Skip to main content

Full text of "The exploits of Juve; being the second of the series of the "Fantômas" detective tales"

See other formats






























V. Lou PART'S ANGER . ... 42 

















XXII. THE PUGILIST'S WHIM . . ... ... 176 









ACTOR . 212 










"A bowl of claret, Father Korn." 

The raucous voice of big Ernestine rose above 
the hubbub in the smoke-begrimed tavern. 

"Some claret, and let it be good," repeated 
the drab, a big, fair damsel with puckered eyes 
and features worn by dissipation. 

Father Korn had heard the first time, but he 
was in no hurry to comply with the order. 

He was a bald, whiskered giant, and at the 
moment was busily engaged in swilling dirty 
glasses in a sink filled with tepid water. 

This tavern, "The Comrades' Tryst," had two 
rooms, each with its separate exit. Mme. Korn 
presided over the first in which food and drink 
were served. By passing through the door at the 
far end, and crossing the inner courtyard of the 
large seven-story building, the second "den" was 



reached a low and ill-lit room facing the Rue de 
la Charbonniere, a street famed in the district for 
its bad reputation. 

At a third summons, Father Korn, who had 
sized up the girl and the crowd she was with, 
growled : 

"It'll be two moons; hand over the stuff first." 

Big Ernestine rose, and pushing her way to him, 
began a long argument. When she stopped to 
draw a breath, Korn interposed: 

"It's no use trying that game. I said two francs 
and two francs it is." 

"All right, I won't argue with a brute like you," 
replied the girl. "Everyone knows that you and 
Mother Korn are Germans, dirty Prussians." 

The innkeeper smiled quietly and went on wash- 
ing his glasses. 

Big Ernestine glanced around the room. She 
knew the crowd and quickly decided that the cash 
would not be forthcoming. 

For a moment she thought of tackling old 
Mother Toulouche, ensconced in the doorway with 
her display of portugals and snails, but dame 
Toulouche, snuggled in her old shawl, was fast 

Suddenly from a corner of the tavern, a weary 
voice cried with authority: 

"Go ahead, Korn, I'll stand treat." 


It was the Sapper who had spoken. 

A man of fifty who owed his nickname to the 
current report that he had spent twenty years in 
Africa, both as a soldier and a convict. 

While Ernestine and her friends hastened to 
his table, the Sapper's companion, a heavily built 
man, rose carelessly and slouched off to join an- 
other group, muttering: 

"I'm too near the window here." 

"It's Nonet," explained the Sapper to Ernes- 
tine. "He's home from New Caledonia, and he 
doesn't care to show himself much just now." 

The girl nodded, and pointing to one of her 
companions, became confidential. "Look at poor 
Mimile, here. He's just out of quod and has to 
start right off to do his service. Pretty tough." 

The Sapper became very interested in the con- 
versation. Meanwhile Nonet, as he crossed the 
tap-room, had stopped a few moments before a 
pretty girl who was evidently expecting some one. 

"Waiting again for the Square, eh, Josephine?" 
Nonet inquired. 

The girl, whose big blue eyes contrasted strik- 
ingly with her jet black hair, replied: 

"Why not? Loupart doesn't think of quitting 
me that I know of." 

"Well, when he does let me know," Nonet sug- 
gested smilingly. 


Josephine shrugged her shoulders contemptu- 
ously, and, glancing at the clock above the bar, 
rose suddenly and left the tap-room. 

She went rapidly down the Rue Charbonniere 
and along the boulevard, in the direction of the 
Barbes Metropolitan Station. On reaching the 
level of the Boulevard Magenta, she slackened 
and walked along the right-hand pavement toward 
the centre of Paris. 

"My little Jojo!" 

The girl who, after leaving the tavern, had 
assumed a quiet and modest air, now came face 
to face with a stout gentleman with a jovial face 
and one gleaming eye, the other eye being per- 
manently closed. He wore a beard turning grey 
and his derby hat and light cane placed him as 
belonging to the middle class. 

"How late you are, my adored Jojo," he mur- 
mured tenderly. "That accursed workshop been 
keeping you again after hours ?" 

The mistress of Loupart checked a smile. 

"That's it!" she replied, "the workshop, M. 

The man addressed made a warning gesture. 

"Don't mention my name here; I'm almost 
home." He pulled out his watch. "Too bad; I'll 
have to go in or my wife will kick up a row. 
Let's see, this is Tuesday; well, Saturday I'm off 


to Burgundy on my usual half-monthly trip. 
Meet me at the Lyons station, platform No. 2, 
Marseilles express. We won't be back till Mon- 
day. A delightful week-end of love-making with 
my darling who at last consents . . . What's 

The stout man broke off his impassioned ha- 
rangue. A beggar, emerging from the darkness, 
importuned him : 

"Have pity on me, kind sir." 

"Give him something," urged Josephine. 

The middle-aged lover complied and tenderly 
drew away the pretty girl, repeating carefully the 
details of the assignation: 

"Lyons Station; a quarter past eight. The 
train leaves at twenty to nine." 

Then suddenly dropping Josephine's arm: 

"Now, sweetheart, you'd better hurry home to 
your good mother, and remember Saturday." 

The outline of the portly personage faded into 
the night. Loupart's mistress shrugged her shoul- 
ders, turned, and made her way back to the 
"Tryst," where her place had been kept for her. 

At the back of the tavern, the group which 
Nonet had joined were discussing strange doings. 
"The Bear," head of the band of the Cyphers, had 
just returned from the courthouse. He brought 
the latest news. Riboneau had been given ten 


years, but was going to try for a reduced sen- 

The talk suddenly dropped. A hubbub arose 
outside, a dull roar which waxed louder and louder. 
The sound of hurrying footsteps mingled with 
shrill cries and oaths. Doors in the street 
slammed. A few shots were fired, followed by a 
pause, and then the stampede began again. 

Father Korn, deserting his bar, warily planted 
himself at the entry to his establishment, his hand 
on the latch of the door. He stood ready to bar 
entrance to any who might try to press in. 

"The raid," he warned in a low tone. 

His customers, glad to feel themselves in safety, 
followed the vicissitudes of what to them was al- 
most a daily occurrence. 

First came the frenzied rush of the "street 
walkers," deserted by their sinister protectors and 
fleeing madly in search of shelter in terror of the 
lock-up. Behind the shrieking herd the constables, 
in close ranks, swept and cleared the street, leav- 
ing no corner, no court, no door that remained 
ajar unsearched. Then the whirl swept away, the 
noise died down, and the street resumed its normal 
aspect: drab, weird and alarming. 

Father Korn laughed. "All they've bagged is 
Bonzville !" he cried, and the customers responded 
to his merriment. The police had been fooled 


again. Bonzville was a harmless old tramp, who 
got himself "jugged" every winter on purpose to 
lay up for repairs. 

The passage of the "driver" had caused enough 
stir in the tap-room to distract attention from the 
entry at the back of a stoutly built man with a 
bestial face, known by the title of "The Cooper." 

Swiftly he passed to the Beard's table, and, 
taking the latter aside, began: 

"The big job is fixed for the end of the week. 
On my way back from the station I saw Josephine 
palavering with the swell customer. . . ." 

Suddenly the Beard stopped him short. 

The general attention had become fixed on the 
street entrance to the tap-room. The door had 
opened with a bang and Loupart, alias "The 
Square," the popular lover of the pretty Josephine, 
came on the scene, his eyes gleaming, his lips smil- 
ing under his upturned moustache. 

Then there broke out cries of stupefaction. 
Loupart was between two policemen, who had 
stopped short in the doorway. 

The Square turned to them : "Thank you, gen- 
tlemen," he said in his most urbane tone. "I am 
very grateful to you for having seen me this far. 
I am quite safe now. Let me offer you a drink to 
the health of authority ! v 

However, the two policemen did not dare to en- 


ter the tavern, so they briefly declined and made 
off. Josephine had risen, and Loupart, after press- 
ing a tender kiss upon her lips, turned to the com- 

"That feazes you, eh ! I was just heading this 
way when I ran into the drive. As I'm a peace- 
ful citizen, I got hold of two cops and begged 
them to see me safely home. They thought I was 
really scared." 

There was a burst of general laughter. No one 
could bluff the police like the Square. 

Loupart turned to Josephine : "How are things 
going, ducky?" 

The girl repeated in a low tone to her lover her 
recent talk with M. Martialle. 

Loupart nodded approvingly, but grumbled 
when he found the meeting was fixed for Satur- 

"Hang the fellow! Must hustle with all the 
jobs on hand this week. Anyway, we won't let 
this one slip by. Plenty of shiners, eh, Josephine ?" 

"You bet. He carries the stuff to his partners 
every fortnight." 

"That's first rate, but in the meantime there's 
something doing to-night. Here, kiddy, take a 
pen and scratch off a letter for me." 

The Square dictated in a low voice: 

"Sir, I am only a poor girl, but I've some feeling 


and honesty and I hate to see wrong done around 
me. Believe me, you'd better keep an eye open 
on some one pretty close to me. Maybe the police 
have already told you I am the mistress of Lou- 
part, alias the Square. I'm not denying it; in fact, 
I'm proud of it. Well, I swear to you that this 
Loupart is going to try a dirty game." 

Josephine stopped writing. 

"Look here, what are you at?" 

"Scribble, and don't bother yourself. This 
doesn't concern you," replied Loupart drily. 

Josephine waited, docile and ready, but the 
Square's attention was now focussed upon Er- 
nestine, her young man and the generous Sapper. 

"Yes," Ernestine was explaining to Mimile 
while the Sapper nodded approvingly, "the Beard 
is, as you might say, the head of the band of 
Cyphers, next to Loupart, of course. To belong 
to the Beard's gang you've got to have done up 
at least one guy. Then you get your Number i. 
Your figure increases according to the number of 
deaders you have to your credit." 

