CHAPTER I. THE BLONDE LADY.
CHAPTER II. THE BLUE DIAMOND.
CHAPTER III. HERLOCK SHOLMES OPENS HOSTILITIES.
CHAPTER IV. GLEAMS OF LIGHT AMONG THE SHADOWS.
CHAPTER V. THE KIDNAPPING OF SHOLMES.
CHAPTER VI. THE SECOND ARREST OF ARSENE LUPIN.
CHAPTER VII. THE ANTIQUE JEWISH LAMP.
CHAPTER VIII. SECOND PART OF THE ANTIQUE LAMP.
On December the eighth M. Gerbois, professor of Mathematics, saw a
small mahogany secretary with many drawers in a window of a little
That is exactly what I want for Suzanne, he thought. He walked in
and bargained for the desk until he got it for sixty-five francs.
While he was giving his address, a fastidiously dressed young man,
who was looking about the shop, noticed the secretary and asked the
It is sold, sir, replied the shopkeeper.
Ah! To this gentleman, I guess?
M. Gerbois bowed as the stranger said this, glad that he had obtained
an article which another person had found desirable.
M. Gerbois went on his way. He had not gone far when the young man
again approached him, with his hat in his hand, bowed low, saying:
I beg your pardon, sir, for I am going to ask a question which may
appear impertinent; did you buy that secretary for any special reason?
No, I went hoping to find a balance for a special experiment in
Then you do not care for it particularly?
On the contrary, I do.
Because of its age?
No, because it is commodious and useful.
In that case you will consent to exchange it for a secretary as
commodious, but in better condition?
This one is good enough. I cannot see where an exchange would be an
Still began the young man.
M. Gerbois was an impatient man and his temper an uncertain quantity,
so he replied dryly:
Sir, do not annoy me any further.
The stranger stopped directly in front of M. Gerbois and said:
I do not know what you paid for the secretary, but I'll double the
Oh, don't annoy me, cried the professor impatiently. I'm not a
The young man gave the angry professor a sharp look that M. Gerbois
was not to forget, and then, turning, he walked away.
One hour later the mahogany secretary was delivered to the cottage
where the professor lived with his daughter. He called her.
Here is something for you, Suzanne. I hope you like it.
Suzanne was a pretty girl, loving and happy. She threw her arms
around her father's neck and kissed him with delighted appreciation.
That very evening, having placed the secretary in her room, Suzanne,
assisted by her maid, cleaned the old piece of furniture, brushed the
dust from the drawers, neatly arranged in it all her papers, her letter
boxes, her correspondence, her collection of postal cards and a few
very precious little souvenirs given her by her cousin Philippe.
The next day M. Gerbois went to the laboratory as usual. Suzanne, as
was her daily custom, met him on the way home. It was a great pleasure
As they met, she always threw her arms round his neck and he kissed
the smooth forehead of his only child. He said:
Well, dear, and how do you like your secretary?
It is a marvel. Hortense and I have polished all the brasses until
they look like gold.
So you are pleased with it?
Pleased! I should say so! I don't know how I ever got along without
They walked happily along the street and through the dainty garden to
their home. M. Gerbois said:
I'll take a look at it after dinner.
Oh, yes; that is a good idea, said the girl gayly.
When they had finished their dinner, she ran to her room ahead of her
father, but as she stepped into her room she gave one shrill cry.
M. Gerbois rushed in, asking what had happened. Suzanne stood before
the empty space where the secretary was. It had completely disappeared.
Naturally the matter was turned over to the police. What surprised
the commissioner was the admirable simplicity with which it was stolen.
During Suzanne's absence, and while the maid was at the market, an
expressman had stopped his truck at the gate and rung twice. The
neighbors, not knowing that the maid was out paid no attention to the
truckman. The man did the job without being troubled by anybody.
The only clue was the incident of the preceding day.
A young man showed great annoyance at my refusal to let him have the
secretary and I had a very clear impression as we separated that he was
This was vague. The police questioned the dealer. He did not know
either of the men. As to the secretary, he had bought it at an auction
sale at Chevreuse. He paid forty francs for it and sold it at a modest
profit. No further facts were elicited.
But M. Gerbois was certain that he suffered a terrible loss. There
must have been a fortune in some secret drawer of the secretary which
was known to this man. Yes, that was the reason he tried to buy it, and
failing in that he stole it.
Oh, my poor papa, what would we do with so much money? said
Suzanne, trying to comfort her father.
Why, with such a fortune you could have made a brilliant marriage.
Suzanne sighed deeply. She always believed her cousin Philippe to be
the only one in the world for her, but he was poor, and her father
refused his consent.
Life took on a new aspect for this gay family, unhappy, regrets and
somber thoughts. Two months passed in this manner, when new and graver
events followed with amazing swiftness: good luck and a dreadful
February the first, at half-past five M. Gerbois just returned with
an evening paper in his hand. He sat down, put on his glasses, began to
read. Politics did not interest him. He turned the pages. As soon as he
did so his eyes fell upon an article which drew his attention closely.
Third drawing of the lottery of the Associated Press. The number,
514, Series 23, wins one million.
The paper fell from his hands. He became dizzy. Yes, Number 514,
Series 23, this was his number!
He bought this ticket to do a friend a favor, for he had never before
bought a ticket, not believing in lotteries. And now he won!
He took his memorandum from his pocket and there was the number. But
where was the lottery ticket?
He jumped up, ran to his study to look in the box of envelopes where
he had put the precious ticket. As he entered the study he stopped
short. The box of envelopes was not there. He suddenly remembered that
he had not seen it for weeks. It always rested on the end of the table
where he corrected the students' lessons. Yes, he remembered it was
gone for weeks.
He heard a step in the garden, and called madly to Suzanne. She ran
to him. She had sensed the note of distress in his voice. He could
Suzanne, the boxthe box of envelopes?
The one from the Louvrethat I bought for you, and which
always stood on the end of the table.
Why, don't you remember, fatheryou knowthe day before
But where? You are killing me with suspense.
Why, in the secretary.
The secretary that was stolen? Oh, God! Oh, God!
He repeated the words over and over. Then he seized his daughter's
hand, and in a most tragic voice said:
It contained a million, my child.
Oh, father! Why didn't you tell me? said the girl softly.
Yes, a million. There was the ticket. It drew the grand prize in the
This loss crushed him completely. They sat a long time in silence. At
last Suzanne said timidly:
But they will pay it to you, won't they?
Why, what proof have I?
Must you have proofs?
And you have none?
Yes, I have one.
It was in that box, Gerbois said gloomily.
The box that was in the secretary?
Yes, and he who stole it will get the prize.
But that would be abominable. Let us ask them, father; perhaps you
can do something.
Can any one? That man is very clever. You remember the affair of
Suddenly the old man sprang to his feet with new energy and stamped
his foot on the floor in a rage.
No, he wouldn't get away with it. Why should he get it? As clever as
he may be he cannot get the money either. If he goes to get it he will
be arrested. Ah, we will see, my fine young fellow 1
You have an idea, father, said Suzanne timidly, for since the
robbery of the secretary the old man had been very irritable.
Yes, to defend my rights to the very end no matter what happens. We
will succeed. The million is mine.
A few minutes later he sent the following telegram:
GOVERNOR OF THE CREDIT FONCIER, Rue Capucines, Paris:
Am rightful possessor of Number 514, Series 23, and formally forbid
that payment be made to any one but myself. GERBOIS.
Almost at the same moment another telegram was received at the same
The Number 514, Series 23, is in my possession.
The lottery company made a thorough investigation which resulted in
the facts that the ticket was sold through a branch office at
Versailles to Bessy, the commandant of artillery. Meanwhile this
Bessy was killed by a fall from his horse. It was learned farther from
some of his comrades to whom he confided the matter a short time before
his death he had sold the ticket to a friend.
I am that friend, declared Gerbois.
Prove it, said the Governor of the Credit Foncier.
I can easily prove that I was in close relations with the commandant
for a long time. We met at a cafe on the Place d'Armes. It was
there that one day when he happened to need a little ready cash I
bought his ticket for twenty francs.
Have you any witnesses to verify that?
In that case on what do you base your claim?
On a letter which he wrote me as a receipt.
A letter which was pinned to the ticket.
Show us that.
But it is in the secretary with the ticket.
Find that, then.
Arsene Lupin communicated with the unhappy man through a note
inserted in the advertising columns of The Echo of France, which
said that he would place Commandant Bessy's letter in the hands of his
lawyer, M. Detinan.
This caused a general public laughter. Arsene Lupin had a lawyer!
Arsene Lupin, the observer of no law was now showing his great respect
to the established laws of his country!
The whole press fell upon this lawyer, M. Detinan, an influential
deputy, a man of high character, a fine mind and sharp wit, rather
skeptical and sarcastic.
M. Detinan never, as he said, had the pleasure of meeting Arsene
Lupin, regretted that fact greatly, but he had received instructions,
and, much touched by this choice, the honor of which he highly
appreciated, he intended to defend the rights of his client
vigorously. He readily showed the Commandant's letter. This proved
clearly that the ticket had been sold, but did not mention the name of
the purchaser. It began simply, My dear friend.
My dear friend, that is myself, said Lupin, in a note joined to the
letter from the Commandant, and the best proof is that I have the
Then the cloud of reporters descended upon M. Gerbois. He could only
'My dear friend' means me, and no other. Arsene Lupin stole the
letter with the ticket.
Just to think, gentlemen, it is my daughter's dowry that the
scoundrel has robbed. Personally I don't care, but my daughter, just
think! One million! Ten times a hundred thousand francs. Ah, I knew
well that that secretary contained a treasure!
They tried to tell him that the robber could not have known that the
ticket was in that piece of furniture. Even if he had known it was
there he could not have known that it would win the first prize.
Gerbois groaned disconsolately:
Oh, hell, he did know it! If not, why was he so anxious to get that
miserable desk? Why would he risk arrest if not for that?
For some unknown reasons, but surely not for a scrap of paper which
was worth at most only twenty francs.
A millionhe knew ithe knows everything, this miserable
crookyou don't know himthe robber, he hasn't robbed you of a
Such useless monologues might have lasted much longer, but on the
second day M Gerbois received a letter from Arsene Lupin marked
confidential. He read it with increasing uneasiness.
SIR: The public is amusing, itself at our expense. Do you not think
the time has come to be serious? The situation is this: I have the
ticket, without the right to the money. You have the right to receive
the money, but you haven't the ticket.
Now, you will not consent to cede me your right, nor will I
cede my ticket. What is to be done?
I see but one solution. Let us divide it. Half a million for you,
half a million for me. Is that not just? Will not this Solomon-like
judgment be satisfactory?
This solution is just, and must be acted upon without delay. This is
not an offer which you have unlimited time to decide. Circumstances
will compel you to accept it. I give you three days to decide. Friday
morning I expect to see among the small personal notices in The Echo
of France an ad addressed to M. Ars. Lup..., bearing in veiled
terms your acceptance of the proposition which I make now. By this
means you will get the ticket and receive the million. You to give me
five hundred thousand as I will suggest later.
In case you should refuse, I have taken measures to get the same
result. Only, aside from the grave annoyance which you will suffer by
your obstinacy, you will also lose twenty-five thousand francs for
Accept, my dear sir, my most respectful sentiments.
M. Gerbois was so exasperated that he made the mistake of showing
this letter to reporters and allowing it to be copied. His anger caused
him to lose all common sense.
Nothing, he will get nothing, he cried to the reporters. Give him
half of what belongs to me? Never! Let him tear up the ticket, if he
Still, five hundred thousands francs is five hundred thousand
francs, suggested one reporter.
That's not the question. It is my rights, that I will establish
before the law.
It would be rather amusing to sue Arsene Lupin. Many attacks have
been attempted but none ever succeeded.
No, but the Credit Foncier. They should give me my million.
In return for the ticket or positive proof that you bought it.
That proof, exists, since Arsene Lupin admits that he stole the
I am afraid that Arsene Lupin's word would not be considered in any
I don't care. I'll fight to a finish!
The gallery clapped hands and shouted. Bets were made, some holding
that Lupin would win, the others that he would lose in spite of his
veiled threats. And all felt a vague apprehension, the forces being so
unequal between the adversaries.
On Friday the public seized The Echo of France and quickly
turned to the fifth page. Not one line addressed to M. Ars. Lup...
Gerbois replied to Lupin's offer with silence. It was a declaration of
The same evening the papers were filled with the details of the
kidnapping of Suzanne Gerbois.
The police became more active than ever before in all that related to
Arsene Lupin's exploits. From the bottom to the top, every one on the
force seemed to boil with rage. Lupin was the enemy who nagged,
provoked, but worse yet, ignored them.
What could be done against such an enemy?
Twenty minutes to ten, according to the testimony of the maid,
Suzanne left home. At five minutes after ten her father left the
school, but did not see her waiting for him as was her custom.
Therefore it must have happened during that short walk of twenty
Two neighbors saw her about a hundred yards from her home.
One lady had noticed a woman walking along the avenue with a young
girl whose description fitted Suzanne. No other clue.
The police made a diligent search everywhere. They questioned the
employees at railway stations. No one saw anything that had the
appearance of kidnapping. Finally a grocer in Ville d'Avray said
he had sold gasoline to some one in a closed automobile from Paris. The
chauffeur sat in front, inside was a blonde ladyunusually blonde. An
hour later this same car returned from Versailles. A signal light
caused the chauffeur to slow down. The grocer saw the same blonde lady
sitting with another lady, so heavily veiled that no one could see her
face. No doubt this was Suzanne Gerbois!
The kidnapping must have been done in full daylight on a crowded
street in the middle of the town.
How and where? Not a cry, not a suspicious movement!
The grocer described the automobile as a dark-blue American car. A
woman named Mrs. Bob Walthouse, who kept a garage, had a reputation for
renting cars in crimes like this. Friday she rented one of her autos to
a blonde lady for the day and she had not seen her since.
But the chauffeur?
He is a man named Ernest, whom I hired the day before on excellent
references, which I had not time to verify.
Is he here?
No, he brought back the car but did not return to work.
Where can we find him?
From the people who recommended him. Here are their letters.
The detectives found the persons easily enough, but they had not
written the letters, nor did they know this Ernest.
Every clue the police followed led them into deeper shadows.
M. Gerbois had no strength left to fight. Hopeless, afraid for his
daughter, filled with remorse, he gave in.
A little advertisement appeared in The Echo of France, causing
considerable comment, and proving his unconditional surrender.
It was a victory for Arsene Lupin. The war had ended in four days.
Two days later Gerbois crossed the courtyard of the Credit Foncier.
He was taken to the governor of that bank, and gave him ticket Number
514, Series 23. The governor started when he saw the ticket.
Ah, you have it. It was returned to you?
Ititwas mislaid, stammered the distressed father.
But you saidit was a questionpeople said began the banker,
looking at the haggard face of the man before him.
All that was but newspaper storieslies, Gerbois gasped faintly,
while the governor took the precious paper and scrutinized it.
We must have still further proof, said the banker.
Will the Commandant's letter suffice?
Well, here it is.
Fine, fine. Now, you will leave the papers with us. We have by law
fifteen days to verify. I will notify you when you are to come. From
now until then I think it will be best to say nothing, to preserve
absolute silence regarding the payment.
I assure you that is my intention.
M. Gerbois did not talk, the governor either. But there are secrets
which become public in some occult manner, and the public somehow
learned that Arsene Lupin had sent the ticket which had won the grand
prize to M. Gerbois. The news was received with admiration. Arsene
Lupin was a real sport!
But what if the young girl should escape? If the police would succeed
in seizing the hostage that Lupin kept!
Well, some said, this much is gained. Arsene wins the first part
of the game but the most difficult is to come. Miss Gerbois is in his
hands. He will not give her up until he gets the half million. That is
clear. How and when will the exchange be made? To manage this there
must be a meeting and then what will stop M. Gerbois from notifying the
police? That way he could keep all his money and get his daughter.
The reporters interviewed the professor. He was very
downheartedwished to follow his instructions. He remained silent and
uncommunicative under their annoying questions.
I have nothing to say. I am resting.
And Mademoiselle Gerbois?
The search is still being carried on by the police.
But Arsene Lupin wrote you?
Will you swear to that?
Therefore it is yes. What did he write?
I have nothing to say.
Then they besieged M. Detinan. The same discreet silence.
M. Lupin is my client, he replied gravely, and you will understand
that I am obliged to remain silent regarding the affairs of all my
Tuesday, the 12th of March, M. Gerbois received a letter from the
Credit Foncier in an ordinary envelope. Thursday at one o'clock he took
a train for Paris. At two o'clock the thousand banknotes of a thousand
francs each were given to him.
While he was counting over these notestwo men sat in a cab waiting
a few feet from the door of the bank. One had partially gray hair, an
intelligent and energetic face, in strong contrast with his clothes of
a laborer. It was Ganimard, the implacable enemy of Lupin. Ganimard
said to Folenfant, who was with him:
It will not be long. In five minutes we shall see our good man. Is
How many are we?
Eight. Two of them are on bicycles.
And I. It is enough, but not too many. We must not let Gerbois
escape, for if we do it is good-by and good night. He will join Lupin
at the rendezvous. He will trade his half a million for his daughter,
and the whole transaction will be finished.
But why does not the professor travel with us? If he did that he
would get his daughter back and keep his million.
He is afraid. If he tries any tricks that the other....
What other? asked Folenfant.
with a strong emphasis.
Ganimard pronounced this word hesitatingly, as though he had come to
believe that Lupin was some unearthly being, with horns, hoofs, and
claws, which had struck him more than once.
It's strange that we have to protect M. Gerbois against himself.
When you deal with Lupin you find the whole order of things turned
inside out, sighed Ganimard.
A few minutes passed. The older man whispered:
Here he comes.
M. Gerbois came out. At the end of Rue des Capucines he went
through the boulevards, always keeping to the left side, walking slowly
and looking at the shop windows.
He is too quiet, our client, muttered Ganimard. A person with a
million in his pocket is not usually so calm. Lupin,
What can Lupin do? asked Folenfant.
Nothing, nothing at all, but Lupin is Lupin.
The cab followed slowly, according to the orders given the driver,
and M. Gerbois stopped at a newsstand, bought some newspapers, received
his change, opened one paper, and, holding it out before him, began to
read, walking very slowly at the same time.
Suddenly he sprang into an automobile that was standing by the
sidewalk. The car started off at once, at high speed, turned the corner
of the Madeleine, disappeared.
Damn him! shouted Ganimard.
But his anger changed suddenly. He laughed heartily, for at the
corner of the boulevard Malesherbes one of the other car's tires
had a blowout. M. Gerbois got out, looking very pale.
Quick, Folenfant, said Ganimard, get the chauffeur! Maybe it's
that guy Ernest.
But the man proved to be a Gaston, employee of the taxicab company.
Ten minutes before a man engaged him, giving him orders to wait where
the papers were sold until another gentleman should arrive and get in
without a word.
What address did your passenger give?
None. He said that I was to go to Boulevard Malesherbes and
Avenue de Messine, double pay. That is all.
During this conversation M. Gerbois jumped into the first cab that
passed, telling the driver to go to the Metro. There he took the
Metro, but soon left it, sprang into another cab in which he went
to the stock exchange. Then another trip in the omnibus, and a third
cab at the Avenue Villiers. He gave the driver the address, 25.
The house, number 25, was the one next to the corner. M. Gerbois went
up to the second floor. He rang. A gentleman opened the door.
Does M. Detinan live here? asked Gerbois, so agitated that he could
I am M. Detinan, and you I am sure are M. Gerbois?
Yes, replied the professor.
I was expecting you. Please walk in.
As M. Gerbois entered the office the clock struck three. He turned to
the lawyer, saying:
This is the time. Is he not here?
M. Gerbois wiped his forehead, sat down heavily, looking at his watch
as though he did not know the hour. Then, overcome with anxiety, he
Will he come?
You question me, sir, upon the very subject I am curious to know
myself. I never felt such impatience. He runs a great risk in coming
here. This house has been closely watched for fifteen days. The police
don't trust me, not even me!
Nor me, said Gerbois, so I can not swear that the detectives who
have simply hung onto me like leeches, have lost my tracks.
But in that case
It is not my fault, said the professor sadly. No one can blame me.
What did I promise? To obey his orders. Well, I have obeyed
his orders, blindly. I received the money at the hour he fixed and
I came here as he ordered. Feeling that I am responsible for my
daughter's danger, I have kept my word loyally. It is now for him to
keep his, and he added anxiously: He will bring Suzanne, won't he?
I hope so.
Have you seen him?
I? No. He wrote me that I was to receive you and him, that I was to
send my servants out before three o'clock, that I must admit no one to
my apartment between your arrival and his departure. He said that if I
was not willing to accept his proposal, I was to place an advertisement
in The Echo of France. But I am too glad to render you and
Arsene Lupin my services, so I consented to everything.
Alas! how will all this end? groaned M. Gerbois.
He took the banknotes from his pocket, spread them out on the table,
two packages of them, each containing half a million. Then they both
sat silent, intently listening for the slightest sound.
As the minutes passed Gerbois' anguish sharpened, and M. Detinan
seemed to feel uncomfortable. He even lost his coolness, rising
We shan't see him. To come here is suicide. Even if he has
confidence in us the danger is not only here
M. Gerbois, completely crushed, laid both his hands on the pile of
Let him come, my God, let him come! Here let him take it all!
The door opened noiselessly and a voice said:
Half is the price, my good Gerbois.
Gerbois raised his head. Standing on the threshold was an elegantly
dressed young man whom he instantly recognized as the man who wished to
buy the secretary. M. Gerbois sprang to his feet, and, advancing toward
the man, cried:
Suzannewhere is Suzanne?
Arsene Lupin closed the door behind him slowly, and while leisurely
taking off his yellow kid gloves, said to the lawyer:
My dear Detinan, I do not know how to thank you for the kindness
with which you have consented to defend my rights. I shall never forget
M. Detinan murmured:
But you did not ringI did not hear the bell.
Doors and bells are things that should work without being heard. But
I am here, all the same; that is the essential thing.
My daughter, what have you done with my daughter? moaned the
Oh, sir, how impatient you are! But be calm, for in another minute
your daughter will be in your arms.
Lupin walked back and forth a few moments and then said, in a tone
such as a grand ruler assumes in distributing praise:
Professor Gerbois, I congratulate you on the clever manner in which
you came here. If your auto had not had that deplorable mishap, we
would have met at the Etoile. We would have spared Master Detinan the
annoyance of this visit. As Omar says, 'It was written.'
He noticed the banknotes spread out on the table, and laughed:
Ah, the million. Let us not lose time.
But, said M. Detinan, placing himself in front of the table, Miss
Gerbois is not here yet.
Well? asked Lupin quietly.
Is not her presence necessary?
I understand, I understand. I do not inspire full confidence. He
pockets the half a million and does not return the girl. Ah, good
Detinan, I am the great unknown. Because Fate has led me to do many
thingsrather of special nature, they suspect my good faithmine
who am the very quintessence of honor. Besides, my dear friends, if you
are afraid you have but to open your windows and call. There are at
least a dozen plain clothesmen in the street.
Do you believe that? asked the lawyer.
Arsene Lupin raised the curtain.
I believe that our good friend M. Gerbois was not able to throw
Ganimard off the track. What did I say? There he is, my very amiable
and intimate friend, Ganimard.
Is it possible? gasped the frightened father. But I swear to
That you did not betray me. That I know, but those fellows are
smart. Yes, there is Folenfant, and Greaume, and Dieuzy, all my good
M. Detinan looked at Lupin in blank surprise. What coldness, what
calm in face of danger. Arsene laughed like a care-free child. The
lawyer's fear vanished at the sound of his laugh. He drew away from the
table on which the piles of money lay, while Lupin approached them,
and, taking five notes from each pile, he handed them to the lawyer.
This is your fee from Arsene Lupin and M. Gerbois, my dear Detinan.
We owe you that much, I am sure.
Gerbois did not notice this. His whole mind* was upon the fate of his
daughter. But the lawyer said shortly:
You owe me nothing.
How is that? All the trouble we have made you.
I am more than paid in the pleasure it has given me.
That means, my dear sir, that you will not accept anything from
Arsene Lupin. He sighed, and continued: This is the price of a bad
Then Lupin handed fifty thousand francs to M. Gerbois, saying:
Sir, as a souvenir of our pleasant meeting, allow me to give this to
you. It will be my wedding present to Mademoiselle Gerbois.
My daughter is not going to marry, said the father.
She will not marry if you refuse your consent, but she wants to. Of
that I am sure.
What do you know about it? asked Gerbois, feeling cold all over.
What if this man was going to ask her hand!
I know this, that young girls often have dreams which their fathers
do not share. Fortunately there are good angels, one of whom is Arsene
Lupin, discoverer of the little secrets locked away in hidden
Did you find anything else? asked the lawyer. I confess that I am
really curious to know why that antique became the object of your
Historical reasons only. In spite of the opinion of M. Gerbois, it
contained no other treasure than the lottery ticket. I did not know
this until later. I had been searching for this very secretary for a
long time. This mahogany secretary, decorated with wreaths of acanthus
leaves, was originally found in a little cottage which Marie Walenska
inhabited at Boulogne. One of the drawers bears this inscription:
Dedicated to Napoleon 1st by his faithful servant, Mancion. And
below these words is engraved, by the point of a knife, To thee
Marie. Later, Napoleon had a copy made for the Empress Josephine,
so that the secretary so admired at Malmaison is but an
imperfect copy of this one, which will always remain in my collection.
The professor groaned:
Ah, if I had known I would gladly have sold it to you.
And you would have had the very appreciable advantage of having for
yourself alone the ticket, Number 514, Series 23, replied Lupin,
You would not have been led to kidnap my Suzanne, whom all this
trouble and fear must have affected seriously.
But you are mistaken, M. Gerbois, your daughter was not kidnapped.
Not kidnapped? My daughter not kidnapped!
Not at all, sir. To kidnap means seizing and carrying away with
violence. Now, it was with her own consent that she served as hostage.
Her own consent? gasped Gerbois, amazed.
Almost upon her own request. Why would a young girl as intelligent
as she, who suffers from a secret love, hesitate to earn her dowry? I
assure you it was easy to make her understand that there was no other
way to overcome your obstinacy.
M. Detinan was greatly amused, but said:
The greatest difficulty would have been to come to an understanding
with the young lady. It is impossible that she would have allowed a
stranger to accost her on the street.
That's quite true. I do not even know the young lady. A female
friend of mine was good enough to undertake the negotiations.
The blonde lady in the automobile?
Yes. From the very first interview everything went smoothly. Since
then Mademoiselle Gerbois has been traveling with the blonde lady in
Belgium and Holland in a most agreeable and instructive manner. She
will explain the rest.
Some one rang the bell three times, then two more separated by an
instant of silence.
It is she. My dear Detinan, will you be good enough?
The lawyer sprang forward. Two ladies entered. One threw herself into
her father's outstretched arms. The other approached Lupin. She was
tall, a superb figure, rather pale face with scarlet lips, and her
hair, brilliant blonde, was divided and drawn back in two loose and
wavy bands, pressed in black, with no ornament collar, she appeared
elegant and reserved.
Arsene Lupin said a few words to her, and then bowing, said to
I beg your pardon for all the trouble I caused you, but I trust you
have been treated very kindly.
I would have been very happy but for poor father.
All is for the best. Kiss him again and tell him about your
My cousin? I do not understand you.
Try... I mean your cousin Philippe, whose letters you cherished so
Suzanne blushed and hid her face upon her father's shoulder. Lupin
looked at them smiling sympathetically.
