The Return Of The Dizzy Divorce


Becke and Co., of the Private Inquiry Offices, 279 St.Becke and Co., of the Private Inquiry Offices, 279 St. /

At night, therefore, while sipping his coffee, his feet on the andirons, and his long pipe in his mouth, he would soon forget himself amid the recollections of his youth.At night, therefore, while sipping his coffee, his feet on the andirons, and his long pipe in his mouth, he would soon forget himself amid the recollections of his youth. /

No more affectionate smiles, no tender welcomes, no little white hands stealthily seeking his.No one, however, stood, rightly or wrongly, in as bad repute as the doorkeeper, or concierge, who lived in a little hole near the great double entrance-door, and watched over the safety of the whole house. Ravinet had knelt down, and tried to open the door a little, putting now his eye, and now his ear, to the keyhole and to the slight opening between the door and the frame. As the door had given way a little, the passage had gradually become filled with a sickening vapor. Nothing could be seen but the reddish glow of the charcoal, which was slowly going out under a little heap of white ashes in two small stoves. Evidently everything that could be sold had been sold, piece by piece, little by little. “Never mind!” said the merchant, “she is saved; and, when the doctor comes, he will have little else to do. When Papa Ravinet had finished his little speech, there was nobody left but the two ladies who lived on the first floor, and the concierge and his wife. This troubled the two ladies not a little, although they felt very much relieved, and disposed to do everything, now that they were no longer expected to open their purses. Just now he occupied a little closet not more than three-quarters full; and here he asked the concierge to enter. She had not much baggage, I tell you; she brought every thing she owned in a little carpet-bag in her hand.” The old merchant was stooping over the fire as if his whole attention was given to the teakettle, in which the water was beginning to boil.

“And yet it was so little I asked of you!--barely enough to bury my undeserved disgrace in a convent. If you but knew how a little experience of the world often helps us to overcome the greatest difficulties!” He was evidently deeply moved. “There,” they said, “lives a true gentleman, a little too proud, perhaps, but, nevertheless, a true gentleman.” For contrary to the usual state of things in the country, where envy is apt to engender hatred, the count was quite popular, in spite of his title and his large fortune. He was at that time about forty years old, quite tall and good-looking, solemn and courteous, obliging, although reserved, and very good-natured as long as no one spoke in his presence of the church or the reigning family, the nobility or the clergy, of his hounds or the wines of his vineyards, or of various other subjects on which he had what he chose to consider his “own opinions.” As he spoke but rarely, and said little at the time, he said fewer foolish things than most people, and thus obtained the reputation of being clever and well-informed, of which he was very proud and very careful. He lived freely, almost profusely, and thus put aside every year but little more than about half his income. No more affectionate smiles, no tender welcomes, no little white hands stealthily seeking his. And the old couple were not a little proud of these “gentlemen,” their sons.

She wanted Henrietta, as little as the world, to know what she was to her husband; and she taught her not only to love him as her father, but to respect and admire him as a man of eminence. She sank down upon her knees by the side of the bed, hiding her face in the drapery, and repeating with fierce sobs,-- “My mother, my darling mother!” It was nearly morning, and the pale dawn was stealing into the room, when at last some sisters of charity came, who had been sent for; and then a couple of priests; a little later (it was towards the end of January) one of the count’s friends appeared, who undertook all those sickening preparations which our civilization demands in such cases. But she was not a little amazed when she saw him lay aside his mourning, and exchange his simple costumes, suitable to his age, for the eccentric fashions of the day, wearing brilliant waistcoats and fancy-colored trousers. He laughed heartily, tapped her cheek playfully, and said,-- “Ah, you would like to rule your papa, would you?” Then he added more seriously,-- “Am I so old, my little lady, that I ought to go into retirement? “Do you see that d---- little fellow, there, with his quiet ways?” said Admiral Penhoel to his young officers. Not that he prided himself particularly on his ancestors; he acknowledged frankly that there was very little left of their ancient splendor; in fact, nothing but a bare support. Miss Brandon”-- He stopped suddenly, and looking at Daniel with a glance with which a judge examines the features of a criminal, he added in an almost threatening voice,-- “By telling you what little I know about her, Daniel, I give you the highest proof of confidence which one man can give to another. They talk of her as of a poor little orphan- girl, whom people slander atrociously because they envy her youth, her beauty, her splendor.” “Ah, is she so rich?” “Miss Brandon spends at least twenty thousand dollars a year.” “And no one inquires where they come from?” “From her sainted father’s petroleum-wells, my dear fellow.

“Can that be,” said Daniel to himself, “the wretched creature whose portrait Maxime has just given me?” A little behind her, and half-hid in the shade of the box, appeared a large bony head, adorned with an absurd bunch of feathers. What a glorious thing to waste fifty dollars on flowers, when one has I know not how many millions!” Then, seeing by the light of the street-lamp that the count’s face showed deep disappointment, she said in a tone to make him lose the little reason that was left him,-- “You would have been more welcome if you had brought me a cent’s worth of violets.” In the mean time Mrs.

But we shall have a mortal enemy in Miss Brandon; and, on the morning after her wedding, her first thought will be how to avenge herself, and how to separate Henrietta and myself forever.” Little as Brevan was generally given to show his feelings, he was evidently deeply touched by his friend’s despair. We wished each other good-day; and sometimes we galloped a little while side by side. “They received me very kindly, although with some little reserve under all their politeness; but I staid and staid in vain beyond the proper time; Miss Sarah did not appear.

I can assure you, at all events, that this discovery troubled me not a little.

After some little hesitations, and imposing certain honorable conditions, they said to Sarah and myself,-- “‘You will have it so. It looked to him like the work of an artist who had endeavored to imitate those wretched painters who live upon the vanity of weak men and little children. He was in evening costume, looking taller and stiffer than ever in his white cravat; and, as he came forward, he halted a little on one foot, though leaning upon a big cane. Nothing could be fresher and more coquettish than this little room, which looked almost like a greenhouse, so completely was it filled with rare and fragrant flowers, while the door and window-frames were overgrown with luxuriant creepers. But I have the independence of all the girls of my country; and, when my interests are at stake, I trust no one but myself.” She was bewitching in her ingenuousness as she uttered these words with the air of a little child who looks cunning, and determined to undertake something that appears quite formidable.

What could be done in so little time? Her face turned crimson, and then, almost instantly, livid; and, stepping back a little, she darted at Daniel a look of burning hatred. Then, without hesitation, and with all the minutest details, Daniel told him how Miss Brandon had taken him into her little boudoir, and how she had exculpated herself from all complicity with Malgat by showing him the letters written by that wretched man. If any grave and unforeseen necessity should arise, and it becomes absolutely necessary for me to see you, Clarissa will bring you the key of the little garden-gate, and you will come.” Both of them had their eyes filled with tears; and their hearts felt increasing anguish as the hand on the dial advanced.

Daniel excused himself as well as he could, which was very little, and then boldly approached the purpose of his call. That was the way he reasoned with himself while breakfasting at a tavern not far off; and when he returned to the department, a little after twelve, he looked upon himself as already no longer belonging to the navy, and in his imagination caring little for the final decision.

In the course of a week the whole crew was laid up; and as to the staff, little Bertram and I were the only officers able to appear on deck. In either case, you will take Henrietta to an old lady, a relative of mine, who lives at the Rosiers, a little village in the department of Maine-et-Loire, and whose address I will give you, while I will inform her beforehand of what may happen.” He paused, trying to remember if there was any thing else, and, recalling nothing, he said,-- “This, my dear Maxime, is all I expect you to do for me.” With open brow, a clear eye, and grave face, M. Except, however, my home, my father’s house, with the little garden in front, the orchard, and the meadow adjoining the house. The garden and the orchard are the first little bits of land my father bought from his earnings as ploughboy. And if he should, during your absence, run away with the fifty thousand dollars?” Daniel was a little shaken; but he remained firm.

It was too late now for Daniel to write to Henrietta to send him for that same evening the key to the little garden-gate; but he wrote to get it for the next evening. de Brevan, he went all over Paris in search of the thousand little things which are necessary for such a long and perilous voyage. de Brevan’s little sitting-room, he was handing over his deeds and papers to his faithful confidant, explaining to him how he might make the most of the different parcels of land which he owned; how certain woods might be sold together; how, on the other hand, a large farm, now held by one tenant, might be advantageously divided into small lots, and sold at auction. She sat, as she always did when left alone in the house, in the little boudoir, where Daniel had already once been carried by her. As the door opened, she raised herself carelessly a little, and, without turning around, asked,-- “Who is that?” But, when the servant announced the name of M. In the pretty little square before the building, some hundred and fifty or two hundred idlers were waiting with open mouths. At a little distance you would have sworn that he was sixteen years old, and that he was going, not to be married, but to be confirmed.” “And how did he look?” “Restless, I think.” “He might well be,” observed a stout, elderly gentleman, who was said not to be very happily married. If the count had at least used a little discretion, if he had tried the powers of persuasion, or sought to touch his daughter’s heart by speaking to her of herself, of her future, of her happiness, of her peace! In the morning I went out to make some purchases; later, knowing that the Duchess of Champdoce is a little unwell, and does not go out, I went to lunch with her; after that, as the weather was so fine”-- Count Ville-Handry could endure it no longer.

She hastened to dress; and, sitting down before her little writing-table, she went to work communicating to her only friend on earth all her sufferings since he had so suddenly left her, her griefs, her resentments, her hopes.

She had gone in there, and was clearing the table of the albums and little trifles which were lying about, so as to hasten matters, when the maid reappeared with empty hands. Seated by her, he had shown her discreetly some little attentions; and, when she observed him more closely, she discovered in his eyes something like commiseration. To give up those little rooms in which she had spent so many happy hours, where every thing recalled to her sweet memories, certainly that was no small grief: it was nothing however, in comparison with that frightful perspective of having to live under the wary eye of Countess Sarah, under lock and key. The concierge, a large man, very proud of his richly laced livery, was sitting before the little pavilion in which he lived, smoking, and reading his paper. The little gate to which you had a key has been nailed up. Her beauty, ordinarily a little impaired, shone forth once more in amazing splendor, so as to eclipse almost that of the countess. They had exhausted all the usual remedies for such cases, and began, evidently, to be not a little surprised at the persistency of the symptoms. Still, the next morning she was a little better; and, in spite of all that Clarissa could say, she would get up, and go down stairs, for all her hopes henceforth depended on that letter written by Daniel. As he noticed that Henrietta had turned very red, and looked overcome, while fixing most anxiously her eyes upon him, he even said,-- “I pray you, madam, affect a little more indifference.

Remember that we must not know each other; that we are perfect strangers to each other.” Then he began in a very loud voice to sing the praise of the last new play that had been performed, until finally, thinking that he had put all suspicions asleep, he drew a little nearer, and, casting down his eyes, he said,-- “It is useless to tell you, madam, that I am M. de Brevan; he had to cough a little; and once or twice passed his hand between his collar and his neck, as if he felt troubled in his throat. de Brevan continued silent; then he said in a very sad voice,-- “My experience, madam, supplies me with but one advice,--be patient; say little; do as little as possible; and endeavor to appear insensible to their insults. The little garden-gate had been secured by two additional enormous locks; and whenever Henrietta, during her walks in the garden, came near it, she saw one of the gardeners watch her with anxious eyes. On another occasion, toward the end of February, and when several days of fine spring weather had succeeded each other, the poor child could not help expressing a desire to go out and breathe a little fresh air. In public he did not commit himself much; but there was no little attention which he did not pay Henrietta by stealth. Elgin, who is one of the most eminent financiers in all Europe, should think of a little insignificant person like you, he would look a long time elsewhere.” “Permit me, father”-- “Stop! Have you forgotten that little scene, after which M. To-morrow morning I will rent in a quiet house a suitable lodging, less than modest, a little chamber. He little knew that he was thus restoring the poor girl to liberty.

Acting almost automatically, she rose, threw an immense cashmere shawl over her shoulders; and, taking her little bag in her hand, she escaped from her room, and slipped along the passages to the servants’ stairs. Thus she got down without difficulty, reached the dark hall at the foot of the staircase; and there in the shade, seated on her little bag, she waited, out of breath, her hair moist with a cold perspiration, her teeth clattering in her mouth from fear. Pretending to have lost the control of his horse, he made it turn round, and forced it back with such admirable awkwardness, that the carriage came close up to the wall, and the right hand door was precisely in the face of the dark little hall in which Henrietta was standing. A moment later the carriage slowly drove out of the court-yard of the palace of Count Ville-Handry, and stopped at some little distance. Remember that you are still under age, that you will be searched for anxiously, and that the slightest indiscretion may put them upon your traces.” Then, as she still kept silent, weeping, he wanted to take her hand, and thus noticed the little bag which she had taken. Standing by the mantle-piece, she looked at her pale face in the little looking-glass, and said to herself,-- “Is that myself, my own self?” Yes, it was she herself, the only daughter of the great Count Ville- Handry, here in a strange house, in a wretched garret-room, which she called her own.

By the side of the bed was a little strip of carpeting; and on the mantlepiece a zinc clock between two blue glass vases. But would she have been any more compromised, or in greater danger of being discovered by the Countess Sarah, if they had papared the room anew, put a simple felt carpet on the floor, and furnished the room a little more decently? She thought it mattered very little where and how she was lodged. Don’t you think you might eat a little something?” Henrietta not only thought of it; but she was very hungry. “I am sure,” thought Henrietta, “she is a bad woman.” Her suspicions were only increased when the worthy woman reappeared, bringing her breakfast, and setting it out on a little table before the fire, with all kinds of hideous compliments. The honest woman tried to look as grave as an attorney whom a great client consults, who has unwittingly stirred up a wasps’ nest; and, when her tenant had finished, she said in a voice apparently half drowned in tears,-- “Poor little kitten, poor little innocent kitten!” But, if she succeeded in giving to her face an expression of sincere sympathy, the greedy look in her eyes betrayed but too clearly her immense satisfaction at seeing Henrietta at last at her feet. “After all,” she said, “you are prodigiously lucky in your misfortunes; for you are too imprudent in all conscience.” And, as the poor girl was not a little astonished at this, she went on,-- “Yes, you ran a great risk; and I can easily prove it to you. Thus she discoursed and discoursed with amazing volubility, till at last, when she thought she had made a sufficiently strong impression on her “poor little pussy-cat,” she said,-- “But one can easily see, my dear young lady, that you are a mere child.

Sell your poor little jewels! He could take his oath upon that; for he preferred by far leaving that little matter to the beautiful young lady’s liberality. She had vowed to herself, the unfortunate girl, that she would economize her little hoard like the blood in her veins. It is true, that, for such a consideration, the terrible woman was all attention for her “poor little pussy-cat;” for thus she had definitely dubbed Henrietta, becoming daily more familiar, and adding this odious and irritating presumption to all the other tortures of the poor girl. She declared she could not comprehend how her “little pussy-cat,” young and pretty as she was, could consent to live as she did. “And more than that, poor little pussy,” she added, “you will see that one of these days he will summon courage enough to come and offer you an apology.” But Henrietta would not believe that. She did not put any restraint upon herself any longer, but talked “from the bottom of her heart” with her “dear little pussy-cat,” as if she had been her own daughter.

If, on the other hand, you carry it to ‘Uncle’ you can take it out again as soon as you have a little money.” But she lost her pains, she saw and at last consented to bring up a kind of dealer in toilet-articles, an excellent honest man, she declared, in whom one could put the most absolute confidence. She only shrugged her shoulders as she said,-- “As you like, my ‘little pussy-cat.’ Only believe me, it is no use economizing in one’s eating.” From the day of this coup d’etat, Henrietta went down every morning herself to buy her penny-roll and the little supply of milk which constituted her breakfast. It was now the end of June, and she saw with trembling her little treasure grow smaller and smaller; when one day she asked Mrs. And, turning to Henrietta, she asked,-- “Will you take a little glass of something, my darling?” The poor girl blushed crimson, and, painfully embarrassed, declined, and asked pardon for declining; when the lady broke in rather rudely, and said,-- “You are not thirsty? Come, Julius, turn your pockets inside out, and give the little one a twenty-franc-piece.” The poor girl was almost outside, when she turned, and said,-- “Thank you, madam; but you owe me nothing.” It was high time for Henrietta to leave. Carried away by an irresistible impulse, and no longer mistress of herself, Henrietta rushed down stairs, and broke like a whirlwind into the little box of the concierge, crying out,-- “How could you dare to send me to such people? Coming down a little before seven o’clock, in order to buy her roll and her milk for breakfast, she met at the entrance-door Mrs. What she was looking for was one of those dark little shops in which men lie in wait for their prey, whom the police always suspects, and carefully watches.

On this chair hung her cashmere; it fell into the fireplace, in which a little fire was still burning; and when she came back she found the shawl half-burnt to ashes. “A poor little pussy-cat, who was always merry, and this morning yet sang like a bird.

I thought she might be a little embarrassed, but never suspected such misery. Did I not already, in October, when I saw she would not be able to pay her rent, become responsible for her?” And thereupon the infamous hypocrite bent over the poor girl, kissed her on her forehead, and said with a tender tone of voice,-- “Did you not love me, dear little pussy-cat; did not you? “You would not hesitate,” he said, “if you knew how easy it often is, by a little experience, to arrange the most difficult matters.” Henrietta did not hesitate. His face was all aglow with excitement, like the face of a gambler who is watching the little white ball that is to make him a rich man or a beggar. And there your safety would lie, if you would follow my advice.” “I will, sir.” Papa Ravinet was evidently a little embarrassed.

“When I go back, I shall tell the two Chevassats a little story, which will frighten them, so that they will advise Brevan never to appear there, except at night, as he formerly did.” Thereupon he bowed to Henrietta, and went away with the words,-- “To-morrow we will consult with each other.” The shipwrecked man who is saved at the last moment, when, strength and spirits being alike exhausted, he feels himself sinking into the abyss, cannot, upon feeling once more firm ground under his feet, experience a sense of greater happiness than Henrietta did that night. “Oh, how lazy I am!” she exclaimed with the hearty laugh of a child; for she felt quite at home in this little bedroom, where she had only spent a night; she felt as much at home here as in her father’s palace when her mother was still alive; and it seemed to her as if she had lived here many a year. The good widow in the meantime assisted her in getting up; and they spent the day together in the little parlor, busily cutting out and making up a black silk dress for which Papa Ravinet had brought the material in the morning, and which was to take the place of Henrietta’s miserable, worn-out, alpaca dress. Maxime had as little idea of marrying you as Sir Thomas; he was quite prepared, when he dared to approach you with open arms, to be rejected with disgust. Some of these artisans had their families with them, having determined to become settlers in Cochin China; others, generally quite young yet, only made the voyage in order to have an opportunity for seeing foreign lands, and for earning, perhaps, a little money. He had an enormous contused wound on the back of his head, a little behind the left ear,--a wound such as a heavy hammer in the hands of a powerful man might have produced. At a little distance from the river, there appear a few massive buildings with roofs of red tiles, pleasing to the eye, and here and there an Annamite farm, which seems to hide behind groups of areca-palms. “This miserable woman,” he thought, “laughs at me; and, when she says she does not blame Henrietta, that means that she hates her, and will persecute her.” Maxime’s letter fortunately reassured him a little.

It was only when he got into it, that he discovered a little midshipman fast asleep in the bottom, wrapped up in a carpet which was used to cover the seats for the officers.

“I don’t know, lieutenant.” Daniel looked at the large, heavy boat, as if he had thought for a moment to return in it to “The Conquest” with no other help but the little midshipman; but, no, that was impracticable. “I heard you tell the little man in the boat there”-- “Well?” “I thought you wanted to get back on board your ship?” “Why, yes.” “Well, then, if you like it, I am a boatman; I can take you over.” There was no reason why Daniel should mistrust the man. Officer, a little way down; just follow me. Officer, a little farther down. A furious current carried him down like a straw; the little boat, which might have supported him, had disappeared; and he knew nothing about this formidable Dong-Nai, except that it went on widening to its mouth.

His legs were caught as in a vice; the muddy water was boiling nearly up to his lips; and, at every effort to extricate himself, he sank deeper in, a little at a time, but always a little more. The ball had entered on the right side, a little behind; and between the fourth and the fifth rib, one could see a round wound, the edges drawn in. Champcey, and a little behind him.” “Why do you accuse him?” “Why? He seemed to be stupefied.” “You did not try to make him talk?” “Why, yes, a little. And he could hardly refrain from rubbing his hands with delight as he noticed the marvellous skill of the magistrate in seizing upon all those little signs, which, when summed up at the end of an investigation, form an overwhelming mass of evidence against the criminal. If I know him, it is only because I have seen him, from afar off, walk the quarter-deck with the other officers, a cigar in his mouth, after a good meal, while we in the forecastle had our salt fish, and broke our teeth with worm-eaten hard-tack.” “So you had no reason to hate him?” “None; as little as anybody else.” Seated upon a wretched little footstool, his paper on his knees, an inkhorn in his hand, the clerk was rapidly taking down the questions and the answers. Now, you see, I want to do some little for him.” “You would be a great scamp if you did not.” The surgeon hardly left the wounded man himself.

But the old surgeon said to himself, not without good reason,-- “Certainly it is almost a case of conscience to leave this unfortunate man in such uncertainty: but this uncertainty is free from danger, at least; while any excitement would kill him as surely and as promptly as I could blow out a candle.” A fortnight passed; and Daniel recovered some little strength; at last he entered upon a kind of convalescence--if a poor man who could not turn over in bed unaided can be called a convalescent. “Witness.--A little below the town. But remember what I say, doctor: the future reserves some fearful mysteries yet to be revealed to us hereafter.” The two men had been so entirely preoccupied with their thoughts, that they were unconscious of the flight of time; and they were not a little astonished, therefore, when they now noticed that the day was gone, and night was approaching. Because, you see, I know him; and I know, that, before a man such as he is goes to crying like a little child, he must have suffered more than death itself.

Of Henrietta she said but little,--enough, however, to terrify Daniel, if he had not known the truth.

A paper which I enclose will give you the details of our meeting, and tell you that I was lucky enough to wound that gentleman of little honor, but of great skill with the pistol. A genuine convulsion of rage seized the assassin, when a little paper parcel appeared, folded up, and compressed to the smallest possible size. I have seen that head somewhere.’ “Thereupon, I go to work, and remain fixed to the front of the shop, a little at the side, though, you know, at a place where, without being seen myself, I could very well watch my individual, who laughed and talked, showing his white teeth, while a pretty girl was trying on a pair of gloves. But I had a little way of my own to make the thing sure. He thought it of great importance that Crochard’s evidence should be written down, word for word; and he saw, that, for some little while, the clerk had been unable to follow. If I wanted to get rid of you, this very evening you would have lost all trace of me, thanks to a little contrivance I have arranged. A little before we got into the town, Chevassat stopped the cab, paid the driver, sends him back, and, taking me by the arm, says, ‘You must be hungry: let us dine.’ “So we first absorb a glass of absinthe; then he carries me straight to the best restaurant, asks for a private room, and orders a dinner.

But if anything should happen to a certain person whom I think of, I should be rich; and you--why, you might be rich too, if you were willing to give him a little push with the elbow, so that the thing might happen to him a little sooner.’” Earnestly bent upon the part which he had to play for the sake of carrying out his system of defence, the prisoner assumed more and more hypocritical repentance, an effort which gave to his wicked face a peculiarly repulsive expression. When I woke the next day, a little before noon, my head was as heavy as lead; and I tried to recall what had happened at the restaurant, and if it was not perhaps merely the bad wine that had given me the nightmare. The only time when I tried it really in earnest was in the little boat, because there, I ran some risk; it was like a duel, since my life was as much at stake as the lieutenant’s. In one the poor girl told him how she had lived so far on the money obtained from the sale of the little jewelry she had taken with her, but added that she was shamefully cheated, and would soon be compelled to seek employment of some sort in order to support herself. “This is, you understand,” he concluded, “an additional precaution which we take to prevent Maxime de Brevan from escaping us.” It was five o’clock when Daniel left the court-house; and on the little square before it he found the old surgeon, waiting to carry him off to dinner, and a game of whist in the evening. Nevertheless, he ordered all that was necessary to slacken speed, and then to tack so as to come close upon the little boat. I believe I have treated the sailor who brought him on board a little roughly; but I am going to order him a glass of brandy, which will set him right again.” Thereupon the captain discreetly withdrew; while Papa Ravinet continued,-- “You will tell me, M. “Who am I?” exclaimed the man,--“who am I?” But he paused; and, after waiting a little while, he sunk his head, and said,-- “I am Anthony Ravinet, dealer in curiosities.” The clipper was in the meantime making way rapidly. Bertolle, also, was a little disappointed; but she was not the person to let it be seen.

Although the manoeuvres required by Papa Ravinet’s appearance on board “The Saint Louis” had taken but little time, the delay had been long enough to prevent the ship from going through all the formalities that same evening. Now and then they would move apart a little, throwing back the head in order the better to look at each other; then swiftly they would fold each other again closely in their arms, as if they were afraid they might be separated anew.

As it always happens with people who are under the influence of some passion, eager to learn what they do not know, and little disposed to tell what they do know, confusion prevailed soon. Thus the explanations, which, by a little management, might have been given in twenty minutes, took them more than two hours.

It struck midnight; but the poor people in the little parlor in the Hotel du Louvre hardly thought of sleep. Thus the little one grew up by God’s mercy, but at the Devil’s bidding, living by chance, now stuffed with sweet things, and now half-killed by blows, fed by the charity of neighbors, while her mother remained for weeks absent from her lodgings. The castings of the little railing in front were found to be broken in two places, and so long ago, that a thick layer of rust had filled up the cracks. They had a very modest little shop, partly restaurant, partly bar: their customers were generally the servants of the neighborhood.

This made but little impression upon the two Chevassats. He was like one of those men who allow their little finger to be caught in a machine. He even took the precaution of living on his little estate for four years, practising the life of a country-gentleman, received with open arms by the nobility of the neighborhood, forming friendships, gaining supporters, and becoming more and more identified with Maxime de Brevan. He visited them, of course only in secret; for they had in the meantime exchanged their shop, for the modest little box assigned to the concierge of No. They fought with small-swords; and, after little more than a minute, M. Yes!’ “She immediately disengaged herself, and with eager hands seized one parcel of bank-notes after another, pushing them into a little morocco bag which she held in her hand. As to that small loan, it does not pay me, I assure you, by half, for the sublime little comedy which I have had to play. Twenty thousand francs a year was far too little for their immoderate desires! His own lawyer had very little to say. /

I cannot remember, not enough to distinguish between them." "Fichtre!I cannot remember, not enough to distinguish between them." "Fichtre! The keeper, or officer in charge, was summoned, and came out bareheaded to the fiacre, bowing low before his distinguished visitors. /

“It is my painful duty to tell you, madame, that there is scarcely any hope, and that I expect a fatal termination within twenty-four hours, unless the patient should regain consciousness.” The housekeeper turned pale.But bleeding and cupping alike failed to bring the sick man to consciousness. As for this coarse examination in the presence of all these servants, and by the bedside of a man who, in spite of his apparent unconsciousness, was, perhaps, able to hear and to comprehend, she looked upon it as a breach of delicacy, even of propriety. Is his condition hopeless?” “Alarming--yes; hopeless--no.” “But, monsieur, this terrible unconsciousness----” “It usually follows such an attack as he has been the victim of. 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. Is she afraid that the count will regain consciousness?

“It is my painful duty to tell you, madame, that there is scarcely any hope, and that I expect a fatal termination within twenty-four hours, unless the patient should regain consciousness.” The housekeeper turned pale. It was only when the outer door closed with a bang that he seemed restored to consciousness. There was only one certain point, that Madame Leon and Mademoiselle Marguerite were equally interested in the question as to whether the count would regain consciousness or not. The sick man had regained consciousness; his eyes were open and his right arm was moving.

The consciousness of his own powerlessness caused him a paroxysm of frantic rage; his hands clinched, the veins in his throat swelled, his eyes almost started from their sockets, and in a harsh, shrill voice that had nothing human in it, he exclaimed: “Marguerite!--despoiled!--take care!--your mother!” And this was all--it was the supreme effort that broke the last link that bound the soul to earth. They departed radiant, but often before a month was over they came back, emaciated, hollow-eyed, and despairing, and humbly begged for a little work.” She paused, so crushed by the weight of these sad memories as to lose consciousness of the present. 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. And even the consciousness of her innocence did not reassure her, for Pascal’s case warned her that innocence is not a sufficient safeguard against slander. /

He wished to escape; but his feet seemed fixed to the ground.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. 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. You are capable of all the extravagance in the world, to the extent of your fixed price of four thousand francs a month! 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. 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. 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. He had no idea that four lynx eyes were fixed upon him all the while. His glance, which had, till then, been fixed upon the magistrate, wavered. 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. With fixed eyes and convulsed features, the sick woman lay extended upon her back.

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! He wished to escape; but his feet seemed fixed to the ground. 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. The count’s gaze was fixed upon the bed where lay Valerie’s body. 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.

/

All was in vain.In vain. That is why the ladies who nursed me looked for them everywhere in vain.” Instead of any other answer, he drew them from his pocket, and laid them on the bed with an air of injured innocence. How many persons, once brilliant lights in the great world, and then, of a sudden, sought for in vain by friend and foe, might be found there again, disguised in strange costumes, and earning a livelihood in most curious ways! All was in vain. He tortured his mind in vain; he could not find a plausible explanation, and said over and over again,-- “It is perfectly inexplicable.” He talked of regular plots, of a coalition of his enemies, of the black ingratitude of men, and their fickleness. He did not reply, therefore, but walked up and down the room, seeking in vain some plausible excuse, and suffering perfect agony. “Great God!” said Daniel, “send me some inspiration.” But no inspiration came; and in vain did he torture his mind; he was unable to think. “They received me very kindly, although with some little reserve under all their politeness; but I staid and staid in vain beyond the proper time; Miss Sarah did not appear. “I insisted; but in vain. Purely moral means, based upon her thorough knowledge of the character of her victims, and her own infernal power over them.” But Daniel tried in vain to obtain more light from his friend. “I will do what you desire; but believe me, all your efforts will be in vain.” She was interrupted by the arrival of Count Ville-Handry.

Nevertheless, on this evening Count Ville-Handry twice lowered the window to call out,-- “Don’t drive at a walk!” The fact is, that, in spite of his efforts to assume the air of a grave statesman, he was as impatient, and as vain of his love, as a young collegian hurrying to his first rendezvous with his beloved. “In vain did Mrs. They say I am in the most elegant and most polished society in Europe; and yet I have looked in vain for the man whose eye could for a moment even break the peace of my heart. And then she went on, telling you that she had never yet loved anybody, having vainly looked in the world for the man of whom she dreamed. Daniel went from one to the other, inquiring who that clever young man was, but in vain. That can hardly be!” In vain did the count try to look indifferent; in vain did the young countess display all her rare gifts. I have in vain appealed to your heart; you see I am forced to appeal to your stomach.” Whatever efforts Henrietta might make to remain impassive, the tears would come into her eyes,--tears of shame and humiliation. But she waited for him in vain that day, and four days after.

But in vain they multiplied the insults; they did not extort a single complaint. In greater distress than the shipwrecked man who in vain examines the blank horizon, she looked around for some one to help her.

She went ten times back to the office, and always in vain.

Yes, she told herself in vain that there was no other choice left to her but that between death and Sir Thorn, or M. No, for he would have been there; and she looked in vain for him among all these strange people. At one glance the old dealer had taken in every thing; and, after a smile of gratitude addressed to his sister, he said to Henrietta,-- “This is your room, madam.” The poor girl, all overcome, sought in vain for words to express her gratitude. “She lies, the wretch!” said Daniel; “yes, she lies!” But he tried in vain to resist; every letter from Sarah brought him the germ of some new suspicion, which fermented in his mind as the miasma fermented in the veins of his men. Now, in this case, I look in vain for any reason, which could have induced the man to commit a murder. All in vain. I tried in vain to think of Chevassat’s big promises; at the last moment, my heart always failed me. He tried in vain to get rid of the fixed idea which filled his mind,--a mechanical instinct, so to say, which was stronger than his will, and drove him incessantly to the wharf where “The Saint Louis” was lying. She tried in vain to work on her embroidery; her fingers refused their service. “The bar broke,--he tried in vain to hold on to the window-frame,--and the next moment he fell from the fifth story to the ground, and was killed instantly.

Still it was in vain for Daniel, Henrietta, and Mrs. de Brevan, devoured by anxiety, waited in vain for her return. But he hunted in vain all over town, inquiring at the hotels, and bothering everybody with his questions. In vain had Papa Ravinet and Mrs. /

He had engaged in a duel in which he wanted to be victorious; hence he must at least defend himself against the attack.And now the old man read the following words:-- “You are victorious, M. Still a careful observer might have noticed underneath his victorious airs a trace of almost painful restraint. Her pride rose at the thought of this unceasing struggle; and she swore that she would be victorious. He had engaged in a duel in which he wanted to be victorious; hence he must at least defend himself against the attack. /

Be off, I tell you, only let me hear of you; wire to Lucerne what you're doing.I hardly expected to find much room in the train; not that it mattered, for my place was booked through in the Lucerne sleeping-car of the Engadine express. "Can we have places for Lucerne?" It was asked in an eager, anxious, but very sweet voice, and in excellent French. Meanwhile I am loafing about Europe." "Do you go beyond Lucerne?" "Across the St. "To Lucerne or further?" CHAPTER II. I think about 6 P.M." "Will that not lose time?" "Undoubtedly you will be two hours later at Basle, and you may lose the connection with Lucerne and the St. Evidently the newcomer was bound for Lucerne via Basle. from Victoria by Dover and Calais, where it connected with the Paris express and the sleeping-car Engadine express, both of which run through Amiens, where, however, the latter branches off to Basle and beyond, with special cars for Lucerne, Zurich and Coire. Only one of them had any luck, Jules l'Echelle, of the Lucerne sleeping-car, who had one or two people on board.

Be off, I tell you, only let me hear of you; wire to Lucerne what you're doing. Those laugh longest who laugh last." By this time our talk was done, for we were approaching Lucerne, and I began to think over my next plans. My first chance, if I caught the very next train back from Lucerne, would only get me to Brieg by the eleven o'clock the following morning. Leave Lucerne by the St. I had booked at Amiens as far as Lucerne only, leaving further plans as events might fall out. We were "on time," and the answer to my first question was that the Lucerne express was still at the platform, but on the point of departure.

Hurry now; you'll pick her up in the waiting-room or restaurant, and can't miss her." He gave me the description, and I left him, promising him a wire at the telegraph office, Lucerne. After getting my ticket I found time to telegraph to Falfani at Lucerne, giving him my latest news, and then proceeded to the train. /

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.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. /

P. Is not God immaterial?P. Do you sleep now? P. How do you think your present illness will result? P. Does the idea of death afflict you?

P. Are you pleased with the prospect? P. I wish you would explain yourself, Mr. P. What then shall I ask? P. The beginning! P. What then is God? P. Is not God spirit? P. Is not God immaterial?

P. Is God, then, material? P. What then is he? P. The metaphysicians maintain that all action is reducible to motion and thinking, and that the latter is the origin of the former. P. Can you give me no more precise idea of what you term the unparticled matter?

P. There seems to me an insurmountable objection to the idea of absolute coalescence;--and that is the very slight resistance experienced by the heavenly bodies in their revolutions through space--a resistance now ascertained, it is true, to exist in some degree, but which is, nevertheless, so slight as to have been quite overlooked by the sagacity even of Newton.

P. But in all this--in this identification of mere matter with God--is there nothing of irreverence? P. You assert, then, that the unparticled matter, in motion, is thought? P. You say, “in general.” V. Yes. P. But you now speak of “mind” and “matter” as do the metaphysicians.

P. You were saying that “for new individualities matter is necessary.” V. Yes; for mind, existing unincorporate, is merely God. P. You say that divested of the body man will be God? P. You did say that “divested of corporate investiture man were God.” V. And this is true. P. I do not comprehend. P. Explain. P. But of the worm’s metamorphosis we are palpably cognizant.

P. You have often said that the mesmeric state very nearly resembles death. P. Unorganized?

P. You speak of rudimental “beings.” Are there other rudimental thinking beings than man? P. You say that “but for the necessity of the rudimental life” there would have been no stars. P. But again--why need this impediment have been produced?

P. But to what good end is pain thus rendered possible?

P. Still, there is one of your expressions which I find it impossible to comprehend--“the truly substantive vastness of infinity.” V. This, probably, is because you have no sufficiently generic conception of the term “substance” itself. /

They were dirty papers--very dirty--and Gluck, the printer, would take his Bible oath to their having been printed in Rotterdam.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. The origin of this hubbub soon became sufficiently evident. 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. 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. 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. 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 hands were enormously large. 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. 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. His Excellency stooped to take it up.

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. 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.

If, however, it so please your Excellencies, I, the writer of this communication, am the identical Hans Pfaall himself. This was a state of things not to be endured. 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. 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. 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. By this time it began to grow dark, and I directed my steps toward home.

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. 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.

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. 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. I found this machine, however, to require considerable alteration before it could be adapted to the purposes to which I intended making it applicable.

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. 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. “How long I remained in this state it is impossible to say. 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. This buckle had three teeth, which, being somewhat rusty, turned with great difficulty on their axis. I had to rest several times before I could accomplish this manoeuvre, but it was at length accomplished. 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. But this weakness was, luckily for me, of no very long duration.

Besides this ship, I saw nothing but the ocean and the sky, and the sun, which had long arisen. 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. 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. 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.

But even at this velocity, it would take me no more than 322 days to reach the surface of the moon. 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. 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.

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. “Having adopted this view of the subject, I had little further hesitation. This would remove the chief obstacle in a journey to the moon. This brings me back to the rate at which it might be possible to travel. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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. This, it must be remembered, was in the broad light of day. I had by this time, however, attained too great an elevation to be any longer uneasy on this head. At this juncture, very imprudently, and without consideration, I threw out from the car three five-pound pieces of ballast. 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. In this I so far succeeded as to determine upon the experiment of losing blood. 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.

This was an addition to the number of passengers on my part altogether unexpected; but I was pleased at the occurrence. 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. “The view of the earth, at this period of my ascension, was beautiful indeed. “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 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. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

And out of this melancholy water arose a forest of tall eastern trees, like a wilderness of dreams. “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.

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. 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. 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. 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.

But this hesitation was only momentary. 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. 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. This circumstance favored me greatly in the project I now determined to adopt. Upon this latter shelf, and exactly beneath one of the rims of the keg, a small earthern pitcher was deposited.

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. Nor in this matter was I disappointed. I now lamented that my great elevation would, in this case, prevent my taking as accurate a survey as I could wish. This elevation may appear immense, but the estimate upon which it is calculated gave a result in all probability far inferior to the truth. 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. 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. This circumstance did not fail to give me the most heartful satisfaction, and I hailed it as a happy omen of ultimate success. 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. 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. It was impossible that human nature could endure this state of intense suffering much longer. 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! This consideration served to calm the perturbation of my mind, and I finally succeeded in regarding the phenomenon in its proper point of view. “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. 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. This prolongation of the cusps beyond the semicircle, I thought, must have arisen from the refraction of the sun’s rays by the moon’s atmosphere. 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. 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.

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. This is, in fact, the case. All this, and more--much more--would I most willingly detail. This, then, is the object of the present paper. “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. 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.

To the truth of this observation the burgomaster assented, and the matter was therefore at an end. 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. 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. 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. 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. makes his lens have a power of 42,000 times. By this divide 240,000 (the moon’s real distance), and we have five miles and five sevenths, as the apparent distance. 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. 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. 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. 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.

The writer professes to have translated his work from the English of one Mr. 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.

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.

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. 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. 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! 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. “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? You never saw a more brilliant metallic lustre than the scales emit--but of this you cannot judge till tomorrow. 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.

“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 his gambols were over, I looked at the paper, and, to speak the truth, found myself not a little puzzled at what my friend had depicted. “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. 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. 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. 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.

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? 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. There was something in the tone of this note which gave me great uneasiness. What new crotchet possessed his excitable brain? “What is the meaning of all this, Jup?” I inquired. 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 ----. “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. 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.

You shall go to bed, and I will remain with you a few days, until you get over this. Allow me this once to prescribe for you. If you really wish me well, you will relieve this excitement.” “And how is this to be done?” “Very easily.

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. When I observed this last, plain evidence of my friend’s aberration of mind, I could scarcely refrain from tears. I thought it best, however, to humor his fancy, at least for the present, or until I could adopt some more energetic measures with a chance of success. 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.

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. When we reached this tree, Legrand turned to Jupiter, and asked him if he thought he could climb it. 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. 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. 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.

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. “Keep up the largest branch--the one on this side,” said Legrand. 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. Look down the trunk and count the limbs below you on this side. 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. 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. 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. 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. Legrand, however, although evidently much disconcerted, wiped his brow thoughtfully and recommenced. 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. Jupiter, at a signal from his master, began to gather up his tools. 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. The astonished negro opened his eyes and mouth to the fullest extent, let fall the spades, and fell upon his knees. “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.

was the skull nailed to the limb with the face outwards, or with the face to the limb?” “De face was out, massa, so dat de crows could get at de eyes good, widout any trouble.” “Well, then, was it this eye or that through which you dropped the beetle?”--here Legrand touched each of Jupiter’s eyes. “Twas dis eye, massa--de lef eye--jis as you tell me,” and here it was his right eye that the negro indicated. 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. 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. 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. This box was three feet and a half long, three feet broad, and two and a half feet deep. 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. The articles taken out were deposited among the brambles, and the dog left to guard them, with strict orders from Jupiter neither, upon any pretence, to stir from the spot, nor to open his mouth until our return. 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. 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. 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. I knew that my design was very different in detail from this--although there was a certain similarity in general outline. 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. But, when I recovered from this stupor, there dawned upon me gradually a conviction which startled me even far more than the coincidence. I became perfectly certain of this; for I recollected turning up first one side and then the other, in search of the cleanest spot. 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.

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. This reflection suggested some meaning--some relevancy--in the death’s-head. 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.

“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. I say signature; because its position upon the vellum suggested this idea. 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. Had Kidd concealed his plunder for a time, and afterwards reclaimed it, the rumors would scarcely have reached us in their present unvarying form. Had the pirate recovered his money, there the affair would have dropped. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. “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 have thus this arrangement: the tree;4(‡?34 the, or, substituting the natural letters, where known, it reads thus: the tree thr‡?3h the. But this discovery gives us three new letters, o, u and g, represented by ‡? “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 †. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

This fact confirmed my preconceived idea.

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. “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.

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. 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. For this reason I swung the beetle, and for this reason I let it fall it from the tree. 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. This honor is, however, more properly attributable to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. 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. 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. Let us ascend this battlement, and throw our eyes upon the town and neighboring country.

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. 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. This is well. 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. “It is well fortified; and in this respect is as much indebted to nature as to art.” Very true. “And the numerous temples, sumptuous and magnificent, may bear comparison with the most lauded of antiquity.” All this I must acknowledge. Hereafter a very notorious Roman Emperor will institute this worship in Rome, and thence derive a cognomen, Heliogabalus. You need not look up at the heavens; his Sunship is not there--at least not the Sunship adored by the Syrians. Surely this is a loud noise even for Antioch! 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.

This way--be careful! The sea of people is coming this way, and we shall find a difficulty in stemming the tide.

Yes;--I hear the shouts of the herald proclaiming his approach in the pompous phraseology of the East. We shall have a glimpse of his person as he passes by the temple of Ashimah. In the meantime let us survey this image. His name is a derivation of the Greek Simia--what great fools are antiquarians!

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. 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! It is true, that he is entitled, at times, Antiochus Epimanes--Antiochus the madman--but that is because all people have not the capacity to appreciate his merits. 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. 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.

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. Here!--let us conceal ourselves in the arch of this aqueduct, and I will inform you presently of the origin of the commotion. ‘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. Therefore never regard so piteously thy tail; it will undoubtedly be draggled in the mud, and for this there is no help. 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. “Surely this is the most populous city of the East! 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.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. He examines the countenance of his partner, comparing it carefully with that of each of his opponents. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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. 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 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. But of the character of his remarks at the periods in question an example will best convey the idea. “Dupin,” said I, gravely, “this is beyond my comprehension. 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. This was the last subject we discussed. 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. 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. “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. 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. 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. There was only one bedstead; and from this the bed had been removed, and thrown into the middle of the floor. “To this horrible mystery there is not as yet, we believe, the slightest clew.” The next day’s paper had these additional particulars. “The Tragedy in the Rue Morgue. Many individuals have been examined in relation to this most extraordinary and frightful affair.

The state of the room and of the bodies was described by this witness as we described them yesterday. The shrill voice, this witness thinks, was that of an Italian. “--Odenheimer, restaurateur. This witness volunteered his testimony.

Had opened an account with his banking house in the spring of the year--(eight years previously). This sum was paid in gold, and a clerk went home with the money.

appeared and took from his hands one of the bags, while the old lady relieved him of the other. This room was crowded with old beds, boxes, and so forth. The shrill voice was that of an Englishman--is sure of this. The police are entirely at fault--an unusual occurrence in affairs of this nature. Dupin seemed singularly interested in the progress of this affair--at least so I judged from his manner, for he made no comments. “We must not judge of the means,” said Dupin, “by this shell of an examination. 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. But, without educated thought, he erred continually by the very intensity of his investigations.

He impaired his vision by holding the object too close.

The modes and sources of this kind of error are well typified in the contemplation of the heavenly bodies. An inquiry will afford us amusement,” “and, besides, Le Bon once rendered me a service for which I am not ungrateful. 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. I have said that the whims of my friend were manifold, and that Je les ménageais:--for this phrase there is no English equivalent. It was his humor, now, to decline all conversation on the subject of the murder, until about noon the next day.

There was something in his manner of emphasizing the word “peculiar,” which caused me to shudder, without knowing why. 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. 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 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. I have already spoken of his abstract manner at such times. 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. This relieves us of all doubt upon the question whether the old lady could have first destroyed the daughter and afterward have committed suicide. 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. Each is sure that it was not the voice of one of his own countrymen. 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! “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. “Let us now transport ourselves, in fancy, to this chamber.

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. Upon examining the other window, a similar nail was seen similarly fitted in it; and a vigorous attempt to raise this sash, failed also. 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. There was no escape from this conclusion.

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 person passing out through this window might have reclosed it, and the spring would have caught--but the nail could not have been replaced.

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. 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. 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. From this rod it would have been impossible for any one to reach the window itself, to say nothing of entering it. 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.

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. “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 friend went on with his discourse. 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. It would have been corroborative of this idea of motive. 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. 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.

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. “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. 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. 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. “We are possibly not giving this matter a fair trial,” he said. “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. This tuft of tawny hair, too, is identical in character with that of the beast of Cuvier.

But I cannot possibly comprehend the particulars of this frightful mystery.

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. 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. Moreover, this knot is one which few besides sailors can tie, and is peculiar to the Maltese. 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. I am not sure to what limit his knowledge may extend. I will answer the advertisement, get the Ourang-Outang, and keep it close until this matter has blown over.’” At this moment we heard a step upon the stairs. His face, greatly sunburnt, was more than half hidden by whisker and mustachio. He had with him a huge oaken cudgel, but appeared to be otherwise unarmed.

“I don’t mean that you should be at all this trouble for nothing, sir,” said the man.

My reward shall be this. Just as quietly, too, he walked toward the door, locked it and put the key in his pocket. He then drew a pistol from his bosom and placed it, without the least flurry, upon the table. 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. 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. 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. 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. His ultimate design was to sell it. 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. 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.

In this manner the chase continued for a long time. This latter reflection urged the man still to follow the fugitive.

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.

At this glimpse he nearly fell from his hold through excess of horror. 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.

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. 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 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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. The anticipations of the shopkeeper were realized, and his rooms soon became notorious through the charms of the sprightly grisette. She had been in his employ about a year, when her admirers were thrown info confusion by her sudden disappearance from the shop.

It was about five months after this return home, that her friends were alarmed by her sudden disappearance for the second time. (*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. For several weeks, in the discussion of this one absorbing theme, even the momentous political topics of the day were forgotten. It was not until the expiration of a week that it was deemed necessary to offer a reward; and even then this reward was limited to a thousand francs. 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. No one doubted now that the mystery of this murder would be immediately brought to light. He had been piqued by the failure of all his endeavors to ferret out the assassins. His reputation--so he said with a peculiarly Parisian air--was at stake.

Even his honor was concerned.

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. 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.

Eustache was the accepted suitor of Marie, and lodged, as well as took his meals, at the pension. He was to have gone for his betrothed at dusk, and to have escorted her home. 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 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. His friend recognized it more promptly. 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. This alone would have sufficed to produce death. 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. Over this muslin slip and the slip of lace, the strings of a bonnet were attached; the bonnet being appended.

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. 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.

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. Now, we ask, what was there in this cave to cause a departure from the ordinary course of nature?...

This latter point, however, was fully disproved. 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. 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. Beauvais appears to have the whole matter locked up in his head. 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. 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. 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. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the spot of this appalling outrage has been discovered.” Consequent upon this discovery, new evidence appeared. 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. 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. His breath gave evidence of the poison. 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. You will observe that, for this reason, the mystery has been considered easy, when, for this reason, it should have been considered difficult, of solution. 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. 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. We both know this gentleman well.

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. “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. The print which merely falls in with ordinary opinion (however well founded this opinion may be) earns for itself no credit with the mob. “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. 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. “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. (*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. 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. 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. 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. This effect is brought about by decomposition, or otherwise. 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. Under certain conditions this result would be brought about within an hour; under others, it might not take place at all. 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. 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.

