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The Murders In The Rue Morgue
by Edgar Allan Poe
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.
no oversight is to be expected. He notes every variation of face as the play progresses. He recognises what is played through feint. The analytical power should not be confounded with ample ingenuity. the concentrative chess-player will do very well at whist. The necessary knowledge is that of what to observe. and lie frequently among recesses of thought altogether inaccessible to the ordinary understanding. The possible moves being not only manifold but involute. Thus to have a retentive memory. identifies himself therewith. He considers the mode of assorting the cards in each hand. the result of some strong exertion of the intellect. To observe attentively is to remember distinctly. do his companions. is greatly misunderstood. with various and variable values. indications of the true state of affairs. he is in full possession of the contents of each hand. In draughts. and honor by honor. through the glances bestowed by their holders upon each. does he reject deductions from things external to the game. while eschewing chess as frivolous. and where. for while the analyst is necessarily . and men of the highest order of intellect have been known to take an apparently unaccountable delight in it." are points commonly regarded as the sum total of good playing. does the one without effort at the other. 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. at a glance. of surprise. In this latter.by Edgar Allan Poe 2 The faculty of re-solution is possibly much invigorated by mathematical study. what advantages are obtained by either party are obtained by superior acumen. unjustly. on the contrary. A casual or inadvertent word. while the rules of Hoyle (themselves based upon the mere mechanism of the game) are sufficiently and generally comprehensible. perhaps. has been called.all afford. To be less abstract . These are not only manifold but multiform. or of chagrin. the accidental dropping or turning of a card. Whist has long been noted for its influence upon what is termed the calculating power. The first two or three rounds having been played. When I say proficiency. If it flag for an instant. 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 a the elaborate frivolity of chess. and to proceed by "the book. eagerness or trepidation . gathering a fund of thought from the differences in the expression of certainty. embarrassment. as if par excellence. but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all those more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind. for example. lies not so much in the validity of the inference as in the quality of the observation. in its effects upon mental character. the probabilities of inadvertence are diminished. a host of observations and inferences. an oversight is committed resulting in injury or defeat. often counting trump by trump. and merely on account of its retrograde operations. He makes. because the game is the object. I mean that perfection in the game which includes a comprehension of all the sources whence legitimate advantage may be derived. therefore. Deprived of ordinary resources. the analyst throws himself into the spirit of his opponent. and the difference in the extent of the information obtained. It is obvious that here the victory can be decided (the players being at all equal) only by some recherché movement. hesitation. but simply prefacing a somewhat peculiar narrative by observations very much at random. where the pieces have different and bizarre motions. with the order of their arrangement. and in nine cases out of ten it is the more concentrative rather than the more acute player who conquers. I am not now writing a treatise. Yet to calculate is not in itself to analyse. From the manner of gathering up a trick he judges whether the person taking it can make another in the suit. It follows that the game of chess.Let us suppose a game of draughts where the pieces are reduced to four kings. Our player confines himself not at all. the counting of the tricks. so far. with the accompanying anxiety or carelessness in regard to its concealment. and the mere attention being left comparatively unemployed. A chess-player. The attention is here called powerfully into play. nor. So. the sole methods (sometime indeed absurdly simple ones) by which he may seduce into error or hurry into miscalculation. to his apparently intuitive perception. and not unfrequently sees thus. where the moves are unique and have but little variation. I will. Beyond doubt there is nothing of a similar nature so greatly tasking the faculty of analysis. analysis. The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess. by the air with which it is thrown upon the table. of triumph. and. comparing it carefully with that of each of his opponents. and especially by that highest branch of it which. the chances of such oversights are multiplied. in silence. of course. what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound. But it is in matters beyond the limits of mere rule that the skill of the analyst is evinced. He examines the countenance of his partner.
Auguste Dupin. amid the wild lights and shadows of the populous city. and as my worldly circumstances were somewhat less embarrassed than his own. he managed. until warned by the clock of the advent of the true Darkness.if not exactly in its display . had been reduced to such poverty that the energy of his character succumbed beneath it. or to care for the retrieval of his fortunes. and the vivid freshness of his imagination. but we could counterfeit her presence.and did not hesitate to confess the pleasure thus derived. I quietly fell. seeking. The sable divinity would not herself dwell with us always. lighting a couple of tapers which. writing. too. and he ceased to bestir himself in the world. and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.by Edgar Allan Poe 3 ingenious. Had the routine of our life at this place been known to the world. to take an eager delight in its exercise . with a low . Between ingenuity and the analytic ability there exists a difference far greater. by which ingenuity is usually manifested. and in Paris these are easily obtained. and to which the phrenologists (I believe erroneously) have assigned a separate organ. The constructive or combining power. giving myself up to his wild whims with a perfect abandon. there still remained in his possession a small remnant of his patrimony. He seemed. where the accident of our both being in search of the same very rare and very remarkable volume. I felt my soul enkindled within me by the wild fervor. I felt that the societyof such a man would be to me a treasure beyond price.reading. By the aid of these we then busied our souls in dreams . above all. a time-eaten and grotesque mansion. has been so frequently seen in those whose intellect bordered otherwise upon idiocy. as madmen of a harmless nature. 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. Books. indeed. and into this bizarrerie. or conversing. strongly perfumed. and furnishing in a style which suited the rather fantastic gloom of our common temper. and. This young gentleman was of an excellent . I there became acquainted with a Monsieur C. and it had been many years since Dupin had ceased to know or be known in Paris. and. but of a character very strictly analogous. the ingenious man is often remarkably incapable of analysis. Our first meeting was at an obscure library in the Rue Montmartre. that the ingenious are always fanciful. and this feeling I frankly confided to him. supposing it a primitive faculty. brought us into closer communion. 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. Residing in Paris during the spring and part of the summer of 18--. Then we sallied forth into the streets arm in arm. Seeking in Paris the objects I then sought. continuing the topics of the day. We existed within ourselves alone. by a variety of untoward events. were his sole luxuries. by means of a rigorous economy. Indeed the locality of our retirement had been carefully kept a secret from my own former associates. that infinity of mental excitement which quiet observation can afford. 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. threw out only the ghastliest and feeblest of rays. Our seclusion was perfect. I was permitted to be at the expense of renting. indeed. but. He boastedto me. and tottering to its fall in a retired and desolate portion of the Faubourg St. upon the income arising from this. We admitted no visitors. We saw each other again and again. than that between the fancy and the imagination. without troubling himself about its superfluities. as into all his others. At the first dawn of the morning we closed all the messy shutters of our old building. The narrative which follows will appear to the reader somewhat in the light of a commentary upon the propositions just advanced. too. It will be found.indeed of an illustrious family. we should have been regarded as madmen although. at the vast extent of his reading. in fact. or roaming far and wide until a late hour. I was astonished. long deserted through superstitions into which we did not inquire. to procure the necessaries of life. By courtesy of his creditors. as to have attracted general observation among writers on morals. It was at length arranged that we should live together during my stay in the city. Germain. perhaps.