I am paid well for doing good. Touching sight, happy father, happy
child. I am able to say, 'This is your work, Lupin. These beings will
bless you later. Your name will be piously transmitted to posterity.'
Oh, the happiness of a family life!
M. Gerbois made a movement, for now that his daughter was safe the
reality of things dawned upon him. The arrest of this man meant half a
million to him. He took an instinctive step toward the door but, as
though by accident, Lupin stood in his way.
Where are you going, professor? In my defense? A thousand thanks,
but don't trouble yourself. I assure you they are worse off than I am,
and as though speaking to himself, After all, what do they know?
Perhaps that you are here, and that Mademoiselle is here, for they must
have seen her come with an unknown lady. As to me? They do not know
that I am here. How could I get into a house which they had searched
from cellar to garret? No, in all probability they are waiting to seize
Maybe, he resumed, they think the unknown lady was sent by me to
make the exchange, a daughter for a half million. In such case they
intend to arrest her as she leaves here.
At this instant the bell rang vigorously. With a look of command at
Gerbois which froze him to his place, Lupin said, in a dry, commanding
Stop there, sir, think of your daughter! Be reasonable. As for you,
Detinan, I have your word of honor.
Gerbois stood as though nailed fast, and the lawyer did not move.
Without the slightest appearance of haste Lupin took his hat, brushed
off a speck of dust, saying:
My dear Sir, if you should ever need meMademoiselle, my best
wishes and friendly regards to M. Philippe.
Then Lupin took a neat gold watch from his pocket, laid it on the
Professor Gerbois, it is now forty-two minutes after three. At the
end of three minutes you may leave this place, not one second sooner.
But if they try force? Detinan could not refrain from saying,
The law that you know so wellGanimard will never dare violate the
home of a citizen. We have time for a hand of bridge, but as you seem
to be rather uneasy, I will not abuse your
He then laid the watch face up on the table, opened the door saying
to the blonde lady:
Are you ready, my dear?
He bowed to all and preceded her, and the door closed behind them. As
the door closed they heard him say, Good afternoon Ganimard. How goes
it? Remember me to Madame Ganimard, and say that one of these days I
will drop in for breakfast with her. Adieu, Ganimard.
There was another ring, more insistent and violent than before, and
followed by the sound of rushing feet upon the stairs.
Three o'clock and forty-five minutes, whispered Gerbois. Then,
after waiting a few seconds longer, he could not contain himself, and
rushed out to the vestibule. The lady and Lupin had both vanished.
Father, father! cried Suzanne, you must wait a few seconds more!
You are insane! Pay attention to that scoundrel! And my half a
He opened the door and started out, but ran right into Ganimard.
Where is that woman? Where are she and Lupin?
He is in there, said Gerbois triumphantly, pointing to the
vestibule which led to the other portion of the apartment. Ganimard
gave a cry of joy.
We've got them. The house is surrounded.
M. Detinan said: But the back stairway?
Oh, that leads down into the courtyard, and there is no other means
of escape except the front door. Ten men are guarding that.
But he did not enter by the front door, and he will not go out that
way, said the lawyer.
Well, which way will he go? Across the sky?
Ganimard lifted the curtains, disclosing a long hall which led quite
to the kitchen. There he found that the back staircase was closed; the
door locked and bolted on the inside. He called one of his men from the
window, asking if any one had gone out.
No, no one at all.
Then, said Ganimard, they are hidden somewhere in one of the
rooms. It is materially impossible to escape. Ah, my little Lupin, I've
got you this time! You have fooled me often but this time I got you.
At seven o'clock that evening, surprised at not having heard from
Ganimard, M. Dudouis went to the Rue Clapeyron himself. He
questioned the police who were guarding the house, and then went up to
the apartment belonging to M. Detinan. There he found a man, or,
rather, two legs, while the body was thrust into the chimney out of
sight. A stifled voice called feebly:
Another voice still farther up the chimney replied in the same words.
The whole scene was so comical that in spite of himself M. Dudouis
laughed loudly, at the same time seizing Ganimard by the legs, drawing
him out. His face was black, his garments covered with soot, and his
eyes were bloodshot, Dudouis asked if he had turned chimney sweep, to
which Ganimard replied disgustedly:
I was searching for him.
Why, Arsene Lupin and his friend.
Do you think they hide in chimney flues.
Ganimard scrambled to his feet, and, laying his sooty fingers upon
his superior's sleeve, asked angrily:
Where would you have them, chief? They must be somewhere. They are
human beings, like you and me. They have not disappeared in a puff of
No, but they got away, just the same.
But how? The house is surrounded, and there are men upon the roof.
And the house next door?
Does not communicate with this.
The apartments on the other floors?
I know all the tenants. They have seen no one, nor heard anything.
Are you sure that you know them all?
Yes, all. And, besides, I have a man posted in each one of those
But we must get our hands on him somehow.
That is what I say, chief, just what I say. We must and we will
because they are both here. They cannot have escaped, and if I don't
get them to-night I will to-morrow. I will stay right hereyes, I will
stay right here.
In fact, he stood there, all that night and the next and the third
night. And when three whole days and whole nights passed he had not
discovered the invisible Lupin, and, moreover, he had not found the
slightest clue with which he might form the basis of a theory.
The 27th of March, Baron d'Hautrec dozed in his easy chair in his
house in Avenue Martin. This house he recently inherited from
his brother. The old General, Baron d'Hautrec, formerly ambassador to
Berlin, now retired, lived alone with three servants and a young woman,
his nurse and secretary.
On this night the young woman was reading aloud to him. Sister
Augusta, a nun from a nearby convent, prepared everything for his
comfort during the night.
This night the Sister was to return to the convent early. The nun
came to the nurse and said:
My work is finished. I am going.
Very well, Sister Augusta.
The cook has leave of absence to-night. You are alone in the house
with only one servant.
Don't worry, the Baron will be alright to-night, Sister. I sleep in
the next room. I'll leave the door open.
The Sister of Charity left. The butler came for his orders. The Baron
awakened and answered himself.
As usual, Charles. Be sure that the alarm rings in your room, and at
the first call bring the doctor.
General, do you always feel so uneasy? asked the young nurse.
My heart is getting worse. Where were we in the book?
Why not retire, then? she asked, stifling a yawn.
No, no, I go to bed very late. I do not require any help.
Twenty minutes later the old man dozed off again. Antoinette slipped
About this time Charles carefully closed all the blinds of the lower
floor. He slipped the bolt in the door leading to the garden, fastened
the chain. He then went to his room on the third floor and was soon
Perhaps an hour passed, when suddenly the alarm rang. Charles sprang
from his bed. The bell rang a long time, perhaps seven or eight seconds
All right, all right, muttered Charles, regaining his senses.
He pulled on his pants and rushed down the stairs, and, stopping at
the door of the Baron's room, knocked. There was no answer, so he
This is queer! No light! Why the hell did they put it out? Then he
began to call in a low voice:
Miss Antoinette, are you there? What's the matter? Is the Baron
The dead silence finally impressed him. He took two steps forward and
struck against somethinga chairand, as he touched it he noticed
that it had fallen. Then he touched other things which were overturned,
while trying to feel his way to the electric buttons. Feeling his way
carefully, he finally found the electric button and turned on the
In the middle of the room between the table and the dressing bureau
he saw the body of his master, Baron d'Hautrec.
Whatwhat? he stammered, not knowing what to do. He stood
motionless, staring at the body, the overturned furniture, a broken
candlestick, the clock which lay on the floor, signs of a savage
struggle. The handle of a stiletto lay near the body. The blade still
dripped blood. On the mattress was a handkerchief wet with blood.
Charles screamed with terror, for the body gave two jerky, convulsive
movements and then lay still.
He stopped closer and saw a small wound in the throat from which
blood trickled slowly.
They killed himthey killed him! he sobbed.
He shuddered. Did not the young nurse sleep in the next room? Had she
been killed, too? He pushed her door open. The room was empty.
Returning to the Baron's room, he saw that the desk was not forced
open. He saw that the bunch of keys belonging to the Baron was still
there, a pocketbook which was always well filled lay on the table,
where the Baron always kept it. Charles took the pocketbook and
inspected the different compartments. One held banknotes. He counted
them. There were thirteen notes of a hundred francs each. Then
something foreign to his nature took possession of him. He took these
notes, hid them in his coat, ran down the stairs, unhooked the chain,
drew the bolt and fled through the garden.
* * * *
Charles was an honest man. He had not as yet closed the gate when the
cool air and rain on his face seemed to clear his mind. His guilt
showed in its true light, and he felt a certain horror of himself. A
cab passed. He hailed it, saying:
To the nearest police station, quick. A man has been murdered.
The driver started off. Charles turned to enter the house again but
he found that the gate was blown shut and locked, he could not open it
from the outside. He knew it was useless to ring for there was no one
inside. So he walked back and forth along the street on the side of
He continued his lonely walk for one hour before the police arrived.
He told them about the murder the best he could, and placed the
thirteen banknotes in the sergeant's hands.
After the police arrived it was necessary to find a locksmith to open
the gate and then the door to the house.
The sergeant went into the room, and then turning to Charles, who was
standing outside, said:
You said that the room was in great disorder?
Charles stepped in and looked about him. He stood as though
hypnotized. The furniture was in its usual position and order. The
table stood between the two windows, the chairs were upright, and the
clock back on the mantelpiece. The broken candelabra was gone. Charles
finally, and with staring eyes, gasped:
The Baron, the body?
In fact, said the coroner, where is the victim?
He then advanced to the bed, and there, covered by a sheet, lay the
General, Baron d'Hautrec. His military cloak with its cross of the
Legion of Honor had been thrown across his breast. The face was calm.
Charles' face went white as he said:
Some one has been here.
How did he enter?
I don't know. Some one was here since I left. Hold on. It was there
on the floor, a thin, long stiletto, and there on the mattress was a
handkerchief wet with blood. There is nothing there now. They took it
away and arranged everything.
We found the doors closed.
He must have been here all the time
And he must be here still, since you have not left the sidewalk.
The servant slowly replied:
That's true, yes, true. I did not leave the gate. Yet
Whom did you see last near the Baron?
Miss Antoinette, his nurse and secretary.
Where is she?
She went out, I guess. Her bed is all made up. You know, she is
young and very pretty.
How did she get out?
By the door.
You had bolted that and put up the chain.
Yes, but later. She must have been already outside the house when I
The murder was committed after she left.
It must have been.
They searched the house from top to bottom, from cellar to attic, but
the murderer was not there. How? Where and when?
Was it the murderer who thought it wise to return and replace
everything, take away everything which might lead to him?
At seven o'clock the coroner came. At eight the chief of police, and
after him other officers of the law as were required. There were also
detectives, inspectors, the nephew of the dead man and relatives.
They searched everywhere, they studied the position of the body as
Charles remembered it. As soon as she arrived, they questioned Sister
Augusta. She knew nothing that had any bearing on the case. She was
surprised that Antoinette Brehat would go out. She engaged that young
lady twelve days before. Antoinette Brehat had excellent
recommendations. She refused to believe the young woman voluntarily
abandoned her patient to go out alone at night.
I believe, said Charles, the killer carried her off.
This was plausible, and accorded with certain appearances. The chief
Carried off? That does not seem unreasonable.
Not only unreasonable, said a voice, but absolutely false!
This was said in a harsh voice, with a rude and sneering accent. It
So, you are here, Ganimard? said M. Dudouis. I did not see you.
I have been here two hours, growled the man of brains.
So you still find interest in something besides the ticket 514,
Bah! Who can prove that Arsene Lupin has nothing to do with this?
Please, say nothing more about the ticketuntil laterlet's see
Ganimard was not one of the detective whose brilliant exploits are
held up as lessons for others to follow. He lacked the dazzling genius
of a Dupin, a Lecoq, and Herlock Sholmes, but he had excellent
qualities of sagacity, observation, and perseverance and at times,
Now, first, said he, let's be very exact upon this point. All the
objects the servant Charles saw overturned were in their correct place
on his return to this room. Were they not?
Exactly, said Charles.
It is very clear, then, that they must have been replaced by some
one very familiar with the customary place of the furniture.
This remark struck all present with force. Ganimard continued:
Another question, you were awakened by the ringingaccording to you,
who rang the alarm?
The Baron, sure.
Hum. Very well, but at what moment in the struggle would he ring?
Why, after the struggle, as he was dying.
That was impossible, since you found him lying at least four yards
away from the button.
Then he must have done it during the fight.
That is also impossible, since you say the ringing was regular and
uninterrupted. Do you think his adversary would have given him time to
Then it must have been when he was attacked.
That, too, is impossible. You told us that the time between the
ringing of the bell and the time that you entered the room was about
three minutes at the most. If the Baron had rung the bell before the
murder, the death and the flight must have taken place in the three
minutes. I repeat, that is impossible.
Still, some one rang, said the coroner. If it was not the Baron,
who could it have been?
The murderer, said Ganimard.
But why? What was his object?
I do not know what his object was. But he knew that the bell
communicated with the servant's room. Now, who could know this but some
one who lived here?
The net was drawing closer, so far as suppositions went. In a few
clear, rapid, and lucid, logical sentences Ganimard presented his view
of the matter.
So, in brief, you suspect Antoinette Brehat?
I do not suspect herI accuse her.
Of being an accomplice?
I accuse her of having killed General Baron d'Hautrec.
Oh, oh, and what are your reasons, proofs which cause you to make a
formal accusation like that?
This lock of hair which I found in the victim's right hand, embedded
in the flesh by his nails.
Ganimard then showed the threads of hair, bright blonde shining like
gold. Charles murmured:
That is Miss Antoinette's hair, all right. And, another thing. I
think the knife with which she killed him, and which was gone when I
returned, belonged to her. She used it to cut paper.
There was a long silence, as though the crime was more horrible
because committed by a woman. The coroner said:
Admitting, until more ample information, that the Baron was killed
by this young woman, we must know how she left the house after the
crime, to return after the departure of M. Charles, and to escape again
before the arrival of the police. Have you any opinion on that subject,
None, he replied curtly.
Ganimard flushed a little, but finally he said:
All that I can say is that I find the same indications here that
were shown in the case of the lottery ticketthe same phenomenal
disappearance. Antoinette Brehat appeared and disappeared in this house
as mysteriously as did Arsene Lupin from M. Detinan's office, in
company with a blonde lady.
And that means?
And that means that it is not just a remarkable coincidence.
Antoinette was engaged by Sister Augusta twelve days ago, the day after
the blonde lady slipped through our fingers. The lady's hair had the
same brilliant shade that we see here.
So, according to you, Antoinette Brehat is
No other than the blonde lady.
And that Arsene Lupin planned both affairs?
I believe it, said Ganimard.
There was an outburst of laughter. It was the chief himself who so
far forgot the solemnity of the occasion. He said:
Lupin, always Lupin. Lupin is in everything. Lupin is everywhere,
according to you.
He is where he is, said Ganimard, peeved and angry.
And, even so, he must have a reason for being where he is, said M.
Dudouis, and the reasons why you think he is concerned in this case
are rather obscure to me. The desk was not broken open, the pocketbook
was not rifled. There is gold on the table, too.
Yes, said Ganimard triumphantly. But the famous diamond.
Why the red diamond. The celebrated red diamond which once belonged
in the royal crown of Czar Paul, and just before the revolution it was
secretly purchased by Baron d'Hautrec.
If this red diamond is not found everything is explained, but where
shall we look for it? said the chief, sarcastically.
On the baron's finger, said Charles, the diamond never left his
finger, on the left hand, the little finger.
You saw it this morning, said Ganimard, approaching the victim.
'.'See, the ring is empty.
Look on the other side toward the palm, said Charles.
Ganimard opened the clenched hand. The setting of the ring was turned
inward. It held a beautiful red diamond.
The hell! swore Ganimard, amazed. It's got me!
I suppose you will give up the idea of Lupin now? sneered M.
Ganimard thought a while before he replied:
It is when I don't understand a crime that I suspect Arsene Lupin.
Such were the results in the police's efforts to solve this crime.
Nothing was clearly established. The comings and goings of Antoinette
Brehat remained a sealed book. Who killed Baron d'Hautrec?
The curiosity, at first felt by the public, turned to exasperation at
the failure of the police in capturing the criminal.
The heirs of Baron d'Hautrec benefited by this publicity. They
arranged to hold an auction sale, and the house in which he was
murdered was open to the public to allow the belongings to be examined
before being sent to the public auction rooms.
All the furniture was modern, in very ordinary taste without any
artistic value. Upon a salver covered with velvet and protected by a
glass case, guarded by two policemen, sparkled the red diamond.
The diamond was magnificent, and of an incomparable purity of a
unique red. Everyone marveled over it, while at the same time they
looked shudderingly around the room where the Baron was murdered.
The sale of the red diamond took place at the Drouot auction rooms.
The place was crowded, and the spirited bidding on the priceless jewel
excited the people to the verge of insanity.
After the bids had reached two hundred thousand the amateurs dropped
out. At two hundred and fifty thousand there were but two bidders left,
Herschmann, the celebrated financier, and the Countess of Crozon, the
multi-millionaire American whose collection of diamonds, precious
stones, and pearls were famous for their value and beauty.
Two hundred and seventyseventy-fivetwo hundred and eighty
Here the auctioneer paused, as these figures were reached, and looked
about with keen eyes; but no one bid more, so, almost as though he felt
that he was making the lady a present, he reluctantly prepared to
deliver the jewel to her, but Herschmann quietly said:
Five hundred thousand.
There was a short silence. The crowd watched the countess closely and
many observed that she grew pale, holding to her chair. In truth, she
knew as did all present that this duel must end inevitably in favor of
this man who paid for his caprices from a fortune of over a hundred
million. She said:
Five hundred and five thousand.
There was another silence. All turned their eyes toward the mining
king, expecting him to bid still higher but he did not. The crowd held
their very breaths in suspense. Herschmann remained impassive with his
eyes fixed upon a sheet of paper which he held in one hand while in the
other he held the torn envelope. The auctioneer said:
Five hundred and five thousandoncetwiceit is still time,does
no one speak? Oncetwicethree times! Then there was another short
silence, and the hammer fell.
Then, as though the click of the hammer had aroused him from a spell,
the financier shouted:
Six hundred thousand!
But it was too late. The sale had been made, and was irrevocable.
Friends gathered about Herschmann asking him why he had delayed so
long. He laughed nervously.
What happened? I don't know why I did not, but I had a moment of
Is such a thing possible with you?
Yes, a letter was handed me.
And that letter sufficed?
To trouble me for an instant, yes.
Ganimard was there. He was present at the sale of the ring. He
approached one of the messenger boys, saying:
It was you who delivered the letter to M. Herschmann?
Where is she?
Where is she? Why, over there, that lady with the thick veil.
She's leaving, I see.
Ganimard sprang forward and saw the lady go down the stairs. He ran.
A crowd of people got in his way at the door and before he could get
through she vanished.
Then Ganimard returned to Herschmann, told him who he was, and asked
for the letter. Herschmann handed it to him. It was hurriedly written
in pencil, and bore these words:
The red diamond brings trouble. Remember Baron d'Hautrec.
The tribulations which followed the red diamond had not ended. Six
months later it gained new celebrity. The summer following, the
countess was robbed of the precious stone which cost her a fortune.
* * * * *
Let us review this curious case, which so impressed us. The 10th of
August, the guests of M. and Madame de Crozon were sitting in the
drawing room of a superb chateau which overlooks the Bay of Somme. The
countess sat at the piano and placed her jewels upon a small cabinet
near the piano, and among them was the famous red diamond. At the end
of an hour the count retired with his two cousins, the d'Andelles.
Madame de Real, an intimate friend of the Countess de Crozon also
retired, leaving the countess alone with M. Bleichen, the Austrian
Consul and his wife.
They chatted for a short while, and then the countess rose to
extinguish a large lamp that stood on the table, while at the same
moment M. Bleichen extinguished the two piano lamps. There was one
moment of complete darkness, a little confusion, and then the Consul
lighted a candle for each.
They all retired, but as soon as the countess reached her room she
remembered her jewels and sent her maid downstairs after them. The maid
soon returned, and placed the little bag upon the chimney where it lay
unopened as the countess paid no further attention to it. The next day
the countess missed the ring with the red diamond.
She told her husband. Their conclusion was the same. The maid was
above suspicion. No one but M. Bleichen could have taken the ring.
Night and day, detectives surrounded the chateau. Two weeks passed
without the least incident. M. Bleichen announced his departure on the
day following. A complaint was made against him on that same day. The
commissioner came and in his official capacity ordered a search of M.
Bleichen's baggage. In a small bag, the key to which never left his
hands, they found a bottle of tooth powder, and in that the ring.
Madame Bleichen fainted. Her husband was arrested.
People still remember the defence of the accused. He said he could
not explain the presence of the ring except through the vengeance of M.
de Crozon. The count is brutal to his wife and makes her very unhappy.
I had a long interview with her and counselled her to obtain a divorce
from him. He learned this and revenged himself by taking the ring, and
as I was leaving slipped it into the tooth powder.
Between the explanations they gave and those offered by the D. A.,
both equally possible, and equally probable, the public had but to
choose. One month of talk, conjectures and investigations brought not
one element of certainty.
Worried by all this talk, powerless to produce positive proof of the
guilt which would have justified their accusation, M. and Madame de
Crozon requested that a capable detective should be sent to unravel the
tangled skein. They sent for Ganimard.
Four days the old detective searched, uprooted, looked, listened and
took walks around the park. He had long conversations with the lady's
maid, the employees of the neighboring places, visited the apartment
occupied by the Bleichen couple, the cousins d'Andelle, and Madame de
Real. Then one morning he disappeared without telling his hosts.
But one week later, they received this telegram:
I beg you to come to-morrow, Friday, 5 o'clock P.M., to Japanese tea
house, Rue Boissy d'Anglais. Ganimard.
At exactly five Friday their automobile stopped before the placed
mentioned. Without a word of explanation the old detective, who awaited
them on the sidewalk, conducted them to the second floor. They found
two persons already there to whom they were presented by Ganimard.
M. Gerbois, professor at the Lycee at Versailles, who you 'remember'
was robbed of half a million, and Leonce d'Hautrec, nephew and heir of
the late Baron d'Hautrec.
The four persons had scarcely been seated when there came a fifth, M.
Dudouis, chief of the detective force. M. Dudouis seemed to be in
anything but a good humor. He saluted and said:
What is it now, Ganimard? They just handed me your telegram. Is it
Very serious, Chief. Before one hour has passed this latest
adventure to which I lent my aid will be completed and unveiled. It
seemed to me that your presence was indispensable.
Why? Is it an arrest? What a dramatic scene you have prepared! Go
on, Ganimard, these people are listening.
Ganimard hesitated a few seconds and then, with the evident
expectation of surprising his auditors, said grandly:
First, I affirm that Bleichen had nothing to do with the theft of
Oh, oh, a simple affirmation, but a very grave one, said the chief
The count said sourly:
And is the result of your efforts bounded by this discovery?
No, sir. The day after the robbery just by chance three of your
guests visited the town of Crecy in an automobile. While two of those
persons went to visit the famous battle field, the third went hastily
to the post office and mailed a small box tied and sealed, and insuring
it for one hundred francs.
That is not very remarkable, said M. de Crozon. Perhaps it would
seem more so, if you knew that the person instead of giving her real
name sent it under the name of Rousseau and that the recipient, a M.
Beloux, living in Paris, moved the night he received the boxthat is
to saythe ring.
Perhaps it was one of my cousins? said the count.
It was neither of them.
Madame de Real, then?
Yes, said Ganimard, swelling out his chest.
The countess was amazed, and said:
I hope you do not accuse my friend, Madame de Real?
One moment, please, begged Ganimard without replying directly to
the question, Was not Madame de Real present at the sale of the
Yes, but she was on the other side of the room. We were not
Did you not engage her to buy the ring for you?
The countess seemed to try to remember, then said:
Why, yes; and, in fact, I think it was she who spoke of it first.
It is a well-established fact that it was Madame de Real who spoke
to you about the ring, and that you engaged her to purchase it for
Still, sir, my friend is incapable
Excuse me, Madame de Real is but a casual acquaintance and not an
intimate friend as the newspapers state, and this statement drew
suspicion away from her. You have known her only since the beginning of
winter, Now, I will show you that all she has told you about herself,
her past, and her relations, is absolutely false, and that Madame
Blanche de Real did not exist before you met her, and at the present
time she does not exist.
And what then, after that? asked the count.
After that? repeated Ganimard, as though that was all that need be
Why, yes, all you have said in this matter is very curious and well
argued, said the count. But how does it apply in this case? If Madame
de Real did take the ringwhich is not proven at allwhy did she hide
it in M. Bleichen's tooth powder? Damn it! When one takes the trouble
to steal the red diamond, one keeps it. What do you say to that?
Inothingbut Madame de Real will answer you herself.
Ah, she does exist, then? sneered the count.
She exists without existing. In a few words, three days ago I read
in a paper which I read every day, among the list of arrivals at the
Hotel Beaurivage, Trouville, Mme. de Real. That night I was at
Trouville and interviewed the manager. According to the description and
certain other indications which I obtained I learned that this Mme. de
Real was the person I sought, but she had left the place, giving her
address at Paris, number 3 Rue Colisse. The day before yesterday
I went to that address and learned that there was no Madame de Real but
a Madame Real who lived on the second floor, and who was a diamond
merchant, and that she was very often absent. Last night she returned.
I went to her door and offered, under a false name, my services as an
agent between her and some persons who were in a position to purchase
some precious stones. To-day we have a rendezvous here.
What? You expect her to come here?
At half-past five, yes.
Are you sure?
I have irrefutable proofs that she is the Madame de Real of the
chateau Crozonbutlisten. Folenfant's signal.
A sharp whistle had sounded below. Ganimard rose quickly.
There is no time to lose. Will M. and Madame de Crozon please go
into the next room? You also, M. d'Hautrec, and M. Gerbois. The door
will remain open, and at the first signal I shall ask you to enter.
But, if others should come for that room? said M. Dudouis.
No. The landlord is a friend of mine who will allow no one to come
up save the blonde lady.
The blonde lady? asked Dudouis incredulously. What are you
The blonde lady, chief, the accomplice and friend of Arsene Lupin,
the mysterious blonde lady, against whom I have proofs. But I wish also
to gather the testimony of those whom she has robbed.
Ganimard looked out of the window, and then turned to his chief,
She is coming. She has entered the door. There is no way of escape.
Folenfant and Dieuzy are at the door; the blonde lady is ours, chief.
Almost as he said these words a woman stood in the doorway, tall,
slender, very pale and with brilliant golden hair. Ganimard was nearly
suffocated by his violent emotion. He remained speechless. She was
there in front of him, his prisoner. What a victory over Arsene Lupin!
What a revenge! At the same time it seemed to him that this victory was
too easy. His elation was mingled with apprehension.
The woman stood in the room surprised at the silence, looking about
her with growing and visible uneasiness.
She will get away, she will disappear! thought Ganimard, frightened
so that he grew paler than the woman. He placed himself between her and
the door. She turned as though to leave, but he said:
Why do you wish to leave, madame?
Why, sir, I do not understand what this meanslet me go.
There is no reason why you should go madame, and many why you should
remain, said Ganimard.
Useless to argue, you will not leave, said Ganimard in his gruffest
tone. This woman had cost him too many sleepless nights to be allowed
to escape now. She sank into a chair pale, frightened, saying:
What do you want?
Ganimard had won. He had the blonde lady in his hands. Mastering his
joy, he said:
I present the friend of whom I spoke and who wishes to purchase
jewels, above all diamonds. Have you procured the one I asked for?