"So then," inquired Mimile, with eager curios- 
ity, "Riboneau, who has just been sentenced, is 
called number 'seven' because . . ." 

"Because," added the Sapper in his serious 
voice, "because he has killed off seven." 

In a few curt questions the Square posted him- 


self as to young Mimile, who had impressed him 

Josephine turned to Loupart: "What else 
am I to put in the letter? Why are you 

For answer, the Square suddenly sprang to his 
feet, seized a half-empty bottle and flung it on the 
floor, where it broke. This act of violence sent 
the company scattering, and Loupart roared out : 

"It's on account of spies that I'm stopping ! By 
God! When are we going to see their finish? 
And besides," he added, staring hard at Ernestine, 
"I've had enough of all this nonsense; better clear 
out of here or there'll be trouble." 

Cunningly, with bloodshot eyes, her fists 
clenched in fury, but humbly submissive, the girl 
made ready to comply. She knew the Square was 
master, and there was no use standing out against 
his will. 

The Sapper himself, growling, picked up his 
change, little disposed to have a row, and beckon- 
ing to his comrade, Nonet, effected a humble exit 
under cover of the girl Ernestine. 

Loupart' s arm fell upon the shoulder of Mimile, 
who alone seemed to defy Josephine's formidable 

"Hold on, young *un," ordered Loupart. 
"You seem to have some nerve; better join us." 


Mimile's eyes lighted up with joy. 

"Oh !" he stammered, "Loupart, you'll take me 
in the Cypher gang?" 

"Maybe," was the enigmatic reply. Then with 
a shove he sent the young man to the back of the 
den. "Must go and talk it over with the Beard." 
Without paying heed to the thanks of his new 
recruit, Loupart continued his dictation to Jose- 

As the Sapper and Nonet went quickly down the 
Rue Charbonniere, Nonet inquired: 

"Well, chief, what do you think of our eve- 

The individual that the hooligans of La Cha- 
pelle knew by the nickname of the Sapper, and 
who was no other than Inspector Michel, slowly 
stroked his long beard : 

"Not much," he declared, "except that we've 
been bluffed by the Square." 

"Why not round up the bunch?" suggested No- 
net, who was known as Inspector Leon. 

"It's easy enough to talk, but what can two 
do against twenty? Who wants to take such risks 
for sixty dollars a month?" 

In the meantime Josephine was writing at the 
Square's dictation: 

"I know, sir, that to-morrow Loupart will be 
at Garnet's wine-shop at seven o'clock, which you 


know is to the right as you go up the Faubourg 
Montmartre, before you reach the Rue Lamartine. 
From there he will go to Doctor Chaleck's to 
tackle the safe, which is placed, as I told you, 
at the far side of the study, facing the window, 
with its balcony overlooking the garden. I 
wouldn't have meddled in the matter except that 
there'll be something worse regarding a woman. 
I can't tell you any more, for this is all I know. 
Make the best of it, and for God's sake never let 
Loupart know the letter was sent to you by the 

"Very respectfully," 

About to sign her name, Josephine looked up, 
trembling and anxious. 

"What does it mean, Loupart? You've been 
drinking, I'm sure you have !" 

"Sign, I tell you," calmly replied the Square, 
and the girl, hypnotised, proceeded to trace in her 
large clumsy hand, her name, "Josephine Ramot." 

"Now put it in an envelope." 

From the end of the saloon the Beard was sig- 
nalling Loupart. 

"What is it?" the latter cried, annoyed at the 

The Beard came near and whispered: 

"Important business. The dock man's scheme 


is going well it'll be for the end of the week, 
Saturday at latest." 
'In four days, then?" 
"In four days." 

"All right," declared Josephine's lover, "we'll 
be on hand. It'll be a big haul, I hear." 

"Fifty thousand at least, the Cooper told me." 
Loupart nodded, waved the Beard aside and re- 
sumed : 

"Address it to 

"Monsieur Juve, 
"Commissioner of Safety, 
"At the Prefecture, Paris." 



The daily paper, The Capital, was about to 
go to press. The editors had handed over the last 
slips of copy with the latest news. 

"Well, Fandor," asked the Secretary, "noth- 
ing more for me?" 

"No, nothing." 

"You won't spring a 'latest' on me?" 

"Not unless the President of the Republic 
should be assassinated." 

"Right enough. But don't joke. Lord, there's 
something else to be done just now." 

The "setter up" appeared in the editor's rooms: 

"I want sharp type for 'one,' and eight lines 
for 'two.' " 

Discreetly, as a man accustomed to the business, 
Fandor withdrew on hearing the request of the 
"setter up," avoiding the searching glance of the 
sub-editor, who forthwith to meet the demands of 



the paging, called at random one of the reporters 
and passed on the order to him. 

"Some lines of special type; eight lines. Take 
up the Cretan question on the Havas telegrams. 
Be quick!" 

Fandor picked up his hat and stick and left the 
office. His berth as police-reporter meant a con- 
stantly active and unsettled existence. He was 
never his own master, never knew ten minutes be- 
forehand what he was going to do, whether he 
might go home, start on a journey, interview a 
minister or risk his life by an investigation in the 
world of thugs and cut-throats. 

"Deuce take it!" he cried as he passed the office 
door and saw what the time was. "I simply must 
go to the courts, and it's already very late. ..." 
He ran forward a few paces, then stopped short. 
"And that porter murdered at Belleville ! ... If 
I don't cover that affair I shall have nothing in- 
teresting to turn in. . . ." 

He retraced his steps, looking for a cab and 
swearing at the narrowness of the Rue Montmar- 
tre, where the inadequate pavements forced the 
foot passengers to overflow on to the roadway, 
which was choked with costermongers' carts, heavy 
motor-buses, and all that swarm of vehicles which 
gives a Paris street an, air of bustle unequalled in 
any other capital in the world. As he was about 


to pass the corner of the Rue Bergere, a porter 
laden down with sample boxes, strung on a hook, 
ran into him, almost knocking him down. 

"Look where you're going!" cried the journal- 

"Look out yourself," replied the man insolently. 

Fandor, with an angry shrug of his shoulders, 
was about to pursue his way, when the man stopped 

"Sir, can you direct me to the Rue du Crois- 

"Follow the Rue Montmartre and take the sec- 
ond turning to the right." 

"Thank you, sir; could you give me a light?" 

Fandor could not repress a smile. He held out 
his cigarette. "Here; is that all you want to- 

"Well, you might offer me a drink." 

Fandor was about to answer sharply when some- 
thing in the man's face seemed vaguely familiar. 
He was about sixty. His clothes were threadbare 
and green with age, his shoes down at the heels, 
his moustache and shaggy beard a dirty yellow. 

"Why the devil should I stand you a drink?" 

"A good impulse, M. Fandor." 

In a moment the man's features seemed to 
change. He appeared quite a different person and 
Fandor recognised who was speaking to him. Ac- 


customed by long habit to conceal his impressions, 
the journalist spoke nonchalantly: 

"All right; let's go to the 'Grand Charle- 
magne.' ' 

They started off together, reached the Fau- 
bourg Montmartre and entered a small wine-shop. 
Having taken their seats and ordered drinks, 
Fandor turned to the porter. 

"What's up?" he asked. 

"It takes you a long time to recognise your 

Fandor scrutinised his companion. 

"You are wonderfully made up, Juve." 

On hearing his name mentioned, the man gave 
a start. "Don't utter my name ! They know me 
here as old Paul." 

"But why the disguise? Who are you after? 
Is it anything to do with Fantomas?" 

Juve shrugged his shoulders. "Let's leave Fan- 
tomas out of it," he said. "At least for the mo- 
ment. No, my lad, it's a very commonplace affair 
to-day, and I wouldn't have bumped into you ex- 
cept that I have an hour to while away and wanted 
your company." 

"This disguise for a commonplace affair?" cried 
Fandor. "Come, Juve, don't keep me in the 

Juve laughed at his friend's eagerness. 


"You'll always be the same. When it's a mat- 
ter of detective work, there's no keeping you out 
of it. Well, here's the information you're after. 
Read that." 

He passed Fandor a greasy, ill-written letter. 
Fandor took it in at a glance. 

"This refers to Loupart, alias the Square?" 


"And you call it a commonplace affair? But, 
look here, can you trust information given by a 
loose woman?" 

"My dear Fandor, the police largely depend 
upon such tips, given through revenge by women 
of that class." 

"Well, I'm going with you." 

"No, I won't have you mixed up in this busi- 
ness; it's too dangerous." 

"All the more reason for my being in it ! What 
is really known about this Loupart?" 

"Very little, unfortunately," rejoined Juve. 
"And it's the mystery surrounding him which 
makes us uneasy. Although he has been involved 
in some of the worst crimes, he has always man- 
aged to escape arrest. He is supposed to be one 
of an organised gang. In any case, he's a resolute 
scoundrel who wouldn't hesitate to draw his gun 
in case of need." 

Fandor nodded. 


"His arrest will make bully copy." 

"And for the pleasure of writing a sensational 
story you want to put your life in peril again!" 
Juve smiled sympathetically as he spoke. He had 
known the young journalist, when, scarcely grown 
up, he had been involved in the weird affairs of 

Fandor was an assumed name. Juve recalled 
the young Charles Rambert, victim of the mys- 
terious Fantomas, the most redoubtable ruffian of 
modern times, whom Juve declared to be Gurn 
and still alive, although Gurn had supposedly died 
on the scaffold. He recalled the sensational trial 
and the terrible revelations that had appalled so- 
ciety. Gurn he had then affirmed to be the lover 
of the Englishwoman, Lady Beltham. Gurn it 
was who had killed her husband, and Gurn was 
no other than Fantomas. 