in respect to himself. and was wont to follow up such assertions by direct and very startling proofs of his intimate knowledge of my own." This was precisely what had formed the subject of my reflections. Epicurus. neither of us had spoken a syllable for fifteen minutes at least. occupied with thought. by accident. Observing him in these moods. that's true.I know no fruiterer whomsoever. rose into a treble which would have sounded petulantly but for the deliberateness and entire distinctness of the enunciation. the fruiterer. was merely the result of an excited. and my astonishment was profound. or perhaps of a diseased intelligence.the creative and the resolvent. His manner at these moments was frigid and abstract. All at once Dupin broke forth with these words: "He is a very little fellow. "I will explain. What I have described in the Frenchman. Being both. "the method .by which you have been enabled to fathom my soul in this matter. apparently. and would do better for the Théâtre des Variétés. carrying upon his head a large basket of apples. Stereotomy. 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." replied my friend. We were strolling one night down a long dirty street in the vicinity of the Palais Royal. usually a rich tenor.into the thoroughfare where we stood." said I. "Tell me." . or penning any romance. in fact. and amused myself with the fancy of a double Dupin . "this is beyond my comprehension. "Dupin. "who brought you to the conclusion that the mender of soles was not of sufficient height for Xerxes et id genus omne. "and that you may comprehend all clearly.you astonish me .it may have been fifteen minutes ago. his eyes were vacant in expression." he said. had attempted the rôle of Xerxes." I replied unwittingly. and been notoriously Pasquinaded for his pains. The larger links of the chain run thus Chantilly. in Crébillon's tragedy so called.if method there is . who." I exclaimed. How was it possible you should know I was thinking of ----. I often dwelt meditatively upon the old philosophy of the Bi-Part Soul. "It was the fruiterer. -." "The man who ran up against you as we entered the street . gravely. that I am detailing any mystery." "The fruiterer! . There was not a particle of charlâtanerie about Dupin. had nearly thrown me down."of Chantilly. as we passed from the Rue C ---. but what this had to do with Chantilly I could not possibly understand. In an instant afterward I recollected myself. "why do you pause? You were remarking to yourself that his diminutive figure unfitted him for tragedy. Dr. Chantilly was a quondam cobbler of the Rue St." In fact I was even more startled than I would have been willing to express. Let it not be supposed. Orion. becoming stage-mad. and can scarcely credit my senses. Nichols. But of the character of his remarks at the periods in question an example will best convey the idea." said he. I do not hesitate to say that I am amazed." I now remembered that.by Edgar Allan Poe 4 chuckling laugh. for Heaven's sake.?" Here I paused. that most men. while his voice. the street stones. wore windows in their bosoms. to ascertain beyond a doubt whether he really knew of whom I thought. from the moment in which I spoke to you until that of the rencontre with the fruiterer in question. we will first retrace the course of your meditations." "There can be no doubt of that. from what I have just said. a fruiterer. Denis.
I felt that you could not avoid casting your eyes upward to the great nebula in Orion. and when I could not help acknowledging that he had spoken the truth. quoted a Latin line about which we have often conversed. and then proceeded in silence.' the satirist. the vague guesses of that noble Greek had met with confirmation in the late nebular cosmogony. be was a very little fellow . appeared vexed or sulky. from certain pungencies connected with this explanation. we were looking over an evening edition of the "Gazette des Tribunaux. muttered a few words. with the key inside. formerly written Urion. these sounds. occasioned by a fruitless attempt to procure admission in the usual manner. You thought of the poor cobbler's immolation. must have been my amazement when I heard the Frenchman speak what he had just spoken. which has been paved. I was aware that you could not have forgotten it. known to be in the sole occupancy of one Madame L'Espanaye. with the overlapping and riveted blocks. So far. He continued: "We had been talking of horses. turned to look at the pile. This was the last subject we discussed. .. apparently. (the door of which. by way of experiment. and I was now assured that I had correctly followed your steps. the inhabitants of the Quartier St. You stepped upon one of the loose fragments. and since. slipped. I could not doubt that you murmured the word 'stereotomy. Here your countenance brightened up." when the following paragraphs arrested our attention. a species of necessity.This morning. and. yet with how little notice. 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. slightly strained your ankle. perceiving your lips move. Roch were aroused from sleep by a succession of terrific shrieks. I was then sure that you reflected upon the diminutive figure of Chantilly. and eight or ten of the neighbors entered accompanied by two gendarmes. making some disgraceful allusions to the cobbler s change of name upon assuming the buskin. being found locked. as the party rushed up the first flight of stairs. and I certainly expected that you would do so. As the second landing was reached. and. The party spread themselves and hurried from room to room. but now I saw you draw yourself up to your full height. with a large basket upon his head. issuing. and thus of the theories of Epicurus. After some delay.' a term very affectedly applied to this species of pavement.by Edgar Allan Poe 5 There are few persons who have not. You did look up. had ceased and everything remained perfectly quiet. What. also. brushing quickly past us. I was not particularly attentive to what you did. therefore. which appeared in yesterday's 'Musée. about three o'clock. but. when we discussed this subject not very long ago. and her daughter Mademoiselle Camille L'Espanaye. at the holes and ruts in the pavement. Upon arriving at a large back chamber in the fourth story.) a spectacle presented itself which struck every one present not less with horror than with . I mean the line Perdidit antiquum litera sonum. "You kept your eyes upon the ground . of late. I knew that you could not say to yourself 'stereotomy' without being brought to think of atomies. As we crossed into this street. (so that I saw you were still thinking of the stones. the gateway was broken in with a crowbar. but observation has become with me. was forced open. That you did combine them I saw by the character of the smile which passed over your lips. a fruiterer. I had told you that this was in reference to Orion. with a petulant expression. from the fourth story of a house in the Rue Morgue. that you would not fail to combine the two ideas of Orion and Chantilly. two or more rough voices in angry contention were distinguished and seemed to proceed from the upper part of the house. At this point I interrupted your meditations to remark that as. It was clear. "EXTRAORDINARY MURDERS. if I remember aright. thrust you upon a pile of paving stones collected at a spot where the causeway is undergoing repair. just before leaving the Rue C ---.) until we reached the little alley called Lamartine. in fact.he would do better at the Théâtre des Variétés. By this time the cries had ceased. at some period of their lives. you had been stooping in your gait.glancing.that Chantilly ." Not long after this. amused themselves in retracing the steps by which particular conclusions of their own minds have been attained. But in that bitter tirade upon Chantilly. then. I mentioned to you how singularly.