NonoI don't rememberI don't know.
Try, try hard. A person of your acquaintance should have given you a
colored diamond, something like the famous red diamond, and you replied
that you had precisely what I wanted. Do you remember?
She kept silent, but a little bag, which she held in her hand, fell
to the floor. She seized it hastily and held it against her breast. Her
hands trembled perceptibly. He growled:
Oh, come on! I see that you have no confidence in me, Madame de
Real. I am going to give you an example, and show you what I have
Saying this, he took a paper from his pocket, and, unfolding it, he
showed her a lock of hair as bright and golden as hers.
Here are a few hairs from the head of Antoinette Brehat, torn out by
the murdered Baron d'Hautrec, and found in his dead hand. I have seen
Mile. Gerbois, and she has recognized the shade of hair of the blonde
ladythe same as yours, exactly the same.
Madame Real looked at Ganimard stupidly as though she did not
understand his meaning. He continued:
And here are two perfume bottles, without labels, it is true, but
still containing enough odor to identify it with the perfume used by
the blonde lady during the two weeks she traveled with Mile. Gerbois.
One came from the room that Madame de Real occupied at the chateau de
Crozon, and the other from the room you occupied at Trouville.
What do you mean? Chateau de Crozon, blonde lady? I do not
Without replying Ganimard laid four pieces of letter paper on the
table, saying: One, the writing of Antoinette Brehat, the second from
the lady who wrote to Baron Herschmann at the auction sale, the third
from Madame de Real during, her stay at Crozon, and the fourth, your
own, your name and address given by you to the porter at the Hotel
Beaurivage, at Trouville. Now, compare them. They are identical.
You are insane, sir; you are crazy! What does all this signify?
It signifies, said Ganimard, with a grand air, that you are the
blonde lady, the friend of Arsene Lupin.
Then he opened the door. Professor Gerbois came out of the other
room, into the presence of Madame de Real.
Professor Gerbois, do you recognize this woman who kidnapped your
daughter, and whom you saw at M. Detinan's office.
Look again, he said, are you sure? Look again!
I see her. Madame is blonde as the otherpale, too, but she is not
the other at all.
I cannot believe it. It is impossible. Monsieur d'Hautrec, do you
know Antoinette Brehat?
I saw her at my uncle's. This is not the lady.
And she is not Madame de Real, added the Count de Crozon.
This was the last blow. Ganimard was dumbfounded. His logical
M. Dudouis rose, saying:
You will excuse us, madame, I hope. A most regrettable mistake was
made which I beg you to forget. But, what I cannot understand is your
reserve ever since you came here.
Sir, I was afraid. There is more than a hundred thousand francs
worth of jewels in this bag. Your friend's behavior did not reassure
But your frequent absences from home?
My business requires it.
M. Dudouis made no reply. He turned to his subordinate angrily:
You have obtained your information with deplorable carelessness,
Ganimard, and just now you conducted yourself in a most unseemly
fashion. Report to Headquarters and explain.
The interview was finished. The chief was about to leave when a
curious thing happened. Madame Real approached the chief, saying:
I heard you call this gentleman Ganimard. Am I mistaken?
In that case this letter must be for you, sir. I received it this
morning addressed to you as you can read: M. Justin Ganimard, Care
of Madame Real. I thought it was a joke for I had never heard the
name before, but doubtless the writer knew of our business.
Ganimard wanted to seize this letter and destroy it, but he dared not
do so before his superior. He tore open the envelope, and read these
words in a husky voice:
Once upon a time there was a blonde lady, a Lupin and a Ganimard.
Now, bad Ganimard wanted to harm the pretty blonde lady, but the good
Lupin would not allow it. So, the good Lupin, desiring the blonde lady
to become an intimate friend of the Countess de Crozon, told her to
adopt the name of Madame de Real, that of an honest dealer in jewels,
whose hair is as golden and whose pallor is as beautiful. Good Lupin
said to himself: 'If ever this bad Ganimard traces the real blonde lady
how useful I shall find it to set him upon a false track following the
honest dealer.' Wise precaution! And one which bore fruit. A little
note sent to the paper of the bad Ganimard, an empty bottle, cleverly
forgotten by the real blonde lady at the Hotel Beaurivage, the real
name and address of Madame Real, written by the real blonde lady on the
hotel register. The play is set. What do you say, Ganimard? I wanted to
tell you the story this way, knowing that with your keen sense of humor
you will be the first to laugh.
Yours with thanks, and my best remembrance to excellent M. Dudouis.
He knows everything! groaned Ganimard. He knows things I have told
no one. How does he know I asked you to be here, chief? How does he
know that I found the first bottle. How does he know?
Ganimard was mad with rage.
M. Dudouis said kindly:
Never mind, Ganimard. I know you will get him yet.
The Chief left the place with Madame Real.
Ten minutes passed. Ganimard read and reread Lupin's letter. M. and
Madame de Crozon, M. d'Hautrec, and Professor Gerbois carried on an
animated conversation. Finally the count said to Ganimard:
It seems to me that we are no further than we were before.
Pardon me, but my search proved that the blonde woman is the heroine
of Lupin's crimes. That is a long step...
Of no value. We are even worse off. The blonde lady kills to steal
the red diamond, which she does not stealthen she steals it to give
it away. Does this make sense?
I can do no more, said Ganimard.
Perhaps somebody else can.
What do you mean?
The count hesitated. The countess continued:
There is only one man besides you who would be able to fight Lupin.
Make him powerless, Monsieur Ganimard. Would you mind if we were to
solicit the aid of Herlock Sholmes?
Ganimard felt like crying, but said:
No. I don't understand why.
It is this way. These mysteries worry me. M. Gerbois and M.
d'Hautrec feel the same way. We have decided to ask the celebrated
Englishman for our own peace of mind.
You are right, madame, said Ganimard loyally, while his heart sank
like lead. You are right. Old Ganimard is too weak for Arsene Lupin.
Will Herlock Sholmes do better? I hope so. I admire himstillit is
That he will succeed?
That is what I think. I think that a duel between Herlock Sholmes
and Arsene Lupin is an affair settled before it is begun. The
Englishman will be beaten.
In any case, can he count upon your aid? said the lady.
Surely, madame. Anything I can do to help will be done.
Do you know his address?
Yes; 21 Baker Street, London.
That night M. and Madame de Crozon withdrew their complaint against
the Consul Bleichen. A telegraph was sent to Herlock Sholmes signed by
all persons involved.
What will it be? said the waiter at a restaurant.
Whatever you want to bring us, replied Arsene Lupin, as if food did
not matter. Anything but meat and alcohol.
The waiter walked off with his nose in the air. I said hastily:
What, still a vegetarian?
More than ever, answered Lupin.
From taste, belief, or habit?
And you never fall from grace?
Oh, yes, when I dine in societythen only not to become exceedingly
conspicuous, he laughed.
We were dining near the Gate du Nord, in a little obscure
restaurant where Arsene Lupin invited me. At times he telegraphed me to
meet him in some corner of Paris where we could have a quiet meal. At
such times he was so bright, so gay and happy that our time passed most
pleasantly. He always had some unexpected adventure to tell, which I
had not heard before.
That night he seemed to be gayer than usual. He laughed and chattered
in a carefree manner, and with that delicate irony which was
spontaneous, without bitterness. It was a pleasure to see him in this
mood, and I could not resist the desire to tell him so.
Ah, yes, he replied. There are days when everything is a delight
to me, when life is like a treasure that I shall never exhaust. God
knows that I live without ever thinking of the end.
Too much so, perhaps, I said wisely.
It is all explained by thisdanger. Constant danger. To breathe
danger as one breathes airto see it about one, blowing, growling,
watching, approaching and to remain calm in the midst of this
tempestthat's living! There is but one sensation comparable to this,
the one felt by the chauffeur in an automobile race. But the race lasts
for a morning, while my race has lasted all my life.
What a poem, I laughed. You would make me believe that you have no
particular reason for your present exaltation?
You are a psychologist, he replied, smiling; yes, in fact, there
is a reason.
He poured out a glass of cool water and drank it, then said: Have
you read the Temps, to-day?
Herlock Sholmes will cross the Channel to-day and be in Paris
to-night at six o'clock.
The devil! said I; and for what?
A little trip offered him by the Crozons, the nephew of d'Hautrec,
and Gerbois. They all met at the Gate du Nord, and there they
were joined by Ganimard. At the present moment the whole six are in
No matter how great my curiosity may be I never question Arsene Lupin
upon any of his private acts. Until now his name had not been
associated between us with the mystery of the red diamond. So I held my
patience, and he continued:
The Temps also published an interview with my good friend
Ganimard, according to which a certain blonde lady, who is my friend,
killed the late Baron d'Hautrec and attempted to steal the famous red
diamond from Madame de Crozon. He accuses me of being the instigator of
A slight shudder passed over me. Was it true? Must I believe that the
habit of theft, his style of living, even the logic of the events had
drawn this man into murder? I looked at him. He seemed so calm, his
eyes met mine so frankly.
I looked at his hands. They were delicately modelled, an artist's
hands, sensitive hands.
Ganimard is dreaming, I said. But he protested:
No no, Ganimard has finesse, and a certain penetration, and
sometimes he has a stroke of genius.
Ganimard? He? I asked.
Yes, and for example that interview was a masterly stroke. The first
thing he does is to announce the arrival of his rival, to put
me on guard and make his rival's task all the more
difficult. Secondly, he mentions precisely the exact point to which he
has brought the affair, so that Sholmes shall reap the benefit of his
own false discoveries. That is good warfare.
Well, whatever you call it you have two powerful adversaries on your
One of them does not count.
And the other?
Sholmes? Oh, I admit that he is a man. But that is just what has put
me into such good humor. First, it is a question of pride. They see
that it is necessary to ask the Englishman to get me, something they
have not been able to do alone. Besides this, just think of the delight
I must feel at the idea of a duel with Herlock Sholmes. At last I shall
be forced to employ all my talents for I know a good man. He will never
give up, no not one inch.
It is said that he is brilliant.
Yes, very. I do not believe there ever was or ever will be one as
capable as Herlock Sholmes. I have on advantage; he will attack, I will
defend. My role is easier, and besides He smiled slightly as he
finished his phrase. Besides, I know his methods; he does not know
mine. I have a few unexpected tricks up my sleeve that will surprise
As he spoke Lupin tapped the table with his fingers. As he continued
he seemed to be perfectly charmed with his outlook. Arsene Lupin
against Herlock SholmesFrance against Englandat last Trafalgar will
be avenged. Ah, the fool, he has no idea that I will be well prepared
for him. Lupin notified
He stopped suddenly as though he had swallowed something the wrong
way, and, coughing violently, he hid his face in his napkin.
A crumb of bread? I asked uneasily. Drink a little water.
No, it is not that, he replied, in a stifled voice.
I need air.
Shall I open the window?
No. I am going out. Quick, my overcoat, my hat. I am going to skip.
What's the matter?
Those two men who have just enteredseethe big one. In going out,
walk so that he will not be able to see me.
Who, the man sitting behind you?
Yes, for reasons I will explain outside.
But who is it? I persisted.
Half-ashamed of his nervousness, he said:
That was funny, wasn't it? Things do not stir me as a general rule,
but that was so unexpected.
What do you fear, since no one can know you under your disguise.
Even I think I am facing a new individual each time that we meet.
will know me, said Lupin. He saw me once, but I knew that
he saw me for my whole life, the very being that I am. Besides, I did
not expect him. What a singular meetingthis little restaurant.
Very well. Let us go..
Nono, I will not go.
What will you do, then?
The best thing is to act openly. I'll talk to him.
You don't mean it?
Yes, I do. I will be able to question him, and learn what he knows.
I feel that his eyes are fixed upon the back of my neck, my shoulders
and that he is tryingthat he seeks to recall
As he reflected for a moment I saw a peeved smile appear at the
corner of his mouth, and obeying an impulse more than the necessities
of the situation he rose suddenly, turned about, and, bowing low, said
in a tone of great pleasure:
What luck! Permit me to present to you one of my friends.
For one second the Englishman seemed to be disconcerted, then he made
a move as though to throw himself upon Lupin. Lupin simply nodded his
You would have been mistaken. Besides the clumsiness of your
The Englishman looked right and left as though he expected
Nor that, said Lupin. Are you sure that you have the right to lay
hands on me? Come, be a sport!
To be a sport under the circumstances was not very tempting to the
Englishman. Nevertheless that was the best thing to do under the
circumstances, for he half-rose and said coldly:
Dr. Wilson, my friend and collaborator. Monsieur Arsene Lupin.
The surprise of Dr. Wilson made me smile. His eyes bulged out and his
immense mouth cut his fat face into two parts with its smooth and
shining skin like that of an apple.
My dear Dr. Wilson, you are surprised at the most natural events in
the world, remarked Herlock Sholmes with a shade of mockery in his
Dr. Wilson stammered: Why don't you arrest him?
Don't you see that this gentleman is between me and the door. Before
I could move a finger he would be outside.
Don't let that hinder you, said Lupin, and he walked around the
table and sat down so that the Englishman was between him and the door.
Dr. Wilson watched Herlock Sholmes to see if it was right to admire
such audacity, but the Englishman remained impenetrable. But after a
moment he said:
The waiter came forward.
Sodas, beer, and whiskey.
Peace was signed until further ordersan armed truce, so to call it.
Soon all four were seated at the same table, and we talked quietly.
Herlock Sholmes appeared to be the sort of man you see every day.
About fifty years old, he looked like a clerk who passed his life
keeping his books. Just an honest citizen of London. But his eyes,
terrible sharp eyes, quick and penetrating!
Herlock Sholmes was a genius of intuition, observation, clairvoyance,
and ingenuity. One could believe that Nature had amused herself by
taking the two most extraordinary detectives that imagination has
produced, the Dupin of Edgar Allan Poe, and the Lecoq of Gaboriau to
build up another in her own way, more extraordinary, more unreal.
Arsene Lupin asked the famous Englishman how long he would stay in
My stay will depend upon you, sir, Sholmes replied.
Oh, laughed Lupin, if it depends upon me you may leave on
That is rather too soon, but I expect to return in about seven
You are in a hurry?
I have many things on hand. The robbery of the Anglo-Chinese bank,
the kidnapping of Lady Eccleston... Don't you think that a week would
Surely, unless you came to learn about the red diamond. A week is
enough for me. The solution of that double crime offers you certain
advantages over me, dangerous for my safety.
Yes, but, said the Englishman, I expect to gain added advantages
in a week.
And to arrest me on the eighth, perhaps?
The seventh, last call, replied Sholmes.
Lupin appeared to reflect, nodding his head, then saying:
Difficult, very difficult.
Difficult, yes, but possible, therefore certain.
Absolutely certain, chimed in Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Wilson will attest to it, said Sholmes, smiling: I have not
all the trump-cards in my hand as yet, since it deals with matters
already months old. I lack the first elements, the indications upon
which I have been accustomed to conduct my inquiries.
Such as mud stains and cigarette ashes, said Dr. Wilson, with
But aside from the remarkable conclusions of Mr. Ganimard, I have at
my service the articles written on the subject, the observations
gathered, and in consequence of these a few ideas of my own.
Yes, some views not suggested by analysis nor by theory, added Dr.
Would it be indiscreet, asked Arsene Lupin, in that tone of
deference which he used in speaking of Sholmes, would it be indiscreet
to ask the general opinion you have formed?
Herlock Sholmes filled his pipe slowly, lighted it, and explained
himself in this way:
I think this affair is far less complicated than it seemed at
Much less, in fact, echoed Wilson.
I say The Affair, for in my mind there is but one. The death
of Baron d'Hautrec, the story of the ring, and the mystery of the
Number 514, Series 23, are different phases of what should be called
the mystery of the golden blonde. Now, in my mind, all there is to do
is to discover the thread that holds these three episodes of the same
story; the fact which proves the unity of the three methods. Ganimard,
whose judgment is rather superficial, sees the unity in the
disappearance, in the power of going and coming and being invisible.
This intervention of a miracle does not satisfy me.
Then, according to me, replied Sholmes clearly, the characteristic
of three crimes is your manifest design. There is more than a plan in
this, there is a necessity, a condition on which depends the success.
Can you not enter into some details?
Easily. Thus, from the beginning of your conflict with Professor
Gerbois, is it not evident that the apartment of M. Detinan is the
place chosen by yourself, the inevitable place where you should meet
again? There was no place which seemed to you to be so safe for a
public rendezvous, as one might say, with the blonde lady and M'lle
The professor's daughter, added Dr. Wilson.
Now, let us speak of the red diamond. Had you ever tried to
appropriate it since the Baron possessed it? No. But the Baron took his
brother's house. Six months later the intervention of Antoinette Brehat
was the first move. The diamond escaped you then, and the auction sale
was held at the Hotel Drouot. Would it be a public sale? Would the
richest amateur be sure of acquiring the jewel? Not at all. At the
moment when the Baron Herschmann was about to get it, a lady had a
letter handed to him, a threatening letter, and it was the Countess de
Crozon, who influenced and prepared by that same lady, bought the
diamond. Was it to disappear soon? No, the means were lacking. So the
intermediary. But Countess de Crozon went to her chateau. That was what
you were waiting for. The ring disappeared.
To reappear in the tooth powder of the Consul Bleichen, a curious
place, laughed Lupin.
Ah, come, now! cried Sholmes, striking the table with his clenched
fist. It is not to me that you can tell such a fairy tale. Let the
imbeciles, that they are, allow themselves to be taken in by that, but
not an old fox like me.
Which means Sholmes took his time in answering, as though he
would add to its effect, and said finally: The red diamond which was
found in the tooth powder was false. You kept the real one.
Arsene Lupin looked at Sholmes an instant in silence, then said
simply, with his eyes fixed on those of the Englishman:
You are a clever man, sir.
Clever, isn't he? said Dr. Wilson, as if to underscore the words.
Yes, replied Lupin, everything is made clear, and all assumes its
real sense. Not one of the officers, not one of the journalists who
were following up the matter like bloodhounds ever reached so near the
truth. It is a miracle of intuition and logic.
Pooh! said the Englishman, though flattered, just elementary
It is enough to know how to think, but that is what so few know how.
But, now that the field is narrowed down and clear... hazarded Lupin.
Well, now I have but to discover why these three adventures are
knotted around 25 Rue Clapeyron, and 34 of the Avenue Henri
Martin and the walls of the Chateau de Crozon. The whole
business is there. The rest is nothing but toys for children. Is not
that your opinion?
Yes, that is my opinion.
In that case. Monsieur Lupin, am I wrong in repeating that in seven
days my job will be finished?
In seven days the whole truth will be known to you.
And you will be arrested?
That I should be arrested requires such unreasonable circumstances,
a series of hazards so stupefyingthat I do not admit it possible.
The determination and will of an obstinate man often accomplishes
Yes; if the will and obstinacy of another man does not oppose an
invincible obstacle to his design.
There is no invincible obstacle, M. Lupin.
The looks which these two men exchanged were profound, calm and
determined. It was the striking of two swords. It sounded clear and
All right, said Lupin gayly, here is a man! How the public will
Are you not afraid? asked Dr. Wilson.
A little, Dr. Wilson, and the proof, said Lupin, rising, is that I
am going to beats it. We will say seven days, then, Mr. Sholmes?
Seven days. It is now Sunday. Next Sunday all will be over.
And I shall be under lock and key?
Without the least doubt.
That's too bad. I take such pleasure in my peaceful life. I have no
annoyances, a fair business, the police can go to the seven devils! And
the universal sympathy which surrounds me! And now I must leave all
that. Well, it is the other side of the medal, after sunshine the rain.
That's nothing to laugh about. Adieu!
And hurry, said Dr. Wilson, filled with pity for an individual in
whom Sholmes inspired such a fear. Don't lose a minute.
Not one minute, Dr. Wilson. Only to tell you how happy I am for this
meeting, and how I envy the Master his valuable assistant.
They saluted each other, these two adversaries who felt no hatred,
but who were determined to fight without mercy. Lupin took my arm and
drew me outside.
What do you say, dear boy? That was a dish worthy of the memoirs you
are writing about me.
He closed the door of the restaurant and stopped a few steps away,
Do you smoke?
No, do you?
No, I don't smoke, he responded, but at the same time he drew a box
of cigarettes from his pocket and lighted one match, which he waved
back and forth several times before he threw it away. He ran lightly
across the street; and joined two men who had been standing there in
the shadow, and who appeared as though called by a signal. He talked a
few minutes with them and then returned, saying:
I beg your pardon. That devil Sholmes is going to give me lots of
trouble. I swear to you that he will not finish Lupin. He will learn
the kind of metal I am made of. So long! The ineffable Dr. Wilson is
right. I haven't a minute to lose.
He left me, walking away rapidly.
Thus ended that strange evening, the portion of which I was a
At the moment that Arsene Lupin left me Herlock Sholmes took out his
watch, got up, saying:
Twenty minutes to nine. At nine o'clock I am to meet the Count and
Countess at the station.
All right, said Dr. Wilson, swallowing the last of the whiskey and
soda. They left the place. Sholmes whispered:
Dr. Wilson, don't turn your head. We are followed. Act as though it
did not matter in the least. Tell me, Wilson, give me your idea. Why
was Lupin in that restaurant?
Dr. Wilson did not hesitate an instant. To eat, he said.
Dr. Wilson, the longer we work together the more I perceive your
progress. My word! You are astonishing!
Dr. Wilson beamed with pleasure, and Sholmes continued:
To eat, doubtless, and, most likely, to make sure that I go to
Crozon, as Ganimard said in his famous interview. So I will go, not to
disappoint him. As it is essential that I gain time over him I shall
Ah? You will go and not go, said Wilson, his mouth open in
You will go along this street, take one, two, three cabs. Go in such
a way as to draw them after you. Then return to the station, get your
valises, and from there to the Elysee Palace.
And at the Elysee Palace?
You will take a room, go to bed, sleep. Wait for my instructions.
Dr. Wilson left. Herlock Sholmes bought a ticket and took the express
to Amiens, where the Count and Countess de Crozon were waiting for him.
He saw them, saluted them, lighted his pipe, and smoked peacefully on
The train started. At the end of ten minutes he came and sat down by
the lady, saying:
Have you brought your ring, Madame?
Please let me see it.
He took the ring and examined it long and carefully with a magnifying
glass. It is just as I thought. It is a fused diamond.
A fused diamond?
Yes, a process which consists in submitting diamond dust to a high
temperatureso great, in fact, that it fuses the dust into one stone.
No? My diamond is real.
Yours, yes, but this was substituted for yours and placed in M.
Bleichen's bottle, where you found it.
The poor lady sat speechless, while her husband incredulously turned
the red jewel in his hands.
And how did they get it? How? said the lady, completely upset.
That is exactly what I am going to tell you.
At the chateau?
No, I shall leave the train at Creil, and return to Paris. It is
there that the game between Arsene Lupin and myself will be played. It
is better that he believes I'm away.
Still, objected the lady.
What do you care? All you want is your diamond, is it not?
Yes, she replied hesitatingly. Very well, then, be patient. I have
just now made an appointment which will be much more difficult to keep.
Herlock Sholmes promises to return you your diamond, and Herlock
Sholmes never breaks his word.
The train slowed down. The detective put the false diamond in his
pocket and opened the door. The Count de Crozon cried:
Stop, you are getting out the wrong side!
I know. Adieu.
A trainman made vain effort and protest. The Englishman went directly
to the office of the station master. Fifty minutes later he sprang into
a train which brought him back to Paris a little before midnight.
He ran swiftly through the station, returned through the coffee-shop,
out by another door, and into the first cab he found.
To Rue Clapeyron!
Feeling certain that he was not followed, he had the cab stop at the
corner of the street. For a minute he examined the Detinan house and
the two neighboring houses. By counting his steps he measured the
approximate distance. Then he returned to the cab; saying:
Driver, Avenue Henri-Martin.
At the corner of Rue de la Pompe, he paid the driver and followed the
sidewalk until, he reached number 134. There he began to pace off the
distance as before. This house, whose dimensions he measured, belonged
to the late Baron d'Hautrec. Then he measured the two adjacent houses,
calculated their depth, and that of the little gardens.
That's fine, he muttered. Ah, if I could only enter to make my
It was sufficient for an idea to form in his mind for him to put it
into immediate execution. But how? The iron fence was too high to
scale. He drew a flashlight from his pocket, a master key, which
never left him. What was his surprise when he found that one part of
the gate was open! He slipped into the garden, being careful not to
shut the gate. He had not taken three steps when he stopped; a light
had passed one of the windows on the second floor.
The light then passed a second window, a third, but in such a way
that he could see nothing but indistinct shadows along the walls of the
room. Then the light descended, from the second floor to the first and
wandered from room to room.
Who can be walking about at one o'clock in the morning where Baron
d'Hautrec was killed? Sholmes asked himself, greatly interested. There
was but one way to find out: to go in there himself. He did not
hesitate. At the moment when he crossed the narrow band of light thrown
by the street lamp to reach the door the person must have seen him, for
the light in the house suddenly went out.
He pushed gently against the door. It was also unlocked. Hearing no
sound, he knew he risked his life by going into this darkness. Feeling
carefully about, he at last found the staircase and mounted one flight.
Silence, black darkness. He dared not risk the flashlight.
Reaching the second floor, he entered a room, edged his way to a
window through which showed a little of the light from outside. Outside
he saw a man who had doubtless gotten out by another staircase and
door. Now he was running along the shrubbery which bordered the
dividing walls between the residences.
The bloody bastard will get away! and he nearly fell down the
stairs in his rush, to cut off the man. He found no one. After some
seconds he could distinguish among the shrubbery a mass darker than the
rest, which seemed to move.
The Englishman hesitated. Why didn't he escape while he could? Was he
waiting there to watch?
I am sure, he thought, it is not Lupin. Lupin would be more
careful. Who is it?
Minutes passed. Herlock did not move. The mysterious stranger did not
move. The Englishman was not a man to remain inactive. He checked his
revolver. With his eyes fixed, he sprang directly at the enemy.
There was a sharp click, the man had snapped his trigger. Herlock
threw himself headlong into the bushes. The other had no time to turn
around, the Englishman was upon him. There was a violent, desperate
struggle. Sholmes felt new and irresistible strength. He overthrew his
adversary, knelt upon him with full weight, and clutched the unhappy
man's throat, like the clamp of a vise. As the light from his
flashlight fell on the prisoner's face, he let go the man's throat:
Wilson! For God's sake
Sholmes, whispered a hoarse voice.
They remained a long time without speaking a word, both completely
overcome. The Englishman for the first time felt his brain refuse to
work. There was a sound of a passing automobile. The wind shook the
leaves in the trees above them. Sholmes did not move. His five fingers
were still on Dr. Wilson's throat.
Suddenly Herlock Sholmes let go Wilson's throat, seized him by the
shoulders and shook him in a frenzy of anger.
What are you doing here? Answer! What? Did I tell you to go spying
Spy on you! gasped Dr. Wilson. I did not know it was you.
Then why were you here? You were told to go to bed.
I did go to bed.
You should have slept.
I did sleep.
You should not have left the hotel.
Yes, the one you sent to the hotel.
Iyou are crazy.
I swear it
Show me the letter.
Dr. Wilson handed Sholmes a sheet of paper. By the light of his
lantern he read:
WATSON: Out of bed and fly to Avenue Martin. The house is
empty. Enter, inspect, draw an exact plan, and return to bed.
I was measuring the rooms, said Wilson, when I saw a shadow in the
garden. I had but one idea
And that was to catch the shadowthe idea was excellent. Only let
me tell you, continued Sholmes, aiding his companion to rise and
drawing him along. If, Wilson, you ever get a letter assure yourself
that the writing is my own and not a forgery.
