinction which is made between ‘drowned bodies,’ and ‘bodies thrown into the water immediately after death by violence.’ Although the writer admits the distinction, he yet includes them all in the same category.

I have shown how it is that the body of a drowning man becomes specifically heavier than its bulk of water, and that he would not sink at all, except for the struggles by which he elevates his arms above the surface, and his gasps for breath while beneath the surface--gasps which supply by water the place of the original air in the lungs. But these struggles and these gasps would not occur in the body ‘thrown into the water immediately after death by violence.’ Thus, in the latter instance, the body, as a general rule, would not sink at all--a fact of which L’Etoile is evidently ignorant. When decomposition had proceeded to a very great extent--when the flesh had in a great measure left the bones--then, indeed, but not till then, should we lose sight of the corpse. “And now what are we to make of the argument, that the body found could not be that of Marie Rogêt, because, three days only having elapsed, this body was found floating? If drowned, being a woman, she might never have sunk; or having sunk, might have reappeared in twenty-four hours, or less. But no one supposes her to have been drowned; and, dying before being thrown into the river, she might have been found floating at any period afterwards whatever. “‘But,’ says L’Etoile, ‘if the body had been kept in its mangled state on shore until Tuesday night, some trace would be found on shore of the murderers.’ Here it is at first difficult to perceive the intention of the reasoner. He means to anticipate what he imagines would be an objection to his theory--viz: that the body was kept on shore two days, suffering rapid decomposition--more rapid than if immersed in water.

He supposes that, had this been the case, it might have appeared at the surface on the Wednesday, and thinks that only under such circumstances it could so have appeared. He is accordingly in haste to show that it was not kept on shore; for, if so, ‘some trace would be found on shore of the murderers.’ I presume you smile at the sequitur. You cannot be made to see how the mere duration of the corpse on the shore could operate to multiply traces of the assassins. “‘And furthermore it is exceedingly improbable,’ continues our journal, ‘that any villains who had committed such a murder as is here supposed, would have thrown the body in without weight to sink it, when such a precaution could have so easily been taken.’ Observe, here, the laughable confusion of thought! He wishes to prove that Marie is not assassinated--not that the corpse was not. Yet his observation proves only the latter point.

Murderers, casting it in, would not have failed to attach a weight. Therefore it was not thrown in by murderers. This is all which is proved, if any thing is. The question of identity is not even approached, and L’Etoile has been at great pains merely to gainsay now what it has admitted only a moment before. ‘We are perfectly convinced,’ it says, ‘that the body found was that of a murdered female.’ “Nor is this the sole instance, even in this division of his subject, where our reasoner unwittingly reasons against himself. His evident object, I have already said, is to reduce, as much as possible, the interval between Marie’s disappearance and the finding of the corpse. Yet we find him urging the point that no person saw the girl from the moment of her leaving her mother’s house. ‘We have no evidence,’ he says, ‘that Marie Rogêt was in the land of the living after nine o’clock on Sunday, June the twenty-second.’ As his argument is obviously an ex parte one, he should, at least, have left this matter out of sight; for had any one been known to see Marie, say on Monday, or on Tuesday, the interval in question would have been much reduced, and, by his own ratiocination, the probability much diminished of the corpse being that of the grisette. It is, nevertheless, amusing to observe that L’Etoile insists upon its point in the full belief of its furthering its general argument.

In regard to the hair upon the arm, L’Etoile has been obviously disingenuous. Beauvais, not being an idiot, could never have urged, in identification of the corpse, simply hair upon its arm. He must have spoken of some peculiarity in this hair. Her garter is no proof whatever--nor is her shoe--for shoes and garters are sold in packages. The same may be said of the flowers in her hat. One thing upon which M. Beauvais strongly insists is, that the clasp on the garter found, had been set back to take it in.

This amounts to nothing; for most women find it proper to take a pair of garters home and fit them to the size of the limbs they are to encircle, rather than to try them in the store where they purchase.’ Here it is difficult to suppose the reasoner in earnest. Beauvais, in his search for the body of Marie, discovered a corpse corresponding in general size and appearance to the missing girl, he would have been warranted (without reference to the question of habiliment at all) in forming an opinion that his search had been successful. If, in addition to the point of general size and contour, he had found upon the arm a peculiar hairy appearance which he had observed upon the living Marie, his opinion might have been justly strengthened; and the increase of positiveness might well have been in the ratio of the peculiarity, or unusualness, of the hairy mark. If, the feet of Marie being small, those of the corpse were also small, the increase of probability that the body was that of Marie would not be an increase in a ratio merely arithmetical, but in one highly geometrical, or accumulative. Add to all this shoes such as she had been known to wear upon the day of her disappearance, and, although these shoes may be ‘sold in packages,’ you so far augment the probability as to verge upon the certain. Give us, then, flowers in the hat corresponding to those worn by the missing girl, and we seek for nothing farther. If only one flower, we seek for nothing farther--what then if two or three, or more? Let us now discover, upon the deceased, garters such as the living used, and it is almost folly to proceed. But these garters are found to be tightened, by the setting back of a clasp, in just such a manner as her own had been tightened by Marie, shortly previous to her leaving home.

What L’Etoile says in respect to this abbreviation of the garter’s being an usual occurrence, shows nothing beyond its own pertinacity in error. It must have been by an accident, in its strictest sense, that these garters of Marie needed the tightening described. But it is not that the corpse was found to have the garters of the missing girl, or found to have her shoes, or her bonnet, or the flowers of her bonnet, or her feet, or a peculiar mark upon the arm, or her general size and appearance--it is that the corpse had each, and all collectively.

Could it be proved that the editor of L’Etoile really entertained a doubt, under the circumstances, there would be no need, in his case, of a commission de lunatico inquirendo. He has thought it sagacious to echo the small talk of the lawyers, who, for the most part, content themselves with echoing the rectangular precepts of the courts. I would here observe that very much of what is rejected as evidence by a court, is the best of evidence to the intellect. For the court, guiding itself by the general principles of evidence--the recognized and booked principles--is averse from swerving at particular instances.

And this steadfast adherence to principle, with rigorous disregard of the conflicting exception, is a sure mode of attaining the maximum of attainable truth, in any long sequence of time. The practice, in mass, is therefore philosophical; but it is not the less certain that it engenders vast individual error. (*16) “In respect to the insinuations levelled at Beauvais, you will be willing to dismiss them in a breath. Beauvais (as it appears from your notes) had some personal interviews with the editor of L’Etoile, and offended him by venturing an opinion that the corpse, notwithstanding the theory of the editor, was, in sober fact, that of Marie. ‘He persists,’ says the paper, ‘in asserting the corpse to be that of Marie, but cannot give a circumstance, in addition to those which we have commented upon, to make others believe.’ Now, without re-adverting to the fact that stronger evidence ‘to make others believe,’ could never have been adduced, it may be remarked that a man may very well be understood to believe, in a case of this kind, without the ability to advance a single reason for the belief of a second party.

Nothing is more vague than impressions of individual identity. Each man recognizes his neighbor, yet there are few instances in which any one is prepared to give a reason for his recognition. Beauvais’ unreasoning belief. “The suspicious circumstances which invest him, will be found to tally much better with my hypothesis of romantic busy-bodyism, than with the reasoner’s suggestion of guilt. Once adopting the more charitable interpretation, we shall find no difficulty in comprehending the rose in the key-hole; the ‘Marie’ upon the slate; the ‘elbowing the male relatives out of the way;’ the ‘aversion to permitting them to see the body;’ the caution given to Madame B----, that she must hold no conversation with the gendarme until his return (Beauvais’); and, lastly, his apparent determination ‘that nobody should have anything to do with the proceedings except himself.’ It seems to me unquestionable that Beauvais was a suitor of Marie’s; that she coquetted with him; and that he was ambitious of being thought to enjoy her fullest intimacy and confidence. I shall say nothing more upon this point; and, as the evidence fully rebuts the assertion of L’Etoile, touching the matter of apathy on the part of the mother and other relatives--an apathy inconsistent with the supposition of their believing the corpse to be that of the perfumery-girl--we shall now proceed as if the question of identity were settled to our perfect satisfaction.” “And what,” I here demanded, “do you think of the opinions of Le Commerciel?” “That, in spirit, they are far more worthy of attention than any which have been promulgated upon the subject. The deductions from the premises are philosophical and acute; but the premises, in two instances, at least, are founded in imperfect observation. Le Commerciel wishes to intimate that Marie was seized by some gang of low ruffians not far from her mother’s door.

‘It is impossible,’ it urges, ‘that a person so well known to thousands as this young woman was, should have passed three blocks without some one having seen her.’ This is the idea of a man long resident in Paris--a public man--and one whose walks to and fro in the city, have been mostly limited to the vicinity of the public offices. He is aware that he seldom passes so far as a dozen blocks from his own bureau, without being recognized and accosted.

And, knowing the extent of his personal acquaintance with others, and of others with him, he compares his notoriety with that of the perfumery-girl, finds no great difference between them, and reaches at once the conclusion that she, in her walks, would be equally liable to recognition with himself in his.

This could only be the case were her walks of the same unvarying, methodical character, and within the same species of limited region as are his own. He passes to and fro, at regular intervals, within a confined periphery, abounding in individuals who are led to observation of his person through interest in the kindred nature of his occupation with their own. But the walks of Marie may, in general, be supposed discursive.

In this particular instance, it will be understood as most probable, that she proceeded upon a route of more than average diversity from her accustomed ones. The parallel which we imagine to have existed in the mind of Le Commerciel would only be sustained in the event of the two individuals’ traversing the whole city. In this case, granting the personal acquaintances to be equal, the chances would be also equal that an equal number of personal rencounters would be made.

For my own part, I should hold it not only as possible, but as very far more than probable, that Marie might have proceeded, at any given period, by any one of the many routes between her own residence and that of her aunt, without meeting a single individual whom she knew, or by whom she was known. In viewing this question in its full and proper light, we must hold steadily in mind the great disproportion between the personal acquaintances of even the most noted individual in Paris, and the entire population of Paris itself. “But whatever force there may still appear to be in the suggestion of Le Commerciel, will be much diminished when we take into consideration the hour at which the girl went abroad. It was at nine o’clock in the morning.

Now at nine o’clock of every morning in the week, with the exception of Sunday, the streets of the city are, it is true, thronged with people. At nine on Sunday, the populace are chiefly within doors preparing for church. No observing person can have failed to notice the peculiarly deserted air of the town, from about eight until ten on the morning of every Sabbath.

“There is another point at which there seems a deficiency of observation on the part of Le Commerciel. ‘A piece,’ it says, ‘of one of the unfortunate girl’s petticoats, two feet long, and one foot wide, was torn out and tied under her chin, and around the back of her head, probably to prevent screams. This was done, by fellows who had no pocket-handkerchiefs.’ Whether this idea is, or is not well founded, we will endeavor to see hereafter; but by ‘fellows who have no pocket-handkerchiefs’ the editor intends the lowest class of ruffians. You must have had occasion to observe how absolutely indispensable, of late years, to the thorough blackguard, has become the pocket-handkerchief.” “And what are we to think,” I asked, “of the article in Le Soleil?” “That it is a vast pity its inditer was not born a parrot--in which case he would have been the most illustrious parrot of his race. He has merely repeated the individual items of the already published opinion; collecting them, with a laudable industry, from this paper and from that. ‘The things had all evidently been there,’ he says, ‘at least, three or four weeks, and there can be no doubt that the spot of this appalling outrage has been discovered.’ The facts here re-stated by Le Soleil, are very far indeed from removing my own doubts upon this subject, and we will examine them more particularly hereafter in connexion with another division of the theme.

“At present we must occupy ourselves with other investigations. You cannot fail to have remarked the extreme laxity of the examination of the corpse. To be sure, the question of identity was readily determined, or should have been; but there were other points to be ascertained. Had the body been in any respect despoiled? Had the deceased any articles of jewelry about her person upon leaving home?

We must endeavor to satisfy ourselves by personal inquiry. Eustache must be re-examined. We will ascertain beyond a doubt the validity of the affidavits in regard to his whereabouts on the Sunday. Should there be nothing wrong here, however, we will dismiss St.