No one was spoken of as frequenting the . Upon the face were many severe scratches. and moved into them herself. Was sure that they had no servant in employ. Witness had seen the daughter some five or six times during the six years. and seeming to have been pulled out by the roots. It had no contents beyond a few old letters. Had heard it said among the neighbors that Madame L. Many individuals have been examined in relation to this most extraordinary and frightful affair. and has always resided there. A small iron safe was discovered under the bed (not under the bedstead). and other papers of little consequence. deposes that she has known both the deceased for three years.] "but nothing whatever has transpired to throw light upon it. and a physician some eight or ten times. who under-let the upper rooms to various persons. the slightest clew. The old lady and her daughter seemed on good terms . and thrown into the middle of the floor. "The Tragedy in the Rue Morgue. Was born in the neighborhood. "Pierre Moreau. 6 "The apartment was in the wildest disorder . tobacconist. apparently. upon the throat. Believed that Madame L. and two bags. without farther discovery. in France. The two lived an exceedingly retired life . besmeared with blood. the head fell off. where lay the corpse of the old lady. There was only one bedstead. it having been thus forced up the narrow aperture for a considerable distance. told fortunes . "Pauline Dubourg. head downward. upon an attempt to raise her. for more than six years. an ear-ring of topaz.the furniture broken and thrown about in all directions. The old lady was childish. dark bruises. Could not speak in regard to their mode or means of living. Was reputed to have money put by. We give below all the material testimony elicited. which stood in one corner were open. neighbors. was dragged therefrom. and had been.the former so much so as scarcely to retain any semblance of humanity. with the key still in the door. the party made its way into a small paved yard in the rear of the building. three smaller of métal d'Alger. The body. that levity of import which it conveys with us. and from this the bed had been removed. with her throat so entirely cut that. Upon examining it. "Many other persons. "Of Madame L'Espanaye no traces were here seen. "To this horrible mystery there is not as yet. but an unusual quantity of soot being observed in the fire-place.by Edgar Allan Poe astonishment. On a chair lay a razor. containing nearly four thousand francs in gold. refusing to let any portion. many excoriations were perceived.were reputed to have money. The body was quite warm. three large silver spoons. and deep indentations of finger nails. was fearfully mutilated . a search was made in the chimney. although many articles still remained in them. a porter once or twice. "After a thorough investigation of every portion of the house.very affectionate towards each other. Never met any persons in the house when she called for the clothes or took them home. and (horrible to relate!) the. corpse of the daughter. The house was the property of Madame L. There appeared to be no furniture in any part of the building except in the fourth story. Had never seen any person enter the door except the old lady and her daughter. told fortunes for a living. and. laundress. as if the deceased had been throttled to death. rifled. we believe." The next day's paper had these additional particulars. It was formerly occupied by a jeweller. deposes that he has been in the habit of selling small quantities of tobacco and snuff to Madame L'Espanaye for nearly four years. The deceased and her daughter had occupied the house in which the corpses were found. [The word 'affaire' has not yet. It was open. The drawers of a bureau. Upon the floor were found four Napoleons. On the hearth were two or three long and thick tresses of grey human hair. gave evidence to the same effect.did not believe it. no doubt occasioned by the violence with which it had been thrust up and disengaged. also dabbled in blood. They were excellent pay. having washed for them during that period. as well as the head. She became dissatisfied with the abuse of the premises by her tenant.
was that of an Italian. deposes that he was called to the house about three o'clock in the morning.Odenheimer. of the firm of Mignaud et Fils. Was sure that the shrill voice was not that of either of the deceased. with the exception of the large back room. not short and quick. restaurateur. fourth story. this witness thinks. Has lived in Paris two years. Mademoiselle L. Is sure that it was not the voice of an Englishman. and found some twenty or thirty persons at the gateway. Was passing the house at the time of the shrieks. "William Bird. he accompanied Madame L'Espanaye to her residence with the 4000 francs. Could distinguish some words of the former.not so much shrill as harsh. Upon reaching the first landing. Not speaking French. Had conversed with both frequently. clerk to Mignaud et Fils. which collected very fast. Could not be sure whether it was the voice of a man or of a woman. Did not see any person in the street at the time. Corroborated the previous evidence in every respect but one.' The shrill voice was that of a foreigner. Was certain it was not French. and her daughter. The shutters of the front windows were seldom opened. Might have been a woman's voice. Was one of those who entered the building. "Adolphe Le Bon. Is an Englishman.louder than the gruff one. The shrill voice was very loud . Forced it open. Those in the rear were always closed. Was one of the first to ascend the stairs. It is a bye-street . As soon as they forced an entrance. the other much shriller . This witness volunteered his testimony. Was sure that the shrill voice was that of a man . Is a native of Amsterdam. they reclosed the door. tailor deposes that he was one of the party who entered the house. It was not known whether there were any living connexions of Madame L.probably ten. The house was a good house . notwithstanding the lateness of the hour. but believed the language to be Spanish. The shrieks were continued until the gate was forced . Knew Madame L.very lonely. "Henri Duval. Made frequent deposits in small sums.unequal .not very old. Could not distinguish the words. This sum was paid in gold. deposes that he was one of the party who first entered the house.' and once 'mon Dieu. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman. and bolted neither at bottom not top. a neighbor.the one a gruff voice. Could not call it a shrill voice. Is the elder Mignaud. Heard the voices in contention. They lasted for several minutes . with a bayonet .a very strange voice.by Edgar Allan Poe house.and then suddenly ceased. Had checked for nothing until the third day before her death. Corroborates the testimony of Musèt in general.' There was a sound at the moment as if of several persons struggling . Appeared to be that of a German.of a Frenchman. on account of its being a double or folding gate. appeared and took from his hands one of the bags. put up in two bags. Had opened an account with his banking house in the spring of the year (eight years previously). which was that of a Frenchman. They were loud and quick . Had but little difficulty in getting it open. Could distinguish the words 'sacré' and 'diable. The state of the room and of the bodies was described by this witness as we described them yesterday. to keep out the crowd. when she took out in person the sum of 4000 francs.' 'diable. Witness led the way up stairs. deposes that on the day in question. The voice was harsh . Upon the door being opened. Could make out several words. The gruff voice said repeatedly 'sacré. at length. Does not understand . banker. and her daughter. was examined through an interpreter. and by trade a silver-smith. They seemed to be screams of some person (or persons) in great agony were loud and drawn out.very awful and distressing. Was not acquainted with the Italian language.not with a crowbar. It might have been a woman's. about noon. "-. Could not make out what was said. They were long and loud . gendarme. Could not be sure that it was a man's voice.a scraping and scuffling sound. while the old lady relieved him of the other. The shrill voice. Madame L'Espanaye had some property. He then bowed and departed. but cannot now remember all.' "Jules Mignaud. but was convinced by the intonation that the speaker was an Italian.spoken apparently in fear as well as in anger. Heard distinctly 'sacré' and 'mon Dieu. heard two voices in loud and angry contention . Could not distinguish the words uttered. endeavoring to gain admittance. Rue Deloraine. and a clerk went home with the money. 7 "Isidore Muset. Was positive that it was not a woman's voice.
The door was opened with difficulty. but judges by the intonation. Corroborates the general testimony. and so forth. The corpse of the young lady was much bruised and excoriated. were down and firmly fastened from within. deposes that he was called to view the bodies about day-break. The face was fearfully discolored. with the key on the inside. Never conversed with a native of Russia. Thinks it the voice of a Russian. being recalled. "Alfonzo Garcio. was entirely separated from the body. A small room in the front of the house. There is no back passage by which any one could have descended while the party proceeded up stairs. as well as all the ribs of the left side. There were several deep scratches just below the chin. This room was crowded with old beds. Did not proceed up stairs. All the bones of the right leg and arm were more or less shattered. but not locked. Every thing was perfectly silent . The throat was greatly chafed. Whole body dreadfully bruised and discolored. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman. produced. Heard the voices in contention. or a broad bar of iron . and was apprehensive of the consequences of agitation. Does not understand the English language. with garrets (mansardes. if wielded by the hands of a very powerful man. A door between the two rooms was closed. By 'sweeps' were meant cylindrical sweeping brushes. the door being ajar. The throat had evidently been cut with some very sharp instrument . Mademoiselle L'Espanaye had been throttled to death by some person or persons unknown. was variously stated by the witnesses. both of the back and front room. The speaker appeared to be expostulating. They were both then lying on the sacking of the bedstead in the chamber where Mademoiselle L. recalled. "Alexandre Etienne.by Edgar Allan Poe German. Could not make out the words of the shrill voice. undertaker. Is a native of Spain.probably with a razor. such as are employed by those who clean chimneys. Is nervous. The head of the deceased. Upon forcing the door no person was seen. Could not distinguish what was said. was called with M. when seen by witness. here testified that the chimneys of all the rooms on the fourth story were too narrow to admit the passage of a human being. Spoke quick and unevenly. by the pressure of a knee. deposes that he was among the first to ascend the stairs. No woman could have inflicted the blows with any weapon. Was one of the party who entered the house. Some made it as short as three minutes . A heavy club of wood. and obtuse weapon would have produced such results.) A trap-door on the roof was nailed down very securely . The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman.no groans or noises of any kind. The door leading from the front room into the passage was locked. at the head of the passage was open. surgeon. and the eye-balls protruded. deposes that he resides in the Rue Morgue.did not appear to have been opened for years. "Alberto Montani. These were carefully removed and searched. The corpse of the mother was horribly mutilated.a chair . was found. together with a series of livid spots which were evidently the impression of fingers. The fact that it had been thrust up the chimney would sufficiently account for these appearances. These brushes were passed up and down every flue in the house. was locked on the inside when the party reached it. Heard the voices in question. apparently. Dumas. Is an Italian. 8 "Four of the above-named witnesses. heavy. 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. Corroborated the testimony. Dumas. The shrill voice was that of an Englishman . The house was a four story one. The time elapsing between the hearing of the voices in contention and the breaking open of the room door. Distinguished several words. It was not possible to say how the injuries had been inflicted. Sweeps were sent up and down the chimneys. boxes. The left tibia much splintered. confectioner. There was not an inch of any portion of the house which was not carefully searched.any large. "Several witnesses. . physician. In the opinion of M. deposed that the door of the chamber in which was found the body of Mademoiselle L. and the opinions of M. on the fourth story.is sure of this. The tongue had been partially bitten through. A large bruise was discovered upon the pit of the stomach. and was also greatly shattered. Dumas to view the bodies. The windows. "Paul Dumas.some as long as five.