“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? 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. It is our reasoner’s object merely to show that this body is not Marie’s. Yet his observation proves only the latter point. This is all which is proved, if any thing is.

‘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. ‘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. “Reperuse now that portion of this argument which has reference to the identification of the corpse by Beauvais. He must have spoken of some peculiarity in this hair. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. You have already fathomed the true character of this good gentleman.

‘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. Each man recognizes his neighbor, yet there are few instances in which any one is prepared to give a reason for his recognition.

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. ‘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.

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. 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.

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. 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. I have no suspicion of this person; but let us proceed methodically.

We will ascertain beyond a doubt the validity of the affidavits in regard to his whereabouts on the Sunday. Affidavits of this character are readily made matter of mystification. 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 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. “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.

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 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. (*18) “An outrage of the most atrocious character was perpetrated near this city the day before yesterday. 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.

(*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. Our own opinion is decidedly in favor of this supposition. 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. 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?

Now, at first glance, this fact strongly militates against my suggestion;--but let us reflect. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. This judgment awaited direction, and the known outrage seemed so opportunely to afford it!

Marie, too, was found in the river; and upon this very river was this known outrage committed. Yet in what, if not in this marvellous train of coincidence, does the accidentally suggested opinion of the populace call upon us to believe? This thicket, although dense, was in the close vicinity of a public road. “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. 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 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? 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. 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. Collate this with the date of the fifth extract made by myself from the newspapers.

“This thicket was a singular--an exceedingly singular one. 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. 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. And this in the supposition that the edge is unhemmed. 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. You will not have apprehended me rightly, however, if you suppose it my design to deny this thicket as the scene of the outrage. But, in fact, this is a point of minor importance. 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.

If this was accident, it was not the accident of a gang. 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. But in his toilsome journey to the water his fears redouble within him. The sounds of life encompass his path. 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. His sole thought is immediate escape.

He turns his back forever upon those dreadful shrubberies and flees as from the wrath to come. Could we suppose an oversight in one, or two, or three, this oversight would have been remedied by a fourth. “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. 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? ‘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. But it is not to this fact that I now especially advert. 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. 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. He would have used this, but for its volution about the corpse, the hitch which embarrassed it, and the reflection that it had not been ‘torn off’ from the garment.

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. This I grant. 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. ‘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. 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? 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. The horrors of this dark deed are known only to one, or two, living human beings, and to God. This associate is of swarthy complexion. This complexion, the ‘hitch’ in the bandage, and the ‘sailor’s knot,’ with which the bonnet-ribbon is tied, point to a seaman. His companionship with the deceased, a gay, but not an abject young girl, designates him as above the grade of the common sailor. 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. 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. But why is this man absent?

And where is his corpse? 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. This policy would have suggested. Let us sift to the bottom this affair of the first elopement. Let us know the full history of ‘the officer,’ with his present circumstances, and his whereabouts at the precise period of the murder.

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. 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. There was no advertisement of the picking up of this boat. “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. This would naturally have been the case. 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.

His natural thought would have been to cast from him, as far as possible, all that had held connection with his crime. 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. 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. 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. What I have said above upon this topic must suffice. It is not that the Deity cannot modify his laws, but that we insult him in imagining a possible necessity for modification. 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. I say all this will be seen. 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.

A suggestion to this effect is usually rejected by the intellect at once. 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 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. 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. “It was at this juncture that Mr. He made the first public experiment at Willis’s Rooms, but afterward removed his model to the Adelaide Gallery. “Like Sir George Cayley’s balloon, his own was an ellipsoid. From this framework was suspended a wicker basket or car. 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. By the operation of this spring, the screw is made to revolve with great rapidity, communicating a progressive motion to the whole. “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. 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.

Henson, accompanied by his friend Mr. 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.

Up to his discovery, the process of inflation was not only exceedingly expensive, but uncertain. 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. To check this ascent, the only recourse is, (or rather was, until Mr. This was the great obstacle to voyages of length. If, on the other hand, any circumstances should cause undue levity, and consequent ascent, this levity is immediately counteracted by the additional weight of rope upraised from the earth. “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. This was immediately done, and we commenced a gradual descent. 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.

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 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 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. I can conceive nothing more sublimating than the strange peril and novelty of an adventure such as this.

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. Did this to search for a more direct current, but found none so favorable as the one we are now in. We have an abundance of gas to take us across this small pond, even should the voyage last three weeks. Osborne complained of constriction of the chest--but this soon wore off. 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. 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. from which this narrative is compiled was despatched from Charleston, the party were still at Fort Moultrie.

This is unquestionably the most stupendous, the most interesting, and the most important undertaking, ever accomplished or even attempted by man. Ainsworth has not attempted to account for this phenomenon, which, however, is quite susceptible of explanation. In this manner the horizon of the æronaut would appear to be on a level with the car. 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. 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. But this very just apprehension seemed by no means likely to be soon verified. At this instant, I know not what sudden self-possession came over my spirit. 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 could not see his face, but had an opportunity of observing his general appearance. His knees tottered beneath a load of years, and his entire frame quivered under the burthen.

His manner was a wild mixture of the peevishness of second childhood, and the solemn dignity of a God. * * * * * 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. I shall from time to time continue this Journal. Her rigging, build, and general equipment, all negative a supposition of this kind. It will appear perhaps an observation somewhat over-curious, but this wood would have every characteristic of Spanish oak, if Spanish oak were distended by any unnatural means. “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. * * * * * 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. 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.

His head was bowed down upon his hands, and he pored, with a fiery unquiet eye, over a paper which I took to be a commission, and which, at all events, bore the signature of a monarch. 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. Perhaps this current leads us to the southern pole itself. I wished all this done that I might resign myself, if not to sleep, at least alternately to the contemplation of these pictures, and the perusal of a small volume which had been found upon the pillow, and which purported to criticise and describe them. Why I did this was not at first apparent even to my own perception.

The cause of my deep agitation being thus shut from view, I sought eagerly the volume which discussed the paintings and their histories. 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 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 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!” /

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.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. What could it be? 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 appeared to be--yes! it was undoubtedly a species of balloon; but surely no such balloon had ever been seen in Rotterdam before.

For who, let me ask, ever heard of a balloon manufactured entirely of dirty newspapers? 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.

As to the shape of the phenomenon, it was even still more reprehensible. 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. But still worse. 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 hands were enormously large.

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. His Excellency stooped to take it up. 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. If, however, it so please your Excellencies, I, the writer of this communication, am the identical Hans Pfaall himself. 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.

I thought it best, however, to dissemble my wrath, and to treat them with promises and fair words, until, by some good turn of fate, an opportunity of vengeance should be afforded me. “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. By this time it began to grow dark, and I directed my steps toward home.

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. Nature herself seemed to afford me corroboration of these ideas. 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.

“It was late when I reached home, and I went immediately to bed. 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 gas to be formed from these latter materials is a gas never yet generated by any other person than myself--or at least never applied to any similar purpose. 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.

“Besides the articles above enumerated, I conveyed to the depot, and there secreted, one of M. Grimm’s improvements upon the apparatus for condensation of the atmospheric air.

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.

“It was the first of April. 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. It was now nearly daybreak, and I thought it high time to take my departure.

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. It is impossible--utterly impossible--to form any adequate idea of the horror of my situation. 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. I was neither astonished nor horror-stricken. 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. I had to rest several times before I could accomplish this manoeuvre, but it was at length accomplished. To one end of the cravat I then made fast the buckle, and the other end I tied, for greater security, tightly around my wrist.

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.

But this weakness was, luckily for me, of no very long duration. 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. My implements were all safe, and, fortunately, I had lost neither ballast nor provisions. 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. But even at this velocity, it would take me no more than 322 days to reach the surface of the moon. 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? The lenticular-shaped phenomenon, also called the zodiacal light, was a matter worthy of attention. 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. “There was still, however, another difficulty, which occasioned me some little disquietude. 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.

“Thus, may it please your Excellencies, I have detailed some, though by no means all, the considerations which led me to form the project of a lunar voyage.

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. ‘As five miles, then, to eight thousand,’ would express the proportion of the earth’s area seen by me. 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. These symptoms were more than I had expected, and occasioned me some alarm. At this juncture, very imprudently, and without consideration, I threw out from the car three five-pound pieces of ballast.

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. This was an addition to the number of passengers on my part altogether unexpected; but I was pleased at the occurrence. 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. Overhead, the sky was of a jetty black, and the stars were brilliantly visible.

“The pigeons about this time seeming to undergo much suffering, I determined upon giving them their liberty. I first untied one of them, a beautiful gray-mottled pigeon, and placed him upon the rim of the wicker-work. 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. I took him up at last, and threw him to about half a dozen yards from the balloon. 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. The other one did not prove so unfortunate. 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. That is to say, it (the bag) was drawn over the whole bottom of the car, up its sides, and so on, along the outside of the ropes, to the upper rim or hoop where the net-work is attached. 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.

I observed now that even the lightest vapors never rose to more than ten miles above the level of the sea. “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. “By ten o’clock I found that I had very little to occupy my immediate attention. 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 out of this melancholy water arose a forest of tall eastern trees, like a wilderness of dreams. 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.

My good wishes followed it to the earth, but of course, I had no hope that either cat or kittens would ever live to tell the tale of their misfortune. “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. But this hesitation was only momentary. 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. Upon this latter shelf, and exactly beneath one of the rims of the keg, a small earthern pitcher was deposited. 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. “April 3d. 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. When darkness came over the earth, I betook myself to bed, although it was for many hours afterward broad daylight all around my immediate situation. The water-clock was punctual in its duty, and I slept until next morning soundly, with the exception of the periodical interruption. “April 4th.

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. “April 5th. 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. “April 6th. 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. “April 7th. Arose early, and, to my great joy, at length beheld what there could be no hesitation in supposing the northern Pole itself. It was there, beyond a doubt, and immediately beneath my feet; but, alas! 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. “April 8th. 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. This circumstance did not fail to give me the most heartful satisfaction, and I hailed it as a happy omen of ultimate success. 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”. “April 9th. 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. “April 10th.

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. “April 11th. 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. “April 12th. 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. “April 13th. Was again very much alarmed by a repetition of the loud, crackling noise which terrified me on the tenth. Thought long upon the subject, but was unable to form any satisfactory conclusion. 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. “April 14th.

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. The moon itself was directly overhead, and consequently hidden from my view. Great and long-continued labor necessary for the condensation of the atmosphere. “April 15th. 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. “April 16th. 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.

Sleep was a matter nearly out of the question. I became quite ill, and my frame trembled with exhaustion. 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. “April 17th. This morning proved an epoch in my voyage.

It will be remembered that, on the thirteenth, the earth subtended an angular breadth of twenty-five degrees. 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! I was thunderstruck! No words can give any adequate idea of the extreme, the absolute horror and astonishment, with which I was seized possessed, and altogether overwhelmed. My knees tottered beneath me--my teeth chattered--my hair started up on end. “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 paused; I considered; and I began to doubt. The matter was impossible. 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. “April 18th. 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. Schroeter, of Lilienthal. 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. This prolongation of the cusps beyond the semicircle, I thought, must have arisen from the refraction of the sun’s rays by the moon’s atmosphere.

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. “April 19th. 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. As might have been expected, spasms and violent headache were the immediate consequences of an experiment so precipitate and full of danger. 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. But it was all to no purpose. I still fell with horrible rapidity, and was now not more than half a mile from the surface. 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.

No traces of land or water could be discovered, and the whole was clouded with variable spots, and belted with tropical and equatorial zones. “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--very much which it would give me the greatest pleasure to communicate. 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.

But, to be brief, I must have my reward. 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. This, then, is the object of the present paper. 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. To the truth of this observation the burgomaster assented, and the matter was therefore at an end. Not so, however, rumors and speculations. 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. But hoax, with these sort of people, is, I believe, a general term for all matters above their comprehension.

For my part, I cannot conceive upon what data they have founded such an accusation. Let us see what they say: Imprimus. 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. Thirdly. 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.

He was mistaken--undoubtedly--mistaken. 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. Don’t believe it--don’t believe a word of it. 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. makes his lens have a power of 42,000 times. By this divide 240,000 (the moon’s real distance), and we have five miles and five sevenths, as the apparent distance. 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. and G.’s establishment had ceased operations for many years previous to the publication of the hoax. 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. Deceived, perhaps, by the vague titles, Mare Nubium, Mare Tranquillitatis, Mare Faecunditatis, etc., given to the dark spots by former astronomers, Mr.

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. Thus the only “artificial” light which could avail Mr.

Locke, would be some artificial light which he should be able to throw-not upon the “focal object of vision,” but upon the real object to be viewed-to wit: upon the moon. 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. The weight is 3 tons. The focal length is 50 feet. 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. Mis en notre langve par J.

Paris, chez Francois Piot, pres la Fontaine de Saint Benoist. Goignard, au premier pilier de la grand’salle du Palais, proche les Consultations, MDCXLVII.” Pp. The writer professes to have translated his work from the English of one Mr.

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. The ganzas, with whom he had become so familiar, were not really denizens of St. 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. “I must not forget here, that the stars appeared only on that side of the globe turned toward the moon, and that the closer they were to it the larger they seemed. I have also me and the earth. 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 must not forget here, that the stars appeared only on that side of the globe turned toward the moon, and that the closer they were to it the larger they seemed. 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. There have been other “voyages to the moon,” but none of higher merit than the one just mentioned. 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.

I forget the title of the work; but the means of the voyage are more deplorably ill conceived than are even the ganzas of our friend the Signor Gonzales. 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. (*2) The zodiacal light is probably what the ancients called Trabes. 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!

He hath been bitten by the Tarantula. --All in the Wrong. MANY years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. He was of an ancient Huguenot family, and had once been wealthy; but a series of misfortunes had reduced him to want. 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. It consists of little else than the sea sand, and is about three miles long. 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. The vegetation, as might be supposed, is scant, or at least dwarfish.

No trees of any magnitude are to be seen. 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. He had with him many books, but rarely employed them. 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.

It was a novelty, and by no means an ungrateful one. I threw off an overcoat, took an arm-chair by the crackling logs, and awaited patiently the arrival of my hosts. Soon after dark they arrived, and gave me a most cordial welcome. 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. Stay here to-night, and I will send Jup down for it at sunrise. It is the loveliest thing in creation!” “What?--sunrise?” “Nonsense! It is of a brilliant gold color--about the size of a large hickory-nut--with two jet black spots near one extremity of the back, and another, somewhat longer, at the other. 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?

The color”--here he turned to me--“is really almost enough to warrant Jupiter’s idea. You never saw a more brilliant metallic lustre than the scales emit--but of this you cannot judge till tomorrow. 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. When his gambols were over, I looked at the paper, and, to speak the truth, found myself not a little puzzled at what my friend had depicted. “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. The two upper black spots look like eyes, eh? and the longer one at the bottom like a mouth--and then the shape of the whole is oval.” “Perhaps so,” said I; “but, Legrand, I fear you are no artist. 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. I had never seen the good old negro look so dispirited, and I feared that some serious disaster had befallen my friend.

“Well, Jup,” said I, “what is the matter now?--how is your master?” “Why, to speak de troof, massa, him not so berry well as mought be.” “Not well! I am truly sorry to hear it. 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. You say your master is sick. 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?

And den he keep a syphon all de time--” “Keeps a what, Jupiter?” “Keeps a syphon wid de figgurs on de slate--de queerest figgurs I ebber did see. Ise gittin to be skeered, I tell you. Hab for to keep mighty tight eye pon him noovers.

Todder day he gib me slip fore de sun up and was gone de whole ob de blessed day. 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? Ise heerd bout dem goole-bugs fore dis.” “But how do you know he dreams about gold?” “How I know? 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. I assure you that it is of the highest importance.

Ever yours, WILLIAM LEGRAND. There was something in the tone of this note which gave me great uneasiness. Its whole style differed materially from that of Legrand. 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?

Jupiter’s account of him boded no good. I dreaded lest the continued pressure of misfortune had, at length, fairly unsettled the reason of my friend.

Without a moment’s hesitation, therefore, I prepared to accompany the negro. 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. Is it any wonder, then, that I prize it? 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. There were two round, black spots near one extremity of the back, and a long one near the other. 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. You are feverish and”-- “Feel my pulse,” said he. I felt it, and, to say the truth, found not the slightest indication of fever.

“But you may be ill and yet have no fever.

Allow me this once to prescribe for you.

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. If you really wish me well, you will relieve this excitement.” “And how is this to be done?” “Very easily. 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!

The man is surely mad!--but stay!--how long do you propose to be absent?” “Probably all night. 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. We started about four o’clock--Legrand, Jupiter, the dog, and myself. 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. I thought it best, however, to humor his fancy, at least for the present, or until I could adopt some more energetic measures with a chance of success. 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.

When we reached this tree, Legrand turned to Jupiter, and asked him if he thought he could climb it. The old man seemed a little staggered by the question, and for some moments made no reply. 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. “Which way mus go now, Massa Will?” he asked. “Keep up the largest branch--the one on this side,” said Legrand. 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.

“How much fudder is got for go?” “How high up are you?” asked Legrand. “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. Look down the trunk and count the limbs below you on this side. 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. “Now, Jup,” cried Legrand, evidently much excited, “I want you to work your way out upon that limb as far as you can. 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. Mought ventur out leetle way pon de limb by myself, dat’s true.” “By yourself!--what do you mean?” “Why I mean de bug.

‘Tis berry hebby bug.

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? As sure as you drop that beetle I’ll break your neck. Look here, Jupiter, do you hear me?” “Yes, massa, needn’t hollo at poor nigger dat style.” “Well! 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! do you know your right hand from your left?” “Yes, I nose dat--nose all bout dat--tis my lef hand what I chops de wood wid.” “To be sure! you are left-handed; and your left eye is on the same side as your left hand.

Now, I suppose, you can find the left eye of the skull, or the place where the left eye has been.

Have you found it?” Here was a long pause. 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! I got de lef eye now--here de lef eye!

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.

The scarabæus hung quite clear of any branches, and, if allowed to fall, would have fallen at our feet. 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. We dug very steadily for two hours. 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. When the time mentioned had expired, we had reached a depth of five feet, and yet no signs of any treasure became manifest.

A general pause ensued, and I began to hope that the farce was at an end. Legrand, however, although evidently much disconcerted, wiped his brow thoughtfully and recommenced. We had excavated the entire circle of four feet diameter, and now we slightly enlarged the limit, and went to the farther depth of two feet. 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. Jupiter, at a signal from his master, began to gather up his tools. 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. The astonished negro opened his eyes and mouth to the fullest extent, let fall the spades, and fell upon his knees. “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. “I thought so!--I knew it! 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.

“Jupiter,” said he, when we reached its foot, “come here! was the skull nailed to the limb with the face outwards, or with the face to the limb?” “De face was out, massa, so dat de crows could get at de eyes good, widout any trouble.” “Well, then, was it this eye or that through which you dropped the beetle?”--here Legrand touched each of Jupiter’s eyes. “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.

This box was three feet and a half long, three feet broad, and two and a half feet deep. 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. Legrand appeared exhausted with excitement, and spoke very few words. 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. He seemed stupified--thunderstricken. 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. The articles taken out were deposited among the brambles, and the dog left to guard them, with strict orders from Jupiter neither, upon any pretence, to stir from the spot, nor to open his mouth until our return. 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. There was not a particle of silver. 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. There was no American money. 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 remember;” said he, “the night when I handed you the rough sketch I had made of the scarabæus. 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. It was quite dirty, you remember.

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. Had the skull been then there, of course I could not have failed to notice it. 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. Near the spot where we found it, I observed the remnants of the hull of what appeared to have been a ship’s long boat. The wreck seemed to have been there for a very great while; for the resemblance to boat timbers could scarcely be traced. “Well, Jupiter picked up the parchment, wrapped the beetle in it, and gave it to me. Soon afterwards we turned to go home, and on the way met Lieutenant G-. 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. You will, of course, ask ‘where is the connexion?’ I reply that the skull, or death’s-head, is the well-known emblem of the pirate. The flag of the death’s head is hoisted in all engagements. “I have said that the scrap was parchment, and not paper.

Parchment is durable--almost imperishable. 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. I did not fail to observe, also, the form of the parchment. 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. I reasoned, for example, thus: When I drew the scarabæus, there was no skull apparent upon the parchment. When I had completed the drawing I gave it to you, and observed you narrowly until you returned it.

You, therefore, did not design the skull, and no one else was present to do it. Then it was not done by human agency. And nevertheless it was done. “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. I was heated with exercise and sat near the table.

You, however, had drawn a chair close to the chimney.

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. It was clear that the action of the caloric had been imperfect or unequal.

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. I say signature; because its position upon the vellum suggested this idea. 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. I can scarcely say why. 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. Had the pirate recovered his money, there the affair would have dropped. 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. But, with the cipher now before us, all difficulty was removed by the signature. 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. As it was, I assumed the cryptograph to be English. “You observe there are no divisions between the words. Had there been divisions, the task would have been comparatively easy. 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. Afterwards, succession runs thus: a o I d h n r s t u y c f g l m w b k p q x z. 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.

But this discovery gives us three new letters, o, u and g, represented by ‡? “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. It will stand thus: 5 represents a † “ d 8 “ e 3 “ g 4 “ h 6 “ I * “ n ‡ “ o ( “ r ; “ t “We have, therefore, no less than ten of the most important letters represented, and it will be unnecessary to proceed with the details of the solution.

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.

At length one of the most aged of the women said that she had heard of such a place as Bessop’s Castle, and thought that she could guide me to it, but that it was not a castle nor a tavern, but a high rock.

“I offered to pay her well for her trouble, and, after some demur, she consented to accompany me to the spot. 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. Greatly excited by these discoveries, I hurried home, procured a telescope, and returned to the rock. “I let myself down to the ledge, and found that it was impossible to retain a seat upon it except in one particular position.

This fact confirmed my preconceived idea.

I proceeded to use the glass. 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. After much toil I found it. 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!

I was sure you were mad. 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. For this reason I swung the beetle, and for this reason I let it fall it from the tree. 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.

--Crebillon’s Xerxes. ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES is very generally looked upon as the Gog of the prophet Ezekiel. This honor is, however, more properly attributable to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. 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. But I perceive we have arrived at the city itself.

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. Every one has seen the Mediterranean; but let me tell you, there are few who have had a peep at Antioch.

By few, I mean, few who, like you and me, have had, at the same time, the advantages of a modern education. Therefore cease to regard that sea, and give your whole attention to the mass of houses that lie beneath us. You will remember that it is now the year of the world three thousand eight hundred and thirty. 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. It will have been, by that time, totally destroyed, at three different periods, by three successive earthquakes. 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. This is well.

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. “There are a prodigious number of stately palaces.” There are. “And the numerous temples, sumptuous and magnificent, may bear comparison with the most lauded of antiquity.” All this I must acknowledge. 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? What gloom their shadows cast upon the ground!

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.

You need not look up at the heavens; his Sunship is not there--at least not the Sunship adored by the Syrians. 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. Others more particularly belong to the race of philosophers. 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.

Some few, to be sure, are led with a rope about the neck, but these are chiefly the lesser or timid species. 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? Surely this is a loud noise even for Antioch! 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. Shouts of laughter ascend the skies. 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! This way--be careful! 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. We shall have a glimpse of his person as he passes by the temple of Ashimah. Let us ensconce ourselves in the vestibule of the sanctuary; he will be here anon. In the meantime let us survey this image. What is it? it is the god Ashimah in proper person. You perceive, however, that he is neither a lamb, nor a goat, nor a satyr, neither has he much resemblance to the Pan of the Arcadians. Yet all these appearances have been given--I beg pardon--will be given--by the learned of future ages, to the Ashimah of the Syrians.

Put on your spectacles, and tell me what it is. What is it?

it is an ape!” True--a baboon; but by no means the less a deity. His name is a derivation of the Greek Simia--what great fools are antiquarians! 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.

here comes a troop of a similar description. 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! Mille, mille, mille, mille, decollavimus! Mille, mille, mille, Vivat qui mille mille occidit! 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. “Very possible. 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.

the beast has very justly kicked one of the rabble over--and another--and another--and another. 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! Beasts, did you say?--take care that you are not overheard. Do you not perceive that the animal has the visage of a man?

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 true, that he is entitled, at times, Antiochus Epimanes--Antiochus the madman--but that is because all people have not the capacity to appreciate his merits. 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. We may, however, presume he would not have adopted it but for some occasion of especial state. Such, you will allow, is the massacre of a thousand Jews.

With how superior a dignity the monarch perambulates on all fours! 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? There is none but Epiphanes, No--there is none: So tear down the temples, And put out the sun! 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. “But, good Jupiter! what is the matter in the crowd behind us?” Behind us, did you say?--oh! ah!--I perceive. 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! Remember that thou art Antiochus Epiphanes. 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! Well done, Cameleopard!--Glorious Antiochus!--He runs!--he leaps!--he flies! Like an arrow from a catapult he approaches the hippodrome! He leaps!--he shrieks!--he is there! 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! Listen! it has already commenced.

See!--the whole town is topsy-turvy. “Surely this is the most populous city of the East! What a wilderness of people! what a multiplicity of sects and nations! what a variety of costumes! what a screaming of beasts! what a tinkling of instruments!

what a parcel of philosophers!” Come let us be off. 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. A chess-player, for example, does the one without effort at the other. 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. The necessary knowledge is that of what to observe.

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.

Our seclusion was perfect. We admitted no visitors. 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. I do not hesitate to say that I am amazed, and can scarcely credit my senses.

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. --“of Chantilly,” said he, “why do you pause? You were remarking to yourself that his diminutive figure unfitted him for tragedy.” This was precisely what had formed the subject of my reflections. Chantilly was a quondam cobbler of the Rue St. 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 ----. This was the last subject we discussed. 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.

I was not particularly attentive to what you did; but observation has become with me, of late, a species of necessity. “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. You did look up; and I was now assured that I had correctly followed your steps. 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. You thought of the poor cobbler’s immolation. 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. The party spread themselves and hurried from room to room. 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 a chair lay a razor, besmeared with blood. 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. A small iron safe was discovered under the bed (not under the bedstead).

It was open, with the key still in the door. It had no contents beyond a few old letters, and other papers of little consequence. “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.

The body was quite warm. 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. “To this horrible mystery there is not as yet, we believe, the slightest clew.” The next day’s paper had these additional particulars. “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. We give below all the material testimony elicited. “Pauline Dubourg, laundress, deposes that she has known both the deceased for three years, having washed for them during that period.

The old lady and her daughter seemed on good terms--very affectionate towards each other. Could not speak in regard to their mode or means of living. Believed that Madame L. 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. It was formerly occupied by a jeweller, who under-let the upper rooms to various persons. She became dissatisfied with the abuse of the premises by her tenant, and moved into them herself, refusing to let any portion. The old lady was childish. 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. Had heard it said among the neighbors that Madame L.

told fortunes--did not believe it. Had never seen any person enter the door except the old lady and her daughter, a porter once or twice, and a physician some eight or ten times. “Many other persons, neighbors, gave evidence to the same effect. 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. Forced it open, at length, with a bayonet--not with a crowbar. 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. Witness led the way up stairs. 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. Was positive that it was not a woman’s voice. Could distinguish the words ‘sacré’ and ‘diable.’ The shrill voice was that of a foreigner. Could not be sure whether it was the voice of a man or of a woman.

Could not make out what was said, but believed the language to be Spanish. The state of the room and of the bodies was described by this witness as we described them yesterday. “Henri Duval, a neighbor, and by trade a silver-smith, deposes that he was one of the party who first entered the house. 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. Could not be sure that it was a man’s voice.

It might have been a woman’s. Was not acquainted with the Italian language. Could not distinguish the words, but was convinced by the intonation that the speaker was an Italian. Had conversed with both frequently. Was sure that the shrill voice was not that of either of the deceased. “--Odenheimer, restaurateur. This witness volunteered his testimony. Not speaking French, was examined through an interpreter. Is a native of Amsterdam. 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. Was sure that the shrill voice was that of a man--of a Frenchman. Could not distinguish the words uttered. They were loud and quick--unequal--spoken apparently in fear as well as in anger.

The voice was harsh--not so much shrill as harsh. Could not call it a shrill voice. The gruff voice said repeatedly ‘sacré,’ ‘diable,’ and once ‘mon Dieu.’ “Jules Mignaud, banker, of the firm of Mignaud et Fils, Rue Deloraine. Is the elder Mignaud. 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. appeared and took from his hands one of the bags, while the old lady relieved him of the other. Did not see any person in the street at the time.

It is a bye-street--very lonely. “William Bird, tailor deposes that he was one of the party who entered the house. Is an Englishman. Has lived in Paris two years. Was one of the first to ascend the stairs. Heard the voices in contention. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman.

Heard distinctly ‘sacré’ and ‘mon Dieu.’ There was a sound at the moment as if of several persons struggling--a scraping and scuffling sound. The shrill voice was very loud--louder than the gruff one. Is sure that it was not the voice of an Englishman. Might have been a woman’s voice. “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. This room was crowded with old beds, boxes, and so forth. There was not an inch of any portion of the house which was not carefully searched.

Sweeps were sent up and down the chimneys. The house was a four story one, with garrets (mansardes.) A trap-door on the roof was nailed down very securely--did not appear to have been opened for years. 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. The door was opened with difficulty. “Alfonzo Garcio, undertaker, deposes that he resides in the Rue Morgue. Is a native of Spain. Did not proceed up stairs.

Is nervous, and was apprehensive of the consequences of agitation.

Heard the voices in contention. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman. Could not distinguish what was said.

The shrill voice was that of an Englishman--is sure of this. Does not understand the English language, but judges by the intonation.

“Alberto Montani, confectioner, deposes that he was among the first to ascend the stairs. Heard the voices in question.

The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman. Distinguished several words. The speaker appeared to be expostulating. Could not make out the words of the shrill voice. Spoke quick and unevenly. Thinks it the voice of a Russian. Corroborates the general testimony. Is an Italian.

Never conversed with a native of Russia. “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. There is no back passage by which any one could have descended while the party proceeded up stairs.

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.

“Paul Dumas, physician, deposes that he was called to view the bodies about day-break. They were both then lying on the sacking of the bedstead in the chamber where Mademoiselle L. The corpse of the young lady was much bruised and excoriated. The fact that it had been thrust up the chimney would sufficiently account for these appearances. There were several deep scratches just below the chin, together with a series of livid spots which were evidently the impression of fingers.

The face was fearfully discolored, and the eye-balls protruded. The tongue had been partially bitten through. A large bruise was discovered upon the pit of the stomach, produced, apparently, by the pressure of a knee. In the opinion of M.

Dumas, Mademoiselle L’Espanaye had been throttled to death by some person or persons unknown. The corpse of the mother was horribly mutilated. All the bones of the right leg and arm were more or less shattered. The left tibia much splintered, as well as all the ribs of the left side. Whole body dreadfully bruised and discolored. It was not possible to say how the injuries had been inflicted.

A heavy club of wood, or a broad bar of iron--a chair--any large, heavy, and obtuse weapon would have produced such results, if wielded by the hands of a very powerful man.

No woman could have inflicted the blows with any weapon. The head of the deceased, when seen by witness, was entirely separated from the body, and was also greatly shattered. The throat had evidently been cut with some very sharp instrument--probably with a razor. “Alexandre Etienne, surgeon, was called with M. Dumas to view the bodies. 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. I saw no means by which it would be possible to trace the murderer. “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. We will go and see the premises with our own eyes. 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. The disorders of the room had, as usual, been suffered to exist.

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.

I have said that the whims of my friend were manifold, and that Je les ménageais:--for this phrase there is no English equivalent. 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. It is true that he may not arrive; but the probability is that he will. 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. I have already spoken of his abstract manner at such times. 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. This relieves us of all doubt upon the question whether the old lady could have first destroyed the daughter and afterward have committed suicide. 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. The witnesses, as you remark, agreed about the gruff voice; they were here unanimous. 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 is sure that it was not the voice of one of his own countrymen. 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! You will say that it might have been the voice of an Asiatic--of an African. 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. What the suspicion is, however, I will not say just yet. 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. What shall we first seek here? It is not too much to say that neither of us believe in præternatural events. Madame and Mademoiselle L’Espanaye were not destroyed by spirits. The doers of the deed were material, and escaped materially.

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. It is then only from these two apartments that we have to seek issues. The police have laid bare the floors, the ceilings, and the masonry of the walls, in every direction. No secret issues could have escaped their vigilance. But, not trusting to their eyes, I examined with my own. There were, then, no secret issues.

Both doors leading from the rooms into the passage were securely locked, with the keys inside. Let us turn to the chimneys. 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. One of them is unobstructed by furniture, and is wholly visible. 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.

It resisted the utmost force of those who endeavored to raise it. 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. There was no escape from this conclusion. I stepped to the unobstructed casement, withdrew the nail with some difficulty and attempted to raise the sash. It resisted all my efforts, as I had anticipated.

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. I pressed it, and, satisfied with the discovery, forbore to upraise the sash. “I now replaced the nail and regarded it attentively. 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. I now looked at the nail. 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 riddle, so far, was now unriddled. 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. “The next question is that of the mode of descent. 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. When we saw them from the rear of the house, they were both about half open--that is to say, they stood off at right angles from the wall. 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 ultimate object is only the truth. 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. My friend went on with his discourse. “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. The conclusion here is absurd. It is a mere guess--a very silly one--and no more. 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. Those found were at least of as good quality as any likely to be possessed by these ladies. If a thief had taken any, why did he not take the best--why did he not take all? 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. It would have been corroborative of this idea of motive. 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. Here is a woman strangled to death by manual strength, and thrust up a chimney, head downward. Ordinary assassins employ no such modes of murder as this. Least of all, do they thus dispose of the murdered. 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.

On the hearth were thick tresses--very thick tresses--of grey human hair. 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.

I wish you also to look at the brutal ferocity of these deeds. Of the bruises upon the body of Madame L’Espanaye I do not speak.

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. Here is a billet of wood, the circumference of which is about that of the throat.

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 gigantic stature, the prodigious strength and activity, the wild ferocity, and the imitative propensities of these mammalia are sufficiently well known to all. I understood the full horrors of the murder at once. “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. But I cannot possibly comprehend the particulars of this frightful mystery. 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. A Frenchman was cognizant of the murder. It is possible--indeed it is far more than probable--that he was innocent of all participation in the bloody transactions which took place. The Ourang-Outang may have escaped from him. He may have traced it to the chamber; but, under the agitating circumstances which ensued, he could never have re-captured it. It is still at large. 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. We will call them guesses then, and speak of them as such. 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. “I am not sure of it. 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. Moreover, this knot is one which few besides sailors can tie, and is peculiar to the Maltese.

I picked the ribbon up at the foot of the lightning-rod. It could not have belonged to either of the deceased. 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. How can it ever be suspected that a brute beast should have done the deed? The police are at fault--they have failed to procure the slightest clew. 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. Above all, I am known. The advertiser designates me as the possessor of the beast. I am not sure to what limit his knowledge may extend. 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.

It is not my policy to attract attention either to myself or to the beast. I will answer the advertisement, get the Ourang-Outang, and keep it close until this matter has blown over.’” At this moment we heard a step upon the stairs. “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.

Now, however, he seemed to hesitate.

Presently we heard him descending. Dupin was moving quickly to the door, when we again heard him coming up. He did not turn back a second time, but stepped up with decision, and rapped at the door of our chamber.

“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. His face, greatly sunburnt, was more than half hidden by whisker and mustachio. He had with him a huge oaken cudgel, but appeared to be otherwise unarmed. 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. “I suppose you have called about the Ourang-Outang. 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. “Couldn’t expect it. 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? I will tell you.

My reward shall be this. 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. He then drew a pistol from his bosom and placed it, without the least flurry, upon the table. 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. I pitied him from the bottom of my heart. “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 were not even guilty of robbery, when you might have robbed with impunity. 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. Himself and a companion had captured the Ourang-Outang. 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. His ultimate design was to sell it. 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. This latter reflection urged the man still to follow the fugitive. 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. At this glimpse he nearly fell from his hold through excess of horror. 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. It was open, and its contents lay beside it on the floor. 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 daughter lay prostrate and motionless; she had swooned. 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. But he is a good creature after all.

I like him especially for one master stroke of cant, by which he has attained his reputation for ingenuity. I mean the way he has ‘de nier ce qui est, et d’expliquer ce qui n’est pas.’” (*) (*) Rousseau--Nouvelle Heloise. 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. Selten fallen sie zusammen. Menschen und zufalle modifieiren gewohulich die idealische Begebenheit, so dass sie unvollkommen erscheint, und ihre Folgen gleichfalls unvollkommen sind.

So bei der Reformation; statt des Protestantismus kam das Lutherthum hervor. There are ideal series of events which run parallel with the real ones. 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. --Novalis. (*2) Moral Ansichten. 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. I might have adduced other examples, but I should have proven no more. 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. Marie, whose Christian and family name will at once arrest attention from their resemblance to those of the unfortunate “cigargirl,” was the only daughter of the widow Estelle Rogêt. 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. The anticipations of the shopkeeper were realized, and his rooms soon became notorious through the charms of the sprightly grisette. She had been in his employ about a year, when her admirers were thrown info confusion by her sudden disappearance from the shop. Monsieur Le Blanc was unable to account for her absence, and Madame Rogêt was distracted with anxiety and terror. 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. Monsieur Le Blanc professed total ignorance, as before. 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. It was about five months after this return home, that her friends were alarmed by her sudden disappearance for the second time. 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. The Prefect made unusual exertions; and the powers of the whole Parisian police were, of course, tasked to the utmost extent. 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. It was not until the expiration of a week that it was deemed necessary to offer a reward; and even then this reward was limited to a thousand francs. 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. No one doubted now that the mystery of this murder would be immediately brought to light.

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. His reputation--so he said with a peculiarly Parisian air--was at stake. Even his honor was concerned. 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. The compliment my friend rebutted as best he could, but the proposition he accepted at once, although its advantages were altogether provisional.

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. He discoursed much, and beyond doubt, learnedly; while I hazarded an occasional suggestion as the night wore drowsily away. 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. Eustache was the accepted suitor of Marie, and lodged, as well as took his meals, at the pension. He was to have gone for his betrothed at dusk, and to have escorted her home.

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.

His friend recognized it more promptly. The face was suffused with dark blood, some of which issued from the mouth. 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. The arms were bent over on the chest and were rigid. The right hand was clenched; the left partially open. On the left wrist were two circular excoriations, apparently the effect of ropes, or of a rope in more than one volution. A part of the right wrist, also, was much chafed, as well as the back throughout its extent, but more especially at the shoulder-blades.

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. There were no cuts apparent, or bruises which appeared the effect of blows. 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. This alone would have sufficed to produce death. The medical testimony spoke confidently of the virtuous character of the deceased.

She had been subjected, it said, to brutal violence. The corpse was in such condition when found, that there could have been no difficulty in its recognition by friends. The dress was much torn and otherwise disordered. 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.

It will be proper that I submit to the reader some passages which embody the suggestion alluded to. 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. From that hour, nobody is proved to have seen her. 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. On Wednesday noon, at twelve, a female body was discovered afloat on the shore of the Barrière de Roule. 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. Those who are guilty of such horrid crimes, choose darkness rather the light....

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. Beauvais says that he has no doubt the body was that of Marie Rogêt?

He ripped up the gown sleeve, and says he found marks which satisfied him of the identity. The public generally supposed those marks to have consisted of some description of scars. 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. The editor says: “Now, then, a change comes over the matter. We are told that on one occasion, while a Madame B---- was at Madame Rogêt’s house, M. 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. The general impression, so far as we were enabled to glean it from the newspapers, seemed to be, that Marie had been the victim of a gang of desperadoes--that by these she had been borne across the river, maltreated and murdered. Le Commerciel, (*11) however, a print of extensive influence, was earnest in combating this popular idea. I quote a passage or two from its columns: “We are persuaded that pursuit has hitherto been on a false scent, so far as it has been directed to the Barrière du Roule. 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 was when the streets were full of people, when she went out.... 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.

Her gown was torn, bound round her, and tied; and by that the body was carried as a bundle. If the murder had been committed at the Barrière du Roule, there would have been no necessity for any such arrangement. 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. On the upper stone lay a white petticoat; on the second a silk scarf. A parasol, gloves, and a pocket-handkerchief were also here found. The handkerchief bore the name “Marie Rogêt.” Fragments of dress were discovered on the brambles around. The earth was trampled, the bushes were broken, and there was every evidence of a struggle.

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. One part was the hem of the frock, and it had been mended; the other piece was part of the skirt, not the hem. They looked like strips torn off, and were on the thorn bush, about a foot from the ground..... 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. The neighborhood is secluded--particularly so.

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. Madame Deluc’s attention was called to the dress worn by the girl, on account of its resemblance to one worn by a deceased relative. A scarf was particularly noticed. 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. The screams were violent but brief.

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. It appears that, immediately after the discovery of the clothes as above described, the lifeless, or nearly lifeless body of St.

Eustache, Marie’s betrothed, was found in the vicinity of what all now supposed the scene of the outrage. A phial labelled “laudanum,” and emptied, was found near him. His breath gave evidence of the poison. 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. You will observe that, for this reason, the mystery has been considered easy, when, for this reason, it should have been considered difficult, of solution.

Thus; at first, it was thought unnecessary to offer a reward. The myrmidons of G---- were able at once to comprehend how and why such an atrocity might have been committed. 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 idea of suicide was excluded at once. Here, too, we are freed, at the commencement, from all supposition of self-murder. 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. We both know this gentleman well. It will not do to trust him too far. 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. The mass of the people regard as profound only him who suggests pungent contradictions of the general idea. 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? Why is it folly to suppose that the murder was committed at any given period of the day? 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. It is not, however, with L’Etoile that we have to do, but with the truth.

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.

My design, so far, has no reference to the facts of the case. 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. It is evident, however, that the gravities of the body, and of the bulk of water displaced, are very nicely balanced, and that a trifle will cause either to preponderate. 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. This effect is brought about by decomposition, or otherwise.

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. Nor can I. “‘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!

No one--not even L’Etoile--disputes the murder committed on the body found. The marks of violence are too obvious.

It is our reasoner’s object merely to show that this body is not Marie’s. He wishes to prove that Marie is not assassinated--not that the corpse was not. Yet his observation proves only the latter point. Here is a corpse without weight attached. 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. “Reperuse now that portion of this argument which has reference to the identification of the corpse by Beauvais. 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. No arm is without hair. The generality of the expression of L’Etoile is a mere perversion of the witness’ phraseology. He must have spoken of some peculiarity in this hair.

It must have been a peculiarity of color, of quantity, of length, or of situation. 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. What, of itself, would be no evidence of identity, becomes through its corroborative position, proof most sure.

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? Each successive one is multiple evidence--proof not added to proof, but multiplied by hundreds or thousands. 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. It is now madness or hypocrisy to doubt. 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. The elastic nature of the clasp-garter is self-demonstration of the unusualness of the abbreviation. What is made to adjust itself, must of necessity require foreign adjustment but rarely.

It must have been by an accident, in its strictest sense, that these garters of Marie needed the tightening described. They alone would have amply established her identity. 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. You have already fathomed the true character of this good gentleman.

He is a busy-body, with much of romance and little of wit. Any one so constituted will readily so conduct himself, upon occasion of real excitement, as to render himself liable to suspicion on the part of the over acute, or the ill-disposed. 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. The editor of L’Etoile had no right to be offended at M. 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 when the streets were full of people,’ says Le Commerciel, ‘that she went out.’ But not so. 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. Between ten and eleven the streets are thronged, but not at so early a period as that designated. “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. These, however, are the very description of people who will always be found to have handkerchiefs even when destitute of shirts. 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? if so, had she any when found?

These are important questions utterly untouched by the evidence; and there are others of equal moment, which have met with no attention. We must endeavor to satisfy ourselves by personal inquiry. Eustache must be re-examined. I have no suspicion of this person; but let us proceed methodically. We will ascertain beyond a doubt the validity of the affidavits in regard to his whereabouts on the Sunday. Affidavits of this character are readily made matter of mystification. 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. It is no longer philosophical to base, upon what has been, a vision of what is to be. Accident is admitted as a portion of the substructure. We make chance a matter of absolute calculation. 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. At the end of a week, however, she re-appeared at her customary comptoir, as well as ever, with the exception of a slight paleness not altogether usual. 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. A quarrel, it is supposed, providentially led to her return home. 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. (*18) “An outrage of the most atrocious character was perpetrated near this city the day before yesterday. 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 bargeman towed it under the barge office.

The next morning it was taken from thence, without the knowledge of any of the officers. The rudder is now at the barge office.”--Le Diligence--Thursday, June 26. 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. “It is not my present design,” he said, “to dwell upon the first and second of those extracts. 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. Yet it is mere folly to say that between the first and second disappearance of Marie, there is no supposable connection. 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.

Eustache, the suspicion of all.

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. If I bid St. 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. All Paris is excited by the discovered corpse of Marie, a girl young, beautiful and notorious.

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? This judgment awaited direction, and the known outrage seemed so opportunely to afford it!

Marie, too, was found in the river; and upon this very river was this known outrage committed. The connexion of the two events had about it so much of the palpable, that the true wonder would have been a failure of the populace to appreciate and to seize it. 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. On the upper stone was discovered a white petticoat; on the second, a silk scarf. A parasol, gloves, and a pocket-handkerchief, were also here found.

The handkerchief bore the name, ‘Marie Rogêt.’ Fragments of dress were seen on the branches around. The earth was trampled, the bushes were broken, and there was every evidence of a violent struggle. “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. That it was the scene, I may or I may not believe--but there was excellent 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. He desires less the fresh air and the green trees, than the utter license of the country. 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.

And, first, let me direct your notice to the date of the discovery of the articles. Collate this with the date of the fifth extract made by myself from the newspapers. 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.

It was unusually dense. 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? Those who would hesitate at such a wager, have either never been boys themselves, or have forgotten the boyish nature.

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. And, now, let me beg your notice to the highly artificial arrangement of the articles.

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. But it is by no means a really natural arrangement. 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. ‘There was evidence,’ it is said, ‘of a struggle; and the earth was trampled, the bushes were broken,’--but the petticoat and the scarf are found deposited as if upon shelves. ‘The pieces of the frock torn out by the bushes were about three inches wide and six inches long. One part was the hem of the frock and it had been mended. 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. If there be two edges to the fabric--if, for example, it be a pocket-handkerchief, and it is desired to tear from it a slip, then, and then only, will the one force serve the purpose. 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. If hemmed, the matter is nearly out of the question. 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. You will not have apprehended me rightly, however, if you suppose it my design to deny this thicket as the scene of the outrage. There might have been a wrong here, or, more possibly, an accident at Madame Deluc’s. 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? The silent grasp of a few rough arms and all would have been over.

The victim must have been absolutely passive at their will. 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. It seems almost impossible that these evidences of guilt should have been accidentally left where found. 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. If this was accident, it was not the accident of a gang. We can imagine it only the accident of an individual. An individual has committed the murder. He is alone with the ghost of the departed.

He is appalled by what lies motionless before him. 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. He is alone with the dead.

He trembles and is bewildered. 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.

The sounds of life encompass his path. A dozen times he hears or fancies the step of an observer. Even the very lights from the city bewilder 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? He could not return if he would.

His sole thought is immediate escape. He turns his back forever upon those dreadful shrubberies and flees as from the wrath to come. “But how with a gang? 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? To three or four, the limbs of the corpse would have afforded not only a sufficient, but the best possible hold. 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.

But it is not to this fact that I now especially advert. 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. And thus rumpled it was discovered.

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. He resolved to drag the burthen--the evidence goes to show that it was dragged. 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 would have used this, but for its volution about the corpse, the hitch which embarrassed it, and the reflection that it had not been ‘torn off’ from the garment. It was easier to tear a new slip from the petticoat. 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. This I grant. 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?

“But what is the precise evidence of Madame Deluc? ‘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. “I say approaches; for the night had not yet arrived. 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? ‘It was soon after dark,’ she says. But ‘soon after dark,’ is, at least, dark; and ‘about dusk’ is as certainly daylight. Thus it is abundantly clear that the gang quitted the Barrière du Roule prior to the screams overheard (?) by Madame Deluc. 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. Each one of a gang so placed, is not so much greedy of reward, or anxious for escape, as fearful of betrayal. He betrays eagerly and early that he may not himself be betrayed. 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 associate is of swarthy complexion.

This complexion, the ‘hitch’ in the bandage, and the ‘sailor’s knot,’ with which the bonnet-ribbon is tied, point to a seaman.

His companionship with the deceased, a gay, but not an abject young girl, designates him as above the grade of the common sailor. 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.

But why is this man absent? If so, why are there only traces of the assassinated girl? The scene of the two outrages will naturally be supposed identical. And where is his corpse? 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. This policy would have suggested. He had been seen with the girl. 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 sift to the bottom this affair of the first elopement. Let us know the full history of ‘the officer,’ with his present circumstances, and his whereabouts at the precise period of the murder. 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. of the officer. 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. It was silently taken to the barge-office, and as silently removed. 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. Now we are to understand that Marie Rogêt was precipitated from a boat.

This would naturally have been the case. The peculiar marks on the back and shoulders of the victim tell of the bottom ribs of a boat. That the body was found without weight is also corroborative of the idea.

If thrown from the shore a weight would have been attached. 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. Any risk would have been preferred to a return to that accursed shore. Having rid himself of his ghastly charge, the murderer would have hastened to the city. But the boat--would he have secured it? 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. His natural thought would have been to cast from him, as far as possible, all that had held connection with his crime.