Eustache from our investigations. His suicide, however corroborative of suspicion, were there found to be deceit in the affidavits, is, without such deceit, in no respect an unaccountable circumstance, or one which need cause us to deflect from the line of ordinary analysis. “In that which I now propose, we will discard the interior points of this tragedy, and concentrate our attention upon its outskirts. Not the least usual error, in investigations such as this, is the limiting of inquiry to the immediate, with total disregard of the collateral or circumstantial events. It is the mal-practice of the courts to confine evidence and discussion to the bounds of apparent relevancy. Yet experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of truth, arises from the seemingly irrelevant. It is through the spirit of this principle, if not precisely through its letter, that modern science has resolved to calculate upon the unforeseen. The history of human knowledge has so uninterruptedly shown that to collateral, or incidental, or accidental events we are indebted for the most numerous and most valuable discoveries, that it has at length become necessary, in any prospective view of improvement, to make not only large, but the largest allowances for inventions that shall arise by chance, and quite out of the range of ordinary expectation. We subject the unlooked for and unimagined, to the mathematical formulae of the schools. “I repeat that it is no more than fact, that the larger portion of all truth has sprung from the collateral; and it is but in accordance with the spirit of the principle involved in this fact, that I would divert inquiry, in the present case, from the trodden and hitherto unfruitful ground of the event itself, to the contemporary circumstances which surround it.

While you ascertain the validity of the affidavits, I will examine the newspapers more generally than you have as yet done. So far, we have only reconnoitred the field of investigation; but it will be strange indeed if a comprehensive survey, such as I propose, of the public prints, will not afford us some minute points which shall establish a direction for inquiry.” In pursuance of Dupin’s suggestion, I made scrupulous examination of the affair of the affidavits.

The result was a firm conviction of their validity, and of the consequent innocence of St. In the mean time my friend occupied himself, with what seemed to me a minuteness altogether objectless, in a scrutiny of the various newspaper files. At the end of a week he placed before me the following extracts: “About three years and a half ago, a disturbance very similar to the present, was caused by the disappearance of this same Marie Rogêt, from the parfumerie of Monsieur Le Blanc, in the Palais Royal.

It was given out by Monsieur Le Blanc and her mother, that she had merely been on a visit to some friend in the country; and the affair was speedily hushed up.

We presume that the present absence is a freak of the same nature, and that, at the expiration of a week, or perhaps of a month, we shall have her among us again.”--Evening Paper--Monday June 23. (*17) “An evening journal of yesterday, refers to a former mysterious disappearance of Mademoiselle Rogêt. It is well known that, during the week of her absence from Le Blanc’s parfumerie, she was in the company of a young naval officer, much noted for his debaucheries.

We have the name of the Lothario in question, who is, at present, stationed in Paris, but, for obvious reasons, forbear to make it public.”--Le Mercurie--Tuesday Morning, June 24. A gentleman, with his wife and daughter, engaged, about dusk, the services of six young men, who were idly rowing a boat to and fro near the banks of the Seine, to convey him across the river.

Upon reaching the opposite shore, the three passengers stepped out, and had proceeded so far as to be beyond the view of the boat, when the daughter discovered that she had left in it her parasol. She returned for it, was seized by the gang, carried out into the stream, gagged, brutally treated, and finally taken to the shore at a point not far from that at which she had originally entered the boat with her parents. The villains have escaped for the time, but the police are upon their trail, and some of them will soon be taken.”--Morning Paper--June 25. (*19) “We have received one or two communications, the object of which is to fasten the crime of the late atrocity upon Mennais; (*20) but as this gentleman has been fully exonerated by a loyal inquiry, and as the arguments of our several correspondents appear to be more zealous than profound, we do not think it advisable to make them public.”--Morning Paper--June 28. (*21) “We have received several forcibly written communications, apparently from various sources, and which go far to render it a matter of certainty that the unfortunate Marie Rogêt has become a victim of one of the numerous bands of blackguards which infest the vicinity of the city upon Sunday. Our own opinion is decidedly in favor of this supposition. We shall endeavor to make room for some of these arguments hereafter.”--Evening Paper--Tuesday, June 31. (*22) “On Monday, one of the bargemen connected with the revenue service, saw a empty boat floating down the Seine. Sails were lying in the bottom of the boat.

The next morning it was taken from thence, without the knowledge of any of the officers.

Upon reading these various extracts, they not only seemed to me irrelevant, but I could perceive no mode in which any one of them could be brought to bear upon the matter in hand. I waited for some explanation from Dupin. I have copied them chiefly to show you the extreme remissness of the police, who, as far as I can understand from the Prefect, have not troubled themselves, in any respect, with an examination of the naval officer alluded to. Let us admit the first elopement to have resulted in a quarrel between the lovers, and the return home of the betrayed. We are now prepared to view a second elopement (if we know that an elopement has again taken place) as indicating a renewal of the betrayer’s advances, rather than as the result of new proposals by a second individual--we are prepared to regard it as a ‘making up’ of the old amour, rather than as the commencement of a new one.

The chances are ten to one, that he who had once eloped with Marie, would again propose an elopement, rather than that she to whom proposals of elopement had been made by one individual, should have them made to her by another. And here let me call your attention to the fact, that the time elapsing between the first ascertained, and the second supposed elopement, is a few months more than the general period of the cruises of our men-of-war. Had the lover been interrupted in his first villany by the necessity of departure to sea, and had he seized the first moment of his return to renew the base designs not yet altogether accomplished--or not yet altogether accomplished by him? Of all these things we know nothing. “You will say, however, that, in the second instance, there was no elopement as imagined. Certainly not--but are we prepared to say that there was not the frustrated design? Eustache, and perhaps Beauvais, we find no recognized, no open, no honorable suitors of Marie. Of none other is there any thing said.

Who, then, is the secret lover, of whom the relatives (at least most of them) know nothing, but whom Marie meets upon the morning of Sunday, and who is so deeply in her confidence, that she hesitates not to remain with him until the shades of the evening descend, amid the solitary groves of the Barrière du Roule? Who is that secret lover, I ask, of whom, at least, most of the relatives know nothing? And what means the singular prophecy of Madame Rogêt on the morning of Marie’s departure?--‘I fear that I shall never see Marie again.’ “But if we cannot imagine Madame Rogêt privy to the design of elopement, may we not at least suppose this design entertained by the girl? Upon quitting home, she gave it to be understood that she was about to visit her aunt in the Rue des Drômes and St. Now, at first glance, this fact strongly militates against my suggestion;--but let us reflect. That she did meet some companion, and proceed with him across the river, reaching the Barrière du Roule at so late an hour as three o’clock in the afternoon, is known. But in consenting so to accompany this individual, (for whatever purpose--to her mother known or unknown,) she must have thought of her expressed intention when leaving home, and of the surprise and suspicion aroused in the bosom of her affianced suitor, St. Eustache, when, calling for her, at the hour appointed, in the Rue des Drômes, he should find that she had not been there, and when, moreover, upon returning to the pension with this alarming intelligence, he should become aware of her continued absence from home. She must have thought of these things, I say. She must have foreseen the chagrin of St.

She could not have thought of returning to brave this suspicion; but the suspicion becomes a point of trivial importance to her, if we suppose her not intending to return. “We may imagine her thinking thus--‘I am to meet a certain person for the purpose of elopement, or for certain other purposes known only to myself. It is necessary that there be no chance of interruption--there must be sufficient time given us to elude pursuit--I will give it to be understood that I shall visit and spend the day with my aunt at the Rue des Drômes--I well tell St. Eustache not to call for me until dark--in this way, my absence from home for the longest possible period, without causing suspicion or anxiety, will be accounted for, and I shall gain more time than in any other manner. Eustache call for me at dark, he will be sure not to call before; but, if I wholly neglect to bid him call, my time for escape will be diminished, since it will be expected that I return the earlier, and my absence will the sooner excite anxiety. Now, if it were my design to return at all--if I had in contemplation merely a stroll with the individual in question--it would not be my policy to bid St. Eustache call; for, calling, he will be sure to ascertain that I have played him false--a fact of which I might keep him for ever in ignorance, by leaving home without notifying him of my intention, by returning before dark, and by then stating that I had been to visit my aunt in the Rue des Drômes. But, as it is my design never to return--or not for some weeks--or not until certain concealments are effected--the gaining of time is the only point about which I need give myself any concern.’ “You have observed, in your notes, that the most general opinion in relation to this sad affair is, and was from the first, that the girl had been the victim of a gang of blackguards. Now, the popular opinion, under certain conditions, is not to be disregarded.

When arising of itself--when manifesting itself in a strictly spontaneous manner--we should look upon it as analogous with that intuition which is the idiosyncrasy of the individual man of genius. In ninety-nine cases from the hundred I would abide by its decision. But it is important that we find no palpable traces of suggestion. The opinion must be rigorously the public’s own; and the distinction is often exceedingly difficult to perceive and to maintain. In the present instance, it appears to me that this ‘public opinion’ in respect to a gang, has been superinduced by the collateral event which is detailed in the third of my extracts. This corpse is found, bearing marks of violence, and floating in the river. But it is now made known that, at the very period, or about the very period, in which it is supposed that the girl was assassinated, an outrage similar in nature to that endured by the deceased, although less in extent, was perpetuated, by a gang of young ruffians, upon the person of a second young female. Is it wonderful that the one known atrocity should influence the popular judgment in regard to the other unknown?

Marie, too, was found in the river; and upon this very river was this known outrage committed.

But, in fact, the one atrocity, known to be so committed, is, if any thing, evidence that the other, committed at a time nearly coincident, was not so committed.

It would have been a miracle indeed, if, while a gang of ruffians were perpetrating, at a given locality, a most unheard-of wrong, there should have been another similar gang, in a similar locality, in the same city, under the same circumstances, with the same means and appliances, engaged in a wrong of precisely the same aspect, at precisely the same period of time! Yet in what, if not in this marvellous train of coincidence, does the accidentally suggested opinion of the populace call upon us to believe?

“Before proceeding farther, let us consider the supposed scene of the assassination, in the thicket at the Barrière du Roule. This thicket, although dense, was in the close vicinity of a public road. Within were three or four large stones, forming a kind of seat with a back and footstool.

“Notwithstanding the acclamation with which the discovery of this thicket was received by the press, and the unanimity with which it was supposed to indicate the precise scene of the outrage, it must be admitted that there was some very good reason for doubt.

Had the true scene been, as Le Commerciel suggested, in the neighborhood of the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, the perpetrators of the crime, supposing them still resident in Paris, would naturally have been stricken with terror at the public attention thus acutely directed into the proper channel; and, in certain classes of minds, there would have arisen, at once, a sense of the necessity of some exertion to redivert this attention.

And thus, the thicket of the Barrière du Roule having been already suspected, the idea of placing the articles where they were found, might have been naturally entertained. There is no real evidence, although Le Soleil so supposes, that the articles discovered had been more than a very few days in the thicket; while there is much circumstantial proof that they could not have remained there, without attracting attention, during the twenty days elapsing between the fatal Sunday and the afternoon upon which they were found by the boys.

‘They were all mildewed down hard,’ says Le Soleil, adopting the opinions of its predecessors, ‘with the action of the rain, and stuck together from mildew.

The silk of the parasol was strong, but the threads of it were run together within.

The upper part, where it had been doubled and folded, was all mildewed and rotten, and tore on being opened.’ In respect to the grass having ‘grown around and over some of them,’ it is obvious that the fact could only have been ascertained from the words, and thus from the recollections, of two small boys; for these boys removed the articles and took them home before they had been seen by a third party. But grass will grow, especially in warm and damp weather, (such as was that of the period of the murder,) as much as two or three inches in a single day.