however. and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmanent by a scrutiny too sustained. A murder so mysterious. that he asked me my opinion respecting the murders. turned down an alley. so applied. Le Bon once rendered me a service for which I am not ungrateful. was never before committed in Paris . as to put us in mind of Monsieur Jourdain's calling for his robe-de-chambre . besides. He impaired his vision by holding the object too close. for the most part. 9 Dupin seemed singularly interested in the progress of this affair -. meanwhile examining the whole neighborhood.is to have the best appreciation of its lustre . Before going in we walked up the street. But. there is the more refined capacity for comprehension. The results attained by them are not unfrequently surprising. but. There is no method in their proceedings. The modes and sources of this kind of error are well typified in the contemplation of the heavenly bodies." said Dupin. before we make up an opinion respecting them. these are so ill adapted to the objects proposed. It was only after the announcement that Le Bon had been imprisoned. but. beyond the method of the moment. too concentrated. with a minuteness of attention for which I could see no possible object. When these qualities are unavailing." The permission was obtained. He might see. on one side of which was a glazed watch-box. Thus there is such a thing as being too profound. the Prefect of Police. the shadow of a clew apparent. so much extolled for acumen.by Edgar Allan Poe "Nothing farther of importance was elicited. I know G----. The police are entirely at fault . perhaps. and fresh examinations of witnesses instituted.an unusual occurrence in affairs of this nature. and shall have no difficulty in obtaining the necessary permission. By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought. again turning. . and so perplexing in all its particulars. however. with a gateway. A postscript. as well as the house. are brought about by simple diligence and activity." [I thought this an odd term. I could merely agree with all Paris in considering them an insoluble mystery. necessarily. are cunning. An inquiry will afford us amusement. The Parisian police. with a sliding panel in the window. Vidocq. A greater number of rays actually fall upon the eye in the latter case. as regards the more important knowledge. or too direct. Truth is not always in a well. To look at a star by glances . It was late in the afternoon when we reached it. and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found. and then. but all to no purpose. but said nothing] "and." The evening edition of the paper stated that the greatest excitement still continued in the Quartier St. indicating a loge de concierge. for there were still many persons gazing up at the closed shutters. without educated thought. was a good guesser and a persevering man. The house was readily found. Roch.if indeed a murder has been committed at all. not unfrequently. passed in the rear of the building .Dupin. with an objectless curiosity. their schemes fail. for he made no comments. Roch that the premises in question had been carefully re-searched.pour mieux entendre la musique. They make a vast parade of measures. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her. from the opposite side of the way. but in so doing he. although several other persons were examined. This is one of those miserable thoroughfares which intervene between the Rue Richelieu and the Rue St. "by this shell of an examination. mentioned that Adolphe Le Bon had been arrested and imprisoned .a lustre which grows dim just in proportion as we turn our vision fully upon it. in the former. for example.although nothing appeared to criminate him.to view it in a side-long way. We will go and see the premises with our own eyes. There is not. let us enter into some examinations for ourselves. "As for these murders. I saw no means by which it would be possible to trace the murderer. one or two points with unusual clearness. lost sight of the matter as a whole. beyond the facts already detailed. but. In fact. It was an ordinary Parisian house. is to behold the star distinctly . I do believe that she is invariably superficial. "We must not judge of the means. and we proceeded at once to the Rue Morgue. as this quarter is at a great distance from that in which we resided. but no more. he erred continually by the very intensity of his investigations. by turning toward it the exterior portions of the retina (more susceptible of feeble impressions of light than the interior).at least so I judged from his manner.
His discourse was addressed to myself. of the government agents. "No.not excepting the bodies of the victims.but for the atrocity of the murder. without knowing why. although perhaps not the perpetrator of these butcheries. with the head downward. suddenly. It appears to me that this mystery is considered insoluble. although by no means loud. vacant in expression.not for the murder itself . the facility with which I shall arrive. for upon it I build my expectation of reading the entire riddle. looking toward the door of our apartment ."I am now awaiting a person who.every moment. while Dupin went on." continued he. and where both the deceased still lay. a gendarme accompanying us throughout. The disorders of the room had. and into the yard.by Edgar Allan Poe 10 Retracing our steps. I saw nothing beyond what had been stated in the "Gazette des Tribunaux. Here are pistols. as usual. into the unusual horror of the thing. His eyes. have sufficed to paralyze the powers. "has not entered. were not the voices of the women themselves. at the solution of this mystery. if I had observed any thing peculiar at the scene of the atrocity. for the very reason which should cause it to be regarded as easy of solution . in its search for the true. with those just mentioned. with the facts that no one was discovered up stairs but the assassinated Mademoiselle L'Espanaye. Of the worst portion of the crimes committed. the corpse thrust. having shown our credentials." which caused me to shudder. On our way home my companion stepped in for a moment at the office of one of the daily papers. The police are confounded by the seeming absence of motive . was fully proved by the evidence. scarcely knowing what I did. We then went into the other rooms. Should he come.' " he replied. and we both know how to use them when occasion demands their use. by the seeming impossibility of reconciling the voices heard in contention. and. up the chimney. but his voice. to decline all conversation on the subject of the murder. that reason feels its way. it should not be so much asked 'what has occurred. now. It was his humor. at least. "I am now awaiting.for this phrase there is no English equivalent. They have fallen into the gross but common error of confounding the unusual with the abstruse. But dismiss the idle opinions of this print. regarded only the wall. I fear. There was something in his manner of emphasizing the word "peculiar.' as 'what has occurred that has never occurred before. I hope that I am right in this supposition. and that Je les ménagais: ." I stared at the speaker in mute astonishment. it is probable that he is innocent. This relieves us of all doubt upon the question whether the old . I look for the man here . these considerations. had that intonation which is commonly employed in speaking to some one at a great distance. The examination occupied us until dark. or have arrived. it will be necessary to detain him. He then asked me. rang." I took the pistols. but the probability is that he will. must have been in some measure implicated in their perpetration. "by the party upon the stairs. I have already spoken of his abstract manner at such times. if at all. nothing peculiar." I said. the frightful mutilation of the body of the old lady. been suffered to exist. and others which I need not mention. They are puzzled. when we took our departure. or believing what I heard. In investigations such as we are now pursuing.I mean for the outré character of its features. is in the direct ratio of its apparent insolubility in the eyes of the police. The wild disorder of the room." Dupin scrutinized every thing . by putting completely at fault the boasted acumen. we came again to the front of the dwelling. were admitted by the agents in charge." he said. very much as if in a soliloquy. We went up stairs . than we both saw stated in the paper. But it is by these deviations from the plane of the ordinary. "That the voices heard in contention. too. until about noon the next day.' In fact. I have said that the whims of my friend were manifold. "nothing more." "The 'Gazette.in this room .into the chamber where the body of Mademoiselle L'Espanaye had been found. It is true that he may not arrive. and that there were no means of egress without the notice of the party ascending.