He would not only have fled from the wharf, but he would not have permitted the boat to remain. Assuredly he would have cast it adrift. 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. Now where is that rudderless boat? Let it be one of our first purposes to discover. 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. What I have said above upon this topic must suffice. 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.

With God all is Now. 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. I say all this will be seen. 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. Thus much escaped the writer of which he could have availed himself had he been upon the spot, and visited the localities. 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.

(*9) The New York “Mercury.” (*10) The New York “Brother Jonathan,” edited by H. Hastings Weld, Esq. (*11) New York “Journal of Commerce.” (*12) Philadelphia “Saturday Evening Post,” edited by C. I.

(*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. Thus the jurisprudence of every nation will show that, when law becomes a science and a system, it ceases to be justice. 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! Signal Triumph of Mr. 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! Full Particulars of the Voyage! 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. “Two very decided failures, of late--those of Mr. 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. The whole project was thus a complete failure. “It was at this juncture that Mr.

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. He made the first public experiment at Willis’s Rooms, but afterward removed his model to the Adelaide Gallery. “Like Sir George Cayley’s balloon, his own was an ellipsoid.

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. From this framework was suspended a wicker basket or car. “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 weighed, altogether, eight pounds six ounces. The rudder was a light frame of cane covered with silk, shaped somewhat like a battle-door, and was about three feet long, and at the widest, one foot. Its weight was about two ounces. 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. “So well satisfied, however, was Mr. 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. The project, at the desire of Mr.

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. Henson, accompanied by his friend Mr. 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. “The balloon is composed of silk, varnished with the liquid gum caoutchouc. 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. The coal gas is not only much less costly, but is easily procured and managed.

“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. All these articles, with the exception of the ballast, and a few trifles, were suspended from the hoop overhead. 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. Its rim is about four feet deep. 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. To check this ascent, the only recourse is, (or rather was, until Mr.

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. This was the great obstacle to voyages of length. “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. If, on the other hand, any circumstances should cause undue levity, and consequent ascent, this levity is immediately counteracted by the additional weight of rope upraised from the earth. 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. We proceed now with the journal, as transcribed by Mr. Forsyth from the joint MSS. Ainsworth.

The body of the journal, as given, is in the hand-writing of Mr. is appended, each day, by 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. I did not wish, however, to lose gas at so early a period of the adventure, and so concluded to ascend for the present. We soon ran out our guide-rope; but even when we had raised it clear of the earth, we still went up very rapidly. The balloon was unusually steady, and looked beautifully. 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. This was immediately done, and we commenced a gradual descent. 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. It was now that Mr. 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. As the stronger party, however, we overruled their fears, and kept resolutely upon our course.

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. It is needless to say that a very short time sufficed us to lose sight of the coast. 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. It could not have been less than five hundred miles, and was probably much more.

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.

And yet the feat is only so evidently feasible that the sole wonder is why men have scrupled to attempt it before. 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 waters give up no voice to the heavens. 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. We have an abundance of gas to take us across this small pond, even should the voyage last three weeks.

I have not the slightest fear for the result.

The difficulty has been strangely exaggerated and misapprehended. 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. The night promises fair. 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. Holland, nor Sir Everard. 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.

Omne ignotum pro magnifico. 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 latter could not be improved. 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. Endeavored to make out her name, but could not be sure of it. 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.

The sea is peculiarly phosphorescent. 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. We cannot be far from the American coast. Ainsworth’s MS.] One, P.M.

We are in full view of the low coast of South Carolina. The great problem is accomplished. We have crossed the Atlantic--fairly and easily crossed it in a balloon! God be praised! Who shall say that anything is impossible hereafter?” The Journal here ceases. Some particulars of the descent were communicated, however, by Mr. 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. No serious accident occurred. No real danger was at any time apprehended. The balloon was exhausted and secured without trouble; and when the MS.

from which this narrative is compiled was despatched from Charleston, the party were still at Fort Moultrie. 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. OF my country and of my family I have little to say. Ill usage and length of years have driven me from the one, and estranged me from the other. 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. Our vessel was a beautiful ship of about four hundred tons, copper-fastened, and built at Bombay of Malabar teak.

She was freighted with cotton-wool and oil, from the Lachadive islands. We had also on board coir, jaggeree, ghee, cocoa-nuts, and a few cases of opium. The stowage was clumsily done, and the vessel consequently crank.

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. My notice was soon afterwards attracted by the dusky-red appearance of the moon, and the peculiar character of the sea. 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. I went below--not without a full presentiment of evil. 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. By what miracle I escaped destruction, it is impossible to say.

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. We soon discovered that we were the sole survivors of the accident.

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. We scudded with frightful velocity before the sea, and the water made clear breaches over us. 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.

But this very just apprehension seemed by no means likely to be soon verified. 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. It gave out no light, properly so called, but a dull and sullen glow without reflection, as if all its rays were polarized.

Just before sinking within the turgid sea, its central fires suddenly went out, as if hurriedly extinguished by some unaccountable power. It was a dim, sliver-like rim, alone, as it rushed down the unfathomable ocean. 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. We were at the bottom of one of these abysses, when a quick scream from my companion broke fearfully upon the night. see!” cried he, shrieking in my ears, “Almighty God!

see!” As he spoke, I became aware of a dull, sullen glare of red light which streamed down the sides of the vast chasm where we lay, and threw a fitful brilliancy upon our deck. Casting my eyes upwards, I beheld a spectacle which froze the current of my blood. At a terrific height directly above us, and upon the very verge of the precipitous descent, hovered a gigantic ship of, perhaps, four thousand tons.

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.

When we first discovered her, her bows were alone to be seen, as she rose slowly from the dim and horrible gulf beyond her. 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. Why I did so I can hardly tell. 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. A man passed by my place of concealment with a feeble and unsteady gait. 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. His knees tottered beneath a load of years, and his entire frame quivered under the burthen. 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. His manner was a wild mixture of the peevishness of second childhood, and the solemn dignity of a God.

He at length went on deck, and I saw him no more. * * * * * 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. I shall never--I know that I shall never--be satisfied with regard to the nature of my conceptions.

Yet it is not wonderful that these conceptions are indefinite, since they have their origin in sources so utterly novel. A new sense--a new entity is added to my soul.

* * * * * 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. Concealment is utter folly on my part, for the people will not see. 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. At the last moment I will enclose the MS. 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. I have made many observations lately upon the structure of the vessel. 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. What she is not, I can easily perceive--what she is I fear it is impossible to say. 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.

She is built of a material to which I am a stranger. 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. It will appear perhaps an observation somewhat over-curious, but this wood would have every characteristic of Spanish oak, if Spanish oak were distended by any unnatural means. 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. It appears to me a miracle of miracles that our enormous bulk is not swallowed up at once and forever. 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.

He is of a well-knit and compact frame of body, neither robust nor remarkably otherwise. 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.

His head was bowed down upon his hands, and he pored, with a fiery unquiet eye, over a paper which I took to be a commission, and which, at all events, bore the signature of a monarch. 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. * * * * * When I look around me I feel ashamed of my former apprehensions.

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. Perhaps this current leads us to the southern pole itself.

It must be confessed that a supposition apparently so wild has every probability in its favor. * * * * * The crew pace the deck with unquiet and tremulous step; but there is upon their countenances an expression more of the eagerness of hope than of the apathy of despair. 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. Radcliffe. To all appearance it had been temporarily and very lately abandoned. We established ourselves in one of the smallest and least sumptuously furnished apartments. It lay in a remote turret of the building. Its decorations were rich, yet tattered and antique.

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. I wished all this done that I might resign myself, if not to sleep, at least alternately to the contemplation of these pictures, and the perusal of a small volume which had been found upon the pillow, and which purported to criticise and describe them.

Long--long I read--and devoutly, devotedly I gazed. Rapidly and gloriously the hours flew by and the deep midnight came. 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. But the action produced an effect altogether unanticipated. 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. Why I did this was not at first apparent even to my own perception. 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. The portrait, I have already said, was that of a young girl. 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.

But it could have been neither the execution of the work, nor the immortal beauty of the countenance, which had so suddenly and so vehemently moved me. 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!” /

My lord very liberally provided first-class tickets for the whole of the party, but the Colonel took his own and paid for the gendarmes.As they came up I discreetly withdrew to my own compartment, the window of which was open, so that I could hear and see all that passed. Who and what could these two people be with whom I was so strangely and unexpectedly thrown? I had it from her own lips, she had acknowledged it with some show of remorse. "A daughter of the gods, divinely tall and most divinely fair." The height and slimness of her graceful figure enhanced by the tight-fitting tailor-made ulster that fell straight from collar to heel; her head well poised, a little thrown back with chin in the air, and a proud defiant look in her undeniably handsome face. As she faced me, looking straight at me, she conveyed the impression of a determined unyielding character, a woman who would do much, dare much, who would go her own road if so resolved, undismayed and undeterred by any difficulties that might beset her. I am unattached for the moment, and waiting for reëmployment." "Your own master then?" "Practically, until I am called upon to serve. But what else could I conclude from the words I had heard drop from her own lips, strengthened and confirmed as they were by the incriminating language of her companion? At least you ought to hold your own anywhere, in any society, the very best." "And yet I'm not 'your sort.' Am I a humbug, an impostor, an adventuress, a puppet and play-actress? "I have the very best proof, from your own lips. I did not want to know; your secrets are your own affair." "And my actions, I presume?" she put in with superb indifference. I am better known as Slippery Sue, and the Countess of Plantagenet, and the Sly American, and dashing Mrs.

I was too much taken aback to do better than stammer out helplessly, hopelessly, almost unintelligibly, a few words striving to remind her of her own admission.

No one took much notice of us; it must have been known that the train was empty, for there were no waiters from the buffet with café au lait or fruit, or brioches--no porters about, or other officials. But on running into the station (ours was the first carriage) I had noticed a man standing with a valise in his hand, and I saw him following the train down the platform when we stopped.

Curiosity and something more led me to examine this man closely; it was a strange, undefined, inexplicable sense of foreboding, of fateful forecast, that he and I were destined to be thrown together unpleasantly, to be much mixed up with one another, and to the comfort and satisfaction of neither. His position in life, his business, trade or calling were not to be easily fixed; a commercial man, an agent or "traveller" on his own account, well-to-do and prosperous, was the notion borne out by his dress, his white waistcoat and coloured shirt of amazing pattern (a hint of his Italian origin), his rings and the showy diamond pin in his smart necktie. Half-fainting, I led her back to her own compartment, where her maid received her tenderly and with comforting words. Do not be cast down, my sweet dear." The maid patted her on the cheek with great affection. If I had had any scruples left I would have thrown them to the winds. Martin's Lane, W.C.] I propose, gentlemen, to set down here at length the story of my mission, and the events which befell me from the time I first received my instructions. The circumstances which led up to her disappearance and the partners of her flight are already well known to you. Here they were in this car, and it would be all my own fault if they escaped me. But my civility was quite thrown away. You might own the whole train.

Is that your own or a 'purser's' name? I ought to be able to hold my own with him, although in truth I was not over happy at the course events had taken, and I could not compliment myself on my good management. So the first thing I did on regaining my own compartment was to ring for Jules, the conductor, and put before him the photograph with which I was provided, and ask him if he recognized it. "Is it your own, or did you find it or annex it from next door?

Ah, your own; and what have you to do with her?" "I may tell you some day, Jules. Already the train was moving out of the station, when, to my intense joy, I caught sight of Ludovic Tiler, who came down the platform running alongside us, and crying, "Falfani, Falfani," as he recognized me. I wonder she'd own to it after all she's done." "Silence!" he shouted, in a great taking.

You must go your own way and I shall go mine." "I should advise you to leave it, Colonel," I said, civilly enough.

He has been made the victim of an abominable outrage, and will spare no effort, no means, no money to recover his own." "Lord Blackadder is a cad--a cruel, cowardly ruffian. It would give me the greatest pleasure to kick him down the street.

Gothard railway, pass Goeschenen, and go through the tunnel down the Italian side as far as Bellizona. Every carriage that came down the Simplon must come under my eye. He was in trouble himself; they had nipped him, caught him tight, and thrown him off the scent. Silly ass that I was, I failed to detect the warning that dropped from her own lips. I had scored as I thought, but I forgot that in gaining the knowledge I had betrayed my own intentions, and put her upon her guard. At last we sat down tête-à-tête and prepared to do full justice to the meal. To counter that I ran up and down the train, in and out of the carriages, questing like a hound, searching everywhere. Most had been on the stand at the arrival of the midday train, many had been engaged to convey passengers and baggage up into the town of Lausanne, and had deposited their fares at various hotels and private residences, but no one had driven any party answering to those of whom I was in search. They were dull, stupid men, these, only intent on their own business, who would pay little attention to humble persons on foot showing no desire to hire a cab. There were any number of trains by this funiculaire--at every half-hour indeed--and any one taking this route could reach either Lausanne or Ouchy after a very few minutes' journey up or down.

Up or down? On entering the car for the journey down I came upon the conductor who had been of so little use to me, and I was about to upbraid him when he disarmed me by volunteering fresh news.

The lady with her people certainly went down, for I have seen a porter who helped her with her effects from the line to the steamboat pier at Ouchy." "And on board the steamer?

Handbags, sacs de nuit, rugs, wrappers, bonnet-boxes, many things, like all travellers." "And you noticed nothing big, no parcel for which they were particularly concerned?" "They were anxious about everything, and worried me about everything, but about no one thing especially that I can remember." This did not tally with my own observation and the extreme care taken of the child in the woman's arms. I began to believe that my friend was a humbug and could tell me nothing of his own knowledge. My superiors will always listen first to one of their own employés, and it will be awkward if I charge you with obstructing an official and making false charges against him." Mine is a hasty temper; I am constrained to confess to a fault which often stood in my way especially in my particular business. I was quickly removed like any malefactor to the lock-up in the town above, and was thus for the moment effectively precluded from continuing my pursuit. I offered him any money in reason, I would pay any sum they might fix, pay down on the nail and give my bond for the rest. When they laughed at me, saying that he would not interfere with the course of justice on behalf of such an unknown vagabond, I told them roundly that I was travelling under the special protection of the British Minister for Foreign Affairs, the illustrious Marquis of Lansdowne. At that moment one of the many electric trams that overspread Geneva with a network of lines came swinging down the Rue de Mont Blanc from the Cornavin station, and slackened speed at the end of the bridge.

The time ran on, and I thought it would be prudent to return to my own hotel. She certainly had not reached Brieg, for with my ally l'Echelle we searched the town for news of her that night and again next morning. It would have been enough for me had I not already known Lord Blackadder by sight.

It wore an angry scowl now; his dark eyes glittered balefully under the close-knit eyebrows, his lips were drawn down, and the curved nose was like the aggressive beak of a bird of prey. "People who forget themselves so far as you have done must accept the responsibility of their own actions; and I tell you, here and now, that I shall call you to strict account for yours." The man was trying me hard, but still I strove to keep my temper. We shall find friendly seconds in the nearest garrison town, and I shall be glad to cross the frontier with you whenever you please." "You talk like the hectoring, swashbuckling bully that you are," he cried angrily, but looking rather uncomfortable.... You have no right to be here at all." "Do you think that you own all Switzerland, my noble earl?" I answered over my shoulder as I walked on.

I shall go my own road, and I defy you to do your worst." Here, when I was on the threshold of the hotel, I met Falfani full, as he came running out excitedly, holding in his hand the telltale blue envelope, which, with his elated air, indicated clearly that he had just received important news. It was clearly shown in evidence that she had made up her mind to leave Lord Blackadder; more, that she meant to elope with Major Forrester. They were supposed to be settled there as lodging-house keepers, but they had not resided long enough to be in the Directory, and their address was not known. Was she to be overtaken and despoiled, legally, of course, but still cruelly, separated from her own flesh and blood? He chafed, he raged up and down, grimacing and apostrophizing Falfani; once or twice he approached me with clenched fists, and I really thought would have struck me at last. She could have thrown so much light on the worst and darkest part. If the jury had but seen her pretty, pathetic face, and heard from her own sweet lips all she had endured, they would have come to a very different verdict. "But she would not come forward on her own behalf. "Directly the judge had issued his cruel fiat, I slipped out, hurried down-stairs into the Strand, jumped into a hansom, and was driven at top speed to Hamilton Terrace, bent upon giving instant effect to a scheme I had long since devised. I had taken up my quarters in this hotel because it was so near the station, but I thought it prudent that Henriette should lodge somewhere else, the farther the better, and she went to a small place, the Hôtel Pierre Fatio, at the other end of the town.

I felt sure they would soon hear of me and run me down. So you see--" "If she goes round by Lyons to Marseilles, then, he would be at her heels, and the scheme breaks down in that respect?" "Not only that, I don't see that he could interfere with her, or do her much harm, and at Marseilles she might change her plans entirely. It won't matter my being seen on the road, all the better really if my lord is there, for I have a little plan of my own, Lady Claire--no, please don't ask me yet--but it will help matters, I think." "You are, indeed, my true and faithful friend," she said, as she put out her hand and wished me good night. Then I asked the hotel clerk for Lady Claire's bill, paid it, with my own, and went over to the train, selecting a compartment close to the coupé. But now, here we are, close to Culoz and already slowing down. "A rank villain; one who outrages all decency, breaks every law, respects no rank--" "Bus, bus," cried the Colonel, in some language of his own, as he put me aside so roughly that I still feel the pain in my shoulder. They have tried to hustle me and, I fear, to rob me, and I have been obliged to act in my own defence." Before I could protest against this shameless misrepresentation of the fact, my lord interposed.

"Take us before the station-master, or send for the Commissary from the town. I began to think he had some game of his own. When is it to be?" "Nine fifty-one; due at Aix at 10.22," Tiler reported, and we proceeded to pass the time, some twenty minutes, each in his own way. He had joined our party, had travelled with us, and seemed on our side in the recent scuffle, here he was putting himself at the beck and call of his own employer. Was the money thrown away, and his intention now to go back on his bargain? Another man told me quite a different story; he had seen her, and had not the slightest doubt of it, in the down train, that for Aix-les-Bains, the express via Chambery, Modane, and the Mont Cenis tunnel for Italy. My lord very liberally provided first-class tickets for the whole of the party, but the Colonel took his own and paid for the gendarmes. Where shall we come?" "To the town hall, the mairie," replied the Colonel, after a brief reference to his escort. I must first hear the story from my own people.

I must ask you to behave yourself, to respect the convenances, or I shall be compelled to show you the door." "I will not be put down in this way, I will speak; I--I--" "Silence, monsieur. "Whether the lady has gone north or south, east or west, may be uncertain; and although I am satisfied in my own mind as to the direction she took, I am willing to await further developments before embarking on any further chase. Leave me now." I accepted my dismissal and moved towards the door, but Tiler hung behind, and I heard him say timidly: "May I crave your lordship's pardon--and I trust you rely on my entire devotion to your lordship's service--but there is one thing I most earnestly desire to do." "Go on." "And that is to follow my own clue, at least for a time.

Although the hotels were certain to be crowded at this, the height of the season, the town is not really large, the visitors' lists are well posted with new arrivals, and there are one or two public places where people always turn up at some time or other in the day. I stood on the top of the steps waiting for the private omnibus that plies between the hotel and the town below, when I heard my name called from behind, and turning, was confronted by Jules l'Echelle. He's his own master." "Then he's finished with that foolish business about the lady; had enough of it, I suppose; burnt his fingers and done no earthly good." "How do I know? I want a lot more than that, a thousand francs down and fifty francs a day so long as I serve you. You'll keep your own counsel and protect me from the Colonel? One of your own party, wasn't he?" "To be sure, Tiler; he's on the job, too, came out when I did from London. Sacked, dropped out, or what?" "Gone to follow up a game of his own.

She was aiming for Italy from the first; the other sister, the divorced lady, is there; we've always known that. But money down is my rule." "Let me run up and ask his lordship.

I won't keep you five minutes." My lord gave his consent a little grudgingly, but was presently persuaded that it was to his own advantage to have a spy in the heart of the enemy's camp. I understood from him that the Colonel had decided to remain down in the town, where he had many friends, and where he was more in the thick of the fun. If any one was with him, as was generally the case--smart ladies and men of his own stamp, with all of whom he seemed on very familiar terms--he invariably drew their attention to me, and they, too, laughed aloud after a prolonged stare. It was a little embarrassing; he had so evidently disclosed my business, in scornful terms no doubt, and held me up to ridicule, describing in his own way and much to my discredit all that had happened between us. He can choose his own agents." "And in his own sneaking, underhand way," the Colonel answered quickly, and with such a meaning look that I was half-afraid he suspected that we were tampering with his man. "He knows I see you, that of course, but he firmly believes it is in his own service. If Tiler is thrown out the Colonel will want to give help in the other direction." "That's sound sense, I admit. "He's down on his luck, and he don't want you to see it. I've a fiacre at the door below." He gave the établissement as the address, and we were soon tearing down the hill.

You shall be my own man, my valet and personal attendant. "You'll be paying them back in their own coin," he returned.

The Colonel shall continue in his own words.] I was much disturbed when I learnt that Tiler had wired from Lyons. I turned over the strange missive, the address in a lady's hand quite unknown to me, examining it closely, as one does when mystified, guessing vainly at a solution instead of settling it by instantly breaking the seal. I dressed hurriedly and walked down to the Hôtel Modena, where I was instantly received. Her eyes, of the same violet blue, were pretty, pleading, soft in expression, but often downcast and deprecating; the mouth and chin were weak and irresolute. "But the moment I found I had to part with my child my courage broke down. All at once she broke down and cried passionately: "No, no, no; you must not leave me--not like that. A great crisis was imminent, the ruin of our scheme and the downfall of our hopes were certainly at hand if I gave way to her. It was your own wish." "I retract that. Is it likely that I should trust myself alone with an almost complete stranger--a man who has shown me so little consideration, who has been so unkind, so cruel, and who now wants to carry me off goodness knows where, because he is so obstinately determined that his is the right way to proceed." "Lady Henriette," I said civilly but very coldly, and putting the drag on myself, for I confess she was trying me very hard, "let there be no misunderstanding between us.

Of course you must have your own way, and every one else must give in to you," she cried with aggravating emphasis, giving me no credit for trying to choose the wisest course. With my mind full of the beautiful creature who had made me a willing captive to her charms, her gracious presence was recalled to me by a message from under her own hand. Her present attitude I set down to the vacillation of her character.

Why should I be buried alive in such an out-of-the-way spot?" "It will be no worse than Fuentellato, a place you chose for yourself." "I have a house of my own there--my own servants.

The whole episode had occupied much time, and it was already past one when I reëntered the town. "Why should I part with my boy, my own boy! My own, my precious babe. To think that now at the eleventh hour you should fail me and break down. They may still be drawn after me, and leave you to your own devices. I felt sure that my gallant Colonel would hold his own, I felt no very great concern for him.

I had now to decide upon my own movements.

He had the hotel under observation that was clear, and it was little I should be able to do that day unknown to him. I shot one glance back as I turned down the long slope leading to the Grâce-à-Dieu Street, and was pleased to see that he had jumped into a fiacre and was coming on after me. I led him up and down and round and round, street after street, all along the great Cannebière and out towards the Reserve, where Roubion's Restaurant offers his celebrated fish stew, bouillabaise, to all comers. Tiler's weedy horse began to show signs of distress, for my sturdy pair had outpaced him sorely, I relented and reëntered the town, meaning to make a long halt at the office of Messrs. I had always hoped to escape to some far-off country where the King's writ does not run, where we could settle down under genial skies, amid pleasant surroundings, at a distance from the worries and miseries of life. Later in the day, out of mere curiosity, I walked down to the offices to ask a trivial question about my baggage.

We were like duellists saluting each other before we crossed swords, each relying upon his own superior skill. Tiler, on the Saturday morning, made it plain, from his arrogance and self-sufficient air as he walked through the hotel restaurant, that all was going well, and he had indeed heard from Falfani that he would arrive with Lord Blackadder that night. Later on that Saturday a telegram from Culoz reached Lady Claire from Colonel Annesley giving the latest news, and bringing down Lady Henriette's movements to the time of her departure for Marseilles. He meant of course to put up in the town, either at the Noailles or the Louvre.

I lay down to take a short rest, but was roused in time to be again on the platform at 4 A.M. Henriette was fairly worn out, and all but broke down when she saw me. We drove down, Philpotts and I, to the wharf where the steamers of the Transatlantique Company lie. The Oasis had her blue peter flying, and a long gangway stretched from her side to the shore, up and down which a crowd passed ceaselessly, passengers embarking, porters with luggage, and dock hands with freight. "Go on, Philpotts, get down below and lock yourself in," I said boldly. Give it up to me of your own accord, you shall not regret it.

Down-stairs I found Philpotts in the cabin, busily engaged in putting her "doll" to bed in the third berth. In a minute I had emerged into the open air, and found myself in the midst of the sailors sending down cargo into the forehold. There could no longer be any doubt how "it stood with us;" my heart went out to him then and there, and I nodded involuntarily, more in answer to his own thoughts than his suggestion.

We were much together, Basil and I; we walked together, exploring the recesses of the native town, and the ancient citadel, with its memories of British dominion; we lingered in the Soko or native market, crowded with wild creatures from the far interior; we rode together, for his first care was to secure horses, and scoured the country as far as the Marshan and Cape Spartel. The child must be watched continually in the house, awake and asleep, wherever he goes and whatever he does." "Then I think Henriette must be warned not to wander about the town and on the sands in the way she's been doing with Victorine and the child, all of them on donkey back.

I grudged her the smallest pleasure, while I was racing up and down flirting and philandering with Basil Annesley all day and every day; she was to sit indoors, bored to extinction and suffering torments in the unbearable heat. We arranged a surveillance, therefore, unknown to her. They had mounted donkeys, the only means of conveyance in a town with no wheeled vehicles; and l'Echelle made us laugh at the sorry picture presented by the indignant peer, with his legs dangling down on each side of the red leather saddle. L'Echelle, who seems an honest, loyal fellow, thought he would serve us best by marking them down, and, if possible, renewing his acquaintance with the detectives, one or both of whom he knew. The three assailants, Ralph Blackadder behind egging them on, had thrown themselves upon Basil, who stood sturdily at bay with his back to the wall, daring them to come on, and prepared to strike out at the first man who touched him. He had come straight from the Villa Shereef to the Hotel Atlas, racing down at a run, pausing nowhere, addressing no one on the road. Town was empty, and we did not linger there.

We four passed many idle halcyon days on the quiet river, far from the noise of trains, and content to leave Bradshaw in the bottom of the travelling-bag, where it had been thrown at the end of our feverish wanderings. /

I need not remind the reader that, from the long and weird catalogue of human miseries, I might have selected many individual instances more replete with essential suffering than any of these vast generalities of disaster.I need not remind the reader that, from the long and weird catalogue of human miseries, I might have selected many individual instances more replete with essential suffering than any of these vast generalities of disaster. /

The majority of them were men of forty or thereabouts; several wore decorations, and two or three of the eldest were treated with marked deference.The majority of them were men of forty or thereabouts; several wore decorations, and two or three of the eldest were treated with marked deference. /

The horror of the situation terrified him.The Project Gutenberg EBook of File No. 113, by Emile Gaboriau This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: File No. 113 By Emile Gaboriau I In the Paris evening papers of Tuesday, February 28, 1866, under the head of Local Items, the following announcement appeared: 'A daring robbery, committed against one of our most eminent bankers, M. Andre Fauvel, caused great excitement this morning throughout the neighborhood of Rue de Provence. 'The thieves, who were as skilful as they were bold, succeeded in making an entrance to the bank, in forcing the lock of a safe that has heretofore been considered impregnable, and in possessing themselves of the enormous sum of three hundred and fifty thousand francs in bank-notes. 'The police, immediately informed of the robbery, displayed their accustomed zeal, and their efforts have been crowned with success. B., a clerk in the bank, has been arrested, and there is every reason to hope that his accomplices will be speedily overtaken by the hand of justice.' For four days this robbery was the town talk of Paris. Then public attention was absorbed by later and equally interesting events: an acrobat broke his leg at the circus; an actress made her debut at a small theatre: and the item of the 28th was soon forgotten. But for once the newspapers were--perhaps intentionally--wrong, or at least inaccurate in their information.

The sum of three hundred and fifty thousand francs certainly had been stolen from M. Andre Fauvel's bank, but not in the manner described. The following are the facts as they were related with scrupulous exactness at the preliminary examination. II The banking-house of Andre Fauvel, No. 87 Rue de Provence, is an important establishment, and, owing to its large force of clerks, presents very much the appearance of a government department. On the ground-floor are the offices, with windows opening on the street, fortified by strong iron bars sufficiently large and close together to discourage all burglarious attempts.

On the right are the rooms to which the public is admitted, and from which a narrow passage leads to the principal cash-room. The offices of the corresponding clerk, book-keeper, and general accounts are on the left. At the farther end is a small court on which open seven or eight little wicket doors. These are kept closed, except on certain days when notes are due; and then they are indispensable.

Fauvel's private office is on the first floor over the offices, and leads into his elegant private apartments. This private office communicates directly with the bank by means of a narrow staircase, which opens into the room occupied by the head cashier. This room, which in the bank goes by the name of the 'cash-office,' is proof against all attacks, no matter how skilfully planned; indeed, it could almost withstand a regular siege, sheeted as it is like a monitor. The doors, and the partition where the wicket door is cut, are covered with thick sheets of iron; and a heavy grating protects the fireplace. Fastened in the wall by enormous iron clamps is a safe, a formidable and fantastic piece of furniture, calculated to fill with envy the poor devil who easily carries his fortune in a pocket-book. This safe, which is considered the masterpiece of the firm of Becquet, is six feet in height and four and a half in width, made entirely of wrought iron, with triple sides, and divided into isolated compartments in case of fire. The safe is opened by an odd little key, which is, however, the least important part of the mechanism. Five movable steel buttons, upon which are engraved all the letters of the alphabet, constitute the real power of this ingenious safe. Before inserting the key into the lock, the letters on the buttons must be in the exact position in which they were placed when the safe was locked. Fauvel's bank, as everywhere, the safe was always closed with a word that was changed from time to time.

This word was known only to the head of the bank and the cashier, each of whom had also a key to the safe. In a fortress like this, a person could deposit more diamonds than the Duke of Brunswick's, and sleep well assured of their safety. But one danger seemed to threaten, that of forgetting the secret word which was the 'Open sesame' of the safe. On the morning of the 28th of February, the bank-clerks were all busy at their various desks, about half-past nine o'clock, when a middle-aged man of dark complexion and military air, clad in deep mourning, appeared in the office adjoining the 'safe,' and announced to the five or six employees present his desire to see the cashier.

He was told that the cashier had not yet come, and his attention was called to a placard in the entry, which stated that the 'cash-room' was opened at ten o'clock. This reply seemed to disconcert and annoy the newcomer. I explained the matter to M. I am Count Louis de Clameran, an iron-manufacturer at Oloron, and have come to draw three hundred thousand francs deposited in this bank by my late brother, whose heir I am. It is surprising that no direction was given about it.' Neither the title of the noble manufacturer, nor his explanations, appeared to have the slightest effect upon the clerks. 'The cashier has not yet arrived,' they repeated, 'and we can do nothing for you.' 'Then conduct me to M.

Fauvel.' There was a moment's hesitation; then a clerk named Cavaillon, who was writing near a window, said: 'The chief is always out at this hour.' 'Then I will call again,' replied M.

'Not very polite, that customer,' said little Cavaillon, 'but he will soon be settled, for here comes Prosper.' Prosper Bertomy, head cashier of Fauvel's banking-house, was a tall, handsome man, of about thirty, with fair hair and large dark-blue eyes, fastidiously neat, and dressed in the height of fashion. 'Good!' exclaimed one of the clerks, 'there is a man who never lets anything disturb him. The chief has quarrelled with him twenty times for always coming too late, and his remonstrances have no more effect upon him than a breath of wind.' 'And very right, too; he knows he can get anything he wants out of the chief.' 'Besides, how could he come any sooner? a man who sits up all night, and leads a fast life, doesn't feel like going to work early in the morning. Couturier says he lost fifteen thousand francs at a sitting last week.' 'His work is none the worse done for all that,' interrupted Cavaillon. The cash-room door suddenly opened, and the cashier appeared before them with tottering step, and a wild, haggard look on his ashy face. 'Robbed!' he gasped out: 'I have been robbed!' Prosper's horrified expression, his hollow voice and trembling limbs, betrayed such fearful suffering that the clerks jumped up from their desks, and ran toward him. He almost dropped into their arms; he was sick and faint, and fell into a chair. 'Robbed?' they said; 'where, how, by whom?' Gradually, Prosper recovered himself. 'All the money I had in the safe,' he said, 'has been stolen.' 'All?' 'Yes, all; three packages, each containing one hundred notes of a thousand francs, and one package of fifty thousand.

The four packages were wrapped in a sheet of paper, and tied together.' With the rapidity of lightning, the news of the robbery spread throughout the banking-house, and the room was soon filled with curious listeners. 'Tell us, Prosper,' said young Cavaillon, 'did you find the safe broken open?' 'No; it is just as I left it.' 'Well then, how, why----' 'Yesterday I put three hundred and fifty thousand francs in the safe; and this morning they are gone.' All were silent except one old clerk, who did not seem to share the general consternation. Bertomy,' he said: 'perhaps the chief disposed of the money.' The unhappy cashier started up with a look of relief; he eagerly caught at the idea. 'Yes!' he exclaimed, 'you are right: the chief must have taken it.' But, after thinking a few minutes, he said in a tone of deep discouragement: 'No, that is impossible. During the five years that I have had charge of the safe, M. Several times he has needed money, and has either waited until I came, or sent for me, rather than touch it in my absence.' 'Well,' said Cavaillon, 'before despairing, let us ascertain.' But a messenger had already informed M.

Fauvel of the disaster. As Cavaillon was about to go in quest of him, he entered the room. Never did he by a single action belie the kindly expression of his face. Born in the neighborhood of Aix, he betrayed, when animated, a slight Provencal accent that gave a peculiar flavor to his genial humor. The news of the robbery had extremely agitated him, for his usually florid face was now quite pale. what has happened?' he said to the clerks, who respectfully stood aside when he entered the room.

The sound of M. Fauvel's voice inspired the cashier with the factitious energy of a great crisis.

The dreaded and decisive moment had come; he arose, and advanced toward his chief. 'Monsieur,' he began, 'having, as you know, a payment to make this morning, I yesterday drew from the Bank of France three hundred and fifty thousand francs.' 'Why yesterday, monsieur?' interrupted the banker.

'I think I have a hundred times ordered you to wait until the day of the payment.' 'I know it, monsieur, and I did wrong to disobey you. But the evil is done. Yesterday evening I locked the money up: it has disappeared, and yet the safe has not been broken open.' 'You must be mad!' exclaimed M. Fauvel: 'you are dreaming!' These few words destroyed all hope; but the very horror of the situation gave Prosper, not the coolness of a matured resolution, but that sort of stupid, stolid indifference which often results from unexpected catastrophes. It was with apparent calmness that he replied: 'I am not mad; neither, unfortunately, am I dreaming: I am simply telling the truth.' This tranquillity at such a moment appeared to exasperate M. He seized Prosper by the arm, and shook him roughly. who do you pretend to say opened the safe? Answer me!' 'I cannot say.' 'No one but you and I knew the secret word. No one but you and myself had keys.' This was a formal accusation; at least, all the auditors present so understood it.

Fauvel's grasp, and very slowly said: 'In other words, monsieur, I am the only person who could have taken this money.' 'Unhappy wretch!' Prosper drew himself to his full height, and, looking M. Fauvel full in the face, added: 'Or you!' The banker made a threatening gesture; and there is no knowing what would have happened if they had not been interrupted by loud and angry voices at the entry-door. A man insisted upon entering in spite of the protestations of the errand-boys, and succeeded in forcing his way in. The clerks stood looking on, bewildered and motionless.

The silence was profound, solemn. It was easy to see that some terrible question, a question of life or death, was being weighed by all these men. The iron-founder did not appear to observe anything unusual. He advanced, and without lifting his hat said, in the same impertinent tone: 'It is after ten o'clock, gentlemen.' No one answered; and M. de Clameran was about to continue, when, turning around, he for the first time saw the banker, and walking up to him said: 'Well, monsieur, I congratulate myself upon finding you in at last. I have been here once before this morning, and found the cash-room not opened, the cashier not arrived, and you absent.' 'You are mistaken, monsieur, I was in my office.' 'At any rate, I was told you were out; that gentleman over there assured me of the fact.' And the iron-founder pointed out Cavaillon. 'I return, and this time not only the cash-room is closed, but I am refused admittance to the banking-house, and find myself compelled to force my way in. Be so good as to tell me whether I can have my money.' M.

de Clameran bowed ironically, and said: 'Shall I have to wait long?' 'Long enough for me to send to the bank.' Then turning his back on the iron-founder, M. Fauvel said to his cashier: 'Write and send as quickly as possible to the bank an order for three hundred thousand francs. Let the messenger take a carriage.' Prosper remained motionless.

'Do you hear me?' said the banker angrily. The cashier trembled; he seemed as if trying to shake off a terrible nightmare. 'It is useless to send,' he said in a measured tone; 'we owe this gentleman three hundred thousand francs, and we have less than one hundred thousand in the bank.' M. de Clameran evidently expected this answer, for he muttered: 'Naturally.' Although he pronounced this word, his voice, his manner, his face clearly said: 'This comedy is well acted; but nevertheless it is a comedy, and I don't intend to be duped by it.' Alas! After Prosper's answer, and the iron-founder's coarsely expressed opinion, the clerks knew not what to think.

The fact was, that Paris had just been startled by several financial crashes. The thirst for speculation caused the oldest and most reliable houses to totter. Men of the most unimpeachable honor had to sacrifice their pride, and go from door to door imploring aid. Credit, that rare bird of security and peace, rested with none, but stood with upraised wings, ready to fly off at the first rumor of suspicion. Therefore this idea of a comedy arranged beforehand between the banker and his cashier might readily occur to the minds of people who, if not suspicious, were at least aware of all the expedients resorted to by speculators in order to gain time, which with them often meant salvation. Fauvel had had too much experience not to instantly divine the impression produced by Prosper's answer; he read the most mortifying doubt on the faces around him. de Clameran, 'this house has other resources. Be kind enough to await my return.' He left the room, went up the narrow steps leading to his study, and in a few minutes returned, holding in his hand a letter and a bundle of securities.

'Here, quick, Couturier!' he said to one of his clerks, 'take my carriage, which is waiting at the door, and go with monsieur to M. Hand him this letter and these securities; in exchange, you will receive three hundred thousand francs, which you will hand to this gentleman.' The iron-founder was visibly disappointed; he seemed desirous of apologizing for his impertinence. Our relations, for some years, have been such that I hope--' 'Enough, monsieur,' interrupted the banker, 'I desire no apologies. Follow my clerk: he will pay you your money.' Then he turned to his clerks who stood curiously gazing on, and said: 'As for you, gentlemen, be kind enough to resume your desks.' In an instant the room was cleared of everyone except the clerks who belonged there; and they sat at their desks with their noses almost touching the paper before them, as if too absorbed in their work to think of anything else. Still excited by the events so rapidly succeeding each other, M. Andre Fauvel walked up and down the room with quick, nervous steps, occasionally uttering some low exclamation. Prosper remained leaning against the door, with pale face and fixed eyes, looking as if he had lost the faculty of thinking. Finally the banker, after a long silence, stopped short before Prosper; he had determined upon the line of conduct he would pursue. 'Let us go into your office.' The cashier mechanically obeyed without a word; and his chief followed him, taking the precaution to close the door after him.

The cash-room bore no evidences of a successful burglary. The safe was open, and on the top shelf lay several rouleaus of gold, overlooked or disdained by the thieves. Fauvel, without troubling himself to examine anything, took a seat, and ordered his cashier to do the same. 'Now that we are alone, Prosper,' he said, 'have you nothing to tell me?' The cashier started, as if surprised at the question. I cannot forget that in this very room, fifteen years ago, you were intrusted to me by your father; and ever since that day have I had cause to congratulate myself on possessing so faithful and efficient a clerk. I was then just commencing the foundation of my fortune. As my wealth increased, I endeavored to better your condition; you, who, although so young, are the oldest of my clerks.

Fauvel: 'have I not always been like a father to you? From the first day, my house has been open to you; you were treated as a member of my family; Madeleine and my sons looked upon you as a brother. One day, a year ago, you suddenly began to shun us; and since then----' The memories of the past thus evoked by the banker seemed too much for the unhappy cashier; he buried his face in his hands, and wept bitterly. 'A man can confide everything to his father without fear of being harshly judged,' resumed M. 'A father not only pardons, he forgets. Do I not know the terrible temptations that beset a young man in a city like Paris? There are some inordinate desires before which the firmest principles must give way, and which so pervert our moral sense as to render us incapable of judging between right and wrong. Speak, Prosper, Speak!' 'What do you wish me to say?' 'The truth. Say to me, Yes, I have been tempted, dazzled: the sight of these piles of gold turned my brain.

'I?' 'Poor boy,' said the banker, sadly; 'do you think I am ignorant of the life you have been leading since you left my roof a year ago? that they do not forgive you for earning twelve thousand francs a year? I could tell the exact number of nights you have spent at the gaming-table, and the amount of money you have squandered. I have great contempt for these cowardly denunciations, but was forced not only to heed them, but to make inquiries myself. It is only right that I should know what sort of a life is led by the man to whom I intrust my fortune and my honor.' Prosper seemed about to protest against this last speech. And suppose I had not had the securities which I have sacrificed?

you did not know I possessed them.' The banker paused, as if hoping for a confession, which, however, did not come.

You will look again in the safe: I am sure that in your agitation you did not search thoroughly. This evening I will return; and I am confident that, during the day, you will have found, if not the three hundred and fifty thousand francs, at least the greater portion of it; and to-morrow neither you nor I will remember anything about this false alarm.' M.

Fauvel had risen, and was about to leave the room, when Prosper arose, and seized him by the arm. I have searched carefully; the bank-notes have been stolen.' 'But by whom, poor fool? By whom?' 'By all that is sacred, I swear that it was not by me.' The banker's face turned crimson. 'Miserable wretch!' cried he, 'do you mean to say that I took the money?' Prosper bowed his head, and did not answer. it is thus, then,' said M. Then, between you and me, M. I have sent for the commissary of police: he must be waiting in my study. Shall I call him down?' Prosper, with the fearful resignation of a man who abandons himself, replied, in a stifled voice: 'Do as you will.' The banker was near the door, which he opened, and, after giving the cashier a last searching look, said to an office-boy: 'Anselme, ask the commissary of police to step down.' III If there is one man in the world whom no event can move or surprise, who is always on his guard against deceptive appearances, and is capable of admitting everything and explaining everything, it certainly is a Parisian commissary of police.

While the judge, from his lofty place, applies the code to the facts submitted to him, the commissary of police observes and watches all the odious circumstances that the law cannot reach. He is perforce the confidant of disgraceful details, domestic crimes, and tolerated vices. If, when he entered upon his office, he had any illusions, before the end of a year they were all dissipated. If he does not absolutely despise the human race, it is because often, side by side with abominations indulged in with impunity, he discovers sublime generosities which remain unrewarded. He sees impudent scoundrels filching public respect; and he consoles himself by thinking of the modest, obscure heroes whom he has also encountered. He believes in nothing, neither in evil nor in absolute good; not more in virtue than in vice. His experience has forced him to come to the sad conclusion that not men, but events, are worth considering.

The commissary sent for by M. It was with a calm air, if not one of perfect indifference, that he entered the office. The banker, scarcely bowing to him, said: 'Doubtless, monsieur, you have been apprised of the painful circumstance which compels me to have recourse to your assistance?' 'It is about a robbery, I believe.' 'Yes; an infamous and mysterious robbery committed in this office, from the safe you see open there, of which my cashier' (he pointed to Prosper) 'alone possesses the key and the word.' This declaration seemed to arouse the unfortunate cashier from his dull stupor. 'Excuse me, monsieur,' he said to the commissary in a low tone. 'My chief also has the word and the key.' 'Of course, that is understood.' The commissary at once drew his own conclusions. Evidently these two men accused each other. From their own statements, one or the other was guilty.

One was the head of an important bank: the other was a simple cashier. One was the chief: the other was the clerk. But the commissary of police was too well skilled in concealing his impressions to betray his thoughts by any outward sign. But he became more grave, and alternately watched the cashier and M. Fauvel, as if trying to draw some profitable conclusion from their behavior. He had dropped into a seat, and his arms hung inert on either side of the chair. The banker, on the contrary, remained standing with flashing eyes and crimson face, expressing himself with extraordinary violence. 'And the importance of the theft is immense,' continued M. Fauvel; 'they have taken a fortune, three hundred and fifty thousand francs. This robbery might have had the most disastrous consequences.

In times like these, the want of this sum might compromise the credit of the wealthiest banking-house in Paris.' 'I believe so, if notes fall due.' 'Well, monsieur, I had this very day a heavy payment to make.' 'Ah, really!' There was no mistaking the commissary's tone; a suspicion, the first, had evidently entered his mind. The banker understood it; he started, and said, quickly: 'I met the demand, but at the cost of a disagreeable sacrifice. I ought to add further that, if my orders had been obeyed, the three hundred and fifty thousand francs would not have been in.' 'How is that?' 'I never desire to have large sums of money in my house over-night. My cashier had positive orders to wait always until the last moment before drawing money from the Bank of France. I above all forbade him to leave money in the safe over-night.' 'You hear this?' said the commissary to Prosper. 'Yes, monsieur,' replied the cashier, 'M. Fauvel's statement is quite correct.' After this explanation, the suspicions of the commissary, instead of being strengthened, were dissipated. Did the robber enter from without?' The banker hesitated a moment. The commissary expected and was prepared for those answers; but it did not suit his purpose to follow them up immediately. Fanferlot,' he said, 'go and see if you cannot discover some traces that may have escaped the attention of these gentlemen.' M.

Fanferlot, nicknamed the Squirrel, was indebted to his prodigious agility for this title, of which he was not a little proud.

Slim and insignificant in appearance he might, in spite of his iron muscles, be taken for a bailiff's under clerk, as he walked along buttoned up to the chin in his thin black overcoat. Fanferlot, who had been on the police force for five years, burned to distinguish himself, to make for himself a name. Already, before the commissary spoke to him, he had ferreted everywhere; studied the doors, sounded the partitions, examined the wicket, and stirred up the ashes in the fireplace. 'I cannot imagine,' said he, 'how a stranger could have effected an entrance here.' He walked around the office. 'It is always locked.' 'And who keeps the key?' 'The office-boy, to whom I always give it in charge before leaving the bank,' said Prosper.

Fauvel, 'sleeps in the outer room on a sofa-bedstead, which he unfolds at night, and folds up in the morning.' 'Is he here now?' inquired the commissary. 'Yes, monsieur,' answered the banker. He opened the door and called: 'Anselme!' This boy was the favorite servant of M. He knew that he would not be suspected; but the idea of being connected in any way with a robbery is terrible, and he entered the room trembling like a leaf. 'Did you sleep in the next room last night?' asked the commissary. 'Yes, monsieur, as usual.' 'At what hour did you go to bed?' 'About half-past ten; I had spent the evening at a cafe near by, with monsieur's valet.' 'Did you hear no noise during the night?' 'Not a sound; and still I sleep so lightly, that, if monsieur comes down to the cash-room when I am asleep, I am instantly awakened by the sound of his footsteps.' 'Monsieur Fauvel often comes to the cash-room at night, does he?' 'No, monsieur; very seldom.' 'Did he come last night?' 'No, monsieur, I am very certain he did not; for I was kept awake nearly all night by the strong coffee I had drunk with the valet.' 'That will do; you can retire,' said the commissary. When Anselme had left the room, Fanferlot resumed his search. He opened the door of the private staircase.

'Where do these stairs lead to?' he asked. 'Is not that the room whither I was conducted when I first came?' inquired the commissary. 'The same.' 'I would like to see it,' said Fanferlot, 'and examine the entrances to it.' 'Nothing is more easy,' said M. Fauvel's private office consisted of two rooms; the waiting-room, sumptuously furnished and beautifully decorated, and the study where he transacted business. The furniture in this room was composed of a large office-desk, several leather-covered chairs, and, on either side of the fireplace, a secretary and a book-shelf. These two rooms had only three doors; one opened on the private stairway, another into the banker's bedroom, and the third into the main vestibule.

It was through this last door that the banker's clients and visitors were admitted. Fanferlot examined the study at a glance. He seemed puzzled, like a man who had flattered himself with the hope of discovering some indication, and had found nothing. 'Let us see the adjoining room,' he said. He passed into the waiting-room, followed by the banker and the commissary of police. Prosper remained alone in the study. Despite the disordered state of his mind, he could not but perceive that his situation was momentarily becoming more serious. He had demanded and accepted the contest with his chief; the struggle had commenced; and now it no longer depended upon his own will to arrest the consequences of his action. They were about to engage in a bitter conflict, utilizing all weapons, until one of the two should succumb, the loss of honor being the cost of defeat.