A parasol lying upon a newly turfed ground, might, in a single week, be entirely concealed from sight by the upspringing grass. And touching that mildew upon which the editor of Le Soleil so pertinaciously insists, that he employs the word no less than three times in the brief paragraph just quoted, is he really unaware of the nature of this mildew? Is he to be told that it is one of the many classes of fungus, of which the most ordinary feature is its upspringing and decadence within twenty-four hours? “Thus we see, at a glance, that what has been most triumphantly adduced in support of the idea that the articles had been ‘for at least three or four weeks’ in the thicket, is most absurdly null as regards any evidence of that fact. On the other hand, it is exceedingly difficult to believe that these articles could have remained in the thicket specified, for a longer period than a single week--for a longer period than from one Sunday to the next. Those who know any thing of the vicinity of Paris, know the extreme difficulty of finding seclusion unless at a great distance from its suburbs. Such a thing as an unexplored, or even an unfrequently visited recess, amid its woods or groves, is not for a moment to be imagined.

Let any one who, being at heart a lover of nature, is yet chained by duty to the dust and heat of this great metropolis--let any such one attempt, even during the weekdays, to slake his thirst for solitude amid the scenes of natural loveliness which immediately surround us. At every second step, he will find the growing charm dispelled by the voice and personal intrusion of some ruffian or party of carousing blackguards. He will seek privacy amid the densest foliage, all in vain. With sickness of the heart the wanderer will flee back to the polluted Paris as to a less odious because less incongruous sink of pollution. But if the vicinity of the city is so beset during the working days of the week, how much more so on the Sabbath! It is now especially that, released from the claims of labor, or deprived of the customary opportunities of crime, the town blackguard seeks the precincts of the town, not through love of the rural, which in his heart he despises, but by way of escape from the restraints and conventionalities of society. Here, at the road-side inn, or beneath the foliage of the woods, he indulges, unchecked by any eye except those of his boon companions, in all the mad excess of a counterfeit hilarity--the joint offspring of liberty and of rum.

I say nothing more than what must be obvious to every dispassionate observer, when I repeat that the circumstance of the articles in question having remained undiscovered, for a longer period--than from one Sunday to another, in any thicket in the immediate neighborhood of Paris, is to be looked upon as little less than miraculous. “But there are not wanting other grounds for the suspicion that the articles were placed in the thicket with the view of diverting attention from the real scene of the outrage. You will find that the discovery followed, almost immediately, the urgent communications sent to the evening paper. These communications, although various and apparently from various sources, tended all to the same point--viz., the directing of attention to a gang as the perpetrators of the outrage, and to the neighborhood of the Barrière du Roule as its scene. Now here, of course, the suspicion is not that, in consequence of these communications, or of the public attention by them directed, the articles were found by the boys; but the suspicion might and may well have been, that the articles were not before found by the boys, for the reason that the articles had not before been in the thicket; having been deposited there only at so late a period as at the date, or shortly prior to the date of the communications by the guilty authors of these communications themselves. “This thicket was a singular--an exceedingly singular one. Within its naturally walled enclosure were three extraordinary stones, forming a seat with a back and footstool. And this thicket, so full of a natural art, was in the immediate vicinity, within a few rods, of the dwelling of Madame Deluc, whose boys were in the habit of closely examining the shrubberies about them in search of the bark of the sassafras. Would it be a rash wager--a wager of one thousand to one--that a day never passed over the heads of these boys without finding at least one of them ensconced in the umbrageous hall, and enthroned upon its natural throne? I repeat--it is exceedingly hard to comprehend how the articles could have remained in this thicket undiscovered, for a longer period than one or two days; and that thus there is good ground for suspicion, in spite of the dogmatic ignorance of Le Soleil, that they were, at a comparatively late date, deposited where found.

“But there are still other and stronger reasons for believing them so deposited, than any which I have as yet urged. On the upper stone lay a white petticoat; on the second a silk scarf; scattered around, were a parasol, gloves, and a pocket-handkerchief bearing the name, ‘Marie Rogêt.’ Here is just such an arrangement as would naturally be made by a not over-acute person wishing to dispose the articles naturally. I should rather have looked to see the things all lying on the ground and trampled under foot. In the narrow limits of that bower, it would have been scarcely possible that the petticoat and scarf should have retained a position upon the stones, when subjected to the brushing to and fro of many struggling persons. ‘The pieces of the frock torn out by the bushes were about three inches wide and six inches long.

They looked like strips torn off.’ Here, inadvertently, Le Soleil has employed an exceedingly suspicious phrase.

The pieces, as described, do indeed ‘look like strips torn off;’ but purposely and by hand. It is one of the rarest of accidents that a piece is ‘torn off,’ from any garment such as is now in question, by the agency of a thorn. From the very nature of such fabrics, a thorn or nail becoming entangled in them, tears them rectangularly--divides them into two longitudinal rents, at right angles with each other, and meeting at an apex where the thorn enters--but it is scarcely possible to conceive the piece ‘torn off.’ I never so knew it, nor did you. To tear a piece off from such fabric, two distinct forces, in different directions, will be, in almost every case, required.

But in the present case the question is of a dress, presenting but one edge. To tear a piece from the interior, where no edge is presented, could only be effected by a miracle through the agency of thorns, and no one thorn could accomplish it. But, even where an edge is presented, two thorns will be necessary, operating, the one in two distinct directions, and the other in one. And this in the supposition that the edge is unhemmed.

We thus see the numerous and great obstacles in the way of pieces being ‘torn off’ through the simple agency of ‘thorns;’ yet we are required to believe not only that one piece but that many have been so torn. ‘And one part,’ too, ‘was the hem of the frock!’ Another piece was ‘part of the skirt, not the hem,’--that is to say, was torn completely out through the agency of thorns, from the uncaged interior of the dress! These, I say, are things which one may well be pardoned for disbelieving; yet, taken collectedly, they form, perhaps, less of reasonable ground for suspicion, than the one startling circumstance of the articles’ having been left in this thicket at all, by any murderers who had enough precaution to think of removing the corpse. But, in fact, this is a point of minor importance.

We are not engaged in an attempt to discover the scene, but to produce the perpetrators of the murder. What I have adduced, notwithstanding the minuteness with which I have adduced it, has been with the view, first, to show the folly of the positive and headlong assertions of Le Soleil, but secondly and chiefly, to bring you, by the most natural route, to a further contemplation of the doubt whether this assassination has, or has not been, the work of a gang. “We will resume this question by mere allusion to the revolting details of the surgeon examined at the inquest. It is only necessary to say that his published inferences, in regard to the number of ruffians, have been properly ridiculed as unjust and totally baseless, by all the reputable anatomists of Paris. Not that the matter might not have been as inferred, but that there was no ground for the inference:--was there not much for another?

What struggle could have taken place--what struggle so violent and so enduring as to have left its ‘traces’ in all directions--between a weak and defenceless girl and the gang of ruffians imagined? You will here bear in mind that the arguments urged against the thicket as the scene, are applicable in chief part, only against it as the scene of an outrage committed by more than a single individual. If we imagine but one violator, we can conceive, and thus only conceive, the struggle of so violent and so obstinate a nature as to have left the ‘traces’ apparent. “And again. I have already mentioned the suspicion to be excited by the fact that the articles in question were suffered to remain at all in the thicket where discovered. There was sufficient presence of mind (it is supposed) to remove the corpse; and yet a more positive evidence than the corpse itself (whose features might have been quickly obliterated by decay,) is allowed to lie conspicuously in the scene of the outrage--I allude to the handkerchief with the name of the deceased.

We can imagine it only the accident of an individual. An individual has committed the murder. The fury of his passion is over, and there is abundant room in his heart for the natural awe of the deed. His is none of that confidence which the presence of numbers inevitably inspires. Yet there is a necessity for disposing of the corpse. He bears it to the river, but leaves behind him the other evidences of guilt; for it is difficult, if not impossible to carry all the burthen at once, and it will be easy to return for what is left. But in his toilsome journey to the water his fears redouble within him. Yet, in time and by long and frequent pauses of deep agony, he reaches the river’s brink, and disposes of his ghastly charge--perhaps through the medium of a boat. But now what treasure does the world hold--what threat of vengeance could it hold out--which would have power to urge the return of that lonely murderer over that toilsome and perilous path, to the thicket and its blood chilling recollections?

Their number would have inspired them with confidence; if, indeed confidence is ever wanting in the breast of the arrant blackguard; and of arrant blackguards alone are the supposed gangs ever constituted. Their number, I say, would have prevented the bewildering and unreasoning terror which I have imagined to paralyze the single man.

Could we suppose an oversight in one, or two, or three, this oversight would have been remedied by a fourth. They would have left nothing behind them; for their number would have enabled them to carry all at once. “Consider now the circumstance that in the outer garment of the corpse when found, ‘a slip, about a foot wide had been torn upward from the bottom hem to the waist wound three times round the waist, and secured by a sort of hitch in the back.’ This was done with the obvious design of affording a handle by which to carry the body. But would any number of men have dreamed of resorting to such an expedient? The device is that of a single individual; and this brings us to the fact that ‘between the thicket and the river, the rails of the fences were found taken down, and the ground bore evident traces of some heavy burden having been dragged along it!’ But would a number of men have put themselves to the superfluous trouble of taking down a fence, for the purpose of dragging through it a corpse which they might have lifted over any fence in an instant? Would a number of men have so dragged a corpse at all as to have left evident traces of the dragging? “And here we must refer to an observation of Le Commerciel; an observation upon which I have already, in some measure, commented. ‘A piece,’ says this journal, ‘of one of the unfortunate girl’s petticoats was torn out and tied under her chin, and around the back of her head, probably to prevent screams. This was done by fellows who had no pocket-handkerchiefs.’ “I have before suggested that a genuine blackguard is never without a pocket-handkerchief.

That it was not through want of a handkerchief for the purpose imagined by Le Commerciel, that this bandage was employed, is rendered apparent by the handkerchief left in the thicket; and that the object was not ‘to prevent screams’ appears, also, from the bandage having been employed in preference to what would so much better have answered the purpose. But the language of the evidence speaks of the strip in question as ‘found around the neck, fitting loosely, and secured with a hard knot.’ These words are sufficiently vague, but differ materially from those of Le Commerciel. The slip was eighteen inches wide, and therefore, although of muslin, would form a strong band when folded or rumpled longitudinally. My inference is this.

The solitary murderer, having borne the corpse, for some distance, (whether from the thicket or elsewhere) by means of the bandage hitched around its middle, found the weight, in this mode of procedure, too much for his strength. With this object in view, it became necessary to attach something like a rope to one of the extremities. It could be best attached about the neck, where the head would prevent its slipping off.

And, now, the murderer bethought him, unquestionably, of the bandage about the loins. He tore it, made it fast about the neck, and so dragged his victim to the brink of the river. That this ‘bandage,’ only attainable with trouble and delay, and but imperfectly answering its purpose--that this bandage was employed at all, demonstrates that the necessity for its employment sprang from circumstances arising at a period when the handkerchief was no longer attainable--that is to say, arising, as we have imagined, after quitting the thicket, (if the thicket it was), and on the road between the thicket and the river. “But the evidence, you will say, of Madame Deluc, (!) points especially to the presence of a gang, in the vicinity of the thicket, at or about the epoch of the murder. I doubt if there were not a dozen gangs, such as described by Madame Deluc, in and about the vicinity of the Barrière du Roule at or about the period of this tragedy. But the gang which has drawn upon itself the pointed animadversion, although the somewhat tardy and very suspicious evidence of Madame Deluc, is the only gang which is represented by that honest and scrupulous old lady as having eaten her cakes and swallowed her brandy, without putting themselves to the trouble of making her payment.

Et hinc illæ iræ? ‘A gang of miscreants made their appearance, behaved boisterously, ate and drank without making payment, followed in the route of the young man and girl, returned to the inn about dusk, and recrossed the river as if in great haste.’ “Now this ‘great haste’ very possibly seemed greater haste in the eyes of Madame Deluc, since she dwelt lingeringly and lamentingly upon her violated cakes and ale--cakes and ale for which she might still have entertained a faint hope of compensation. Why, otherwise, since it was about dusk, should she make a point of the haste? It is no cause for wonder, surely, that even a gang of blackguards should make haste to get home, when a wide river is to be crossed in small boats, when storm impends, and when night approaches. It was only about dusk that the indecent haste of these ‘miscreants’ offended the sober eyes of Madame Deluc. But we are told that it was upon this very evening that Madame Deluc, as well as her eldest son, ‘heard the screams of a female in the vicinity of the inn.’ And in what words does Madame Deluc designate the period of the evening at which these screams were heard?