He recalled the tragical morning when Gurn, 
in the very shadow of the scaffold, had found 
means to send in his stead an innocent victim, Val- 
grand, the actor. 

"When will you begin to draw in your net?" 
inquired Fandor. 

Juve motioned to his companion to be silent and 

"Fandor, you hear what that man's singing; the 
one drinking at the bar?" 


"Yes, 'The Blue Danube.' " 

"Well, that gives me the answer. We shall 
soon be on Loupart's tracks. By the way, are you 

"If you won't run me in for carrying concealed 
weapons I'll confess that Baby Browning is in my 

"Good. Now, then, listen to my directions. 
Loupart was seen at the markets this morn- 
ing by two of my watchers, and you may 
be sure he hasn't been lost sight of since. 
Reports I have received indicate that he will 
presumably go to the Chateaudun cross-roads 
and from there to the Place Pigalle, in the direc- 
tion of Doctor Chaleck's house. We shall nab 
him at the cross-roads. Needless to say we are 
not going to keep together. As soon as our man 
comes in sight you will pass on ahead, walking at 
his pace on the same pavement and without turn- 
ing round." 

"And if Loupart doesn't appear?" 

"Why then " began Juve. "The deuce! 
There's another customer whistling 'The Blue 
Danube.' It's time to be off." 

"Are those your agents whistling?" asked Fan- 
dor, as they left the shop. 


"What! Isn't it a signal?" 


"It is, and you'll be able to find your trail by 
the passers-by who whistle that air." 

While talking, the journalist and the detective 
arrived at the Chateaudun cross-roads. Juve cast 
an eye over the ground. 

"It's six o'clock. Be off and prowl around 
Notre Dame de Lorette. Loupart will probably 
come out of that wine-shop you see to the right. 
You can easily recognise him by his height and a 
scar on his left cheek." 

"Look here, Juve, why should these people 
whistle 'The Blue Danube' if they are not detec- 

Juve smiled. "It's quite simple. If you whistle 
a popular tune in a crowd, some one is bound to 
take it up. Well, the two men I put to watching 
Loupart this morning were whistling this same 
tune, and now we are meeting persons who caught 
the air." 

Fandor crossed the road and proceeded toward 
Notre Dame de Lorette to the post the detective 
had allotted to him. The man hunt was about to 



The Cite Frochot is shut in by low stone walls, 
topped by grating round which creepers intertwine. 

The entry to its main thoroughfare, shaded by 
trees and lined with small private houses, is not 
supposed to be public, and a porter's lodge to the 
right of the entrance is intended to enforce its pri- 
vate character. 

It was about seven in the evening. As the fine 
spring day drew to a close, Fandor reached the 
square of the Cite. For an hour past the journal- 
ist had been wholly engaged in keeping track of 
the famous Loupart, who, after leaving the sa- 
loon, had sauntered up the Rue des Martyrs, 
his hands in his pockets and a cigarette in his 

Fandor allowed him to pass at the corner of the 
Rue Claude, and from there on kept him in view. 

Juve had completely disappeared. 


As Loupart, followed by Fandor, was about to 
enter the Cite Frochot, an exclamation made them 
both turn. 

Fandor perceived a poorly dressed man anx- 
iously searching for something in the gutter. A 
curious crowd had instantly collected, and word 
was passed round that the lost object was a twenty- 
five-franc gold piece. 

Fandor, joining the crowd, was pushed close to 
the man, who quickly whispered: 

"Idiot! Keep out of the Cite." 

The owner of the gold piece was no other than 
the detective. Then, under cover of loud com- 
plaint, Juve muttered to Fandor, "Let him go! 
Watch the entrance to the Cite!" 

"But," objected Fandor in the same key, "what 
if I lose sight of him?" 

"No fear of that. The doctor's house is the 
second on the right." The hooligan, who had 
for a moment drawn near the crowd, was now 
heading straight for the Cite. 

Juve went on: "In a quarter of an hour at the 
latest join me again, 27 Rue Victor Masse." 

"And if Loupart should enter the Cite in the 
meantime ?" 

"Come straight back to me.'* 

Fandor was moving off when Juve addressed 
him out loud: "Thank you, kind gentlemen! But 


as you are so charitable, give me something more 
for God's sake." 

The other drew near the pretended beggar and 
Juve added: 

"If anyone questions you as you pass through, 
say you are going to Omareille, the decorator's; 
you'll find me on the stairs." 

Some moments later the little crowd had melted 
away and a policeman, arriving as usual too late, 
wondered what had been going on. 

Fandor carried out Juve's instructions to the 
letter. Hiding behind a sentry box he kept an 
eye on the doctor's house, but nothing out of the 
way happened. Loupart had vanished, although 
he was probably not far away. When the fifteen 
minutes were up Fandor left his post and entered 
No. 27 Rue Victor Masse. As he reached the 
third floor he heard Juve's voice : 

"Is that you, lad?" 


"The porter didn't question you?" 

"I've seen no one." 

"All right, come up here." 

Juve was seated at a hall window examining 
Doctor Chaleck's house through a field glass. 

"You've not seen Loupart go in?" he inquired 
as Fandor joined him. 

"Not while I was on watch." 


"It's well to know one's Paris and have friends 
everywhere, isn't it?" continued Juve. "It oc- 
curred to me quite suddenly that this might be an 
excellent place from where to follow citizen Lou- 
part's doings. You would have spoiled everything 
if you had followed him into the Cite. That's 
why I devised my little scheme to hold you back." 

"You are right," admitted Fandor, who, the 
next moment, gave a jump as Juve's hand gripped 
him hard. 

"Look, Fandor! The bird is going into the 
cage !" 

The journalist, excited, saw a figure already 
familiar to him in the act of slipping into the little 
garden which separated Dr. Chaleck's house from 
the main thoroughfare. 

The detective went on: "There he goes, skirt- 
ing the house until he reaches the little door hid- 
den in the wall. What's he up to now? Ah! 
He's fumbling in his pocket. False keys, of 

They saw Loupart open the door and make his 
way into the house. 

"What comes next?" inquired Fandor. 

"We are going to tighten the net which the silly 
bird has hopped into," rejoined Juve, as he bolted 
down the stairs, and added as a precautionary 
measure: "While I question the porter, you slip 


by me into the main street. I have every reason 
to believe that M. Chaleck has been absent for 
two days, and as soon as I get this information, 
I shall pretend to go away, and then the rest is 
my concern." 

Juve's program was carried out in all points. 

To his questions, the porter replied : 

"Why, sir, I can't really say. I saw Doctor 
Chaleck go off with his bag and I haven't seen him 
come back. However, if you care to see for your- 
self " 

"No, thanks," replied Juve, "I'll return in a 
few days. But look out, your lamp's flaring!" 

As the porter turned to remedy the trouble, 
Juve, instead of going off to the right, quickly fol- 
lowed the direction Fandor had taken and caught 
up with the latter just outside Doctor Chaleck's 

"Now for our plan of campaign," he said. 
"It's darker now than it will be later when the 
street lamps are lit and the moon rises. That ex- 
cellent Josephine sent me a rough plan of the 
house. You see there are two windows on the 
ground floor on either side of the hall. Natu- 
rally they belong to the dining-room and drawing- 
room. The window to the right on the first floor 
is evidently that of the bedroom. On the left, 
this window with a balcony belongs to the study 


of our dealer in death! That's where we must 
plant ourselves. Understand, Fandor?" 

The journalist nodded. U I understand." 

The two men advanced carefully, holding their 
breath and halting at every step. To catch the 
ruffian in the act they must reach the study with- 
out giving the alarm. 

The first story of Doctor Chaleck's house was 
only slightly raised above the ground: by the aid 
of a drain-pipe, Juve and Fandor managed with- 
out difficulty to hoist themselves on to the balcony. 

"Here's luck," cried Juve. "The study win- 
dow is wide open!" 

After putting on a pair of rubbers and mak- 
ing Fandor remove his boots, the two men en- 
tered the room. Juve's first precaution was to 
test the two halves of the window. Finding that 
their hinges did not creak, he fastened the latch 
and drew the curtains. 

"We'll risk a light," he whispered, taking out 
a pocket-lamp, which lit up the room sufficiently 
to allow him to take his bearings. 

The study was elegantly furnished. In the mid- 
dle was a huge desk piled with papers, reports, 
and files. To the right of the desk in the corner 
opposite the window and half hidden by a heavy 
velvet curtain was the xioor leading to the land- 
ing. A large corner sofa occupied the space of 


two wall panels. A set of book-shelves covered 
a whole wall. Here and there cosy arm-chairs 
invited meditation. 

"I don't see the famous safe," murmured Fan- 

"That's because your eyes aren't trained," re- 
plied the detective. "Look at that corner sofa, 
topped by that richly carved bracket. Observe 
the thick appearance of the delicate mahogany 
panel. You may be quite sure that it hides a 
solid steel casket which the best tools would have 
no easy job to cut through. That little moulding 
you see to the right can be easily pushed aside." 

Here Juve, with the precision of an expert, 
set the woodwork in motion and showed the as- 
tonished Fandor a scarcely visible key-hole. 

"Now, let's put out the light and hide our- 
selves behind the curtains. Luckily they are far 
enough from the window for our presence not to 
be noticed." 

For about an hour the men remained motion- 
less, then, weary of standing, they squatted on 
the floor. Each had his revolver ready to hand. 

Ten had just struck from a distant clock when 
suddenly a slight sound reached their attentive 

The two had whiled away the time of waiting 
by drilling the curtains with a small penknife. 