In the eyes of justice, who would be the innocent man? the unfortunate cashier saw only too clearly that the chances were terribly unequal, and was overwhelmed with the sense of his own inferiority. He was sitting near the fireplace, absorbed in the most gloomy forebodings, when the banker's chamber-door suddenly opened, and a beautiful girl appeared on the threshold. She was tall and slender; a loose morning gown, confined at the waist by a simple black ribbon, betrayed to advantage the graceful elegance of her figure. Her black eyes were large and soft; her complexion had the creamy pallor of a white camellia; and her beautiful dark hair, carelessly held together by a tortoise-shell comb, fell in a profusion of soft curls upon her exquisite neck. Seeing Prosper in the study, where probably she expected to find her uncle alone, she could not refrain from an exclamation of surprise. 'Madeleine,' he gasped, 'Madeleine!' The young girl was blushing crimson. They stood thus face to face, but with averted looks, as if they dared not let their eyes meet for fear of betraying their feelings; having much to say, and not knowing how to begin, they stood silent.

Finally Madeleine murmured, in a scarcely audible voice: 'You, Prosper--you!' These words broke the spell. The cashier dropped the white hand which he held, and answered bitterly: 'Yes, this is Prosper, the companion of your childhood, suspected, accused of the most disgraceful theft; Prosper, whom your uncle has just delivered up to justice, and who, before the day is over, will be arrested, and thrown into prison.' Madeleine, with a terrified gesture, cried in a tone of anguish: 'Good heavens! Have not your aunt and cousins told you?' 'They have told me nothing. But for Heaven's sake speak: tell me the cause of your distress.' Prosper hesitated. A remembrance of the past chilled his confidence. He sadly shook his head, and replied: 'Thanks, mademoiselle, for this proof of interest, the last, doubtless, that I shall ever receive from you; but allow me, by being silent, to spare you distress, and myself the mortification of blushing before you.' Madeleine interrupted him imperiously: 'I insist upon knowing.' 'Alas, mademoiselle!' answered Prosper, 'you will only too soon learn my misfortune and disgrace; then, yes, then you will applaud yourself for what you have done.' She became more urgent; instead of commanding, she entreated; but Prosper was inflexible. 'Your uncle is in the adjoining room, mademoiselle, with the commissary of police and a detective. They will soon return. I entreat you to retire that they may not find you here.' As he spoke he gently pushed her through the door, and closed it upon her.

It was time, for the next moment the commissary and Monsieur Fauvel entered. They had visited the main entrance and waiting-room, and had heard nothing of what had passed in the study. But Fanferlot had heard for them. This excellent bloodhound had not lost sight of the cashier.

Fauvel and the commissary to pursue their investigations, he posted himself to watch. He saw the door open, and Madeleine appear upon the threshold; he lost not a single word or gesture of the rapid scene which had passed. Fanferlot was skilful enough to complete the sentences he did not understand. So prompt was he in building a plan upon the slightest incident that he thought he saw in the past of these people, who were utter strangers to him, glimpses of a domestic drama. If the commissary of police is a sceptic, the detective has faith; he believes in evil. 'I understand the case now,' said he to himself. 'This man loves the young lady, who is really very pretty; and, as he is quite handsome, I suppose his love is reciprocated. This love-affair vexes the banker, who, not knowing how to get rid of the importunate lover by fair means, has to resort to foul, and plans this imaginary robbery, which is very ingenious.' Thus to M.

Fanferlot's mind, the banker had simply robbed himself, and the innocent cashier was the victim of an odious machination. Fanferlot, the ambitious, who had determined to obtain renown in his profession, decided to keep his conjectures to himself. 'I will let the others go their way, and I'll go mine,' he said. 'When, by dint of close watching and patient investigation I shall have collected proof sufficient to insure certain conviction, I will unmask the scoundrel.' He was radiant. He had at last found the crime, so long looked for, which would make him celebrated. Nothing was wanting, neither the odious circumstances, nor the mystery, nor even the romantic and sentimental element represented by Prosper and Madeleine. Success seemed difficult, almost impossible; but Fanferlot, the Squirrel, had great confidence in his own genius for investigation. Meanwhile, the search upstairs completed, M.

Fauvel and the commissary returned to the room where Prosper was waiting for them. The commissary, who had seemed so calm when he first came, now looked grave and perplexed. The moment for taking a decisive part had come, yet it was evident that he hesitated. Fanferlot?' continued the commissary. Occupied in studying the safe-lock, he manifested signs of a lively surprise. Fauvel, Prosper, and the commissary rose, and surrounded him. 'Have you discovered any trace?' said the banker, eagerly. 'I have merely convinced myself that this safe has been recently opened or shut, I know not which, with great violence and haste.' 'Why so?' asked the commissary, becoming attentive. 'Look, monsieur, at this scratch near the lock.' The commissary stooped down, and carefully examined the safe; he saw a light scratch several inches long that had removed the outer coat of varnish. 'I see the scratch,' said he, 'but what does that prove?' 'Oh, nothing at all!' said Fanferlot.

This scratch, undeniably fresh, had for him a signification that escaped the others. If the cashier had stolen millions, there was no occasion for his being in a hurry; whereas the banker, creeping down in the dead of night with cat-like footsteps, for fear of awakening the boy in the ante-room, in order to rifle his own money-safe, had every reason to tremble, to hurry, to hastily withdraw the key, which, slipping along the lock, scratched off the varnish.' Resolved to unravel by himself the tangled thread of this mystery, the detective determined to keep his conjectures to himself; for the same reason he was silent as to the interview which he had overheard between Madeleine and Prosper. He hastened to withdraw attention from the scratch upon the lock. 'To conclude,' he said, addressing the commissary, 'I am convinced that no one outside of the bank could have obtained access to this room.

The safe, moreover, is intact. No suspicious pressure has been used on the movable buttons. I can assert that the lock has not been tampered with by burglar's tools or false keys. Those who opened the safe knew the word, and possessed the key.' This formal affirmation of a man whom he knew to be skilful ended the hesitation of the commissary. 'That being the case,' he replied, 'I must request a few moments' conversation with M. Fauvel.' 'I am at your service,' said the banker. Prosper foresaw the result of this conversation. He quietly placed his hat on the table, to show that he had no intention of attempting to escape, and passed into the adjoining room. Fanferlot also went out, but not before the commissary had made him a sign, and received one in return. This sign signified, 'You are responsible for this man.' The detective needed no admonition to make him keep a strict watch.

Closely following the cashier, he seated himself in a dark corner of the room, and, pretending to be sleepy, he fixed himself in a comfortable position for taking a nap, gaped until his jaw-bone seemed about to be dislocated, then closed his eyes, and kept perfectly quiet.

Prosper took a seat at the desk of an absent clerk. The others were burning to know the result of the investigation; their eyes shone with curiosity, but they dared not ask a question.

Unable to refrain himself any longer, little Cavaillon, Prosper's defender, ventured to say: 'Well, who stole the money?' Prosper shrugged his shoulders. The clerks observed with bewildered surprise that Prosper had resumed his usual manner, that sort of icy haughtiness that kept people at a distance, and made him so unpopular in the bank. Save the death-like pallor of his face, and the dark circles around his swollen eyes, he bore no traces of the pitiable agitation he had exhibited a short time before.

Never would a stranger entering the room have supposed that this young man idly lounging in a chair, and toying with a pencil, was resting under an accusation of robbery, and was about to be arrested. He soon stopped playing with the pencil, and drew toward him a sheet of paper upon which he hastily wrote a few lines. 'Ah, ha!' thought Fanferlot the Squirrel, whose hearing and sight were wonderfully good in spite of his profound sleep, 'eh! he makes his little confidential communication on paper, I see; now we will discover something positive.' His note written, Prosper folded it carefully into the smallest possible size, and after furtively glancing toward the detective, who remained motionless in his corner, threw it across the desk to little Cavaillon with this one word: 'Gypsy!' All this was so quickly and skilfully done that Fanferlot was confounded, and began to feel a little uneasy. 'The devil take him!' said he to himself; 'for a suffering innocent this young dandy has more pluck and nerve than many of my oldest customers. This, however, shows the result of education!' Yes: innocent or guilty, Prosper must have been endowed with great self-control and power of dissimulation to affect this presence of mind at a time when his honor, his future happiness, all that he held dear in life, were at stake. Either from natural deference, or from the hope of gaining some ray of light by a private conversation, the commissary determined to speak to the banker before acting decisively. 'There is not a shadow of doubt, monsieur,' he said, as soon as they were alone, 'this young man has robbed you.

The law will decide whether he shall be released, or sent to prison.' The declaration seemed to distress the banker. He sank into a chair, and murmured: 'Poor Prosper!' Seeing the astonished look of his listener, he added: 'Until to-day, monsieur, I have always had the most implicit faith in his honesty, and would have unhesitatingly confided my fortune to his keeping. Almost on my knees have I besought and implored him to confess that in a moment of desperation he had taken the money, promising him pardon and forgetfulness; but I could not move him. I have loved him; and even now, in spite of the trouble and humiliation that he is bringing upon me, I cannot bring myself to feel harshly toward him.' The commissary looked as if he did not understand.

Fauvel, excitedly; 'is not justice the same for all? Because I am the head of a bank, and he only a clerk, does it follow that my word is more to be relied upon than his? They will ask me for facts; and I shall be compelled to expose the exact situation of my house, explain my affairs, disclose the secret and method of my operations.' 'It is true, monsieur, that you will be called upon for some explanation; but your well-known integrity--' 'Alas! Who would be suspected if I could not prove that my assets exceed my liabilities by more than three millions?' To a strictly honorable man, the thought, the possibility of suspicion tarnishing his fair name, is cruel suffering. The banker suffered, and the commissary of police saw it, and felt for him. 'Be calm, monsieur,' said he; 'before the end of a week justice will have collected sufficient proof to establish the guilt of this unfortunate man, whom we may now recall.' Prosper entered with Fanferlot, whom they had much trouble to awaken, and with the most stolid indifference listened to the announcement of his arrest. He drew from his pocket a small key, which he laid on the table, and said: 'Here is the key of your safe, monsieur.

I hope for my sake that you will some day be convinced of my innocence; and I hope for your sake that the conviction will not come too late.' Then, as everyone was silent, he resumed: 'Before leaving I hand over to you the books, papers, and accounts necessary for my successor. I must at the same time inform you that, without speaking of the stolen three hundred and fifty thousand francs, I leave a deficit in cash.' 'A deficit!' This ominous word from the lips of a cashier fell like a bombshell upon the ears of Prosper's hearers. 'A deficit!' thought the commissary: 'how, after this, can his guilt be doubted? Before stealing this whole contents of the safe, he has kept his hand in by occasional small thefts.' 'A deficit!' said the detective to himself, 'now, no doubt, the very innocence of this poor devil gives his conduct an appearance of great depravity; were he guilty, he would have replaced the first money by a portion of the second.' The grave importance of Prosper's statement was considerably diminished by the explanation he proceeded to make. 'There is a deficit of three thousand five hundred francs on my cash account, which has been disposed of in the following manner: two thousand taken by myself in advance on my salary; fifteen hundred advanced to several of my fellow-clerks.

This is the last day of the month; to-morrow the salaries will be paid, consequently--' The commissary interrupted him: 'Were you authorized to draw money whenever you wished to advance the clerks' pay?' 'No; but I knew that M. Fauvel would not have refused me permission to oblige my friends in the bank. What I did is done everywhere; I have simply followed my predecessor's example.' The banker made a sign of assent.

'As regards that spent by myself,' continued the cashier, 'I had a sort of right to it, all of my savings being deposited in this bank; about fifteen thousand francs.' 'That is true,' said M. Bertomy has at least that amount on deposit.' This last question settled, the commissary's errand was over, and his report might now be made. Usually, this moment when stern reality stares us in the face, when our individuality is lost and we feel that we are being deprived of our liberty, this moment is terrible. At this fatal command, 'Follow me,' which brings before our eyes the yawning prison gates, the most hardened sinner feels his courage fail, and abjectly begs for mercy.

But Prosper lost none of that studied phlegm which the commissary of police secretly pronounced consummate impudence. Slowly, with as much careless ease as if going to breakfast with a friend, he smoothed his hair, drew on his overcoat and gloves, and said, politely: 'I am ready to accompany you, monsieur.' The commissary folded up his pocket-book, and bowed to M. Fauvel, saying to Prosper: 'Come!' They left the room, and with a distressed face, and eyes filled with tears that he could not restrain, the banker stood watching their retreating forms. 'Good Heaven!' he exclaimed: 'gladly would I give twice that sum to regain my old confidence in poor Prosper, and be able to keep him with me!' The quick-eared Fanferlot overheard these words, and prompted to suspicion, and ever disposed to impute to others the deep astuteness peculiar to himself, was convinced they had been uttered for his benefit.

He had remained behind the others under pretext of looking for an imaginary umbrella, and, as he reluctantly departed, said he would call in again to see if it had been found. It was Fanferlot's task to escort Prosper to prison; but, as they were about starting, he asked the commissary to leave him at liberty to pursue another course, a request which his superior granted. To obtain this written proof, which must be an important one, appeared the easiest thing in the world. He had simply to arrest Cavaillon, frighten him, demand the letter, and, if necessary, take it by force. Fanferlot was convinced that the note was intended, not for the young clerk, but for a third person. If exasperated, Cavaillon might refuse to divulge who this person was, who after all might not bear the name 'Gypsy' given by the cashier. To quietly follow Cavaillon, and keep close watch on him until he caught him in the very act of handing over the letter, was but play for the detective. This method of proceeding, moreover, was much more in keeping with the character of Fanferlot, who, being naturally soft and stealthy, deemed it due to his profession to avoid all disturbance or anything resembling evidence.

Fanferlot's plan was settled when he reached the vestibule. He began talking with an office-boy, and, after a few apparently idle questions, had discovered that the Fauvel bank had no outlet on the Rue de la Victoire, and that consequently all the clerks were obliged to pass in and out through the main entrance on the Rue de Provence. From this moment the task he had undertaken no longer presented a shadow of difficulty. He rapidly crossed the street, and took up his position under a gateway.

His post of observation was admirably chosen; not only could he see everyone who entered and came out of the bank, but also commanded a view of all the windows, and by standing on tiptoe could look through the grating, and see Cavaillon bending over his desk. Fanferlot waited a long time, but did not wax impatient, for he had often had to remain on watch entire days and nights at a time, with much less important objects in view than the present one. Besides, his mind was busily occupied in estimating the value of his discoveries, weighing his chances, and, like Perrette with her pot of milk, building the foundation of his fortune upon present success. 'Very good!' he exclaimed, 'my man is coming out; I must keep my eyes open.' The next moment Cavaillon appeared at the door of the bank; but before stepping on the pavement he looked up and down the street in an undecided manner. No, the young clerk suspected nothing; only having a commission to execute, and fearing his absence would be observed, he was debating with himself which would be the shortest road for him to take.

He soon decided, entered the Faubourg Montmartre, and walked up the Rue Notre Dame de Lorette so rapidly, utterly regardless of the grumbling passers-by whom he elbowed out of his way, that Fanferlot found it difficult to keep him in sight. Reaching the Rue Chaptal, Cavaillon suddenly stopped, and entered the house numbered 39. He had scarcely taken three steps in the narrow corridor when he felt a touch on his shoulder, and turning abruptly, found himself face to face with Fanferlot. But the detective, anticipating the attempt, barred the passage-way. Even with his prisoners he was the perfection of courtesy, and never was known to handcuff a man without first obsequiously apologizing for being compelled to do so. 'You will be kind enough, my dear monsieur,' he said, 'to excuse the great liberty I take; but I really am under the necessity of asking you for a little information.' 'Information!

It is only about a trifling matter, and you will overwhelm me with obligations if you will do me the honor to accept my arm, and step outside for a moment.' What could Cavaillon do?

The Rue Chaptal is not one of those noisy thoroughfares where foot-passengers are in perpetual danger of being run over by numberless vehicles dashing to and fro; there were but two or three shops, and from the corner of Rue Fontaine occupied by an apothecary, to the entrance of the Rue Leonie, extended a high, gloomy wall, broken here and there by a small window which lighted the carpenters' shops behind. It was one of those streets where you could talk at your ease, without having to step from the sidewalk every moment.

'What I wished to say is, my dear monsieur,' began the detective, 'that M. 'Excuse me, monsieur, for presuming to contradict you, but I am quite certain of what I say.' 'I assure you that Prosper never gave me anything.' 'Pray, monsieur, do not persist in a denial; you will compel me to prove that four clerks saw him throw you a note written in pencil and closely folded.' Cavaillon saw the folly of further contradicting a man so well informed; so he changed his tactics, and said: 'It is true Prosper gave me a note this morning; but it was intended for me alone, and after reading it I tore it up, and threw the pieces in the fire.' This might be the truth. Fanferlot feared so; but how could he assure himself of the fact? He remembered that the most palpable tricks often succeed the best, and trusting to his star, he said at hazard: 'Permit me to observe that this statement is not correct; the note was intrusted to you to give to Gypsy.' A despairing gesture from Cavaillon apprised the detective that he was not mistaken; he breathed again. 'I swear to you, monsieur,' began the young man.

'Do not swear, monsieur,' interrupted Fanferlot; 'all the oaths in the world would be useless. You not only preserved the note, but you came to this house for the purpose of giving it to Gypsy, and it is in your pocket now.' 'No, monsieur, no!' Fanferlot paid no attention to this denial, but continued in his gentlest tone: 'And I am sure you will be kind enough to give it to me; believe me, nothing but the most absolute necessity--' 'Never!' exclaimed Cavaillon; and, believing the moment favorable, he suddenly attempted to jerk his arm from under Fanferlot's, and escape. But his efforts were vain; the detective's strength was equal to his suavity. 'Don't hurt yourself, young man,' he said, 'but take my advice, and quietly give up the letter.' 'I have not got it.' 'Very well; see, you reduce me to painful extremities. If you persist in being so obstinate, I shall call two policemen, who will take you by each arm, and escort you to the commissary of police; and, once there, I shall be under the painful necessity of searching your pockets, whether you will or not.' Cavaillon was devoted to Prosper, and willing to make any sacrifice in his behalf; but he clearly saw that it was worse than useless to struggle any longer, as he would have no time to destroy the note. 'I am in your power,' he said, and then suddenly drew from his pocket-book the unlucky note, and gave it to the detective. Fanferlot trembled with pleasure as he unfolded the paper; yet, faithful to his habits of fastidious politeness, before reading it, he bowed to Cavaillon, and said: 'You will permit me, will you not, monsieur?' Then he read as follows: 'DEAR NINA--If you love me, follow my instructions instantly, without a moment's hesitation, without asking any questions. On the receipt of this note, take everything you have in the house, absolutely everything, and establish yourself in furnished rooms at the other end of Paris. Take with you five hundred francs which you will find in the secretary. PROSPER.' Had Cavaillon been less bewildered, he would have seen blank disappointment depicted on the detective's face after the perusal of the note.

Fanferlot had cherished the hope that he was about to possess a very important document, which would clearly prove the guilt or innocence of Prosper; whereas he had only seized a love-letter written by a man who was evidently more anxious about the welfare of the woman he loved than about his own. Vainly did he puzzle over the letter, hoping to discover some hidden meaning; twist the words as he would, they proved nothing for or against the writer.

The two words 'absolutely everything' were underscored, it is true; but they could be interpreted in so many ways. The detective, however, determined not to drop the matter here. 39?' 'You know it well enough, as you saw me go in there.' 'I suspected it to be the house, monsieur; now tell me whether the apartments she occupies are rented in her name.' 'No. Prosper rents them.' 'Exactly; and on which floor, if you please?' 'On the first.' During this colloquy, Fanferlot had folded up the note, and slipped it into his pocket. 'A thousand thanks, monsieur, for the information; and, in return, I will relieve you of the trouble of executing your commission.' 'Monsieur!' 'Yes: with your permission, I will myself take this note to Mme. Return quietly to your business, and have nothing more to do with this affair.' 'But Prosper is a good friend of mine, and has saved me from ruin more than once.' 'Only the more reason for your keeping quiet. You cannot be of the slightest assistance to him, and I can tell you that you may be of great injury. Any steps that you take in this matter will receive the worst interpretation.' 'Prosper is innocent, I am sure.' Fanferlot was of the same opinion, but he had no idea of betraying his private thoughts; and yet for the success of his investigations it was necessary to impress the importance of prudence and discretion upon the young man. He would have told him to keep silent concerning what had passed between them, but he dared not. 'I hope it is, for the sake of M.

Good-morning, monsieur.' The poor fellow obeyed. Slowly and with swelling heart he returned to the Rue Notre Dame de Lorette. He had no sooner turned the corner of the street, than Fanferlot entered No. 39, gave his name to the porter as Prosper Bertomy, went upstairs, and knocked at the first door he came to. It was opened by a youthful footman, dressed in the most fanciful livery. Gypsy at home?' The groom hesitated; seeing this, Fanferlot showed his note, and said: 'M. Prosper told me to hand this note to madame, and wait for an answer.' 'Walk in, and I will let madame know you are here.' The name of Prosper produced its effect. Heavy curtains darkened the windows, and hung in front of the doors.

The floor was covered with a blue velvet carpet. 'Our cashier was certainly well lodged,' murmured the detective. One of the door-curtains was pushed aside, and Mme. Gypsy was quite young, small, and graceful, with a brown or rather gold-colored quadroon complexion, with the hands and feet of a child. Long curling silk lashes softened the piercing brilliancy of her large black eyes; her lips were full, and her teeth were very white. She had not yet made her toilet, but wore a velvet dressing-wrapper, which did not conceal the lace ruffles beneath. But she had already been under the hands of a hairdresser.

Her beauty was so startling that the dazzled detective was speechless with admiration. 'Well,' he said to himself, as he remembered the noble, severe beauty of Madeleine, whom he had seen a few hours previous, 'our young gentleman certainly has good taste--very good taste--two perfect beauties!' While he thus reflected, perfectly bewildered, and wondering how he could begin the conversation, Mme. Gypsy eyed him with the most disdainful surprise; she was waiting for this shabby little man in a threadbare coat and greasy hat to explain his presence in her dainty parlor. She had many creditors, and was recalling them, and wondering which one had dared send this man to wipe his dusty boots on her velvet carpets. After scrutinizing him from head to foot with undisguised contempt, she said, haughtily: 'What do you want?' Anyone but Fanferlot would have been offended at her insolent manner; but he only noticed it to gain some notion of the young woman's disposition. You know him, then?' 'I have that honor, madame; indeed, I may be so bold as to claim him as a friend.' 'Monsieur! 'I said a friend of his, madame, and there are few people who would have the courage to claim friendship for him now.' Mme. Gypsy was struck by the words and manner of Fanferlot.

'I never could guess riddles,' she said, tartly: 'will you be kind enough to explain what you mean?' The detective slowly drew Prosper's note from his pocket, and, with a bow, presented it to Mme. She certainly anticipated no misfortune; although her sight was excellent, she stopped to fasten a tiny gold eyeglass on her nose, then carelessly opened the note. She turned very red, then very pale; she trembled as if with a nervous chill; her limbs seemed to give way, and she tottered so that Fanferlot, thinking she was about to fall, extended his arms to catch her. Gypsy was one of those women whose inert listlessness conceals indomitable energy; fragile-looking creatures whose powers of endurance and resistance are unlimited; cat-like in their soft grace and delicacy, especially cat-like in their nerves and muscles of steel. The dizziness caused by the shock she had received quickly passed off. She tottered, but did not fall, and stood up looking stronger than ever; seizing the wrist of the detective, she held it as if her delicate little hand were a vice, and cried out: 'Explain yourself!

Do you know anything about the contents of this note?' Although Fanferlot betrayed courage in daily contending with the most dangerous rascals, he was positively terrified by Mme. 'Prosper is to be arrested, accused of being a thief?' 'Yes, madame, he is accused of taking three hundred and fifty thousand francs from the bank-safe.' 'It is false, infamous, absurd!' she cried. She tore her web-like handkerchief, and the magnificent lace on her gown, to shreds. Bertomy is not rich, madame; he has nothing but his salary.' The answer seemed to confound Mme. 'But,' she insisted, 'I have always seen him have plenty of money; not rich--then----' She dared not finish; but her eye met Fanferlot's, and they understood each other. Nina's look meant: 'He committed this robbery in order to gratify my extravagant whims.' Fanferlot's glance answered: 'Very likely, madame.' A few minutes' reflection convinced Nina that her first impression was the correct one.

One can understand a man robbing a bank to obtain means of bestowing pleasure and luxury upon the woman he loves; but Prosper does not love me, he never has loved me.' 'Oh, fair lady!' protested the gallant and insinuating Fanferlot, 'you surely cannot mean what you say.' Her beautiful eyes filled with tears, as she sadly shook her head, and said: 'I mean exactly what I say. Once I was beloved by an affectionate, true-hearted man; and my own sufferings of the last year make me know how miserable I must have made him by my cold return.

we must suffer ourselves before we can feel for others. No, I am nothing to Prosper; he would not care if--' 'But then, madame, why--' 'Ah, yes,' interrupted Nina, 'why? You cannot discover the thoughts of a man so thoroughly master of himself that never is a single thought passing in his mind to be detected upon his countenance. I have watched him as only a woman can watch the man upon whom her fate depends, but it has always been in vain.

Ignorant people call him weak, yielding: I tell you that fair-haired man is a rod of iron painted like a reed!' Carried away by the violence of her feelings, Mme. She was without distrust, never suspecting that the stranger listening to her was other than a friend of Prosper. No one but a woman could have drawn him so excellent a portrait; in a moment of excitement she had given him the most valuable information; he now knew the nature of the man with whom he had to deal, which in an investigation like that he was pursuing is the principal point. I have seen him lose and gain large sums without betraying the slightest agitation.

Never have I been able to overcome his indifference, and indifference so great, so reckless, that I often think it must be despair; nothing will convince me that he has not some terrible secret, some great misfortune weighing upon his mind, and making life a burden.' 'Then he has never spoken to you of his past?' 'Why should he tell me?

Nina was overcome by thoughts of the past, and tears silently coursed down her cheeks. I will see his chief, the miserable wretch who dares to accuse him. I will haunt the judges, and I will prove that he is innocent. Gypsy's project was certainly laudable, and prompted by the noblest sentiments; but unfortunately it was impracticable. Moreover, it would be going counter to the plans of the detective. Although he had resolved to reserve to himself all the difficulties as well as the benefits of this inquiry, Fanferlot saw clearly that he could not conceal the existence of Mme. Nina from the judge of instruction.

She would necessarily be brought into the case, and sought for. He proposed to have her appear when and how he judged proper, so that he might gain for himself the merit of having discovered her. His first step was to endeavor to calm the young woman's excitement.

He thought it easy to prove to her that the least interference in favor of Prosper would be a piece of folly.

I can assure you that you have not the least chance of success. Man calculates, while woman follows the inspirations of her heart. Our most devoted friend, if a man, hesitates and draws back: if a woman, rushes undauntedly forward, regardless of the danger. 'What matters the risk?' she exclaimed. 'I don't believe any danger exists; but, if it does, so much the better: it will be all the more to my credit. I am sure Prosper is innocent; but, if he should be guilty, I wish to share the punishment which awaits him.' Mme. She hastily drew around her a cashmere shawl, and, putting on her hat, declared that she was ready to walk from one end of Paris to the other, in search of the judge. 'I am at your command, fair lady,' he said; 'let us go if you desire it; only permit me, while there is yet time, to say that we are very probably going to do great injury to M. Bertomy.' 'In what way, if you please?' 'Because we are taking a step that he expressly forbade in his letter; we are surprising him--giving him no warning.' Nina scornfully tossed her head, and replied: 'There are some people who must be saved without warning, and against their will.

I know Prosper: he is just the man to let himself be murdered without a struggle, without speaking a word--to give himself up through sheer recklessness and despair.' 'Excuse me, madame,' interrupted the detective: 'M. Bertomy has by no means the appearance of a man who has given up in despair. On the contrary, I think he has already laid his plan of defence. Gypsy was silently weighing the value of Fanferlot's objections. 'You have it in your power, madame,' he said, 'to render a great service to the man you love.' 'In what way, monsieur, in what way?' 'Obey him, my child,' said Fanferlot, in a paternal manner.

'Obey,' she murmured, 'obey!' 'It is your duty,' said Fanferlot with grave dignity, 'it is your sacred duty.' She still hesitated; and he took from the table Prosper's note, which she had laid there, then continued: 'What! Bertomy at the most trying moment, when he is about to be arrested, stops to point out your line of conduct; and you would render vain this wise precaution! Let us read over this note, which is like the testament of his liberty. Then you do not love him. Bertomy has his reasons, terrible, imperious reasons, for your remaining in obscurity for the present?' Fanferlot understood these reasons the moment he put his foot in the sumptuous apartment of the Rue Chaptal; and, if he did not expose them now, it was because he kept them as a good general keeps his reserve, for the purpose of deciding the victory. Gypsy was intelligent enough to divine these reasons. Prosper wishes, then, to keep everyone in ignorance of our intimacy.' She remained thoughtful for a moment; then a ray of light seemed to cross her mind, and she cried: 'Oh, I understand now! He would be asked to tell where he obtained so much money to lavish all these elegancies on me.' The detective bowed, and said: 'That is true, madame.' 'Then I must fly, monsieur, at once. Who knows that the police are not already warned, and may appear at any moment?' 'Oh,' said Fanferlot with easy assurance, 'you have plenty of time; the police are not so very prompt.' 'No matter!' And, leaving the detective alone in the parlor, Mme.

Nina hastily ran into her bedroom, and calling her maid, her cook, and her little footman, ordered them to empty her bureau and chests of their contents, and assisted them to stuff her best clothing and jewels into her trunks. Bertomy say, my dear lady, to the other end of Paris?

It is not elegantly furnished like this room.' 'Would I be comfortable there?' 'Upon my recommendation you would be treated like a queen, and, above all, concealed.' 'Where is it?' 'On the other side of the river, Quai Saint Michel, the Archangel, kept by Mme. 'Here are pen and paper; write your recommendation.' He rapidly wrote, and handed her the letter.

'With these three lines, madame, you can make Mme. It was he who should have brought me Prosper's letter.' 'He was unable to come, madame,' interrupted the detective, 'but I will give him your address.' Mme. He seemed to be in luck that day; for a cab was passing the door, and he hailed it. 'Wait here,' he said to the driver, after telling him that he was a detective, 'for a little brunette who is coming down with some trunks.

If she tells you to drive her to Quai Saint Michel, crack your whip; if she gives you any other address, get down from your seat, and arrange your harness. I will keep in sight.' He stepped across the street, and stood in the door of a wine-store. In a few minutes the loud cracking of a whip apprised him that Mme. Nina had started for the Archangel. 'Aha,' said he, gayly, 'I told her, at any rate.' IV At the same hour that Mme.

Nina Gypsy was seeking refuge at the Archangel, so highly recommended by Fanferlot the Squirrel, Prosper Bertomy was being entered on the jailer's book at the police office. Since the moment when he had resumed his habitual composure, he had not faltered. Vainly did the people around him watch for a suspicious expression, or any sign of giving way under the danger of his situation. One would have supposed him insensible to the horrors of his condition, had not his heavy breathing, and the beads of perspiration standing on his brow, betrayed the intense agony he was suffering. At the police office, where he had to wait two hours while the commissary went to receive orders from higher authorities, he entered into conversation with the two bailiffs who had charge of him.

While he was thus occupied, several clerks from the prefecture, who have to transact business daily with the commissary of police, curiously watched him. They all formed the same opinion, and admiringly said to each other: 'Well, he is made of strong material, he is!' 'Yes, my dandy looks too lamb-like to be left to his own devices. He ought to have a strong escort.' When he was told that a coach was waiting for him at the door, he at once got up; but, before going out, he requested permission to light a cigar, which was granted. A flower-girl stood just by the door, with her stand filled with all varieties of flowers. The girl, seeing that he was arrested, said, by way of thanks: 'Good luck to you, my poor gentleman!' He appeared touched by this mark of interest, and replied: 'Thanks, my good woman, but 'tis a long time since I have had any.' It was magnificent weather, a bright spring morning. As the coach went along Rue Montmartre, Prosper kept his head out of the window, at the same time smilingly complaining at being imprisoned on such a lovely day, when everything outside was so sunny and pleasant. 'It is singular,' he said, 'I never felt so great a desire to take a walk.' One of the bailiffs, a large, jovial, red-faced man, received this remark with a hearty burst of laughter, and said: 'I understand.' To the court clerk, while he was going through the formalities of the commitment, Prosper replied with haughty brevity to the indispensable questions asked him. But when he was ordered to empty his pockets on the table, and they began to search him, his eyes flashed with indignation, and a single tear dropped upon his flushed cheek.

In an instant he had recovered his stony calmness, and stood up motionless, with his arms raised in the air so that the rough creatures about him could more conveniently ransack him from head to foot, to assure themselves that he had no suspicious object hid under his clothes. The search would have, perhaps, been carried to the most ignominious lengths, but for the intervention of a middle-aged man of rather distinguished appearance, who wore a white cravat and gold spectacles, and was sitting quite at home by the fire.

He started with surprise, and seemed much agitated, when he saw Prosper brought in by the bailiffs; he stepped forward, and seemed about to speak to him, then suddenly changed his mind, and sat down again. This man, treated with all the deference due to a chief, was no less a personage than M. Lecoq, a celebrated member of the detective corps. When the men who were searching Prosper were about to take off his boots, saying that a knife might be concealed in them. Lecoq waved them aside with an air of authority, and said: 'You have done enough.' He was obeyed. All the formalities being ended, the unfortunate cashier was taken to a narrow cell; the heavily barred door was swung to and locked upon him; he breathed freely; at last he was alone. He was ignorant that a prison is made of glass, that the accused is like a miserable insect under the microscope of an entomologist. He knew not that the walls have stretched ears and watchful eyes. He dashed himself against the prison-walls like a wild beast in a cage.

Prosper Bertomy was not the man he appeared to be. While all of his desires were repressed, imprisoned in his low estate, like an athlete in a strait-jacket, seeing around him all these rich people with whom money assumed the place of the wand in the fairy-tale, he envied their lot. He studied the beginnings of these financial princes, and found that at the starting-point they possessed far less than himself.

How, then, had they succeeded? He determined to imitate and excel them. He reformed not his morals, but his manners; and so strictly did he conform to the rules of decorum, that he was regarded as a model of propriety by those who knew him, and had faith in his character; and his capabilities and ambition inspired the prophecy that he would be successful in attaining eminence and wealth. And the end of all was this: imprisoned for robbery; that is, ruined! He knew that, guilty or innocent, a man once suspected is as ineffaceably branded as the shoulder of a galley-slave. Therefore what was the use of struggling? What benefit was a triumph which could not wash out the stain?

When the jailer brought him his supper, he found him lying on his pallet, with his face buried in the pillow, weeping bitterly. He sank from a state of frenzy into one of stupefying despair, and vainly did he endeavor to clear his confused mind, and account for the dark cloud gathering about him; no loop-hole for escape did he discover. The night was long and terrible, and for the first time he had nothing to count the hours by, as they slowly dragged on, but the measured tread of the patrol who came to relieve the sentinels. At dawn he dropped into a sleep, a heavy, oppressive sleep, which was more wearisome than refreshing; from which he was startled by the rough voice of the jailer. 'Come, monsieur,' he said, 'it is time for you to appear before the judge of instruction.' He jumped up at once, and, without stopping to repair his disordered toilet, said: 'Come on, quick!' The constable remarked, as they walked along: 'You are very fortunate in having your case brought before an honest man.' He was right. Patrigent possessed in an eminent degree all the qualities necessary for the delicate and difficult office of judge of instruction. Perhaps he was wanting in the feverish activity which is sometimes necessary for coming to a quick and just decision; but he possessed unwearying patience, which nothing could discourage. He would cheerfully devote years to the examination of a case; he was even now engaged on a case of Belgian bank-notes, of which he did not collect all the threads, and solve the mystery, until after four years' investigation. Thus it was always to his office that they brought the endless lawsuits, half-finished inquests, and tangled cases. This was the man before whom they were taking Prosper; and they were taking him by a difficult road.

He was escorted along a corridor, through a room full of policemen, down a narrow flight of steps, across a kind of cellar, and then up a steep staircase which seemed to have no terminus. The custodian of the unhappy cashier stopped before one of these doors, and said: 'Here we are; here your fate will be decided.' At this remark, uttered in a tone of deep commiseration, Prosper could not refrain from shuddering. It was only too true, that on the other side of this door was a man upon whose decision his freedom depended. Summoning all his courage, he turned the door-knob, and was about to enter when the constable stopped him.

'Don't be in such haste,' he said; 'you must sit down here, and wait till your turn comes; then you will be called.' The wretched man obeyed, and his keeper took a seat beside him. Nothing is more terrible and lugubrious than this gallery of the judges of instruction.

Stretching the whole length of the wall is a wooden bench blackened by constant use. This bench has for the last ten years been daily occupied by all the murderers, thieves, and suspicious characters of the Department of the Seine. Sooner or later, fatally, as filth rushes to a sewer, does crime reach this gallery, this dreadful gallery with one door opening on the galleys, the other on the scaffold. This place was vulgarly and pithily denominated by a certain magistrate as the great public wash-house of all the dirty linen in Paris. When Prosper reached the gallery it was full of people. The bench was almost entirely occupied. Sometimes, above the noise of their heavy boots, tramping along the flagstones, could be heard a woman's stifled sobs, and looking around you would see some poor mother or wife with her face buried in her handkerchief, weeping bitterly. This stifling atmosphere, and the sight of so much misery, made the cashier ill and faint; he was feeling as if another five minutes' stay among these wretched creatures would make him deathly sick, when a little old man dressed in black, wearing the insignia of his office, a steel chain, cried out: 'Prosper Bertomy!' The unhappy man arose, and, without knowing how, found himself in the office of the judge of instruction. He had come out of a dark room; and the one in which he now found himself had a window directly opposite the door, so that a flood of light fell suddenly upon him.

This office, like all those on the gallery, was of a very ordinary appearance, small and dingy. The wall was covered with cheap dark green paper, and on the floor was a hideous brown carpet, very much worn. Opposite the door was a large desk, filled with bundles of law-papers, behind which was seated the judge, facing those who entered, so that his face remained in the shade, while that of the prisoner or witness whom he questioned was in a glare of light. At the right, before a little table, sat a clerk writing, the indispensable auxiliary of the judge. But Prosper observed none of these details: his whole attention was concentrated upon the arbiter of his fate, and as he closely examined his face he was convinced that the jailer was right in calling him an honorable man.

This little attention was gratefully welcomed by the prisoner, for he had expected to be treated with harsh contempt. Patrigent turned toward the clerk, and said: 'We will begin now, Sigault; pay attention.' 'What is your name?' he then asked, looking at Prosper.

'Auguste Prosper Bertomy.' 'How old are you?' 'I shall be thirty the 5th of next May.' 'What is your profession?' 'I am--that is, I was--cashier in M. Andre Fauvel's bank.' The judge stopped to consult a little memorandum lying on his desk. Prosper, who followed attentively his every movement, began to be hopeful, saying to himself that never would a man so unprejudiced have the cruelty to send him to prison again. Patrigent resumed the examination. 39, Rue Chaptal, for the last four years. 7, Boulevard des Batignolles.' 'Where were you born?' 'At Beaucaire in the Department of the Gard.' 'Are your parents living?' 'My mother died two years ago; my father is still living.' 'Does he live in Paris?' 'No, monsieur: he lives at Beaucaire with my sister, who married one of the engineers of the Southern Canal.' It was in broken tones that Prosper answered these last questions.

There are moments in the life of a man when home memories encourage and console him; there are also moments when he would be thankful to be without a single tie, and bitterly regrets that he is not alone in the world. Patrigent observed the prisoner's emotion, when he spoke of his parents.

'What is your father's calling?' he continued. 'He was formerly superintendent of the bridges and canals; then he was employed on the Southern Canal, with my brother-in-law; now he has retired from business.' There was a moment's silence. The judge had turned his chair around, so that, although his head was apparently averted, he had a good view of the workings of Prosper's face. Fauvel of three hundred and fifty thousand francs.' During the last twenty-four hours the wretched young man had had time to familiarize himself with the terrible idea of this accusation; and yet, uttered as it was in this formal, brief tone, it seemed to strike him with a horror which rendered him incapable of opening his lips. 'What have you to answer?' asked the judge. Patrigent, 'and you may count upon me to assist you to the extent of my ability in proving your innocence. I can only refer you to my past life.' The judge interrupted him: 'Let us be specific; the robbery was committed under circumstances that prevent suspicion from falling upon anyone but M. Do you suspect anyone else?' 'No, monsieur.' 'You declare yourself to be innocent, therefore the guilty party must be M. 'Have you,' persisted the judge, 'any cause for believing that M.

Fauvel robbed himself?' The prisoner preserved a rigid silence. 'I see, monsieur,' said the judge, 'that you need time for reflection.

Listen to the reading of your examination, and after signing it you will return to prison.' The unhappy man was overcome. The last ray of hope was gone. He heard nothing of what Sigault read, and he signed the paper without looking at it. He tottered as he left the judge's office, so that the keeper was forced to support him. 'I fear your case looks dark, monsieur,' said the man, 'but don't be disheartened; keep up your courage.' Courage! He had determined that he would defend himself before the judge, that he would prove his innocence; and he had not had time to do so. He reproached himself bitterly for having trusted to the judge's benevolent face. Patrigent obeyed Article 93 of the Criminal Code, which says, 'Every suspected person under arrest must be examined within twenty-four hours.' But it is not in twenty-four hours, especially in a case like this, with no evidence or material proof, that a judge can collect the materials for an examination.

To triumph over the obstinate defence of a prisoner who shuts himself up in absolute denial as if in a fortress, valid proofs are needed. These weapons M. If Prosper had remained a little longer in the gallery, he would have seen the same bailiff who had called him come out to the judge's office, and cry out: 'Number three.' The witness, who was awaiting his turn, and answered the call for number three, was M. The banker was no longer the same man. Yesterday he was kind and affable in his manner: now, as he entered the judge's room, he seemed irritated. The inevitable questions which commence every examination had scarcely been addressed to him before his impetuous temper gained the mastery, and he burst forth in invectives against Prosper. Patrigent was obliged to impose silence upon him, reminding him of what was due to himself, no matter what wrongs he had suffered at the hands of his clerk. Although he had very slightly examined Prosper, the judge was now scrupulously attentive and particular in having every question answered. Prosper's examination had been a mere formality, the stating and proving a fact. Now it related to collecting the attendant circumstances and the most trifling particulars, so as to group them together, and reach a just conclusion.

'Let us proceed in order,' said the judge, 'and pray confine yourself to answering my questions. Yet there were reasons which should have made me hesitate to trust him with my funds.' 'What reasons?' 'M. I have known of his spending whole nights at the gaming table, and losing immense sums of money. de Clameran, in a scandalous gambling affair which took place at the house of some disreputable woman, and wound up by being tried before the police court.' For some minutes the banker continued to revile Prosper. 'You must confess, monsieur,' interrupted the judge, 'that you were very imprudent, if not culpable, to have intrusted your safe to such a man.' 'Ah, monsieur, Prosper was not always thus.

Until the past year he was a model of goodness.

He lived in my house as one of my family; he spent all of his evenings with us, and was the bosom friend of my eldest son Lucien.

One day, he suddenly left us, and never came to the house again.

He now did this, and said: 'Might not this admiration for the young lady have been the cause of M. Bertomy's estrangement?' 'How so?' said the banker with surprise. She is beautiful, and her dowry will be half a million.' 'Then you can see no motive for your cashier's conduct?' 'It is impossible for me to account for it. and who is this young man?' 'A relative of my wife; a very attractive, intelligent young man, somewhat wild, but rich enough to pay for his follies.' The judge wrote the name Lagors at the bottom of an already long list on his memorandum.

'Now,' he said, 'we are coming to the point.

You are sure that the theft was not committed by anyone in your house?' 'Quite sure, monsieur.' 'You always kept your key?' 'I generally carried it about on my person; and, whenever I left it at home, I put it in the secretary drawer in my chamber.' 'Where was it the evening of the robbery?' 'In my secretary.' 'But then--' 'Excuse me for interrupting you,' said M. Fauvel, 'and to permit me to tell you that, to a safe like mine, the key is of no importance. In the first place, one is obliged to know the word upon which the five movable buttons turn. With the word one can open it without the key; but without the word--' 'And you never told this word to anyone?' 'To no one, monsieur, and sometimes I would have been puzzled to know myself with what word the safe had been closed. Prosper would change it when he chose, and, if he had not informed me of the change, would have to come and open it for me.' 'Had you forgotten it on the day of the theft?' 'No: the word had been changed the day before; and its peculiarity struck me.' 'What was it?' 'Gypsy, g, y, p, s, y,' said the banker, spelling the name. 'One more question, monsieur: were you at home the evening before the robbery?' 'No; I dined and spent the evening with a friend; when I returned home, about one o'clock, my wife had retired, and I went to bed immediately.' 'And you were ignorant of the amount of money in the safe?' 'Absolutely. In conformity with my positive orders, I could only suppose that a small sum had been left there over-night; I stated this fact to the commissary in M. Bertomy's presence, and he acknowledged it to be the case.' 'Perfectly correct, monsieur: the commissary's report proves it.' M. To him everything depended upon this one fact, that the banker was unaware of the three hundred and fifty thousand francs being in the safe, and Prosper had disobeyed orders by placing them there over-night; hence the conclusion was very easily drawn. Seeing that his examination was over, the banker thought that he would relieve his mind of what was weighing upon it.

I would be obliged if you would have the condition of my banking-house examined. The prosperous condition of my affairs--' 'That is sufficient, monsieur.' M. Patrigent was well informed of the high standing of the banker, and knew almost as much of his affairs as did M. He asked him to sign his testimony, and then escorted him to the door of his office, a rare favor on his part. Fauvel had left the room, Sigault indulged in a remark. 'This seems to be a very cloudy case,' he said; 'if the cashier is shrewd and firm, it will be difficult to convict him.' 'Perhaps it will,' said the judge, 'but let us hear the other witnesses before deciding.' The person who answered to the call for number four was Lucien, M. To the judge's questions he replied that he was very fond of Prosper, was once very intimate with him, and had always regarded him as a strictly honorable man, incapable of doing anything unbecoming a gentleman. He declared that he could not imagine what fatal circumstances could have induced Prosper to commit a theft.

He knew he played cards, but not to the extent that was reported. In regard to his cousin Madeleine, he replied: 'I always thought that Prosper was in love with Madeleine, and, until yesterday, I was certain he would marry her, knowing that my father would not oppose their marriage. I have always attributed the discontinuance of Prosper's visits to a quarrel with my cousin, but supposed they would end by becoming reconciled.' This information, more than that of M. Fauvel, threw light upon Prosper's past life, but did not apparently reveal any evidence which could be used in the present state of affairs. The poor fellow was in a pitiable state of mind when he appeared before the judge. Having, as a great secret, confided to a friend his adventure with the detective, and being jeered at for his cowardice in giving up the note, he felt great remorse, and passed the night in reproaching himself for having ruined Prosper. Fauvel, but he courageously declared that he was the cashier's friend, and that he was as sure of his innocence as he was of his own. Unfortunately, besides his having no proofs to strengthen his assertions, these were deprived of any value by his violent professions of friendship for the accused. After Cavaillon, six or eight clerks of the Fauvel bank successively defiled in the judge's office; but their depositions were nearly all insignificant. One of them, however, stated a fact which the judge carefully noted.

He said he knew that Prosper had speculated on the Bourse through the medium of M.

Five o'clock struck before the list of witnesses summoned for the day was exhausted. But the task of M. He rang for his bailiff, who instantly appeared, and said to him: 'Go at once, and bring Fanferlot here.' It was some time before the detective answered the summons. Having met a colleague on the gallery, he thought it his duty to treat him to a drink; and the bailiff had found it necessary to bring him from the little inn at the corner. 'How is it that you keep people waiting?' said the judge, when he entered bowing and scraping. To prosecute the Bertomy case alone, it required a double play that might be discovered at any moment; to manage at once the cause of justice and his own ambition, he ran great risks, the least of which was the losing of his place. Thus he gave the history of Cavaillon's letter, which he handed to the judge; but he did not breathe a word of Madeleine. On the other hand, he gave biographical details, very minute indeed, of Prosper and Mme. Gypsy, which he had collected from various quarters during the day. As he progressed the conviction of M.

Patrigent was strengthened. Fanferlot did not reply; his opinion was different, but he was delighted that the judge was on the wrong track, thinking that his own glory would thereby be the greater when he discovered the real culprit. After hearing all he had to tell, the judge dismissed Fanferlot, telling him to return the next day.

'Above all,' he said, as Fanferlot left the room, 'do not lose sight of the girl Gypsy; she must know where the money is, and can put us on the track.' Fanferlot smiled cunningly. 'You may rest easy about that, monsieur; the lady is in good hands.' Left to himself, although the evening was far advanced, M. Patrigent continued to busy himself with the case, and to arrange that the rest of the depositions should be made. This case had actually taken possession of his mind; it was, at the same time, puzzling and attractive. The next morning he was in his office much earlier than usual. For several days he displayed the same activity.

Of all the witnesses summoned, only two failed to appear. One was the office-boy sent by Prosper to bring the money from the city bank; he was ill from a fall. The other was M. But their absence did not prevent the file of papers relating to Prosper's case from daily increasing; and on the ensuing Monday, five days after the robbery, M. Patrigent thought he held in his hands enough moral proof to crush the accused.