each one spoke of it as that of a foreigner. and the voices of this third party were those heard in contention. with myself. 'as he has no knowledge of the English. but 'judges by the intonation' altogether. and a Frenchman attempted to describe it. "I know not. they were here unanimous. is. but 'has never conversed with a native of Russia.a certain tendency .Let us examine. to this chamber.but to what was peculiar in that testimony.no sounds resembling words . a Spaniard. and the nature of the wounds upon her own person entirely preclude the idea of self-destruction.' The Spaniard 'is sure' that it was that of an Englishman. No secret issues could have escaped their vigilance. and that the suspicion arises inevitably from them as the single result.were by any witness mentioned as distinguishable.not to the voice of an individual of any nation with whose language he is conversant . and the masonry of the walls. You have observed nothing distinctive. a Hollander. there was much disagreement in regard to the shrill. the harsh voice. even. The police have laid bare the floors. What the suspicion is. Both doors leading from the rooms into the passage were securely locked. and is positive that the voice was that of an Italian. I will not say just yet. Then how? Fortunately. then. in fancy. I examined with my own. and escaped materially. the possible means of egress. it was sufficiently forcible to give a definite form . while an Italian.of an African. and 'does not understand German. has been committed by some third party. agreed about the gruff voice.the portion respecting the gruff and shrill voices . It is not too much to say that neither of us believe in præternatural events.' The Italian believes it the voice of a Russian. The Frenchman supposes it the voice of a Spaniard. There were." said Dupin. It is then only from these two apartments that we have to seek issues. I designed to imply that the deductions are the sole proper ones.by Edgar Allan Poe 11 lady could have first destroyed the daughter and afterward have committed suicide.' The Dutchman maintains it to have been that of a Frenchman. however. Yet there was something to be observed. Neither Asiatics nor Africans abound in Paris. The witnesses.not that they disagreed .' A second Frenchman differs. but. as you remark. I will now merely call your attention to three points. "what impression I may have made. while all the witnesses agreed in supposing the gruff voice to be that of a Frenchman.' It is represented by two others to have been 'quick and unequal. But in regard to the shrill voice. not being cognizant of that tongue. an Englishman. or. 'convinced by the intonation.but that. Each is sure that it was not the voice of one of his own countrymen. the peculiarity is . Madame and Mademoiselle L'Espanaye were not destroyed by spirits. when the party ascended the stairs.' No words . how strangely unusual must that voice have really been. "That was the evidence itself. The voice is termed by one witness 'harsh rather than shrill. 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 . then.in whose tones. but I do not hesitate to say that legitimate deductions even from this portion of the testimony . The doers of the deed were material.' Now. I merely wish you to bear in mind that. there is but one mode of reasoning upon the point. "but it was not the peculiarity of the evidence. like the Spaniard. moreover. and 'might have distinguished some words had he been acquainted with the Spanish. but we find it stated that 'not understanding French this witness was examined through an interpreter. or at least in the room adjoining. I speak of this point chiefly for the sake of method. with the first. upon your own understanding. . and that mode must lead us to a definite decision. But. in every direction. What shall we first seek here? The means of egress employed by the murderers. without denying the inference." continued Dupin. . Murder. so far. Each likens it . It is clear that the assassins were in the room where Mademoiselle L'Espanaye was found. "Let us now transport ourselves. 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. I said 'legitimate deductions. each by each.to my inquiries in the chamber. no secret issues. Did you observe any thing peculiar about it?" I remarked that. not trusting to their eyes.but the converse. Let me now advert .' but my meaning is not thus fully expressed. about which such testimony as this could have been elicited! . but.are in themselves sufficient to engender a suspicion which should give direction to all farther progress in the investigation of the mystery.not to the whole testimony respecting these voices .' The Englishman thinks it the voice of a German. as one individual termed it. the ceilings.
' I said.and that result was the nail. A careful search soon brought to light the hidden spring. A concealed spring must. To use a sporting phrase. in the top of the bottom sash. Upon examining the other window. throughout their extent.the consideration which put a stop. I looked over the head-board minutely at the second casement. The conclusion was plain. These. I had not been once 'at fault. to reject it on account of apparent impossibilities. to the scrutiny of the police in this quarter. as I had anticipated. but. you must have misunderstood the nature of the inductions. brought to this conclusion in so unequivocal a manner as we are.by Edgar Allan Poe 12 with the keys inside. "I now replaced the nail and regarded it attentively. "You will say that I was puzzled. satisfied with the discovery. the head went up with it. it was thought a matter of supererogation to withdraw the nails and open the windows. by means already stated. and apparently fitted in the same manner driven in nearly up to the head. I now know. I now looked at the nail. 'There must be something wrong. there must be found a difference between the nails. as reasoners. and the resemblance to a perfect nail was complete . And. I pressed it. A person passing out through this window might have reclosed it. They must. being thus absolute. There was no flaw in any link of the chain. in reality. Getting upon the sacking of the bedstead. the body of a large cat. and is wholly visible. Through those of the front room no one could have escaped without notice from the crowd in the street. identical in character with its neighbor. It was as stout as the other. "My own examination was somewhat more particular. a similar nail was seen similarly fitted in it. .the fissure was invisible.à posteriori. There was no escape from this conclusion. The rest of the shank was in the gimlet-hole where it had been broken off. and the head. therefore. which had partially imbedded. and again narrowed in the field of my investigations. as was probable.' I touched it. however mysterious still appeared the circumstances attending the nails. I now carefully replaced this head portion in the indentation whence I had taken it. exist. I say. Yet the sashes were fastened. The lower portion of the other is hidden from view by the head of the unwieldy bedstead which is thrust close up against it. withdrew the nail with some difficulty and attempted to raise the sash. Now. the head portion of the nail. I readily discovered and pressed the spring. Passing my hand down behind the board. they could not have refastened the sashes from the inside. The assassins must have escaped through the other window.because here it was. The murderers must have passed. "I proceeded to think thus . and a vigorous attempt to raise this sash. Pressing the spring. if you think so.' The scent had never for an instant been lost. I . and this corroboration of my idea convinced me that my premises at least. The former was found securely fastened from within. not such. with about a quarter of an inch of the shank. . then. have the power of fastening themselves. as I had supposed. and a very stout nail was found fitted therein. Supposing. The police were now entirely satisfied that egress had not been in these directions. One of them is unobstructed by furniture. we are reduced to the windows. at this point. the appearance of its fellow in the other window. that all apparent impossibilities must be proved to be not such in reality. then. It had. in every respect. remaining firm in its bed. "There are two windows in the chamber. but this fact was an absolute nullity (conclusive us it might seem to be) when compared with the consideration that here. A large gimlet-hole had been pierced in its frame to the left. I stepped to the unobstructed casement. although of ordinary width for some eight or ten feet above the hearths. nearly to the head. and the spring would have caught . were correct. I knew. which was. and. the springs upon each sash to be the same. will not admit. through its obviousness. as they were found fastened. through those of the back room. I gently raised the sash for a few inches.but the nail could not have been replaced. I had traced the secret to its ultimate result. came off in my fingers. then. It resisted the utmost force of those who endeavored to raise it. terminated the clew. and had apparently been accomplished by the blow of a hammer. 'about the nail. failed also. or at least between the modes of their fixture. The fracture was an old one (for its edges were incrusted with rust). This being so. forbore to upraise the sash. The impossibility of egress. It is only left for us to prove that these apparent 'impossibilities' are. Let us turn to the chimneys. It resisted all my efforts. and was so for the reason I have just given . it is not our part. The murderers did escape from one of these windows.