Sothe letter was not from you? asked Wilson, beginning to see the
But why should he have written that?
I don't know. It makes me uneasy. Why the devil did he take the
trouble to write it? If it had been me, I could understand, but you.
And I ask myself what interest
I want to go back to the hotel.
So do I, Wilson.
They reached the gate. Dr. Wilson, who was first, seized the handle
and tried to open it. The gate was locked. He said:
You must have fastened it when you came in.
No, I did not. I left the door wide open.
Sholmes pulled himself together, and furious, threw himself against
the gate. He swore as he always did in his anger.
It was locked with a key,' he finally said.
He shook the gate with all his strength, and, recognizing the
futility of his efforts, let his arms fall to his sides, saying in a
I understand it all now. It is he. He foresaw that I would return
from Creil, and he set a mouse trap in case I should begin my inquiries
to-night. Besides, he was polite enough to send me a companion. All
this to make me lose a day, and to prove to me that I had better mind
my own business; that I could do better than to meddle in his affairs.
That is to say, we are prisoners.
You have used the exact word. Herlock Sholmes and Dr. Wilson are
Arsene Lupin's prisoners. The adventure begins admirablyno, no, it
A hand touched his shoulder.
Look, looka light!
One of the windows on the second floor was lighted. They both ran,
each by a staircase. They met at the same time in the lighted room. In
the middle of the room burned a small candle. Beside it was a basket
containing a bottle of wine, bread and cold chicken.
Sholmes exploded laughing.
A miracle! They offer us supper. This is a fairy palace. A real
fairy land. Oh, come on, Wilson, don't look so funereal. This is very
Are you sure that it is funny? groaned Dr. Wilson dismally.
I am sure it is, replied Sholmes, rather too noisy to be natural.
Yes, and that is to say that I never saw anything so funny. It is a
farce. What a master of irony! That Arsene Lupin! He pushes you about,
but so gently. I would not change my place for all the gold in the
world. Wilson, my old friend, you annoy me beyond measure! Am I
mistaken, have you not the character to bear misfortune! What are you
complaining about? You might have had a bullet in your neck, or I in
mine. Be happy, my foolish friend.
Sholmes managed to persuade Dr. Wilson to eat the leg of chicken and
drink a glass of wine. When the candle burned out they lay down on the
floor, with the wall as a pillow. The true, painful, and ridiculous
side of the situation appeared to them. Their sleep was troubled by
In the morning Dr. Wilson awoke, chilled and stiff. A slight noise
attracted his attention. He saw Herlock Sholmes on his knees, looking
at grains of dust with a magnifying glass studying some chalk marks
Followed by Dr. Wilson, who was particularly interested in this
study, he examined each room, and in two others he found the same chalk
marks. He found two circles on the oaken panels marked with chalk, on a
mantel an arrow and four figures on the steps of the staircase.
At last Dr. Wilson said:
The figures are exact, are they not?
Exact? I don't know anything about them, replied Sholmes, whom this
discovery put in good humor. In any case, they mean something.
Something very clear, said Dr. Wilson. They represent the number
of boards in the floor.
Yes; and as to the circles, they indicate that the panels sound
empty, as you can assure yourself, and the arrow is pointed in the
direction of the staircase to the next floor.
Ah, my good friend, how do you know all that? Your clairvoyance puts
me to shame.
Very simple, answered he, with natural pride. It was I who traced
those last night, following your instructions, rather, Lupin's, since
he sent the letter.
Perhaps Dr. Wilson ran a far greater danger than he had in the
shrubbery. The great detective could have strangled Wilson, but
overcoming his anger, he grimaced for a smile:
Fine! Fine! Excellent work that gets us nowhere. Your admirable
capacity for analysis and observationhas it been exercised otherwise,
may I ask? I will surely profit by the results.
No, that is all I could do.
What a pity, after such a promising beginning. Since it is so we had
better get away from here.
Get away? But how?
By the way in common use for honest people, by the door.
But that is closed.
They will open it.
Kindly call those two policemen who are walking along the avenue.
It is very humiliating. What will they say when they find that you,
Herlock Sholmes and I, Dr. Wilson, have been prisoners of Arsene
What do you expect? They will laugh till their sides ache, answered
Sholmes dryly, his face contracted with vexation, but we cannot live
Can't you do something else?
But the man who brought the basket did not cross the garden. There
must be another exit. Let us look for that. Let us try, and if we find
Well argued, only you forget that the police of Paris have sought
this exit for six months, and that I, too, while you were asleepI
went over the house from top to bottom. Ah, my good Wilson, Arsene
Lupin is a kind of game we have not been in the habit of hunting. He
leaves no traces behind him. That Lupin!
At eleven o'clock Herlock Sholmes and Dr. Wilson were set free. They
were taken to the police station the nearest to the place, where the
sergeant, after having questioned them severely, allowed them to go.
I regret, gentlemen, what has happened to you. You will form a very
bad opinion of France. My goodness, what a night you must have passed.
Ah, that Lupin is greatly lacking in politeness.
A cab brought them to Elysee Palace. At the desk Br. Wilson
asked for the key to his room. After some search the clerk said:
But, sir, you gave up your room.
This morning, by letter your friend handed us.
Why, the gentleman who brought the letter. Here's your letter, and,
yes, your visiting card still attached to it.
Dr. Wilson took the letter. It was one of his visiting cards and the
writing was his.
Good God! he murmured, another dirty trick, and he asked
And my baggage? You gave it to him?
Certainly, your letter and card authorized us
Well, well! Saying that, they both walked along the Champs
Elysees silently and slowly. A bright autumn sun shone, the air was
mild and soft.
At Rond-Point Herlock lighted his pipe and walked on. Dr.
I say, Sholmes, I can't understand you. You are calm, while he is
laughing at you. He is playing with us as a cat with a mouse. Why don't
you say something?
Wilson, I am thinking of your card.
So a man at war with us has procured specimens of our writing, and
he has now for use one of your visiting cards. Just think of what that
means in perspicacity, method and organization.
And that means?
That means, Wilson, that to fight an enemy so well armed, so well
prepared, one must be Herlock Sholmes. And, Wilson, he added,
laughing, one does not always succeed the first time.
At six o'clock The Echo de France, in its evening edition,
published this note:
This morning M. Thenard, Police Commissioner of the XVIth precinct,
set at liberty Messieurs Herlock Sholmes and Dr. Wilson, locked in the
house of the late Baron d'Hautrec, where they passed a pleasant night.
Robbed of their valises, they have complained to the police against
Arsene Lupin is content to give the great Englishman a little
lesson, begs him not to force so generous a person, to take graver
Rot! growled Sholmes, crumpling the paper. Childishness. That is
the only reproach that I make against Lupina little too childish. The
gallery counts too much. There is a good deal of the clown in him.
So, Sholmes, you will continue the same way?
Always the same way, replied Sholmes, with intense anger. What
would be the use of becoming angry? I am sure of having the last
However well balanced the character of a manand Sholmes was one of
those on whom bad luck never seems to holdthere are still
circumstances where the most intrepid man feels the need of gathering
his forces before facing the chances of a fight anew.
I am going to take it easy to-day, said Herlock Sholmes.
What am I to do? asked Wilson.
You, Wilson, will buy some clothes to replace those stolen. While
you're gone, I'll rest.
Rest yourself, Sholmes. I will watch over you.
Wilson said this with all the importance of a sentinel exposed to
dangers. His chest swelled. His muscles drew tense. He examined the
space of the little room where they had decided to stay.
Watch, my dear Wilson. I will profit by your watchfulness to prepare
a campaign worthy of our enemy. You see, Wilson, we were
deceived regarding Lupin. We must start from the very beginning.
Before, if possible. But have we time?
Six days, old comrade! Five too many. The Englishman passed the
afternoon in smoking and sleeping. It was not till the next morning
that he began operations.
Wilson, I am ready now.
Let us go, cried Wilson, with ardor. I am ready. My legs feel as
if millions of ants were running up and down them when I am not on the
Sholmes had a three hour interview with Master Detinan. He studied
the apartment in its smallest details. Then he had an interview with
Suzanne Gerbois whom he had sent for by telegraph. Another with Sister
Augusta at the Convent of the Visitandines. He questioned them both
about the blonde woman.
At each visit Dr. Wilson waited outside, and when the visitors had
gone he asked Herlock Sholmes:
Very, was the pithy answer. I was certain that I am on the right
track. Forward march!
And they marched a good deal. They visited the two houses
which adjoined the house at the Avenue Martin, and then went as
far as Rue Clapeyron, and while he examined the facade of number
25 Sholmes said:
There are secret passages between all these houses, but what I do
For the first time Dr. Wilson began to doubt the wonderful powers of
his friend. Why did he talk so much and act so little?
Why? said Sholmes, answering the secret thoughts of Wilson,
because with this devil Lupin one works in empty air. Instead of
extracting the truth from precise facts, one must draw them from one's
own brain to see afterward if the idea adapts itself well to the
But the secret passages?
They exist! Even if I do find them, in what way shall I be advanced?
Will that give me force for an attack?
Let us attack him, anyhow, said Wilson.
He had not finished saying these words when he drew back with a cry.
Something had just fallen between them at their very feet, a sack
filled with sand, which might have killed one of them.
Sholmes lifted his head. Above them, on the fifth floor, some workmen
were on a scaffold, and it was from there that the sack had fallen.
We are lucky. One step more and we would have caught that on our
heads. One would believe
He stopped, ran into the house, scaled the five flights of stairs,
rang the bell, sprang into the room, scaring the valet, and rushed to
the balcony. No one there.
The workmen, where are they?
They have just left.
Which way did they go?
By the back stairs.
Sholmes leaned out and saw two men dressed like masons, leaving the
building. They got on bicycles and rode away. He turned to the valet
and asked how long they had worked on that scaffold: only since
morning. They had replaced some other workers.
Sholmes rejoined Wilson. They went to their hotel discomfited. The
second day ended in a mournful silence.
The next day they spent sitting on the same seat in Avenue
Henri-Martin. This annoyed Wilson, who did not see any fun in
sitting there watching three houses.
What do you expect, Sholmes? Perhaps Lupin will come out of one of
I hope that some trifle will happen, just a little trifle, that will
serve as a point to work on.
And which will not happen.
In such case I will start the spark that will set the powder afire.
Only one incident happened to break the monotony of that morning, a
most disagreeable one.
A man was riding a highly strung horse along the bridle path, between
the two levels, when it suddenly reared, and in its struggles for
mastery hit the bench on which Sholmes and Wilson were sitting, hitting
against the shoulder of the detective.
Eh, ah, he said angrily.
The man still struggled with his horse. Sholmes drew his revolver,
but Wilson seized Sholmes' arm, saying:
You're mad, Herlock. What? You were going to kill that gentleman!
Let me go, let me go, cried Sholmes wildly.
The friends began to struggle. Meanwhile the man mastered the horse
and rode away rapidly.
Now shoot him! exclaimed Wilson triumphantly, as soon as the rider
was out of sight.
Thrice blessed imbecile, don't you understand that that was Arsene
Sholmes trembled with rage. Wilson stammered piteously:
What? That gentleman?
Believable or unbelievable, there was only one means of getting
proof. In bringing down his horse, I would have had an accomplice or
Lupin. Do you understand now, you idiot?
The afternoon passed in morose silence. At five o'clock, as they were
walking back and forth in the Rue Clapeyron, being careful to
keep away from the houses so that no other sack would fall upon them,
three young workmen came singing along, holding each other's arm. They
bumped Sholmes and wanted to continue without letting go of arms.
Sholmes, in a bad humor, pushed them aside. There was a mix-up. Sholmes
like a professional boxer launched a blow into one man's chest and
another into the face of a second, and the third one ran away, followed
by the other two.
Ah, said Sholmes, that did me good. My nerves were on edgeand
that was what I needed.
But as he saw Wilson leaning against the wall pale and faint he said:
Why, what's the matter, dear Wilson, you are pale.
I don't know what's the matter with me, but I have a pain in my
A pain in your arm?
Yesmyright arm. He could not lift it. Herlock grabbed it, very
roughly, to find out the exact degree of pain. The degree of pain was
so sharp that he led him into a drug store where Wilson fainted. The
druggist and his assistants examined Wilson and found that his arm was
broken. They called a surgeon at once. While waiting, they bared his
arm and applied soothinglotions.
Now, now, patience, said Sholmes, who was holding the broken arm.
A little patience, dear Wilson. In a few weeks it will be well. They
will pay for this, the wretchesdo you hearLupin, you above all. Ah,
I swear if ever
He interrupted his threats against Lupin suddenly, and in his
excitement let Wilson's arm fall, which caused the unfortunate man to
faint again. Sholmes did not even see this, but, striking his forehead
with his palm, he cried:
Wilson, I have an ideais it by chance?
Sholmes remained immovable, as though fixed by the idea, and he
mumbled half-formed sentences.
Yes, yes, it comes out clear now. We look far away for what is under
our very noses. I knew well that all I have to do is to think. Ah, my
good Wilson, I know you will be very glad
And leaving his old comrade there, he ran to the house number 25.
Above the door at the right there was an inscription on one of the
stones which read:
Destange, Architect, 1875.
At number 23 the same inscription. That was as expected, but what
about the house on Rue Henri-Martin, number 134?
A cab passed, Sholmes hailed it. He was so impatient to reach the
place that he stood up urging the taximan to go faster. When he reached
the place he saw the same words and date sculptured in the stone at the
right above the door.
And even more important was the fact that the neighboring houses bore
the same inscription, Destange, Architect, 1874, a year earlier.
The reaction was so great that he sank to his seat trembling with
joy. At last, a ray of light. This was the clue he was looking for.
At a public booth he called Chateau de Crozon. The countess
Hello, is it you, Madame?
Mr. Sholmes, is it not? Everything all right?
Very well, but quickly, hello, in what year was your chateau built?
By whom, and in what year?
There is an inscription above the door reading, Lucien Destange,
Thank you, madame, and good-by.
He left the booth murmuring: Destange, Destange, that name is not
altogether unknown to me.
His next move was to consult the national biographical dictionary,
where he found:
Lucien Destange, born in 1840. Grand prize of Rome, officer of the
Legion of Honor, author of well-known books on architecture, etc.,
Sholmes returned to the drug store, where, he just remembered, he
left poor Wilson. He was taken to a hospital. There he found the poor
man, with fever following the shock, and half out of his head.
Victory, victory! Sholmes said to him. I have one end of the
The one that will lead me to the end. I am now walking on solid
Cigarette ashes? asked Wilson.
And many other things. Just think, Wilson, I have found the first
link in the chain which leads to the different adventures of the blonde
lady. Why were these three houses, where the three crimes occurred,
chosen by Lupin?
Yes, why? murmured Wilson faintly. Because, Wilson, these three
houses were built by the same architect. That is easy to discover, you
will say. Certainly, and that is just why no one ever thought of it.
No one but you.
But mewho knows that the same architect, in combining these
analogous plans, rendered these three acts possibleacts of miraculous
appearance, but in reality simple and easy?
It was time, old comrade. I had almost lost my patience. 'We are
already on the fourth day.
Out of seven.
From now on
Sholmes was elated. He could not keep still, but walked back and
forth in the narrow space, saying:
And when I think that those scoundrels might have broken my arm, as
well as yours! What do you think, Wilson?
Profit by the lesson. Our mistake was that we tried to fight Lupin
And I have the broken arm, groaned Wilson.
Yes, only you instead of us. But no more nonsense. In the open,
watched from all sides, I am beaten; but in the dark, free from spies,
I have the advantage.
Ganimard can help you.
Never! The day when I can say 'Arsene Lupin is there, and this is
how you can get him,' I will go to Ganimard at once; to his own house,
Rue Pergolese, or the Swiss tavern, Place du Chatelet. But
until then I shall work alone.
He approached the bed and laid his hand on Wilson's shoulder and
Now, take care of yourself, my old comrade. You will have the honor
of keeping two of Lupin's men looking in vain for me to come to see you
in regard to your health.
I thank you for this confidence, said Wilson. I will do my best to
fill it conscientiously. But you will not return.
Why should I? replied Sholmes coldly.
True, trueand I will get well as soon as possible. I beg you to do
me one last service, Herlock. Give me a drink of water?
Yes, I am thirsty, with all this fever
Sholmes said kindly:
Why, certainly, right away, and, saying this, he fumbled among the
medicine bottles a moment, saw a package of tobacco on the table,
lighted his pipe, and suddenly, as though he had not even heard the
pitiful appeal for water, he walked hurriedly away, while his old
comrade looked in vain for the water.
* * * *
The servant looked scornfully at the individual who stood at the door
of the magnificent house at the corner of the Palace Malesherbes
and the Rue Montchamn. He regarded disdainfully the man wearing
a long, black overcoat, gray, and not shaved. He answered the old man,
M. Destange is here and he is not. That depends. Have you a card?
The old gentleman had no card but he had a letter of introduction.
The servant took this letter to M. Destange. M. Destange ordered the
servant to bring the gentleman in instantly.
The stranger was brought to a large, round room in one of the wings.
The walls were lined with bookcases. The architect said:
You are M. Stickmann?
My secretary says in his letter that he is ill, and sends you to
continue the catalogue he began under my directions. And more
particularly the German book. Are you accustomed to this kind of work?
Yes, sir, replied Stickmann, with a strong German accent.
Arrangements were soon made, and M. Destange began to work with his
new secretary without delay.
Herlock Sholmes was now on the ground floor.
To escape the watchfulness of Lupin and to get to Lucien Destange,
the detective plunged into the unknown, adopted many stratagems, and
gained, under the most varied names, the good graces and the confidence
of many persons, and, in short, lived the most varied life for
He learned that M. Destange, in feeble health, desiring rest and
repose, had retired from active business and now lived among his books
which he had collected relating to architecture. Nothing held the
slightest interest for him but his dusty old volumes.
His daughter, Clotilde, was looked upon as queer. Shut in like her
father, but in another part of the house, she never went out.
All this, said Sholmes to himself, while he was writing the titles
of books which M. Destange dictated, all this is not decisive, but
what a step forward! It is impossible that I shall not discover the
solution for one of these problems. Is Destange associated with Arsene
Lupin? Does he meet him? Does there exist anything here relating to the
construction of these three houses? And will not such papers, if I can
find them, furnish me the address of Lupin?
With his intuition, an intuition unique to him, he smelled a mystery
surrounding this household. Small things, which he could not have
explained, made a strong impression upon him.
The second day as yet he made no important discovery. At two o'clock
he saw Clotilde Destange for the first time. She had come to the
library for a book. She was a woman about thirty years, brunette, with
slow gestures, with that indifferent expression of those who live
alone. She exchanged a few words with her father, and left without
having even looked at Sholmes.
The afternoon dragged monotonously. At five o'clock Destange said he
was going out. Sholmes remained alone on the circular gallery affixed
to the walls of the library, about half way up. The day was fading.
Sholmes was about to leave when he heard a slight noise. He felt that
there was some one besides himself in the library. Long minutes
followed. Suddenly a shadow emerged from the darkness quite near him on
the balcony. Was it possible? How long had this person been there? How
did he get there?
The man descended the steps and walked toward the great oaken closet.
Hidden behind the cloth which hung over the railing of the gallery,
Sholmes watched the man turn over the papers in the closet. What was he
Then all at once the door opened. Mile. Destange entered the room in
haste, and saying to some one outside:
So you have decided not to go out, father? In that case I will turn
the lights on. Just a second, father.
The man pushed the double door of the closet quickly into place, and
hid himself in the embrasure of a window, drawing the heavy curtains
about him. How was it that Mile. Destange did not see him, did not hear
him? Very calmly she pushed the electric button and let her father pass
before her. They sat down near each other. She took a book which she
had brought with her and began to read. After a few minutes she asked:
And your secretary has gone, has he not?
I think so, it was time for him to go.
Are you satisfied with him?
She spoke as though she had not noticed the change in secretaries,
that she did not know that the old one was ill and had been replaced by
Oh, yes, replied the old man, who began to nod, and he fell asleep
in his chair. The young woman continued to read; for a little while,
then one of the curtains was drawn aside, and the strange man slipped
along the wall, toward the door, in such a manner that he had to pass
behind Destange, but in front of Clotilde. Sholmes could see him
distinctly. It was Arsene Lupin.
The Englishman trembled with joy. His calculations were right; and he
had penetrated the very heart of this mystery.
Still Clotilde did not move, although she could not possibly fail to
see him. Lupin had almost reached the door when by some accident her
book fell to the floor. Her father awakened with a start. As he did so,
Arsene Lupin stood before him, hat in hand, and smiling:
Maxime Bermond! cried Destange, with joy, my dear Maxime, what
good wind brings you here?
The desire to see you, as well as Mile. Destange, was the reply, as
they all shook hands. The father said:
You have been away, then?
Yes, I returned yesterday.
And you will stay for dinner?
No, I dine at a restaurant with friends.
To-morrow, then. Clotilde, insist that he shall come tomorrow. Ah,
my good Maxime, I have been thinking of you so much these last few
Is that so?
Yes, I was arranging my old papers in that closet. I found our last
What account was that?
Why, that of the Avenue Henri Martin.
Howdo you keep those old accounts? What good are they?
The three left the library and went to a small room which joined it
through a large bay window.
Can that be Lupin? asked Sholmes filled with a vague doubt.
Yes, evidently it was he, but it was also another man who resembled
Arsene Lupin in many ways.
In evening costume, with white tie, his shirt moulding his body, he
spoke lightly, and told stories over which Destange laughed with hearty
appreciation, arid which brought smiles to the lips of Clotilde. Arsene
Lupin redoubled his gay carelessness, and at the sound of that happy
and clear voice Clotilde's face became animated. She lost the cold
expression which rendered her so unsympathetic.
They love one another, thought Sholmes, but what the devil can
Clotilde Destange have in common with Arsene Lupin?
Until seven o'clock he listened anxiously, profiting by every word.
Then with great caution he descended and crossed the library.
Outside, Sholmes made sure that no automobile was waiting. He waited
past Boulevard Malesherbes, put on his overcoat, which he had
carried on his arm, and straightened up to full height. He then
returned to the house and waited, his eyes fixed upon the door.
Arsene Lupin soon came out and walked toward the center of Paris. A
hundred steps behind walked Sholmes.
A strange thing happened. Half way between Sholmes and Lupin others
walked in the same direction, notably two big, husky fellows, in round
hats, while two others, wearing caps, on the sidewalk at the right.
Perhaps it was chance, but Sholmes was astonished to see Lupin enter
a tobacco store, the four men stop. They started again as soon as Lupin
came out, but each separately, and each following the Chaussee
Hell! said Sholmes. He and I are followed.
That others shadowed Lupin spoiled the immense pleasure he felt at
the idea of capturing alone the cleverest criminal that ever crossed
his path. Yes, there was no mistake about it.
I wonder if dear old Ganimard knows more than he told me? muttered
He wanted to speak to one of the men, with a plan for working
together. As Herlock Sholmes approached him the crowd grew so dense
that he feared to lose Lupin. He tried to hasten his steps, but was
checked by the crowds. He kept his eyes upon Lupin going up the steps
of a Hungarian restaurant at the corner of the Rue Helder. The
door was open. Sholmes from a bench on the opposite side of the street
could see Lupin approach a table decorated with flowers, and where were
seated three gentlemen in evening dress and two ladies in elegant
attire, who received Lupin as an honored guest.
Herlock looked around for the four individuals who had followed
Lupin, and spotted them among the groups who listened to the music of
the Gypsies at a neighboring cafe. It seemed curious to him that they
paid less attention to Lupin than to the people about them.
With a rapid movement one of them drew a cigarette from his pocket
and saluted a gentleman wearing a long coat and high silk hat. The
gentleman held out his cigar to let the other get a light. Sholmes got
the impression that they exchanged words, more than necessary for such
occasion. At last the man in the coat went up the restaurant steps and
looked around the place. When he saw Lupin he advanced, talked quietly
a few moments with him, and then chose a table near Lupin. He turned,
Sholmes saw that it was the man on the horse.
Now he understood. Arsene Lupin was not followed; the men were part
of his gang. The men were guarding his safety, his strong-arm escorts.
Wherever Lupin ran into danger they were there to defend him.
Sholmes tore a page from his notebook, wrote a few words with a
pencil and slipped it into an envelope. Then he said to a boy who was
lying down on the grass:
Say, boy, get a cab and take this letter to the cashier of the Swiss
Tavern, Place du Chatelet. Hurry, now.
He gave the boy five francs. He disappeared.
Half an hour passed. The crowd grew thicker. It was impossible for
Sholmes to distinguish Lupin's men. Some one touched him on the
shoulder and a low voice whispered in his ear:
What is it, Sholmes?
Is it you, Ganimard?
Yes, I got your note at the Tavern. What is it?
He is there.
What are you saying?
There, in that restaurant, move a little this way. Do you see him?
He is pouring champagne for his hosts.
But that is not Lupin.
Yes, it is.
I tell you... still, he may beah, the rascal! How he looks like
himself, murmured Ganimard. And the others, accomplices?
No. Lady Cleveden, Lady Heath, and ambassadors from Spain and
Ganimard started to go but Herlock Sholmes stopped him, saying:
You are alone!
So is he.
No, he has his guard, without counting that gentleman on the
When I put my hand on Arsene Lupin's collar and call his name, I'll
have everybody in the place with me, even the waiters, said Ganimard,
I would prefer a few policemen.
See here, Sholmes, we have no choice.
He was right. Sholmes knew it.
Try and keep him from recognizing you as long as possible.
And he slipped behind a newsstand, without losing sight of Lupin, who
calmly sat smiling to his neighbors.
Ganimard crossed the street with his hands in his pocket, as though
just strolling, but when he reached the sidewalk, with one bound he ran
up the steps. A sharp whistle blew from somewhere, Ganimard bumped into
the proprietor, who had suddenly planted his burly form in the doorway
and pushed Ganimard back indignantly, as if he were drunk. Ganimard
fell back. At the same instant the man in the coat came out. He took
the Inspector's part. He and the restaurant keeper quarrelled
violently, both holding onto Ganimard, one pulling him and the other
pushing. In spite of all his efforts, in spite of his furious protests,
the unhappy Ganimard was pushed clear down to the sidewalk.
A crowd gathered instantly. Two policemen, attracted by the noise,
tried to break through the compact mass of people, but an
incomprehensible resistance prevented them from freeing themselves from
the shoulders that pressed against them.
At once, as though by magic, the crowd dispersed. The proprietor,
comprehending his mistake, made the most humble excuses. The man in the
coat was gone. The police came. Ganimard rushed to the table with the
six guestsbut now there were only five! He looked about himthere
was no other exit than the door by which he had entered.
Thetheperson who was here at this place? he asked. Yes, you
were six. Where is the sixth?
No, Arsene Lupin.
A waiter approached:
That gentleman has just gone to the next floor.
Ganimard flew after him. This floor had many private rooms, and a
private door leading out to the boulevard.
Oh, no use searching for him! groaned Ganimard. He is far away.
But he was not far away, not over two hundred yards, in the
Madeleine-Bastille omnibus, which was rolling peacefully along, and
which passed the Place de l'Opera, and turned into the boulevard
of the Capuchins. On the platform two big men in soft hats stood
quietly, while on the upper tier at the top of the steps sat a little
old man. This man was Herlock Sholmes, whose head drooped as though
If dear Wilson saw me now, how proud he would be! Bah! it was easy
to foresee by the whistle what their game was. There was nothing to do
but watch. Really, life becomes interesting with that devil. At the
terminus Sholmes saw Lupin pass by his bodyguards and heard him say in
a low voice: At the Etoile.