These holes were invisible at a distance, but en- 
abled them to see what was going on in the room. 

The noise continued, slow and measured; some 
one was walking about in the adjacent rooms 
without any attempt to disguise the sound. Evi- 
dently Loupart believed himself quite alone in the 
house of the absent doctor. 

The steps drew nearer, and Fandor, in spite 
of his courage, felt the rapid beating of his heart. 
The handle of the door leading from the hall to 
the study was turned, and some person entered 
the room. 

There was an instant of silence, and then the 
desk was suddenly lit up. The new-comer had 
found the switch. But he was not Loupart. 

He seemed a man of forty and wore a brown 
beard, brushed fan-shape; a noticeable baldness 
heightened his forehead. On his strongly arched 
nose a double eye-glass was balanced. Suddenly, 
having looked at the clock which marked half- 
past eleven, he began to loosen his tie and un- 
button his waistcoat and then went out, leaving 
the study lit as if intending to come back. 

"It's Chaleck!" exclaimed Fandor. 

"Just so," replied the detective. "And this 
complicates matters ; we may have to protect him 
as well as his safe." 

Indeed, Juve's first impulse was to go straight 


to Doctor Chaleck, apprise him of the situation, 
and, under his guidance, search the house thor- 
oughly. But that would have put Loupart on 
the alert. It would be taking too great a chance. 
If Juve should lay hands on him outside of Cha- 
leck's house he would have no right to hold him. 
For the subtle power of Loupart, that well-loved 
hooligan of the purlieus of Paris, lay in his re- 
maining constantly a source of fear, always a sus- 
pect without ever being caught with the goods. 

Coming back to his first idea of insuring Cha- 
leck's safety, Juve said to himself: "The doctor 
is coming back here, that's sure, and we must pro- 
tect him without his knowing it. That is the best 
plan for the present." 

Sure enough after an absence of ten minutes 
Chaleck returned to the study and seated himself 
at his desk. He had now changed into his paja- 

Time passed. 

When the little Empire time piece which deco- 
rated the mantel struck three, Fandor, for all his 
anxiety, could not repress a yawn: the night was 
long and thus far had been devoid of incidents. 
From their hiding-place, he and Juve kept an eye 
on Doctor Chaleck. When did the man sleep? 

Nothing in the physician's countenance betrayed 
the slightest weariness. He examined numerous 


documents spread out on the desk, and also wrote 
a letter which he sealed by lighting a candle and 
melting some wax. He lingered a good twenty 
minutes afterwards, then finally put out the lights 
and left the room. 

The room was now in total darkness. The 
journalist and the detective listened a few mo- 
ments longer as a precaution, but nothing hap- 
pened to break the hush of the waning night. 

Half an hour more and the outlines of the 
two would be visible on the thin curtains. It was 
high time to be off. 

Fandor and Juve rose with difficulty to their 
feet, so cramped were their legs from the en- 
forced rigidity. 

"What now?" asked Fandor. 

"Listen!" Juve abruptly gripped the other's 
arm as a fresh noise came to their ears. This 
time it was not the footsteps of a man walking 
carelessly, but weird creakings, sly gropings. The 
noise stopped, began again and again stopped. 
Where did it come from? 

"This room is a mass of hangings," muttered 

"It's impossible to locate those sounds or de- 
termine their origin." 

"You would suppose," began Fandor 

But he stopped short. The door had opened, 


the light was switched on and Doctor Chaleck 
appeared once more, probably disturbed in his 
sleep by the mysterious noises. 

Chaleck gave a quick glance round the room, 
and then, to the consternation of the two men, 
he took a few steps toward the window, revolver 
in hand. At this moment dull creakings were 
heard, apparently coming from the landing. 
Chaleck turned quickly, and, leaving the door 
open, went out. An increase of light indicated 
that the other rooms in the house were being 
searched, and as the lights were gradually 
switched off again, it was apparent that Chaleck 
was concluding his domiciliary visit without hav- 
ing noticed anything abnormal. 

The two remained still for an hour longer, al- 
though they had heard Chaleck go back to his 
room and lock himself into it. 

Meantime the daylight was growing brighter, 
and in a little while the neighbourhood would be 

"We must slip out," decreed Juve, as he turned 
the hasp of the window with infinite care and set 
it ajar to reach the balcony. 

A few moments later Juve had shed his dis- 
guise and the two men drew breath in the middle 
of the Place Pigalle, having fled ignominiously 
like common criminals. 



"Well, Juve, I suppose you'll agree with me 
that Josephine's information was a piece of pure 
fiction," said Fancier as they turned into the Rue 

"You are talking nonsense," replied Juve. 

"But," protested the other, "we arrived punc- 
tually at the place appointed, and most assuredly 
nothing happened there." 

"We were punctual, it is true, but so was 
Loupart. Josephine's letter gave us two items of 
information : That her lover would be at Doctor 
Chaleck's house and that he would rob the safe. 
Events have proved her correct in one case. As 
to the second, while he did not break open the 
safe, nothing proves that he had not that inten- 
tion. He may have been frustrated by the unex- 
pected appearance of Doctor Chaleck, or he may 
have discovered that we were following him." 



At this moment Fandor pointed out to Juve 
three men who were running toward them, vio- 
lently gesticulating. 

"What does that mean?" he asked. 

Before Juve could reply one of the men, much 
out of breath, inquired: "Well, chief!" 

"Why, it's Michel and Henri and Leon!" 
Then, turning to Fandor, he explained: "Three 

Michel repeated the question: "Well, chief, 
what's up?" 

"What do you mean?" 

"You've just come from the Cite Frochot, 

Juve was amazed. "Look here," he said, 
"where do you come from, Michel? The Pre- 

"No, chief, from the head office of No. IX." 

"Then how do you know we were at the Cite 

Taken aback, Michel replied: "Why, from 
seeing you here, after the affair." 

"What affair?" insisted Juve. 

"Well, chief, it's this way. The three of us 
were on duty this morning at the Rue Rochefou- 
cauld Station. About twenty minutes ago the 
telephone rang and I heard a woman asking in a 
broken and choked voice if it was the police sta- 


tion. On my answering it was, she begged me to 
come to the rescue, crying, 'Murder! I'm dy- 

"What then?" questioned Juve. 

"Then I asked who was speaking, but unfortu- 
nately Central had cut me off." 

"You made inquiries?" 

"Yes, chief, and after a quarter of an hour 
Central told me that only one subscriber had 
called up the police station, the number being 
928-12, name of Doctor Chaleck in the Cite 

"I suppose you asked for the number again?" 

"I did, but I could get no reply." 

After a pause, during which Juve was lost in 
thought, the officer added timidly: "We'd better 
hurry if a crime has been committed." 

Juve beckoned Michel to him. 

"There are too many of us," he said. "You 
come along, Michel; the other two must go back 
to the station and be ready to join us in case of 

The two officers and Fandor went hurriedly 
up the Rue Pigalle and came to a halt by Doctor 
Chaleck's door. 

A loud ringing brought no reply. It was re- 
peated, and finally a voice cried: "Who is there; 
what's the matter?" 


"Open," ordered Juve. 

"To whom do you wish to speak?" 

"To Doctor Chaleck." And Juve added: 
"Open, it's the police." 

"The police! What the deuce do they want 
with me?" 

"You'll soon find out," answered Michel. "Do 
you suppose we'd be making this row if we were 

Doubtless convinced by this reasoning, Doctor 
Chaleck decided at length to open his door. 

"What do you want with me?" he repeated. 

Juve quickly explained matters. 

"We've just had a telephone message to say 
that some ruffians, possibly murderers, are in 
your house." 

"Murderers!" cried Chaleck in amazement. 
"But whom could they murder? I'm living here 

At this assertion, Juve, Fandor and Michel 
looked at each other, mystified. 

"Well, in any case we must search your house 
from top to bottom," said Juve, and added 
as an afterthought: "I suppose you are thor- 
oughly satisfied that we come with honest inten- 

Doctor Chaleck smiled: 

"Oh! Inspector Juve's features are very well 


known to me, and I place myself entirely at his 

The three men, led by Chaleck, ransacked all 
the rooms on the ground floor; finding nothing 
suspicious, they then went up to the floor above. 

"I have only three more rooms to show you, 
gentlemen," said the doctor. "My bathroom, 
my bedroom and my study." 

The bathroom disclosed nothing of interest, 
and Chaleck, throwing open the door of another 
room, announced, "My study." 

Scarcely had Fandor set foot in the study, 
from which he and Juve had so recently made 
their escape, when a cry burst from his lips: 

"Good God! How horrible!" 

The apartment was in the greatest disorder. 
Overturned chairs bore witness to a violent strug- 
gle. One of the mahogany panels of the desk 
had been partly smashed in. A window curtain 
was torn and hanging, and the small gas stove 
was broken. 

Fandor, at the first glance, saw what appeared 
to be a long trail of blood, extending from the 
window to the desk. Stepping forward quickly, 
he discovered the body of a woman frightfully 
crushed and covered with blood. 

"Dead some time," Cried Fandor. "The body 
is cold and the blood already congealed." 


Juve tranquilly examined the room, and took 
in its tragic horror. "The telephone apparatus 
is overturned," he muttered to himself. "There 
has been a struggle between the victim and the 
murderer. Ah! theft was the object of the 

"Theft!" cried Doctor Chaleck, coming for- 

"Look, doctor, your safe has been overturned, 
broken in and ransacked," answered Juve, as he 
and Fandor cautiously lifted the woman. The 
body was a mass of contusions and appeared to 
be one large wound. 

Juve turned to the doctor, who, livid with con- 
sternation, was holding up a small grey linen bag 
which had contained his bonds. 