The assassin had escaped through the window which looked upon the bed. and springing boldly from it. Letting go. . if we imagine the window open at the time.a very silly one . My friend went on with his discourse. they stood off at right angles from the wall. if so.men.by Edgar Allan Poe closed the window.had little use for numerous changes of habiliment. Upon this point I had been satisfied in my walk with you around the building. might even have swung himself into the room.but. reach to within two feet of the lightning-rod. Those found were at least of as good quality as any likely to be possessed by these ladies. than insist upon a full estimation of the activity required in this matter. "You will say. it is said. it had become fastened by the spring. at the same point.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. they did not perceive this great breadth itself. It is probable that the police. was now unriddled. then. they would naturally bestow here a very cursory examination. If a thief had taken any. that the shutters of the fourth story were of the peculiar kind called by Parisian carpenters ferrades . his hold upon the rod. "The next question is that of the mode of descent. at times. however. however. might have been thus effected. When we saw them from the rear of the house. not a folding door) except that the lower half is latticed or worked in open trellis . first. About five feet and a half from the casement in question there runs a lightning-rod. This may be the practice in law. so far. Let us now revert to the interior of the room. that the thing might possibly have been accomplished: . and it was the retention of this spring which had been mistaken by the police for that of the nail." At these words a vague and half-formed conception of the meaning of Dupin flitted over my mind.saw no company . at all events. Dropping of its own accord upon his exit (or perhaps purposely closed). or. but it is not the usage of reason. From this rod it would have been impossible for any one to reach the window itself. "that I have shifted the question from the mode of egress to that of ingress. find themselves upon the brink of remembrance without being able. as well as myself. In the present instance these shutters are fully three feet and a half broad. I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension without power to comprehend . It was clear to me. if swung fully back to the wall.' I should rather undervalue. an entrance into the window. in the end. It is a mere guess .seldom went out ." he said.a kind rarely employed at the present day. and the semblance of the whole nail was again perfect. would. 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 . failed to take it into due consideration. having once satisfied themselves that no egress could have been made in this quarter. (a single. It was also evident that. that 'to make out my case. he might have swung the shutter so as to close it. in looking at these ferrades in the line of their breadth (as they must have done). but frequently seen upon very old mansions at Lyons and Bourdeaux. It is my design to show you. My immediate purpose is to lead you to place in juxta-position. placing his feet securely against the wall. that the shutter belonging to the window at the head of the bed. and in whose utterance no syllabification could be detected. The conclusion here is absurd. In fact. by exertion of a very unusual degree of activity and courage. using the language of the law.the almost præternatural character of that agility which could have accomplished it. 13 "The riddle. farther inquiry being thus considered unnecessary. about whose nationality no two persons could be found to agree. but. had been rifled.thus affording an excellent hold for the hands.that is to say. that very unusual activity of which I have just spoken with that very peculiar shrill (or harsh) and unequal voice. It was my design to convey the idea that both were effected in the same manner. "You will see. My ultimate object is only the truth. Let us survey the appearances here. they were both about half open . "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. I wish to impress upon your understanding the very extraordinary .and no more. I observed. from the rod. and. although many articles of apparel still remained within them. The drawers of the bureau. why did . examined the back of the tenement. secondly and chiefly. to remember. no doubt. They are in the form of an ordinary door. to say nothing of entering it.
It would have been corroborative of this idea of motive. under the real circumstances of the case. you will admit that there was something excessively outré . Monsieur Dumas. have pronounced that they were inflicted by some obtuse instrument. But the voices of madmen. "your idea is not irrelevant. and thrust up a chimney. and his worthy coadjutor Monsieur Etienne. What result.by Edgar Allan Poe 14 he not take the best . now. that unusual agility. "If now. if we are to suppose gold the motive of this outrage.some raving maniac. The obtuse instrument was clearly the stone pavement in the yard. Coincidences ten times as remarkable as this (the delivery of the money. The throat of the old lady was not merely cut. and murder committed within three days upon the party receiving it). This idea. On the hearth were thick tresses .sure token of the prodigious power which had been exerted in uprooting perhaps half a million of hairs at a time. and a voice foreign in tone to the ears of men of many nations. upon which the victim had fallen from the window which looked in upon the bed. however simple it may now seem. escaped from a neighboring Maison de Santé. Their roots (a hideous sight!) were clotted with fragments of the flesh of the scalp . we must also imagine the perpetrator so vacillating an idiot as to have abandoned his gold and his motive together. Nearly the whole sum mentioned by Monsieur Mignaud." I said. In the manner of thrusting the corpse up the chimney. are never found to tally with that peculiar voice heard upon the stairs. and so far these gentlemen are very correct. . in general. too. even when we suppose the actors the most depraved of men. has ensued? What impression have I made upon your fancy?" I felt a creeping of the flesh as Dupin asked me the question. however incoherent in its words. to other indications of the employment of a vigor most marvellous.very thick tresses . therefore. without attracting even momentary notice. Ordinary assassins employ no such modes of murder as this. happen to all of us every hour of our lives. to discard from your thoughts the blundering idea of motive.that peculiar voice. I wish you.that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration. "A madman. a butchery without motive. upon the floor. You saw the locks in question as well as myself.let us glance at the butchery itself. their perceptions had been hermetically sealed against the possibility of the windows having ever been opened at all. I wish you also to look at the brutal ferocity of these deeds. are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities . then. Of the bruises upon the body of Madame L'Espanaye I do not speak. You are aware of the great force necessary in tearing thus from the head even twenty or thirty hairs together. had the gold been gone. the banker.of grey human hair. why did he abandon four thousand francs in gold to encumber himself with a bundle of linen? The gold was abandoned. In the present instance. was discovered." he replied. a ferocity brutal. engendered in the brains of the police by that portion of the evidence which speaks of money delivered at the door of the house. Madmen are of some nation. escaped the police for the same reason that the breadth of the shutters escaped them . "has done this deed . and that startling absence of motive in a murder so singularly atrocious as this . 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. "Keeping now steadily in mind the points to which I have drawn your attention . even in their wildest paroxysms.why did he not take all? In a word. in bags. and devoid of all distinct or intelligible syllabification.something altogether irreconcilable with our common notions of human action. in addition to all these things. Least of all. Think. 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. and their language. Coincidences. but the head absolutely severed from the body: the instrument was a mere razor. do they thus dispose of the murdered. by the affair of the nails. a strength superhuman.because. head downward." "In some respects. the fact of its delivery three days before would have formed something more than a coincidence. a grotesquerie in horror absolutely alien from humanity. has always the coherence of syllabification. But. These had been torn out by the roots. Here is a woman strangled to death by manual strength.