V While his whole past was the object of the most minute investigations, Prosper was in prison, in a secret cell. The two first days had not appeared very long. The third day he began to be uneasy at not seeing anyone except the condemned prisoners who were employed to serve those confined in secret cells, and the jailer who brought him his food. 'Your turn is coming,' the jailer invariably answered. Time passed; and the wretched man, tortured by the sufferings of solitary confinement which quickly breaks the spirit, sank into the depths of despair. No, he was not forgotten; for on Monday morning, at one o'clock, an hour when the jailer never came, he heard the heavy bolt of his cell pushed back. He ran toward the door. But the sight of a gray-headed man standing on the sill rooted him to the spot. 'Father,' he gasped, 'father!' 'Your father, yes!' Prosper's astonishment at seeing his father was instantly succeeded by a feeling of great joy. A father is one friend upon whom we can always rely.

In the hour of need, when all else fails, we remember this man upon whose knees we sat when children, and who soothed our sorrows; and although he can in no way assist us, his presence alone comforts and strengthens. Without reflecting, Prosper, impelled by tender feeling, was about to throw himself on his father's bosom. He then advanced into the cell, and closed the door. The father and son were alone together, Prosper heart-broken, crushed; M. Cast off by this last friend, by his father, the miserable young man seemed to be stupefied with pain and disappointment. Oh, father!' 'Spare yourself this shameful comedy,' interrupted M. Bertomy: 'I know all.' 'But I am innocent, father; I swear it by the sacred memory of my mother.' 'Unhappy wretch,' cried M.

Bertomy, 'do not blaspheme!' He seemed overcome by tender thoughts of the past, and in a weak, broken voice, he added: 'Your mother is dead, Prosper, and little did I think that the day would come when I could thank God for having taken her from me. Your crime would have killed her, would have broken her heart!' After a painful silence, Prosper said: 'You overwhelm me, father, and at the moment when I need all my courage; when I am the victim of an odious plot.' 'Victim!' cried M. Dare you utter your insinuations against the honorable man who has taken care of you, loaded you with benefits, and had insured you a brilliant future! It is enough for you to have robbed him; do not calumniate him.' 'For pity's sake, father, let me speak!' 'I suppose you would deny your benefactor's kindness.

Fauvel for the hand of his niece. Was that a lie too?' 'No,' said Prosper in a choked voice, 'no.' 'That was a year ago; you then loved Mlle. Madeleine; at least you wrote to me that you--' 'Father, I love her now, more than ever; I have never ceased to love her.' M.

'Indeed!' he cried, 'and the thought of the pure, innocent girl whom you loved did not prevent your entering upon a path of sin. You loved her: how dared you, then, without blushing, approach her presence after associating with the shameless creatures with whom you were so intimate?' 'For Heaven's sake, let me explain by what fatality Madeleine--' 'Enough, monsieur, enough. Fauvel yesterday; this morning I saw the judge, and 'tis to his kindness that I am indebted for this interview. 'I have seen your apartments, and at once recognized the proofs of your crime.

I saw silk curtains hanging before every window and door, and the walls covered with pictures. In my father's house the walls were whitewashed; and there was but one arm-chair in the whole house, and that was my mother's. You are the first member of our family who has possessed Aubusson carpets; though, to be sure, you are the first thief of our blood.' At this last insult Prosper's face flushed crimson, but he remained silent and immovable.

You must have the insolent opulence and display of an upstart, without being an upstart. And bankers no longer trust their safe-keys with anybody; and every day honest families are disgraced by the discovery of some new piece of villainy.' M. 'I came here not to reproach, but to, if possible, save the honor of our name, to prevent it from being published in the papers bearing the names of thieves and murderers. Stand up and listen to me!' At the imperious tone of his father, Prosper arose. Bertomy, 'how much have you remaining of the stolen three hundred and fifty thousand francs?' 'Once more, father,' replied the unfortunate man in a tone of hopeless resignation, 'once more I swear I am innocent.' 'So I supposed you would say. Then our family will have to repair the injury you have done M.

Fauvel.' 'What do you mean?' 'The day he heard of your crime, your brother-in-law brought me your sister's dowry, seventy thousand francs. 'You shall do nothing of the kind!' he cried with unrestrained indignation. 'I will do so before the sun goes down this day. Fauvel will grant me time to pay the rest. I can live upon five hundred, and am strong enough to go to work again; and your brother-in-law--' M.

Bertomy stopped short, frightened at the expression of his son's face.

When cold justice hesitates, you, my father, hesitate not, but, more pitiless than the law, condemn me unheard!' 'I only do my duty.' 'Which means that I stand on the edge of a precipice, and you push me over.

Our honor is at stake, it is true; but that is only the more reason why you should sustain me, and assist me to defend myself.' Prosper's earnest, truthful manner was enough to unsettle the firmest convictions, and make doubt penetrate the most stubborn mind. Bertomy in a hesitating tone, 'everything seems to accuse you.' 'Ah, father, you do not know that I was suddenly banished from Madeleine's presence; that I was compelled to avoid her. I will justify myself or perish in the attempt. I will undergo my penalty; but people are not kept galley-slaves forever.' 'What do you mean?' 'I mean, father, that I am now another man. I am the victim of a vile plot. And I will certainly find him; and then bitterly shall he expiate all of my cruel suffering.

The blow came from the house of Fauvel, and I will live to prove it.' 'Take care: your anger makes you say things that you will repent hereafter.' 'Yes, I see, you are going to descant upon the probity of M. You will tell me that all the virtues have taken refuge in the bosom of this patriarchal family. Would this be the first instance in which the most shameful secrets are concealed beneath the fairest appearances? I have proofs of it.' The jailer came to say that the time allotted to M. Bertomy had expired, and that he must leave the cell. A thousand conflicting emotions seemed to rend the old man's heart. Suppose Prosper were telling the truth: how great would be his remorse, if he had added to his already great weight of sorrow and trouble!

The voice of this son, of whom he had always been so proud, had aroused all his paternal affection, so violently repressed. He had resolved to leave, as he had entered, stern and angry: he had not the cruel courage. 'God grant you have spoken the truth!' Prosper was triumphant: he had almost convinced his father of his innocence.

The cell-door again opened, and the jailer's gruff voice once more called out: 'It is time for you to appear before the court.' He instantly obeyed the order. He walked with a firm step, head erect, and the fire of resolution in his eye. He knew the way now, and he walked a little ahead of the constable who escorted him. As he was passing through the room full of policemen, he met the man with gold spectacles, who had watched him so intently the day he was searched. Prosper Bertomy,' he said: 'if you are innocent, there are those who will help you.' Prosper started with surprise, and was about to reply, when the man disappeared.

'Who is that gentleman?' he asked of the policeman. 'Is it possible that you don't know him?' replied the policeman with surprise. Lecoq, of the police service.' 'You say his name is Lecoq?' 'You might as well say 'monsieur,'' said the offended policeman; 'it would not burn your mouth. But he seems to be a friend of yours.' 'I never saw him until the first day I came here.' 'You can't swear to that, because no one can boast of knowing the real face of M. It is one thing to-day, and another to-morrow; sometimes he is a dark man, sometimes a fair one, sometimes quite young, and then an octogenarian: why, not seldom he even deceives me. the first thing I know, it is M. Anybody on the face of the earth might be he. He is a wonderful man!' The constable would have continued forever his praises of M. Lecoq, had not the sight of the judge's door put an end to them.

This time, Prosper was not kept waiting on the wooden bench: the judge, on the contrary, was waiting for him.

Patrigent, who was a profound observer of human nature, had contrived the interview between M. He was sure that between the father, a man of such stubborn honor, and the son, accused of theft, an affecting scene would take place, and this scene would completely unman Prosper, and make him confess. He determined to send for him as soon as the interview was over, while all his nerves were vibrating with terrible emotions: he would tell the truth, to relieve his troubled, despairing mind. His surprise was great to see the cashier's bearing; resolute without obstinacy, firm and assured without defiance. 'Well,' he said, 'have you reflected?' 'Not being guilty, monsieur, I had nothing to reflect upon.' 'Ah, I see the prison has not been a good counsellor; you forget that sincerity and repentance are the first things necessary to obtain the indulgence of the law.' 'I crave no indulgence, monsieur.' M.

Patrigent looked vexed, and said: 'What would you say if I told you what had become of the three hundred and fifty thousand francs?' Prosper shook his head sadly. 'If it were known, monsieur, I would not be here, but at liberty.' This device had often been used by the judge, and generally succeeded; but, with a man so thoroughly master of himself, there was small chance of success. 'Then you persist in accusing M.

Fauvel?' 'Him, or someone else.' 'Excuse me: no one else, since he alone knew the word. Patrigent spoke as a man who was convinced of the facts he was about to state; but his assurance was all assumed.

'Will you be good enough to tell me,' he said, in a vexed tone, 'how much you have spent during the last year?' Prosper did not find it necessary to stop to reflect and calculate. 'Yes, monsieur,' he answered, unhesitatingly: 'circumstances made it necessary for me to preserve the greatest order in my wild career; I spent about fifty thousand francs.' 'Where did you obtain them?' 'In the first place, twelve thousand francs were left to me by my mother. Fauvel fourteen thousand francs, as my salary, and share of the profits. The rest I borrowed, and intend repaying out of the fifteen thousand francs which I have deposited in M. Fauvel's bank.' The account was clear, exact, and could be easily proved; it must be a true one.

'Who lent you the money?' 'M. Raoul de Lagors.' This witness had left Paris the day of the robbery, and could not be found; so, for the time being, M. 'Well,' he said, 'I will not press this point; but tell me why, in spite of the formal order of M. Fauvel, you drew the money from the Bank of France the night before, instead of waiting till the morning of the payment?' 'Because M.

de Clameran had informed me that it would be agreeable, necessary even, for him to have his money early in the morning. He will testify to that fact, if you summon him; and I knew that I should reach my office late.' 'Then M. I have always felt repelled by him; but he is the intimate friend of M. Lagors.' While Sigault was writing down these answers, M. 'One more thing,' said the judge: 'how did you spend the evening, the night before the crime?' 'When I left my office, at five o'clock, I took the St.-Germain train, and went to Vesinet, M.

I did not know that he had left Paris.' 'Where did you go when you left Vesinet?' 'I returned to Paris, and dined at a restaurant with a friend.' 'And then?' Prosper hesitated. Patrigent; 'then I shall tell you how you employed your time. You returned to your rooms in the Rue Chaptal, dressed yourself, and attended a soiree given by one of those women who style themselves dramatic artistes, and who are a disgrace to the stage; who receive a hundred crowns a year, and yet keep their carriages, at Mlle. Wilson's.' 'You are right, monsieur.' 'There is heavy playing at Wilson's?' 'Sometimes.' 'You are in the habit of visiting places of this sort. Were you not connected in some way with a scandalous adventure which took place at the house of a woman named Crescenzi?' 'I was summoned to testify, having witnessed a theft.' 'Gambling generally leads to stealing. In the morning you paid a note of a thousand francs.' 'Yes, monsieur.' 'Moreover, there remained in your desk five hundred francs, and you had four hundred in your purse when you were arrested.

So that altogether, in twenty-four hours, four thousand five hundred francs--' Prosper was not discountenanced, but stupefied. Not being aware of the powerful means of investigation possessed by the law, he wondered how in so short a time the judge could have obtained such accurate information. The evening before you had so little that you were obliged to defer the payment of a small bill.' 'The day to which you allude, I sold through an agent some bonds I had, about three thousand francs; besides, I took from the safe two thousand francs in advance on my salary.' The prisoner had given clear answers to all the questions put to him, and M.

'You say you have no wish to conceal any of your actions; then why did you write this note to one of your companions?' Here he held up the mysterious note. This time the blow struck. Prosper's eyes dropped before the inquiring look of the judge.

I knew that a man in my condition, accused of a robbery, has every fault, every weakness he has ever indulged in, charged against him as a great crime.' 'Which means that you knew that the presence of a woman at your house would tell very much against you, and that justice would not excuse this scandalous defiance of public morality. A man who respects himself so little as to associate with a worthless woman, does not elevate her to his standard, but he descends to her base level.' 'Monsieur!' 'I suppose you know who the woman is, whom you permit to bear the honest name borne by your mother?' 'Mme. 'Ah, here it is,' he said, 'listen: Palmyre Chocareille, born at Paris in 1840, daughter of James Chocareille, undertaker's assistant, and of Caroline Piedlent, his wife.' Prosper looked vexed and impatient; he did not know that the judge was reading him this report to convince him that nothing can escape the police. At the age of seventeen she is hired as a servant by a grocer on the Rue St. Denis, named Dombas, and remains there three months.

In 1858 she entered the store of a fan-merchant in Choiseul Alley.' As he read, the judge watched Prosper's face to observe the effect of these revelations. 'Toward the close of 1858 she was employed as a servant by Madame Munes, and accompanied her to Lisbon. How long she remained in Lisbon, and what she did while she remained there, is not reported. Ah, she returned from Portugal with the name of Nina Gypsy.' 'But I assure you, monsieur,' Prosper began.

'Yes, I understand; this history is less romantic, doubtless, than the one related to you; but then it has the merit of being true. We lose sight of Palmyre Chocareille, called Gypsy, upon her release from prison, but we meet her again six months later, having made the acquaintance of a travelling agent named Caldas, who became infatuated with her beauty, and furnished her a house near the Bastille.

She assumed his name for some time, then she deserted him to devote herself to you. The current report afterward was, that he committed suicide. He certainly sold the furniture of the House occupied by Chocareille, and suddenly disappeared. All the efforts made to discover him proved fruitless.' The judge stopped a moment as if to give Prosper time for reflection, and then slowly said: 'And this is the woman whom you made your companion, the woman for whom you robbed the bank!' Once more M. Patrigent was on the wrong track, owing to Fanferlot's incomplete information. He had hoped that Prosper would betray himself by uttering some passionate retort when thus wounded to the quick; but he remained impassible. Of all the judge said to him his mind dwelt upon only one word--Caldas, the name of the poor travelling agent who had killed himself. Patrigent, 'you will confess that this girl has caused your ruin.' 'I cannot confess that, monsieur, for it is not true.' 'Yet she is the occasion of your extravagance.

Listen.' The judge here drew a bill from the file of papers. 'During December you paid her dressmaker, Van Klopen, for two walking dresses, nine hundred francs; one evening dress, seven hundred francs; one domino, trimmed with lace, four hundred francs.' 'I spent this money cheerfully, but nevertheless I was not especially attached to her.' M. 'You cannot deny the evidence,' said he. Fauvel's?' 'I swear that she was not the cause of my ceasing to visit M. Fauvel's family.' 'Then why did you cease, suddenly, your attentions to a young lady whom you confidently expected to marry, and whose hand you had written to your father to demand for you?' 'I had reasons which I cannot reveal,' answered Prosper with emotion. The judge breathed freely; at last he had discovered a vulnerable point in the prisoner's armor. Patrigent; 'I must tell you that this circumstance is one of the most important in your case.' 'Whatever the cost may be, on this subject I am compelled to keep silence.' 'Beware of what you do; justice will not be satisfied with scruples of conscience.' M. Well, we will go on to the next question. You have, during the last year, spent fifty thousand francs.

I thought it might last as long as it would, and then I----' 'And then you would draw from the safe!' 'Ah, monsieur, if I were guilty, I should not be here! I should never have been such a fool as to return to the bank; I should have fled.' M. Patrigent could not restrain a smile of satisfaction, and exclaimed: 'Exactly the argument I expected you to use. You showed your shrewdness precisely by staying to face the storm, instead of flying the country. You remained prudently and wisely, saying to yourself, 'I will manage to avoid suspicion; and, even if I am found out, I shall be free again after three or five years' seclusion, with a large fortune to enjoy.' Many people would sacrifice five years of their lives for three hundred and fifty thousand francs.' 'But monsieur, had I calculated in the manner you describe, I should not have been content with three hundred and fifty thousand francs; I should have waited for an opportunity to steal half a million. 'Monsieur,' he finally said, 'there is one detail I forgot to mention before, and it may be of importance.' 'Explain, if you please.' 'The office messenger whom I sent to the Bank of France for the money must have seen me tie up the bundle, and put it away in the safe. At any rate, he knows that I left the bank before he did.' 'Very well; the man shall be examined.

Now you can return to your cell; and once more I advise you to consider the consequences of your persistent denial.' M. 'Sigault,' said he as soon as Prosper had left the room, 'is not this Antonin the man who was excused from testifying because he sent a doctor's certificate declaring him too ill to appear?' 'It is, monsieur.' 'Where doe he live?' 'Fanferlot says he was so ill that he was taken to the hospital--the Dubois Hospital.' 'Very well. Take your pen and paper, and send for a carriage.' It was some distance from the Palais de Justice to the Dubois Hospital; but the cabman, urged by the promise of a large fee, made his sorry jades fly as if they were blooded horses. The physician in charge of the hospital said that, although the man suffered horribly from a broken knee, his mind was perfectly clear. 'That being the case, monsieur,' said the judge, 'I wish to examine him, and desire that no one be admitted while he makes his deposition.' 'Oh! you will not be intruded upon, monsieur; his room contains four beds, but they are just now unoccupied.' When Antonin saw the judge enter, followed by a little weazened man in black, with a portfolio under his arm, he at once knew what he had come for. Patrigent remained standing by the sick-bed while Sigault arranged his papers on a little table. In answer to the usual questions, the messenger swore that he was named Antonin Poche, was forty years old, born at Cadaujac (Gironde), and was unmarried.

'Now,' said the judge, 'are you well enough to clearly answer any questions I may put?' 'Certainly, monsieur.' 'Did you, on the 27th of February, go to the Bank of France for the three hundred and fifty thousand francs that were stolen?' 'Yes, monsieur.' 'At what hour did you return with the money?' 'It must have been five o'clock when I got back.' 'Do you remember what M. Bertomy did when you handed him the notes? Now, do not be in a hurry; think before you answer.' 'Let me see: first he counted the notes, and made them into four packages; then he put them in the safe; and then--it seems to me--and then he locked the safe; and, yes, I am not mistaken, he went out!' He uttered these last words so quickly, that, forgetting his knee, he half started up, but, with a cry of pain, sank back in bed. 'Are you sure of what you say?' asked the judge. But the effect was already produced; and when they retired M.

Patrigent said to Sigault: 'This is a very important piece of evidence.' VI The Archangel Hotel, Mme. Gypsy's asylum, was the most elegant building on the Quai St. Alexandre, who had been a handsome woman, was now stout, laced till she could scarcely breathe, always over-dressed, and fond of wearing a number of flashy gold chains around her fat neck. She also loved her husband; and, about the time M. Patrigent was leaving the hospital, she began to be worried that her 'little man' had not returned to dinner. She was about to sit down without him, when the hotel-boy cried out: 'Here is monsieur.' And Fanferlot appeared in person. Alexandre was a trader without a license in perfumery and toilet articles, and, finding it necessary to watch some of her suspicious customers, engaged Fanferlot's services; this was the origin of their acquaintance. If they went through the marriage ceremony for the good of the mayoralty and the church, it was because they imagined it would, like a baptism, wash out the sins of the past. Upon this momentous day, Fanferlot gave up his secret intelligence office, and entered the police, where he had already been occasionally employed, and Mme. Uniting their savings, they hired and furnished the 'Archangel,' which they were now carrying on prosperously well, esteemed by their neighbors, who were ignorant of Fanferlot's connection with the police force.

'I have been the whole day playing billiards with Evariste, M. Fauvel's valet, and allowed him to win as often as he wished, a man who does not know what 'the pool' is! How else am I to get an opportunity of studying my characters, if I am not on the spot to watch them all the time?' 'Then the valet gave you no news?' 'He gave me none that I could make use of, and yet I turned him inside out, like a glove. He neither smokes, drinks, nor plays; in fact, he is a saint. He is devoted to his wife, adores his children, is lavishly hospitable, and seldom goes into society.' 'Then his wife is young?' 'She must be about fifty.' Mme. Alexandre reflected a minute, then asked: 'Did you inquire about the other members of the family?' 'Certainly. The younger son is in the army. The elder son, Lucien, lives with his parents, and is as proper as a young lady; so good, indeed, that he is stupid.' 'And what about the niece?' 'Evariste could tell me nothing about her.' Mme. 'If you have discovered nothing, it is because there is nothing to be discovered. Lecoq does not suspect that I have anything to do with the case, except to obey his orders.' 'Nobody told you to let him know you were investigating it on your own account.

You can consult him with an air of indifference, as if you were not at all interested; and, after you have got his opinion, you can take advantage of it.' The detective weighed his wife's words, and then said: 'Perhaps you are right; yet M. All of you at the police office say that so often, that he has gained his reputation by it: you are just as sharp as he is.' 'Well, we will see. I will think the matter over; but, in the meantime, what does the girl say?' The 'girl' was Mme. In taking up her abode at the Archangel, the poor girl thought she was following good advice; and, as Fanferlot had never appeared in her presence since, she was still under the impression that she had obeyed a friend of Prosper's. Patrigent, she admired the wonderful skill of the police in discovering her hiding-place; for she had established herself at the hotel under a false, or rather her true name, Palmyre Chocareille. Thus Fanferlot was able to impress the judge with the idea of his being a skilful detective, when he pretended to have discovered all this information from a variety of sources. I don't know what the judge told her, but she came home quite beside herself with anger. Fauvel's; then she wrote a letter which she told Jean to post for her; but I kept it to show you.' 'What!' interrupted Fanferlot, 'you have a letter, and did not tell me before? Perhaps it contains the clew to the mystery.

It bore the following address, written in a free, flowing hand: FOR M. 'A little bit,' said Fanferlot, as he dexterously opened the envelope.

Alexandre leaned over her husband's shoulder, and they both read the following letter: 'MONSIEUR RAOUL--Prosper is in prison, accused of a robbery which he never committed. I wrote to you three days ago.' 'What!' interrupted Fanferlot, 'this silly girl wrote, and I never saw the letter?' 'But, little man, she must have posted it herself, the day she went to the Palais de Justice.' 'Very likely,' said Fanferlot propitiated. If you don't answer this letter, I shall consider myself released from a certain promise, and without scruple will tell Prosper of the conversation I overheard between you and M. I shall expect you at the Archangel day after to-morrow, between twelve and four. 'NINA GYPSY' The letter read, Fanferlot at once proceeded to copy it. Alexandre, 'what do you think?' Fanferlot was delicately resealing the letter when the door of the hotel office was abruptly opened, and the boy twice whispered, 'Pst!

He had barely time to close the door before Mme. Gypsy entered the room. The poor girl was sadly changed. 'Why, my child, you are not going out?' 'I am obliged to do so, madame; and I come to ask you to tell anyone that may call during my absence to wait until I return.' 'But where in the world are you going at this hour, sick as you are?' For a moment Mme.

Alexandre perfectly aghast: 'a messenger enter my house, and go up to your room!' 'Is there anything surprising in that?' 'Oh, oh, no! nothing surprising.' And in a tone loud enough to be heard in the closet she read the note: 'A friend of Prosper who can neither receive you, nor present himself at your house, is very anxious to speak to you. Be in the stage-office opposite the Saint Jacques tower, to-night at nine precisely, and the writer will approach, and tell you what he has to say.

'I have appointed this public place for the rendezvous so as to relieve your mind of all fear.' 'And you are going to this rendezvous?' 'Certainly, madame.' 'But it is imprudent, foolish; it is a snare to entrap you.' 'It makes no difference,' interrupted Gypsy. The door had scarcely closed upon Mme. Gypsy, before Fanferlot bounced out of the closet. The mild detective was white with rage, and swore violently. 'What is the meaning of this?' he cried. 'Am I to stand by and have people walking over the Archangel, as if it were a public street?' Mme.

And the idea of you, Mme. Alexandre, you, a sensible woman, being idiotic enough to persuade that little viper not to keep the appointment!' 'But, my dear--' 'Had you not sense enough to know that I would follow her, and discover what she is attempting to conceal? Come, make haste, and help me, so that she won't recognize me.' In a few minutes Fanferlot was completely disguised by a thick beard, a wig, and one of those long linen blouses worn by dishonest workmen, who go about seeking labor, and, at the same time, hoping they may not find any. 'Have you your handcuffs?' asked the solicitous Mme. de Clameran in the post-office, and--and keep good watch.' And without waiting for his wife's reply, who cried out, 'Good luck!' Fanferlot darted into the street. Gypsy had ten minutes' start of him; but he ran up the street he knew she must have taken, and overtook her near the Change Bridge. She was walking with the uncertain gait of a person who, impatient to be at a rendezvous, has started too soon, and is obliged to occupy the intervening time; she would walk very rapidly, then retrace her footsteps, and proceed slowly. On Chatelet Place she strolled up and down several times, read the theatre-bills, and finally took a seat on a bench. One minute before a quarter of nine, she entered the stage-office, and sat down. Gypsy might recognize him in spite of his heavy beard, he took a seat at the opposite end of the room, in a dark corner.

'Singular place for a conversation,' he thought, as he watched the young woman. 'Who in the world could have made this appointment in a stage-office? Judging from her evident curiosity and uneasiness, I could swear she has not the faintest idea for whom she is waiting.' Meanwhile, the office was gradually filling with people. Every minute a man would shriek out the destination of an omnibus which had just arrived, and the bewildered passengers would rush in to get tickets, and inquire when the omnibus would leave. As each new-comer entered, Gypsy would tremble, and Fanferlot would say, 'This is he!' Finally, as the Hotel-de-Ville clock was striking nine, a man entered, and, without going to the ticket-window, walked directly up to Gypsy, bowed, and took a seat beside her. He was a medium-sized man, rather stout, with a crimson face, and fiery-red whiskers. His dress was that of a well-to-do merchant, and there was nothing in his manner or appearance to excite attention. 'Well, my friend,' he said to himself, 'in future I shall recognize you, no matter where we meet; and this very evening I will find out who you are.' Despite his intent listening, he could not hear a word spoken by the stranger or Gypsy. All he could do was to judge by their pantomime and countenances, what the subject of their conversation might be. When the stout man bowed and spoke to her, the girl looked so surprised that it was evident she had never seen him before.

Then, as the stout man went on talking, Gypsy's attitude betrayed great apprehension. She positively refused to do something; then suddenly she seemed to consent, when he stated a good reason for her so doing. At one moment she appeared ready to weep, and the next her pretty face was illumined by a bright smile. 'What an idiot I am to have stationed myself so far off!' He was thinking how he could manage to approach nearer without arousing their suspicions, when the fat man arose, offered his arm to Mme. Gypsy, who accepted it without hesitation, and together they walked toward the door. They were so engrossed with each other, that Fanferlot thought he could, without risk, follow them; and it was well he did; for the crowd was dense outside, and he would soon have lost them. Reaching the door, he saw the stout man and Gypsy cross the pavement, approach a hackney-coach, and enter it. 'Very good,' muttered Fanferlot, 'I've got them now. There is no use of hurrying any more.' While the coachman was gathering up his reins, Fanferlot prepared his legs; and, when the coach started, he followed in a brisk trot, determined upon following it to the end of the earth.

The cab went up the Boulevard Sebastopol. It went pretty fast; but it was not for nothing that Fanferlot had won the name of 'Squirrel.' With his elbows glued to his sides, and holding his breath, he ran on. By the time he had reached the Boulevard St. The cabman abruptly turned into the Rue Faubourg St.

He seized the springs of the coach, raised himself up by the strength of his wrists, and hung on behind, with his legs resting on the axle-tree of the back wheels. He was not quite comfortable, but then, he no longer ran the risk of being distanced. Cabby.' The man whipped up his horses, and drove furiously along the hilly street of the Faubourg St. Finally the cab stopped in front of a wine-store, and the driver jumped down from his seat, and went in. The detective also left his uncomfortable post, and crouching in a doorway, waited for Gypsy and her companion to get out, with the intention of following closely upon their heels. Five minutes passed, and still there were no signs of them. 'What can they be doing all this time?' grumbled the detective. With great precautions, he approached the cab, and peeped in.

Fanferlot felt as if someone had thrown a bucket of ice-water over him; he remained rooted to the spot with his mouth stretched, the picture of blank bewilderment. He soon recovered his wits sufficiently to burst forth in a volley of oaths, loud enough to rattle all the window-panes in the neighborhood. but won't I make them pay for this!' In a moment his quick mind had run over the gamut of possibilities, probable and improbable. 'Evidently,' he muttered, 'this fellow and Gypsy entered one door, and got out of the other; the trick is simple enough. If they resorted to it, 'tis because they feared being watched. If they feared being watched, they have uneasy consciences: therefore--' He suddenly interrupted his monologue as the idea struck him that he had better attempt to find out something from the driver. Unfortunately, the driver was in a very surly mood, and not only refused to answer, but shook his whip in so threatening a manner that Fanferlot deemed it prudent to beat a retreat. 'Oh, Lord,' he muttered, 'perhaps he and the driver are one and the same!' But what could he do now, at this time of night? He walked dejectedly back to the quay, and it was half-past eleven when he reached his own door.

'Has the little fool returned?' he inquired of Mme. Alexandre, the instant she opened the door for him. 'No; but here are two large bundles which have come for her.' Fanferlot hastily opened the bundles. They contained three calico dresses, some coarse shoes, and some linen caps. 'Well,' said the detective in a vexed tone, 'now she is going to disguise herself. What can she be up to?' When Fanferlot was sulkily walking down the Faubourg St. They talked the matter over, and finally decided that they would not go to bed until Mme. At one o'clock the worthy couple were about giving over all hope of her re-appearance, when they heard the bell ring. Fanferlot instantly slipped into the closet, and Mme.

Alexandre remained in the office to received Gypsy.

To her melancholy of the last few days, had succeeded a firm and generous resolution, which was betrayed in her sparkling eyes and resolute step. 'Yes, two bundles came for you; here they are. then something must have happened.' 'Oh! nothing that would interest you, madame.' After lighting her candle at the gas-burner, Mme. Gypsy said 'Good-night' in a very significant way, and left the room. de Clameran to meet her here, and then does not wait for him.' 'She evidently mistrusts us; she knows who I am.' 'Then this friend of the cashier must have told her.' 'Nobody knows who told her. They think I am on their track, and are trying to escape me. I should not be at all surprised if this little rogue has the money herself, and intends to run off with it to-morrow.' 'That is not my opinion; but listen to me: you had better take my advice, and consult M. Lecoq.' Fanferlot meditated awhile, then exclaimed. 'Very well; I will see him, just for your satisfaction; because I know that, if I have discovered nothing, neither has he.

But, if he undertakes to be domineering, it won't do; for, if he shows his insolence to me, I will make him know his place!' Notwithstanding this brave speech, the detective passed an uneasy night, and at six o'clock the next morning he was up--it was necessary to rise very early if he wished to catch M. Lecoq at home--and, refreshed by a cup of strong coffee, he directed his steps toward the dwelling of the celebrated detective. Fanferlot the Squirrel certainly was not afraid of his patron, as he called him; for he started out with his nose in the air, and his hat cocked on one side. But by the time he reached the Rue Montmartre, where M.

Lecoq lived, his courage had vanished; he pulled his hat over his eyes, and hung his head, as if looking for relief among the paving-stones. He slowly ascended the steps, pausing several times, and looking around as if he would like to fly. Finally he reached the third floor, and stood before a door decorated with the arms of the famous detective--a cock, the symbol of vigilance--and his heart failed him so that he had scarcely the courage to ring the bell. The door was opened by Janouille, M.

Lecoq's old servant, who had very much the manner and appearance of a grenadier. She was as faithful to her master as a watch-dog, and always stood ready to attack anyone who did not treat him with the august respect which she considered his due. While he thus hesitated, Janouille seized him by the arm, and pulled him in, saying: 'Do you want to take root there? Come along, your patron is waiting for you.' In the middle of a large room curiously furnished, half library and half green-room, was seated at a desk the same person with gold spectacles, who had said to Prosper at the police-office, 'Have courage.' This was M.

Well, it seems that you haven't made much progress in the Bertomy case.' 'Why,' murmured Fanferlot, 'you know--' 'I know that you have muddled everything until you can't see your way out; so that you are ready to give up.' 'But, M. Lecoq arose, and walked up and down the room: suddenly he confronted Fanferlot, and said, in a tone of scornful irony: 'What would you think, Master Squirrel, of a man who abuses the confidence of those who employ him, who reveals just enough to lead the prosecution on the wrong scent, who sacrifices to his own foolish vanity the cause of justice and the liberty of an unfortunate man?' Fanferlot started back with a frightened look. The less a profession is honored, the more honorable should those be who belong to it. Master Fanferlot, we are ambitious, and we try to make the police force serve our own views! Do you pretend to say that you did your duty, and told all to the judge of instruction? Whilst others were informing against the cashier, you undertook to inform against the banker. Fanferlot, who knew him well, was puzzled to know whether all this indignation was real. 'But how could I go about an affair like this, where there was not even a trace or sign to start from?' M. Why, don't you know that on the very day you were sent for with the commissary to verify the robbery, you held--I do not say certainly, but very probably held--in your great stupid hands the means of knowing which key had been used when the money was stolen?' 'How!

Do you remember the scratch you discovered on the safe-door? You thought, and rightly too, that this scratch was made at the time of the theft. That being the case, you should have asked for the keys both of the banker and the cashier. One of them would have had some particles of the hard green paint sticking to it.' Fanferlot listened with open mouth to this explanation. At the last words, he violently slapped his forehead with his hand, and cried out: 'Imbecile! This proof stares you right in the face, and you don't see it!

This scratch is the sole and only clew to work the case upon, and you must go and lose the traces of it. If I find the guilty party, it will be by means of this scratch; and I am determined that I will find him.' At a distance the Squirrel very bravely abused and defied M. Lecoq; but, in his presence, he yielded to the influence which this extraordinary man exercised upon all who approached him. This exact information, these minute details of all his secret movements, and even thoughts, so upset his mind that he could not think where and how M. Lecoq had obtained them. Lecoq was not the man to be hoodwinked, so Fanferlot told the exact truth, a rare thing for him to do. However as he reached the end of his statement, a feeling of mortified vanity prevented his telling how he had been fooled by Gypsy and the stout man.

How far did you follow the empty coach?' Fanferlot blushed, and hung his head like a guilty school-boy. I know now: you were the large gentleman with red whiskers.' His surprise gave so singular an expression to his face that M. 'Then it was you,' continued the bewildered detective; 'you were the large gentleman at whom I stared, so as to impress his appearance upon my mind, and I never recognized you! Patron, you would make a superb actor, if you would go on the stage; but I was disguised, too--very well disguised.' 'Very poorly disguised; it is only just to you that I should let you know what a failure it was, Fanferlot.

The eye is the thing to be changed--the eye! The art lies in being able to change the eye. That is the secret.' This theory of disguise explained why the lynx-eyed Lecoq never appeared at the police-office without his gold spectacles. 'Then, patron,' said Fanferlot, clinging to his idea, 'you have been more successful than Mme. Alexandre; you have made the little girl confess? You know why she leaves the Archangel, why she does not wait for M. de Clameran, and why she bought calico dresses?' 'She is following my advice.' 'That being the case,' said the detective dejectedly, 'there is nothing left for me to do, but to acknowledge myself an ass.' 'No, Squirrel,' said M. That shows that, although you are incomparable as a lieutenant, you do not possess the qualities of a general. I am going to present you with an aphorism; remember it, and let it be your guide in the future: A man can shine in the second rank, who would be totally eclipsed in the first.' Never had Fanferlot seen his patron so talkative and good-natured.

Lecoq's anger disappeared like one of those heavy clouds which threaten in the horizon for a moment, and then are suddenly swept away by a gust of wind. 'Do you know who the thief is, patron?' 'I know no more than you do, Fanferlot; and you seem to have made up your mind, whereas I am still undecided. You declare the cashier to be innocent, and the banker guilty. I don't know whether you are right or wrong. I started after you, and have only reached the preliminaries of my search. I am certain of but one thing, and that is, that a scratch was on the safe-door. On this paper was photographed the door of M. The impression of every detail was perfect.

There were the five movable buttons with the engraved letters, and the narrow, projecting brass lock: The scratch was indicated with great exactness.

It runs from top to bottom, starting from the hole of the lock, diagonally, and, observe, from left to right; that is to say, it terminates on the side next to the private staircase leading to the banker's apartments. Although very deep at the key-hole, it ends off in a scarcely perceptible mark.' 'Yes, patron, I see all that.' 'Naturally you thought that this scratch was made by the person who took the money. Take a key, and try to scratch it.' 'The deuce take it!' he said after several attempts, 'this paint is awfully hard to move!' 'Very hard, my friend, and yet that on the safe is still harder and thicker. So you see the scratch you discovered could not have been made by the trembling hand of a thief letting the key slip.' 'Sapristi!' exclaimed Fanferlot, stupefied: 'I never should have thought of that. It certainly required great force to make the deep scratch on the safe.' 'Yes, but how was that force employed? Let us examine together, and see if our conjectures present enough chances of probability to establish a starting-point.' M. Lecoq abandoned the photograph, and, walking to the door communicating with his bedroom, took the key from the lock, and, holding it in his hand, said: 'Come here, Fanferlot, and stand by my side: there; very well. Now suppose that I want to open this door, and you don't want me to open it; when you see me about to insert the key, what would be your first impulse?' 'To put my hands on your arm, and draw it toward me so as to prevent your introducing the key.' 'Precisely so.

Now let us try it; go on.' Fanferlot obeyed; and the key held by M. Lecoq, pulled aside from the lock, slipped along the door, and traced upon it a diagonal scratch, from top to bottom, the exact reproduction of the one in the photograph. 'Oh, oh, oh!' exclaimed Fanferlot in three different tones of admiration, as he stood gazing in a revery at the door. I see the scene as if I had been present.

Two persons were present at the robbery; one wished to take the money, the other wished to prevent its being taken. 'There you go off, half-primed again,' he said, good-humoredly: 'you regard as sure proof a circumstance which may be accidental, and at the most only probable.' 'No, patron, no! a man like you could not be mistaken: doubt no longer exists.' 'That being the case, what deductions would you draw from our discovery?' 'In the first place, it proves that I am correct in thinking the cashier innocent.' 'How so?' 'Because, at perfect liberty to open the safe whenever he wished to do so, it is not likely that he would have brought a witness when he intended to commit the theft.' 'Well reasoned, Fanferlot. But on this supposition the banker would be equally innocent: reflect a little.' Fanferlot reflected, and all of his animation vanished. 'What can be done now?' 'Look for the third rogue, or rather the real rogue, the one who opened the safe, and stole the notes, and who is still at large, while others are suspected.' 'Impossible, patron--impossible! Fauvel and his cashier had keys, and they only? And they always kept these keys in their pockets.' 'On the evening of the robbery the banker left his key in the secretary.' 'Yes; but the key alone was not sufficient to open the safe; the word also must be known.' M. 'What was the word?' he asked. 'Gypsy.' 'Which is the name of the cashier's grisette.

The day you find a man sufficiently intimate with Prosper to be aware of all the circumstances connected with this name, and at the same time on a footing with the Fauvel family which would give him the privilege of entering M. Fauvel's chamber, then, and not until then, will you discover the guilty party. On that day the problem will be solved.' Self-sufficient and vain, like all famous men, M.

He worked alone, because he hated assistants, wishing to share neither the pleasures of success nor the pain of defeat. It pleases me to be the head, and let you be the hand. Unassisted, with your preconceived ideas, you never would have found the culprit; if we two together don't find him, my name is not Lecoq.' 'We shall certainly succeed if you interest yourself in the case.' 'Yes, I am interested in it, and during the last four days I have discovered many important facts. If we succeed, all the success must be attributed to you.

Now, be careful.' These conditions seemed quite to suit Fanferlot. Now, to begin, you must carry this photograph to the judge of instruction. Explain to him, as if it were your own discovery, what I have just shown you; repeat for his benefit the scene we have acted, and I am convinced that this evidence will determine him to release the cashier. Prosper must be at liberty before I can commence my operations.' 'Of course, patron, but must I let him know that I suspect anyone besides the banker or cashier?' 'Certainly. 'Tell him,' he finally said, 'that you persuaded her, in the interest of Prosper, to live in a house where she can watch someone whom you suspect.' Fanferlot was joyously picking up his hat to go, when M. Do you know how to drive a carriage and manage horses?' 'Why, patron, can you ask this of a man who used to be a rider in the Bouthor Circus?' 'Very well. As soon as the judge dismisses you, return home immediately, make yourself a wig and the complete dress of a valet; and, having dressed yourself, take this letter to the Agency on Delorme Street.' 'But, patron--' 'There must be no but, my friend; the agent will send you to M. This Clameran is not the cashier's friend.' 'Why do you always interrupt me?' said M.

'Do what I tell you, and don't disturb your mind about the rest.

Clameran is not a friend of Prosper's, I know; but he is the friend and protector of Raoul de Lagors. Whence the intimacy of these two men of such different ages? A jolly fellow, who takes it into his head to live at the Hotel du Louvre, in the midst of a tumultuous, ever-changing crowd, is a fellow difficult to watch. He has a carriage, you are to drive it; and you will soon be able to give me an account of his manner of life, and of the sort of people with whom he associates.' 'You shall be obeyed, patron.' 'Another thing. You will be presented to him under the name of Joseph Dubois. Here are three, which state that you have lived with the Marquis de Sairmeuse and the Count de Commarin, and that you have just left the Baron de Wortschen, who went to Germany the other day.

Go, and be prudent.' The door closed on Fanferlot as M. In the twinkling of an eye he had divested himself of the appearance of a police officer. He took off his stiff cravat and gold spectacles, and removed the close wig from his thick black hair.

The official Lecoq had disappeared, leaving in his place the genuine Lecoq whom nobody knew--a handsome young man, with a bold, determined manner, and brilliant, piercing eyes. Seated before a dressing-table covered with more cosmetics, paints, perfumes, false hair, and other unmentionable shams, than are to be found on the toilet-tables of our modern belles, he began to undo the work of nature, and make himself a new face. When he had finished, he was no longer Lecoq: he was the large gentleman with red whiskers, whom Fanferlot had failed to recognize. 'Well,' he said, casting a last look in the mirror, 'I have forgotten nothing: I have left nothing to chance.

All my plans are fixed; and I shall make some progress to-day, provided the Squirrel does not waste time.' But Fanferlot was too happy to waste a minute. He did not run, he flew, toward the Palais de Justice. As to acknowledging that he was about to obtain a triumph with the ideas of another man, he never thought of it. It is generally in perfect good faith that the jackdaw struts in the peacock's feathers. If the judge was not absolutely and fully convinced, he admired the ingenuity and shrewdness of the whole proceeding, and complimented the proud jackdaw upon his brilliancy. 'I will make out a favorable report to-day; and it is highly probable that the accused will be released to-morrow.' He began at once to write out one of these terrible decisions of 'Not proven,' which restores liberty, but not honor, to the accused man; which says that he is not guilty, but does not say he is innocent. 'Whereas there do not exist sufficient charges against the accused, Prosper Bertomy, in pursuance of Article 128 of the Criminal Code, we hereby declare that we find no grounds for prosecution against the aforesaid prisoner at this present time; and we order that he shall be released from the prison where he is confined, and set at liberty by the jailer,' etc. 'Well,' he said to the clerk, 'here is another one of those crimes which justice cannot clear up.

The mystery remains to be solved. This is another file to be stowed away among the archives of the record-office.' And with his own hand he wrote on the cover of the bundle of papers relating to Prosper's case, the number of the package, File No. VII Prosper had been languishing in his private cell for nine days, when on Thursday morning the jailer came to inform him of the judge's decision. He was conducted before the officer who had searched him when he was arrested; and the contents of his pocket, his watch, penknife, and several little pieces of jewelry, were restored to him; then he was told to sign a large sheet of paper, which he did. He found himself on the quay: he was alone; he was free. Justice had confessed her inability to convict him of the crime of which he was accused. He could walk about, he could breathe the pure air; but every door would be closed against him. The torments inflicted by public opinion are more fearful than those suffered in a prison cell. At the moment of his restoration to liberty, Prosper so cruelly suffered from the horror of his situation, that he could not repress a cry of rage and despair.

Two strangers, who were passing, stopped to look at him, and said, pityingly, 'He is crazy.' The Seine was at his feet. I have not even the right to kill myself. No: I will not die until I have vindicated my innocence!' Often, day and night, had Prosper repeated these words, as he walked his cell.

With a heart filled with a bitter, determined thirst for vengeance, which gives a man the force and patience to destroy or wear out all obstacles in his way, he would say, 'Oh! I am helpless, caged up; but let me once be free!' Now he was free; and, for the first time, he saw the difficulties of the task before him. For each crime, justice requires a criminal: he could not establish his own innocence without producing the guilty man; how find the thief so as to hand him over to the law? Discouraged, but not despondent, he turned in the direction of his apartments. What had taken place during the nine days that he had been cut off from all intercourse with his friends? No news of them had reached him. He had heard no more of what was going on in the outside world, than if his secret cell had been a grave. He slowly walked along the streets, with his eyes cast down dreading to meet some familiar face.

He, who had always been so haughty, would now be pointed at with the finger of scorn. But what friend would believe him when his father, who should have been the last to suspect him, had refused to believe him? In the midst of his sufferings, when he felt almost overwhelmed by the sense of his wretched, lonely condition, he thought of Gypsy. He had never loved the poor girl: indeed, at times he almost hated her; but now he felt a longing to see her. He wished to be with her, because he knew that she loved him, and that nothing would make her believe him guilty; because he knew that a woman remains true and firm in her faith, and is always faithful in the hour of adversity, although she sometimes fails in prosperity. On entering the Rue Chaptal, Prosper saw his own door, but hesitated to enter it. He suffered from the timidity which an honest man always feels when he knows he is viewed with suspicion. He dreaded meeting anyone whom he knew; yet he could not remain in the street.

When the porter saw him, he uttered an exclamation of glad surprise, and said: 'Ah, here you are at last, monsieur. I told everyone you would come out as white as snow; and, when I read in the papers that you were arrested for robbery, I said, 'My third-floor lodger a thief! Never would I believe such a thing, never!'' The congratulations of this ignorant man were sincere, and offered from pure kindness of heart; but they impressed Prosper painfully, and he cut them short by abruptly asking: 'Madame of course has left: can you tell me where she has gone?' 'Dear me, no, monsieur. The day of your arrest, she sent for a hack, got into it with her trunks, and disappeared; and no one has seen or heard of her since.' This was another blow to the unhappy cashier. 'And where are my servants?' 'Gone, monsieur; your father paid and discharged them.' 'I suppose you have my keys?' 'No, monsieur; when your father left here this morning at eight o'clock, he told me that a friend of his would take charge of your rooms until you should return. What could be the meaning of one of his father's friends being in his rooms? He did not, however, betray any surprise, but quietly said: 'Yes: I know who it is.' He quickly ran up the stairs, and knocked at his door.

It was opened by his father's friend. He had been accurately described by the porter. A fat man, with a red face, sensual lips, brilliant eyes, and of rather coarse manners, stood bowing to Prosper, who had never seen him before. On the table lay a book, which he had taken from the bookcase; and he appeared ready to do the honors of the house. Your father intended introducing me to you; but he was compelled to return to Beaucaire this morning; and let me add that he departed thoroughly convinced, as I myself am, that you never took a cent from M.

'Here is a letter from your father, which I hope will serve as an introduction between us.' Prosper opened the letter; and as he read his eyes grew brighter, and a slight color returned to his pale face. When he had finished, he held out his hand to the large gentleman, and said: 'My father, monsieur, tells me you are his best friend; he advises me to have absolute confidence in you, and follow your counsel.' 'Exactly. This morning your father said to me, 'Verduret'--that is my name--'Verduret, my son is in great trouble, he must be helped out.' I replied, 'I am ready,' and here I am to help you. Now the ice is broken, is it not? Then let us go to work at once. 'What do I intend to do?' he said, angrily: 'what should I do but seek the villain who has ruined me?' 'So I supposed; but have you any hopes of success?' 'None; yet I shall succeed, because, when a man devotes his whole life to the accomplishment of an object, he is certain to achieve it.' 'Well said, M. I have therefore already begun to think and act for you.

In the first place, you will sell this furniture, and disappear from the neighborhood.' 'Disappear!' cried Prosper, indignantly, 'disappear! Do you not see that such a step would be a confession of guilt, would authorize the world to say that I am hiding so as to enjoy undisturbed the stolen fortune?' 'Well, what then?' said the man with the red whiskers; 'did you not say just now the sacrifice of your life is made? The skilful swimmer thrown into the river by malefactors is careful not to rise to the surface immediately: on the contrary, he plunges beneath, and remains there as long as his breath holds out. He comes up again at a great distance, and lands out of sight; then, when he is supposed to be dead, lost forever to the sight of man, he rises up and has his vengeance. But, while he sees you standing by on the watch, he will be on his guard.' It was with a sort of amazed submission that Prosper listened to this man, who, though a friend of his father, was an utter stranger to himself.

He submitted unconsciously to the ascendency of a nature so much more energetic and forcible than his own. Let us reflect upon the course you should pursue. And remember that you will need every cent of the proceeds of the sale. Knowing that you would need it at once, I brought an upholsterer here; and he will give twelve thousand francs for everything excepting the pictures.' The cashier could not refrain from shrugging his shoulders, which M. 'Well,' said he, 'it is rather hard, I admit, but it is a necessity.

Now listen: you are the invalid, and I am the doctor charged to cure you; if I cut to the quick, you will have to endure it. It is the only way to save you.' 'Cut away then, monsieur,' answered Prosper. Yes, monsieur, he is an intimate friend.' 'Now tell me, who is this fellow?' The term 'fellow' seemed to offend Prosper. Fauvel's nephew; he is a wealthy young man, handsome, intelligent, cultivated, and the best friend I have.' 'Hum!' said M. Verduret, 'I shall be delighted to make the acquaintance of one adorned by so many charming qualities. Also, I have arranged and will submit to you a little plan of conversation--' A ring at the front door interrupted M.