I'll be there. Let him go in a taxi. I will follow the two.
The two companions went on afoot and reached the Etoile, rang
the bell of a narrow house at number 40 in the Rue Chalgrin.
Sholmes hid himself in a shadow to watch.
One of the two windows on the ground floor opened, a man with a round
hat closed the shutters. A ray of light shone on the moulding.
About ten minutes later a man came, rang at the same door, and right
afteranother. Then a taxicab came from which two persons
descendedArsene Lupin and a lady in black, heavily veiled.
The blonde lady, said Sholmes to himself. The taxi rolled away.
A few minutes passed, he approached the house, jumped up the
windowsill, and, standing on his toes, looked into the room over the
Arsene Lupin, his elbow on the fireplace, was talking excitingly. The
others listened attentively, all standing. Sholmes recognized the man
of the coat and the proprietor of the restaurant. The blonde sat in a
low chair, her back toward the window.
A council of war, Sholmes thought. The events to-night made them
uneasy. Oh, if I could only nab them all at onceall together!
One of the men walked toward the door. Sholmes sprang from the
window, and hid in the shadow.
The man in the coat and the restaurateur left the house by the front
door. In a few moments the windows of the second floor were lighted,
some one drew the blinds and all became dark. He and she have remained
on the ground floor, thought the detective. The two accomplices are
on the second floor.
He waited there a good part of the night without moving, fearing lest
Lupin would get away. At four o'clock, seeing two policemen at the end
of the street, he joined them, explained the situation to them, and
turned over the watching of the house to them.
After this he went to Ganimard's home, Rue Pergolese, and
I have got him again.
If you haven't got him any better than you had him, go away.
They went to the Rue Mesnil, and from there to the
Commissioner Decointre, and then, accompanied by half a dozen men, they
returned to Rue Chalgrin.
Anything new? Sholmes asked the two police.
Dawn. The commissioner had made all arrangements. They rang the bell.
The housekeeper, frightened by the police, said she had no lodgers on
the ground floor.
How is that? No lodgers?
No, it is on the second floor, the Leroux's. They have furnished the
ground floor for relatives from the country.
A gentleman and lady.
Who came in last night with them?
Possibly, I was asleepbut I do not think so, for here is the key.
They did not ask for it.
The commissioner took the key and opened the door, which was the
other side of the hallway. The ground floor had two rooms, empty.
Impossible! cried Sholmes; I saw them, him and her.
The commissioner sneered, saying:
No doubt, but they are not here now.
Let us go upstairs. They must be there.
The next floor is inhabited by Leroux.
We will question them.
They walked up. The commissioner rang the bell. At the second attack
on the bell the door opened and an angry man stood shouting:
Why the hell do you make such a racket?
Then, seeing who his visitors were, the man said:
Pardonin the fleshI'm not dreaming, it is M. Deccintreand you,
too, M. Ganimard? What can I do for you?
Ganimard burst out laughing, bent double.
Is it you, Leroux? he stammered. Oh, isn't this funny? Leroux
accomplice of Arsene Lupinthis will kill meand your brother. Is he
Edmond, are you awake? It is Ganimard!
Another man, in pajamas and a night cap, appeared, who set Ganimard
Is it possible? No one could have imagined this. Ah, my friends, you
are in a fine fix. Who would ever have believed it? Luckily, old
Ganimard watches over you, and he has friends to help him, friends who
have come from far.
And, turning to Sholmes, he presented him:
Victor Leroux, Inspector of Police, one of the best among us. Edmond
Leroux, principal in the anthropometric service, and firm believer in
the Bertillon system.
Herlock Sholmes did not say a word. To accuse the two men? It was
useless, without proof. No one would believe him.
His fists clenched, he determined not to betray his discomfort to
Ganimard nor his rage at the deception. He saluted the Leroux brothers
respectfully and retired.
In the hall he turned to a low door which led to the cellar. Here he
picked up a small garnet. Once outside, he turned and above the door
near the number 40 he read this inscription: Lucien Destange,
The same inscription on Number 42.
Always twin houses, he thought. 40 and 42 communicate. How was it
that I did not think of it before? I should have remained here with the
He turned and said to the cops:
Did not two persons leave that house after I had gone?
Yes, sir; a lady and a man.
Sholmes took the arm of Ganimard, saying:
Ganimard, you have enjoyed yourself too much to be angry at me for
the trouble I have caused you to-night.
Oh, I don't mind at all.
Thank you. The best jokes have only one time for laughter. I think
that it is time to finish now.
I think so, too.
To-day is the seventh day. It is absolutely necessary that I be in
London in three days.
I shall be there, Ganimard. I beg you will be ready at any time
between Tuesday and Wednesday.
For a trip like this?
And which will end
In the capture of Lupin.
Do you believe that?
I swear on the honor of an Englishman.
They shook hands and Herlock Sholmes went to the nearest hotel to
obtain some rest. Refreshed, confident in himself, he returned to
Rue Chalgrin, slipped two Louis into the housekeeper's hand,
assured that the Leroux brothers were out, discovered that the house
belonged to a M. Harmingeat. Then furnished with a candle, he descended
into the cellar by the small door near which he found the garnet.
At the foot of the steps he found another one.
I was sure, he thought; it is here that there is a way out. I'll
see if my master key will open the cellar belonging to the ground
floor. Good! Ah, let me see. Here the dust has been swept awayand
A slight noise caused him to listen. He shut the door, blew out the
candle, and hid himself behind some trunks. After a while, he saw one
of the iron compartments pivot gently, turning with it part of the wall
to which it was attached. Light of a lantern streamed through. An arm
came next, then a man. He was bent over as if looking for some small
object on the ground. He brushed the dust about with the ends of his
fingers. He stood up several times and placed something in a small box
which he held in his left hand. After this he rubbed out his footprints
in the dust, and those of Lupin and the blonde lady.
He gave a hoarse cry and fell to the ground. Sholmes was on him. It
took only a second; Sholmes stretched him out on the floor, and tied
him hand and foot.
Will you talk? he asked the man. The man remained silent. Sholmes
knew that to expect the man to speak was hopeless.
Sholmes searched the man's pockets. He found a bunch of keys, a
handkerchief and the little box which held a dozen garnetsa poor
What should he do? What to do with the prisoner? Hand him over to the
police? What was the use? What advantage would that give him over
Lupin? He hesitated, when on the box, this address, Leonard,
jeweller, Rue de la Paix, decided his next move.
He simply abandoned the man. He pushed the iron compartment back,
and, closing the cellar door, left the place. He notified M. Destange
by telegraph that he could not be there until the next day. He then
went to the jeweller to whom he gave the garnets, saying:
Madame sent me here with these garnets.
Sholmes was lucky. He struck the right note as the jeweller replied:
Yes, the lady has just telephoned me. She will be here in a few
It was not until five o'clock that Sholmes, posted on the sidewalk,
saw a lady, wearing a thick veil, approach. Through the window he saw
her lay an antique jewel set with garnets upon the counter.
She left soon, stopped at various shops, walked down the Rue de
Clichy, and turned down a street the Englishman did not know. In
the dusk, she entered a large apartment house, without ringing. She
went to the second floor and entered Apartment 3-C. Two minutes later
Herlock Sholmes tried one key after another from the bunch he had taken
from the man in the cellar. One opened the door.
He saw that the place was absolutely empty, entirety uninhabited. At
the end of the hall he spied a thread of light, and, having noiselessly
approached, he saw through a glass the veiled lady taking off her coat
and veil. She placed them on the only chair in the room, and wrapped
herself in a green velvet gown.
He saw her go to the chimney, push the electric button, and half the
panel to the right of the chimney slid along the wall.
As soon as the panel was opened the lady passed through, taking the
lamp with her.
The system was so simple that Sholmes had no difficulty in doing as
she had done.
He had to go forward in the darkness feeling his way. Soon soft
things brushed across his face. This startled him at first. He lighted
a match and saw that he was in a small room filled with dresses and
other feminine garments. He brushed them aside and stopped at a closed
door. His match burned out. He looked through the door. The blonde lady
was there within reach of his hand. She turned on the electricity. Now
for the first time Sholmes could see her face. He gasped. The woman
before him was no other than Clotilde Destange.
Clotilde Destange, the murderess of Baron d'Hautrec! Thief of the red
diamond! Clotilde Destange, the friend of Arsene Lupin! The blonde
Yes, by God! he thought, I am an ass. Because the friend of Lupin
is blonde and Clotilde brunette, I never united the two. As if the
blonde lady could remain blonde after the murder and robbery.
Sholmes could see part of the room, an elegant boudoir, ornamented
with hangings in light colors, and precious trifles such as women love
to have about them. Clotilde sat quiet with her face hidden in her
hands. She was weeping. Great tears ran down her pale cheeks and fell
on her velvet waist. Tears continually as though inexhaustible! The
slow tears of mournful and resigned despair.
A door opened and Arsene Lupin entered.
They looked at each other a long time without a word. Then Lupin
knelt down, drew her head to his breast, clasped her in his arms.
Tenderness mingled with pity. They did not move. A sweet silence united
them; the tears ceased.
I desire but one thing,' he said, to make you happy.
I am happy.
No, you weep. Your tears break my heart, Clotilde.
She let herself be calmed by his caressing voice and she listened
with hope and happiness. A smile softened her face, lovely and lovable.
He said tenderly:
Do not be sad, Clotilde. You should not be. You have no right.
She held out her slender hands, fine and white, saying as she did so:
As long as these hands are my hands I shall be sad, Maxime.
They have killed.
Hush! Don't say that. The past is dead, and he took the poor little
trembling hands in his, and kissed them passionately, as though each
kiss took away some of the stain of blood. She smiled a little, and the
horrible nightmare faded away. She sighed:
Oh, you must love me, Maxime, you must, because no other woman will
love you as I do. To please you, I have done, and do things you tell me
to do. I do deeds against all my instincts. My conscience revolts, but
I cannot resistbecause what I do is useful to you, you wish me to do
themand I am ready to begin again to-morrow, always.
He replied bitterly:
Clotilde, why did I force myself on you? I should have remained
Maxime Bermond whom you loved five years ago, not the real man that I
She whispered: I love that other man, too. I regret nothing.
Yes, you regret your seclusion.
I regret nothing when you are here, she said passionately. There
is no crime, no sin when I see you. What does it matter? I accept
everything, but you must love me.
I do not love you because I must but because I do, he said.
Are you sure of that? she asked, looking into his eyes.
I am as sure of that as I am of myself. In my violent and feverish
existence I cannot give my time where I should.
Oh, is there a new danger? she cried, Speak!
Oh, nothing very grave as yet, but he is hot on our tracks.
Yes, it was he who launched Ganimard at the restaurant, it was he
who posted two policemen in the Rue Chalgrin last night. I have
proof. Ganimard searched the house this morning, and Sholmes
accompanied him, and, besides
Well, yes, one of our men is gone, Jeanniot.
I sent him this morning to Rue Chalgrin to find the garnets
which fell from my brooch.
Sholmes must have caught him.
No the garnets were taken to the jeweller.
Then what became of him?
Oh, Maxime, I am afraid.
There is nothing for you to fear. I admit the situation is bad. What
does he know? Where does he hide? His strength is in his isolation.
Nothing can betray him..
What have you decided?
Extreme prudence, Clotilde. I have resolved to change my residence.
The intervention of Sholmes has hastened matters, that is all. When a
man like Sholmes is on your tracks you must feel sure that he will not
reach the end. So I have prepared everything. Day after to-morrow,
Wednesday, the moving will take place. At noon everything will be done.
So, you see I have prepared everything. At two o'clock I can quit the
place myself after having removed the last trace of our home, which is
not a small matter, I assure you. From now to then
From now to then?
We must not meet, and no one must see you. Do not go out. I do not
fear for myself but for you. I fear everything when it relates to you.
It is impossible for him to reach me.
Everything is possible with him. Yesterday, when I so narrowly
escaped being seen by your father, I had come to search the closet for
the old registers. They are dangerous. Danger everywhere. I feel the
enemy creeping in the dark but coming nearer and nearer. I feel that he
is watching us. He is spreading his nets around us. That is my
intuition. It never deceives me.
In that case, Maxime, don't think of my tears. Go. I will wait till
the danger is over. Adieu, Maxime!
She kissed Maxime with passion. She led him to the door. Sholmes
heard their voices grow fainter.
He felt the need for immediate action. He did not go back the way he
came, but followed them and soon found a staircase. At the instant that
he was about to descend he heard voices on the floor below. He judged
it safer to follow a circular hall which brought him to other stairs.
At the foot of this staircase he was greatly surprised to see the
furniture he knew. A door stood partly open. He entered the round
library, the library where he had worked for two days.
Ah, now I see, he breathed, Clotilde's boudoir communicates with
the apartment of the next house, and that house has its outlet on an
adjacent street, Rue Montchanin. Wonderful! I understand how
Clotilde Destange can join her beloved, at the same time enjoy a
reputation of a solitary. I now understand how Arsene Lupin popped out
upon me so suddenly in the gallery. There must be another way between
the neighboring house and the library.
Sholmes mounted to the gallery and hid himself behind the cloth along
the railing. He remained there until a servant came and turned off the
electricity. An hour later the Englishman got out his electric lantern
and went to the closet.
He knew it contained the old papers of the architect's plans and
account books. On the second shelf was a series of plans classed
according to date.
He took those of late years, examined the index page, particularly
those of letter H. Having discovered the word Harmingeat accompanied by
the number 63, he turned to page 63 and read:
Harmingeat, 40 Rue Chalgrin.
Then followed the detail of work done for this man, putting a heater
in the house. And in the margin was See book M. B.
He found fifteen pages devoted to this M. Harmingeat, of the Rue
Chalgrin. Another gave details of work done for M. Vatinel, owner
of a house 25 Rue Clapeyron. Another was reserved for Baron
d'Hautrec, 134 Rue Henri Martin, another at the chateau
de Crozon, and the eleven others.
Sholmes copied the addresses. Then he replaced everything, opened a
window, and jumped into the deserted street.
In his room at the hotel he lighted his pipe. Surrounded by clouds of
smoke, he studied the conclusions he could draw from the book M. B.,
Maxime Bermond, alias Arsene Lupin.
At eight o'clock he sent the following to Ganimard.
I will be at Rue Pergolese and will hand over to your care a
person whose capture is important. Be home to-night and tomorrow until
noon. Have about ten men with you.
Then he took a taxicab to the Place Malesherbes, fifty steps
away from Destange's house.
Sholmes said to the driver, My boy, close your cab, make your self
comfortable and wait. In about one hour and a half you will start the
motor ready to go as soon as you see me, to Rue Pergolese.
When he got to the door, he hesitated. Was it not wrong to follow up
the blonde lady while Lupin prepared for flight? And would he not have
done better to have found Lupin by the aid of his list?
Bah, when the blonde lady is my prisoner I shall be master. He rang
Destange was already in the library. They got to work. Sholmes was
trying to invent some excuse to go up to Clotilde's room, when she
entered, said good morning to her father, and sat down and began to
write. From his position Sholmes could see her bending over the table.
He waited a few minutes and said:
Here is the book you asked me to give you as soon as I could put my
hand upon it.
He walked up to her before the father could object. He placed himself
before her in such a way that her father could not see her face as he
said: I am M. Stickmann, the new secretary of M. Destange.
Ah, said she indifferently, has my father changed his secretary?
Yes, and I desire to have a few words with you.
Be seated, sir, till I shall have finished.
She added a few words to the letter, signed it, sealed the envelope,
pushed the papers back, called up her dressmaker on the telephone,
asked her to rush a travelling dress she was making which she urgently
needed, and at last turned to Sholmes:
Now, sir, I am at liberty, but cannot our conversation take place
before my father?
Madame, it cannot. I beg you not to raise your voice. It is
preferable that M. Destange does not hear.
Preferable to whom?
I do not permit conversations that my father may not hear.
You will permit this one.
Both rose to their feet, their eyes met and she said:
Remaining on his feet, he said:
Pardon me if I make a mistake on some minor points. I guarantee the
general truth of all I say.
No fine phrases, sir, I beg. If you have anything of importance to
say, say it.
As she said this the expression of her eyes showed Sholmes that she
was on guard, but he continued:
So be it. I will get to the point. About five years ago your father
met Maxime Bermond, who presented himself as a contractoror
architect, I do not know just which. M. Destange esteemed this
brilliant young man greatly, and as his own health was failing he
turned over some orders to him adapted to his special talents.
Herlock stopped for a moment and noticed the young woman's face was
paler than usual. It was with perfect calm that she answered:
I do not know anything about my father's business, I cannot see how
or why it could interest me.
Maxime Bermond is really Arsene Lupin. You know it as well as I.
Clotilde began to laugh, saying:
It is impossible. Arsene Lupin, Maxime Bermond really Arsene Lupin?
Since you refuse to understand veiled references I know that Arsene
Lupin has found in this house an assistant in his crimes. More than an
assistant, a blind accomplice, one passionately devoted
She rose so calmly that Sholmes was struck by her mastery of her
emotions. She said:
I do not know the aim of your conversation, I wish to ignore it. I
beg you, therefore, not to add another word but to leave at once.
I certainly did not wish to impose my presence on you forever,
replied Sholmes quietly. Only I will not leave this house alone.
And who is going with you?
Yes, madame, we will leave this house together, and you will go
without protest, without a word.
Absolutely calm, as if they were holding an academic debate.
They could see M. Destange so interested in his books that he saw
Clotilde sat down shrugging her shoulders slightly. Herlock drew out
It is half-past ten. We leave in five minutes.
And if I will not go?
If not I will be forced to tell your father about the accomplice of
Arsene Lupin, Maxime Bermond.
Yes, the blonde lady.
I will take him to Rue Chalgrin, and show him the passage
between 40 and 42, the passage which you walked through the night
Then I will take him to the home of M. Detinan. We will go down the
servant's stairs where you escaped Ganimard. And we will search for the
passage to the house next door, with the door on the boulevard
Batignolles and not on Rue Clapeyron.
Then I will take him to the Chateau de Crozon, and it will be
easy for him to discover the secret entrance. He will see the passage
through which the blonde lady entered the room of the countess and
stole the red diamond. Two weeks later she went into Consul Bleichen's
room and hid a red diamond in the bottle of powder. I cannot quite make
out why she did it, perhaps jealousy, but that doesn't matter.
Then I shall take your father to 134 Avenue Henri Martin and we will
learn how Baron d'Hautrec
Hush, hush! gasped the young woman suddenly, I forbid you to say
that it was I whoyou accuse me!
I accuse you of the murder of Baron d'Hautrec.
No, no, that is a lie
You killed Baron d'Hautrec. You entered his service as Antoinette
Brehat with the intention of robbing the red diamond. You killed him.
Oh, sir! I beg you! Since you know so much you must know that I did
not kill the Baron.
I did not say that you willingly killed him. He was subject to
attacks of violent insanity, which only Sister Augusta could control. I
learned that from herself. In her absence he must have attacked you,
and in the course of the struggle, in defence of your life, you struck.
Frightened and horror-stricken at the sight, you flew without taking
the ring from his finger. A little later you came with one of Lupin's
servants, you put the Baron in bed, you put the room in order, but not
daring to take the red diamond. That is what happened. I repeat you did
not murder the Baron, yet it was your hands which killed him.
Suddenly her brow wrinkled, her long and delicate hands tightly
clasped, she sat a long time in silence. At last she lowered her hands,
showing her sad face, she said:
You will tell all this to my father?
Yes, and I will tell him that I have witnesses. Mile. Gerbois will
recognize the blonde lady without her wig. Sister Augusta will know
Antoinette Brehat. Countess de Crozon will recognize Mme. de Real. That
is what I will tell him.
You will not dare, said she, suddenly regaining control of herself.
He took one step toward the library and she saw that he intended to
do as he said. She whispered:
One second, sir.
Mistress of herself, she calmly asked him:
You are Herlock Sholmes, are you not?
What do you want?
What do I want? I am engaged in a fight with Arsene Lupin, a battle
which I must win. While waiting for the end, which cannot be delayed
long, I think a hostage as precious as you would be to my advantage.
You will come with me. I will turn you over to one of my friends. Soon
as the end is attained, you will be set free.
Is that all?
That is all.
She seemed to submit, though she wished to gain time. Her eyes
partially closed, Sholmes looked at her, now so tranquil and
And. thought the Englishman, she doesn't realize her danger? No,
she cannot. Lupin protects her. Lupin. Nothing can harm her. Lupin is
all powerful, Lupin is all knowing.
Madame, he said firmly, We have spoken more than five minutes. It
is time to go.
Will you permit me, sir, to go for my clothes?
If you wish. I will wait for you on the Rue Montchanin.
You know? she said, with a sudden fear showing plainly.
I know everything.
Very well. She called for her things.
They brought her hat and coat. Sholmes said to her:
You must give your father some reason why you are going out, and why
you may be absent two days, perhaps.
That's useless, I will return soon.
Their eyes looked defiant. Sholmes said:
You are sure of him!
And God, she answered happily.
Everything he does is right, is it not? All that he wants comes to
pass. You approve, and are ready to do anything for him.
I love him, she replied, trembling with the force of her passion.
And you believe he will save you?
She replied with a disdainful gesture and, going to her father, said:
I am running away with M. Stickmann. We are going to the library.
Will you be back for lunch?
Perhaps, more likely not, don't be uneasy.
Then, turning to Sholmes, she said coldly:
I am ready, sir.
With an easy heart.
If you attempt to escape I shall have you arrested, in prison.
Remember the blonde lady is under order of arrest?
I swear to you that I will not try to escape from you.
I believe you. Come on. They went down the steps together. The taxi
was still there, ready for instant departure. He saw the driver's back,
his cap drawn down over his ears and the collar of his coat turned up.
He opened the door, helped Clotilde to enter, then he got in and sat
down beside her.
The taxicab started forward rapidly and soon was in Avenue Hoche,
and then the Avenue of the Grand Army. Herlock was absorbed in
perfecting his plans.
Ganimard is at homeI will leave the young girl in his handsshall
I tell him who she is? No, for he will arrest her at once, which would
spoil everything. I will consult the list and M. B. will find himself
very uncomfortable in fifteen minutes. And tonight, early to-morrow at
the latest, I will go to Ganimard and deliver Arsene Lupin to his
He rubbed his hands together, happy. Giving in to an impulse that was
foreign to him, he said to Clotilde:
Excuse me if I show too much delight, but success is particularly
You have every reason to be proud of such success, sir.
Thank you, but this is a strange street. The chauffeur did not
At this moment they were leaving Paris by the Neuilly gate. What the
devil!... Rue Pergolese is not outside of Paris.
Sholmes lowered the glass, shouting:
Hey you, stop. I told you to go to Rue Pergolese.
The man appeared deaf. Sholmes shouted still louder:
I tell you to go to Rue Pergolese.
The man did not reply.
Are you deaf, you bloody bugger? I order you to turn back, at once!
The same silence. He looked at Clotilde and saw a mocking smile
playing at the corners of her mouth.
Why are you laughing? he growled; this has nothing to do with my
plansand changes nothing.
Absolutely nothing, she said sweetly.
A sudden flash of light struck him like a hammer blow. He looked
closer at the driver. The shoulders were not as broad, and there was
something about the whole person that made Sholmes certain that this
man was Arsene Lupin.
Well, Mr. Sholmes, how do you like the ride?
Stop, or I fire! said Sholmes, drawing his revolver.
Say, if you wish to hit her you'd better aim at me, said Lupin
without turning his head. Clotilde added lightly:
Maxime, be careful, the road is wet. She continued to smile, her
eyes fixed upon the road.
Stop, stop! shouted Sholmes with his impotent rage, I am capable
of anything! The barrel of the revolver touched her hair, and she
That Maxime is very imprudent! At this speed we are sure to have an
Was Sholmes beaten at his own game? He put back the revolver and,
grabbing the handle to the door, was about to jump out of the cab in
spite of the danger. Clotilde said:
Be careful. There is a car behind us.
He looked and saw another car following them. Four men were in it.
Well, it seems, I am well guarded.
He crossed his arms over his chest and remained silent. They
traversed the Seine and passed Suresnes, Rueil, and Chatou. He sat
motionless, resigned, master of himself, without bitterness. He tried
to figure how Arsene Lupin had taken the place of the chauffeur he had.
Was it chance? No, he could not be an accomplice. Who notified Lupin?
It must have been after he had threatened Clotilde. No one but she knew
it. But since that moment Clotilde and he had been together.
Just then he remembered one thing. The telephone callher
conversation right under his own eyeswith her dressmaker. All at once
he understood everything. At the demand for an interview by the new
secretary she must have divined his true name and the aim. Coolly,
naturally, she called Lupin pretending it was her dressmaker, a plan
most likely arranged between them. It was cleververy clever.
They crossed the Seine and began to ascend the hill of St. Germain.
About five hundred yards outside that town the cab slowed down. The
other car came up to them and stopped. There was no one in sight.
Mr. Sholmes, said Lupin, kindly change cars. This one creeps.
Creeps? said Sholmes.
Permit me to offer you this fur coat. We are going to ride fast.
Some sandwiches? Yes, yes, accept them, for we don't know when we will
The four men got off the large car. Sholmes recognized one of them as
the man in the overcoat. Lupin said to him:
Take this cab back to the chauffeur from whom I hired it. He is
waiting in the saloon at the right of the Rue Legendre. You will
pay him a thousand francs. Ah, yes; I forgot, please give Mr. Sholmes
He talked a few moments with Mile. Destange, took his place in the
big car and started. Sholmes sat beside him. Lupin had not exaggerated
when he said that they would go fast. From the beginning they flew at a
dizzy speed. The horizon rushed to meet them and disappeared the next
moment as though swallowed with trees, houses, plains, forests in the
rush of a torrent falling into the gulf.
Sholmes and Lupin did not exchange a word. The poplars made a noise
like the breaking of great waves. Towns melted away, Mantes, Vernon,
Gaillon. From one hill to another, from Bon Secours to
Canteleu, Rouen, its outskirts, its port, its docks. And then
Duclair, Caudebec, the country of Caux whose undulations
they skimmed in their powerful flight, then Lillebonne, and
Quillebeuf. And now suddenly at the side of the Seine near a little
dock where lay a yacht, slender, strong, elegant.
The car stopped, having made more than one hundred and fifty miles in
A man in a neat blue marine uniform with a gold banded hat, stepped
Fine, Captain, said Lupin loudly. You got my telegram? The Swallow
The Swallow is ready, sir.
In that case, Mr. Sholmes, we are ready.
The Englishman looked about him, saw a group of persons at the
terrace of a cafe and another group rather nearerhesitated an
instantand then understanding that to make a break would be useless,
he crossed the gang plank behind Lupin and followed him into the
The cabin was large, clean, with varnished walls and polished copper.
Lupin closed the door behind them, and, turning brusquely, said:
Now what do you know, everything?
All? Give the particulars.
There was no ironical politeness in Lupin's voice. It was the voice
of the master commanding.
They sized each other up, enemies.
Lupin said, slightly weakened: I have found you in my way once too
often. I have enough to do without losing my time avoiding your traps.
I tell you as a warning that my conduct toward you will depend upon
your reply. What do you know, exactly?
Arsene Lupin controlled himself with effort, and said:
I will tell you myself. You know that under the name of Maxime
Bermond I remodelled fifteen houses which were originally constructed
by M. Destange.
Of the fifteen houses you know four.
And you have the list of the others.
You obtained that list last night at Destanges' home?