"Come, doctor, calm yourself and give 
us some information. Can you make any- 
thing of it?" 

"Nothing! nothing! I heard nothing. Who 
is this woman? I don't know her!" 

Fandor pointed to a small shoe lying in a cor- 

"A fashionable woman," he said. 

"Quite so," was Juve's reply, and putting his 
hands on Chaleck's shoulders he inquired: "A 
friend of yours, a mistress, eh? Come now, 
don't deny it." 


"Deny!" protested the doctor, "deny what? 
You are not accusing me, are you? I know noth- 
ing of what has taken place here, and, as you see, 
have been robbed into the bargain." 

"Is she a patient of yours?" 

"I don't practise." 

"A visitor, perhaps?" 

"No one has been to see me to-day." 

"It is not your maid?" 

"No; I tell you. I am living here all by my- 

"Have you noticed this, sir?" put in Michel, 
as he gave Juve a handkerchief on which some 
vicious, greyish substance was spread in thick 

"Shoemakers' wax," Juve explained, after a 
brief glance at it. "That explains the burns we 
noticed. The murderer covered his victim's face 
with the handkerchief to prevent identification." 
Then, turning to Fandor, he went on in a low 

"But it doesn't explain how and when the crime 
was committed. Less than an hour ago we were 
in this very room, and the burgling of the safe 
alone would take fully an hour." 

Michel, ignorant of this fact, was for arresting 
the doctor. , 

"Look here," he said sharply to Chaleck, 


"we've had enough yarns from you; now tell us 
the truth." 

"But, good God! I have told you the truth!" 
cried Chaleck. 

"And you heard nothing, although you were 
only a few yards away?" 

"Nothing at all. I sat up working very late 
last night. When I went to bed, nothing had 
happened in the least suspicious. Oh, by the 
way, toward morning I did hear a slight noise. 
I rose and went over the house, even coming into 
this room. I found everything in order." 

"That's a likely tale!" 

"Here's a proof of what I say! When I re- 
turned to this study I used that candle and seal- 
ing wax to seal my letter, which, as you can see, 
is still here. Your ring at the bell awoke me not 
more than twenty minutes later, just as I was 
getting to sleep again." 

"Lies!" cried Michel, turning to Juve. "Shall 
I arrest him?" 

"The doctor is telling the truth," replied Juve, 
half regretfully. 

Chaleck seemed very much relieved. 

"Oh, you'll help me, won't you? Get me out 
of this abominable affair!" 

As a matter of fact, Chaleck had accounted for 
his time with exact truthfulness. 


Juve crossed the room and drew aside the cur- 
tains; upon the floor he pointed out to Fandor 
traces of mud. It was there that he and the 
journalist had stood. 

"Doctor," said Juve at length, "I must ask you 
not to go out this morning. I am going to head- 
quarters to ask them to send experts in anthro- 
pometry. We must photograph in detail the ap- 
pearance of your study; then I will come back 
and make an extended inquiry and I shall want 
you. Michel, remain here with the doctor." 

Without further words, Juve, followed by Fan- 
dor, left the house of mystery, jumped into the 
first cab that passed and, mopping his forehead, 

"It's astounding! This murder presents mys- 
teries worthy of Fantomas himself 1" 


Loupart was taking a fruit cure. It was about 
ten in the morning, and along the Rues Charbon- 
niere, Chartres and Goutte d'Or the women 
hawkers, driven from central Paris by the police, 
were making for the high ground of the popu- 
lous quarters. 

Loupart strolled along the pavement, making 
grabs at the barrows, picking a handful of straw- 
berries or cherries as he went by. If by chance 
the dealer complained, she was quickly silenced 
by a chaffing speech or a stern glance. 

The hooligan stopped at the "Comrades' 
Tryst," in front of which Mother Toulouche had 
set out a table with a large basket of winkles. 

"Want to try them?" suggested the old woman 
on catching sight of Josephine's lover. 

"Hand me a pin," he answered harshly, and 
in a few moments had emptied half a dozen 



"Friend Square, I've something to say to you." 

"Out with it, then." 

But before the old woman could reply, a noise 
of roller skates coming down the pavement made 
her turn. 

Loupart looked round with a smile. 

"Why here conies the auto-bus," he cried. 

A cripple moving at a great pace came plump 
into the basket of shell-fish. The speed with 
which he travelled had earned him the nickname 
of the Motor. He was said to be an old rail- 
way mechanic, who had lost both legs in an acci- 

"Motor," cried Mother Toulouche, "I have to 
be away for ten minutes or so; look after my 
basket, will you?" 

Following the old dame to her den Loupart 
entered with difficulty, on account of the great 
quantity of heterogeneous objects with which it 
was crowded. The product of innumerable 
thefts lay heaped up pell-mell in this illicit ba- 

Dame Toulouche, having shut the door, 
plunged into her subject. 

"Big Ernestine is furious with you, Loupart." 

"If she's threatening me," the hooligan re- 
plied, "I'll soon fix her," 

"No, big Ernestine didn't want to fight, but 


she was annoyed at the public affront put upon 
her by Josephine's lover when he drove her from 
'The Good Comrades' the evening before last 
without any reason." 

"Without any reason!" growled Loupart. 
"Then what was her business with those spies, 
the Sapper and Nonet?" 

"That can't be! Not the Sapper!" 

"Spies, I tell you; they belong to headquar- 

The old receiver of stolen goods cast up her 
eyes. "And they looked such decent people, too ! 
Who can one trust?" 

Loupart, for reply, suddenly picked up a scarf 
pin set with a diamond, and, tossing the old 
woman a five-dollar piece, said as he left the 
room: "You can tell Ernestine that I bear her 
no malice." 

Loupart had hardly gone a few steps along 
the Rue Charbonniere, when, at the corner of the 
Rue de Chartres, he bumped into a passer-by 
who was coming down the street. 

Loupart burst out laughing: "What! Can this 
be you, Beard? What's happened to you?" 

It certainly needed a practised eye to recognise 
the famous leader of the Cypher gang. For the 
Beard, who owed his name to an abnormal hairy 
development, was clean shaved; in addition, he 


wore a soft, greenish hat and was clad in a suit 
with huge checks. 

"You told me to make up as an American." 

"I did, and you've made yourself look like a 
hayseed juggins. For Heaven's sake, take it off. 
By the way, what about young Mimile?" 

"He's with us." 

"Well, get him the togs of a collegian for the 
job at the docks. What night do we bring it 

"Saturday night, unless the Cooper changes 
the time." 

Loupart bent close to the ear of his lieutenant. 

"Is he easy to recognise?" 

"No chance of making an error. Lean, togged 
in dark clothes and with one goggle eye." 

Loupart touched the "Beard's" arm. 

"First-class tickets for everybody." 

"How many will there be?" 

"Five or six." 

"Women, too?" 

"No, only my girl. But you can bet we shan't 
be bored!" With these words, Loupart walked 
away. He stopped a little later at the second 
house in the Rue Goutte d'Or, a decent-looking 
house with carpet on the stairs. 

On reaching the fifth- floor, he knocked several 
times on the door facing him, but without 


reply. This annoyed him; he didn't like Jose- 
phine to sleep late, and he expected her to 
be always ready when he condescended to come 
and fetch her. 

Josephine was a pretty burnisher from Belle- 
ville, and Loupart, who had met her at a ball 
in that quarter six months ago had made her his 
favourite mistress. 

Among the bullies and drabs that frequented 
the place, Josephine had appeared to him seduc- 
tive, charming, almost virginal, and the popular 
hooligan had promptly chosen her from her sis- 
ters of the underworld. 

Certainly Josephine had no reason to complain 
of her lover's conduct, and if at times he de- 
manded of her a blind submission, he never 
treated her with that fierce brutality which char- 
acterised most of his fellows. But if Josephine 
had felt any leaning toward a good life, or any 
scruples of conscience, she must necessarily have 
thrown them overboard as soon as her connection 
with Loupart began. With a different start in 
life she might have become an honest little woman, 
but circumstances made her the mistress of a 
hooligan ring-leader, and, everything considered, 
she had a certain pride in being so, without imi- 
tating the vulgar and brutal behaviour of her 


At the third summons, Loupart, none too pa- 
tient, drove the door in with a vigorous shove of 
his shoulders. 

Josephine's apartment, a comfortable and spa- 
cious room, with a fine bird's-eye view of Paris, 
was empty. 

Fancying his mistress was at some neighbour's 
gossiping, he bawled: "Josephine! Come here!" 

Heads appeared, looking anxiously out of 
rooms on the same floor. 

"Where is Josephine?" Loupart cried. 

Mme. Guinon came forward. 

"I don't know," she replied, stammering. 
"She complained of pains in her stomach last 
evening, and I was told she's gone." 

"Gone? Gone where?" stormed Loupart. 

"Why, I don't know; it was Julie who told 

A freckled face, half hidden by a matted 
shock of hair, appeared. Julie was not reticent 
like her mother. She explained in a hoarse, alco- 
holic voice: 

"It's quite simple. When I came in last night 
about four I heard groans in Josephine's room. 
I went to see and found Josephine writhing in 
pain as if she had been poisoned." 

"What did you do then?" 

"Oh, nothing," declared Julie. "I just trotted 


away again; it wasn't my business, but the Flirt 
came and meddled in it." 

"The Flirt! Where is she?" 

The Flirt, a faded, wrinkled woman of fifty, 
appeared from a doorway where she had been 

"Where is Josephine?" demanded Loupart. 

"At Lariboisiere hospital, ward 22, since you 
want to know." 

After a moment's amazement, Loupart broke 
out furiously: 

"You sent off Josephine in the middle of the 
night! You took her to a hospital for a little 
indigestion! Without asking my consent! Why 
she's no more ill than I am!" 