Where can I hide so as to hear and see?' 'There, in my bedroom; leave the door open and the curtain down.' A second ring was heard. Pretend to be discouraged, helpless, and undecided what to do.' And he disappeared behind the curtain, as Prosper ran to open the door. 'My poor, dear friend!' he said, 'my poor Prosper!' But beneath these affectionate demonstrations there was a certain constraint, which, if it escaped the cashier, was noticed by M. Then I left everything, to fly to your assistance; and here I am.' Prosper did not seem to hear him; he was pre-occupied about the letter which he had not written. But unfortunately all the money in the world would be of no use now.' 'Why so? It will never do for you to remain here.' 'And suppose it never should be explained?' 'Only the more reason for your remaining in oblivion. 'If I were in Prosper's place,' he said, 'I would turn everything into money, and embark for America; there I would make a fortune, and return to crush with my millions those who have suspected me.'' This advice offended Prosper's pride, but he said nothing. He was thinking of what the stranger had said to him.

I suppose you know that I have declined the offer he made me to enter his banking-house, and we have almost quarrelled. My uncle, they say, is more distressed by this affair than you are. Madeleine, how are they?' 'Oh,' said Raoul lightly, 'my aunt is as pious as ever; she has mass said for the benefit of the sinner. As to my handsome, icy cousin, she cannot bring herself down to common matters, because she is entirely absorbed in preparing for the fancy ball to be given day after to-morrow by MM. She has discovered, so one of her friends told me, a wonderful dressmaker, a stranger who has suddenly appeared from no one knows where, who is making a costume of Catherine de Medici's maid of honor; and it is to be a marvel of beauty.' Excessive suffering brings with it a sort of dull insensibility and stupor; and Prosper thought that there was nothing left to be inflicted upon him, and had reached that state of impassibility from which he never expected to be aroused, when this last remark of M. de Lagors, pretending not to have heard him, rose from his chair, and said: 'I must leave you now, my dear Prosper; on Saturday I will see these ladies at the ball, and will bring you news of them. Now, do have courage, and remember that, whatever happens, you have a friend in me.' Raoul shook Prosper's hand, closed the door after him, and hurried up the street, leaving Prosper standing immovable and overcome by disappointment. He was aroused from his gloomy revery by hearing the red-whiskered man say, in a bantering tone: 'So these are your friends.' 'Yes,' said Prosper with bitterness. 'That was very stingy on his part,' he said, 'why did he not offer the whole?

Offers cost nothing; although I have no doubt that this sweet youth would cheerfully give ten thousand francs to put the ocean between you and him.' 'Monsieur! Perhaps for the same reason that he had not set foot in his uncle's house for a month.' 'But that is the truth, monsieur, I am sure of it.' 'Naturally,' said M. 'I can understand your feelings toward him,' said he, 'but at the same time I hope you will change your mind. For the same reason that I wished to see M. We will breakfast on our way there.' Prosper had hardly passed into his bedroom when the bell rang again. Verduret opened the door. It was the porter, who handed him a thick letter, and said: 'This letter was left this morning for M. The address was not written, but formed of printed letters, carefully cut from a book, and pasted on the envelope. Verduret; then turning toward the porter he cried, 'Wait.' He went into the next room, and closed the door behind him; there he found Prosper, anxious to know what was going on. He at once tore open the envelope.

Some bank-notes dropped out; he counted them; there were ten. 'We will read the letter and find out,' replied M. The letter, like the address, was composed of printed words cut out and pasted on a sheet of paper. It was short but explicit: 'MY DEAR PROSPER--A friend, who knows the horror of your situation, sends you this succor. There is one heart, be assured, that shares your sufferings. Go away; leave France; you are young; the future is before you. Verduret read the note, Prosper's rage increased.

He was angry and perplexed, for he could not explain the rapidly succeeding events which were so calculated to mystify his already confused brain. 'Everybody wishes me to go away,' he cried; 'then there must be a conspiracy against me.' M. Yes, there are people who hate you because of the wrong they have done you; there are people to whom your presence in Paris is a constant danger, and who will not feel safe till they are rid of you.' 'But who are these people, monsieur? Tell me, who dares send this money?' 'If I knew, my dear Prosper, my task would be at an end, for then I would know who committed the robbery. Verduret, 'we must take advantage of this evidence, gained by the imprudence of our enemies, without delay.

We will begin with the porter.' He opened the door and called out: 'I say, my good man, step here a moment.' The porter entered, looking very much surprised at the authority exercised over his lodger by this stranger. 'A messenger, who said he was paid for bringing it.' 'Do you know him?' 'I know him well; he is the errand-runner who keeps his cart at the corner of the Rue Pigalle.' 'Go and bring him here.' After the porter had gone, M. Verduret drew from his pocket his diary, and compared a page of it with the notes which he had spread over the table. 'These notes were not sent by the thief,' he said, after an attentive examination of them. 'Do you think so, monsieur?' 'I am certain of it; that is, unless the thief is endowed with extraordinary penetration and forethought. One thing is certain: these ten thousand francs are not part of the three hundred and fifty thousand which were stolen from the safe.' 'Yet,' said Prosper, who could not account for this certainty on the part of his protector, 'yet----' 'There is no doubt about it: I have the numbers of all the stolen notes.' 'What! When even I did not have them?' 'But the bank did, fortunately.

I thought of the bank.' If, in the beginning, Prosper had felt some repugnance about confiding in his father's friend, the feeling had now disappeared. He understood that alone, scarcely master of himself, governed only by the inspirations of inexperience, never would he have the patient perspicacity of this singular man. Verduret continued talking to himself, as if he had absolutely forgotten Prosper's presence: 'Then, as this package did not come from the thief, it can only come from the other person, who was near the safe at the time of the robbery, but could not prevent it, and now feels remorse. The probability of two persons assisting at the robbery, a probability suggested by the scratch, is now converted into undeniable certainty. 'Let us seek,' went on the fat man, 'this second person, whose conscience pricks him, and yet who dares not reveal anything.' He read the letter over several times, scanning the sentences, and weighing every word. 'Never would one man doing another man a service, and sending him money, use the word 'succor.' A man would have said, loan, money, or some other equivalent, but succor, never. No one but a woman, ignorant of masculine susceptibilities, would have naturally made use of this word to express the idea it represents. As to the sentence, 'There is one heart,' and so on, it could only have been written by a woman.' 'You are mistaken, monsieur,' said Prosper: 'no woman is mixed up in this affair.' M. Verduret paid no attention to this interruption, perhaps he did not hear it; perhaps he did not care to argue the matter. 'Now, let us see if we can discover whence the printed words were taken to compose this letter.' He approached the window, and began to study the pasted words with all the scrupulous attention which an antiquarian would devote to an old, half-effaced manuscript.

'Small type,' he said, 'very slender and clear; the paper is thin and glossy. Consequently, these words have not been cut from a newspaper, magazine, or even a novel. These words have all been cut from a prayer-book.

We will look, at least, and then we shall be certain.' He moistened one of the words pasted on the paper with his tongue, and, when it was sufficiently softened, he detached it with a pin. On the other side of this word was printed a Latin word, Deus. Father Taberet would be pleased to see this. But what has become of the mutilated prayer-book?

Verduret was interrupted by the porter, who returned with the messenger from the Rue Pigalle.

Then he showed the envelope of the letter, and said: 'Do you remember bringing this letter here this morning?' 'Perfectly, monsieur.

I took particular notice of the direction; we don't often see anything like it.' 'Who told you to bring it? a gentleman, or a lady?' 'Neither, monsieur; it was a porter.' This reply made the porter laugh very much, but not a muscle of M. Well, do you know this colleague of yours.' 'I never even saw him before.' 'How does he look?' 'He was neither tall nor short; he wore a green vest, and his medal.' 'Your description is so vague that it would suit every porter in the city; but did your colleague tell you who sent the letter?' 'No, monsieur. 39, Rue Chaptal: a coachman on the boulevard handed it to me.' Ten sous! So many precautions taken in sending the letter disturbed him, and disarranged his plans. 'Do you think you would recognize the porter again?' 'Yes, monsieur, if I saw him.' 'How much do you gain a day as a porter?' 'I can't tell exactly; but my corner is a good stand, and I am busy doing errands nearly all day. I suppose I make from eight to ten francs.' 'Very well; I will give you ten francs a day if you will walk about the streets, and look for the porter who brought this letter. Every evening, at eight o'clock, come to the Archangel, on the Quai Saint Michel, give me a report of your search, and receive your pay.

If you find the man I will give you fifty francs. Do you accept?' 'I rather think I will, monsieur.' 'Then don't lose a minute. Verduret's plans, Prosper began to comprehend the sense of his investigations. His fate depended upon their success, and yet he almost forgot this fact in his admiration of this singular man; for his energy, his bantering coolness when he wished to discover anything, the surety of his deductions, the fertility of his expedients, and the rapidity of his movements, were astonishing. 'Monsieur,' said Prosper when the porter had left the room, 'do you still think you see a woman's hand in this affair?' 'More than ever; and a pious woman too, and a woman who has two prayer-books, since she could cut up one to write to you.' 'And you hope to find the mutilated book?' 'I do, thanks to the opportunity I have of making an immediate search; which I will set about at once.' Saying this, he sat down, and rapidly scratched off a few lines on a slip of paper, which he folded up, and put in his vest-pocket. Come on, then; we have certainly earned our breakfast to-day.' VIII When Raoul de Lagors spoke of M. Since the fatal day when, upon his denunciation, his cashier had been arrested, the banker, this active, energetic man of business, had been a prey to the most gloomy melancholy, and absolutely refused to take any interest in his affairs, seldom entering the banking-house. He, who had always been so domestic, never came near his family except at meals, when he would swallow a few mouthfuls, and hastily leave the room. His anxious countenance, his indifference to everybody and everything, his constant reveries and fits of abstraction, betrayed the preoccupation of some fixed idea, or the tyrannical empire of some hidden sorrow.

The day of Prosper's release, about three o'clock, M. Fauvel was, as usual, seated in his study, with his elbows resting on the table, and his face buried in his hands, when his office-boy rushed in, and with a frightened look said: 'Monsieur, the former cashier, M. Bertomy, is here with one of his relatives; he says he must see you on business.' The banker at these words started up as if he had been shot.

does he dare--' Then remembering that he ought to control himself before his servant, he waited a few moments, and then said, in a tone of forced calmness: 'Ask them to walk in.' If M. Nothing could be more terrible than the attitude of these two men as they stood confronting each other.

The banker's face was almost purple with suppressed anger, and he looked as if about to be struck by apoplexy. Silent and immovable, they stood glaring at each other with mortal hatred. Verduret curiously watched these two enemies, with the indifference and coolness of a philosopher, who, in the most violent outbursts of human passion, merely sees subjects for meditation and study. Finally, the silence becoming more and more threatening, he decided to break it by speaking to the banker: 'I suppose you know, monsieur, that my young relative has just been released from prison.' 'Yes,' replied M. Fauvel, making an effort to control himself, 'yes, for want of sufficient proof.' 'Exactly so, monsieur, and this want of proof, as stated in the decision of 'Not proven,' ruins the prospects of my relative, and compels him to leave here at once for America.' M. 'Ah, he is going away,' he said, 'he is going abroad.' There was no mistaking the resentful, almost insulting intonation of the words, 'going away!' M. I merely wished him, before leaving Paris, to come and pay his respects to his former chief.' The banker smiled bitterly.

Fauvel, and left the room, accompanied by Prosper, who had not opened his lips. They had reached the street before Prosper recovered the use of his tongue. Have I gained anything by adding this humiliation to the others which I have suffered?' 'You have not, but I have,' replied M.

Fauvel had nothing to do with the robbery.' 'Oh, monsieur!' objected Prosper, 'innocence can be feigned.' 'Certainly, but not to this extent. I am now confident that he is.' Prosper and his companion had stopped to talk more at their ease, near the corner of the Rue Lafitte, in the middle of a large space which had lately been cleared by pulling down an old house. At the other end of the vacant space, he saw Cavaillon, who was bareheaded and running. Verduret, and said: 'They have gone, monsieur!' 'How long since?' 'They went about a quarter of an hour ago.' 'The deuce they did! Then we have not an instant to lose.' He handed Cavaillon the note he had written some hours before at Prosper's house. 'Here, send him this, and then return at once to your desk; you might be missed. Verduret with a smile, 'but we have no time to talk; come on, hurry!' 'Where are we gong now?' 'You will soon know; walk fast!' And he set the example by striding rapidly toward the Rue Lafayette.

As they went along he continued talking more to himself than to Prosper. The track once found, we should never rest an instant. When the savage discovers the footprints of an enemy, he follows it persistently, knowing that falling rain or a gust of wind may efface the footprints at any moment. It is the same with us: the most trifling incident may destroy the traces we are following up.' M. Verduret suddenly stopped before a door bearing the number 81. 'We are going in here,' he said to Prosper; 'come.' They went up the steps, and stopped on the second floor, before a door over which was a large sign, 'Fashionable Dressmaker.' A handsome bell-rope hung on the wall, but M. He tapped with the ends of his fingers in a peculiar way, and the door instantly opened as if someone had been watching for his signal on the other side. The door was opened by a neatly dressed woman of about forty. His look said: 'Well?' She bowed affirmatively: 'Yes.' 'In there?' asked M. Verduret in a low tone, pointing to one of the doors.

'No,' said the woman in the same tone, 'over there, in the little parlor.' M. Verduret opened the door pointed out, and pushed Prosper into the little parlor, whispering, as he did so: 'Go in, and keep your presence of mind.' But his injunction was useless. The instant he cast his eyes around the room into which he had so unceremoniously been pushed without any warning, Prosper exclaimed, in a startled voice: 'Madeleine!' It was indeed M. Standing in the middle of the room, near a table covered with silks and satins, she was arranging a skirt of red velvet embroidered in gold; probably the dress she was to wear as maid of honor to Catherine de Medicis. At sight of Prosper, all the blood rushed to her face, and her beautiful eyes half closed, as if she were about to faint; she clung to the table to prevent herself from falling. Of a tender, dreamy nature, she betrayed in the minute details of her life the most exquisite delicacy.

She recovered from her momentary weakness, and the soft expression of her eyes changed to one of haughty resentment. Is this the way you keep your word?' 'I did promise, mademoiselle, but----' He stopped. It is to chance, at least to another will than my own, that I am indebted for the happiness of once more finding myself near you. the instant I saw you my heart bounded with joy.

I did not think, no I could not think, that you would prove more pitiless than strangers have been, that you would cast me off when I am so miserable and heart-broken.' Had not Prosper been so agitated he could have read in the eyes of Madeleine--those beautiful eyes which had so long been the arbiters of his destiny--the signs of a great inward struggle. It was, however, in a firm voice that she replied: 'You know me well enough, Prosper, to be sure than no blow can strike you without reaching me at the same time. You suffer, I suffer with you: I pity you as a sister would pity a beloved brother.' 'A sister!' said Prosper, bitterly. 'Yes, that was the word you used the day you banished me from your presence. Then why during three years did you delude me with vain hopes? Was I a brother to you the day we went to Notre Dame de Fourvieres, that day when, at the foot of the altar, we swore to love each other for ever and ever, and you fastened around my neck a holy relic and said, 'Wear this always for my sake, never part from it, and it will bring you good fortune'?' Madeleine attempted to interrupt him by a supplicating gesture: he would not heed it, but continued with increased bitterness: 'One month after that happy day--a year ago--you gave me back my promise, told me to consider myself free from any engagement, and never to come near you again. The obstacle was your own heart, Madeleine. I have always worn the medal; but it has not brought me happiness or good fortune.' As white and motionless as a statue, Madeleine stood with bowed head before this storm of passionate reproach. Is it in my power to stop, by an effort of will, the circulation of my blood?

To forget, as to stop the beatings of the heart, there is but one means--death!' This word, uttered with the fixed determination of a desperate, reckless man, caused Madeleine to shudder. You can never understand the tortures I have suffered, when for a year I would awake every morning, and say to myself, 'It is all over, she has ceased to love me!' This great sorrow stared me in the face day and night in spite of all my efforts to dispel it. I sought it at the bottom of poisoned cups, but found it not. I tried to extinguish this memory of the past, that tears my heart to shreds like a devouring flame; in vain. When the body succumbed, the pitiless heart kept watch. 'There is no happiness in store for one like myself, who has had a glimpse of divine felicity, had the cup of bliss held to his lips, and then dashed to the ground. There is nothing left to attach me to life. Vainly do I question the future; for me there is no hope of happiness. I look around me to see nothing but abandonment, ignominy, and despair!' 'Prosper, my brother, my friend, if you only knew----' 'I know but one thing, Madeleine, and that is, that you no longer love me, and that I love you more madly than ever.

But suddenly the silence was broken by a stifled sob. Prosper had been so surprised at finding Madeleine when he entered the room, that he kept his eyes fastened upon her face, and never once looked about him to see if anyone else were present.

He turned in surprise and looked at the weeping woman. He stood there with ashy lips, and a chilly sensation creeping through his veins. The horror of the situation terrified him. He was there, between the two women who had ruled his fate; between Madeleine, the proud heiress who spurned his love, and Nina Gypsy, the poor girl whose devotion to himself he had so disdainfully rejected. And she had heard all; poor Gypsy had witnessed the passionate avowal of her lover, had heard him swear that he could never love any woman but Madeleine, that if his love were not reciprocated he would kill himself, as he had nothing else to live for. For she was wounded not only in the present, but in the past.

What must be her humiliation and danger on hearing the miserable part which Prosper, in his disappointed love, had imposed upon her? Slowly and almost unconsciously she had put on her bonnet and shawl, which were lying on the sofa. Then she approached Prosper, and said: 'Why did you come here? We both have need of all the courage we can command. You have a right to complain: I have not the right to shed a tear.

You can seek consolation in the bosom of a friend: I can have no confidant but God.' Prosper tried to murmur a reply, but his pale lips refused to articulate; he was stifling. let not this knowledge give you any hope; the future is blank for us, but if you love me you will live. You will not, I know, add to my already heavy burden of sorrow, the agony of mourning your death. For my sake, live; live the life of a good man, and perhaps the day will come when I can justify myself in your eyes. And now, oh, my brother, oh, my only friend, adieu! adieu!' She pressed a kiss upon his brow, and rushed from the room, followed by Nina Gypsy.

He tried to think over what had just happened, and asked himself if he were losing his mind, or whether he had really spoken to Madeleine and seen Gypsy? He was obliged to attribute all this to the mysterious power of the strange man whom he had seen for the first time that very morning.

Verduret entered the little parlor, he strode toward him white with rage, and in a harsh, threatening voice, said to him: 'Who are you?' The stout man did not show any surprise at this burst of anger, but quietly answered: 'A friend of your father's; did you not know it?' 'That is no answer, monsieur; I have been surprised into being influenced by a stranger, and now--' 'Do you want my biography, what I have been, what I am, and what I may be? I told you that I would save you; the main point is that I am saving you.' 'Still I have the right to ask by what means you are saving me.' 'What good will it do you to know what my plans are?' 'In order to decide whether I will accept or reject them?' 'But suppose I guarantee success?' 'That is not sufficient, monsieur. A man of my age must know what he is doing.' 'A man of your age, Prosper, when he is blind, takes a guide, and does not undertake to point out the way to his leader.' The half-bantering, half-commiserating tone of M. 'That being the case, monsieur,' he cried, 'I will thank you for your past services, and decline them for the future, as I have no need of them. I have been convinced to-day that all is at an end between us; I retire from the struggle, and care not what becomes of me now.' Prosper was so decided, that M. Verduret's sympathy, and he said, in a kind, soothing tone: 'Then you suspect nothing? You did not fathom the meaning of what she said?' 'You were listening,' cried Prosper fiercely. It was a presumptuous thing to do, perhaps; but the end justified the means in this instance. Madeleine loves you; she has never ceased to love you.' Like a dying man who eagerly listens to deceitful promises of recovery, although he feels himself sinking into the grave, did Prosper feel his sad heart cheered by M.

Ah, I could see the torture endured by this generous girl, while she struggled between her love, and what she believed to be her duty.

We shall soon know; and the secret of her self-sacrifice will discover to us the secret of her plot against you.' As M. Verduret spoke, Prosper felt all his resolutions of revolt slowly melting away, and their place taken by confidence and hope. Why do you persist in obstinately shutting your eyes to the proof I place before you? Madeleine knows who the thief is? Yes, you need not look so shocked; she knows the thief, but no human power can tear it from her. She sacrifices you, but then she almost has the right, since she first sacrificed herself.' Prosper was almost convinced; and it nearly broke his heart to leave this little parlor where he had seen Madeleine. but you don't know how I suffer.' The man with the red whiskers sadly shook his head, and his voice sounded very unsteady as he replied, in a low tone: 'What you suffer, I have suffered. For three years I was at her feet, a slave to her every whim; when, one day she suddenly deserted me who adored her, to throw herself in the arms of a man who despised her.

Then, like you, I wished to die. Neither threats nor entreaties could induce her to return to me. Verduret with a singular expression, 'no: fate took charge of my vengeance.' For a minute Prosper was silent; then he said: 'I have finally decided, monsieur. I am ready to follow you to the end of the world; dispose of me as you judge proper.' That same day Prosper, faithful to his promise, sold his furniture, and wrote a letter to his friends announcing his intended departure to San Francisco. In the evening he and M. Verduret installed themselves in the 'Archangel.' Mme. Alexandre gave Prosper her prettiest room, but it was very ugly compared with the coquettish little parlor on the Rue Chaptal.

His state of mind did not permit him, however, to notice the difference between his former and present quarters. He lay on an old sofa, meditating upon the events of the day, and feeling a bitter satisfaction in his isolated condition. About eleven o'clock he thought he would raise the window, and let the cool air fan his burning brow; as he did so a piece of paper was blown from among the folds of the window-curtain, and lay at his feet on the floor. It was covered with writing, the handwriting of Nina Gypsy; he could not be mistaken about that. It was the fragment of a torn letter; and, if the half sentences did not convey any clear meaning, they were sufficient to lead the mind into all sorts of conjectures. The fragment read as follows: 'of M. warn Prosper, and then. IX Not far from the Palais Royal, in the Rue St. Honore, is the sign of 'La Bonne Foi,' a small establishment, half cafe and half shop, extensively patronized by the people of the neighborhood. It was in the smoking-room of this modest cafe that Prosper, the day after his release, awaited M.

The clock struck four; M. He was more red-faced and self-satisfied, if possible, than the day before. As soon as the servant had left the room to obey his orders, he said to Prosper: 'Well, are our commissions executed?' 'Yes, monsieur.' 'Have you seen the costumer?' 'I gave him your letter, and everything you ordered will be sent to the Archangel to-morrow.' 'Very good; you have not lost time, neither have I. I have good news for you.' The 'Bonne Foi' is almost deserted at four o'clock. The hour for coffee is passed, and the hour for absinthe has not yet come. Verduret and Prosper could talk at their ease without fear of being overheard by gossiping neighbors. Verduret drew forth his memorandum-book, the precious diary which, like the enchanted book in the fairy-tale, had an answer for every question. de Lagors.' At this name Prosper did not protest, as he had done the night previous.

Like those imperceptible insects which, having once penetrated the root of a tree, devour it in a single night, suspicion, when it invades our mind, soon develops itself, and destroys our firmest beliefs. The visit of Lagors, and Gypsy's torn letter, had filled Prosper with suspicions which had grown stronger and more settled as time passed. Fauvel by the hour about his mother, who was cousin to Mme.

Fauvel, and dearly beloved by her.' 'Then you think there is no possible mistake or falsehood about this part of his story?' 'None in the least, monsieur.' 'Well, things are assuming a queer look.' And he began to whistle between his teeth; which, with M. Parbleu!' he exclaimed, imitating the manner of a showman at a fair, 'here is a lovely town, called St. Remy, six thousand inhabitants; charming boulevards on the site of the old fortifications; handsome hotel; numerous fountains; large charcoal market, silk factories, famous hospital, and so on.' Prosper was on thorns. Remy is the native town of Nostradamus, but not of your friend.' 'Yet I have proofs.' 'Naturally.

My proofs are undeniable, perfectly authenticated. Remy, and received answers to my questions.' 'Will you let me know what they were?' 'Have patience,' said M. Verduret as he turned over the leaves of his memoranda. Bow respectfully to it, 'tis official.' He then read: ''LAGORS.--Very old family, originally from Maillane, settled at St.

''The last of the Lagors (Jules-Rene-Henri) bearing without warrant the title of count, married in 1829 Mlle. The registers make no mention of any person in the district bearing the name of Lagors.' 'Now what do you think of this information?' queried the fat man with a triumphant smile. Let us examine note number two: it is not official, but it throws a valuable light upon the twenty thousand livres income of your friend.' ''Jules-Rene-Henri de Lagors, last of his name, died at St.

Remy on the 29th of December, 1848, in a state of great poverty. ''He had no son, but left two daughters, one of whom is a teacher at Aix, and the other married a retail merchant at Orgon. His widow, who lives at Montagnette, is supported entirely by one of her relatives, the wife of a rich banker in Paris. No person of the name of Lagors lives in the district of Arles.' 'That is all,' said M. Verduret; 'don't you think it enough?' 'Really, monsieur, I don't know whether I am awake or dreaming.' 'You will be awake after a while. Some people may assert that the widow Lagors had a child born after her husband's death. This objection has been destroyed by the age of your friend.

The fact is, I am more perplexed to find out who he is, than to know whom he is not. There is one man who could give us all the information we seek, but he will take good care to keep his mouth shut.' 'You mean M. de Clameran?' 'Him, and no one else.' 'I have always felt the most inexplicable aversion toward him. Ah, if we could only get his account in addition to what you already have!' 'I have been furnished with a few notes concerning the Clameran family by your father, who knew them well; they are brief, but I expect more.' 'What did my father tell you?' 'Nothing favorable, you may be sure. I will read you the synopsis of this information: ''Louis de Clameran was born at the Chateau de Clameran, near Tarascon. He had an elder brother named Gaston, who, in consequence of an affray in which he had the misfortune to kill one man and badly wound another, was compelled to fly the country in 1842. Louis, on the contrary, was a wicked, despicable fellow, detested by all who knew him. ''Upon the death of his father, Louis came to Paris, and in less than two years had squandered not only his own patrimony, but also the share of his exiled brother.

''Ruined and harassed by debt, Louis entered the army, but behaved so disgracefully that he was dismissed. ''After leaving the army we lose sight of him; all we can discover is, that he went to England, and thence to a German gambling resort, where he became notorious for his scandalous conduct. He was in great poverty, and his associates were among the most depraved classes.

''But he suddenly heard of the return of his brother Gaston to Paris. Gaston had made a fortune in Mexico; but being still a young man, and accustomed to a very active life, he purchased, near Orloron, an iron-mill, intending to spend the remainder of his life in working at it. Six months ago he died in the arms of his brother Louis. His death provided our De Clameran an immense fortune, and the title of marquis.'' 'Then,' said Prosper, 'from all this I judge that M. de Clameran was very poor when I met him for the first time at M. Fauvel's?' 'Evidently.' 'And about that time Lagors arrived from the country?' 'Precisely.' 'And about a month after his appearance Madeleine suddenly banished me?' 'Well,' exclaimed M. Verduret, 'I am glad you are beginning to understand the state of affairs.' He was interrupted by the entrance of a stranger.

The new-comer was a dandified-looking coachman, with elegant black whiskers, shining boots with fancy tops; buff breeches, and a yellow waistcoat with red and black stripes. After cautiously looking around the room, he walked straight up to the table where M. 'What is the news, Master Joseph Dubois?' said the stout man eagerly. 'Ah, patron, don't speak of it!' answered the servant: 'things are getting warm.' Prosper concentrated all his attention upon this superb domestic. Meanwhile, Master Joseph had taken a seat at a table adjoining the one occupied by M. Verduret and Prosper; and, having called for some absinthe, was preparing it by holding the water aloft and slowly dropping it in the glass.

'In the first place, patron, I must say that the position of valet and coachman to M. de Clameran is not a bed of roses.' 'Go on: come to the point.

The thing was as good as a farce. He went to the Archangel to keep the appointment made by 'Nina Gypsy.'' 'Well, make haste. They told him she was gone. Then?' 'Then? He hurried back to the hotel where the other, M. 'Nothing,' replied my master, 'except that little devil has run off, and no one knows where she is; she has slipped through our fingers.' Then they both appeared to be vexed and uneasy. 'She knows nothing but what I told you,' replied Clameran; 'but this nothing, falling in the ear of a man with any suspicions, will be more than enough to work on.'' M. Verduret smiled like a man who had his reasons for appreciating at their just value De Clameran's fears. Then Lagors exclaimed, 'If it is as serious as that, we must get rid of this little serpent!' But my master shrugged his shoulders, and laughing loudly said, 'You talk like an idiot; when one is annoyed by a woman of this sort, one must take measures to get rid of her administratively.' This idea seemed to amuse them both very much.' 'I can understand their being entertained by it,' said M.

Verduret; 'it is an excellent idea; but the misfortune is, it is too late to carry it out. The nothing which made Clameran uneasy has already fallen into a knowing ear.' With breathless curiosity, Prosper listened to this report, every word of which seemed to throw light upon past events. Now, he thought, he understood the fragment of Gypsy's letter. A thousand little circumstances, unnoticed at the time, now recurred to his mind, and made him wonder how he could have been so blind so long. I shaved him, curled his hair, and perfumed him with special care, after which I drove him to the Rue de Provence to call on Mme. Fauvel.' 'What!' exclaimed Prosper, 'after the insulting language he used the day of the robbery, did he dare to visit the house?' 'Yes, monsieur, he not only dared this, but he also stayed there until midnight, to my great discomfort; for I got as wet as a rat, waiting for him.' 'How did he look when he came out?' asked M. 'Well, he certainly looked less pleased then when he went in.

After putting away my carriage, and rubbing down my horses, I went to see if he wanted anything; I found the door locked, and he swore at me like a trooper, through the key-hole.' And, to assist the digestion of this insult, Master Joseph here gulped down a glass of absinthe. They at once began to dispute, and such a row! why, the most abandoned housebreakers and pickpockets would have blushed to hear such Billingsgate. At one time my master seized the other by the throat and shook him like a reed. But Raoul was too quick for him; he saved himself from strangulation by drawing out a sharp-pointed knife, the sight of which made my master drop him in a hurry, I can tell you.' 'But what did they say?' 'Ah, there is the rub, patron,' said Joseph in a piteous tone; 'the scamps spoke English, so I could not understand them. But I am sure they were disputing about money.' 'How do you know that?' 'Because I learned at the Exposition that the word 'argent' means money in every language in Europe; and this word they constantly used in their conversation.' M. Verduret sat with knit brows, talking in an undertone to himself; and Prosper, who was watching him, wondered if he was trying to understand and construct the dispute by mere force of reflection. 'When they had done fighting,' continued Joseph, 'the rascals began to talk in French again; but they only spoke of a fancy ball which is to be given by some banker.

When Raoul was leaving, my master said, 'Since this thing is inevitable, and it must take place to-day, you had better remain at home, at Vesinet, this evening.' Raoul replied, 'Of course.'' Night was approaching, and the smoking-room was gradually filling with men who called for absinthe or bitters, and youths who perched themselves up on high stools, and smoked their pipes.

I will see you to-morrow.' The new-comer was no other than Cavaillon, more troubled and frightened than ever. He looked uneasily around the room, as if he expected the whole police force to appear, and carry him off to prison. Verduret's table, but stealthily gave his hand to Prosper, and, after assuring himself that no one was observing them, handed M.

Verduret rapidly turned over the leaves, and soon found the pages from which the words pasted on Prosper's letter had been cut. 'I had moral proofs,' he said, handing the book to Prosper, 'but here is material proof sufficient in itself to save you.' When Prosper looked at the book he turned pale as a ghost. He had given it to Madeleine in exchange for the medal. He opened it, and on the fly-leaf Madeleine had written, 'Souvenir of Notre Dame de Fourvieres, 17 January, 1866.' 'This book belongs to Madeleine,' he cried. Verduret did not reply, but walked toward a young man dressed like a brewer, who had just entered the room. He glanced at the note which this person handed to him, and hastened back to the table, and said, in an agitated tone: 'I think we have got them now!' Throwing a five-franc piece on the table, and without saying a word to Cavaillon, he seized Prosper's arm, and hurried from the room. 'What a fatality!' he said, as he hastened along the street: 'we may miss them. We shall certainly reach the St.

Lazare station too late for the St. Verduret stopped before one of the hacks belonging to the railway station, and examined the horses at a glance. 'How much for driving us to Vesinet?' he asked of the driver. 'I don't know the road very well that way.' The name of Vesinet was enough for Prosper. 'Well,' said the driver, 'at this time of night, in such dreadful weather, it ought to be--twenty-five francs.' 'And how much more for driving very rapidly?' 'Bless my soul! Verduret, 'if you overtake a carriage which has half an hour's start of us.' 'Tonnerre de Brest!' cried the delighted driver; 'jump in quick: we are losing time!' And, whipping up his lean horses, he galloped them down the Rue de Valois at lightning speed. X Leaving the little station of Vesinet, we come upon two roads.

One, to the left, macadamized and kept in perfect repair, leads to the village, of which there are glimpses here and there through the trees. The other, newly laid out, and just covered with gravel, leads through the woods. Along the latter, which before the lapse of five years will be a busy street, are built a few houses, hideous in design, and at some distance apart; rural summer retreats of city merchants, but unoccupied during the winter. It was at the junction of these two roads that Prosper stopped the hack. The driver had gained his hundred francs. The horses were completely worn out, but they had accomplished all that was expected of them; M. Verduret could distinguish the lamps of a hack similar to the one he occupied, about fifty yards ahead of him.

Verduret jumped out, and, handing the driver a bank-note, said: 'Here is what I promised you. Go to the first tavern you find on the right-hand side of the road as you enter the village. If we do not meet you there in an hour, you are at liberty to return to Paris.' The driver was overwhelming in his thanks; but neither Prosper nor his friend heard them. They had already started up the new road. The weather, which had been inclement when they set out, was now fearful. The rain fell in torrents, and a furious wind howled dismally through the dense woods.

The intense darkness was rendered more dreary by the occasional glimmer of the lamps at the distant station, which seemed about to be extinguished by every new gust of wind. Verduret and Prosper had been running along the muddy road for about five minutes, when suddenly the latter stopped and said: 'This is Raoul's house.' Before the gate of an isolated house stood the hack which M. Reclining on his seat, wrapped in a thick cloak, was the driver, who, in spite of the pouring rain, was already asleep, evidently waiting for the person whom he had brought to this house a few minutes ago. Verduret pulled his cloak, and said, in a low voice: 'Wake up, my good man.' The driver started, and, mechanically gathering his reins, yawned out: 'I am ready: come on!' But when, by the light of the carriage-lamps, he saw two men in this lonely spot, he imagined that they wanted his purse, and perhaps his life. 'I am engaged!' he cried out, as he cracked his whip in the air; 'I am waiting here for someone.' 'I know that, you fool,' replied M.

Did you not bring a middle-aged lady here?' This question, this promise of five francs, instead of reassuring the coachman, increased his alarm. 'Come away,' he whispered to Prosper, 'the cur will do as he says; and, alarm once given, farewell to our projects. We must find some other entrance than by this gate.' They then went along the wall surrounding the garden, in search of a place where it was possible to climb up. This was difficult to discover, the wall being twelve feet high, and the night very dark. Verduret was very agile; and, having decided upon the spot to be scaled, he drew back a few feet, and making a sudden spring, seized one of the projecting stones above him, and, drawing himself up by aid of his hands and feet, soon found himself on top of the wall. Verduret had not pulled him up, and then helped him down on the other side. Once in the garden, M. Verduret looked about him to study the situation.

The house occupied by M.

de Lagors was built in the middle of an immense garden. Only one window, in the second story, was lighted. Verduret, 'you must know all about the arrangement of the house: what room is that where we see the light?' 'That is Raoul's bed-chamber.' 'Very good. What rooms are on the first floor?' 'The kitchen, pantry, billiard-room, and dining-room.' 'And on the floor above?' 'Two drawing-rooms separated by folding doors, and a library.' 'Where do the servants sleep?' 'Raoul has none at present. He is waited on by a man and his wife, who live at Vesinet; they come in the morning, and leave after dinner.' M. 'That suits our plans exactly,' he said; 'there is nothing to prevent our hearing what Raoul has to say to this person who has come from Paris at ten o'clock at night, to see him. Did you think it was a pleasure-trip, merely to enjoy this lovely weather?' he said in a bantering tone. If the least noise betrays our presence, you have only to advance boldly as a friend come to visit a friend, and, finding the door open walked in.' But unfortunately the heavy oak door was locked. A common lock which could be opened with a nail, and I have not even a piece of wire!' Thinking it useless to attempt the door, he tried successively every window on the ground-floor.

each blind was securely fastened on the inside. He prowled around the house like a fox around a hen-coop, seeking an entrance, but finding none. Despairingly he came back to the spot in front of the house, whence he had the best view of the lighted window. 'Just to think that in there,' and he pointed to the window, 'is the solution of the mystery; and we are cut off from it by thirty or forty feet of cursed blank wall!' Prosper was more surprised than ever at his companion's strange behavior.

He seemed perfectly at home in this garden; he ran about without any precaution; so that one would have supposed him accustomed to such expeditions, especially when he spoke of picking the lock of an occupied house, as if he were talking of opening a snuff-box. He was utterly indifferent to the rain and sleet driven in his face by the gusts of wind as he splashed about in the mud trying to find some way of entrance. 'There is a ladder here,' he cried.

Where is it?' 'At the end of the garden, under the trees.' They ran to the spot, and in a few minutes had the ladder standing against the wall. But to their chagrin they found the ladder six feet too short. Six long feet of wall between the top of the ladder and the lighted window was a very discouraging sight to Prosper; he exclaimed: 'We cannot reach it.' 'We can reach it,' cried M. And he quickly placed himself a yard off from the house, and, seizing the ladder, cautiously raised it and rested the bottom round on his shoulders, at the same time holding the two uprights firmly and steadily with his hands. The obstacle was overcome. The enthusiasm of difficulties so skilfully conquered, and the hope of triumph, gave him a strength and agility which he had never imagined he possessed. He made a sudden spring, and, seizing the lower rounds, quickly climbed up the ladder, which swayed and trembled beneath his weight. But he had scarcely looked in the lighted window when he uttered a cry which was drowned in the roaring tempest, and dropped like a log down on the wet grass, exclaiming: 'The villain!

the villain!' With wonderful promptness and vigor M. Verduret laid the ladder on the ground, and ran toward Prosper, fearing that he was dead or dangerously injured. Although he had had a violent fall, he was unhurt; he was in a state when mind governs matter so absolutely that the body is insensible to pain. Was it possible that he, the infallible expert, had been mistaken in his deductions? de Lagors's visitor was a woman; but his own conjectures, and the note which Mme.

Gypsy had sent to him at the tavern, had fully assured him that this woman was Mme.

Never could I mistake another for Madeleine. You said to me then, 'She loves you, she loves you!' Now do you think she loves me? He had first been stupefied by his mistake, and was now racking his brain to discover the cause of it, which was soon discerned by his penetrating mind. 'This is the secret discovered by Nina,' continued Prosper.

'Madeleine, this pure and noble Madeleine, whom I believed to be as immaculate as an angel, is in love with this thief, who has even stolen the name he bears; and I, trusting fool that I was, made this scoundrel my best friend. Of course they amused themselves by ridiculing my silly devotion and blind confidence!' He stopped, overcome by his violent emotions. Wounded vanity is the worst of miseries. The certainty of having been so shamefully deceived and betrayed made Prosper almost insane with rage.

'This is the last humiliation I shall submit to,' he fiercely cried. 'It shall not be said that I was coward enough to stand by and let an insult like this go unpunished.' He started toward the house; but M. I will break down the door; what do I care for the noise and scandal, now that I have nothing to lose? I shall not attempt to creep into the house like a thief, but as a master, as one who has a right to enter; as a man who, having received an insult which can only be washed out with blood, comes to demand satisfaction.' 'You will do nothing of the sort, Prosper.' 'Who will prevent me?' 'I will.' 'You? I will appear before them, put them to the blush, kill them both, then put an end to my own wretched existence. Let nothing interfere with the establishing of your innocence.' Genuine passion is uninfluenced by surrounding circumstances. Verduret and Prosper stood foot-deep in mud, wet to the skin, the rain pouring down on their heads, and yet seemed in no hurry to end their dispute. 'I will be avenged,' repeated Prosper with the persistency of a fixed idea, 'I will avenge myself.' 'Well, avenge yourself like a man, and not like a child!' said M. What will you do after you get into the house?

What then? Which is the stronger, you or Raoul?' Overcome by the sense of his powerlessness, Prosper was silent. Verduret: 'it is fortunate you have none with you, for it would be very foolish to shoot a man whom you can send to the galleys.' 'What must I do?' 'Wait. Did we not come to the conclusion that she was sacrificing herself for the benefit of someone else? 'That might be the case,' he murmured, 'who knows?' 'I would soon know,' said M. Verduret, 'if I could see them together in that room.' 'Will you promise me, monsieur, to tell me the exact truth, all that you see and hear, no matter how painful it may be for me?' 'I swear it, upon my word of honor.' Then, with a strength of which a few minutes before he would not have believed himself possessed, Prosper raised the ladder, placed the last round on his shoulders, and said to M. Verduret rapidly ascended the ladder without even shaking it, and had his head on a level with the window.

There was Madeleine at this hour of the night, alone with Raoul de Lagors in his room! She was standing in the middle of the room, talking with great animation. There was an expression of ill-disguised loathing upon her beautiful face. Raoul was seated by the fire, stirring up the coals with a pair of tongs. Every now and then, he would shrug his shoulders, like a man resigned to everything he heard, and had no answer, except, 'I cannot help it. Verdure would willingly have given the diamond ring on his finger to be able to hear what was said; but the roaring wind completely drowned their voices. 'They are evidently quarrelling,' he thought; 'but it is not a lovers' quarrel.' Madeleine continued talking; and it was by closely watching the face of Lagors, clearly revealed by the lamp on the mantel, that M.

Verduret hoped to discover the meaning of the scene before him. At one moment Lagors would start and tremble in spite of his apparent indifference; the next, he would strike at the fire with the tongs, as if giving vent to his rage at some reproach uttered by Madeleine. Several times she turned to leave the room, but each time returned, as if asking a favor, and unable to make up her mind to leave the house till she had obtained it.

At last she seemed to have uttered something decisive; for Raoul quickly rose and opened a desk near the fireplace, from which he took a bundle of papers, and handed them to her. Can it be a compromising correspondence which the fair one wants to secure?' Madeleine took the papers, but was apparently still dissatisfied. Raoul refused; and then she threw the papers on the table. The papers seemed to puzzle M. Verduret very much, as he gazed at them through the window. 'I am not blind,' he said, 'and I certainly am not mistaken; those papers, red, green, and yellow, are pawnbroker's tickets!' Madeleine turned over the papers as if looking for some particular ones. She selected three, which she put in her pocket, disdainfully pushing the others aside. She was evidently preparing to take her departure, for she said a few words to Raoul, who took up the lamp as if to escort her downstairs. There was nothing more for M.

He carefully descended the ladder, muttering to himself. What infamous mystery lies at the bottom of all this?' The first thing he did was to remove the ladder. Raoul might take it into his head to look around the garden, when he came to the door with Madeleine, and if he did so the ladder could scarcely fail to attract his attention.

Verduret and Prosper hastily laid it on the ground, regardless of the shrubs and vines they destroyed in doing so, and then concealed themselves among the trees, whence they could watch at once the front door and the outer gate. Madeleine and Raoul appeared in the doorway. Raoul set the lamp on the bottom step, and offered his hand to the girl; but she refused it with haughty contempt, which somewhat soothed Prosper's lacerated heart. He simply answered by an ironical gesture which implied, 'As you please!' He followed her to the gate, which he opened and closed after her; then he hurried back to the house, while Madeleine's carriage drove rapidly away. You promised me the truth no matter how bitter it might be. Always distrust them. But we must not stay here forever; and, as Raoul has fastened the gate, we shall have to climb back again.' 'But there is the ladder.' 'Let it stay where it is; as we cannot efface our footprints, he will think thieves have been trying to get into the house.' They scaled the wall, and had not walked fifty steps when they heard the noise of a gate being unlocked. The stood aside and waited; a man soon passed on his way to the station. If they are only kind enough to speak French!' He walked along quietly for some time, trying to connect the broken chain of his deductions. 'How in the deuce,' he abruptly asked, 'did this Lagors, who is devoted to gay society, come to choose a lonely country house to live in?' 'I suppose it was because M.

Fauvel's villa is only fifteen minutes' ride from here, on the Seine.' 'That accounts for his staying here in the summer; but in winter?' 'Oh, in winter he has a room at the Hotel du Louvre, and all the year round keeps an apartment in Paris.' This did not enlighten M. We cannot take the train which is about to start, because Raoul would see us at the station.' Although it was more than an hour since M.

Verduret and Prosper left the hack at the branch road, they found it waiting for them in front of the tavern. The driver could not resist the desire to change his five-franc piece; he had ordered dinner, and, finding his wine very good, was calling for more, when he looked up and saw his employers. Prosper replied that they had gone to see a friend, and, losing their way, had fallen into a pit; as if there were pits in Vesinet forest. 'Ah, that is the way you got covered with mud, is it?' exclaimed the driver, who, though apparently contented with this explanation, strongly suspected that his two customers had been engaged in some nefarious transaction. This opinion seemed to be entertained by everyone present, for they looked at Prosper's muddy clothes and then at each other in a knowing way. Verduret stopped all comment by saying: 'Come on.' 'All right, monsieur: get in while I settle my bill; I will be there in a minute.' The drive back was silent and seemed interminably long. Prosper at first tried to draw his strange companion into conversation, but, as he received nothing but monosyllables in reply, held his peace for the rest of the journey. He was again beginning to feel irritated at the absolute empire exercised over him by this man. Physical discomfort was added to his other troubles.

He was stiff and numb; every bone in him ached with the cold. Although mental endurance may be unlimited, bodily strength must in the end give way. Lying back in a corner of the carriage, with his feet upon the front seat, M. For him the facts remained the same, but circumstances had changed. He could not imagine what common motive, what moral or material complicity, what influences, could have existed to make the four actors in his drama, Mme. Fauvel, Madeleine, Raoul, and Clameran, seem to have the same object in view.

He was seeking in his fertile mind, that encyclopaedia of craft and subtlety, for some combination which would throw light on the problem before him. The midnight bells were ringing when they reached the Archangel, and for the first time M. Alexandre was still up, and in the twinkling of an eye had improvised a tempting supper. Verduret all the while he was eating his supper.

Verduret to Prosper, when he had risen to leave the room; 'but I will be here about this time to-morrow night. Verduret think of appearing at a ball given by the wealthiest and most fashionable bankers in Paris? This accounted for his sending to the costumer. 'Then you are invited to this ball?' The expressive eyes of M. 'Not yet,' he said, 'but I shall be.' Oh, the inconsistency of the human mind! Prosper was tormented by the most serious preoccupations. Verduret's projected pleasure at the ball, exclaimed: 'Ah, how fortunate he is! To-morrow he will have the privilege of seeing Madeleine.' XI The Rue St.

Lazare was adorned by the palatial residences of the Jandidier brothers, two celebrated financiers, who, if deprived of the prestige of immense wealth, would still be looked up to as remarkable men. Why cannot the same be said of all men?

These two mansions, which were thought marvels at the time they were built, were entirely distinct from each other, but so planned that they could be turned into one immense house when so desired.

Jandidier gave parties, they always had the movable partitions taken away, and thus obtained the most superb salon in Paris. Princely magnificence, lavish hospitality, and an elegant, graceful manner of receiving their guests, made these entertainments eagerly sought after by the fashionable circles of the capital. On Saturday, the Rue St. Lazare was blocked up by a file of carriages, whose fair occupants were impatiently awaiting their turn to drive up to the door, through which they could catch the tantalizing strains of a waltz. It was a fancy ball; and nearly all of the costumes were superb, though some were more original than elegant. Among the latter was a clown. Everything was in perfect keeping: the insolent eye, coarse lips, high cheek-bones, and a beard so red that it seemed to emit flames in the reflection of the dazzling lights. He wore top-boots, a dilapidated hat on the back of his head, and a shirt-ruffle trimmed with torn lace.

In his right he waved a little switch, with which he would every now and then strike his banner, like a quack retailing his wares. Quite a crowd surrounded this clown, hoping to hear some witty speeches and puns; but he kept near the door, and remained silent. Fauvel, followed by their niece Madeleine, had just entered. A compact group immediately formed near the door. During the last ten days, the affair of the Rue de Provence had been the universal topic of conversation; and friends and enemies were alike glad to seize this opportunity of approaching the banker, some to tender their sympathy, and others to offer equivocal condolence, which of all things is the most exasperating and insulting.