But ‘soon after dark,’ is, at least, dark; and ‘about dusk’ is as certainly daylight. And although, in all the many reports of the evidence, the relative expressions in question are distinctly and invariably employed just as I have employed them in this conversation with yourself, no notice whatever of the gross discrepancy has, as yet, been taken by any of the public journals, or by any of the Myrmidons of police. “I shall add but one to the arguments against a gang; but this one has, to my own understanding at least, a weight altogether irresistible. Under the circumstances of large reward offered, and full pardon to any King’s evidence, it is not to be imagined, for a moment, that some member of a gang of low ruffians, or of any body of men, would not long ago have betrayed his accomplices. That the secret has not been divulged, is the very best of proof that it is, in fact, a secret. The horrors of this dark deed are known only to one, or two, living human beings, and to God.

“Let us sum up now the meagre yet certain fruits of our long analysis. We have attained the idea either of a fatal accident under the roof of Madame Deluc, or of a murder perpetrated, in the thicket at the Barrière du Roule, by a lover, or at least by an intimate and secret associate of the deceased. This complexion, the ‘hitch’ in the bandage, and the ‘sailor’s knot,’ with which the bonnet-ribbon is tied, point to a seaman. Here the well written and urgent communications to the journals are much in the way of corroboration. The circumstance of the first elopement, as mentioned by Le Mercurie, tends to blend the idea of this seaman with that of the ‘naval officer’ who is first known to have led the unfortunate into crime.

“And here, most fitly, comes the consideration of the continued absence of him of the dark complexion. Let me pause to observe that the complexion of this man is dark and swarthy; it was no common swarthiness which constituted the sole point of remembrance, both as regards Valence and Madame Deluc. If so, why are there only traces of the assassinated girl? The assassins would most probably have disposed of both in the same way. But it may be said that this man lives, and is deterred from making himself known, through dread of being charged with the murder. This consideration might be supposed to operate upon him now--at this late period--since it has been given in evidence that he was seen with Marie--but it would have had no force at the period of the deed. The first impulse of an innocent man would have been to announce the outrage, and to aid in identifying the ruffians. He had crossed the river with her in an open ferry-boat.

The denouncing of the assassins would have appeared, even to an idiot, the surest and sole means of relieving himself from suspicion. We cannot suppose him, on the night of the fatal Sunday, both innocent himself and incognizant of an outrage committed.

Yet only under such circumstances is it possible to imagine that he would have failed, if alive, in the denouncement of the assassins. “And what means are ours, of attaining the truth? We shall find these means multiplying and gathering distinctness as we proceed.

Let us carefully compare with each other the various communications sent to the evening paper, in which the object was to inculpate a gang. This done, let us compare these communications, both as regards style and MS., with those sent to the morning paper, at a previous period, and insisting so vehemently upon the guilt of Mennais. And, all this done, let us again compare these various communications with the known MSS. Let us endeavor to ascertain, by repeated questionings of Madame Deluc and her boys, as well as of the omnibus driver, Valence, something more of the personal appearance and bearing of the ‘man of dark complexion.’ Queries, skilfully directed, will not fail to elicit, from some of these parties, information on this particular point (or upon others)--information which the parties themselves may not even be aware of possessing. And let us now trace the boat picked up by the bargeman on the morning of Monday the twenty-third of June, and which was removed from the barge-office, without the cognizance of the officer in attendance, and without the rudder, at some period prior to the discovery of the corpse. With a proper caution and perseverance we shall infallibly trace this boat; for not only can the bargeman who picked it up identify it, but the rudder is at hand. The rudder of a sail-boat would not have been abandoned, without inquiry, by one altogether at ease in heart. And here let me pause to insinuate a question. There was no advertisement of the picking up of this boat.

But its owner or employer--how happened he, at so early a period as Tuesday morning, to be informed, without the agency of advertisement, of the locality of the boat taken up on Monday, unless we imagine some connexion with the navy--some personal permanent connexion leading to cognizance of its minute in interests--its petty local news? “In speaking of the lonely assassin dragging his burden to the shore, I have already suggested the probability of his availing himself of a boat. We can only account for its absence by supposing the murderer to have neglected the precaution of supplying himself with it before pushing off. In the act of consigning the corpse to the water, he would unquestionably have noticed his oversight; but then no remedy would have been at hand. Having rid himself of his ghastly charge, the murderer would have hastened to the city. He would have been in too great haste for such things as securing a boat. Moreover, in fastening it to the wharf, he would have felt as if securing evidence against himself. He would not only have fled from the wharf, but he would not have permitted the boat to remain.

Let us pursue our fancies.--In the morning, the wretch is stricken with unutterable horror at finding that the boat has been picked up and detained at a locality which he is in the daily habit of frequenting --at a locality, perhaps, which his duty compels him to frequent. The next night, without daring to ask for the rudder, he removes it. With the first glimpse we obtain of it, the dawn of our success shall begin. This boat shall guide us, with a rapidity which will surprise even ourselves, to him who employed it in the midnight of the fatal Sabbath. Corroboration will rise upon corroboration, and the murderer will be traced.” [For reasons which we shall not specify, but which to many readers will appear obvious, we have taken the liberty of here omitting, from the MSS. placed in our hands, such portion as details the following up of the apparently slight clew obtained by Dupin. We feel it advisable only to state, in brief, that the result desired was brought to pass; and that the Prefect fulfilled punctually, although with reluctance, the terms of his compact with the Chevalier. Poe’s article concludes with the following words.--Eds.

(*23)] It will be understood that I speak of coincidences and no more. In my own heart there dwells no faith in præter-nature. That Nature and its God are two, no man who thinks, will deny. That the latter, creating the former, can, at will, control or modify it, is also unquestionable. I say “at will;” for the question is of will, and not, as the insanity of logic has assumed, of power. It is not that the Deity cannot modify his laws, but that we insult him in imagining a possible necessity for modification. In their origin these laws were fashioned to embrace all contingencies which could lie in the Future.

I repeat, then, that I speak of these things only as of coincidences. And farther: in what I relate it will be seen that between the fate of the unhappy Mary Cecilia Rogers, so far as that fate is known, and the fate of one Marie Rogêt up to a certain epoch in her history, there has existed a parallel in the contemplation of whose wonderful exactitude the reason becomes embarrassed. But let it not for a moment be supposed that, in proceeding with the sad narrative of Marie from the epoch just mentioned, and in tracing to its dénouement the mystery which enshrouded her, it is my covert design to hint at an extension of the parallel, or even to suggest that the measures adopted in Paris for the discovery of the assassin of a grisette, or measures founded in any similar ratiocination, would produce any similar result.

For, in respect to the latter branch of the supposition, it should be considered that the most trifling variation in the facts of the two cases might give rise to the most important miscalculations, by diverting thoroughly the two courses of events; very much as, in arithmetic, an error which, in its own individuality, may be inappreciable, produces, at length, by dint of multiplication at all points of the process, a result enormously at variance with truth. And, in regard to the former branch, we must not fail to hold in view that the very Calculus of Probabilities to which I have referred, forbids all idea of the extension of the parallel:--forbids it with a positiveness strong and decided just in proportion as this parallel has already been long-drawn and exact. This is one of those anomalous propositions which, seemingly appealing to thought altogether apart from the mathematical, is yet one which only the mathematician can fully entertain. Nothing, for example, is more difficult than to convince the merely general reader that the fact of sixes having been thrown twice in succession by a player at dice, is sufficient cause for betting the largest odds that sixes will not be thrown in the third attempt. A suggestion to this effect is usually rejected by the intellect at once. It does not appear that the two throws which have been completed, and which lie now absolutely in the Past, can have influence upon the throw which exists only in the Future. The chance for throwing sixes seems to be precisely as it was at any ordinary time--that is to say, subject only to the influence of the various other throws which may be made by the dice.

And this is a reflection which appears so exceedingly obvious that attempts to controvert it are received more frequently with a derisive smile than with anything like respectful attention. The error here involved--a gross error redolent of mischief--I cannot pretend to expose within the limits assigned me at present; and with the philosophical it needs no exposure. It may be sufficient here to say that it forms one of an infinite series of mistakes which arise in the path of Reason through her propensity for seeking truth in detail. Footnotes--Marie Rogêt (*1) Upon the original publication of “Marie Roget,” the foot-notes now appended were considered unnecessary; but the lapse of several years since the tragedy upon which the tale is based, renders it expedient to give them, and also to say a few words in explanation of the general design. A young girl, Mary Cecilia Rogers, was murdered in the vicinity of New York; and, although her death occasioned an intense and long-enduring excitement, the mystery attending it had remained unsolved at the period when the present paper was written and published (November, 1842). Herein, under pretence of relating the fate of a Parisian grisette, the author has followed in minute detail, the essential, while merely paralleling the inessential facts of the real murder of Mary Rogers. Thus all argument founded upon the fiction is applicable to the truth: and the investigation of the truth was the object. The “Mystery of Marie Roget” was composed at a distance from the scene of the atrocity, and with no other means of investigation than the newspapers afforded.

It may not be improper to record, nevertheless, that the confessions of two persons, (one of them the Madame Deluc of the narrative) made, at different periods, long subsequent to the publication, confirmed, in full, not only the general conclusion, but absolutely all the chief hypothetical details by which that conclusion was attained. (*8) Crommelin.

Hastings Weld, Esq. (*11) New York “Journal of Commerce.” (*12) Philadelphia “Saturday Evening Post,” edited by C. (*13) Adam (*14) See “Murders in the Rue Morgue.” (*15) The New York “Commercial Advertiser,” edited by Col. (*16) “A theory based on the qualities of an object, will prevent its being unfolded according to its objects; and he who arranges topics in reference to their causes, will cease to value them according to their results. The errors into which a blind devotion to principles of classification has led the common law, will be seen by observing how often the legislature has been obliged to come forward to restore the equity its scheme had lost.”--Landor. (*17) New York “Express” (*18) New York “Herald.” (*19) New York “Courier and Inquirer.” (*20) Mennais was one of the parties originally suspected and arrested, but discharged through total lack of evidence. (*21) New York “Courier and Inquirer.” (*22) New York “Evening Post.” (*23) Of the Magazine in which the article was originally published. THE BALLOON-HOAX [Astounding News by Express, via Norfolk!--The Atlantic crossed in Three Days! Monck Mason’s Flying Machine!--Arrival at Sullivan’s Island, near Charlestown, S.C., of Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, and four others, in the Steering Balloon, “Victoria,” after a passage of Seventy-five Hours from Land to Land!

The subjoined jeu d’esprit with the preceding heading in magnificent capitals, well interspersed with notes of admiration, was originally published, as matter of fact, in the “New York Sun,” a daily newspaper, and therein fully subserved the purpose of creating indigestible aliment for the quidnuncs during the few hours intervening between a couple of the Charleston mails. The rush for the “sole paper which had the news,” was something beyond even the prodigious; and, in fact, if (as some assert) the “Victoria” did not absolutely accomplish the voyage recorded, it will be difficult to assign a reason why she should not have accomplished it.] THE great problem is at length solved! The air, as well as the earth and the ocean, has been subdued by science, and will become a common and convenient highway for mankind. The Atlantic has been actually crossed in a Balloon! and this too without difficulty--without any great apparent danger--with thorough control of the machine--and in the inconceivably brief period of seventy-five hours from shore to shore! By the energy of an agent at Charleston, S.C., we are enabled to be the first to furnish the public with a detailed account of this most extraordinary voyage, which was performed between Saturday, the 6th instant, at 11, A.M., and 2, P.M., on Tuesday, the 9th instant, by Sir Everard Bringhurst; Mr. Osborne, a nephew of Lord Bentinck’s; Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, author of “Jack Sheppard,” &c.; and Mr. Henson, the projector of the late unsuccessful flying machine--with two seamen from Woolwich--in all, eight persons. The particulars furnished below may be relied on as authentic and accurate in every respect, as, with a slight exception, they are copied verbatim from the joint diaries of Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, to whose politeness our agent is also indebted for much verbal information respecting the balloon itself, its construction, and other matters of interest.