And you must know that I have kept one for myself for my own needs
and those of my friendsyou have given the others to Ganimard in order
to discover my retreat.
It means that I act alone.
Then I have nothing to fear since you are in my hands?
You have nothing to fear as long as I am in your hands.
That means that you will not remain?
Arsene Lupin approached the Englishman again, and, laying his hand on
his shoulder said very gently.
Listen, sir, I am not in a humor for discussions. You are not in a
position to checkmate me. So let us finish.
Very well, let us finish.
You will give me your word of honor not to seek to escape from this
boat before she arrives in England.
I will give you my word of honor to seek every possible means to
escape, replied Sholmes.
But, man! You know that I can have you chained. These men obey me
blindly. A word from me and they will put a chain around your neck
Throw you overboard ten miles from shore.
I can swim.
Well answered, said Lupin, laughing, God forgive me, I was angry.
Excuse me, let us finish. Will you admit that I only want to insure my
own security and my friends'?
No, but you can not blame me for that!
It is your duty.
Well, come on, then, and Lupin opened the door and called the
captain and two sailors. These latter seized the Englishman, and after
having searched him they tied his legs and fastened them to the
Enough, said Lupin. Sir, it is because of your obstinacy that I
find myself obliged to use extreme measures
The sailors withdrew. Lupin said to the captain:
Captain, one of the sailors will remain near Mr. Sholmes, and you
will keep him company as much as possible. Treat him with all due
regards. He is our guest. What time is it?
Five minutes after two.
Lupin looked at the clock which hung in the cabin.
Five minutes after two. How long will it take you to reach
Nine hours, easily.
Make it eleven. You must not reach port until after the departure of
the packet boat which leaves Southampton at midnight and reaches Havre
at eight o'clock in the morning. You understand, Captain? I warn you,
it would be extremely dangerous for all of us if this gentleman should
return to France by that boat. You must not reach Southampton before
It is understood.
So long, Master, said Lupin mockingly. Until...
Until to-morrow, growled Sholmes.
A few minutes later Sholmes heard an automobile leaving, and then in
a few minutes the steam was put on. The Swallow began to move.
About three o'clock they crossed the mouth of the Seine and were out
on the open sea. At this moment, stretched out on the couch to which
his feet were tied, Herlock Sholmes fell asleep.
The next morning, last day of the war between the two, The Echo of
France published this bit of news:
Yesterday a decree of expulsion was issued against Herlock Sholmes,
the English Detective. At one o'clock in the morning, Herlock Sholmes
was set ashore in Southampton.
From eight in the morning, twelve moving vans blocked Rue Crevaux,
between the Avenue of the Bois de Boulogne and the Avenue
Bugeaud. Felix Davey was moving from the fourth floor of Number S.
M. Dubreuil, the builder who had united the fifth floor of the same
house with the fifth floors of the two adjoining houses, was moving
also on the same day. Just a pure coincidence. These gentlemen did not
know each other.
There was one curious thing noticed by the neighbors in the block,
which they discussed later. Not a single one of the twelve vans had the
name of the owner painted upon it. And that not one of the moving men
went to the saloon as most of them do. They worked fast; everything was
finished at eleven o'clock. There was nothing but a pile of paper and
rags left behind.
Felix Davey, an elegant young man dressed in the most fashionable
manner, went quietly along, sat down on a bench at the corner of avenue
Bois, opposite the Rue Pergolese, and read his paper, Near
him was a woman who was also reading a paper. After looking around
Felix Davey said to the woman without turning his head:
Left at nine o'clock this morning.
The Prefecture of police.
No telegram during the night?
Have they still confidence there?
Yes. I do little favors for Mme. Ganimard. She tells me everything
her husband does. We spend mornings together.
Good. Until further orders you will continue to come here at the
He rose, without seeming to have noticed the woman, and went to a
restaurant where he got two eggs, some vegetables and fruit. Then he
returned to Rue Crevaux, saying to the janitor:
I'll just take a look around to make sure everything is out. I will
return you the keys when I come down.
He went right into the room which was his study. There he seized the
end of a gas pipe which could be moved about. He took off a cap and
whistled. A return whistle could have been heard. Then he put his lips
to the end of the tube and said in a clear voice:
Can I come up?
He put the cap back saying to himself:
Progress is wonderful. It makes life charming. And so amusing.
He turned one of the marble stones in the fireplace. It opened as a
door, with its mirror and carvings. A hidden staircase, built in the
very fireplace itself. It was clean with white tiles along the sides.
He mounted to the fifth floor. M. Dubreuil was waiting for him.
All done down there?
It is finished.
And the men?
Only three men on guard.
Let us go, then.
One after the other they went by the same way to the floor where the
servants slept, and came out in an attic where there were three men.
Is the street clear?
In ten minutes I will leave for good. You go now, if you see the
least suspicious movement in the street, let me know at once.
The two men went down to the empty apartment and Lupin said, after
having adjusted the marble:
Dubreuil, I would like to see the face on him who may discover this
arrangement, so necessary for our safety. Wires, tubes, invisible
passages, floors which slide away, and hidden staircases. A real magic
What an advertisement for Arsene Lupin.
An advertisement which could very easily be spared. What a pity to
leave such a place. I must begin all over again on new lines. One
should never repeat himself. The deuce take Sholmes!
Has he returned yet?
How could he? From Southampton there is but one boat, the midnight.
From Havre one train, the eight o'clock. He missed that midnight boat.
The instructions were explicit. He could not reach France till
to-night, by the way of New Haven and Dieppe.
If he comes?
He will come. Sholmes never gives up. He will be too late. We will
be far away.
And Mile. Destange?
I will meet her in an hour.
At her home?
Oh, no, she will not return for several days, after such storm.... I
will do nothing but take care of her. But you, Dubreuil, you must
hurry. The embarking of all our cases will be slow, your presence is
necessary on the pier.
Are you sure that we are not watched?
By whom? I fear only Sholmes.
Dubreuil left. Felix Davey made a last tour of the rooms, picked up
two or three torn letters, and then he took a piece of chalk and drew
on the dark wall paper of the dining room a square, and in this space
Arsene Lupin, gentleman burglar, lived here for five years and
regrets to leave.
This seemed to give him great satisfaction. As he looked at it he
whistled gaily, and then said:
Now, that I have set the historians on the right road, let's skip.
Hurry up, Herlock Sholmes, before three I will have left and your
defeat will be complete. Two minutes yet, you are keeping me waiting,
another minuteyou do not come. Very well, you are a failure. I take
my leave. Good-by castle of Arsene Lupin, I shall see you no more.
He was on the point of leaving when he heard an alarm from the men
above, an alarm which cut his lyric shorta rapid, loud ringing.
What can it be? What unforeseen danger? Ganimard? No
He started for his study, intending to fly, but he first went to the
window to see if there was any one in the street. No one in sight, the
enemy must be in the house. He listened sharply and heard sounds below.
Without further hesitation he hurried to the study, and as he stepped
in he heard some one unlocking the apartment door.
Hell! he muttered. I have no time. The house is most likely
surrounded. The back stairs, useless, impossible. Lucky, the chimney.
He pushed the moulding quickly, it did not move. He made a violent
effort, it did not stir.
Damn it! he swore, I am lost if this plays me false.
He bore on it with all his weight, but nothing movednothing. By a
freak of chance the machinery which moved perfectly a moment ago now
was out of order.
He tore at it, he clung to it, he pushed it, but the block of marble
remained immovable. Was it admissible that an inanimate obstacle barred
his road? He struck the marble, he kicked it.
What is the matter, Arsene Lupin, is there something that does not
do as you wish?
Lupin turned swiftly, and for a moment was struck dumb. Herlock
Sholmes stood before him.
Herlock Sholmes! Lupin looked at him with blinking eyes. Herlock
Sholmes in Paris! Herlock Sholmes whom he shipped away to England like
some dangerous explosive yesterday was here to-day. And he stood there
helpless facing him. Ah, for such miracle to happen was contrary to all
natural laws. It was illogical, unnatural.
The Englishman said with ironic politeness:
M. Lupin, I tell you this. From this minute I shall think no longer
of the night you made me pass in the Baron d'Hautrec's house, no more
of the misfortune of my friend, no more of my being carried away by
force in an automobile, neither the voyage to England. This minute
effaces all that. I forgot everythingI am paidpaid with interest.
Lupin remained silent, and the Englishman continued:
Don't you think so, too?'
Sholmes seemed to insist as though claiming a sort of receipt in
After a few seconds of silence, Lupin said:
I suppose, sir, that your present conduct is inspired by worthy
motives. The fact that you have escaped from the boat is a secondary
consideration. But the fact that you are here, alone, gives me reason
to believe that your revenge is as complete as possible. And this
And the two adjacent?
The apartment above this?
The three apartments on the fifth which Mr. Dubreuil occupied are
So that you are taken. There is no hope for you.
Lupin now felt the same sensations the Englishman felt during the
wild ride in the automobile, the same concentrated fury, the same
revolt, the same impotence.
We are quits, said Lupin, an admission which seemed to please
Sholmes. Then Lupin continued, already master of himself:
I am not mad. It becomes monotonous to always win. This time I am
yours. Caught, Master, I am caught.
And he laughed as though he had nothing on his mind. He continued:
At lasthow the public will be amused! Arsene Lupin caught in the rat
trap. What an end! Ah, Master, I owe you more than I can pay. Well,
such is life.
He pressed his temples with his clenched fists as though to control
the emotions that were overflowing in him, and he made gestures such as
children make when amused beyond control. At last he approached
And now, what are you waiting for?
Yes, Ganimard is there with his men. Why does he not come in?
I begged him not to do so.
And did he consent?
I accepted his services only on the condition that he would be
guided by me. Besides, he believes that Felix Davey is only an
accomplice of yours.
I repeat my question. Why did you come alone?
I wished to speak with you first.
Ah, you wished to speak with me?
This idea seemed to please Lupin. There are circumstances when one
would prefer words to acts.
Mr. Sholmes, I regret very much that I have no chair to offer you.
Would this broken old box do? Perhaps, the sill of this window. I am
sure that a glass of beer would be welcomedark or light? But do sit
down, I beg of you.
Stop the nonsense. Let us talk.
I am listening.
I will be brief. The purpose of my stay in Paris was not your
arrest. I pursued you because there was no other way I could attain my
To recover the red diamond.
The red diamond!
Certainly, since the one found in the powder was not the real
Oh, yes; I sent it by the blonde lady. I reproduced it perfectly,
and as the consul was already suspected, the blonde lady, not to be
suspected herself, slipped the false diamond into the consul's
While you, you kept the real one.
That is understood.
Well, that diamond I must have.
A thousand regrets, but it is impossible.
I have promised it to the Countess de Crozon, and I will have it.
How are you going to have it since it is not in my possession?
I will have it just because it is in your possession.
You think that I will give it up?
I will buy it of you.
Lupin had another attack of laughter, saying when he could speak:
You are a true Englishman. Why you treat this like a business deal.
It is business.
What do you offer me?
Mile. Destange's liberty.
Her liberty? Why, I did not know she was arrested.
I will furnish Ganimard the necessary proofs. Deprived of your
protection, she will be taken.
Lupin laughed again, saying:
My dear sir, you offer what you do not possess. Mile. Destange is
safe and fears nothing. I ask something else.
The Englishman hesitated, visibly embarrassed, his cheeks suddenly
turning red. Then brusquely he laid his hand on Lupin's shoulder,
And if I proposed
No, but, I can go and convince Ganimard.
And leave me here?
But, good God! what good will that do me? This machine does not work
any more, said Lupin, giving the offending moulding a shove. He
stifled a cry for the block of marble moved slightly under his touch.
His luck was still with him, then!
This was safety, possible escape. And in that case why submit to
He walked back and forth, right and left, as though meditating on his
reply. Then he laid his hand on the Englishman's shoulder.
After weighing everything, Mr. Sholmes, I would prefer to do my
business my way.
No, I need nobody.
When Ganimard gets hold of you it will be all over with you. They
will never let you go.
Now, who knows?
Now, be reasonable. All the avenues of escape are guarded.
There is one.
Which? gasped Sholmes, who began to suspect.
The one I will choose.
Those are empty words. You may consider your arrest already made.
But it is not.
And then, I keep the red diamond.
Sholmes took out his watch.
It is ten minutes to three. At three I shall call Ganimard.
Then we have ten minutes before us to chat in. Let us profit by
that, and to satisfy my curiosity, which really devours me, tell me how
you got my address and name of Felix Davey?
Watching Lupin closelyfor his good humor baffled Sholmes, fearing
some trick, Sholmes lent himself willingly to that explanation in which
his pride was well justified:
Your address, I got from the blonde lady.
Herself. Remember that yesterday morning when I was about to take
her away in the automobile, she telephoned her dressmaker.
Yes, and I understood too late that you were that dressmaker. And in
the boat that night I recalledmy memory is one of the things of which
I am rather vainI fixed the two last numbers of your telephone73.
So, having a list of your retouched houses, it was easy, on my return,
to find, in the telephone book, the name and address of Felix Davey.
Beautiful. I bow my head to your superiority. But, what I do not
understand is how you managed to get the train at Havre, and how you
managed to escape from The Swallow.
I did not escape.
You gave the captain orders to reach Southampton not before one
o'clock in the morning. They set me ashore at midnight. So I caught the
boat for Havre.
The captain betrayed methat is impossible.
The captain did not betray you, but his watch did.
Yes, his watch, which I set one hour ahead.
How? gasped Lupin, really surprised.
Why, the way watches are set forward. By turning the hands. You see,
we were talking, seated near each other, and I was telling him some
very interesting storieswell, in fact, he did not know a thing about
Bravo, bravo! But the clock which was hung on the wall?
Ah, the clock, that was different and more difficult. I had my legs
tied fast, to be sure, but the sailor who watched me during the
captain's absence gave the hands a turn for me.
He; oh, come! He did not.
Oh, he did not know the importance of his act. I told him that, cost
what it might, I must get the first train for London, and he allowed
himself to be convinced
By the means of
By the means of a little present, which the excellent man has the
intention of giving to you.
Only the red diamond.
The red diamond!
Yes, the false one, the one you substituted for the real one.
There was a sudden explosion of laughter from Lupin.
How funny, my false diamond handed to the sailor and the watch of
the captain and the clock on the wallOh, I shall die laughing!
Sholmes never felt the struggle so violent between them as now. With
his remarkable instinct he realized that beneath that excessive gaiety
there was a concentration of thought.
Little by little Lupin approached Sholmes, and the Englishman drew
back, carelessly putting his hand in his pocket at the same time.
It is three o'clock, M. Lupin, said Sholmes.
Three o'clock, already. What a pity! I was having such a good time.
I am waiting for your answer.
My answer, mybut you are exacting! So this is the end of the game.
My liberty is the stake?
Or the red diamond.
I play the king, said Sholmes, at the same time firing his revolver
in the air.
And I, an ace, said Lupin, suddenly striking out and hitting
Sholmes in the solar plexus, which doubled him up. With one bound Lupin
was at the chimney, and the marble began to turnbut too latethe
Surrender, Lupin, or
It was Ganimard, who had been posted closer than Lupin knew. Ganimard
was there aiming at him. Behind Ganimard ten men, all solid, husky
fellows. Ten hard and merciless men who would have killed him like a
dog at the least resistance. Lupin said calmly:
I surrender, and he crossed his arms over his breast.
There was a general surprise. In the empty rooms Lupin's words seemed
to echo over and over again. I surrender. Incredible words. They
expected to see him disappear by some trap that a wall would open and
rob them again of their prey. But he surrendered!
Ganimard advanced gravely, almost solemnly, as became so great a
catch, and slowly laid his hand on Lupin's shoulder, saying:
I arrest you, Lupin.
B-r-r-r! shivered Lupin. My good Ganimard, you give me the chills.
Why so cold? Come, this is no funeral.
I arrest you, Lupin.
That is appetizing, isn't it? In the name of the law, of which he is
the faithful servant, Ganimard, Inspector of. Detectives, arrests the
wicked Lupin. This is a historic minute. It is the second time that
such a thing has happened. Bravo, Ganimard! you will go far in your
Saying this, Lupin held out his hands. Ganimard put the handcuffs on
him. It was done with solemnity. The police, in spite of their usual
rudeness and the bitter resentment, acted with reserve.
My poor Lupin, Ganimard said, what would your noble friends of
Paris say if they saw you humiliated like this?
He then simply, by a sudden jerk, drew his hands apart, the sharp
edges of the handcuffs cut into his flesh, and the chain was broken. He
Another, comrade, another. This one is no good.
They put two on this time, while he said:
All right, you cannot use too many.
Then, counting the police, he said:
How many of you are there, my friends? Ten, twenty, thirty? That is
a lot. There is nothing to do against such odds. Ah, if you had only
been but fifteen!
He certainly was a great actor playing a role with an impertinent
lightness. Sholmes looked at him admiringly.
Well, Master, said Lupin to Sholmes, look at your work. Thanks to
you, I am going to rot in the dungeons. Admit that your conscience is
uneasy, that remorse is gnawing at your heart.
In spite of himself the Englishman shrugged his shoulders, as though
to say: It was your own fault.
Never, never, cried Lupin, give you the red diamond? Ah, no, it
cost me too much. I will keep it. During my visit to London, next month
perhaps, I will tell you why. Will you be in London next month? Would
you prefer Vienna, St. Petersburg?
Suddenly a ring of a telephone which had not been removed yet.
The telephone! Arsene Lupin grabbed the phone and flung it on the
floor to reduce it to atoms. Ganimard caught it, unhooked the receiver
Hello, hello; number 648, 73, yes, he is here.
Quickly Sholmes seized the telephone, placed his handkerchief over
the mouth to make his voice less distinct.
He looked at Lupin. The same thought was in both minds. The blonde
lady. She was calling Felix Davey.
And the Englishman said:
Hello, hello, and then silence. Sholmes said:
Yes, it is I, Maxime.
At once the comedy changed. Sholmes, mocking Lupin, did not try to
hide his anxiety, and his face pale with anguish, he listened. Sholmes
Yes, finished. I was about to meet you as we agreedwhere? At the
place where you are. Don't you think that it is still there
He hesitated, seeking words. He was trying to question the young girl
without committing himself. Besides, the presence of Ganimard seemed to
hinder them. And Sholmes continued his merciless Hello, Hello.
Hello, hello; don't you hear? No,very badlynow, listen, it is
better to return homewhat danger? Why, he is in England. I received a
telegram from Southampton. The irony of words! Sholmes said them with
pleasure. Then he added:
Do not lose time, dear friend. I will join you there.
Then he hung up the receiver, and turned to Ganimard.
Ganimard, can you spare three men?
It is the blonde lady, is it not?
And you know who she is?
Great! With her and Lupinthe day is complete. Folenfant, take two
men and accompany Mr. Sholmes.
The Englishman went away, followed by the three men.
It was all over. The blonde lady was about to fall into Sholmes'
hands. Thanks to the battle, Sholmes beat Lupin.
The Englishman stopped:
Lupin seemed shaken by this blow. He was weary and somber. Still, and
in spite of everything he said lightly:
You will admit that luck is against me. Just now it hindered me from
escaping by that chimney, and delivered me to you. And now the
telephone makes you a present of the blonde lady. You win.
That I am ready to talk business.
Sholmes took Ganimard aside and asked, in a tone that accepts no
refusal, the authorization to exchange a few words with Lupin. Then he
returned to Lupin and said, in a nervous tone:
What do you want?
The liberty of Mile. Destange.
You know the price?
You know the price, do you accept?
I accept your conditions.
Ah, said the Englishman. But you refusedfor yourself.
Then it was only myself, Mr. Sholmes, now it is a woman, a woman
whom I love.
He said this very simply. Sholmes made an imperceptible bow, and
And the red diamond?
Take my cane there, in the corner. Unscrew the handle.
Sholmes did as he was told, and he saw that the top unscrewed,
leaving a hollow, and in that hollow in a ball of putty was a diamond.
He examined it. It was the red diamond.
Mile. Destange is free, Lupin.
Free in the future as in the present? She will have nothing further
to fear from you?
And from no other person.
Whatever happens. I do not even know her name or address.
Thank you, and au revoir, for we shall meet again, shall we
not, Mr. Sholmes?
I do not doubt it.
A lively conversation followed between Ganimard and Sholmes which
Sholmes cut short rudely:
I regret very much, M. Ganimard, that I am not of your opinion, but
I have not the time to convince you. I leave for England in an hour.
But the lady, the blonde lady?
I do not know that person.
But just an instant ago
Take it or leave it. I am giving Lupin to you, and here is the red
diamond which you will have the pleasure of giving Countess de Crozon.
It seems to me that you have nothing to complain about Ganimard,
But the blonde lady.
Find her yourself.
Saying that, Sholmes pulled his hat down like a man who has lost too
much time already.
A pleasant voyage, Master, cried Lupin. My best regards to Dr.
He received no reply. That is taking English leave. That worthy
Englishman does not have the courtesy which distinguishes us. Think,
Ganimard, how a Frenchman would have left us under the same
circumstances. Under what politeness would he not have masked his
triumph but, God forgive me, Ganimard, what are you doing? Ah, I
declare, searching the premises, but there is nothing here, nothing at
all, my poor friend, not even a paper.
Who knows, who knows? grumbled Ganimard.
Lupin resigned himself to the inevitable. Held by two cops,
surrounded by others. But at the end of twenty minutes he sighed.
Oh, hurry up, Ganimard, you wouldn't find anything.
Ganimard made a sign. Two men took Lupin by his arms. But they let go
of him with a cry of pain. Lupin held long needles with which he
pricked the men.
In a rage the others fell upon him, their hatred let loose. They
swung and struck madly. One blow harder than the rest hit him on the
temple, and he fell.
If you harmed him you will hear from me, shouted Ganimard.
He bent down, assured himself that Lupin was only dazed, and ordered
his men to carry him by the feet and shoulders.
Be careful, no rough stuff.
Lupin opened his eyes and said feebly:
You, Ganimard, you let them beat me.
It is your own fault, damn you! you're obstinate, replied Ganimard.
You aren't hurt, are you?
They were on the landing of the stairs and Lupin said, as though
Ganimard, the elevator. They will break my bones.
A good idea, an excellent idea, said Ganimard.
They took the self-service elevator. They laid Lupin on the seat
carefully: Ganimard sat down beside him and said to the men: You go
down by the stairs and wait for us. Understand?
He pushed the button, but the door was not fully closed when cries
brake out from his men, for the elevator started up like a balloon from
which the cable has been cut.
Good heavens! cried Ganimard, searching for the buttons to make the
elevator go down, but he could not find them, and they shot up so
rapidly that he had barely time to shout to his men to rush up to the
fifth floor to watch the door.
The police ran up four steps at a time. When the elevator reached the
top floor it seemed to break through the ceiling and suddenly stopped
on the attic floor devoted to the servants. Two of Lupin's men who were
waiting, seized Ganimard, who scarcely knew what was happening. A third
man helped Lupin out. Lupin said mockingly:
Never be so kind. Remember this, Arsene Lupin does not let anyone
strike him for no reason. Adieu!
The elevator door was closed and Ganimard was sent down to the lower
Without saying one word Ganimard ran to the back stairs and up again
hoping against hope to find Lupin somewhere. This was the only means by
which they could reach the floor where Lupin was.
When they reached the attic, they found themselves in a long hall
with small rooms on each side, all numbered. This hall led to a bend
where they saw a door open. They entered and found on the other side,
another long hall bordered with servants' rooms. At the extreme end was
a back stairs for the use of the servants. Ganimard descended the
stairs as rapidly as his years permitted, he crossed a court, and found
himself in Rue Picot. Then he understood. The two houses were
built end to end, and faced different streets.
He entered the janitor's lodge, and, showing his card, said:
Four men have just passed out?
Yes, two servants from the fourth floor, and two friends.
Who lives on the fourth floor?
The Fauvels and their cousins, Provost. They moved away to-day. The
two servants just left.
God! said Ganimard, sinking weakly into a chair; what a chance we
had. The whole band lived here.
* * * * *
Forty minutes later two gentlemen reached the Gare du Nord
railway station in a cab.
One of the men, his arm in a sling, his face pale, was suffering. The
other seemed in very good humor.
Hurry up, Wilson, we must not miss the train. I'll never forget this
Nor I, replied the poor man.
What a match!
A few little annoyances
Very little ones.
But triumph all along. Lupin arrested, the red diamond regained.
And my arm broken.
For such a great cause, what is a broken arm?
Above all mine
Yes. Do you remember, dear Wilson, it was in the drug store, when
you were suffering like a hero, that I discovered the light that led me
through the shadows.
What a fortunate chance!
The doors were about to be closed, the guards cried:
All aboard, all aboard!
The station porter mounted the steps of an empty compartment and set
the valises down, while Sholmes helped Wilson.
What ails you, Wilson, he said curtly, will you never get in? Show
a little spunk, old dear.
I've got spunk, said Wilson, and only one hand to use.
Well, what of it? said Sholmes gaily. Are you the only one that
ever had a broken arm? What about the men without arms? There, you are
in, all right, eh?
Sholmes handed the porter a tip:
Here my friend, don't take any wooden money.
Oh, thank you, Sholmes, said the man with a look that caused
Sholmes to drop to his seat:
You? Arsene Lupin?
And Wilson, lifting his uninjured arm, said:
You are arrested, Sholmes told me so.
Lupin crossed his arms, and said sarcastically:
Did you think that I would let you leave France without saying
good-by? That would be the height of impoliteness. What do you take me
The train whistled. He continued:
I forgive you. Have you everything you need? Tobacco, matchesyes,
and evening newspapers? You will find all the details of my arrest,
Master. And, now, au revoir, and delighted to have made your
acquaintancereally delightedand if you ever need me I will be but
Then he sprang down to the platform and closed the door.
he cried, waving his arm, adieu, I will write you. I hope
to hear from you. Just a card from time to time, address, Lupin, Paris.
Don't register it, adieu, and good luck to you.
Herlock Sholmes and Dr. Wilson were seated, legs stretched out toward
a large fireplace.
Sholmes' pipe was out. He emptied the ashes from it, filled it anew,
lighted it and blew clouds of smoke to the very ceiling.
Dr. Wilson watched him.
It is certainly quiet Nothing to do.
Sholmes remained more silent than silence itself, his smoke rings
became more distinct.
Dr. Wilson rose and walked over to the window.
The street was bleak. A black sky vomited a raging rain. A cab
passed, and another. Wilson wrote the license numbers in his note
bookcan anyone tell what may happen?and said:
Ah, there is the postman!
The postman came.
Two registered letters, sir. Will you please sign for them?
Sholmes signed the register, accompanied the man to the door, and
returned, opening one of the letters.
You look very happy, remarked Dr Wilson.
This letter contains a very interesting proposition. You wanted
something to do. Listen.
'SIR: I write to ask the assistance of your experience. I have been
the victim of a robbery. The police seem to do nothing.
'I send you a number of newspapers to enlighten you about the
affair. If you agree to help me I will place my house at your disposal.
'Kindly telegraph me your reply.
'BARON VICTOR D'IMBLEVALLE,
'18 Rue Murillo.'
Well, well, said Sholmes, it begins well. A little trip to Paris,
why not? Since the affair with Arsene Lupin, I had no occasion to
return. To see Paris again!
Sholmes opened the second letter.
A slight movement of irritation escaped him, and, after he had read
the letter, he crushed it and threw it down with violence.
What is the matter? asked Wilson, surprised.
He took up the ball of paper, spreading it out, and read:
MY DEAR MASTER: You know the admiration I have for you. You will
believe me. Do not undertake the affair which will be offered to you
soon. You will cause much harm; and your efforts will fail.