"Have to believe she is," replied the Flirt, 
"since the 'probes' have kept her." 

Loupart turnd and tramped downstairs swear- 

"She'll come out of that a damned sight quicker 
than she went in!" 

A few moments later Loupart entered Father 
Korn's saloon. Having set forth his plans to 
that worthy, the latter proceeded to demolish 

"You can't do anything to-day, so there's no 
use trying. You'll have to wait till to-morrow 
at midday, the proper visiting hour." 


Loupart recognised the truth of the publican's 
assertion and, calling for writing paper, sat down 
and scrawled a letter to his mistress. 

"Motor," he cried to the cripple who was still 
at Mother Toulouche's basket, "tumble along 
with this note to Lariboisiere; look sharp, and 
when you get back I'll stand you a glass." 

As the cripple hurried away he was all but 
knocked down by a newsboy, running and shout- 

"Extra! Extra! Get The Capital. Extraor- 
dinary and mysterious crime of the Cite Frochot. 
Murder of a woman." 

"Shall I get a copy?" asked the publican. 

Loupart stalked out of the saloon without 

"Oh, I know all about that," he cried. 

Father Korn stood rooted to the spot at Lou- 
part's answer. 

"What! He knows already!" 



The clerk, who had admitted Juve, withdrew, 
and M. de Maufil, the amiable director, gave 
the police officer his most gracious smile. 

"When I applied this morning at headquarters 
for an officer to be sent here, I scarcely expected 
to receive so celebrated a detective, upon a mat- 
ter which is really very commonplace." 

"Your letter to M. Havard mentioned a per- 
son I have been looking for with the greatest in- 
terest for the past two days. Loupart, alias 'The 
Square,' " replied Juve, "that is why I came my- 
self. What is it about, sir?" 

"Well, the day before yesterday, we took in 
at the instance of Doctor Patel, a patient suffer- 
ing from acute gastric trouble. The woman gave 
us for identification the name of Josephine, no 
calling, residing in Paris, Rue de Goutte d'Or, 
in furnished rooms. Some hours after her ad- 



mission to the hospital, she received a letter, 
brought by a messenger, which threw her into a 
violent state of terror. The nurse on duty sent 
for me, and I succeeded, after great difficulty, in 
quieting her; but she insisted most emphatically 
on leaving the hospital at once. The poor crea- 
ture was in a high fever, and to grant her request 
would have been sending her to her death. At 
length she intrusted me with the letter which had 
excited her so. Here it is, kindly look it over." 
Juve took the letter and read: 

"Am just back from the doss. You ain't there, and I 
don't want any more of these dodges. You are no more 
ill than I am. See here, you'll either leave the hospital 
and slope back to the house right off or to-morrow, Fri- 
day, at visiting time, as sure as my name's what it is, 
you'll get two bullets in your hide to teach you to hold 
your tongue." 

Juve gave a grunt of satisfaction. 

"You understand what is going on?" asked 
the director. 

"Yes, but please go on with your story." 

"Well, sir, you can guess that having read this 
letter, I easily got from the girl some informa- 
tion as to the writer. According to what she 
told me this Loupart is her lover, and he seems 
to have in a high degree that inconceivable pride 


which causes folks of his class, when they have 
sworn to kill some one, to carry out their threat, 
no matter what risk they may run themselves. 
The girl, Josephine, is convinced that to-morrow 
Loupart will come and kill her." 

"You have told her that all precautions will 
be taken?" 

"Of course. I pointed out to her that people 
do not come in here as they do into a bar; that 
being warned, I should have all the visitors 
watched who come here and asked to see her. I 
repeated to her that her lover probably wanted 
to frighten her, but that he could not do anything 
to injure her. I insisted that in the state she was 
in it was physically impossible for her to obey 
that wretch's bidding." 

"And what was her answer to that?" 

"Nothing. Her attack of alarm having sub- 
sided she seemed to fall into a condition of ex- 
treme prostration. I realised quite well that she 
regarded herself as condemned, that she had a 
far higher opinion of Loupart's daring than of 
my watchfulness, and, lastly, if she stayed it was 
because she realised that it was out of the ques- 
tion for her, in her weak state, to go back to her 

While the director was speaking, Juve had re- 
tained a smiling and satisfied expression, seeming 


but little affected by Josephine's terrible plight. 

"I should very much like to know," continued 
the director, "why you said you knew the reasons 
for the threat being sent by this man to his mis- 

Juve hesitated some moments; then, without 
going into details, said: "It would take too long 
to recount the motives which prompted Loupart 
to write that letter. This Josephine whom you 
see to-day trembling at her lover's threat not so 
long ago supplied the police with valuable hints 
concerning him. Has he learned that? Does he 
know the woman has rounded on him? Did he 
fear, above all, that she would tell tales again 
here at the hospital? It is quite possible. You 
see he must have had very strong reasons for giv- 
ing her the order to come home " 

Juve here broke off, fingering Loupart's letter; 
then at length he placed it in his pocketbook. 

"I will keep this document, director; it is a 
tangible proof of Loupart's criminal intentions. 
If he should put his threats into practice it would 
be difficult after that to deny premeditation." 

"You think that such a thing is possible?" 

"Don't you?" 

"Loupart declares he will come to the hos- 
pital before three and -kill his mistress, but surely 
it must be easy to render that impossible." 


"You think the police are all-powerful, that 
we can arrest would-be murderers and render 
them incapable of harm? That is an error. We 
are prevented from taking effective action by a 
swarm of regulations. If I met Loupart on the 
street I would not be able to arrest him. I have 
no warrant. When a man holds his life cheap 
and is determined to risk everything, he has a 
pretty good chance of succeeding. Of course I 
shall take every measure to prevent Loupart kill- 
ing his mistress, but I'm not at all sure of suc- 

"But M. Juve, we must have this girl Jose- 
phine transferred to another hospital if neces- 

Juve shook his head. 

"And show Loupart we are aware of his pur- 
pose? Flatter the ruffian's vanity? No, we must 
let Loupart come, and catch him as he is about 
to commit the crime." 

"What do you propose to do?" 

"Study the hospital; arrange where to place 
my men," replied Juve. 

"In that case, I will do everything I can to 
help you." M. de Maufil rang for an attendant 
and bade him take Juve to Doctor Patel's depart- 

Juve thanked the obliging director and took 


leave. The attendant pointed to a row of win- 
dows under the roof. 

"Doctor Patel's division begins at the corner 
window and runs to the window near the cor- 

"What are the means of access to the female 

"Oh, that's quite simple, sir; you get into the 
woman's ward either by the door on the staircase 
or by the door at the back, which leads into the 
laboratory of the head physician, the room of the 
house surgeon on duty, and the departmental 

"And how do visitors pass in?" 

"Visitors always go up the main staircase." 

"Now," said Juve, "show me over Doctor 
Patel's division." 

"Very good, sir. It will be all the more in- 
teresting to you, as it is just the visiting hour." 

When Juve made his way into the woman's 
ward, Doctor Patel was actually in process of 
seeing his patients. He was passing from bed 
to bed, questioning each of the women under 
treatment and listening to the comments of the 
house staff who followed him. 

"Gentlemen," the doctor was saying as Juve 
joined the group, "the patient we have just seen 
affords a very excellent and typical instance of 


intermittent fever. The serum tests have not 
given any appreciable result; it is therefore im- 
possible to arrive at " 

A hand was laid on Juve's shoulder. 

"Why, the tests are always absolutely indica- 
tive ! Palpable typhoid, eh? What do you think?" 

Juve turned his head and could not suppress 
a cry of surprise. 

"Doctor Chaleck!" 

"What! M. Juve! You here! Were you 
looking for me?" 

Juve was dumbfounded. He drew Chaleck 

"Then you're attached to this hospital?" 

"Oh, I have only leave to attend the courses." 

"And I came here out of curiosity." 

"In any case, allow me to thank you for the 
service you rendered me the other day. The 
officer who was with you seemed to take me for 
the guilty man." 

"Well, you see, appearances . . ." 

"But if anyone was a victim it was I. Apart; 
from the finding of the murdered woman in my 
house, I have been robbed!" 

Here the doctor broke off. A house surgeon 
was beckoning to him. 

"Forgive me," he said to Juve. "I cannot 
keep my colleague waiting." 


Leaving Chaleck, Juve went back to the at- 
tendant who had patiently waited for him. 

"Stranger than ever!" he murmured. "There 
is no making it all out. Josephine writes that 
Loupart means to rob Chaleck. I track Loupart 
and he gives me the slip. I spend a night in a 
room where I see nothing, and where neverthe- 
less a horrible amazing crime is committed. The 
murder takes place scarce a yard from me, and 
the doctor, the tenant of the house, sees nothing 
either, and does not even know the victim who is 
found next morning on his premises ! Thereupon 
our informant, Josephine, goes into hospital; pain 
in the stomach, they say hem! Poison, maybe? 
Then she gets a threatening letter from Loupart. 
And when I come to the hospital to protect her, 
whom do I meet but Doctor Chaleck!" 

Juve, turning to the attendant who was escort- 
ing him, asked: 

"You know the person I was speaking to just 

"Doctor Chaleck? Yes, sir." 

"What is his business here?" 

"He is a foreign doctor, I believe. I should 
fancy a Belgian. Anyhow, he is allowed by the 
authorities to follow the clinical courses and 
make researches in the laboratory." 