" said he. the confectioner. I have mainly built my hopes of a full solution of the riddle. This tuft of tawny hair. and much sought by sailors." continued my friend. He may have traced it to the chamber. the hair of a madman is not such as I now hold in my hand.) as an expression of remonstrance or expostulation. "is the mark of no human hand. and speak of them as such.' (a paper devoted to the shipping interest." I said. the wild ferocity. under the agitating circumstances which ensued. the prodigious strength and activity. innocent of this atrocity." "Dupin!" I said. completely unnerved. and deep indentations of finger nails. and try the experiment again. "this hair is most unusual . "is in exact accordance with this drawing." replied Dupin.) will bring him to our residence. there were two voices heard in contention. The gigantic stature." 15 "I have not asserted that it is. has been justly characterized by one of the witnesses (Montani. is identical in character with that of the beast of Cuvier. I see that no animal but an Ourang-Outang. "We are possibly not giving this matter a fair trial. I understood the full horrors of the murder at once. The Ourang-Outang may have escaped from him. We will call them guesses then. but. as I made an end of reading. the circumference of which is about that of the throat. could have impressed the indentations as you have traced them. It is possible . "The description of the digits." I made the attempt in vain. and you will remember an expression attributed almost unanimously. this advertisement which I left last night. A Frenchman was cognizant of the murder." he said. Tell me what you can make of it. Wrap the drawing around it. Attempt. "This. spreading out the paper upon the table before us. Dumas and Etienne. I wish you to glance at the little sketch I have here traced upon this paper. Besides.' upon the throat of Mademoiselle L'Espanaye. Upon these two words. now." "Read now. Here is a billet of wood.possibly until the death of the victim . of the species here mentioned. I will not pursue these guesses . "that this drawing gives the idea of a firm and fixed hold. the expression.since the shades of reflection upon which they are based are scarcely of sufficient depth to be appreciable by my own intellect.) as a 'series of livid spots.that he was innocent of all participation in the bloody transactions which took place. but the human throat is cylindrical.by Edgar Allan Poe Besides. 'mon Dieu!' This. I disentangled this little tuft from the rigidly clutched fingers of Madame L'Espanaye." It was a minute anatomical and generally descriptive account of the large fulvous Ourang-Outang of the East Indian Islands." I did so. "but. as I suppose. too.the fearful grasp by which it originally imbedded itself. If the Frenchman in question is indeed. and one of them was unquestionably the voice of a Frenchman." "True.indeed it is far more than probable . and in another.' "You will perceive. "The paper is spread out upon a plane surface. to this voice. (by Messrs. It is a fac-simile drawing of what has been described in one portion of the testimony as 'dark bruises. under the circumstances.for I have no right to call them more . Each finger has retained . to place all your fingers. but the difficulty was even more obvious than before. before we decide this point." He handed me a paper.this is no human hair. he could never have re-captured it. in the respective impressions as you see them. But I cannot possibly comprehend the particulars of this frightful mystery. evidently the impression of fingers. It is still at large. and the imitative propensities of these mammalia are sufficiently well known to all. "this passage from Cuvier. upon our return home. and I read thus: . at the office of 'Le Monde. by the evidence. and since I could not pretend to make them intelligible to the understanding of another. There is no slipping apparent." said I. at the same time. therefore.
The owner.. get the Ourang-Outang. "with your pistols. His face.' " At this moment we heard a step upon the stairs. It could not have belonged to either of the deceased. How old do you suppose him to be?" The sailor drew a long breath." in French accents. He had with him a huge oaken cudgel. however. and no doubt a very valuable animal. stout. it would be impossible to prove me cognizant of the murder. and from its greasy appearance. or to implicate me in guilt on account of that cognizance." said Dupin. which from its form.by Edgar Allan Poe 16 CAUGHT . Should they even trace the animal. and rapped at the door of our chamber. Presently we heard him descending. It was found in the Bois de Boulogne . with a certain dare-devil expression of countenance. still I can have done no harm in saying what I did in the advertisement. within my grasp. which it is known that I possess. I am wrong in my induction from this ribbon. Rue ----. (the morning of the murder. (who is ascertained to be a sailor. Upon my word. he seemed to hesitate. "Sit down. Should I avoid claiming a property of so great value. I will answer the advertisement. and advanced several steps upon the staircase.. Call at No. however. the Frenchman will naturally hesitate about replying to the advertisement ." said Dupin. although somewhat Neufchatelish. . I will render the animal at least. he will merely suppose that I have been misled by some circumstance into which he will not take the trouble to inquire.In the Bois de Boulogne.at a vast distance from the scene of that butchery. Germain . A man entered. and is peculiar to the Maltese. I am poor. greatly sunburnt." said Dupin. Above all.they have failed to procure the slightest clew. "I suppose you have called about the Ourang-Outang. not altogether unprepossessing. Cognizant although innocent of the murder. were still sufficiently indicative of a Parisian origin.inst. but neither use them nor show them until at a signal from myself. Now if. "that you should know the man to be a sailor. with the air of a man relieved of some intolerable burden. I am known. I almost envy you the possession of him. and bade us "good evening. But if I am right.) a very large. He bowed awkwardly. "How was it possible. and belonging to a Maltese vessel?" "I do not know it. belonging to a Maltese vessel. He will reason thus: . but appeared to be otherwise unarmed. upon identifying it satisfactorily. I picked the ribbon up at the foot of the lightning-rod. "Come in. a remarkably fine. He did not turn back a second time. I am not sure to what limit his knowledge may extend. my freind. in a cheerful and hearty tone.'I am innocent. my Ourang-Outang is of great value . in an assured tone: . and keep it close until this matter has blown over. and paying a few charges arising from its capture and keeping. has evidently been used in tying the hair in one of those long queues of which sailors are so fond. this knot is one which few besides sailors can tie. was more than half hidden by whisker and mustachio.a tall." I asked. and the visiter had entered. is a small piece of ribbon. without ringing. Now. but stepped up with decision. evidently.why should I lose it through idle apprehensions of danger? Here it is. and then replied. It is not my policy to attract attention either to myself or to the beast.) may have the animal again. and muscular-looking person. Moreover. when we again heard him coming up.au troisiême." The front door of the house had been left open. Faubourg St. How can it ever be suspected that a brute beast should have done the deed? The police are at fault . that the Frenchman was a sailor belonging to a Maltese vessel. a great point is gained. He was a sailor.about demanding the Ourang-Outang. liable to suspicion. after all. early in the morning of the . which.to one in my circumstances a fortune of itself . Here. "Be ready. Dupin was moving quickly to the door. tawny Ourang-Outang of the Bornese species." said Dupin. If I am in error. The advertiser designates me as the possessor of the beast. "I am not sure of it. ---.