To save you such a humiliation, I beg you, in the name of our
friendship, to remain in London.
My best regards to Dr. Wilson, and for you, my dear Master, the
homage of your devoted
Arsene Lupin! said Dr. Wilson, surprised.
He annoys me, the beast! He still mocks me. My failure! Didn't I
force him to give me the red diamond?
He is afraid, suggested Dr. Wilson.
Nonsense, Arsene Lupin is not afraid. He is provoking me.
But how could he know that Baron d'Imblevalle will write you?
How do I know? You ask the stupidest questions, my dear boy.
I thoughtI imagined
That I am a fortune teller?
No, but you do such wonders...
Wonders? I no more than another. I think, I deduct, I conclude, but
I do not foretell. Only fools who rely on fortunetellers.
Dr. Wilson tried to understand why Sholmes paced back and forth very
much irritated. Sholmes rang for his servant. Dr. Wilson concluded,
with reason, that his friend was going to Paris.
You are going to Paris.
And you go in answer to Lupin's challenge to oblige the Baron.
Herlock, I am going with you.
No, no, my old friend, cried Sholmes, interrupting his restless
walk, are you not afraid?
What can happen to me with you there?
All right. We will show him that perhaps he was wrong to provoke us.
Hurry, Wilson. Meet me at the station.
Without waiting for the newspapers the Baron is sending?
Shall I send a telegram?
No. Arsene Lupin will know soon enough. I don't want him to know as
yet. This time, Wilson, I am going to be more careful.
That afternoon they embarked at Dover. The crossing was pleasant. In
the express from Calais to Paris Sholmes slept all the way. Dr. Wilson
Sholmes awakened bright and fresh. The prospect of a duel with Arsene
Lupin pleased him. He rubbed his hands with sweet satisfaction.
At last, said Dr. Wilson, we are going to have some action, and
he rubbed his hands again.
At the station Sholmes took the coats, Wilson the valises. They left
the place lightheartedly.
Fine day, Wilson. Paris welcomes us.
What crowds! grunted Wilson.
So much the better, Wilson, we run less risk being noticed.
Mr. Sholmes, I believe.
Sholmes stopped. Who the devil could have called him by name?
A woman was walking beside him, a young girl dressed very simply, and
whose pretty face bore an expression of uneasy distress. She repeated:
You are Mr. Sholmes, are you not?
He remained silent from his habit of prudence. She repeated a third
Are you not Mr. Sholmes?
What do you want? he said roughly.
She stood directly in front of him, saying:
Listen, sir, it is very serious. I know that you are going to Rue
What did you say?
I know, Rue Murillo, Number 18. Well; you must not
go thereyou ought not go there I assure you that you will regret it
if you do. If I say this, do not think that I have any interest in it.
It is through reasons that...
He tried to pass her, but she insisted:
I beg of you, not to go there. If I only knew how to convince you!
Look in my eyes, see, I tell the truth
She looked at them wildly with her beautiful eyes, where her very
soul seemed to be shining. Dr. Wilson nodded his head, saying:
You, miss, seem to be very sincere.
Yes, yes, she cried imploringly; you must have confidence
I have confidence said Dr. Wilson, quite carried away by her
Oh, how glad I am, your friend, too, I hope so, I feel so. How
fortunate, everything will come out right What a good idea I had.
Listen, sir, there is a train for Calais in twenty minutestake it.
Quick, follow me, this way, and you have only time
She sought to draw Sholmes toward the train. He took hold of her arm
and said as pleasantly as possible:
Excuse me, miss, for not being able to do as you wish, but I never
give up a case that I have undertaken.
I beg of youI beg of youah, if you could only understand.
He loosened her arm and walked rapidly away. Dr. Wilson said to her
Don't worry. Dr. Wilson ran after Sholmes.
HERLOCK SHOLMESARSENE LUPIN.
These words printed in enormous letters greeted the two men at their
first steps. As they went on, they saw a line of sandwich men walking
one behind the other with measured steps; each striking a heavy cane
upon the pavement in regular cadence. Sholmes could read the rest of
the words on the placard:
The Herlock Sholmes and Arsene Lupin battle. The
arrival of the English Champion; The Great Detective attacks the
mystery of the Rue Murillo. Read all about it in the Echo of
Dr. Wilson nodded his head:
Say, Herlock, we flattered ourselves that we were travelling
incognito. I should not be surprised that at the Rue Murillo,
there will be an official banquet with toasts and champagne.
When you display your wit, Dr. Wilson, you are worth two Dr.
Wilsons, growled Sholmes.
He started toward one of the men with the evident intention of
reducing him and his placard to scraps. But the crowds gathered around
the sandwich men, joking, laughing. Repressing his rage, Sholmes
approached one of the men. He said to him:
When did you start this thing?
How long have you been out?
About an hour.
Were the placards ready?
Oh, yes, when we reached the agency this morning they were there.
Arsene Lupin had foreseen that Sholmes would accept the fight. The
very letter that Lupin wrote was a challenge. Why? What was his motive?
Herlock had a second thought. Lupin must be very sure of himself to
dare him, Herlock Sholmes'.- Did he not fall into Lupin's trap to have
started at once?
Come on, Wilson, said Sholmes, with energy. Driver, 18 Rue
With clenched fists he sprang into a cab.
The Rue Murillo is a street with comfortable private homes,
facing the park Monceau. One of these houses was Baron d'Imblevalle's,
where he lived with his wife and children, and furnished in the most
The two Englishmen crossed the court, rang the bell, and were
received by a valet who led them to a small reception room at the back
of the house.
They sat down and hurriedly inspected the precious objects of art
that filled the room.
Very precious! said Wilson, fine tasteone could deduce from them
that he who had the leisure to find these objects must besay fifty
He did not complete his sentence. The door opened and M. d'Imblevalle
entered, followed by his wife.
Despite the deductions of Wilson, they were young, elegant, and very
lively in their manner and conversation. Both overwhelmed Sholmes with
It was kind of you to come, it must have been such trouble. We are
glad it happened, since it brings you here, and gives us the
How charming the French are, thought Wilson.
But time is money, said the Baronyours above all, Mr. Sholmes.
Down to business. What do you think of the matter? Do you think you can
To say that I must first know what it is.
Don't you know?
No. Explain the thing from beginning, without omitting anything.
It was a burglary.
When did it take place?
Last Saturday night.
Six days ago. I am listening.
I must first say that my wife and I go out very little. The
education of our children, a rare party, and our collection make up the
round of our existence. Our evenings are passed here in this room. So,
last Saturday about eleven o'clock I put out the lights, and my wife
and I retired to our sleep.
Where is your bedroom?
The next room, that door there. The next morning, I rose early.
Suzanne was asleep. I came into this room as quietly as possible not to
disturb her. I was surprised to find the window open!
No one enters here unless called. And, besides, I always bolt the
doors. So this window was opened from the outside. The window had been
cut, the second pane to the right.
The window faces?
As you see it faces a little terrace surrounded by a stone balcony.
We are on the second floor. You can see the iron fence which separates
us from the park Monceau. I am certain the man came from the
park, climbed over the fence and onto the terrace.
Certain, you say.
Yes, we have found near the fence holes left by a ladder in the soft
flower beds. The same holes at the foot of the terrace. And even the
balcony shows scratches made most likely by the ladder.
Is not Monceau Park closed at night?
Closed? No, but even if it were, at number 14 a house is being
built, and it would be easy to enter that way.
Let us get to the robbery. It was committed in this room?
Yes. There was here, between that antique virgin and that tabernacle
in chiselled silver, a little ancient ritual lamp. It's gone.
Is that all?
Ah, and what was this lamp?
Why, one of those copper lamps which were used long ago, composed of
a stem and a receptacle where the oil was kept.
In general they are objects without great money value?
Without any value in fact, but this one contained a hiding place
where we hid a magnificent ancient jewel, a piece in gold, of no known
use, and this was richly set with rubies and emeralds of great value.
Why did you do that?
Well, I could scarcely tell you. Perhaps the fun of hiding something
in a place like that.
Who knew it?
Save the thief, said Sholmes.
How could he know it? We found the secret mechanism by sheer
The same accident may have showed it to some one else: a servant, a
friend. Continue. Have you complained to the police?
Certainly. They made a thorough search I wrote you I do not see any
chance for the solving of this mystery.
Sholmes rose, went to the window, examined the blinds, the terrace,
took out his magnifying glass to examine the scratches on the stone,
and asked M. d'Imblevalle to take him to the garden.
When he got outside Sholmes simply sat down on a willow chair and
looked at the roof of the house with dreamy eye. He suddenly rose and
went to the two small boxes, put over the holes left by the ladder at
the foot of the terrace to preserve the imprints. He removed the boxes,
got down on his knees and measured them. It was finished.
Both men returned to the little room where Mme. d'Imblevalle awaited
them. Sholmes remained silent for a short time, and then said gravely:
Sir, I am struck by the simplicity of this robbery. To put up a
ladder, cut a pane of glass, choose an object and go awaynothings
do not happen so easily as that. That is elementary.
So! What do you think?
The truth is the lamp has been stolen by Arsene Lupin.
Arsene Lupin! cried the Baron.
Yes. It was done by someone without entering this housea servant
But what proves that?
Arsene Lupin would not have left this room with empty hands.
Empty hands, and the lamp?
That would not have hindered him from taking that snuff box set with
diamonds. If he did not take them it was because he was not here.
But the traces were found?
And the scratch on the stone?
Fake. They were made with sandpaper.
And the marks left by the ends of the ladder?
Fake. Examine the two rectangular holes at the foot of the terrace,
and the two holes near the fence. Their form is somewhat alike, but
they are parallel here and not there. Measure the distance which
separates each hole from the other. The width is different.
And you conclude?
I conclude that since their form is identical the four holes were
made by one piece of wood cut into a suitable shape.
The best proof would be to find that piece of wood.
Here it is. I found it in the garden under that laurel bush.
The Baron bowed his head. It was less than forty minutes since
Sholmes had come, and already nothing remained of what they had
The accusation against our servants is very grave. Our servants have
been with us a long time, not one would betray us!
If one of them did not betray you how can you explain the fact that
this letter reached me the same day as yours, even by the same mail?
Sholmes handed the Baron Lupin's letter.
Mme. d'Imblevalle seemed frightened.
Did you tell anyone you wrote me?
No one, replied the Baron, it is an idea that suddenly came to us
the other evening.
There was no one present but our two childrenSophie and Henriette
were at the table, were they not?
Mme. d'Imblevalle reflected and affirmed their presence.
No, she said, after another moment of reflection, they had joined
Her? asked Sholmes.
The governess, Alice Demun.
Does she take her meals with you?
No, she is served in her room.
Wilson got an idea.
The letter written to my friend was put in the post.
Who carried it?
Dominique, my valet for the last fifteen years, replied the Baron.
You'd lose time suspecting him.
One never loses time he passes suspecting, remarked Wilson wisely.
The initial inquiry was ended. Sholmes asked to retire.
An hour later, at dinner, he saw Sophie and Henriette, the two
children, pretty little girls of six and eight years. They spoke
little. Sholmes responded to the Baron and his wife so briefly that
they became silent in turn. They served coffee. Sholmes swallowed his
in one gulp and rose from the table before his hostess. At this instant
a domestic handed him a telegram, which he opened and read:
My enthusiastic admiration. The results obtained by you in so short
a time are marvellous. I am amazed.
Sholmes had one moment of murderous rage, and then calming himself by
a mighty effort he handed the telegram to the Baron.
Do you believe now that the walls have eyes and ears?
I can't understand it, said the bewildered Baron.
Nor I. But what I do understand is that not one move is made here
that he does not see. Not one word is said that he does not hear.
That night Wilson slept with the easy conscience of a man who has
nothing to do but to sleep. He went to sleep early, and he had
beautiful dreams that he pursued Lupin alone, and was just about to
arrest him with his own hands... The sensation of the dream was so
clear that he awakened.
Some one was touching his bed. Seizing his revolver, he said:
Don't move, Lupin, or I fire.
The devil. When you do get busy you don't lose time, comrade, he
heard Sholmes say.
What, is it you, Sholmes? Do you need me?
I need you. Get up, and he led Wilson to the window. Look, the
other side of the fence.
In the park?
Yes, do you see anything?
No, I don't see anything.
Yes, you do.
Ah, now I do, a shadowtwo of them.
Yes, against the fence. See, they are moving. Come on, let's go!
Feeling their way, holding to the banisters, they went downstairs and
reached the room which led to the garden. They saw the same shadowy
forms in the same place.
Strange, said Sholmes, but I seem to hear a noise in the house.
Impossible, everyone is asleep.
Well, then, listen.
At this instant, a low whistle sounded from the iron grating, and
they saw a faint light coming from the house.
The d'Imblevalles must be up. It is their room, directly under
ours, said Sholmes, in a low whisper.
It is they whom we heard. They are watching the fence.
There was a second soft whistle.
I don't understand it, said Sholmes, impatiently.
Nor I, said Wilson. Sholmes then opened the door cautiously, but
drew his head in quickly, swearing. Wilson then looked out. Close by
them a ladder was set against the terrace.
Hell, said Sholmes, there is some one in the study. That is what
we heard. Quick, take away the ladder.
But before they could reach the place a form slid down the ladder.
The ladder itself was taken by another man who ran swiftly to the place
where his accomplices were waiting.
With one bound Sholmes and Wilson sprang forward. They reached the
man as he placed the ladder against the fence. From the other side two
shots rang out.
Hurt? said Sholmes to Wilson.
No, answered Wilson.
He caught the flying man by the body and tried to hold him. The
robber managed to twist out and caught Wilson with one hand while with
the other he plunged his knife into his body. Wilson gave one yell and
fell to the ground.
My God! shouted Sholmes; if they have killed him I will kill them
He rushed at the ladderbut it was too late, the man had scaled the
fence and hid among the trees.
Wilson, Wilson, it is not serious, say it isn't. It is just a
scratch, isn't it?
The doors of the house were suddenly opened. The first to come out
was Baron d'Imblevalle, and then the servants with candles.
Is Dr. Wilson wounded?
Nothing but a scratch, said Sholmes, trying hard to believe in his
own words. Blood was pouring from the wound.
Twenty minutes later the doctor told Sholmes that luckily the point
of the knife struck a fraction of an inch from the heart.
One-quarter of an inch from the heart. Wilson always was a lucky
It was lucky, said the doctor.
And, with his robust constitution he will began Sholmes, when the
doctor chimed in, saying:
Six weeks in bed and two months rest.
Yes, and longer if complications...
Why the devil should there be complications?
Reassured, Sholmes joined the Baron in the study. This time the
mysterious visitor had shamelessly taken the jewelled snuff box, the
opal necklace, and everything else small enough to go into the pockets
of a petty burglar.
The window was still open, one of the panes neatly cut. Next day they
learned the ladder belonged to the house being built.
In short, said d'Imblevalle, with certain irony, it is a
Yes, if you accept the police theory.
Does not this second robbery shake your belief in your hypothesis?
It confirms it, sir.
Is it credible? You know that to-night the robbery was done by some
one outside, yet you persist that the lamp was stolen by some one in
Yes, by some one who lives here.
How do you explain it?
I can not explain it, sir I state facts. I weigh them separately,
and I seek the line that unites them.
So be it. We will call the police
Not that, under no consideration, cried the Englishman. I will
call them when I need them.
And the two pistol shots?
He is only wounded. Get the doctor to keep him in bed. I will attend
to the rest.
Two days passed without any incident. Sholmes pursued his labor with
minute care for details. The audacious crime committed before his very
eyes must be punished. He searched, tirelessly, the house, garden and
surroundings. He talked with the servants, watched the stable, the
kitchen, and, although he had learned nothing of value, he still
I shall find it, and it is here that I shall find it. It is not like
the case of the golden blonde, where I walked blindly in paths unknown
to me to attain an end of which I knew nothing. This time I am on the
battle field. The enemy is not only Lupin, but his accomplice who lives
in this house. The smallest detail might solve this mystery.
It was fatechanceluck that furnished this smallest detail to him.
The afternoon of the third day, as he entered the room above the
study, and which served as a play-room for the children, he found
Henriette, the younger of the two sisters. She was looking for her
You know, she said to him, I am going to make papers like the one
you got the other evening.
The other evening?
Yes, at dinner. The paper with a band on it. I am making one for
She went skipping along. For any other person these words would only
be the thoughtless reflection of a child. Sholmes paid but little
attention for a moment. But suddenly he began to run after the child
whose last sentence struck him curiously. He caught her at the head of
the stairs and asked her: So you, too, paste paper? How clever! The
child said proudly: Yes, I cut out words and paste them.
Who taught you that pretty game?
Alice. I saw her do it many times. She takes the words in the
newspapers and pastes them on.
And what does she make of them?
Letters that she sends.
Herlock Sholmes went into the play-room affected by this confidence,
his brain whirling.
A pile of newspapers was on the mantle. He opened them and saw that
groups of words, even lines, were regularly and carefully cut out. It
sufficed to read the words which preceded and followed the cut spaces
to judge that the words had been cut out, by Henriette most likely.
Among those papers there might be one cut by the governess. But how
could he tell?
Sholmes looked at the school-books which lay on the table, and then
at other books on a shelf. He gave a faint cry of joy. On this shelf,
among old copy books, he found an album for children, whose pages were
covered with an alphabet, more or less ornamented. In one of the pages
the letter S was removed. He found the days of the week, and the word
Saturday was missing. Now, the robbery took place Saturday.
Sholmes felt that little tightening of the heart which he always had
when he knew he had found the key to some mystery. This presentiment of
the truth, this emotion of certainty never deceived him. Feverish and
confident he rapidly turned over the pages of this album. A little
further along another surprise awaited him.
This page had only capital letters followed by a line of numbers.
Nine of these numbers were carefully cut.
Sholmes wrote down in his note book the letters in their order,
Hell, he smiled, at first sight that does not mean anything.
Could he rearrange these letters to form two or three words?
Only one single solution came to his mind that corresponded with the
logic of the facts.
Being given, that the pages of the album had only capital letters, it
was certain that one was able to make only incomplete words, and that
these words were completed by letters gotten elsewhere. Under such
conditions the message was this:
REPOND. CH. 237.
The first word was clear, repond-z (answer.).
As to the second unfinished word, it formed, doubtlessly with the
number 237, an address which the sender gave to the receiver. They
first fixed the day for Saturday, and asked a response to the address
Sholmes turned over the leaves of the album but found no other
missing letter. So, until some new development, he turned attention to
the explanation already found.
It is amusing, isn't it? said the child who had returned. He
Very, but haven't you other papers that you have already cut out and
that I can paste?
Papers? No, and, besides, Alice would be angry.
Yes, she has scolded me because I told you. She says we should never
tell on any one we love.
You are perfectly right.
Henriette seemed pleased with his approval. She took from a little
linen bag that was pinned to her belt, a square of paper which she
I am going to give it to you, anyhow, and the child handed him a
receipt such as cab drivers give their customers. Number 8279, the
number of the cab.
Where did you get this?
It fell out of her pocketbook.
Sunday at mass, as she took out some change for the contribution.
Good. Now I am going to tell you how to keep her from scolding you.
Don't tell Mademoiselle that you saw me.
Sholmes went to the Baron and questioned him about the governess.
Alice Demun! It is impossible.
Without replying to the Baron, he continued:
How is it that I haven't seen her?
She has been away.
As soon as she returned she wished to nurse your friend. She has all
the qualities. Dr. Wilson seemed enchanted.
Ah, said Sholmes, who had completely forgotten Wilson: Did she go
out Sunday morning?
The Baron called his wife and asked her the same question. She
She went to mass with the two children.
Before that? No, yes... I was upset. I remember that she asked me
the night before if she could go out Sunday morning to see a cousin who
was in Paris for a day. Do you suspect her?
Certainly not, still I must see her.
He went up to Wilson's room. A woman dressed like a nurse was bent
over the sufferer giving him a drink. When she turned Sholmes
recognized the girl as the one who met him at the station.
Alice Demun smiled gently without embarrassment. The Englishman
wished to speak, but remained silent. Then she resumed her task under
his amazed look.
He returned to the floor below, and, seeing the Baron's automobile
outside, asked to be taken to Levallois, to the cab garage.
The cab driver, Dupret, who had cab 8279 on that Sunday, was not
there. Sholmes sent the automobile back and waited until he came in.
The driver, Dupret, said that he remembered picking up a lady near
the park Monceau, a young lady in black with a very thick veil
over her face, and very nervous.
She carried a bundle? asked Sholmes.
Yes, a long one.
Where did you take her?
Avenue de Ternes, at the corner of the Place-Ferdinand.
She remained there about ten minutes, and we returned to Park
Would you remember the house?
Certainly. Shall I take you there?
Yes, right away, but first take me to 36 Quay des Orfevres.
At the Police Station he had the good fortune to meet Ganimard.
Ganimard, are you at liberty?
If it has anything to do with Lupin; no.
Well, it does have something to do with Lupin.
Then I won't budge.
What, you quit?
It is cowardly, it is anything you like to call it. I don't care.
Lupin is stronger than us. It is useless.
Well, I don't feel so.
You will as others have.
In that case come along and enjoy the show.
O.K., said Ganimard ingenuously, I'll go along.
They both got into the cab. The driver stopped a little beyond the
house on the opposite side of the street, in front of a little cafe
with a terrace. They sat down between the laurels. The sun was sinking
Waiter, said Sholmes, bring me some paper and an envelope.
He hastily wrote and sealed a note. Calling the waiter, he said:
Take this letter to the janitor of that house. It is the man smoking
at the door.
The man came up to Ganimard. Sholmes asked him if he saw a young lady
in black Sunday morning.
In black? Yes, about nine o'clock. She went to the second floor.
Have you seen her often?
No, but lately rather often. She has been here almost every day, the
last two weeks.
And since Sunday?
Once only without counting to-day.
She is up there now.
She is there?
She is there and has been, for about ten minutes. Her cab is around
the corner on the Place Saint-Ferdinand. I passed her just now
on the stairs.
And who is the tenant on that floor?
There are two, a dressmaker, and a gentleman who rented two
furnished rooms a month ago under the name of Bresson.
Why do you say under the name of?
Just an idea of mine. My wife does his work. There are no suits in
his room with the same initials.
How does he live?
He is out most of the time. Sometimes he does not come in for days.
Did he come in the night of Saturday and Sunday?
The night of Saturday and Sunday? Let me seeyes, Saturday he came
in and did not go out again that night.
What kind of a man is he?
I could scarcely tell you. He is so changeable. He is big, he is
little, he is fat, and he is thinbrunette, blond. I do not always
Ganimard and Sholmes looked at each other. Ganimard said:
It is he, it is certainly he.
Look, there, whispered the janitor, there she comes!
Just then Mademoiselle came out of the door and crossed the street.
The janitor said:
And there is Bresson.
He is carrying a package under his arm.
But he pays no attention to the young girl. She is going to her cab
I have never seen them together.
The two detectives rose and followed. By the light of the street
lamps they recognized Lupin who was walking away from the girl.
Shall we follow the girl? said Ganimard.
No, no, said the Englishman in a hurry, I know where to find her.
Don't leave me.
At a distance they started their pursuit of Lupin. The pursuit was
easy, for he did not turn. He walked with a slight limp, so slight that
it required the keen eye to notice it. Ganimard said:
He is pretending to limp. If we only had two police to spring upon
our friend. We will lose him.
But there were no policemen, and they could not count upon the least
Let us separate, said Sholmes. The place is deserted.
It was the Boulevard Victor Hugo. Each took one side of the
street and kept following; keeping behind the line of trees.
They walked in this way for twenty minutes. Lupin turned suddenly and
walked toward the Seine. There they saw him descend to the edge of the
water. He stood there a few seconds. Then he returned, climbed the
bank, and retraced his steps. They hid themselves behind the pillars of
a gate. Lupin passed near them, but he no longer had the package.
As he walked away another man stepped out of the shadow of a house
and slipped after him among the trees. Sholmes whispered:
It seems that some one else is following him.
The pursuit continued, but complicated now. Lupin took the same road
The janitor was locking up when Ganimard presented himself.
You saw him?
Yes, I was putting out the lights on the staircase.
Is there any one with him?
Is there any back stairs?
Ganimard said to Sholmes:
The simplest way is for me to remain here, and you go and get the
And if he escapes during that time?
How can he? said Ganimard, sure of himself.
One against one is unequal.
But I haven't the right to force his door.
Sholmes shrugged his shoulders angrily.
When you arrest Lupin, no one will worry you about the details.
Besides, all you have to do is to ring his bell.
They went upstairs. Ganimard rang. There was no reply; no sound, no
Let us go in, murmured Sholmes.
They did not move. They feared to move. It seemed impossible that
Arsene Lupin could be behind that fragile door which one blow of the
fist could knock down. They both knew that he wouldn't allow himself to
be pinched so easily. No, he was not there! An almost imperceptible
sound on the other side of the door seemed to breathe over the silence.
They had the impression, the certainty, that in spite of everything he
What was to be done? The situation was comical.
Ganimard consulted Sholmes with a glance, and then hit the door with
There was the sound of steps inside which were intended to be heard.
Ganimard hit the door again, while Sholmes struck a blow with his
powerful shoulder. The door flew open and both men threw themselves
They stopped short. A shot was heard in the next room. They rushed
forward. Another shot and the sound of a heavy body crashing to the
When they entered they saw the man stretched on his face. He gave one
convulsive movement, a revolver fell from his hand.
Ganimard bent down and turned the face of the dead man. It was
covered with blood trickling from two wounds, on the cheek and oh the
He is unrecognizable, he said.
Nevertheless, he is not Lupin, said Sholmes.
How do you know? asked Ganimard. You have not examined him.
Needless! sneered the Englishman again. Do you think Arsene Lupin
would kill himself?
But, we recognized him outside.
We believed it because we wanted to.
Then it must be one of his men.
They do not kill themselves, either.
Well, who is he?
They searched the body. In one pocket they found an empty pocketbook,
and in another, a few gold Louis. No more.
In the baggage, two valises and one large trunk, there was nothing.
On the chimney there was a bundle of newspapers.
An hour later, Ganimard and Sholmes withdrew, they knew no more about
this suicide than when they entered.
Who was he? Why did he kill himself? How was he connected with the
ancient lamp? Who was it that followed him?
* * * * *
Herlock Sholmes went to bed in a very bad humor. In the morning he
received the following note:
Arsene Lupin has the honor to notify you of his tragic death in the
person of M. Bresson and begs you to be present at his service and
burial at the expense of the State, Thursday, the 25th of June.
You see, said Sholmes, waving the telegram before Wilson's eyes,
what exasperates me most is that I feel the eye of Lupin fixed upon me
continually. Not one of my most secret thoughts escape him. I am like
an actor whose very steps are regulated. Do you understand, Wilson?'
Wilson at that moment was soundly asleep. But whether he heard
mattered little to Sholmes, who continued:
Amuse yourself Lupin, my good man. You are sure to betray yourself.
He walked back and forth in the room with heavy steps.
And now, he continued, I am beginning to see my way clear. First I
must learn more about Bresson. After that it is between Alice Demun and
myself. I shall learn what those two separate letters, the C and the H,
mean. For it all rests upon that.
At this moment she entered, and, seeing Sholmes gesticulating wildly,
Mr. Sholmes, I am going to scold you if you wake my patient.
Sholmes looked at her for a moment amazed.
Why do you look at me like that, Mr. Sholmes? You always seem to
have a hidden thoughtwhat is it?