Doctor Patel's division presented an unusu- 
ally animated appearance that afternoon. Not 
only were the patients allowed to receive visitors, 
but quite a number of strange doctors had spent the 
day going from bed to bed, note-books in hand, 
studying the patients and their temperature 
charts. The nurses hesitated to call these indi- 
viduals doctors, and the patients, too, seemed 
aware of their true status. Whispers were 
hushed, and all eyes turned toward the far end 
of the ward. 

There, in a bed set slightly apart and near 
the house staff's quarters, lay Josephine, a prey 
to a racking fever and breathing with difficulty. 

Exactly opposite her was the bed of an old 
woman who had been admitted that morning. 
Her face had almost entirely disappeared under 
voluminous bandages. 



As the ward clock struck a quarter to three, 
an attendant appeared and announced: 

"In ten minutes visitors will be requested to 

"Two of the staff who had paced the ward 
since early in the day exchanged a smile. 

"Here's the end of the farce," remarked one; 
"Loupart isn't coming." 

"He said three; there are still thirteen minutes 
left," replied the other. 

"Well, every precaution is taken." 

"Precautions are of no use with men like Lou- 

"Eleven minutes left." 

"What the devil could happen? There is no 
longer admission to the hospital; the visitors are 

"Three minutes!" 

"Look here, you'll end by making me 
think . . ." 

"Two minutes." 

"Well, own yourself beaten!" 

"One minute." 

Bang! Bang! Two shots from a revolver 
suddenly startled the silent ward. 

There was a moment's consternation and up- 
roar. The patients leaped from their beds and 
sought refuge. in the corners of the ward, while 


the two house surgeons and the policemen, pass- 
ing as doctors, rushed in a body toward Jose- 
phine's bed. Doors slammed. People came hur- 
rying from all quarters. 

Above the hubbub rose a calm voice. 

"What the devil! Here I am drenched! 
What does that mean?" 

The house surgeon reached the bed where the 
hopeless Josephine lay, white as a corpse, mo- 
tionless. A large red blood stain was spread- 
ing on her sheet. Quickly the doctor uncovered 
the wounded woman and examined her. 

"Fainted, she has only fainted!" And, silenc- 
ing all comments, he called: 

"Monsieur Juve ! Monsieur Juve!" 

The old woman who, a few moments before, 
had been dozing, now quickly sprang out of bed, 
and, tearing off her bandages, revealed the placid 
features of detective Juve. 

"I understand everything except that I'm 
drenched to the bones," declared Juve, as he 
crossed to Josephine's bed, oblivious to the amaze- 
ment his appearance caused. 

"That's easily explained," said the house sur- 
geon. "The girl was lying on a rubber mattress 
filled with water. One of the bullets punctured 

"What damage did she receive?" 


"A contusion on the shoulder. The murderer 
aimed badly owing to her recumbent position." 

Juve beckoned to the officers. 

"Your report? You've seen nothing?" 


"That's strange," declared the detective. "I 
kept an eye on Josephine myself, thinking that 
a movement on her part would betray the en- 
trance of Loupart. She made no sign; but, how- 
ever Loupart may have got in, he can't get out 
without falling into a trap. I have fifty men 
posted round the building. Now, the first point 
to clear up is the exact place from where the shot 
was fired." 

"How can we get at that?" 

"Very simply. By drawing an imaginary line 
between the spot where the bullet struck the mat- 
tress and where it went into the floor extend 
this line and we find the quarter from where the 
shot was fired." A doctor came forward. 

"M. Juve," he said, "that would bring us to 
the door of the staff's room." 

"Ah, it's you, Doctor Chaleck! I'm glad to 
see you! You are quite right in your surmise. 
Do you see any objection to my reasoning?" 

"I do. I came into the ward barely two sec- 
onds before the firing. No one was behind me 
and no one was walking before me." 


Juve crossed to the door. 

"It is from here that the shots were fired!" 

And the detective added triumphantly as he 
stooped and picked up an object from the floor: 

"And this backs up my assertion!" 

He held out a revolver, still loaded in four 
chambers. "A precious bit of evidence!" He 
turned to the doctor: 

"Can a stranger get into the wards by this 

"Utterly impossible, M. Juve! Only those 
thoroughly familiar with Lariboisiere can get into 
the ward through the laboratory. You must 
pass through the surgical divisions." 

The detective seated himself at the foot of the 
sick woman's bed and mechanically laid the re- 
volver beside him. But scarcely had he done so 
when he sprang up. Upon the sheet was a tiny 
red speck left by the muzzle of the weapon. 

"Ah! that's very instructive!" he cried. And 
as the others crowded round, puzzled, Juve 
added: "Don't you see? The murderer ran his 
finger along the barrel to steady his aim, and as 
the barrel is very short, the bullet grazed the tip 
of his finger which extended slightly beyond it. 
If I find anyone in the hospital with a wounded 
finger, I've got the murderer! Gentlemen, I am 
going to ask the director to issue orders for 


everyone within the hospital gates to pass be- 
fore me. I reckon that in two hours at most the 
culprit will no longer be at large." 

The attempted murder happened at three 
o'clock; about six o'clock, those who had first 
been examined by Juve had received permission 
to leave the hospital and were beginning to de- 

With a careless step Doctor Chaleck made for 
the exit by which he issued every evening from 
Lariboisiere. As he was about to pass out, a 
police inspector barred his way. 

"Excuse me, sir. Have you a pass?" 

"A pass?" 

"Yes, sir; no one is allowed to leave to-day 
without a pass from M. Juve." 

The doctor looked at his watch. 

"The deuce," he said. "I'm late as it is. 
Where am I to get this pass ?" 

"You must ask M. Juve himself for it. He 
is in the director's private room." 

"All right, I'll go there." And Doctor Cha- 
leck retraced his steps. 



"It's astounding!" declared M. de Maufil. 
"We have already examined nearly two hundred 
persons and found nothing." 

"That may be," replied Juve, "but we may 
discover the culprit by the two hundred and first 
hand held out to us." 

"There is one thing you forget, M. Juve." 

"What is that?" 

"If the culprit gets wind of our method of in- 
vestigation, if he has any notion that you are in- 
specting the hands of all those who desire to 
leave the hospital, he won't be such a ninny as to 
come and submit to your inspection." 

Juve nodded approval of the comment. 

"You are right; but I have taken means to ob- 
viate that difficulty." 

Since he had begun his inquiry on the spot, 
from the very moment when the revolver shots 



had rung out, the great detective was growing 
more and more sure that the arrest of the mys- 
terious offender would be a matter of consider- 
able time. The buildings of the establishment 
were extensive, and it was easy for a man to 
move about them without attracting attention. 
They offered really strange facilities for hiding. 

"Mr. Director," said Juve, "I fancy we have 
inspected pretty well all the persons who leave 
Lariboisiere as a rule, at this time?" 

"That is so." 

"Then we must now change our plan. Let us 
leave a nurse here to detain those who come to 
ask for passes, and begin a search of the hospital 
ourselves. I shall post my officers in line, each 
man keeping in sight the one behind and the 
one before him. At the foot of every staircase 
I shall leave a sentry. Then, beginning at the 
outer wall of the building we will drive everyone 
on the ground floor toward the other end. If we 
don't round up our man there, we will proceed to 
the floor above." 

"A good idea," replied M. de Maufil. "We 
shall catch him in a trap." 

When Doctor Chaleck found that the inspec- 
tor watching the exit leading to the main door 
in the Rue Ambroise Pare refused him leave to 
pass out of the hospital without the sanction of 


the great detective, he had perforce to retrace his 
steps. Skirting the bushes in the courtyard he 
took his way toward the medical wards, turning 
his back on the directoral offices, where he might 
have encountered our friend Juve. He had taken 
off his white uniform and was dressed in his 
street clothes. He halted at the entrance to the 
long glazed gallery which extends to the operat- 
ing rooms of the surgical department. Turning 
suddenly, he saw in the distance and coming his 
way Inspector Juve, accompanied by the director. 
He noticed at the same time the cordon of offi- 
cers preparing to sweep the hospital from end 
to end. Mechanically, and as if bent on putting 
a certain distance between him and the new-com- 
ers, he turned into the glazed gallery, and reached 
the far end of it. He was about to go into the 
surgical ward when a nurse stopped him. 

"Doctor, you can't go in just now; Professor 
Hugard is operating and has given express or- 
ders that no one is to be admitted." 

Chaleck turned up the gallery again, but ab- 
ruptly swung round again as he caught sight of 
Juve and the director just entering the gallery, 
driving before them half a dozen patients and 
orderlies. Chaleck joined this little group, which 
had pulled up at the end of the gallery and was 
making laughing comments on the rigid inspec- 


tion to which Juve was just about to subject 

"Now's the time to show clean hands," joked 
a non-resident, "eh, Miss Victorine?" he added, 
smiling at a buxom nurse whom the chances of 
duty had blockaded in the corridor. 

"Depend upon it," growled one of the account- 
ants of the administrative department, shrugging 
his shoulders, "they are making a great fuss over 
nothing. After all, no one is hurt. Just one 
more pistol shot; in this neighbourhood we have 
ceased to count them." 

An old man, who had his hand bandaged, sug- 
gested: "Perhaps they'll be wanting to arrest me 
since the culprit is wounded in the fingers, they 

Dignified and calm, Juve did his best to re- 
store liberty to each of the persons brought to- 
gether. They had only to show their two hands 
held up in front of the face, the fingers apart. 
M. de Maufil, at a sign from Juve, immediately 
bade the attendant hand the person in question a 
card bearing his name and description. Armed 
with -this "Sesame" he could come and go unim- 
peded all over the hospital. 

Pointing to a large door at the extreme end of 
the corridor, Juve asked: 

"What exit is that?" 


The other smiled. "You want to see every- 
thing, don't you?" 