of which he formed one. Himself and a companion had captured the Ourang." said he.you are indeed. An innocent man is now imprisoned. A party. in a kind tone. but the next moment he fell back into his seat. "Couldn't expect it. After great trouble. We mean you no harm whatever. and I will make a clean breast if I die for it. This companion dying. you are bound by every principle of honor to confess all you know." "I shall be sorry to part with him. He had lately made a voyage to the Indian Archipelago. to deny that you are in some measure implicated in them. and with the countenance of death itself." said the man. "you are alarming yourself unnecessarily . without the least flurry." What he stated was.means of which you could never have dreamed. that we intend you no injury. I perfectly well know that you are innocent of the atrocities in the Rue Morgue.I would be a fool indeed if I did. to be sure. sir.what should I have? Oh! I will tell you. Returning home from some sailors' frolic the night. while Dupin uttered these words. The sailor's face flushed up as if he were struggling with suffocation. You have nothing to conceal.by Edgar Allan Poe "I have no way of telling . 17 "I don't mean that you should be at all this trouble for nothing. He then drew a pistol from his bosom and placed it." replied my friend. and passed into the interior on an excursion of pleasure. he at length succeeded in lodging it safely at his own residence in Paris. I pitied him from the bottom of my heart.nothing. and very quietly. He started to his feet and grasped his cudgel. until such time as it should recover from a wound in the foot. He spoke not a word. however. You shall give me all the information in your power about these murders in the Rue Morgue. "that is all very fair. or rather in the morning of the murder.Outang. sir. where." said Dupin. Have you got him here?" "Oh no. It will not do." The sailor had recovered his presence of mind. we had no conveniences for keeping him here. he kept it carefully secluded." Dupin said the last words in a very low tone. trembling violently. On the other hand. Am very willing to pay a reward for the finding of the animal . in substance. you must know that I have had means of information about this matter . His ultimate design was to sell it. I pledge you the honor of a gentleman. received from a splinter on board ship.but he can't be more than four or five years old. too. which renders you culpable. certainly. where it had been. You were not even guilty of robbery. he walked toward the door." "Well. You have done nothing which you could have avoided .that is to say. Now the thing stands thus. in a great measure. just by. not to attract toward himself the unpleasant curiosity of his neighbors. occasioned by the intractable ferocity of his captive during the home voyage. Just as quietly. locked it and put the key in his pocket. I am innocent. Still. upon the table. when you might have robbed with impunity. My reward shall be this. From what I have already said. after a brief pause.but I do not expect you to believe one half I say . as was . landed at Borneo." said Dupin. "So help me God. and of a Frenchman. You can get him in the morning. any thing in reason. "I will tell you all I know about this affair. "My friend. He is at a livery stable in the Rue Dubourg. You have no reason for concealment. the animal fell into his own exclusive possession. he found the beast occupying his own bed-room. Of course you are prepared to identify the property?" "To be sure I am. . but his original boldness of bearing was all gone. Let me think! . this. charged with that crime of which you can point out the perpetrator. into which it had broken from a closet adjoining.
The fury of the beast. from the time elapsing between the ingress of the beast and the screams. (which was loose. into the street. This latter reflection urged the man still to follow the fugitive. the man. where it might be intercepted as it came down. It was open. grasped the shutter. in the fourth story of her house. unfortunately open. the ape. retaining its grasp until she expired. and its contents lay beside it on the floor. It then again made off. The victims must have been sitting with their backs toward the window. the sailor shrank aghast to the rod. and thence. in imitation of the motions of a barber. In conclusion. clambered up with inconceivable agility. and so well able to use it. until the latter had nearly come up with it. Its wandering and wild glances fell at this moment upon the head of the bed. and gladly abandoning. there was much cause for anxiety as to what it might do in the house. his career was stopped. as it could scarcely escape from the trap into which it had ventured. when he had arrived as high as the window. then that of the old lady. in the meantime. The sailor. On the other hand. over which the face of its master. and fully lathered. and. Upon sight of it. In passing down an alley in the rear of the Rue Morgue. she had swooned. and dragging the bed from the bedstead. swung itself directly upon the headboard of the bed. The Frenchman followed in despair. Rushing to the building. especially by a sailor. occasionally stopping to look back and gesticulate at its pursuer. He had been accustomed. by the use of a whip. except by the rod. 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. razor still in hand. it flew upon the body of the girl. At this glimpse he nearly fell from his hold through excess of horror. The sight of blood inflamed its anger into phrenzy. 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. The words heard by the party upon the staircase were the Frenchman's exclamations of horror and affright. Conscious of having deserved punishment. rather gliding than clambering down it. as it was nearly three o'clock in the morning. it seems probable that it was not immediately perceived. was both rejoiced and perplexed. by its means. as she had been combing it. The whole feat did not occupy a minute. attempting the operation of shaving. Gnashing its teeth. A lightning rod is ascended without difficulty. and skipped about the chamber in an agony of nervous agitation. rigid with horror. Razor in hand.) and was flourishing the razor about her face. as it was found. but. for some moments. and thrust it up the chimney. Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter. all solicitude about the fate of the Ourang-Outang. and imbedded its fearful talons in her throat. securely confined. the fugitive's attention was arrested by a light gleaming from the open window of Madame L'Espanaye's chamber. In this manner the chase continued for a long time. The daughter lay prostrate and motionless. the most that he could accomplish was to reach over so as to obtain a glimpse of the interior of the room. down the stairs. was instantly converted into fear. Now it was that those hideous shrieks arose upon the night. and flashing fire from its eyes. the gigantic animal had seized Madame L'Espanaye by the hair. habited in their night clothes. The shutter was kicked open again by the Ourang-Outang as it entered the room. which lay far to his left. even in its fiercest moods. and to this he now resorted. throwing down and breaking the furniture as it moved. had apparently been occupied in arranging some papers in the iron chest already mentioned. The streets were profoundly quiet. which was thrown fully back against the wall. which it immediately hurled through the window headlong.dreading the consequences of the butchery. He had strong hopes of now recapturing the brute. With one determined sweep of its muscular arm it nearly severed her head from her body. hurried at once home . The flapping-to of the shutter would naturally have been attributed to the wind. commingled with the . As the sailor looked in. it seized first the corpse of the daughter. the Ourang-Outang sprang at once through the door of the chamber. through a window. it perceived the lightning rod. As the ape approached the casement with its mutilated burden. and. in his terror. which had startled from slumber the inmates of the Rue Morgue. was at a loss what to do. however. who no doubt bore still in mind the dreaded whip. which had been wheeled into the middle of the room. it was sitting before a looking-glass. it seemed desirous of concealing its bloody deeds.by Edgar Allan Poe 18 thought. to quiet the creature. was just discernible. and.
It was subsequently caught by the owner himself. I am satisfied with having defeated him in his own castle.or. by the rod. about the propriety of every person minding his own business. who obtained for it a very large sum at the Jardin des Plantes. A free ebook from http://manybooks.Nouvelle Heloise. It is all head and no body. like the pictures of the Goddess Laverna. I like him especially for one master stroke of cant. -. like a codfish.net/ ." said Dupin. however well disposed to my friend. I mean the way he has 'de nier ce qui est. But he is a good creature after all. at best. upon our narration of the circumstances (with some comments from Dupin) at the bureau of the Prefect of Police. et d'expliquer ce qui n'est pas. it will ease his conscience. all head and shoulders. who had not thought it necessary to reply. is by no means that matter for wonder which he supposes it. in truth. The Ourang-Outang must have escaped from the chamber. In his wisdom is no stamen. could not altogether conceal his chagrin at the turn which affairs had taken. 19 I have scarcely anything to add. just before the break of the door. "Let him talk. It must have closed the window as it passed through it. by which he has attained his reputation for ingenuity. and was fain to indulge in a sarcasm or two. Le Don was instantly released. This functionary.. our friend the Prefect is somewhat too cunning to be profound. for.' " * * Rousseau . Nevertheless.by Edgar Allan Poe fiendish jabberings of the brute. that he failed in the solution of this mystery. "Let him discourse.
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