He approached her and said in a low voice:
Bresson committed suicide last night.
She repeated the words without seeming to understand. There was no
change in her calmness.
You have been told, doubtless, he said, with irritation. You are
cleverer than I thought. But why deceive me like this?
He took the album from the table, and, opening it to the page from
which the letters were cut out, said sternly:
Tell me in what order you arranged these letters cut out of this
In what order?
She repeated these words as though to understand their meaning.
He continued with his English obstinacy:
Yes; here are the letters you used. What did you say to Bresson?
The letters I used? What did I say? and she suddenly began to
Oh, yes; I understand now. I am the accomplice. There is a Bresson
who stole the lamp and who killed himself, and I am the friend of that
man. That's funny!
Whom did you see last night in the avenue des Ternes?
Whom? Why, my dressmaker, Mme. Langeais. Is my dressmaker and my
friend M. Bresson the same?
Sholmes doubted. One can feign terror, joy, uneasiness, but not
indifference, and not such a happy and careless laugh.
One more word. Why did you meet me at the station to induce me to
return to London?
You are too curious, sir, she replied, still laughing in the most
natural way. To punish you, you shall know nothing. I have to fill
this prescription. I am going.
And before he could frame an objection she was gone. I was taken
in, said Sholmes to himself. I got nothing from her but she knows
what I know.
Sholmes, Sholmes, sighed a feeble voice.
He approached the bed where Wilson lay, and bent down to hear.
What is it, old friend?
Wilson said in a faint whisper:
No, Sholmes, it is not she whonot Alice Demun, impossible.
What are you saying? I tell you she did. It is only when I am
dealing with a creature like Lupin, that I lose my head, and act like
such an idiot. Now she knows that I know about the album and I bet that
Lupin will know this in less than an hour. In less than an hour? In ten
minutesnow. The druggistthe prescriptionlies, all lies.
He left his old comrade and ran down the street, and saw her enter a
pharmacy. A few minutes later she came out with a small package in her
hand. On the way back a beggar man in a whining voice asked her for
charity. She stopped, took a coin from her purse and gave it to him.
She continued on her way.
She spoke to him, said Sholmes to himself, I am sure.
It was an intuition strong enough to cause Sholmes to act upon it at
once. Sholmes followed the beggar.
They reached, one close behind the other, Place Saint-Ferdinand.
The man wandered around the Bresson house, sometimes lifting his eyes
to the floor where the blinds were closed, watching those who entered
At the end of an hour the beggar got on a car going toward Neuilly.
Sholmes sat down behind him, beside a man who hid behind a newspaper.
At the fortifications the paper was lowered and Sholmes recognized
Ganimard. Ganimard whispered in his ear: It is the man who followed
Bresson last night. He's been loafing around the place for an hour.
Nothing new about Bresson? asked Sholmes.
Yes, a letter came for him this morning.
Then it must have been posted yesterday before the writer could have
known of Bresson's death.
Right. It is in the hands of the Coroner. I remember what it
contains. It said:
'He will not accept anything else. He wants all. If not, he will
There is no signature, added Ganimard, those few words can do us
I beg to differ, Ganimard, those few lines seem to me to be very
And why, may I ask?
For entirely personal reasons, replied Sholmes.
The car stopped at Rue du Chateau, at the end of the line.
The man got off and went along peacefully.
Sholmes followed so closely that Ganimard grew afraid, and said:
If he turns around we are caught.
He won't turn now. He is an accomplice of Arsene Lupin, and the fact
that he walks with his hands in his pockets, proves that he knows he is
But we are close enough to...
Not close enough. He is too sure of himself.
Look, look, there at the cafe are two bicycle policemen. How can he
slip through our hands now?
The beggar does not seem to care. He himself is talking to them.
The sonofabitch! swore Ganimard, he has got nerve.
The man had gone to the two bicycle policemen, said a few words to
them and mounted a bicycle standing against the wall of the cafe. The
three rode away rapidly.
The Englishman burst out angrily:
See! Didn't I tell you? One, two, three, and away, Ganimard. He is
well fixed, what with policemen in his pay! I told you that our man was
What then? said Ganimard, angrily.
Don't get mad. We will get him. We must have reinforcements.
Folenfant is waiting for me at the Avenue de Neuilly.
All right, get him and come back here to me.
Ganimard went for Folenfant. Sholmes followed the tracks of the
wheels in the dust. And he saw that these tracks led to the bank of the
Seine and that the three men had turned the same as Bresson the night
before. He thus reached the same place. Just opposite was a small bit
of land pointing out into the river. A small boat was fastened to a
Bresson had thrown his package down here. Sholmes went to the edge,
saw that the water was shallow along there, and that it would be easy
to find the packageunless the three men had found it already.
No, he said, they did not have time enough. Why did they come
A man, fishing, was sitting in the boat. Sholmes asked him:
Have you seen three men on bicycles?
The fisherman shook his head. The Englishman insisted.
But you must have, three men on bicycles. They stopped three yards
The fisherman pulled in his line, and, taking a note book from his
pocket, wrote something, tore it out, handed it to the Englishman.
The great English detective shuddered with surprise. At the first
glance he recognized on the paper the series of letters torn from the
A murky sun fell upon the river. The man resumed fishing.
Can it be? thought Sholmes. The truth dawned on him. It must be
he, for only he was capable of sitting so calmly. Who else knew the
story of the album? She had notified him.
Suddenly the Englishman felt his revolver, his eyes were fixed upon
the back of the man, just a little below the nape of the neck. One
careless move and the life of that man would end miserably.
The fisherman did not move.
Sholmes clenched the gun with a ferocious desire to end it all. Death
would be certain, it would end it all.
Ah, thought Sholmes, if he would move... One second more, I shall
Noise of steps caused Sholmes to turn his head, and he saw Ganimard
who was coming with reinforcements.
Sholmes made a spring and with one bound was in the boat which
instantly began to float down the stream. The shock must have broken it
away from its mooring. He fell upon Lupin and got a half-nelson on him.
The two men fell to the bottom of the boat.
Swell, swell! cried Lupin, while he fought Sholmes. What will this
prove? You do not know what to do with me nor I with you. We will sit
here like two imbeciles.
The oars, loosened from the locks during the struggle, were now
drifting out of reach. Shouts and cries along the banks. Lupin
How useless, good Lord! You have lost all sense, and at your age!
You are a very, very naughty boy.
Saying this, he succeeded in getting free from Sholmes' grasp. Lupin
at once leaned over the side of the boat after the oar, saying:
To get or not to getthat is the question. If you get your oar I
shall hinder you from using it. But in life one has to act, without the
slightest reason. See what fate has decided for you, my poor Lupin!
And the boat floated down stream more rapidly. Suddenly Lupin cried
Look out, Sholmes!
Someone fired. Sholmes bent his head, the fire flashed. A little
spurt of water showed where the ball fell. Lupin burst out laughing:
God forgive him! Our friend Ganimard. Ganimard, you have no right to
fire save in legitimate self-defense. So, you are going to fire. It is
my dear friend Sholmes that you might kill!
Saying this, Lupin seized Sholmes and held him up as a shield and
Go ahead, shoot, Ganimard, right at the hearthigher, to the left,
ah, missed! Try again, Ganimard, now, one, two, three, fire! Missed
Saying this, Lupin aimed a long revolver, and fired.- Ganimard put
his hand to his hat, a ball shot through it. Lupin shouted again:
Now, what do you say, Ganimard? And with one effort he threw the
revolver to the shore.
Sholmes could not help smiling, admiring this man. Sholmes felt that
the sensation of danger caused Lupin physical joy, and life had no
other aim for this man but the search for danger.
Admit, said Lupin to Sholmes, that you would not give up this boat
for all the gold in Transvaal. Pleasant rocking chair? First, the
prologue. After that, the last act, the capture and escape of Arsene
Lupin. My dear master, I have one favor to ask you, reply by a yes or
no. Will you go back to England? It is still time to mend the harm you
have done. Later I will not be able. Agreed?
Lupin's face contracted. This obstinacy irritated him. He continued:
I insist for your sake. I insist, I am certain that you will regret
later. For the last time, yes or no?
Lupin bent over and did something to one of the planks of the boat,
which Sholmes did not see. He sat down beside the Englishman, saying:
I think, Master, we have come here for the same thingthe object
which Bresson threw in it. My friends announced your approach. I was
not surprised, being notified every hour of your progress. Soon as
anything happens at Rue Murillo, which may interest me, quick, a
telephone, and I am notified. You understand that under these
He stopped. The plank which lifted from its place now permitted water
to flow in.
The devil! The boat is leaking like a sieve. You are not afraid, are
Sholmes shrugged his shoulders without replying. Lupin continued:
You understand that I hold all the trump cards in my hand. Your
defeat will be universally known, and no other Countess de Crozon or
Baron d'Imblevalle will be tempted to solicit your aid against me. Do
you not see my dear master...
Here he stopped short, and, using his hands half closed like field
glasses, he looked along the shore.
Well, well, they have a superb boat, a real frigate of war. In less
than five minutes they will catch up with us, and I shall be lost. Mr.
Sholmes, help me.
Their looks crossed. Sholmes now understood. They made no movement,
The water was above their ankles. The Englishman took out his tobacco
pouch, rolled a cigarette and lighted it. Lupin again spoke.
Do you not see in this my submission to you? I fight only where
victory is sure. I admit Sholmes is the one whom I fear. Now, my dear
master, that is what I wished to say to you. I regret that we carry on
this conversation while taking a bath.
The water in reality had reached the seats, and the boat sank deeper
and deeper in the water.
Sholmes sat quietly, with his cigarette in his lips, absorbed in the
sky. Ah, this man, who, surrounded by perils, the crowds, and tracked
by police, still kept his good humor! One minute more, they must sink.
The essential thing, said Lupin lightly, is to know whether we
shall sink before the arrival of the champions of justice. Everything
depends upon that. Master, I leave my entire fortune to Herlock
Sholmes. Good Lord, how fast they are coming! It is a pleasure to see
them. Ah, it is you, Brigather Folenfant! And your comrade, Dieuzy,
where is he? On the left side of the river. On the right, Ganimard.
A jerking movement of the sinking boat, it slowly swung around in the
current. Sholmes caught hold of one of the rowlocks:
Master, said Lupin, take off your coat. No? You refuse? Well,
then, I will put mine on.
Lupin readjusted his coat and buttoned it closely, sighing:
What an obstinate man you are. Really, it spoils your genius.
Lupin, said Sholmes, speaking at last, you talk too much, and you
err in your excess of confidence. You kill me. Without knowing it you
have given me, just now, the fact I was seeking. You will find out.
Three days from now I will give the solution to M. d'Imblevalle.
He did not even finish his sentence, for the boat sank down,
suddenly. The boat turned over completely and floated, bottom up. Loud
cries from both sides of the river. One of the men reappeared, it was
He was an excellent swimmer and directed his movements toward the
boat in which Folenfant was rowing.
Hold on, Sholmes. We are comingwe'll look for him later. We have
him all right. Catch the rope.
The Englishman seized the rope which was thrown to him, and just as
they were hoisting him on board a voice behind him caused him to turn.
The solution, my dear master, you shall have it. I am surprised that
you have not found it yet. What good will it do you? It is then that
you will lose the fight.
Lupin managed to crawl upon the keel of the turned boat even while he
was talking, and now he sat astride the keel. Arsene Lupin followed up
his discourse as though he hoped to convince Sholmes.
Understand this well, my dear master, there is nothing that you can
do, nothing, absolutely nothing. You find yourself in the deplorable
situation of a gentleman...
Folenfant aimed his revolver at Lupin, saying:
You are an ass, Folenfant. You cut me off in the middle of a
sentence. I was saying
Surrender, Lupin! again shouted Folenfant.
But God! Folenfant, one does not surrender unless one is in danger.
You don't think that I am in danger.
For the last time, Lupin, I order you to surrender.
Folenfant, you will only wound me if necessary, for you are afraid
to lose me. And if you should kill me, think of the remorse you would
feel, unhappy man! Your peaceful old age poisoned with remorse!
Folenfant, beside himself, fired.
Lupin wavered a second, tried to hold to the wet boat, and then sank
beneath the surface.
* * * * *
Exactly three o'clock when this happened. At six, Herlock Sholmes
dressed in trousers too short for him and a coat too small, borrowed
from an innkeeper at Neuilly, asked for an immediate interview with the
They found him walking nervously back and forth. He looked so comical
that they could scarcely refrain from laughing. His air was pensive,
his shoulders bent, and he walked like an automaton from window to door
and from door to window.
He stopped short, took up a little ornament from the table, examined
it mechanically, and then recommenced his walk, but after a few rounds
stopped directly in front of them, saying:
Is Mile. Demun here?
Yes, in the garden with the children.
M. d'Imblevalle, this interview will be our last, I wish Mlle. Demun
to be with us.
Is it necessary?
Be patient, sir, the truth will be shown clearly.
So be it. Suzanne, will you
Mme. d'Imblevalle left the room. She returned very soon, accompanied
by Alice Demun, who was a little paler than usual, but stood quietly
leaning against a table without saying a word.
Sholmes did not seem to see her, and, turning brusquely to the Baron,
After several days of inquiry, sir, I repeat to you what I said at
first: the lamp was stolen by someone who lives in this house.
And the name of the guilty one?
I know it.
And your proofs?
What I have are sufficient to convict
It is not enough to convict. He must also restore.
The lamp is in my possession.
And the necklace of opals, and the snuff-box?
All that were stolen from you are in my possession.
Sholmes loved these dramatic episodes, this dry way of announcing his
The Baron and his wife seemed stupefied, and listened with silent
Sholmes then began to relate all that had happened during the last
three days. Of the discovery of the album, of the expedition of Bresson
to the banks of the Seine and the suicide of the adventurer, the
struggle with Lupin-, the sinking of the boat and the drowning of
When he had ended his story the Baron said in a low voice:
Tell us the name of the guilty one.
I accuse the person who cut the letters from the album and
communicated with Lupin by means of these letters.
How do you know that the correspondent was Arsene Lupin?
From Lupin himself.
He handed the Baron a small piece of wet wrinkled paper which was the
page Lupin had torn from his notebook.
And please take notice, said Sholmes, with a satisfied look, that
nobody forced him to give me that paper. It was a boyish prank on his
Which proved to youbut I see nothing.
Sholmes went over the letters again with the point of his pencil,
Well, that is the same that you showed us before.
No. It is not like the first.
There are two letters more, an E and an O.
That's right. I had not observed them.
Now put those two letters, the C and the H, to that which remained
outside the word responds, and you will see that the word is
That signifies The Echo of France, Lupin's official organ,
where he publishes his personals. Answer in The Echo of France,
in the column of personal correspondence, number 237. That was the word
that I sought. Lupin furnished it to me so gracefully. I have just
returned from the office of The Echo of France.
And did you find anything there?
I have found the detailed story of the relations of Lupin andhis
Sholmes spread out seven papers all opened at the fourth page, and
from which he took the seven following lines:
1ARS. LUP. Lady impl. Protect, 540.
2540, Await explanations. A. L.
3A. L. under domin. enemy Lost.
4540 write address. Will inquire.
5A. L. Murillo.
6540. Park three o clock. Violets.
7237Understood, Saturwill be Sunday morn; park.
And you call that a detailed statement? said the Baron scornfully.
I certainly do. First a lady who signs 540 implores Lupin's
protection, to which he replies asking explanations. The lady replies
that she is under the domination of an enemy, Bresson, doubtless, and
that she is lost unless he comes to her aid. Lupin, who is suspicious,
exacts the address and proposes an inquiry. The lady hesitates four
daysconsult the datesand at last, pressed by threats from Bresson,
she gives the name Murillo. The next morning Lupin advertises that he
will be in the park at three o'clock and begs the lady to wear a bunch
of violets, as a sign that it is she. Then there was an interruption of
the correspondence. Arsene. Lupin and the lady do not use the paper any
more. They meet or write directly. The plan is arranged. To satisfy
Bresson the lady takes the lamp. It remains to fix the day. The lady
who through prudence corresponds by the aid of words cut from books,
decided upon Saturday and adds 'Answer, Echo, 237.' Lupin
replies that it is understood and that he will be in the park. Sunday
morning the robbery was fixed.
It all seems to fit together, and the story is complete, replied
the Baron, after a few minutes' reflection.
Sholmes continued: So the robbery took place. The lady went out
Sunday morning, tells. Lupin what she has done, and carries the lamp to
Bresson. Everything then happened just as Lupin had planned. The open
window, four holes in the garden and two scratches on the stone would
give the impression of a burglary. The lady was safe.
I can understand, but the second robbery
The second was provoked by the first. The newspapers having told
about the lamp, some one got the idea of repeating the whole thing and
taking what the other had left. And this time it was a real robbery.
Lupin, I suppose.
No. Lupin does not act so stupidly. Lupin does not shoot people.
Then who was it?
Bresson, without any doubt, unknown to the lady who had been paying
him blackmail. It was Bresson who entered here, and it was he who shot
my poor friend, Wilson.
Are you sure?
Absolutely. One of Bresson's accomplices wrote him a letter
yesterday before the suicide, which proves that the first attempts to
adjust the restitution for the objects stolen from you had failed.
Lupin demanded all. 'The first thing'which evidently means the
lamp... Besides, he had Bresson watched when Bresson went to the
banks of the Seine. One of Lupin's men followed him as we did.
What was Bresson going to do there?
Notified of the progress of my inquiries
Notified by whom?
The same lady who had full reason to fear the discovery of the lamp.
So, Bresson gathered everything that could incriminate him and hid it
in the river where it would be easy to get at after the danger had
passed. It was on his return that, shadowed by Ganimard and myself, he
lost his head and killed himself.
But what did the package contain?
The antique lamp and all the other jewels.
Then they are not in your possession?
As soon as Lupin disappeared I profited by the bath to go to the
place where Bresson had hid the package, wrapped in linen and oil
cloth. Here it is.
Without a word the Baron cut the strings, took out the lamp, turned a
nut at the base, and then turned the two parts in opposite directions,
and there was the beautiful golden piece thickly set with rubies and
During that long and cruel accumulation of facts one added to the
other, not one muscle of Alice's face changed, not one flash of fear.
What did she think? And would she speak now? She must speak, to defend
herself and break the iron bands in which Sholmes had so cleverly bound
The young girl remained silent.
Speak, speak, shouted d'Imblevalle.
She said nothing.
He insisted, saying:
One word, just one wordsay it. I will believe you.
But that word she would not speak.
The Baron walked rapidly to the end of the room and back, saying to
Sir, I cannot, believe it. An impossible crime, diametrically
opposed to all that I know. He put his hand on the Englishman's
shoulder, adding: But you, yourself, sir, are you absolutely sure that
you are not wrong?
Sholmes hesitated like a man suddenly attacked, whose defense is not
ready, still he smiled as he said:
The only person whom I accuse is the one in your home who knew that
the lamp held this magnificent jewel.
I don't want to believe that, said the Baron quickly.
Ask her, said Sholmes.
The Baron went to her and looking her straight in the eyes:
Was it you, Alice? Was it you who carried on this correspondence
with Arsene Lupin?
It was I, sir, she replied calmly.
Is it possible? said d'Imblevalle. I can't believe it. How did you
do it, unhappy girl?
I did what Mr. Sholmes said I did.
What you say is not possible, said the Baron.
What? she asked.
Because the bolt was shot just as I had left it the night before.
She blushed, showed confusion and looked to Sholmes for help.
Sholmes was struck by her embarrassment more than the Baron. Had she
then nothing to say? Did the avowal mask another lie which destroyed
his accumulation of facts?
The Baron thought a moment, and then said:
The door was fastened. I am sure I found the lock just as it was the
night before. If you had entered that door as you say you did, some one
from inside our room must have opened it for you. Now, there was no one
there but my wife and I.
Sholmes suddenly covered his face with both hands to hide his
thought. He sat down dazed and uneasy. Everything was clear now.
Alice Demun was innocent. The truth, a blinding truth. He saw clearly
now. He knew. One gesture and the irrefutable proof had been given to
He lifted his head after a few seconds and looked at Mme.
d'Imblevalle, as naturally as he couldknowing.
She was pale. Her hands, which she was trying to hide, trembled
One second more and she will betray herself, thought Sholmes.
He placed himself between her and her husband to save her from the
frightful danger which threatened and all through his fault. But
he saw the Baron's face just then and shuddered to the very depths of
his being, for the same shocking truth had struck him. He understood,
Alice Demun tried desperately to fight against the truth. She said:
You are right, sir. I lied. In fact, I did not enter that way. I
went through the garden, and it was with the aid of the ladder that
It was a supreme effort of devotion, but useless. The words false.
The voice hesitated and faltered. She bowed, defeated.
The next few moments the silence was killing. Mme. d'Imblevalle
silent livid, rigid with anguish. The Baron seemed to fight against the
crumbling of his honor and happiness. He stammered hoarsely:
I have nothing to say, my darling, she whispered, her heart burning
Her devotion, her love for me... everything to save me.'
Save you from whatfrom whom?
From that man.
Yes. He threatened me. I met him at Betraux's. I was foolish to
listen to him... nothing, nothing that you will not forgiveI wrote
him two letters... letters you shall see... I bought them back... you
know how. Oh, have pity on me, I have suffered so much!
You, Suzanne, you?
Then, in short, broken sentences she told him all: infamy, her
remorse, her despair. She told also of Alice's, devotion. The young
girl sympathized with her wretchedness and despair, and had written
to Lupin to save her from the claws of Bresson.
You, Suzanne? You? How could you? Baron d'Imblevalle repeated over
The evening of that same day the steamer, City of London,
plying between Calais and Dover, sailed over the calm waters. The night
was clear and calm. A few fleeting clouds showed above the light sheets
Most of the passengers had gone to their cabins. A few walked about
the deck or lounged in steamer chairs beneath heavy blankets.
One of the passengers, walking back and forth with measured steps
along the deck, stopped near a bench where some one lay sleeping. The
man stooped to examine the sleeper, and, uneasily, he said:
I thought you were asleep, Mile. Alice.
No, Mr. Sholmes. I am thinking.
Of what? Would it be impolite to ask? I was thinking of Mme.
d'Imblevalle. She must be so unhappy. Her whole life is ruined.
No, no, her mistake was pardonable. M. d'Imblevalle will forget her
single weakness in time.
It will be long before he forgets even if he forgives, he loves her
You loved her, too.
More than I can tell. It was that which gave me strength to look you
in the face when I wanted to fly from your eyes.
Are you unhappy leaving her?
Oh, very unhappy. I had no one but her, and now she suffers so.
You will have friends, said the Englishman terribly upset by all
this business, I promise youI have great influence.
Perhaps, but Mme. d'Imblevalle will not be there.
They said no more. Herlock Sholmes took a few more turns on the deck,
and then sat down next to her.
The curtain of fog thinned and the clouds disappeared. Sholmes took
his pipe from his mackintosh, filled it, and discovered he had no
matches. He rose and said to a gentleman who sat a few paces away:
Have you a light, please, sir?
The gentleman took out a box, struck one, the flame flashed and in
the light Sholmes saw Lupin.
Lupin might have supposed that his presence aboard was known to
Sholmes, so well did the Englishman master his surprise. With natural
ease he offered his hand to Lupin, saying:
In good health I hope, Lupin?
Bravo! said Lupin, who could appreciate such a marvelous control
under the shock of such an unexpected meeting.
And why bravo?
Why? You see me, a ghost, drowned in the Seine. Yet you did not show
the least surprise. I repeat bravo, it was admirable!
It is not admirable. By the way you fell from the boat I saw plainly
that you dived. The bullet never touched you.
And you left Paris without learning what became of me.
What became of you? I knew. From the moment you escaped drowning
your capture was certain.
And yet here I am.
Monsieur Lupin, there are two men in the world regarding whom
nothing can surprise me. Myself and you.
Peace was signed.
So they talked like friends who esteem each other at his just value.
Lupin told Sholmes how he escaped.
It was very simple. My friends were watching for me in a motor boat.
After having remained half an hour under the over-turned boat I
profited for an instant when Folenfant was seeking my corpse the shore.
I climbed the keel. My friends had nothing to do but to get me into
their motor boat, and fly before the very eyes of five hundred
spectators, Ganimard and. Folenfant.
Very neat, said the Englishman. And now you are going to bet busy
in England, I suppose?
Oh, just to arrange some business. But I forgot, the d'Imblevalles.
He knows all.
Ah, my dear master, what did I tell you? The evil is irreparable
now. Would it not have been better to have let me arrange it according
to my plan? I should taken everything from Bresson and sent them to the
d'Imblevalles, and two good people would have continued their peaceful
life beside each other. Instead...
Instead, I have shuffled the cards and brought discord in the bosom
of a family that you protected.
Yes, I was trying to protect them. Is it necessary always to rob and
So you do good, too?
When I have time, and if it amuses me. I find it exceedingly comical
that this time I was the good genius and you the evil spirit.
Evil, evil! Tears, said Sholmes uneasily.
Yes, the family is broken up, and Alice Demun weeps.
It was impossible for her to remain there. Ganimard would have
reached her, and through her Mme. d'Imblevalle.
You are right, master, but whose fault is it?
Two men passed them. Sholmes said to Lupin in a decidedly new tone of
Do you know who those gentlemen are?
I thought one was the captain of the boat
And the other?
I do not know.
Mr. Austin Gilett. He holds the same position in England as Dudouis
What luck! Would you be so good as to present me? M. Dudouis is one
of my best friends, and I should be happy to say he same of Mr. Austin
And what if I take you at your word, sir, said Sholmes, seizing
Lupin's wrist in a grasp of steel.
Why do you grasp my wrist so tightly, master? I am ready to follow
He allowed Sholmes to drag him along while the two men walked away.
Sholmes doubled his haste. His nails cut the flesh.
Come on, come on, he said in a low growl, in feverish haste to
settle the matter at once. Come on, faster! But he stopped short.
Alice Demun followed them.
What are you doing, Alice? Don't you come.
I beg you to take notice, master, that I am holding her wrist as
tightly as you are holding mine.
Why? I want you to present her also. Her role in the story of the
lamp is more important than mine. Accomplice of Lupin, accomplice of
Bresson. You may push your benevolent intervention to its farthest
limits, generous Sholmes.
The Englishman dropped Lupin's wrist, and Lupin did the same to
They stood facing one another a few seconds, motionless and silent.
Sholmes went to his seat and sank nervelessly into it, while Lupin and
Alice returned to their seats.
A long silence ensued, and Lupin said:
Don't you see, master, that whatever we may do we will never be on
the same side. You are of one side, I am the other. We may greet each
other, shake hands, talk a little, but that's all. Lupin gave way to a
mocking fit of laughter.
Lupin grew suddenly grave, he bent toward the young girl saying:
Rest assured, never would I have betrayed you. Arsene Lupin never
betrays those whom he loves and admires.
He took from his pocketbook a visiting card which he tore in two
pieces and gave half to her. Then, in a respectful and really kind
manner, he said:
If Mr. Sholmes does not succeed, take this card and present it to
Lady Strongborough, you can easily find her address, saying at the same
time, 'Faithful remembrance.' Lady Strongborough will be devoted to you
like a sister.
Thank you, sir I will go to her at once.
And now, master, cried Lupin, in the tone of one who has done his
duty, I wish you good night. We have an hour yet, and I am going to
profit by it.
And he stretched himself out on the bench and fell asleep.
The dark lines of the coast began to show on the horizon. The
passengers came up from the cabin. Mr. Austin Gilett passed, in company
with two men whom Sholmes knew to be Scotland Yard inspectors.
Lupin slept peacefully upon his hard bench.