Belonging to the battalion of grave, elderly men, M. She had once been remarkably beautiful; and to-night the effect of the soft wax-lights, and her very becoming dress, half restored her youthful freshness and comeliness. She wore a dress of the later years of Louis the Fourteenth's reign, magnificent and severe, of embroidered satin and black velvet, without the adornment of a single jewel. But Madeleine was the object of universal admiration, so dazzlingly beautiful and queenlike did she appear in her costume of maid of honor, which seemed to have been especially invented to set forth her beautiful figure. Her loveliness expanded in the perfumed atmosphere and soft light of the ball-room. Having greeted the hosts, Madeleine took her aunt's arm, while M. Fauvel wandered through the rooms in search of the card-table, the usual refuge of bored men, when they are enticed to the ball-room by their womankind. The ball was now at its height.

Two orchestras, led by Strauss and one of his lieutenants, filled the two mansions with intoxicating music. The motley crowd whirled in the waltz until they presented a curious confusion of velvets, satins, laces, and diamonds. Almost every head and bosom sparkled with jewels; the palest cheeks were rosy; heavy eyes now shone like stars; and the glistening shoulders of fair women were like drifted snow in an April sun. Forgotten by the crowd, the clown had taken refuge in the embrasure of a window, and seemed to be meditating upon the gay scene before him; at the same time, he kept his eye upon a couple not far off. The doge was the Marquis de Clameran.

He appeared to be radiant, rejuvenated, and well satisfied with the impression he was making upon his partner; at the end of a quadrille he leaned over her, and whispered compliments with the most unbounded admiration; and she seemed to listen, if not with pleasure, at least without repugnance.

She now and then smiled, and coquettishly shrugged her shoulders. 'Evidently,' muttered the clown, 'this noble scoundrel is paying court to the banker's niece; so I was right yesterday. Verduret,'--this name was uttered half seriously, half banteringly--'what you promised me?' The clown bowed with great respect, but not the slightest shade of humility. the Count need not be uneasy; he has my promise.' 'Very good.

I know the value of it.' The count walked off; but during this short colloquy the quadrille had ended, and M. 'I shall find them near Mme. Fauvel,' said the clown. And he at once started in search of the banker's wife. Incommoded by the stifling heat of the room, Mme. Fauvel had sought a little fresh air in the grand picture-gallery, which, thanks to the talisman called gold, was now transformed into a fairy-like garden, filled with orange-trees, japonicas, laurel, and many rare exotics. The clown saw her seated near a grove, not far from the door of the card-room. 'I must confess,' muttered the clown from his post of observation, 'that the young scamp is a very handsome man.' Madeleine appeared very sad. Their faces were composed, but the gestures of one and the trembling of the other betrayed a serious discussion.

In the card-room sat the doge, M. Fauvel and Madeleine, although himself concealed by an angle of the room. 'It is the continuation of yesterday's scene,' thought the clown. 'If I could only get behind the oleander-tree, I might hear what they are saying.' He pushed his way through the crowd, and, just as he had reached the desired spot, Madeleine arose, and, taking the arm of a bejewelled Persian, walked away. At the same moment Raoul went into the card-room, and whispered a few words to De Clameran. 'There they go,' muttered the clown. 'The two scoundrels certainly hold these poor women in their power; and they are determined to make them suffer before releasing them. What can be the secret of their power?' His attention was attracted by a commotion in the picture-gallery; it was caused by the announcement of a wonderful minuet to be danced in the ball-room; the arrival of the Countess de Commarin as Aurora; and the presence of the Princess Korasoff, with her superb emeralds, which were reported to be the finest in the world. In an instant the gallery became almost deserted.

Only a few forlorn-looking people remained; mostly sulky husbands, and some melancholy youths looking awkward and unhappy in their gay fancy dresses. The clown thought it a favorable opportunity for carrying out his project. He abruptly left his corner, flourishing his switch, and beating his banner, and, crossing the gallery, seated himself in a chair between Mme. Fauvel and the door. As soon as the people had collected in a circle around him, he commenced to cough in an affected manner, like a stump orator about to make a speech.

Then he struck a comical attitude, standing up with his body twisted sideways, and his hat on one ear, and with great buffoonery and volubility made the following remarks: 'Ladies and gentlemen, this very morning I obtained a license from the authorities of this town. Why gentlemen, for the purpose of exhibiting to you a spectacle which has already won the admiration of the four quarters of the globe, and several universities besides. Inside of this booth, ladies, is about to commence the representation of a most remarkable drama, acted for the first time at Pekin, and translated into several languages by our most celebrated authors. Gentlemen, you can take your seats; the lamps are lighted, and the actors are changing their dress.' Here he stopped speaking, and imitated to perfection the feats which mountebanks play upon horns and kettle-drums. 'Now, ladies and gentlemen,' he resumed, 'you wish to know what I am doing outside, if the piece is to be performed under the tent. The fact is, gentlemen, that I wish to give you a foretaste of the agitations, sensations, emotions, palpitations, and other entertainments which you may enjoy by paying the small sum of ten sous. It represents eight of the most thrilling scenes in the drama. Ah, I see you begin to shudder already; and yet this is nothing compared to the play itself.

This splendid picture gives you no more idea of the acting than a drop of water gives an idea of the sea, or a spark of fire of the sun. My picture, gentlemen, is merely to give you a foretaste of what is in the tent; as the steam oozing from a restaurant gives you a taste, or rather a smell, of what is within.' 'Do you know this clown?' asked an enormous Turk of a melancholy Punch.

But what is he driving at?' The clown was endeavoring to attract the attention of Mme. The showman's shrill voice brought the banker's wife back to a sense of reality; she started, and looked quickly about her, as if suddenly awakened from a troubled dream. The first picture on my canvas, here, in the left corner'--here he touched the top daub--'represents the celebrated Mandarin Li-Fo, in the bosom of his family. This pretty woman leaning over him is his wife; and these children playing on the carpet are the bonds of love between this happy pair. Do you not inhale the odor of sanctity and happiness emanating from this speaking picture, gentlemen? Li-Fo is the most virtuous of women, adoring her husband and idolizing her children. Being virtuous she is happy; for the wise Confucius says, 'The ways of virtue are more pleasant than the ways of vice.'' Mme. Fauvel had left her seat, and approached nearer to the clown.

'Do you see anything on the banner like what he is describing?' asked the melancholy Punch of his neighbor. Do you?' The fact is, that the daubs of paint on the canvas represented one thing as well as another, and the clown could call them whatever he pleased. 'This old lady, seated before a mirror tearing out her hair--especially the gray ones--you have seen before; do you recognize her? She is the fair mandarine of the first picture. I see the tears in your eyes, ladies and gentlemen.

One fatal day she met, on the streets of Pekin, a young ruffian, fiendish, but beautiful as an angel, and she loved him--the unfortunate woman loved him!' The last words were uttered in the most tragic tone as he raised his clasped hands to heaven. During this tirade he had whirled around, so that he found himself facing the banker's wife, whose countenance he closely watched while he was speaking. The great Bilboquet has proved to us that the heart never grows old, and that the most vigorous wall-flowers flourish on old ruins. Hence this heart-rending scene which should serve as a warning to us all.' 'Really!' grumbled a cook dressed in white satin, who had passed the evening in carrying around bills of fare, which no one read, 'I thought he was going to amuse us.' 'But,' continued the clown, 'you must go inside of the booth to witness the effects of the mandarine's folly. At times a ray of reason penetrates her diseased brain, and then the sight of her anguish would soften a heart of stone. Enter, and for the small sum of ten sous you shall hear sobs such as the Odeon never echoed in its halcyon days.

The unhappy woman has waked up to the absurdity and inanity of her blind passion; she confesses to herself that she is madly pursuing a phantom. She knows but too well that he, in the vigor and beauty of youth, cannot love a faded old woman like herself, who vainly makes pitiable efforts to retain the last remains of her once entrancing beauty. She feels that the sweet words he once whispered in her charmed ear were deceitful falsehoods. She knows that the day is near when she will be left alone, with nothing save his mantle in her hand.' As the clown addressed this voluble description to the crowd before him, he narrowly watched the countenance of the banker's wife. She leaned back in her arm-chair perfectly calm, and occasionally smiled at the tragic manner of the showman. 'Good heavens!' muttered the clown uneasily, 'can I be on the wrong track?' He saw that his circle of listeners was increased by the presence of the doge, M. 'The third picture,' he said, after a roll of drums, 'depicts the old mandarine after she has dismissed that most annoying of guests--remorse--from her bosom. She promises herself that interest shall supply the place of love in chaining the too seductive youth to her side.

It is with this object that she invests him with false honors and dignity, and introduces him to the chief mandarins of the capital of the Celestial Empire; then, since so handsome a youth must cut a fine figure in society, and as a fine figure cannot be cut without money, the lady must needs to sacrifice all of her possessions for his sake. The monster carries all these jewels to the pawnbrokers on Tien-Tsi Street, and then has the cruelty to refuse her the tickets, so that she may have a chance of redeeming her treasures.' The clown thought that at last he had hit the mark. Once she made an attempt to rise from her chair; but it seemed as if her strength failed her, and she sank back, forced to listen to the end. 'Finally, ladies and gentlemen,' continued the clown, 'the richly stored jewel-cases became empty. The day came when the mandarine had nothing more to give. It was then that the young scoundrel conceived the project of carrying off the jasper button belonging to the Mandarin Li-Fo--a splendid jewel of incalculable value, which, being the badge of his dignity, was kept in a granite chest, and guarded by three soldiers night and day. the mandarine resisted a long time! She knew the innocent soldiers would be accused and crucified, as is the custom in Pekin; and this thought restrained her. But her lover besought her so tenderly, that she finally yielded to his entreaties; and--the jasper button was stolen.

The fourth picture represents the guilty couple stealthily creeping down the private stairway: see their frightened look--see--' He abruptly stopped. Three or four of his auditors rushed to the assistance of Mme. Fauvel, who seemed about to faint; and at the same time he felt his arm roughly seized by someone behind him. 'To speak to you,' they both answered. 'I am at your service.' And he followed them to the end of the picture-gallery, near a window opening on a balcony. Here they were unobserved except by the man in the Venetian cloak, whom the clown had so respectfully addressed as 'M. the Count.' The minuet having ended, the orchestras were resting, and the crowd began to rapidly fill the gallery. The sudden faintness of Mme. Fauvel had passed off unnoticed save by a few, who attributed it to the heat of the room. Fauvel had been sent for; but when he came hurrying in, and found his wife composedly talking to Madeleine, his alarm was dissipated, and he returned to the card-tables.

de Clameran angrily said: 'In the first place, monsieur, I would like to know who you are.' The clown determined to answer as if he thought the question were a jest, replied in the bantering tone of a buffoon: 'You want my passport, do you, my lord doge? I left it in the hands of the city authorities; it contains my name, age, profession, domicile, and every detail--' With an angry gesture, M. You may call it abominable; but I, who composed it, have a different opinion of it.' 'Enough, monsieur; you will at least have the courage to acknowledge that your performance was a vile insinuation against Mme. Fauvel?' The clown stood with his head thrown back, and mouth wide open, as if astounded at what he heard. 'This is the strangest thing I ever heard of! How can my drama of the Mandarine Li-Fo have any reference to Mme.

I can't think how the resemblance----unless----but no, that is impossible.' 'Do you pretend,' said M. Fauvel's misfortune?' The clown looked very innocent, and asked: 'What misfortune?' 'The robbery of which M. Fauvel was the victim. But, as to discovering any connection between this robbery and my play, that is another matter.' M. He looked quietly at the clown, and seemed to regret having uttered the significant words forced from him by angry excitement.

I accept your explanation.' But the clown, hitherto so humble and silly-looking, seemed to take offence at the word, and, assuming a defiant attitude, said: 'I have not made, nor do I intend making, any explanation.' 'Monsieur,' began De Clameran. If, unintentionally, I have offended the wife of a man whom I highly esteem, it is his business to seek redress, and not yours. I saw one of them in the ball-room to-night; let him come. What right have you to insult her by pretending to discover an allusion to her in a play invented for amusement?' There was nothing to be said in reply to this. Fauvel,' he said, 'and this title gives me the right to be as jealous of his reputation as if it were my own. If this is not a sufficient reason for my interference, I must inform you that his family will shortly be mine: I regard myself as his nephew.' 'Ah!' 'Next week, monsieur, my marriage with Madeleine will be publicly announced.' This news was so unexpected, so startling that for a moment the clown was dumb; and now his surprise was genuine.

Besides being the belle to-night, Mlle. Madeleine is worth, I hear, half a million.' Raoul de Lagors had anxiously been watching the people near them, to see if they overheard this conversation. 'We have had enough of this gossip,' he said, in a disdainful tone; 'I will only say one thing more, master clown, and that is, that your tongue is too long.' 'Perhaps it is, my pretty youth, perhaps it is; but my arm is still longer.' De Clameran here interrupted them by saying: 'It is impossible for one to seek an explanation from a man who conceals his identity under the guise of a fool.' 'You are at liberty, my lord doge, to ask the master of the house who I am--if you dare.' 'You are,' cried Clameran, 'you are--' A warning look from Raoul checked the forge-master from using an epithet which would have led to an affray, or at least a scandalous scene. The clown stood by with a sardonic smile, and, after a moment's silence, stared M. de Clameran steadily in the face, and in measured tones said: 'I was the best friend, monsieur, that your brother Gaston ever had. I was his adviser, and the confidant of his last wishes.' These few words fell like a clap of thunder upon De Clameran. He tried to answer, to protest against this assertion, but the words froze on his lips. 'Oh,' exclaimed the clown, in three different tones, 'oh, oh!' He himself was almost as much astonished as the forge-master, and remained rooted to the spot, watching the latter as he slowly left the room.

It was with no decided object in view that he had ventured to use the last mysteriously threatening words, but he had been inspired to do so by his wonderful instinct, which with him was like the scent of a blood-hound. I need not boast of my penetration, or the subtlety of my plans. There is a great master, who, without any effort, in an instant destroys all my chimeras; he is called 'Chance.'' His mind had wandered far from the present scene, when he was brought back to his situation by someone touching him on the shoulder. It was the man in the Venetian cloak.

the Count. No, because I have not completely achieved the object I had in view when I asked you for an invitation here to-night; yes, because these two rascals behaved in a manner which dispels all doubt.' 'And yet you complain--' 'I do not complain, M. the Count: on the contrary, I bless chance, or rather Providence, which has just revealed to me the existence of a secret that I did not before even suspect.' Five or six people approached the count, and he went off with them after giving the clown a friendly nod. The latter instantly threw aside his banner, and started in pursuit of Mme. He found her sitting on a sofa in the large salon, engaged in an animated conversation with Madeleine. 'Of course they are talking over the scene; but what has become of Lagors and De Clameran?' He soon saw them wandering among the groups scattered about the room, and eagerly asking questions. 'I will bet my head these honorable gentlemen are trying to find out who I am. Keep it up, my friends, ask everybody in the room; I wish you success!' They soon gave it up, but were so preoccupied, and anxious to be alone in order to reflect and deliberate, that, without waiting for supper, they took leave of Mme. Fauvel and her niece, saying they were going home.

The clown saw them go up to the dressing-room for their cloaks, and in a few minutes leave the house. 'I have nothing more to do here,' he murmured; 'I might as well go too.' He completely covered his dress with a domino, and started for home, thinking the cold frosty air would cool his confused brain. He lit a cigar, and, walking up the Rue St. Lazare, crossed the Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, and struck into the Faubourg Montmartre. Fortunately the clown had a cat-like instinct, which enabled him to protect himself against immediate danger, and detect any which threatened. He saw, or rather divined, the man crouching in the dark shadow of a house, and had the presence of mind to strike an attitude which enabled him to ward off the assassin by spreading out his arms before him. Anger, more than pain, made him cry out: 'Ah, you villain!' And recoiling a few feet, he put himself on the defensive. But the precaution was useless.

Seeing his blow miss, the assassin did not return to the attack, but made rapidly off. 'That was certainly Lagors,' said the clown, 'and Clameran must be somewhere near. While I walked around one side of the church, they must have gone the other and lain in wait for me.' His wound began to pain him; he stood under a gas-lamp to examine it. It did not appear to be dangerous, but the arm was cut through to the bone. He tore his handkerchief into four bands, and tied his arm up with the dexterity of a surgeon.

'I must be on the track of some great crime, since these fellows are resolved upon murder. When such cunning rogues are only in danger of the police court, they do not gratuitously risk the chance of being tried for murder.' He thought by enduring a great deal of pain he might still use his arm; so he started in pursuit of his enemy, taking care to keep in the middle of the road, and avoid all dark corners. When he reached the Boulevard Montmartre, he crossed the street, and, as he did so, distinguished two shadows which he recognized. They crossed the same street a little higher up. 'They do not even take pains to conceal their pursuit of me. They seem to be accustomed to this kind of adventure, and the carriage trick which fooled Fanferlot would never succeed with them. Besides, my light hat is a perfect beacon to lead them on in the night.' He continued his way up the boulevard, and, without turning his head, was sure that his enemies were thirty feet behind him. 'I must get rid of them somehow,' he said to himself.

'I can neither return home nor to the Archangel with these devils at my heels. They are following me to find out where I live, and who I am. If they discover that the clown is M.

They will escape abroad with the money, and I shall be left to console myself with a wounded arm. A pleasant ending to all my exertions!' The idea of Raoul and Clameran escaping him so exasperated him that for an instant he thought of having them arrested at once. This was easy; for he had only to rush upon them, scream for help, and they would all three be arrested, carried to the watch-house, and consigned to the commissary of police. The police often resort to this ingenious and simple means of arresting a malefactor for whom they are on the lookout, and whom they cannot seize without a warrant. The next day there is a general explanation, and the parties, if innocent, are dismissed. The clown had sufficient proof to sustain him in the arrest of Lagors. He could show the letter and the mutilated prayer-book, he could reveal the existence of the pawnbroker's tickets in the house at Vesinet, he could display his wounded arm. He could force Raoul to confess how and why he had assumed the name of Lagors, and what his motive was in passing himself off for a relative of M.

On the other hand, in acting thus hastily, he was insuring the safety of the principal plotter, De Clameran. On reflection the clown decided that he would act alone, as he had thus far done, and that alone and unaided he would discover the truth of all his suspicions. Having reached this decision, the first step to be taken was to put his followers on the wrong scent. He walked rapidly up the Rue Sebastopol, and, reaching the square of the Arts et Metiers, he abruptly stopped, and asked some insignificant questions of two constables who were standing talking together. The manoeuvre had the result he expected; Raoul and Clameran stood perfectly still about twenty steps off, not daring to advance.

That was as much start as the clown wanted. While talking with the constables, he had pulled the bell of the door before which they were standing, and its hollow sound apprised him that the door was open. He bowed, and entered the house. A minute later the constables had passed on, and Lagors and Clameran in their turn rang the bell. When the concierge appeared, they asked who it was that had just gone in disguised as a clown.

They were told that no such person had entered, and that none of the lodgers had gone out disguised that night. 'However,' added the concierge, 'I am not very sure, for this house has a back door which opens on the Rue St. Denis.' 'We are tricked,' interrupted Lagors, 'and will never know who the clown is.' 'Unless we learn it too soon for our own good,' said Clameran musingly. While Lagors and Clameran were anxiously trying to devise some means of discovering the clown's identity, Verduret hurried up the back street, and reached the Archangel as the clock struck three. Prosper, who was watching from his window, saw him in the distance, and ran down to open the door for him. Were Raoul and Clameran at the ball?' But M. Verduret was not in the habit of discussing private affairs where he might be overheard. Ah, I will soon teach him the danger of chopping up a man's arm!' Prosper was surprised at the look of merciless rage on his friend's face, as he calmly washed and dressed his arm. Our enemies are on the alert, and we must crush them instantly, or not at all.

I have been on the wrong track; it is an accident liable to happen to any man, no matter how intelligent he may be. I took the effect for the cause. The day I was convinced that culpable relations existed between Raoul and Mme.

Fauvel, I thought I held the end of the thread that must lead us to the truth. Fauvel had first bestowed upon him the name of one of her relatives, and then introduced him as her nephew. 'She began by giving him all the money she could could dispose of; later she let him take her jewels to the pawnbrokers; when she had nothing more to give, she allowed him to steal the money from her husband's safe. That is what I first thought.' 'And in this way everything was explained?' 'No, this did not explain everything, as I well knew at the time, and should, consequently, have studied my characters more thoroughly. How is Clameran's position to be accounted for, if my first idea was the correct one?' 'Clameran is Lagors's accomplice of course.' 'Ah, there is the mistake! I for a long time believed Lagors to be the principal person, when, in fact, he is not. Yesterday, in a dispute between them, the forge-master said to his dear friend, 'And, above all things, my friend, I would advise you not to resist me, for if you do I will crush you to atoms.' That explains all. The elegant Lagors is not the lover of Mme. Fauvel, but the tool of Clameran.

Besides, did our first suppositions account for the resigned obedience of Madeleine? Now, the question is, what is the secret of this terrible influence he has gained over her? I have positive proof that they have not met since their early youth until fifteen months ago; and, as Mme. Fauvel's reputation has always been above the reach of slander, we must seek in the past for the cause of her resigned obedience to his will.' 'We can never discover it,' said Prosper mournfully. Ah, to-night he turned as white as a sheet when I mentioned his brother Gaston's name. And then I remembered that Gaston died suddenly, while his brother Louis was making a visit.' 'Do you think he was murdered?' 'I think the men who tried to assassinate me would do anything. The robbery, my friend, has now become a secondary detail.

It is quite easily explained, and, if that were all to be accounted for, I would say to you, My task is done, let us go ask the judge of instruction for a warrant of arrest.' Prosper started up with sparkling eyes. 'Ah, you know--is it possible?' 'Yes, I know who gave the key, and I know who told the secret word.' 'The key might have been M. But the word----' 'The word you were foolish enough to give. You know that, two days before the robbery, you took Lagors and two other friends to sup with Mme. Fauvel's safe.'' The truth suddenly burst upon Prosper like a thunderclap. I remember now.' 'Then you can easily understand the rest. One of the scoundrels went to Mme.

Fauvel, and compelled her to give up her husband's key; then, at a venture, placed the movable buttons on the name of Gypsy, opened the safe, and took the three hundred and fifty thousand francs. The day after the robbery the poor woman was near dying; and it was she who at the greatest risk sent you the ten thousand francs.' 'But which was the thief, Raoul or Clameran? What enables them to thus tyrannize over Mme. And how does Madeleine come to be mixed up in the affair?' 'These questions, my dear Prosper, I cannot yet answer; therefore I postpone seeing the judge. I only ask you to wait ten days; and, if I cannot in that time discover the solution of this mystery, I will return and go with you to report to M. Patrigent all that we know.' 'Are you going to leave the city?' 'In an hour I shall be on the road to Beaucaire. de la Verberie before marriage.' 'Yes, I knew both families.' 'I must go there to study them. Neither Raoul nor Clameran can escape during my absence. The police are watching them. But he did not wish to be left in complete ignorance of his projects for the future, or of his motives in the past.

'Will you not tell me, monsieur, who you are, and what reasons you had for coming to my rescue?' The extraordinary man smiled sadly, and said: 'I tell, in the presence of Nina, on the day before your marriage with Madeleine.' Once left to his own reflections, Prosper began to appreciate the powerful assistance rendered by his friend. Recalling the field of investigation gone over by his mysterious protector, he was amazed at its extent. How many facts had been discovered in a week, and with what precision, although he had pretended to be on the wrong track! He was conscious that he possessed neither Verduret's penetration nor his subtlety. He did not possess this art of compelling obedience, of creating friends at every step, and the science of making men and circumstances unite in the attainment of a common result. He began to regret the absence of his friend, who had risen up in the hour of adversity. He missed the sometimes rough but always kindly voice, which had encouraged and consoled him. He had the good sense to follow the recommendations of his mentor. He remained shut up in the Archangel, not even appearing at the windows. The first time he received a letter in which this friend said he had seen his father, and had had a long talk with him.

On the ninth day of his voluntary seclusion, Prosper began to feel restless, and at ten o'clock at night set forth to take a walk, thinking the fresh air would relieve the headache which had kept him awake the previous night. 'What can I risk by taking a walk at this time, in a quiet part of the city?' he asked. 'I can certainly stroll as far as the Jardin des Plantes without meeting anyone.' Unfortunately he did not strictly follow this programme; for, having reached the Orleans railway station, he went into a cafe near by, and called for a glass of ale. As he sat sipping his glass, he picked up a daily paper, The Sun, and under the head of 'Fashionable Gossip,' signed Jacques Durand, read the following: 'We understand that the niece of one of our most prominent bankers, M. The engagement has been announced.' This news, coming upon him so unexpectedly, proved to Prosper the justness of M. why did it not give him courage to wait, the strength of mind to refrain from acting on his own responsibility?

Verduret would perhaps arrive too late to be of use, determined at all risks to throw an obstacle in the way of the marriage. He called for pen and paper, and forgetting that no situation can excuse the mean cowardice of an anonymous letter, wrote in a disguised hand the following lines to M. Fauvel's diamonds, and pawned them at the Mont-de-Piete, where they now are? 'Warned as you are, if I were you, I would not be the subject of public scandal. 'Moreover, I would, before signing the marriage contract of Mlle. Madeleine, inquire at the Prefecture of Police, and obtain some information concerning the noble Marquis de Clameran. Fauvel in time, he walked up to the Rue Cardinal Lemoine, and put it in the main letter-box, so as to be certain of its speedy delivery. Until now he had not doubted the propriety of his action.

But now when too late, when he heard the sound of his letter falling into the box, a thousand scruples filled his mind. Upon reaching the hotel, his doubts were changed into bitter regrets. Joseph Dubois was waiting for him; he had received a despatch from his patron, saying that his business was finished, and that he would return the next evening at nine o'clock. He would have given all he had to recover the anonymous letter. Verduret was taking his seat in the cars at Tarascon, meditating upon the most advantageous plan to be adopted in pursuance of his discoveries.

Adding to what he already knew, the story of an old nurse of Mlle. de la Verberie, the affidavit of an old servant who had always lived in the Clameran family, and the depositions of the Vesinet husband and wife who attended M. Lagors at his country house, the latter having been sent to him by Dubois (Fanferlot), with a good deal of information obtained from the prefecture of police, he had worked up a complete case, and could now act upon a chain of evidence without a missing link.

As he had predicted, he had been compelled to search into the distant past for the first causes of the crime of which Prosper had been the victim. The following is the drama, as he wrote it out for the benefit of the judge of instruction, knowing that it would contain grounds for an indictment against the malefactors. XII THE DRAMA About two leagues from Tarascon, on the left bank of the Rhone, not far from the wonderful gardens of M. Audibert, stood the chateau of Clameran, a weather-stained, neglected, but massive structure. Here lived, in 1841, the old Marquis de Clameran and his two sons, Gaston and Louis. The marquis was an eccentric old man. He belonged to the race of nobles, now almost extinct, whose watches stopped in 1789, and who kept time with the past century. More attached to his illusions than to his life, the old marquis insisted upon considering all the stirring events which had happened since the first revolution as a series of deplorable practical jokes. Emigrating with the Count d'Artois, he did not return to France until 1815, with the allies. He should have been thankful to Heaven for the recovery of a portion of his immense family estates; a comparatively small portion, to be sure, but full enough to support him comfortably: he said, however, that he did not think the few paltry acres were worth thanking God for.

He soon became accustomed to the free and indolent life of a country gentleman. Possessing fifteen thousand francs a year, he spent twenty-five or thirty thousand, borrowing from every source, saying that a genuine restoration would soon take place, and that then he would regain possession of all his properties.

The elder son, Gaston, anxious to participate in the stirring events of the time, prepared himself for action by quietly working, studying, and reading certain papers and pamphlets surreptitiously received, the very mention of which was considered a hanging matter by his father. Altogether the old marquis was the happiest of mortals, living well, drinking high, hunting much, tolerated by the peasants, and execrated by the gentlemen of the neighborhood, who regarded him with contempt and raillery. Time never hung heavy on his hands, except in mid-summer, when the valley of the Rhone was intensely hot; and even then he had infallible means of amusement, always new, though ever the same. He detested, above all, his neighbor the Countess de la Verberie. The Countess de la Verberie, the 'bete noire' of the marquis, as he ungallantly termed her, was a tall, dry woman, angular in appearance and character, cold and arrogant toward her equals, and domineering over her inferiors. Like her noble neighbor, she too had emigrated; and her husband was afterward killed at Lutzen, but unfortunately not in the French ranks. In 1815, the countess came back to France.

But while the Marquis de Clameran returned to comparative ease, she could obtain nothing from royal munificence, but the small estate and chateau of La Verberie. It is true that the chateau of La Verberie would have contented most people; but the countess never ceased to complain of her unmerited poverty, as she called it. The pretty chateau was more modest in appearance than the manor of the Clamerans; but it was equally comfortable, and much better regulated by its proud mistress. It was built in the middle of a beautiful park, one of the wonders of that part of the country. It reached from the Beaucaire road to the river-bank, a marvel of beauty, with its superb old oaks, yoke-elms, and lovely groves, its meadow, and clear stream of water winding in among the trees.

The countess had but one child--a lovely girl of eighteen, named Valentine; fair, slender, and graceful, with large, soft eyes, beautiful enough to make the stone saints of the village church thrill in their niches, when she knelt piously at their feet. The renown of her great beauty, carried on the rapid waters of the Rhone, was spread far and wide. Often the bargemen and the robust wagoners, driving their powerful horses along the road, would stop to gaze with admiration upon Valentine seated under some grand old tree on the banks of the river, absorbed in her book. At a distance her white dress and flowing tresses made her seem a mysterious spirit from another world, these honest people said; they thought it a good omen when they caught a glimpse of her as they passed up the river. All along between Arles and Valence she was spoken of as the 'lovely fairy' of La Verberie. de Clameran detested the countess, Mme. de la Verberie execrated the marquis. If he nicknamed her 'the witch,' she never called him anything but 'the old gander.' And yet they should have agreed, for at heart they cherished the same opinions, with different ways of viewing them. Nevertheless, they might have spent many pleasant evenings together, for, after all, they were neighbors.

From Clameran could be seen Valentine's greyhound running about the park of La Verberie; from La Verberie glimpses were had of the lights in the dining-room windows of Clameran. And, as regularly as these lights appeared, every evening, the countess would say, in a spiteful tone: 'Ah, now their orgies are about to commence!' The two chateaux were only separated by the fast-flowing Rhone, which at this spot was rather narrow. But between the two families existed a hatred deeper and more difficult to avert than the course of the Rhone. What was the cause of this hatred? The countess, no less than the marquis, would have found it difficult to tell.

It was said that under the reign of Henri IV. a La Verberie betrayed the affections of a fair daughter of the Clamerans. This groundwork of facts had been highly embellished by fiction; handed down from generation to generation, it had now become a long tragic history of robbery, murder, and rapine, which precluded any intercourse between the two families. The usual result followed, as it always does in real life, and often in romances, which, however exaggerated they may be, generally preserve a reflection of the truth which inspires them. But so many obstacles separated them!

For over a year they both religiously guarded their secret, buried like a treasure in the inmost recesses of their hearts. And this year of charming, dangerous reveries decided their fate. To the sweetness of the first impression succeeded a more tender sentiment; then came love, each having endowed the other with superhuman qualities and ideal perfections. Deep, sincere passion can only expand in solitude; in the impure air of a city it fades and dies, like the hardy plants which lose their color and perfume when transplanted to hot-houses. Gaston and Valentine had only seen each other once, but seeing was to love; and, as the time passed, their love grew stronger, until at last the fatality which had presided over their first meeting brought them once more together.

They both happened to be spending the day with the old Duchess d'Arlange, who had returned to the neighborhood to sell her property. They spoke to each other, and like old friends, surprised to find that they both entertained the same thoughts and echoed the same memories. Again they were separated for months. But soon, as if by accident, they happened to be at a certain hour on the banks of the Rhone, and would sit and gaze across at each other. de la Verberie had gone to Beaucaire, Gaston ventured into the park, and appeared before Valentine. Genuine innocence displays none of the startled modesty assumed by conventional innocence. She leaned upon his arm, and strolled up and down the grand old avenue of oaks. They did not say they loved each other, they felt it; but they did say that their love was hopeless. They well knew that the inveterate family feud could never be overcome, and that it would be folly to attempt it. They swore never, never to forget each other, and tearfully resolved never to meet again; never, not even once more!

With a timid, loving heart, her expansive affection was repressed and chilled by a harsh mother. Never had there been one of those long private talks between the Countess de la Verberie and Valentine which enabled a good mother to read her daughter's heart like an open book. She was wont to rub her hands, and say: 'Next winter I will borrow enough money to take the child to Paris, and I am much mistaken if her beauty does not win her a rich husband who will release me from poverty.' She called this loving her daughter! The second meeting was not the last. Gaston dared not trust to a boatman, so he was obliged to walk a league in order to cross the bridge. Then he thought it would be shorter to swim the river; but he could not swim well, and to cross the Rhone where it ran so rapidly was rash for the most skilful swimmers. One evening, however, Valentine was startled by seeing him rise out of the water at her feet. He repeated the feat and the promise the next evening and every successive evening. As Valentine always imagined he was being drowned in the furious current, they agreed upon a signal. At the moment of starting, Gaston would put a light in his window at Clameran, and in fifteen minutes he would be at his idol's feet.

What were the projects and hopes of the lovers? they projected nothing, they hoped for nothing. Blindly, thoughtlessly, almost fearlessly, they abandoned themselves to the dangerous happiness of a daily rendezvous; regardless of the storm that must erelong burst over their devoted heads, they revelled in their present bliss.

Passion subsists upon itself and in itself; and the very things which ought to extinguish it, absence and obstacles, only make it burn more fiercely. It is exclusive and undisturbed; reflects neither of the past nor of the future; excepting the present, it sees and cares for nothing. Moreover, Valentine and Gaston believed everyone ignorant of their secret.

They had always been so cautious! they had kept such strict watch! They had flattered themselves that their conduct had been a masterpiece of dissimulation and prudence. Valentine had fixed upon the hour when she was certain her mother would not miss her. Gaston had never confided to anyone, not even to his brother Louis. They never breathed each other's name. They denied themselves a last sweet word, a last kiss, when they felt it would be more safe. As if anything could be concealed from the idle curiosity of country gossips; from the slanderous and ever-watchful enemies who are incessantly on the lookout for some new bit of tittle-tattle, good or bad, which they improve upon, and eagerly spread far and near. They believed their secret well kept, whereas it had long since been made public; the story of their love, the particulars of their rendezvous, were topics of conversation throughout the neighborhood.

Sometimes, at dusk, they would see a bark gliding along the water, near the shore, and would say to each other: 'It is a belated fisherman, returning home.' They were mistaken.

The boat contained malicious spies, who delighted in having discovered them, and hastened to report, with a thousand false additions, the result of their expedition. One dreary November evening, Gaston was awakened to the true state of affairs. The Rhone was so swollen by heavy rains that an inundation was daily expected. Therefore Gaston went to Tarascon, intending to cross the bridge there, and walk along the bank to the usual place of meeting at La Verberie. Whenever Gaston went to Tarascon, he dined with a relative living there; but on this occasion a strange fatality led him to accompany a friend to the hotel of the 'Three Emperors.' After dinner, they went not the Cafe Simon, their usual resort, but to the little cafe in the market-place, where the fairs were held. The small dining-hall was filled with young men. After they had been playing a short time, Gaston's attention was attracted by peals of laughter from a party at the other end of the room. From this moment, preoccupied by this continued laughter, of which he was evidently the subject, he knocked the balls carelessly in every direction.

His conduct surprised his friend, who said to him: 'What is the matter? You are missing the simplest shots.' 'It is nothing.' The game went on a while longer, when Gaston suddenly turned as white as a sheet, and, throwing down his cue, strode toward the table which was occupied by five young men, playing dominoes and drinking wine. He addressed the eldest of the group, a handsome man of twenty-six, with fierce-looking eyes, and a heavy black mustache, named Jules Lazet. 'Repeat, if you dare,' he said, in a voice trembling with passion, 'the remark you just now made!' 'I certainly will repeat it,' said Lazet, calmly. 'I said, and I say it again, that a nobleman's daughter is no better than a mechanic's daughter; that virtue does not always accompany a titled name.' 'You mentioned a particular name!' Lazet rose from his chair as if he knew his answer would exasperate Gaston, and that from words they would come to blows. 'I did,' he said, with an insolent smile: 'I mentioned the name of the pretty little fairy of La Verberie.' All the coffee-drinkers, and even two travelling agents who were dining in the cafe, rose and surrounded the two young men.

The provoking looks, the murmurs, or rather shouts, which welcomed him as he walked up to Lazet, proved to Gaston that he was surrounded by enemies. The wickedness and evil tongue of the old marquis were bearing their fruit. Rancor ferments quickly and fiercely among the people of Provence. 'No one but a coward,' he said, in a clear, ringing voice, which the pervading silence rendered almost startling, 'no one but a contemptible coward would be infamous enough to calumniate a young girl who has neither father nor brother to defend her honor.' 'If she has no father or brother,' sneered Lazet, 'she has her lovers, and that suffices.' The insulting words, 'her lovers,' enraged Gaston beyond control; he slapped Lazet violently in the face.

Everyone in the cafe simultaneously uttered a cry of terror. He sprang across the table between them, and seized Gaston by the throat. Then arose a scene of excitement and confusion. Equally strong and agile, Gaston and Lazet struggled for some minutes without either gaining an advantage. He continually called out: 'Keep away; let me fight it out alone!' But the others were too excited to remain inactive spectators of the scene. 'A quilt!' cried one of them, 'a quilt to make the marquis jump!' Five or six young men now rushed upon Gaston, and separated him from Lazet.

Some tried to throw him down, others to trip him up.

He defended himself with the energy of despair, exhibiting in his furious struggles a strength of which he himself had not been conscious. He struck right and left as he showered fierce epithets upon his adversaries for being twelve against one. He was endeavoring to get around the billiard-table so as to be near the door, and had almost succeeded, when an exultant cry arose: 'Here is the quilt! the quilt!' they cried. 'Put him in the quilt, the pretty fairy's lover!' Gaston heard these cries. He saw himself overcome, and suffering an ignoble outrage at the hands of these enraged men. By a dexterous movement he extricated himself from the grasp of the three who were holding him, and felled a fourth to the ground. His arms were free; but all his enemies returned to the charge.

Then he seemed to lose his head, and, seizing a knife which lay on the table where the travelling agents had been dining, he plunged it into the breast of the first man who rushed upon him. He dropped to the ground. There was a second of silent stupor. Then four or five of the young men rushed forward to raise Lazet. The landlady ran about wringing her hands, and screaming with fright.

Some of the assailants rushed into the street shouting, 'Murder! Murder!' The others once more turned upon Gaston with cries of 'Vengeance! His enemies had seized the first objects they could lay their hands upon, and he received several wounds.

He jumped upon the billiard-table, and, making a rapid spring, dashed through the large glass window of the cafe. He was fearfully cut by the broken glass and splinters, but he was free. Astonished and disconcerted at his desperate feat, the crowd for a moment were stupefied; but, recovering their presence of mind, they started in pursuit of him. The weather was bad, the ground wet and muddy, and heavy black clouds were rolling westward; but the night was not dark. Gaston ran on from tree to tree, making frequent turnings, every moment on the point of being seized and surrounded, and asking himself what course he should take. With incredible rapidity he darted diagonally across the fair-ground, in the direction of the levee which protected the valley of Tarascon from inundations. Unfortunately, upon reaching this levee, planted with magnificent trees which made it one of the most charming walks of Provence, Gaston forgot that the entrance was closed by a gate with three steps, such as are always placed before walks intended for foot-passengers, and rushed against it with such violence that he was thrown back and badly bruised.

The infuriated men at his heels yelled that fearful cry which in the evil days of lawless bloodshed had often echoed in that valley: 'In the Rhone with him! In the Rhone with the marquis!' His reason had abandoned him; he no longer knew what he did.

His forehead was cut, and the blood trickled from the wound into his eyes, and blinded him. He must escape, or die in the attempt. He had tightly clasped the bloody knife with which he had stabbed Lazet. He struck his nearest foe; the man fell to the ground with a heavy groan. A second blow gained him a moment's respite, which gave him time to open the gate and rush along the levee. Two men were kneeling over their wounded companion, and five others resumed the pursuit. But Gaston flew fast, for the horror of his situation tripled his energy; excitement deadened the pain of his wounds; with elbows held tight to his sides, and holding his breath, he went along at such a speed that he soon distanced his pursuers; the noise of their feet became gradually more indistinct, and finally ceased. Gaston ran on for a mile, across fields and over hedges; fences and ditches were leaped without effort and when he knew he was safe from capture he sank down at the foot of a tree to rest. Only forty minutes had elapsed since Gaston and his friend entered the cafe. These forty minutes had given more cause for sorrow and remorse than the whole of his previous life put together.

He had killed a man, and still convulsively held the murderous instrument; he cast it from him with horror. He tried to account for the dreadful circumstances which had just taken place; as if it were of any importance to a man lying at the bottom of an abyss to know which stone had slipped, and precipitated him from the summit. And it was his want of self-command which had cast to the winds this honor, confided to his keeping, and which he held far dearer than his own. The police must soon be on his track. They would certainly go to the chateau of Clameran to seek him; and before leaving home, perhaps forever, he wished to say good-by to his father, and once more press Valentine to his heart. He started to walk, but with great pain, for the reaction had come, and his nerves and muscles, so violently strained, had now begun to relax; the intense heat caused by his struggling and fast running was replaced by a cold perspiration, aching limbs, and chattering teeth.

The cut on his forehead had stopped bleeding, but the coagulated blood around his eyes blinded him. The old valet who admitted him started back terrified.

what is the matter?' 'Silence!' said Gaston in the brief, compressed tone always inspired by imminent danger, 'silence! where is my father?' 'M. the marquis is in his room with M. He has had a sudden attack of the gout, and cannot put his foot to the ground; but you, monsieur----' Gaston did not stop to listen further. He hurried to his father's room.

The old marquis, who was playing backgammon with Louis, dropped his dice-box with a cry of horror, when he looked up and saw his eldest son standing before him covered with blood. 'What is the matter? what have you been doing, Gaston?' 'I have come to embrace you for the last time, father, and to ask for assistance to escape abroad.' 'Do you wish to fly the country?' 'I must fly, father, and instantly; I am pursued, the police may be here at any moment.

I have killed two men.' The marquis was so shocked that he forgot the gout, and attempted to rise; a violent twinge made him drop back in his chair. 'At Tarascon, in a cafe, an hour ago; fifteen men attacked me, and I seized a knife to defend myself.' 'The old tricks of '93,' said the marquis. 'Did they insult you, Gaston? What was the cause of the attack?' 'They insulted in my presence the name of a noble young girl.' 'And you punished the rascals? But who was the lady you defended?' 'Mlle. Valentine de la Verberie.' 'What!' cried the marquis, 'what!

the daughter of that old witch! Those accursed de la Verberies have always brought misfortune upon us.' He certainly abominated the countess; but his respect for her noble blood was greater than his resentment toward her individually, and he added: 'Nevertheless, Gaston, you did your duty.' Meanwhile, the curiosity of St. Jean, the marquis's old valet, made him venture to open the door, and ask: 'Did M. the marquis ring?' 'No, you rascal,' answered M. Quickly bring some clothes for M. Gaston, some fresh linen, and some warm water: hasten and dress his wounds.' These orders were promptly executed, and Gaston found he was not so badly hurt as he had thought. With the exception of a deep stab in his left shoulder, his wounds were not serious.

After receiving all the attentions which his condition required, Gaston felt like a new man, ready to brave any peril. The marquis made a sign to the servants to leave the room.

'Yes, father.' 'My brother ought not to hesitate,' interposed Louis: 'he will be arrested here, thrown into prison, vilified in court, and--who knows?' 'We all know well enough that he will be convicted,' grumbled the old marquis. 'These are the benefits of the immortal revolution, as it is called. To-day we have to run away.' 'There is no time to lose,' observed Louis. 'True,' said the marquis, 'but to fly, to go abroad, one must have money; and I have none by me to give him.' 'Father!' 'No, I have none. If I only had a hundred louis!' Then he told Louis to open the secretary, and hand him the money-box. The box contained only nine hundred and twenty francs in gold. 'Nine hundred and twenty francs,' cried the marquis: 'it will never do for the eldest son of our house to fly the country with this paltry sum.' He sat lost in reflection.

Suddenly his brow cleared, and he told Louis to open a secret drawer in the secretary, and bring him a small casket. Then the marquis took from his neck a black ribbon, to which was suspended the key of the casket. His sons observed with what deep emotion he unlocked it, and slowly took out a necklace, a large cross, several rings, and other pieces of jewelry. 'Gaston, my dear son,' he said, 'at a time like this your life may depend upon bought assistance; money is power.' 'I am young, father, and have courage.' 'Listen to me.

The jewels belonged to the marquise, your sainted mother, a noble, holy woman, who is now in heaven watching over us. These jewels have never left me. During my days of misery and want, when I was compelled to earn a livelihood by teaching music in London, I piously treasured them. I never thought of selling them; and to mortgage them, in the hour of direst need, would have seemed to be a sacrilege. But now you must take them, my son, and sell them for twenty thousand livres.' 'No, father no; I cannot take them!' 'You must, Gaston. If your mother were on earth, she would tell you to take them, as I do now. I command you to take and use them.

The salvation, the honor, of the heir of the house of Clameran, must not be imperilled for want of a little gold.' With tearful eyes, Gaston sank on his knees, and, carrying his father's hand to his lips, said: 'Thanks, father, thanks! In my heedless, ungrateful presumption I have hitherto misjudged you. I accept; yes, I accept these jewels worn by my dear mother; but I take them as a sacred deposit, confided to my honor, and for which I will some day account to you.' In their emotion, the marquis and Gaston forgot the threatened danger. But Louis was not touched by the affecting scene. 'Time presses,' he said: 'you had better hasten.' 'He is right,' cried the marquis: 'go, Gaston, go, my son; and God protect the heir of the Clamerans!' Gaston slowly got up and said, with an embarrassed air: 'Before leaving you, my father, I must fulfil a sacred duty. I love Valentine, the young girl whose honor I defended this evening.' 'Oh!' cried the marquis, thunderstruck, 'oh, oh!' 'And I entreat you, father, to ask Mme.

de la Verberie for the hand of her daughter. Valentine will gladly join me abroad, and share my exile.' Gaston stopped, frightened at the effect of his words. The old marquis had become crimson, or rather purple, as if struck by apoplexy. Perfect folly!' 'I love her, father, and have promised her never to marry another.' 'Then always remain a bachelor.' 'I shall marry her!' cried Gaston, excitedly. Even if I no longer loved her, I would still marry her, because she has given herself to me; because, can't you understand--what was said at the cafe to-night was true: I have but one way of repairing the wrong I have done Valentine--by marrying her.' Gaston's confession, forced from him by circumstances, produced a very different impression from that which he had expected. The enraged marquis instantly became cool, and his mind seemed relieved of an immense weight. I congratulate you, Gaston: they say she is a pretty little fool.' 'Monsieur,' interrupted Gaston, indignantly; 'I have told you that I love her, and have promised to marry her. You seem to forget.' 'Ta, ta ta!' cried the marquis, 'your scruples are absurd.

You know full well that her great-grandfather led our great-grandmother astray.

I am delighted at the retaliation, for the old witch's sake.' 'I swear by the memory of my mother, that Valentine shall be my wife!' 'Do you dare assume that tone toward me?' cried the exasperated marquis.

You know how dear to me is the honor of our house. Well, I would rather see you tried for murder, and even chained to the galleys, than married to this worthless jade!' This last word was too much for Gaston. 'Then your wish shall be gratified, monsieur. What is life to me without the hope of Valentine? Take back these jewels: they are useless now.' A terrible scene would have taken place between the father and son, had they not been interrupted by a domestic who rushed into the room, and excitedly cried: 'The gendarmes! here are the gendarmes!' At this news the old marquis started up, and seemed to forget his gout, which had yielded to more violent emotions. They shall pay dear for their insolence! You will help me, will you not, my men?' 'Yes, yes,' answered the servants.

'Down with the gendarmes!

down with them!' Fortunately Louis, during all this excitement, preserved his presence of mind. 'Even if we repulsed the gendarmes to-night, they would return to-morrow with reinforcements.' 'Louis is right,' said the marquis, bitterly. 'Might is right, as they said in '93. The gendarmes are all powerful.

Do they not even have the impertinence to come up to me while I am hunting, and ask to see my shooting-license?--I, a Clameran, show a license!' 'Where are they?' asked Louis of the servants. 'At the outer gate,' answered La Verdure, one of the grooms. 'Does not monsieur hear the noise they are making with their sabres?' 'Then Gaston must escape over the garden wall.' 'It is guarded, monsieur,' said La Verdure, 'and the little gate in the park besides. There seems to be a regiment of them. They are even stationed along the park walls.' This was only too true. The rumor of Lazet's death had spread like wildfire throughout the town of Tarascon, and everybody was in a state of excitement. Not only mounted gendarmes, but a platoon of hussars from the garrison, had been sent in pursuit of the murderer. At least twenty young men of Tarascon were volunteer guides to the armed force. 'Then,' said the marquis, 'we are surrounded?' 'Not a single chance for escape,' groaned St. 'We shall see about that, Jarnibleu!' cried the marquis.