The only alteration in the MS. received, has been made for the purpose of throwing the hurried account of our agent, Mr. Forsyth, into a connected and intelligible form. Henson and Sir George Cayley--had much weakened the public interest in the subject of aerial navigation. Henson’s scheme (which at first was considered very feasible even by men of science,) was founded upon the principle of an inclined plane, started from an eminence by an extrinsic force, applied and continued by the revolution of impinging vanes, in form and number resembling the vanes of a windmill. But, in all the experiments made with models at the Adelaide Gallery, it was found that the operation of these fans not only did not propel the machine, but actually impeded its flight. The only propelling force it ever exhibited, was the mere impetus acquired from the descent of the inclined plane; and this impetus carried the machine farther when the vanes were at rest, than when they were in motion--a fact which sufficiently demonstrates their inutility; and in the absence of the propelling, which was also the sustaining power, the whole fabric would necessarily descend. This consideration led Sir George Cayley to think only of adapting a propeller to some machine having of itself an independent power of support--in a word, to a balloon; the idea, however, being novel, or original, with Sir George, only so far as regards the mode of its application to practice. He exhibited a model of his invention at the Polytechnic Institution. The propelling principle, or power, was here, also, applied to interrupted surfaces, or vanes, put in revolution.

These vanes were four in number, but were found entirely ineffectual in moving the balloon, or in aiding its ascending power.

Monck Mason (whose voyage from Dover to Weilburg in the balloon, “Nassau,” occasioned so much excitement in 1837,) conceived the idea of employing the principle of the Archimedean screw for the purpose of propulsion through the air--rightly attributing the failure of Mr. Henson’s scheme, and of Sir George Cayley’s, to the interruption of surface in the independent vanes. Its length was thirteen feet six inches--height, six feet eight inches. It contained about three hundred and twenty cubic feet of gas, which, if pure hydrogen, would support twenty-one pounds upon its first inflation, before the gas has time to deteriorate or escape. The weight of the whole machine and apparatus was seventeen pounds--leaving about four pounds to spare. Beneath the centre of the balloon, was a frame of light wood, about nine feet long, and rigged on to the balloon itself with a network in the customary manner. “The screw consists of an axis of hollow brass tube, eighteen inches in length, through which, upon a semi-spiral inclined at fifteen degrees, pass a series of steel wire radii, two feet long, and thus projecting a foot on either side. These radii are connected at the outer extremities by two bands of flattened wire--the whole in this manner forming the framework of the screw, which is completed by a covering of oiled silk cut into gores, and tightened so as to present a tolerably uniform surface.

At each end of its axis this screw is supported by pillars of hollow brass tube descending from the hoop. In the lower ends of these tubes are holes in which the pivots of the axis revolve. From the end of the axis which is next the car, proceeds a shaft of steel, connecting the screw with the pinion of a piece of spring machinery fixed in the car. By the operation of this spring, the screw is made to revolve with great rapidity, communicating a progressive motion to the whole. By means of the rudder, the machine was readily turned in any direction. The spring was of great power, compared with its dimensions, being capable of raising forty-five pounds upon a barrel of four inches diameter, after the first turn, and gradually increasing as it was wound up. It could be turned flat, and directed upwards or downwards, as well as to the right or left; and thus enabled the æronaut to transfer the resistance of the air which in an inclined position it must generate in its passage, to any side upon which he might desire to act; thus determining the balloon in the opposite direction. “This model (which, through want of time, we have necessarily described in an imperfect manner,) was put in action at the Adelaide Gallery, where it accomplished a velocity of five miles per hour; although, strange to say, it excited very little interest in comparison with the previous complex machine of Mr.

Henson--so resolute is the world to despise anything which carries with it an air of simplicity. To accomplish the great desideratum of ærial navigation, it was very generally supposed that some exceedingly complicated application must be made of some unusually profound principle in dynamics. Mason of the ultimate success of his invention, that he determined to construct immediately, if possible, a balloon of sufficient capacity to test the question by a voyage of some extent--the original design being to cross the British Channel, as before, in the Nassau balloon. To carry out his views, he solicited and obtained the patronage of Sir Everard Bringhurst and Mr. Osborne, two gentlemen well known for scientific acquirement, and especially for the interest they have exhibited in the progress of ærostation. Osborne, was kept a profound secret from the public--the only persons entrusted with the design being those actually engaged in the construction of the machine, which was built (under the superintendence of Mr. Holland, Sir Everard Bringhurst, and Mr. Osborne,) at the seat of the latter gentleman near Penstruthal, in Wales. Ainsworth, was admitted to a private view of the balloon, on Saturday last--when the two gentlemen made final arrangements to be included in the adventure.

We are not informed for what reason the two seamen were also included in the party--but, in the course of a day or two, we shall put our readers in possession of the minutest particulars respecting this extraordinary voyage. It is of vast dimensions, containing more than 40,000 cubic feet of gas; but as coal gas was employed in place of the more expensive and inconvenient hydrogen, the supporting power of the machine, when fully inflated, and immediately after inflation, is not more than about 2500 pounds. “For its introduction into common use for purposes of aerostation, we are indebted to Mr.

Up to his discovery, the process of inflation was not only exceedingly expensive, but uncertain. Two, and even three days, have frequently been wasted in futile attempts to procure a sufficiency of hydrogen to fill a balloon, from which it had great tendency to escape, owing to its extreme subtlety, and its affinity for the surrounding atmosphere. In a balloon sufficiently perfect to retain its contents of coal-gas unaltered, in quantity or amount, for six months, an equal quantity of hydrogen could not be maintained in equal purity for six weeks. “The supporting power being estimated at 2500 pounds, and the united weights of the party amounting only to about 1200, there was left a surplus of 1300, of which again 1200 was exhausted by ballast, arranged in bags of different sizes, with their respective weights marked upon them--by cordage, barometers, telescopes, barrels containing provision for a fortnight, water-casks, cloaks, carpet-bags, and various other indispensable matters, including a coffee-warmer, contrived for warming coffee by means of slack-lime, so as to dispense altogether with fire, if it should be judged prudent to do so. The car is much smaller and lighter, in proportion, than the one appended to the model. It is formed of a light wicker, and is wonderfully strong, for so frail looking a machine. The rudder is also very much larger, in proportion, than that of the model; and the screw is considerably smaller. The balloon is furnished besides with a grapnel, and a guide-rope; which latter is of the most indispensable importance. A few words, in explanation, will here be necessary for such of our readers as are not conversant with the details of aerostation.

“As soon as the balloon quits the earth, it is subjected to the influence of many circumstances tending to create a difference in its weight; augmenting or diminishing its ascending power. For example, there may be a deposition of dew upon the silk, to the extent, even, of several hundred pounds; ballast has then to be thrown out, or the machine may descend. This ballast being discarded, and a clear sunshine evaporating the dew, and at the same time expanding the gas in the silk, the whole will again rapidly ascend. Green’s invention of the guide-rope,) the permission of the escape of gas from the valve; but, in the loss of gas, is a proportionate general loss of ascending power; so that, in a comparatively brief period, the best-constructed balloon must necessarily exhaust all its resources, and come to the earth. “The guide-rope remedies the difficulty in the simplest manner conceivable.

It is merely a very long rope which is suffered to trail from the car, and the effect of which is to prevent the balloon from changing its level in any material degree. If, for example, there should be a deposition of moisture upon the silk, and the machine begins to descend in consequence, there will be no necessity for discharging ballast to remedy the increase of weight, for it is remedied, or counteracted, in an exactly just proportion, by the deposit on the ground of just so much of the end of the rope as is necessary. Thus, the balloon can neither ascend or descend, except within very narrow limits, and its resources, either in gas or ballast, remain comparatively unimpaired.

When passing over an expanse of water, it becomes necessary to employ small kegs of copper or wood, filled with liquid ballast of a lighter nature than water. Another most important office of the guide-rope, is to point out the direction of the balloon. The rope drags, either on land or sea, while the balloon is free; the latter, consequently, is always in advance, when any progress whatever is made: a comparison, therefore, by means of the compass, of the relative positions of the two objects, will always indicate the course. In the same way, the angle formed by the rope with the vertical axis of the machine, indicates the velocity. When there is no angle--in other words, when the rope hangs perpendicularly, the whole apparatus is stationary; but the larger the angle, that is to say, the farther the balloon precedes the end of the rope, the greater the velocity; and the converse. “As the original design was to cross the British Channel, and alight as near Paris as possible, the voyagers had taken the precaution to prepare themselves with passports directed to all parts of the Continent, specifying the nature of the expedition, as in the case of the Nassau voyage, and entitling the adventurers to exemption from the usual formalities of office: unexpected events, however, rendered these passports superfluous. “The inflation was commenced very quietly at daybreak, on Saturday morning, the 6th instant, in the Court-Yard of Weal-Vor House, Mr. Osborne’s seat, about a mile from Penstruthal, in North Wales; and at 7 minutes past 11, every thing being ready for departure, the balloon was set free, rising gently but steadily, in a direction nearly South; no use being made, for the first half hour, of either the screw or the rudder.

Forsyth from the joint MSS.

Ainsworth. The body of the journal, as given, is in the hand-writing of Mr. Ainsworth, who has in preparation, and will shortly give the public a more minute, and no doubt, a thrillingly interesting account of the voyage. “Saturday, April the 6th.--Every preparation likely to embarrass us, having been made over night, we commenced the inflation this morning at daybreak; but owing to a thick fog, which encumbered the folds of the silk and rendered it unmanageable, we did not get through before nearly eleven o’clock.

Cut loose, then, in high spirits, and rose gently but steadily, with a light breeze at North, which bore us in the direction of the British Channel. Found the ascending force greater than we had expected; and as we arose higher and so got clear of the cliffs, and more in the sun’s rays, our ascent became very rapid. In about ten minutes after starting, the barometer indicated an altitude of 15,000 feet. The weather was remarkably fine, and the view of the subjacent country--a most romantic one when seen from any point,--was now especially sublime. The numerous deep gorges presented the appearance of lakes, on account of the dense vapors with which they were filled, and the pinnacles and crags to the South East, piled in inextricable confusion, resembling nothing so much as the giant cities of eastern fable. We were rapidly approaching the mountains in the South; but our elevation was more than sufficient to enable us to pass them in safety. In a few minutes we soared over them in fine style; and Mr. Ainsworth, with the seamen, was surprised at their apparent want of altitude when viewed from the car, the tendency of great elevation in a balloon being to reduce inequalities of the surface below, to nearly a dead level. At half-past eleven still proceeding nearly South, we obtained our first view of the Bristol Channel; and, in fifteen minutes afterward, the line of breakers on the coast appeared immediately beneath us, and we were fairly out at sea.

We now resolved to let off enough gas to bring our guide-rope, with the buoys affixed, into the water. In about twenty minutes our first buoy dipped, and at the touch of the second soon afterwards, we remained stationary as to elevation. We were all now anxious to test the efficiency of the rudder and screw, and we put them both into requisition forthwith, for the purpose of altering our direction more to the eastward, and in a line for Paris. By means of the rudder we instantly effected the necessary change of direction, and our course was brought nearly at right angles to that of the wind; when we set in motion the spring of the screw, and were rejoiced to find it propel us readily as desired. Upon this we gave nine hearty cheers, and dropped in the sea a bottle, enclosing a slip of parchment with a brief account of the principle of the invention. Hardly, however, had we done with our rejoicings, when an unforeseen accident occurred which discouraged us in no little degree.

The steel rod connecting the spring with the propeller was suddenly jerked out of place, at the car end, (by a swaying of the car through some movement of one of the two seamen we had taken up,) and in an instant hung dangling out of reach, from the pivot of the axis of the screw. While we were endeavoring to regain it, our attention being completely absorbed, we became involved in a strong current of wind from the East, which bore us, with rapidly increasing force, towards the Atlantic. We soon found ourselves driving out to sea at the rate of not less, certainly, than fifty or sixty miles an hour, so that we came up with Cape Clear, at some forty miles to our North, before we had secured the rod, and had time to think what we were about. Ainsworth made an extraordinary, but to my fancy, a by no means unreasonable or chimerical proposition, in which he was instantly seconded by Mr. Holland--viz.: that we should take advantage of the strong gale which bore us on, and in place of beating back to Paris, make an attempt to reach the coast of North America. After slight reflection I gave a willing assent to this bold proposition, which (strange to say) met with objection from the two seamen only. We steered due West; but as the trailing of the buoys materially impeded our progress, and we had the balloon abundantly at command, either for ascent or descent, we first threw out fifty pounds of ballast, and then wound up (by means of a windlass) so much of the rope as brought it quite clear of the sea. We perceived the effect of this manoeuvre immediately, in a vastly increased rate of progress; and, as the gale freshened, we flew with a velocity nearly inconceivable; the guide-rope flying out behind the car, like a streamer from a vessel.

We passed over innumerable vessels of all kinds, a few of which were endeavoring to beat up, but the most of them lying to. We occasioned the greatest excitement on board all--an excitement greatly relished by ourselves, and especially by our two men, who, now under the influence of a dram of Geneva, seemed resolved to give all scruple, or fear, to the wind.

Many of the vessels fired signal guns; and in all we were saluted with loud cheers (which we heard with surprising distinctness) and the waving of caps and handkerchiefs. We kept on in this manner throughout the day, with no material incident, and, as the shades of night closed around us, we made a rough estimate of the distance traversed. The propeller was kept in constant operation, and, no doubt, aided our progress materially. As the sun went down, the gale freshened into an absolute hurricane, and the ocean beneath was clearly visible on account of its phosphorescence. The wind was from the East all night, and gave us the brightest omen of success. We suffered no little from cold, and the dampness of the atmosphere was most unpleasant; but the ample space in the car enabled us to lie down, and by means of cloaks and a few blankets, we did sufficiently well.

Ainsworth.) The last nine hours have been unquestionably the most exciting of my life. I can conceive nothing more sublimating than the strange peril and novelty of an adventure such as this. I ask not success for mere safety to my insignificant person, but for the sake of human knowledge and--for the vastness of the triumph. One single gale such as now befriends us--let such a tempest whirl forward a balloon for four or five days (these gales often last longer) and the voyager will be easily borne, in that period, from coast to coast. In view of such a gale the broad Atlantic becomes a mere lake. I am more struck, just now, with the supreme silence which reigns in the sea beneath us, notwithstanding its agitation, than with any other phenomenon presenting itself. The immense flaming ocean writhes and is tortured uncomplainingly. The mountainous surges suggest the idea of innumerable dumb gigantic fiends struggling in impotent agony. In a night such as is this to me, a man lives--lives a whole century of ordinary life--nor would I forego this rapturous delight for that of a whole century of ordinary existence.

Mason’s MS.] This morning the gale, by 10, had subsided to an eight or nine--knot breeze, (for a vessel at sea,) and bears us, perhaps, thirty miles per hour, or more. It has veered, however, very considerably to the north; and now, at sundown, we are holding our course due west, principally by the screw and rudder, which answer their purposes to admiration. I regard the project as thoroughly successful, and the easy navigation of the air in any direction (not exactly in the teeth of a gale) as no longer problematical. We could not have made head against the strong wind of yesterday; but, by ascending, we might have got out of its influence, if requisite. Against a pretty stiff breeze, I feel convinced, we can make our way with the propeller. At noon, to-day, ascended to an elevation of nearly 25,000 feet, by discharging ballast. Did this to search for a more direct current, but found none so favorable as the one we are now in.

I can choose my current, and should I find all currents against me, I can make very tolerable headway with the propeller. We have had no incidents worth recording. Ainsworth.] I have little to record, except the fact (to me quite a surprising one) that, at an elevation equal to that of Cotopaxi, I experienced neither very intense cold, nor headache, nor difficulty of breathing; neither, I find, did Mr. Osborne complained of constriction of the chest--but this soon wore off. We have flown at a great rate during the day, and we must be more than half way across the Atlantic. We have passed over some twenty or thirty vessels of various kinds, and all seem to be delightfully astonished. Crossing the ocean in a balloon is not so difficult a feat after all. Mem: at 25,000 feet elevation the sky appears nearly black, and the stars are distinctly visible; while the sea does not seem convex (as one might suppose) but absolutely and most unequivocally concave.(*1) “Monday, the 8th.

Mason’s MS.] This morning we had again some little trouble with the rod of the propeller, which must be entirely remodelled, for fear of serious accident--I mean the steel rod--not the vanes.

The wind has been blowing steadily and strongly from the north-east all day and so far fortune seems bent upon favoring us. Just before day, we were all somewhat alarmed at some odd noises and concussions in the balloon, accompanied with the apparent rapid subsidence of the whole machine. These phenomena were occasioned by the expansion of the gas, through increase of heat in the atmosphere, and the consequent disruption of the minute particles of ice with which the network had become encrusted during the night. Saw one of them picked up by a large ship--seemingly one of the New York line packets. Osborne’s telescope made it out something like “Atalanta.” It is now 12, at night, and we are still going nearly west, at a rapid pace. Ainsworth.] It is now 2, A.M., and nearly calm, as well as I can judge--but it is very difficult to determine this point, since we move with the air so completely. I have not slept since quitting Wheal-Vor, but can stand it no longer, and must take a nap. Ainsworth’s MS.] One, P.M. We are in full view of the low coast of South Carolina. We have crossed the Atlantic--fairly and easily crossed it in a balloon!

Who shall say that anything is impossible hereafter?” The Journal here ceases. Ainsworth to Mr. It was nearly dead calm when the voyagers first came in view of the coast, which was immediately recognized by both the seamen, and by Mr. The latter gentleman having acquaintances at Fort Moultrie, it was immediately resolved to descend in its vicinity. The balloon was brought over the beach (the tide being out and the sand hard, smooth, and admirably adapted for a descent,) and the grapnel let go, which took firm hold at once. The inhabitants of the island, and of the fort, thronged out, of course, to see the balloon; but it was with the greatest difficulty that any one could be made to credit the actual voyage--the crossing of the Atlantic. The grapnel caught at 2, P.M., precisely; and thus the whole voyage was completed in seventy-five hours; or rather less, counting from shore to shore. Their farther intentions were not ascertained; but we can safely promise our readers some additional information either on Monday or in the course of the next day, at farthest.

This is unquestionably the most stupendous, the most interesting, and the most important undertaking, ever accomplished or even attempted by man. What magnificent events may ensue, it would be useless now to think of determining.

Ainsworth has not attempted to account for this phenomenon, which, however, is quite susceptible of explanation. A line dropped from an elevation of 25,000 feet, perpendicularly to the surface of the earth (or sea), would form the perpendicular of a right-angled triangle, of which the base would extend from the right angle to the horizon, and the hypothenuse from the horizon to the balloon. But the 25,000 feet of altitude is little or nothing, in comparison with the extent of the prospect. In other words, the base and hypothenuse of the supposed triangle would be so long when compared with the perpendicular, that the two former may be regarded as nearly parallel. In this manner the horizon of the æronaut would appear to be on a level with the car. But, as the point immediately beneath him seems, and is, at a great distance below him, it seems, of course, also, at a great distance below the horizon. Hence the impression of concavity; and this impression must remain, until the elevation shall bear so great a proportion to the extent of prospect, that the apparent parallelism of the base and hypothenuse disappears--when the earth’s real convexity must become apparent.

FOUND IN A BOTTLE Qui n’a plus qu’un moment a vivre N’a plus rien a dissimuler. --Quinault--Atys. Hereditary wealth afforded me an education of no common order, and a contemplative turn of mind enabled me to methodize the stores which early study very diligently garnered up.--Beyond all things, the study of the German moralists gave me great delight; not from any ill-advised admiration of their eloquent madness, but from the ease with which my habits of rigid thought enabled me to detect their falsities. I have often been reproached with the aridity of my genius; a deficiency of imagination has been imputed to me as a crime; and the Pyrrhonism of my opinions has at all times rendered me notorious. Indeed, a strong relish for physical philosophy has, I fear, tinctured my mind with a very common error of this age--I mean the habit of referring occurrences, even the least susceptible of such reference, to the principles of that science. Upon the whole, no person could be less liable than myself to be led away from the severe precincts of truth by the ignes fatui of superstition. I have thought proper to premise thus much, lest the incredible tale I have to tell should be considered rather the raving of a crude imagination, than the positive experience of a mind to which the reveries of fancy have been a dead letter and a nullity. After many years spent in foreign travel, I sailed in the year 18--, from the port of Batavia, in the rich and populous island of Java, on a voyage to the Archipelago of the Sunda islands. I went as passenger--having no other inducement than a kind of nervous restlessness which haunted me as a fiend.

We got under way with a mere breath of wind, and for many days stood along the eastern coast of Java, without any other incident to beguile the monotony of our course than the occasional meeting with some of the small grabs of the Archipelago to which we were bound. One evening, leaning over the taffrail, I observed a very singular, isolated cloud, to the N.W. It was remarkable, as well for its color, as from its being the first we had seen since our departure from Batavia. I watched it attentively until sunset, when it spread all at once to the eastward and westward, girting in the horizon with a narrow strip of vapor, and looking like a long line of low beach. The latter was undergoing a rapid change, and the water seemed more than usually transparent.

Although I could distinctly see the bottom, yet, heaving the lead, I found the ship in fifteen fathoms. The air now became intolerably hot, and was loaded with spiral exhalations similar to those arising from heat iron.

As night came on, every breath of wind died away, an more entire calm it is impossible to conceive. The flame of a candle burned upon the poop without the least perceptible motion, and a long hair, held between the finger and thumb, hung without the possibility of detecting a vibration. However, as the captain said he could perceive no indication of danger, and as we were drifting in bodily to shore, he ordered the sails to be furled, and the anchor let go.

No watch was set, and the crew, consisting principally of Malays, stretched themselves deliberately upon deck. Indeed, every appearance warranted me in apprehending a Simoom. I told the captain my fears; but he paid no attention to what I said, and left me without deigning to give a reply. My uneasiness, however, prevented me from sleeping, and about midnight I went upon deck.--As I placed my foot upon the upper step of the companion-ladder, I was startled by a loud, humming noise, like that occasioned by the rapid revolution of a mill-wheel, and before I could ascertain its meaning, I found the ship quivering to its centre. In the next instant, a wilderness of foam hurled us upon our beam-ends, and, rushing over us fore and aft, swept the entire decks from stem to stern. The extreme fury of the blast proved, in a great measure, the salvation of the ship. Although completely water-logged, yet, as her masts had gone by the board, she rose, after a minute, heavily from the sea, and, staggering awhile beneath the immense pressure of the tempest, finally righted. Stunned by the shock of the water, I found myself, upon recovery, jammed in between the stern-post and rudder. With great difficulty I gained my feet, and looking dizzily around, was, at first, struck with the idea of our being among breakers; so terrific, beyond the wildest imagination, was the whirlpool of mountainous and foaming ocean within which we were engulfed.

After a while, I heard the voice of an old Swede, who had shipped with us at the moment of our leaving port. I hallooed to him with all my strength, and presently he came reeling aft. All on deck, with the exception of ourselves, had been swept overboard;--the captain and mates must have perished as they slept, for the cabins were deluged with water. Without assistance, we could expect to do little for the security of the ship, and our exertions were at first paralyzed by the momentary expectation of going down.

Our cable had, of course, parted like pack-thread, at the first breath of the hurricane, or we should have been instantaneously overwhelmed. The frame-work of our stern was shattered excessively, and, in almost every respect, we had received considerable injury; but to our extreme Joy we found the pumps unchoked, and that we had made no great shifting of our ballast. The main fury of the blast had already blown over, and we apprehended little danger from the violence of the wind; but we looked forward to its total cessation with dismay; well believing, that, in our shattered condition, we should inevitably perish in the tremendous swell which would ensue. For five entire days and nights--during which our only subsistence was a small quantity of jaggeree, procured with great difficulty from the forecastle--the hulk flew at a rate defying computation, before rapidly succeeding flaws of wind, which, without equalling the first violence of the Simoom, were still more terrific than any tempest I had before encountered.