'Ah, we are not the strongest, but we can be the most adroit. Louis, my son, you and La Verdure go down to the stable, and mount the fastest horses; then as quietly as possible station yourselves, you, Louis, at the park gate, and you, La Verdure, at the outer gate. Upon the signal I shall give you by firing a pistol, let every door be instantly opened, while Louis and Verdure dash through the gates, and make the gendarmes pursue them.' 'I will make them fly,' said La Verdure. Jean, will scale the park wall, and hasten along the river to the cabin of Pilorel, the fisherman. He is an old sailor of the republic, and devoted to our house. He will take Gaston in his boat; and, when they are once on the Rhone, there is nothing to be feared save the wrath of God. Now go, all of you: fly!' Left alone with his son, the old man slipped the jewelry into a silk purse, and, handing them once more to Gaston, said, as he stretched out his arms toward him: 'Come here, my son, and let me embrace you, and bestow my blessing.' Gaston hesitated. 'Come,' insisted the old man in broken tones, 'I must embrace you for the last time: I may never see you again. Save yourself, save your name, Gaston, and then--you know how I love you, my son: take back the jewels. Come.' For an instant the father and son clung to each other, overpowered by emotion.

But the continued noise at the gates now reaches their ears. de Clameran, 'go!' And, taking from his desk a little pair of pistols, he handed them to his son, and added, with averted eyes, 'You must not be captured alive, Gaston!' Gaston did not immediately descend to the park. He yearned to see Valentine, and give her one last kiss before leaving France, and determined to persuade Pilorel to stop the boat as they went by the park of La Verberie. He hastened to his room, placed the signal in the window so that Valentine might know he was coming, and waited for an answering light.

Jean, who could not understand the strange conduct. your life is at stake!' At last he came running down the stairs, and had just reached the vestibule when a pistol-shot, the signal given by the marquis, was heard. The loud swinging open of the large gate, the rattling of the sabres of the gendarmes, the furious galloping of many horses, and a chorus of loud shouts and angry oaths, were next heard. Leaning against the window, his brow beaded with cold perspiration, the Marquis de Clameran breathlessly awaited the issue of this expedient, upon which depended the life of his eldest son. As he had ordered, Louis and La Verdure dashed out through the gate, one to the right, the other to the left, each one pursued by a dozen mounted men. Their horses flew like arrows, and kept far ahead of the pursuers. Gaston would have been saved, but for the interference of fate; but was it fate, or was it malice? Suddenly Louis's horse stumbled, and fell to the ground with his rider.

The gendarmes rode up, and at once recognized the second son of M. 'This is not the assassin!' they cried. 'Let us hurry back, else he will escape!' They returned just in time to see, by the uncertain light of the moon peeping from behind a cloud, Gaston climbing the garden wall. 'There is our man!' exclaimed the corporal. 'Keep your eyes open, and gallop after him!' They spurred their horses, and hastened to the spot where Gaston had jumped from the wall.

The ground on this side of the park was favorable to Gaston. He found himself in an immense madder-field; and, as is well known, as this valuable root must remain in the ground three years, the furrows are necessarily ploughed very deep. Horses cannot even walk over its uneven surface; indeed, they can scarcely stand steadily upon it. This circumstance brought the gendarmes to a dead halt. Four rash hussars ventured in the field, but they and their beasts were soon rolling between hillocks. As his chances of escape increased, the excitement grew more intense. The pursuers urged each other on, and called out to head him off, every time they saw Gaston run from one clump of trees to another.

Being familiar with the country, young De Clameran was confident of eluding his pursuers. He knew that the next field was a thistle-field, and was separated from the chestnut by a long, deep ditch. He resolved to jump into this ditch, run along the bottom, and climb out at the farther end, while they were looking for him among the trees.

But he had forgotten the swelling of the river. Upon reaching the ditch, he found it full of water. Discouraged but not disconcerted, he was about to jump across, when three horsemen appeared on the opposite side. They were gendarmes who had ridden around the madder-field and chestnut-trees, knowing they could easily catch him on the level ground of the thistle-field. At the sight of these three men, Gaston stood perplexed. He should certainly be captured if he attempted to run through the field, at the end of which he could see the cabin of Pilorel the ferryman.

To retrace his steps would be surrendering to the hussars. At a little distance on his right was a forest, but he was separated from it by a road upon which he heard the sound of approaching horses. He would certainly be caught there. Foes in front of him, foes behind him, foes on the right of him! On his left was the surging, foaming river.

The circle of which he was the centre was fast narrowing. Must he, then, fall back upon suicide? He would seize the one chance of salvation left him: a forlorn, desperate, perilous chance, but still a chance--the river. Holding a pistol in either hand, he ran and leaped upon the edge of a little promontory, projecting three yards into the Rhone. This cape of refuge was formed by the immense trunk of a fallen tree. The tree swayed and cracked fearfully under Gaston's weight, as he stood on the extreme end, and looked around upon his pursuers; there were fifteen of them, some on the right, some on the left, all uttering cries of joy. 'Do you surrender?' called out the corporal. He was above the park of La Verberie; would he be able to swim there, granting that he was not swept away and drowned the instant he plunged into the angry torrent before him?

He pictured Valentine, at this very moment, watching, waiting, and praying for him on the other shore. 'For the last time I command you to surrender!' cried the corporal. The unfortunate man did not hear; he was deafened by the waters which were roaring and rushing around him. In a supreme moment like this, with his foot upon the threshold of another world, a man sees his past life rise before him, and seldom does he find cause for self-approval. Although death stared him in the face, Gaston calmly considered which would be the best spot to plunge into, and commended his soul to God. 'He will stand there until we go after him,' said a gendarme: 'so we might as well advance.' Gaston had finished his prayer. He flung his pistols in the direction of the gendarmes: he was ready. He made the sign of the cross, then, with outstretched arms, dashed head foremost into the Rhone. The violence of his spring detached the few remaining roots of the old tree; it oscillated a moment, whirled over, and then drifted away.

The spectators uttered a cry of horror and pity; anger seemed to have deserted them in their turn.

'That is an end of him,' muttered one of the gendarmes. 'It is useless for one to fight against the Rhone; his body will be picked up at Arles to-morrow.' The hussars seemed really remorseful at the tragic fate of the brave, handsome young man, whom a moment before they had pursued with so much bitter zeal. They admired his spirited resistance, his courage, and especially his resignation, his resolution to die. True French soldiers, their sympathies were now all upon the side of the vanquished, and every man of them would have done all in his power to assist in saving the drowning man, and aiding his escape. 'An ugly piece of work!' grumbled the old quartermaster who had command of the hussars. 'Bast!' exclaimed the philosophic corporal, 'the Rhone is no worse than the court of assizes: the result would be the same. The thing that troubles me is the idea of that poor old man waiting to hear his son's fate. I would not be the one to tell him what has happened. March!' XIII Valentine knew, that fatal evening, that Gaston would have to walk to Tarascon, to cross the bridge over the Rhone which connected Tarascon with Beaucaire, and did not expect to see him until eleven o'clock, the hour which they had fixed upon the previous evening.

But, happening to look up at the windows of Clameran, she saw lights hurrying to and fro in an unusual manner, even in rooms that she knew to be unoccupied. A presentiment of impending misfortune chilled her blood, and stopped the beatings of her heart. A secret and imperious voice within told her that something extraordinary was going on at the chateau of Clameran. With her eyes fastened upon the dark mass of stone looming in the distance, she watched the going and coming of the lights, as if their movements would give her a clew to what was taking place within those walls. she heard nothing but the rushing roar of the angry river. Her anxiety grew more insufferable every moment; and she felt as if she would faint were this torturing suspense to last much longer, when the well-known, beloved signal appeared suddenly in Gaston's window, and told her that her lover was about to swim across the Rhone. She could scarcely believe her eyes; she must be under the influence of a dream; her amazement prevented her answering the signal, until it had been repeated three times. Then, more dead than alive, with trembling limbs she hastened along the park to the river-bank.

Never had she seen the Rhone so furious. She fell on her knees, and with clasped hands, and her wild eyes fixed upon the dark waters, besought the pitiless waves to yield up her dear Gaston. Every dark object which she could distinguish floating in the middle of the torrent assumed the shape of a human form. At one time, she thought she heard, above the roaring of the water, the terrible, agonized cry of a drowning man. While the gendarmes and hussars slowly and silently returned to the chateau of Clameran, Gaston experienced one of those miracles which would seem incredible were they not confirmed by the most convincing proof. When he first plunged into the river, he rolled over five or six times, and was then drawn toward the bottom.

In a swollen river the current is unequal, being much stronger in some places than in others; hence the great danger. About twenty-five yards from the spot where he had plunged in, he made a violent spring which brought him to the surface. Rapidly drifting by him was the old tree. For an instant, he was entangled in the mass of weeds and debris which clung to its roots, and followed in its wake; an eddy set him free. The tree and its clinging weeds swept on. It was the last familiar friend, gone. Gaston dared not attempt to reach the opposite shore. He would have to land where the waves dashed him. With great presence of mind he put forth all his strength and dexterity to slowly take an oblique course, knowing well that there was no hope for him if the current took him crosswise. This fearful current is as capricious as a woman, which accounts for the strange effects of inundations; sometimes it rushes to the right, sometimes to the left, sparing one shore and ravaging the other.

Gaston was familiar with every turn of the river; he knew that just below Clameran was an abrupt turning, and relied upon the eddy formed thereby, to sweep him in the direction of La Verberie. An oblique current suddenly swept him toward the right shore, and, if he had not been on his guard, would have sunk him. But the eddy did not reach as far as Gaston supposed, and he was still some distance from the shore, when, with the rapidity of lightning, he was swept by the park of La Verberie.

As he floated by, he caught a glimpse of a white shadow among the trees; Valentine still waited for him. He was gradually approaching the bank, as he reached the end of La Verberie, and attempted to land. Feeling a foothold, he stood up twice, and each time was thrown down by the violence of the waves. He escaped being swept away by seizing some willow branches, and, clinging to them, raised himself, and climbed up the steep bank. Without taking time to breathe, he darted in the direction of the park. Overcome by the intensity of her emotions, Valentine had fainted, and lay apparently lifeless on the damp river-bank. 'Gaston!' she cried, in a tone that revealed all the love she felt for him. Then God heard my prayers, and had pity on us.' 'No, Valentine,' he murmured. 'God has had no pity.' The sad tones of Gaston's voice convinced her that her presentiment of evil was true.

What has happened?' 'This is what has happened, Valentine: our love-affair is the jest of the country around; our secret is a secret no longer.' She shrank back, and, burying her face in her hands, moaned piteously. 'This,' said Gaston, forgetting everything but his present misery, 'this is the result of the blind enmity of our families. Our noble and pure love, which ought to be a glory in the eyes of God and man, has to be concealed, and, when discovered, becomes a reproach as though it were some evil deed.' 'Then all is known--all is discovered!' murmured Valentine. 'Oh, Gaston, Gaston!' While struggling for his life against furious men and angry elements, Gaston had preserved his self-possession; but the heart-broken tone of his beloved Valentine overcame him. He swung his arms above his head, and exclaimed: 'Yes, they know it; and oh, why could I not crush the villains for daring to utter your adored name?

Ah, why did I only kill two of the scoundrels!' 'Have you killed someone, Gaston?' Valentine's tone of horror gave Gaston a ray of reason. It was for that that I have crossed the Rhone. I could not have my father's name disgraced by being tried and convicted for murder. I have escaped them, and now I am flying my country.' Valentine struggled to preserve her composure under this last unexpected blow. A tie unites us, my darling, stronger and more indissoluble than all earthly ties--the tie of love. To the pain and toil of exile, to the sharp regrets of a ruined life, would you, could you, add the torture of separation?' 'Gaston, I implore you--' 'Ah, I knew it,' he interrupted, mistaking the sense of her exclamation; 'I knew you would not let me go off alone. I knew your sympathetic heart would long to share the burden of my miseries. This moment effaces the wretched suffering I have endured. Come, my Valentine, we will escape, or die together!

This is the long-dreamed-of happiness!

The glorious future of love and liberty open before us!' He had worked himself into a state of delirious excitement. He seized Valentine around the waist, and tried to draw her toward the gate.

Why, Valentine----' 'You know me well enough, Gaston, to be convinced that sharing the greatest hardships with you would to me be the height of happiness. But above the tones of your voice to which I fain would yield, above the voice of my own heart which urges me to follow the one being upon whom all its affections are centred, there is another voice--a powerful, imperious voice--which bids me to stay: the voice of duty.' 'What! Would you think of remaining here after the horrible affair of to-night, after the scandal that will be spread to-morrow?' 'What do you mean?

Do you think that the jeers and scoffs of the world could make me suffer more than do the pangs of my guilty conscience? I have long since passed judgment upon myself, Gaston; and, although the sound of your voice and the touch of your hand would make me forget all save the bliss of your love, no sooner were you away than I would weep tears of shame and remorse.' Gaston listened immovable, stupefied. He seemed to see a new Valentine standing before him, an entirely different woman from the one whose tender soul he thought he knew so well. 'Your mother, what will she say?' he asked. The dictates of conscience must be obeyed. Ah, why can I not, at the price of my life, spare her the agony of hearing that her only daughter, her Valentine, has disgraced her name? Like two weak, credulous fools we imagined that happiness could exist beyond the pale of duty. After the sweet comes the bitter; we must bow our heads, and drink the cup to the dregs.' This cold reasoning, this sad resignation, was more than the fiery nature of Gaston could bear.

'Can you not feel that the bare idea of your suffering humiliation drives me mad?' 'Alas! I see nothing but disgrace, the most fearful disgrace, staring me in the face.' 'What do you mean, Valentine?' 'I have not told you, Gaston, I am----' Here she stopped, hesitated, and then added: 'Nothing! 'My father is kind-hearted, and was touched by my love and despair. I am sure that my letters, added to the intercession of my brother Louis, will induce him to ask Mme. 'Heaven forbid that the marquis should take this rash step!' 'Why, Valentine?' 'Because my mother would reject his offer; because, I must confess it now, she has sworn I shall marry none but a rich man; and your father is not rich, Gaston, so you will have very little.' 'Good heavens!' cried Gaston, with disgust, 'is it to such an unnatural mother that you sacrifice me?' 'She is my mother; that is sufficient. I have not the right to judge her. My duty is to remain with her, and remain I shall.' Valentine's manner showed such determined resolution, that Gaston saw that further prayers would be in vain.

Have you no mercy?' 'If you loved me,' he cried, 'you could never, at this moment of separation, have the cruel courage to coldly reason and calculate. Without you the world is void; to lose you is to die. Let the Rhone take back this worthless life, so miraculously saved; it is now a burden to me!' And he rushed toward the river, determined to bury his sorrow beneath its waves; Valentine seized his arm, and held him back. 'Is this the way to show your love for me?' she asked. 'What is the use of living?' he said, dejectedly. 'What is left to me now?' 'God is left to us, Gaston; and in his hands lies our future.' As a shipwrecked man seizes a rotten plank in his desperation, so Gaston eagerly caught at the word 'future,' as a beacon in the gloomy darkness surrounding him. 'But,' said Gaston, 'before going away I wish to confide to you a sacred deposit.' He drew from his pocket the purse of jewels, and, handing them to Valentine, added: 'These jewels belonged to my poor mother; you, my angel, are alone worthy of wearing them. I thought of you when I accepted them from my father. I felt that you, as my affianced wife, were the proper person to have them.' Valentine refused to accept them. 'Take them, my darling, as a pledge of my return.

If I do not come back within three years, you may know that I am dead, and then you must keep them as a souvenir of him who so much loved you.' She burst into tears, and took the purse. Everybody believes me dead, but I cannot let my poor old father labor under this impression. Gaston felt that he must now tear himself away before his courage failed him; each moment he was more loath to leave the only being who bound him to this world; he enveloped Valentine in a last fond embrace, and started up. 'I shall go to Marseilles, and hide in a friend's house until I can procure a passage to America.' 'You must have assistance; I will secure you a guide in whom I have unbounded confidence; old Menoul, the ferryman, who lives near us. He owns the boat which he plies on the Rhone.' The lovers passed through the little park gate, of which Gaston had the key, and soon reached the boatman's cabin. He was asleep in an easy-chair by the fire. When Valentine stood before him with Gaston, the old man jumped up, and kept rubbing his eyes, thinking it must be a dream. Gaston is compelled to fly the country; he wants to be rowed out to sea, so that he can secretly embark. Can you take him in your boat as far as the mouth of the Rhone?' 'It is impossible,' said the old man, shaking his head; 'I would not dare venture on the river in its present state.' 'But, Pere Menoul, it would be of immense service to me; would you not venture for my sake?' 'For your sake?

I am ready to start.' He looked at Gaston, and, seeing his clothes wet and covered with mud, said to him: 'Allow me to offer you my dead son's clothes, monsieur; they will serve as a disguise: come this way.' In a few minutes Pere Menoul returned with Gaston, whom no one would have recognized in his sailor dress. Valentine went with them to the place where the boat was moored. While the old man was unfastening it, the disconsolate lovers tearfully embraced each other for the last time. If alive, I will then see you.' 'Adieu, mademoiselle,' interrupted the boatman; 'and you, monsieur, hold fast, and keep steady.' Then with a vigorous stroke of the boat-hook he sent the bark into the middle of the stream. Three days later, thanks to the assistance of Pere Menoul, Gaston was concealed on the three-masted American vessel, Tom Jones, which was to start the next day for Valparaiso. XIV Cold and white as a marble statue, Valentine stood on the bank of the river, watching the frail bark which was carrying her lover away. It flew along the Rhone like a bird in a tempest, and after a few seconds appeared like a black speck in the midst of the heavy fog which floated over the water, then was lost to view. She felt crushed and lost, as if the sharp pain in her heart was the forerunner of the torture in store for her; as if that swiftly gliding bark had carried off the better part of herself.

While Gaston treasured in the bottom of his heart a ray of hope, she felt there was nothing to look forward to but shame and sorrow. The horrible facts which stared her in the face convinced her that happiness in this life was over; the future was worse than blank. She wept and shuddered at the prospect. She slowly retraced her footsteps through the friendly little gate which had so often admitted poor Gaston; and, as she closed it behind her, she seemed to be placing an impassable barrier between herself and happiness. Before entering, Valentine walked around the chateau, and looked up at the windows of her mother's chamber. They were brilliantly lighted, as usual at this hour, for Mme. de la Verberie passed half the night in reading, and slept till late in the day. Enjoying the comforts of life, which are little costly in the country, the selfish countess disturbed herself very little about her daughter.

Fearing no danger in their isolation, she left her at perfect liberty; and day and night Valentine might go and come, take long walks, and sit under trees for hours at a time, without restriction. She would be called upon to explain the torn, muddy condition of her dress, and what answer could she give? She needed solitude in order to collect her thoughts, and to pray for strength to bear the heavy burden of her sorrows, and to withstand the angry storm about to burst over her head. Seated before her little work-table, she emptied the purse of jewels, and mechanically examined them. It would be a sweet, sad comfort to wear the simplest of the rings, she thought, as she slipped the sparkling gem on her finger; but her mother would ask her where it came from. She kissed the purse, in memory of Gaston, and then concealed the sacred deposit in her bureau. When she thought of going to Clameran, to inform the old marquis of the miraculous preservation of his son's life, her heart sank. Blinded by his passion, Gaston did not think, when he requested this service, of the obstacles and dangers to be braved in its performance. But Valentine saw them only too clearly; yet it did not occur to her for an instant to break her promise by sending another, or by delaying to go herself. When the bell was ringing for early mass, she thought it a good time to start on her errand.

The servants were all up, and one of them named Mihonne, who always waited on Valentine, was scrubbing the vestibule.

'If mother asks for me,' said Valentine to the girl, 'tell her I have gone to early mass.' She often went to church at this hour, so there was nothing to be feared thus far; Mihonne looked at her sadly, but said nothing. She would have to walk a league before reaching the bridge, and it was another league thence to Clameran; in all she must walk four leagues. The consciousness of performing an extraordinary action, the feverish anxiety of peril incurred, increased her haste. In spite of her efforts, it was after eight o'clock when she reached the long avenue leading to the main entrance of the chateau of Clameran. Jean coming down the path. To Valentine's surprise, he did not take off his hat to bow, and when he came up to her, he said, rudely: 'Are you going up to the chateau, mademoiselle?' 'Yes.' 'If you are going after M. Gaston,' said the servant, with an insolent sneer, 'you are taking useless trouble.

the count is dead, mademoiselle; he sacrificed himself for the sake of a worthless woman.' Valentine turned white at this insult, but took no notice of it. Jean, who expected to see her overcome by the dreadful news, was bewildered at her composure. 'I am going to the chateau,' she said, quietly, 'to speak to the marquis.' St. Jean stifled a sob, and said: 'Then it is not worth while to go any farther.' 'Why?' 'Because the Marquis of Clameran died at five o'clock this morning.' Valentine leaned against a tree to prevent herself from falling. Jean, fiercely; 'yes, dead!' A faithful servant of the old regime, St. Jean shared all the passions, weaknesses, friendships, and enmities of his master. He had a horror of the La Verberies. And now he saw in Valentine the woman who had caused the death of the marquis whom he had served for forty years, and of Gaston whom he worshipped. 'I will tell you how he died,' said the bitter old man.

'Yesterday evening, when those hounds came and told the marquis that his eldest son was dead, he who was as hardy as an oak, and could face any danger, instantly gave way, and dropped as if struck by lightning. I was there. He wildly beat the air with his hands, and fell without opening his lips; not one word did he utter. But the blow had struck too deeply. Raget arrived he said there was no hope.

'At daybreak, the marquis recovered consciousness enough to ask for M. The last words he uttered were, 'Father and son the same day; there will be rejoicing at La Verberie.'' Valentine might have soothed the sorrow of the faithful servant, by telling him Gaston still lived; but she feared it would be indiscreet, and, unfortunately, said nothing. This question seemed to arouse all the anger slumbering in the breast of poor St. I will not answer for the tongues of the servants here, when they see you.' And, without waiting for an answer, he hurried away. Humiliated and miserable, she could only wearily drag her aching limbs back the way she had so rapidly come early that morning.

On the road, she met many people coming from the town, where they had heard of the events of the previous night; and the poor girl was obliged to keep her eyes fastened to the ground in order to escape the insulting looks and mocking salutations with which the gossips passed her. 'Ah, mademoiselle,' she said, 'make haste, and go in the house. Hurry; and take care what you say to her, for she is in a violent passion.' Much has been said in favor of the patriarchal manners of our ancestors. Their manners may have been patriarchal years and years ago; but our mothers and wives nowadays certainly have not such ready hands and quick tongues, and are sometimes, at least, elegant in manner, and choice in their language.

de La Verberie had preserved the manners of the good old times, when grand ladies swore like troopers, and impressed their remarks by slaps in the face. When Valentine appeared, she was overwhelmed with coarse epithets and violent abuse.

The countess had been informed of everything, with many gross additions added by public scandal. An old dowager, her most intimate friend, had hurried over early in the morning, to offer her this poisoned dish of gossip, seasoned with her own pretended condolences. de la Verberie mourned less over her daughter's loss of reputation, than over the ruin of her own projects--projects of going to Paris, making a grand marriage for Valentine, and living in luxury the rest of her days. It would now be necessary to keep her two years longer in the country, before introducing her into Parisian society. The world must have time to forget this scandal. 'You worthless wretch!' cried the countess with fury; 'is it thus you respect the noble traditions of our family? Heretofore it has never been considered necessary to watch the La Verberies; they could take care of their honor: but you must take advantage of your liberty to cover our name with disgrace!' With a sinking heart, Valentine had foreseen this tirade. Knowing that the indignation of her mother was just, she meekly hung her head like a repentant sinner at the bar of justice.

But this submissive silence only exasperated the angry countess. you----' 'What can I say, mother?' 'Say, miserable girl? Say that they lied when they accused a La Verberie of disgracing her name! 'It is true, then?' shrieked the countess, beside herself with rage; 'what they said is true?' 'Forgive me, mother: have mercy! I am so miserable!' moaned the poor girl. Do you have the insolence to stand there and glory in your shame? You seem to be ignorant that some faults should be persistently denied, no matter how glaring the evidence against them. Why not run over the town and tell everybody? you are pitiless, mother!' 'Did you ever have any pity on me, my dutiful daughter?

And it has come to this: drunken men make a jest of your name in a billiard-room, then fight about you, and kill each other. I intrusted to you the honor of our name, and what did you do with it? You handed it over to the first-comer!' This was too much for Valentine. The words, 'first-comer,' wounded her pride more than all the other abuse heaped upon her. 'Ah, I have made a mistake in supposing this to be the first one,' said the countess. 'Among your many lovers, you choose the heir of our worst enemy, the son of those detested Clamerans.

Among all, you select a coward who publicly boasted of your favors; a wretch who tried to avenge himself for the heroism of our ancestors by ruining you and me--an old woman and a child!' 'No, mother, you do him wrong. I would rather see you lower than you are, in the gutter, laid in your coffin, than see you the wife of that man!' Thus the hatred of the countess was expressed very much in the terms which the old marquis had used to his son. 'Besides,' she added, with a ferocity of which only a bad woman is capable, 'your lover is drowned, and the old marquis is dead. God is just; we are avenged.' The words of St. Jean, 'There will be rejoicing at La Verberie,' rung in Valentine's ears, as she saw the countess's eyes sparkle with wicked joy.

This was too much for the unfortunate girl. For half an hour she had been exerting all of her strength to bear this cruel violence from her mother; but her physical endurance was not equal to the task. She turned pale, and with half-closed eyes tried to seize a table, as she felt herself falling; but her head fell against a bracket, and with bleeding forehead she dropped at her mother's feet. The cold-hearted countess felt no revival of maternal love, as she looked at her daughter's lifeless form. Her vanity was wounded, but no other emotion disturbed her. Hers was a heart so full of anger and hatred that there was no room for any nobler sentiment. She rang the bell; and the affrighted servants, who were trembling in the passage at the loud and angry tones of that voice, of which they all stood in terror, came running in.

'Carry mademoiselle to her room,' she ordered: 'lock her up, and bring me the key.' The countess intended keeping Valentine a close prisoner for a long time. She well knew the mischievous, gossiping propensities of country people, who, from mere idleness, indulge in limitless scandal. A poor fallen girl must either leave the country, or drink to the very dregs the chalice of premeditated humiliations, heaped up and offered her by her neighbors. The plans of the countess were destined to be disconcerted. The servants came to tell her that Valentine was restored to consciousness, but seemed to be very ill. The countess betrayed no apprehension, but sent to Tarascon for Dr. Raget, who was the oracle of the neighborhood; he was with the Marquis of Clameran when he died.

Raget was one of those men who leave a blessed memory, which lives long after they have left this world. Intelligent, noble-hearted, and wealthy, he devoted his life to his art; going from the mansions of the rich to the hovels of the poor, without ever accepting remuneration for his services. At all hours of the night and day, his gray horse and old buggy might be seen, with a basket of wine and soup under the seat, for his poorer patients. The servant fortunately found him at home; and he was soon standing at Valentine's bed-side, with a grave, perplexed look upon his usually cheerful face.

Endowed with profound perspicacity, quickened by practice, he studied Valentine and her mother alternately; and the penetrating gaze which he fastened on the old countess so disconcerted her that she felt her wrinkled face turning very red. 'I desire,' continued the doctor, 'to remain alone with her for a few minutes.' The countess dared not resist the authority of a man of Dr. Raget's character, and retired to the next room, apparently calm, but in reality disturbed by the most gloomy forebodings. At the end of half an hour--it seemed a century--the doctor entered the room where she was waiting. 'Well,' said the countess, 'what is the matter?' 'Summon all your courage, madame,' he answered sadly, 'and be prepared to grant indulgence and pardon to your suffering child.

Valentine will soon become a mother.' 'The worthless creature! I feared as much.' The doctor was shocked at this dreadful expression of the countess's eye. The doctor's suspicions were correct.

de la Verberie's mind--the idea of destroying this child which would be a living proof of Valentine's sin. Feeling that her evil intention was divined, the proud woman's eyes fell beneath the doctor's obstinate gaze. If I am mistaken in my impression, so much the better for you.

At present, the condition of your daughter is serious, but not dangerous. Excitement and distress of mind have unstrung her nerves, and she now has a high fever; but I hope by great care and good nursing that she will soon recover.' The countess saw that the good doctor's suspicions were not dissipated; so she thought she would try affectionate anxiety, and said: 'At least, doctor, you can assure me that the dear child's life is not in danger?' 'No, madame,' answered Dr. All the poor child needs is rest of mind, which you alone can give her. But remember, madame, that the least shock or nervous excitement will produce the most fatal consequences.' 'I am aware of that,' said the hypocritical countess, 'and shall be very careful. I must confess that I was unable to control my anger upon first hearing your announcement.' 'But now that the first shock is over, madame, being a mother and a Christian, you will do your duty. de la Verberie had no idea of having the doctor go off in this way. Do you wish our shame to be made public, to make me the laughing-stock of the neighborhood?' The doctor reflected without answering; the condition of affairs was grave.

But it is my duty to hold you to account for the child.

You are at liberty to go where you please; but you must give me proof of the child's living, or at least that no attempts have been made against its life.' After uttering these threatening words he left the house, and it was in good time; for the countess was choking with suppressed rage. She stamped her foot with anger, as she thought that all her ambitious plans were dashed to the ground. She would have to die as she had lived, neglected and poor; and this future life of deprivation would be harder to bear than the past, because she no longer had bright prospects to look forward to. This reflection aroused all her inherent bitterness, and she felt toward her daughter one of those implacable hatreds which, instead of being quenched, are strengthened by time. She wished she could see Valentine lying dead before her; above all would she like the accursed infant to come to grief. But the doctor's threatening look was still before her, and she dared not attempt her wicked plans. She even forced herself to go and say a few forgiving words to Valentine, and then left her to the care of the faithful Mihonne. She had neither the moral nor physical courage to fight against her fate, but hopelessly sank beneath the first blow, and made no attempt to rally herself.

She felt that dull, heavy sensation which always follows violent mental or physical suffering; she was still able to reflect, and thought: 'Well, it is over; my mother knows everything. I no longer have her anger to fear, and must trust to time for her forgiveness.' This was the secret which Valentine had refused to reveal to Gaston, because she feared that he would refuse to leave her if he knew it; and she wished him to escape at any price of suffering to herself. Even now she did not regret having followed the dictates of duty, and remained at home. The only thought which distressed her was Gaston's danger. The doctor had allowed her to get up; but she was not well enough to go out, and she did not know when she should be able to walk as far as Pere Menoul's cabin. Happily the devoted old boatman was intelligent enough to anticipate her wishes.

Hearing that the young lady at the chateau was very ill, he set about devising some means of informing her of her friend's safety. One of the servants was present, so he could not speak to her; but he made her understand by a significant look that Gaston was out of danger.

This knowledge contributed more toward Valentine's recovery than all the medicines administered by the doctor, who, after visiting her daily for six weeks, now pronounced his patient sufficiently strong to bear the fatigues of a journey. The countess had waited with the greatest impatience for this decision. In order to prevent any delay, she had already sold at a discount half of her incoming rents, supposing that the sum thus raised, twenty-five thousand francs, would suffice for all contingent expenses. For a fortnight she had been calling on all of her neighbors to bid them farewell, saying that her daughter had entirely recovered her health, and that she was going to take her to England to visit a rich old uncle, who had repeatedly written for her. Valentine looked forward to this journey with terror, and shuddered when, on the evening that the doctor gave her permission to set out, her mother came to her room, and said: 'We will start the day after to-morrow.' Only one day left! And Valentine had been unable to let Louis de Clameran know that his brother was still living. But the faithful servant had a useless walk. The chateau of Clameran was deserted; all the servants had been dismissed, and M. Louis, whom they now called the marquis, had gone abroad.

At last they started. It was in a little village near London that the countess, under the assumed name of Mrs. She selected England, because she had lived there a long time, and was well acquainted with the manners and habits of the people, and spoke their language as well as she did her own. She had also kept up her acquaintanceship with some of the English nobility, and often dined and went to the theatre with her friends in London. On these occasions she always took the humiliating precaution of locking up Valentine until she should return. It was in this sad, solitary house, in the month of May, that the son of Valentine de la Verberie was born. He was taken to the parish priest, and christened Valentin-Raoul Wilson. The countess had prepared everything, and engaged an honest farmer's wife to adopt the child, bring him up as her own, and, when old enough, have him taught a trade.

For doing this the countess paid her five hundred pounds. The good woman thought him the child of an English lady, and there seemed no probability that he would ever discover the secret of his birth. But the cruel countess was pitiless. You have had brain fever, but no child.' And as Valentine persisted in saying that she knew the child was alive, and that she must see it, the countess was forced to change her tactics. The past must be ignored--wiped out forever. You know me well enough to understand that I will be obeyed.' The moment had come when Valentine should have asserted her maternal rights, and resisted the countess's tyranny. She had the idea, but not the courage to do so. If, on one side, she saw the dangers of an almost culpable resignation--for she, too, was a mother!--on the other she felt crushed by the consciousness of her guilt. She sadly yielded; surrendered herself into the hands of a mother whose conduct she refrained from questioning, to escape the painful necessity of condemning it. Toward the end of July, the countess took her back to La Verberie.

This time the mischief-makers and gossips were skilfully deceived. The countess went everywhere, and instituted secret inquiries, but heard no suspicions of the object of her long trip to England. Everyone believed in the visit to the rich uncle. Raget, knew the truth; and, although Mme. de la Verberie hated him from the bottom of her heart, she did him the justice to feel sure that she had nothing to fear from his indiscretion. When she entered the room, she abruptly threw on the table the official papers which she had procured especially for him.

'These will prove to you, monsieur, that the child is living, and well cared for at a cost that I can ill afford.' 'These are perfectly right, madame,' he replied, after an attentive examination of the papers, 'and, if your conscience does not reproach you, of course I have nothing to say.' 'My conscience reproaches me with nothing, monsieur.' The old doctor shook his head, and gazing searchingly into her eyes, said: 'Can you say that you have not been harsh, even to cruelty?' She turned away her head, and, assuming her grand air, answered: 'I have acted as a woman of my rank should act; and I am surprised to find in you an advocate and abettor of misconduct.' 'Ah, madame,' said the doctor, 'it is your place to show kindness to the poor girl; and if you feel none yourself, you have no right to complain of it in others. What indulgence do you expect from strangers toward your unhappy daughter, when you, her mother, are so pitiless?' This plain-spoken truth offended the countess, and she rose to leave. Good-day.' The good doctor was mistaken in his idea of Mme. This furnished her with an inexhaustible text for complaint; and at every meal she reproached Valentine so unmercifully, that the poor girl shrank from coming to the table. She seemed to forget her own command, that the past should be buried in oblivion, and constantly recurred to it for food for her anger; a day seldom passed, that she did not say to Valentine: 'Your conduct has ruined me.' One day her daughter could not refrain from replying: 'I suppose you would have pardoned the fault, had it enriched us.' But these revolts of Valentine were rare, although her life was a series of tortures inflicted with inquisitorial cruelty. Even the memory of Gaston had become a suffering. Perhaps, discovering the uselessness of her sacrifice, of her courage, and her devotion to what she had considered her duty, she regretted not having followed him. He had sworn to return a rich man before the lapse of three years.

There was a risk in his returning under any circumstances. His disappearance had not ended the terrible affair of Tarascon. He was supposed to be dead; but as there was no positive proof of his death, and his body could not be found, the law was compelled to yield to the clamor of public opinion. The case was brought before the assize court; and, in default of appearance, Gaston de Clameran was sentenced to several years of close confinement. Informed of these facts by her faithful Mihonne, Valentine became more gloomy and hopeless than ever. Vainly did she question the dreary future; no ray appeared upon the dark horizon of her life. In this miserable way, passed four years since the fatal evening when Gaston left her. de la Verberie had spent these years in constant discomfort. In such matters, it is the first step that costs; and, after having once commenced to live upon her capital, the countess made rapid strides in extravagance, saying to herself, 'After me, the deluge!' Very much as her neighbor, the late Marquis of Clameran, had managed his affairs, she was now conducting hers, having but one object in view--her own comfort and pleasure.

She made frequent visits to the neighboring towns of Nimes and Avignon; she sent to Paris for the most elegant toilets, and entertained a great deal of company. All the luxury that she had hoped to obtain by the acquisition of a rich son-in-law, she determined to give herself, utterly regardless of the fact that she was reducing her child to beggary. The summer that she returned from London, she did not hesitate to indulge her fancy for a horse; it was rather old, to be sure, but, when harnessed to a second-hand carriage bought on credit at Beaucaire, made quite a good appearance. She would quiet her conscience, which occasionally reproached her for this constant extravagance, by saying, 'I am so unhappy!' The unhappiness was that this luxury cost her dear, very dear.

After having sold the rest of her rents, the countess first mortgaged the estate of La Verberie, and then the chateau itself. In less than four years she owed more than forty thousand francs, and was unable to pay the interest of her debt. For some time a young engineer, employed in surveys along the Rhone, had made the village of Beaucaire the centre of his operations. Being handsome, agreeable, and of polished manners, he had been warmly welcomed by the neighboring society, and the countess frequently met him at the houses of her friends where she went to play cards in the evenings. The first time he met Valentine he was struck by her beauty, and after once looking into her large, melancholy eyes, his admiration deepened into love; a love so earnest and passionate, that he felt that he could never be happy without her.

With the precision of a graduate of the polytechnic school, he had enumerated all his qualifications for being a model son-in-law. For a long time the old lady listened to him without interruption; but, when he had finished, she did not hesitate to tell him that his pretensions were presumptuous. he, a man of no pedigree, a Fauvel, a common surveyor, to aspire to the hand of a La Verberie! After having enumerated all the superior advantages of that superior order of beings, the nobility, she condescended to take a common-sense view of the case, and said: 'However, you may succeed. The poor countess owes money in every direction; not a day passes without the bailiffs calling upon her; so that, you understand, if a rich suitor appeared, and agreed to her terms for settlements--well, well, there is no knowing what might happen.' Andre Fauvel was young and sentimental: the insinuations of the old lady seemed to him preposterous. On reflection, however, when he had studied the character of the nobility in the neighborhood, who were rich in nothing but prejudices, he clearly saw that pecuniary considerations alone would be strong enough to decide the proud Countess de la Verberie to grant him her daughter's hand. But he had no one to urge his suit for him on his own merits; so he was compelled to shut his eyes to the distasteful features of his task, and treat his passion as a matter of business. The occasion so anxiously awaited, to explain his intentions, soon presented itself.

de la Verberie was at the adjoining table. Did the countess suspect the love of the young engineer? At any rate, without giving Andre time to gradually approach the subject weighing on his mind, she began to complain of the hard times, the scarcity of money, and the grasping meanness of the trades-people. Temper, joined to that secret instinct of the situation of affairs which is the sixth sense of a woman, loosened her tongue, and made her more communicative to this comparative stranger than she had ever been to her bosom friends.

She explained to him the horror of her situation, her present needs, her anxiety for the future, and, above all, her great distress at not being able to marry off her beloved daughter. Andre listened to these complaints with becoming commiseration, but in reality he was delighted.

Without giving her time to finish her tale, he began to state what he called his view of the matter. He said that, although he sympathized deeply with the countess, he could not account for her uneasiness about her daughter. Why, the rank and beauty of Mlle. Valentine were a fortune in themselves, of which any man might be proud. Valentine would accept his name, and confer upon him the sweet duty of relieving her mother from all anxiety and care. Finally, he did not think the situation of the countess's affairs nearly so desperate as she imagined.

How much money would be necessary to pay off the mortgages upon La Verberie? Besides, this sum need not be a gift from the son-in-law; if she chose, it might be a loan, because the estate would be his in the end, and in time the land would be double its present value; it would be a pity to sell now. A man, too, worthy of Valentine's love could never let his wife's mother want for the comforts and luxuries due to a lady of her age, rank, and misfortunes. As Andre spoke, in a tone too earnest to be assumed, it seemed to the countess that a celestial dew was dropping upon her pecuniary wounds. Her countenance was radiant with joy, her fierce little eyes beamed with the most encouraging tenderness, her thin lips were wreathed in the most friendly smiles. One thought disturbed the young engineer. He saw that the would-be sentimental old lady had an eye to business. 'Alas!' she sighed, 'La Verberie cannot be saved by forty thousand francs; the principal and interest of the debt amount to sixty thousand.' 'Oh, either forty or sixty thousand is nothing worth speaking of.' 'Four thousand francs is not enough to support a lady respectably,' she said after a pause.

'Everything is so dear in this section of the country! But with six thousand francs--yes, six thousand francs would make me happy!' The young man thought that her demands were becoming excessive, but with the generosity of an ardent lover he said: 'The son-in-law of whom we are speaking cannot be very devoted to Mlle. Valentine, if the paltry sum of two thousand francs were objected to for an instant.' 'You promise too much!' muttered the countess. 'The imaginary son-in-law,' she finally added, 'must be an honorable man who will fulfil his promises. I have my daughter's happiness too much at heart to give her to a man who did not produce--what do you call them?--securities, guarantees.' 'Decidedly,' thought Fauvel with mortification, 'we are making a bargain and sale.' Then he said aloud: 'Of course, your son-in-law would bind himself in the marriage contract to--' 'Never! Put such an agreement in the marriage contract!

Think of the impropriety of the thing! What would the world say?' 'Permit me, madame, to suggest that your pension should be mentioned as the interest of a sum acknowledged to have been received from you.' 'Well, that might do very well; that is very proper.' The countess insisted upon taking Andre home in her carriage. During the drive, no definite plan was agreed upon between them; but they understood each other so well, that, when the countess set the young engineer down at his own door, she invited him to dinner the next day, and held out her skinny hand which Andre kissed with devotion, as he thought of the rosy fingers of Valentine. de la Verberie returned home, the servants were dumb with astonishment at her good-humor: they had not seen her in this happy frame of mind for years. She, who boasted of such proud sentiments, never stopped to think of the infamy of the transaction in which she had been engaged: it seemed quite right in her selfish eyes. 'A pension of six thousand francs!' she thought, 'and a thousand crowns from the estate, that makes nine thousand francs a year! My daughter will live in Paris after she is married, and I can spend the winters with my dear children without expense.' At this price, she would have sold, not only one, but three daughters, if she had possessed them. She found Valentine reading by the light of a flickering candle. 'Impossible!' she murmured, 'impossible!' 'Will you be good enough to explain why it is impossible?' 'Did you tell him, mother, who I am, what I am? No, thank God, I am not fool enough for that, and I hope you will have the sense to imitate my example, and keep silent on the subject.' Although Valentine's spirit was completely crushed by her mother's tyranny, her sense of honor made her revolt against this demand.

'You certainly would not wish me to marry an honest man, mother, without confessing to him everything connected with the past? I could never practise a deception so base.' The countess felt very much like flying into a passion; but she knew that threats would be of no avail in this instance, where resistance would be a duty of conscience with her daughter. If you only knew the dreadful state of our affairs, you would not talk in this heartless way. Then what will become of us, my poor child? We are on the verge of ruin, and this marriage is our only hope of salvation.' These tearful entreaties were followed by plausible arguments. The fair-spoken countess made use of strange and subtle theories. She could understand, she said, her daughter's scruples if there were any danger of the past being brought to light; but she had taken such precautions that there was no fear of that. Would it make her love her husband any the less? Then why say anything about the past? Shocked, bewildered, Valentine asked herself if this was really her mother?

The haughty woman, who had always been such a worshipper of honor and duty, to contradict every word she had uttered during her life! Valentine could not understand the sudden change. The countess's subtle arguments and shameful sophistry neither moved nor convinced her; but she had not the courage to resist the tearful entreaties of her mother, who ended by falling on her knees, and with clasped hands imploring her child to save her from worse than death.

Violently agitated, distracted by a thousand conflicting emotions, daring neither to refuse nor to promise, fearing the consequences of a decision thus forced from her, the unhappy girl begged her mother for a few hours to reflect. 'I will leave you, my daughter,' she said, 'and I trust your own heart will tell you how to decide between a useless confession and your mother's salvation.' With these words she left the room indignant but hopeful. Placed between two obligations equally sacred, equally binding, but diametrically opposite, Valentine's troubled mind could no longer clearly discern the path of duty. Could she reduce her mother to want and misery? Could she basely deceive the confidence and love of an honorable man? why had she not a wise and kind adviser to point out the right course to pursue, and assist her in struggling against evil influences? Formerly the memory of Gaston had been her guiding star: now this far-off memory was nothing but a faint mist--a sort of vanishing dream. For a long time Valentine's mind had been filled with the image of Gaston.

As the hero of her dreams she dwelt fondly on his memory; but the shadows of time had gradually dimmed the brilliancy of her idol, and now only preserved a cold relic, over which she sometimes wept. When she arose the next morning, pale and weak from a sleepless, tearful night, she had almost resolved to confess everything to her suitor. But when evening came, and she went down to see Andre Fauvel, the presence of her mother's threatening, supplicating eye destroyed her courage. She said to herself, 'I will tell him to-morrow.' Then she said, 'I will wait another day; one more day can make no difference.' The countess saw all these struggles, but was not made uneasy by them. There was some excuse for Valentine in the horror of her situation.

Any marriage, even an unhappy one, offered the prospect of a change, of a new life, a relief from the insupportable suffering she was now enduring. Sometimes, in her ignorance of human life, she imagined that time and close intimacy would take it easier for her to confess her terrible fault; that it would be the most natural thing in the world for Andre to pardon her, and insist upon marrying her, since he loved her so deeply. It was not the impetuous passion of Gaston, with its excitements and terrors, but a calm, steady affection, more lasting than the intoxicating love of Gaston was ever likely to be. Thus Valentine gradually became accustomed to Andre's soothing presence, and was surprised into feeling very happy at the constant delicate attentions and looks of affection that he lavished upon her. During the courtship the countess's conduct was a masterpiece. She suddenly ceased to importune her daughter, and with tearful resignation said she would not attempt to influence her decision, that her happy settlement in life was the only anxiety that weighed upon her mind. But she went about the house sighing and groaning as if she were upon the eve of starving to death. She also made arrangements to be tormented by the bailiffs.

Attachments and notices to quit poured in at La Verberie, which she would show to Valentine and, with tears in her eyes, say: 'God grant we may not be driven from the home of our ancestors before your marriage, my darling!' Knowing that her presence was sufficient to freeze any confession on her daughter's lips, she never left her alone with Andre. 'Once married,' she thought, 'they can settle the matter to suit themselves. I shall not then be disturbed by it.' She was as impatient as Andre, and hastened the preparations for the wedding. She kept her constantly busy, either in driving to town to purchase some article of dress, or in paying visits. At last the eve of the wedding-day found her anxious and oppressed with fear lest something should prevent the consummation of her hopes and labors.

On this night, for the first time, Valentine found herself alone with the man who was to become her husband.

She was sitting at twilight, in the parlor, miserable and trembling, anxious to unburden her mind, and yet frightened at the very thought of doing so, when Andre entered.

Seeing that she was agitated, he pressed her hand, and gently begged her to tell him the cause of her sorrow. 'Am I not your best friend,' he said, 'and ought I not to be the confidant of your troubles, if you have any? Why these tears, my darling?' Now was the time for her to confess, and throw herself upon his generosity. But her trembling lips refused to open when she thought of his pain and anguish, and the anger of her mother, which would be caused by the few words she would utter. She felt that it was too late; and, bursting into tears, she cried out, 'I am afraid--What shall I do?' Imagining that she was merely disturbed by the vague fears experienced by most young girls when about to marry, he tried, with tender, loving words, to console and reassure her, promising to shield her from every care and sorrow, if she would only trust to his devoted love. de la Verberie came hurrying into the room for them to sign the contract. The opportunity was lost; Andre Fauvel was left in ignorance. The next day, a lovely spring morning, Andre Fauvel and Valentine de la Verberie were married at the village church. Early in the morning, the chateau was filled with the bride's friends, who came, according to custom, to assist at her wedding toilet.

She felt as though the sad truth were written upon her brow; and this pure white dress was a bitter irony, a galling humiliation. She shuddered when her most intimate school-mate placed the wreath of orange-blossoms upon her head. These emblems of purity seemed to burn her like a band of red-hot iron.

One of the wire stems of the flowers scratched her forehead, and a drop of blood fell upon her snowy robe. Valentine was near fainting when she thought of the past and the future connected by this bloody sign of woe. Yes, at the end of her first year of married life, she confessed to herself that her happiness would be complete if she could only forget the terrible past.

He had been wonderfully successful in his business affairs; he wished to be immensely rich, not for himself, but for the sake of his beloved wife, whom he would surround with every luxury. He thought her the most beautiful woman in Paris, and determined that she should be the most superbly dressed. But neither this child, nor a second son born a year later, could make her forget the first one of all, the poor, forsaken babe who had been thrown upon strangers, mercenaries, who valued the money, but not the child for whom it was paid. She would look at her two sons, surrounded by every luxury which money could give, and murmur to herself: 'Who knows if the abandoned one has bread to eat?' If she only knew where he was: if she only dared inquire! Sometimes she would be uneasy about Gaston's jewels, constantly fearing that their hiding-place would be discovered. Then she would think, 'I may as well be tranquil; misfortune has forgotten me.' Poor, deluded woman!

Misfortune is a visitor who sometimes delays his visits, but always comes in the end. XV Louis de Clameran, the second son of the marquis, was one of those self-controlled men who, beneath a cool, careless manner, conceal a fiery temperament, and ungovernable passions. All sorts of extravagant ideas had begun to ferment in his disordered brain, long before the occurrence which decided the destiny of the Clameran family. Apparently occupied in the pursuit of pleasure, this precocious hypocrite longed for a larger field in which to indulge his evil inclinations, secretly cursing the stern necessity which chained him down to this dreary country life, and the old chateau, which to him was more gloomy than a prison, and as lifeless as the grave.

This existence, dragged out in the country and the small neighboring towns, was too monotono