Our course for the first four days was, with trifling variations, S.E. and by S.; and we must have run down the coast of New Holland.--On the fifth day the cold became extreme, although the wind had hauled round a point more to the northward.--The sun arose with a sickly yellow lustre, and clambered a very few degrees above the horizon--emitting no decisive light.--There were no clouds apparent, yet the wind was upon the increase, and blew with a fitful and unsteady fury. About noon, as nearly as we could guess, our attention was again arrested by the appearance of the sun. Just before sinking within the turgid sea, its central fires suddenly went out, as if hurriedly extinguished by some unaccountable power. We waited in vain for the arrival of the sixth day--that day to me has not arrived--to the Swede, never did arrive.

Thenceforward we were enshrouded in patchy darkness, so that we could not have seen an object at twenty paces from the ship. Eternal night continued to envelop us, all unrelieved by the phosphoric sea-brilliancy to which we had been accustomed in the tropics. We observed too, that, although the tempest continued to rage with unabated violence, there was no longer to be discovered the usual appearance of surf, or foam, which had hitherto attended us. All around were horror, and thick gloom, and a black sweltering desert of ebony.--Superstitious terror crept by degrees into the spirit of the old Swede, and my own soul was wrapped up in silent wonder. We neglected all care of the ship, as worse than useless, and securing ourselves, as well as possible, to the stump of the mizen-mast, looked out bitterly into the world of ocean. We had no means of calculating time, nor could we form any guess of our situation.

We were, however, well aware of having made farther to the southward than any previous navigators, and felt great amazement at not meeting with the usual impediments of ice. In the meantime every moment threatened to be our last--every mountainous billow hurried to overwhelm us. The swell surpassed anything I had imagined possible, and that we were not instantly buried is a miracle. My companion spoke of the lightness of our cargo, and reminded me of the excellent qualities of our ship; but I could not help feeling the utter hopelessness of hope itself, and prepared myself gloomily for that death which I thought nothing could defer beyond an hour, as, with every knot of way the ship made, the swelling of the black stupendous seas became more dismally appalling. At times we gasped for breath at an elevation beyond the albatross--at times became dizzy with the velocity of our descent into some watery hell, where the air grew stagnant, and no sound disturbed the slumbers of the kraken. see!” cried he, shrieking in my ears, “Almighty God! Casting my eyes upwards, I beheld a spectacle which froze the current of my blood. Although upreared upon the summit of a wave more than a hundred times her own altitude, her apparent size exceeded that of any ship of the line or East Indiaman in existence. Her huge hull was of a deep dingy black, unrelieved by any of the customary carvings of a ship. A single row of brass cannon protruded from her open ports, and dashed from their polished surfaces the fires of innumerable battle-lanterns, which swung to and fro about her rigging.

But what mainly inspired us with horror and astonishment, was that she bore up under a press of sail in the very teeth of that supernatural sea, and of that ungovernable hurricane. For a moment of intense terror she paused upon the giddy pinnacle, as if in contemplation of her own sublimity, then trembled and tottered, and--came down. At this instant, I know not what sudden self-possession came over my spirit.

Staggering as far aft as I could, I awaited fearlessly the ruin that was to overwhelm. Our own vessel was at length ceasing from her struggles, and sinking with her head to the sea. The shock of the descending mass struck her, consequently, in that portion of her frame which was already under water, and the inevitable result was to hurl me, with irresistible violence, upon the rigging of the stranger. As I fell, the ship hove in stays, and went about; and to the confusion ensuing I attributed my escape from the notice of the crew. With little difficulty I made my way unperceived to the main hatchway, which was partially open, and soon found an opportunity of secreting myself in the hold. An indefinite sense of awe, which at first sight of the navigators of the ship had taken hold of my mind, was perhaps the principle of my concealment. I was unwilling to trust myself with a race of people who had offered, to the cursory glance I had taken, so many points of vague novelty, doubt, and apprehension. I therefore thought proper to contrive a hiding-place in the hold. This I did by removing a small portion of the shifting-boards, in such a manner as to afford me a convenient retreat between the huge timbers of the ship. I had scarcely completed my work, when a footstep in the hold forced me to make use of it.

I could not see his face, but had an opportunity of observing his general appearance. There was about it an evidence of great age and infirmity. He muttered to himself, in a low broken tone, some words of a language which I could not understand, and groped in a corner among a pile of singular-looking instruments, and decayed charts of navigation. * * * * * A feeling, for which I have no name, has taken possession of my soul --a sensation which will admit of no analysis, to which the lessons of bygone times are inadequate, and for which I fear futurity itself will offer me no key. To a mind constituted like my own, the latter consideration is an evil. Yet it is not wonderful that these conceptions are indefinite, since they have their origin in sources so utterly novel. * * * * * It is long since I first trod the deck of this terrible ship, and the rays of my destiny are, I think, gathering to a focus. Incomprehensible men!

Wrapped up in meditations of a kind which I cannot divine, they pass me by unnoticed. It was but just now that I passed directly before the eyes of the mate--it was no long while ago that I ventured into the captain’s own private cabin, and took thence the materials with which I write, and have written. I shall from time to time continue this Journal. It is true that I may not find an opportunity of transmitting it to the world, but I will not fall to make the endeavour. in a bottle, and cast it within the sea.

* * * * * An incident has occurred which has given me new room for meditation. Are such things the operation of ungoverned Chance? I had ventured upon deck and thrown myself down, without attracting any notice, among a pile of ratlin-stuff and old sails in the bottom of the yawl.

While musing upon the singularity of my fate, I unwittingly daubed with a tar-brush the edges of a neatly-folded studding-sail which lay near me on a barrel. The studding-sail is now bent upon the ship, and the thoughtless touches of the brush are spread out into the word DISCOVERY. Although well armed, she is not, I think, a ship of war. Her rigging, build, and general equipment, all negative a supposition of this kind. I know not how it is, but in scrutinizing her strange model and singular cast of spars, her huge size and overgrown suits of canvas, her severely simple bow and antiquated stern, there will occasionally flash across my mind a sensation of familiar things, and there is always mixed up with such indistinct shadows of recollection, an unaccountable memory of old foreign chronicles and ages long ago. * * * * * I have been looking at the timbers of the ship. There is a peculiar character about the wood which strikes me as rendering it unfit for the purpose to which it has been applied. I mean its extreme porousness, considered independently by the worm-eaten condition which is a consequence of navigation in these seas, and apart from the rottenness attendant upon age. In reading the above sentence a curious apothegm of an old weather-beaten Dutch navigator comes full upon my recollection.

“It is as sure,” he was wont to say, when any doubt was entertained of his veracity, “as sure as there is a sea where the ship itself will grow in bulk like the living body of the seaman.” * * * * * About an hour ago, I made bold to thrust myself among a group of the crew. They paid me no manner of attention, and, although I stood in the very midst of them all, seemed utterly unconscious of my presence. Like the one I had at first seen in the hold, they all bore about them the marks of a hoary old age. Their knees trembled with infirmity; their shoulders were bent double with decrepitude; their shrivelled skins rattled in the wind; their voices were low, tremulous and broken; their eyes glistened with the rheum of years; and their gray hairs streamed terribly in the tempest.

Around them, on every part of the deck, lay scattered mathematical instruments of the most quaint and obsolete construction. * * * * * I mentioned some time ago the bending of a studding-sail. From that period the ship, being thrown dead off the wind, has continued her terrific course due south, with every rag of canvas packed upon her, from her trucks to her lower studding-sail booms, and rolling every moment her top-gallant yard-arms into the most appalling hell of water which it can enter into the mind of a man to imagine. I have just left the deck, where I find it impossible to maintain a footing, although the crew seem to experience little inconvenience. We are surely doomed to hover continually upon the brink of Eternity, without taking a final plunge into the abyss. From billows a thousand times more stupendous than any I have ever seen, we glide away with the facility of the arrowy sea-gull; and the colossal waters rear their heads above us like demons of the deep, but like demons confined to simple threats and forbidden to destroy. I am led to attribute these frequent escapes to the only natural cause which can account for such effect.--I must suppose the ship to be within the influence of some strong current, or impetuous under-tow. * * * * * I have seen the captain face to face, and in his own cabin--but, as I expected, he paid me no attention.

Although in his appearance there is, to a casual observer, nothing which might bespeak him more or less than man--still a feeling of irrepressible reverence and awe mingled with the sensation of wonder with which I regarded him. In stature he is nearly my own height; that is, about five feet eight inches. But it is the singularity of the expression which reigns upon the face--it is the intense, the wonderful, the thrilling evidence of old age, so utter, so extreme, which excites within my spirit a sense--a sentiment ineffable. His forehead, although little wrinkled, seems to bear upon it the stamp of a myriad of years.--His gray hairs are records of the past, and his grayer eyes are Sybils of the future. The cabin floor was thickly strewn with strange, iron-clasped folios, and mouldering instruments of science, and obsolete long-forgotten charts. He muttered to himself, as did the first seaman whom I saw in the hold, some low peevish syllables of a foreign tongue, and although the speaker was close at my elbow, his voice seemed to reach my ears from the distance of a mile. * * * * * The ship and all in it are imbued with the spirit of Eld. The crew glide to and fro like the ghosts of buried centuries; their eyes have an eager and uneasy meaning; and when their fingers fall athwart my path in the wild glare of the battle-lanterns, I feel as I have never felt before, although I have been all my life a dealer in antiquities, and have imbibed the shadows of fallen columns at Balbec, and Tadmor, and Persepolis, until my very soul has become a ruin.

If I trembled at the blast which has hitherto attended us, shall I not stand aghast at a warring of wind and ocean, to convey any idea of which the words tornado and simoom are trivial and ineffective? All in the immediate vicinity of the ship is the blackness of eternal night, and a chaos of foamless water; but, about a league on either side of us, may be seen, indistinctly and at intervals, stupendous ramparts of ice, towering away into the desolate sky, and looking like the walls of the universe. * * * * * As I imagined, the ship proves to be in a current; if that appellation can properly be given to a tide which, howling and shrieking by the white ice, thunders on to the southward with a velocity like the headlong dashing of a cataract. * * * * * To conceive the horror of my sensations is, I presume, utterly impossible; yet a curiosity to penetrate the mysteries of these awful regions, predominates even over my despair, and will reconcile me to the most hideous aspect of death. It is evident that we are hurrying onwards to some exciting knowledge--some never-to-be-imparted secret, whose attainment is destruction. It must be confessed that a supposition apparently so wild has every probability in its favor. In the meantime the wind is still in our poop, and, as we carry a crowd of canvas, the ship is at times lifted bodily from out the sea--Oh, horror upon horror! the ice opens suddenly to the right, and to the left, and we are whirling dizzily, in immense concentric circles, round and round the borders of a gigantic amphitheatre, the summit of whose walls is lost in the darkness and the distance. But little time will be left me to ponder upon my destiny--the circles rapidly grow small--we are plunging madly within the grasp of the whirlpool--and amid a roaring, and bellowing, and thundering of ocean and of tempest, the ship is quivering, oh God! and--going down.

Found in a Bottle,” was originally published in 1831, and it was not until many years afterwards that I became acquainted with the maps of Mercator, in which the ocean is represented as rushing, by four mouths, into the (northern) Polar Gulf, to be absorbed into the bowels of the earth; the Pole itself being represented by a black rock, towering to a prodigious height. THE OVAL PORTRAIT THE chateau into which my valet had ventured to make forcible entrance, rather than permit me, in my desperately wounded condition, to pass a night in the open air, was one of those piles of commingled gloom and grandeur which have so long frowned among the Appennines, not less in fact than in the fancy of Mrs. We established ourselves in one of the smallest and least sumptuously furnished apartments. It lay in a remote turret of the building. Its walls were hung with tapestry and bedecked with manifold and multiform armorial trophies, together with an unusually great number of very spirited modern paintings in frames of rich golden arabesque. In these paintings, which depended from the walls not only in their main surfaces, but in very many nooks which the bizarre architecture of the chateau rendered necessary--in these paintings my incipient delirium, perhaps, had caused me to take deep interest; so that I bade Pedro to close the heavy shutters of the room--since it was already night--to light the tongues of a tall candelabrum which stood by the head of my bed--and to throw open far and wide the fringed curtains of black velvet which enveloped the bed itself. The position of the candelabrum displeased me, and outreaching my hand with difficulty, rather than disturb my slumbering valet, I placed it so as to throw its rays more fully upon the book. The rays of the numerous candles (for there were many) now fell within a niche of the room which had hitherto been thrown into deep shade by one of the bed-posts. I thus saw in vivid light a picture all unnoticed before.

It was the portrait of a young girl just ripening into womanhood.

I glanced at the painting hurriedly, and then closed my eyes. But while my lids remained thus shut, I ran over in my mind my reason for so shutting them. It was an impulsive movement to gain time for thought--to make sure that my vision had not deceived me--to calm and subdue my fancy for a more sober and more certain gaze. In a very few moments I again looked fixedly at the painting.

That I now saw aright I could not and would not doubt; for the first flashing of the candles upon that canvas had seemed to dissipate the dreamy stupor which was stealing over my senses, and to startle me at once into waking life. It was a mere head and shoulders, done in what is technically termed a vignette manner; much in the style of the favorite heads of Sully. The arms, the bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair melted imperceptibly into the vague yet deep shadow which formed the back-ground of the whole. The frame was oval, richly gilded and filigreed in Moresque. As a thing of art nothing could be more admirable than the painting itself.

Least of all, could it have been that my fancy, shaken from its half slumber, had mistaken the head for that of a living person.

I saw at once that the peculiarities of the design, of the vignetting, and of the frame, must have instantly dispelled such idea--must have prevented even its momentary entertainment. Thinking earnestly upon these points, I remained, for an hour perhaps, half sitting, half reclining, with my vision riveted upon the portrait. At length, satisfied with the true secret of its effect, I fell back within the bed. I had found the spell of the picture in an absolute life-likeliness of expression, which, at first startling, finally confounded, subdued, and appalled me. With deep and reverent awe I replaced the candelabrum in its former position. The cause of my deep agitation being thus shut from view, I sought eagerly the volume which discussed the paintings and their histories. Turning to the number which designated the oval portrait, I there read the vague and quaint words which follow: “She was a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee.

And evil was the hour when she saw, and loved, and wedded the painter. He, passionate, studious, austere, and having already a bride in his Art; she a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee; all light and smiles, and frolicsome as the young fawn; loving and cherishing all things; hating only the Art which was her rival; dreading only the pallet and brushes and other untoward instruments which deprived her of the countenance of her lover. It was thus a terrible thing for this lady to hear the painter speak of his desire to portray even his young bride. But she was humble and obedient, and sat meekly for many weeks in the dark, high turret-chamber where the light dripped upon the pale canvas only from overhead. But he, the painter, took glory in his work, which went on from hour to hour, and from day to day. And he was a passionate, and wild, and moody man, who became lost in reveries; so that he would not see that the light which fell so ghastly in that lone turret withered the health and the spirits of his bride, who pined visibly to all but him.

Yet she smiled on and still on, uncomplainingly, because she saw that the painter (who had high renown) took a fervid and burning pleasure in his task, and wrought day and night to depict her who so loved him, yet who grew daily more dispirited and weak. And in sooth some who beheld the portrait spoke of its resemblance in low words, as of a mighty marvel, and a proof not less of the power of the painter than of his deep love for her whom he depicted so surpassingly well. But at length, as the labor drew nearer to its conclusion, there were admitted none into the turret; for the painter had grown wild with the ardor of his work, and turned his eyes from canvas merely, even to regard the countenance of his wife. And he would not see that the tints which he spread upon the canvas were drawn from the cheeks of her who sate beside him. And when many weeks had passed, and but little remained to do, save one brush upon the mouth and one tint upon the eye, the spirit of the lady again flickered up as the flame within the socket of the lamp. And then the brush was given, and then the tint was placed; and, for one moment, the painter stood entranced before the work which he had wrought; but in the next, while he yet gazed, he grew tremulous and very pallid, and aghast, and crying with a loud voice, ‘This is indeed Life itself!’ turned suddenly to regard his beloved:--She was dead!”


Yet this superiority--even this equality--was in truth acknowledged by no one but myself; our associates, by some unaccountable blindness, seemed not even to suspect it.I looked upon it, therefore, as something of a coincidence, when the door of our apartment was thrown open and admitted our old acquaintance, Monsieur G--, the Prefect of the Parisian police. We had been sitting in the dark, and Dupin now arose for the purpose of lighting a lamp, but sat down again, without doing so, upon G.’s saying that he had called to consult us, or rather to ask the opinion of my friend, about some official business which had occasioned a great deal of trouble. After some business transactions, hurried through in his ordinary manner, he produces a letter somewhat similar to the one in question, opens it, pretends to read it, and then places it in close juxtaposition to the other. Again he converses, for some fifteen minutes, upon the public affairs. The minister decamped; leaving his own letter--one of no importance--upon the table.” “Here, then,” said Dupin to me, “you have precisely what you demand to make the ascendancy complete--the robber’s knowledge of the loser’s knowledge of the robber.” “Yes,” replied the Prefect; “and the power thus attained has, for some months past, been wielded, for political purposes, to a very dangerous extent. In fine, driven to despair, she has committed the matter to me.” “Than whom,” said Dupin, amid a perfect whirlwind of smoke, “no more sagacious agent could, I suppose, be desired, or even imagined.” “You flatter me,” replied the Prefect; “but it is possible that some such opinion may have been entertained.” “It is clear,” said I, “as you observe, that the letter is still in possession of the minister; since it is this possession, and not any employment of the letter, which bestows the power. From the tables we removed the tops.” “Why so?” “Sometimes the top of a table, or other similarly arranged piece of furniture, is removed by the person wishing to conceal an article; then the leg is excavated, the article deposited within the cavity, and the top replaced.

We examined the moss between the bricks, and found it undisturbed.” “You looked among D--‘s papers, of course, and into the books of the library?” “Certainly; we opened every package and parcel; we not only opened every book, but we turned over every leaf in each volume, not contenting ourselves with a mere shake, according to the fashion of some of our police officers. Some five or six volumes, just from the hands of the binder, we carefully probed, longitudinally, with the needles.” “You explored the floors beneath the carpets?” “Beyond doubt.

He took a pipe and a chair and entered into some ordinary conversation. For some minutes he remained speechless and motionless, looking incredulously at my friend with open mouth, and eyes that seemed starting from their sockets; then, apparently recovering himself in some measure, he seized a pen, and after several pauses and vacant stares, finally filled up and signed a check for fifty thousand francs, and handed it across the table to Dupin. When he had gone, my friend entered into some explanations. Of course he had some principle of guessing; and this lay in mere observation and admeasurement of the astuteness of his opponents. They have no variation of principle in their investigations; at best, when urged by some unusual emergency--by some extraordinary reward--they extend or exaggerate their old modes of practice, without touching their principles. Do you not see he has taken it for granted that all men proceed to conceal a letter,--not exactly in a gimlet hole bored in a chair-leg--but, at least, in some out-of-the-way hole or corner suggested by the same tenor of thought which would urge a man to secrete a letter in a gimlet-hole bored in a chair-leg? The French are the originators of this particular deception; but if a term is of any importance--if words derive any value from applicability--then ‘analysis’ conveys ‘algebra’ about as much as, in Latin, ‘ambitus’ implies ‘ambition,’ ‘religio’ ‘religion,’ or ‘homines honesti,’ a set of honorablemen.” “You have a quarrel on hand, I see,” said I, “with some of the algebraists of Paris; but proceed.” “I dispute the availability, and thus the value, of that reason which is cultivated in any especial form other than the abstractly logical. I felt, also, that the whole train of thought, which I was at some pains in detailing to you just now, concerning the invariable principle of policial action in searches for articles concealed--I felt that this whole train of thought would necessarily pass through the mind of the Minister. I really thought he would have fallen into convulsions.” “The material world,” continued Dupin, “abounds with very strict analogies to the immaterial; and thus some color of truth has been given to the rhetorical dogma, that metaphor, or simile, may be made to strengthen an argument, as well as to embellish a description. But this is a point, it appears, somewhat above or beneath the understanding of the Prefect.

“I paid especial attention to a large writing-table near which he sat, and upon which lay confusedly, some miscellaneous letters and other papers, with one or two musical instruments and a few books. So, as I knew he would feel some curiosity in regard to the identity of the person who had outwitted him, I thought it a pity not to give him a clue. HAVING had occasion, lately, in the course of some Oriental investigations, to consult the Tellmenow Isitsoornot, a work which (like the Zohar of Simeon Jochaides) is scarcely known at all, even in Europe; and which has never been quoted, to my knowledge, by any American--if we except, perhaps, the author of the “Curiosities of American Literature”;--having had occasion, I say, to turn over some pages of the first-mentioned very remarkable work, I was not a little astonished to discover that the literary world has hitherto been strangely in error respecting the fate of the vizier’s daughter, Scheherazade, as that fate is depicted in the “Arabian Nights”; and that the denouement there given, if not altogether inaccurate, as far as it goes, is at least to blame in not having gone very much farther. But even yet it is not too late to remedy my great neglect--and as soon as I have given the king a pinch or two in order to wake him up so far that he may stop making that horrible noise, I will forthwith entertain you (and him if he pleases) with the sequel of this very remarkable story.” Hereupon the sister of Scheherazade, as I have it from the “Isitsoornot,” expressed no very particular intensity of gratification; but the king, having been sufficiently pinched, at length ceased snoring, and finally said, “hum!” and then “hoo!” when the queen, understanding these words (which are no doubt Arabic) to signify that he was all attention, and would do his best not to snore any more--the queen, I say, having arranged these matters to her satisfaction, re-entered thus, at once, into the history of Sinbad the sailor: “‘At length, in my old age,’ --‘at length, in my old age, and after enjoying many years of tranquillity at home, I became once more possessed of a desire of visiting foreign countries; and one day, without acquainting any of my family with my design, I packed up some bundles of such merchandise as was most precious and least bulky, and, engaged a porter to carry them, went with him down to the sea-shore, to await the arrival of any chance vessel that might convey me out of the kingdom into some region which I had not as yet explored. “‘Having deposited the packages upon the sands, we sat down beneath some trees, and looked out into the ocean in the hope of perceiving a ship, but during several hours we saw none whatever. To this the porter replied, as well as he could for trepidation, that he had once before heard of this sea-beast; that it was a cruel demon, with bowels of sulphur and blood of fire, created by evil genii as the means of inflicting misery upon mankind; that the things upon its back were vermin, such as sometimes infest cats and dogs, only a little larger and more savage; and that these vermin had their uses, however evil--for, through the torture they caused the beast by their nibbling and stingings, it was goaded into that degree of wrath which was requisite to make it roar and commit ill, and so fulfil the vengeful and malicious designs of the wicked genii. “‘We then swam into a region of the sea where we found a lofty mountain, down whose sides there streamed torrents of melted metal, some of which were twelve miles wide and sixty miles long (*4); while from an abyss on the summit, issued so vast a quantity of ashes that the sun was entirely blotted out from the heavens, and it became darker than the darkest midnight; so that when we were even at the distance of a hundred and fifty miles from the mountain, it was impossible to see the whitest object, however close we held it to our eyes.’” (*5) “Hum!” said the king.

“Some hundred miles farther on brought us to a climate where the atmosphere was so dense as to sustain iron or steel, just as our own does feather.’” (*7) “Fiddle de dee,” said the king.

“‘We left this kingdom in great haste, and, after some days, came to another, where we were astonished to perceive myriads of monstrous animals with horns resembling scythes upon their heads. “‘It was just after this adventure that we encountered a continent of immense extent and prodigious solidity, but which, nevertheless, was supported entirely upon the back of a sky-blue cow that had no fewer than four hundred horns.’” (*18) “That, now, I believe,” said the king, “because I have read something of the kind before, in a book.” “‘We passed immediately beneath this continent, (swimming in between the legs of the cow), and, after some hours, found ourselves in a wonderful country indeed, which, I was informed by the man-animal, was his own native land, inhabited by things of his own species. Some fatalities come in certain shapes, and some in others--but this of which I speak has come in the shape of a crotchet.’” “A what?” said the king. How long have we been married?--my conscience is getting to be troublesome again. For some minutes the old man seem