The director, opening the heavy door, made 
room for Juve, who entered a very narrow pas- 
sage, damp and quite dark. The passage, a short 
one, opened on a vast apartment, much like a 
cellar, lighted by airholes in the ceiling and in- 
tensely cold. A noise of running water from 
open taps broke with its monotonous splash the 
silence of this place, solely furnished with a huge 
slab of wood running from one end to the other. 
Upon the slab dim and lengthy white shapes were 
outstretched, and when his eyes grew accustomed 
to the twilight, Juve recognised the vague out- 
line of these weird bundles. They were corpses 
swathed in shrouds. The heads and shoulders 
alone were visible, and on the brows of the dead 
trickled icy water, dispensed sparingly but regu- 
larly by duck-billed taps that overhung the in- 
clined plane. 

The director explained: "This is the amphi- 
theatre where we keep the bodies for post-mor- 
tems. Do you want to stay any longer?" 

"There is no access to the room except by the 
door we came in at?" 


"In that case," rejoined Juve, "and as there 
is no furniture here for a person to hide in, let us 


look elsewhere. It's a rather gruesome place." 

"You're not used to the sight, that's all," re- 
plied the director, as he led the way back to his 

Juve looked at his watch. "Well, I must 
leave you now and make a report to M. Havard. 
I'm afraid the murderer has slipped through our 

"But you'll come back?" 

"Of course." 

"What am I to do meanwhile?" 

"Nothing, unless you care to go over the hos- 
pital again." 

"And the passes? Are they to be in force 
still? We have no one in the place but the staff." 

"That is essential," replied Juve. "I must 
know with certainty who comes in and goes out. 
However, anyone known to your doorkeeper 
who wishes to leave need only sign in a regis- 



It was light in the evening. One by one the 
rooms in Lariboisiere were being lit up. 

The one exception was the grim amphitheatre, 
whose occupants would never need to see again. 

Suddenly and if anyone had been present, 
he would have experienced the most frightful im- 
pression it is possible to conceive a corpse 

Having assured himself that the door between 
the amphitheatre and the gallery was shut, the 
corpse, shivering with cold, threw off the shroud 
which enveloped him, and set to work to move 
his legs and arms about to start up his circula- 
tion. Then at the far end of the apartment this 
living corpse discovered, under a zinc basin at- 
tached to the wall, a bundle of linen and gar- 
ments, which he seized upon. 

His body shaking with cold, the man dressed 


himself in haste, and then waited until he con- 
sidered his clothes sufficiently dry not to attract 

Carefully ascertaining that the gallery was de- 
serted, he then entered it and walked rapidly to 
the courtyard. To the right of the main gate- 
way, the smaller gate leading into the Rue Am- 
broise Pare was open. 

The man passed under the archway, and in a 
moment would have been clear of Lariboisiere, 
when the doorkeeper barred his way. 

"Excuse me, who goes there?" 

Then, having looked more closely: 

"Why it's Doctor Chaleck! You're late in 
leaving us this evening, doctor. I suppose you've 
been kept pretty busy in ward 22?" 

"That's so," replied Chaleck, for it was he. 
"That's why I'm in a hurry, Charles." 

And Chaleck, with an impatient gesture, was 
about to slip out, but the porter stopped him 

"One moment, doctor; you must register first." 

"Is this a new hospital regulation?" 

"No, doctor, it's the police who have ordered 
everyone entering or leaving the hospital to sign 
his name in this book." 

The porter, having taken Doctor Chaleck into 
his lodge, opened a new register, and pointing to 


half a dozen names already written on the first 
page, he added: 

"You'll not be in bad company; you're to sign 
just below Professor Hugard." 

Chaleck smiled. "Tell me the latest news, 
Charles. Do they suspect anyone?" 

"All I know is that fifty of them came here 
with dirty shoes, made a hubbub round the pa- 
tients, put the service out of gear, and in the end 
caught nobody at all. But if the culprit is still 
here, he won't get out without the bracelets on his 

An equivocal smile touched the pale lips of 
Chaleck. It might be the weird inhabitant of the 
little house in Cite Frochot was not so sure as 
the porter was of the astuteness of the police. 
Perhaps he was thinking that a few hours be- 
fore a certain Doctor Chaleck, hemmed in a pas- 
sage with no exits and about to be compelled to 
show, like everyone else, the tips of his fingers, 
had, under the nose of the officers, and even of 
the artful and astute Juve, suddenly vanished, 
gone out of the world of the living and thought 
it necessary, for reasons he alone knew, to 
assume the rigidity of a corpse, the stillness 
of death. But the smile in a moment became 

The doctor who had kept both hands in his 


pockets while talking to the porter, suddenly felt 
a sharp twinge in the fingers of his right hand, 
and it became moist and lukewarm. This hap- 
pened as the porter held out the register for him 
to sign. 

"Charles," he cried, "I'm in a great hurry; 
while I'm signing, please go out and stop the 
first taxi that passes." 

"Certainly, sir," replied the man. 

Scarcely had the doorkeeper turned his back 
when the doctor, with infinite precautions drew 
out his right hand and with evident difficulty be- 
gan to write, holding the pen between the third 
and fourth fingers, as though unable to use the 
fore and middle ones. 

As he was finishing his entry, he made what 
was doubtless an unintended movement, some- 
thing unexpected happened, for he suddenly 
turned pale and repressed a heavy oath. Charles 
was just coming back to the lodge. 

"Your taxi is here, Doctor." 

"Right. Thank you." 

Chaleck closed the register abruptly, jumped 
into the motor, threw an address to the driver, 
who got under way. On seeing the doctor shut 
the register, Charles jcried: "The devil there's 
no blotting paper in it, it will be sure to 


And, though it was too late, the careful man 
rushed to the book and opened it. His eyes 
became fixed on the page where the signatures 
were. He stared, wide-eyed. 

"Oh! Oh! " he murmured. 


M. de Maufil was exceedingly nervous. 

"As soon as you went back to headquarters," 
he declared to Juve, some moments after that 
officer had been shown into his private room, "I 
continued the search with redoubled efforts. Nei- 
ther the ward-nurses, in whom I place complete 
confidence, nor the heads of my staff, whom I 
have known for ever so long, passed the doors 
of the hospital. In fact, I took every precaution 
and obeyed your instructions to the letter yet all 
in vain." 

"You found nothing?" 

"Nothing. Not only did we not discover the 
criminal, but we did not come upon any trace of 

"That's strange." - 

"It is maddening. It would seem that from 
the instant the man fired those two shots in the 



woman's ward in Patel's department he van- 
ished, unaccountably. Your notion of examining 
the hands of all those in the hospital was an 
excellent one, but nothing came of it. 

"He must have known the snare we were 
preparing for him and did not turn up at the 
hospital exit, so we must naturally conclude he 
is still inside the gates, hidden in some remote 
corner, or underground. However, the first 
thing to do is to protect the girl, Josephine. By 
the by, she saw nothing, I suppose?" 

"She declares she did not see Loupart come 
in, but she asserts with a sort of perverse pride 
that it was certainly Loupart who fired at her 
because he had threatened to do so." 

A knock at the door was followed by the 
timid entrance of the doorkeeper. 

"Is that you, Charles? Come in," cried the 
director. "What do you want?" 

"It's about the signature, sir. There is blood 
on my book." 

In a moment Juve leaped from his chair and 
tore the register out of the porter's hands. 


Feverishly he turned the pages until he came 
to the writing. Without waiting for de Maufil's 
permission, he dismissed the porter. 

"Very good, I'll see you presently." 


Scarcely had the door shut, when Juve pointed 
to the page. "Look! Doctor Chaleck's signa- 
ture! And just below it this mark of blood! 
What do you say to that, sir?" 

"But it's sheer madness. Chaleck cannot be 

"Why not?" 

"Because he is known to me. He was recom- 
mended to me seven months ago by an old com- 
rade of mine. Chaleck is a man of brains, a for- 
eign physician, a Belgian. He comes here spe- 
cially to study intermittent fevers. M. Juve, I 
tell you he has nothing whatever to do with this 
affair." Juve picked up his hat and stick. He 
was restless and uneasy; the directors' outburst 
had not greatly impressed him. 

"Doctor Chaleck could not explain how his 
finger came to be hurt and he did not inform us 
of the fact." 

"A mere coincidence." 

"Possibly, but it is a terrible coincidence for 
that man," replied Juve. 

On leaving the director's room, the distin- 
guished detective could not refrain from rubbing 
his hands. "This time I have him!" he muttered. 
He went rapidly down the stairs, crossed the 
great courtyard of the hospital, and proceeded 
to knock at the porter's lodge. 


"Tell me, my friend, precisely how Doctor 
Chaleck's leaving the hospital came about?" 

The worthy man with much detail, for he now 
felt very proud of having played a part in the 
affair, related how Doctor Chaleck came to the 
gate, sent him after a cab while signing his name, 
then made off, after having, no doubt by an over- 
sight, closed the register. 

"Very good! Thank you," was Juve's com- 
ment, bestowing a liberal tip on the man. 

This time he was leaving Lariboisiere for 

"Very characteristic, that piece of impudence," 
he reflected; "very like Doctor Chaleck that de- 
vice of shutting the register he had just stained 
with blood in order to give himself time to make 
off!" On reaching the Boulevard Magenta he 
hailed a cab. 

"Rue Montmartre. Stop at the Capital office. 
You know it?" 

A few minutes later Juve was shown into 
Fandor's office. But the detective no longer wore 
a smiling face, and his air of abstraction did not 
escape his friend. 

"Anything fresh?" inquired Fandor. 

"Much that is fresh! That's why I came here 
to see you." 

The journalist smiled. "Thanks, Juve. It is, 


indeed, owing to you that the Capital is the best 
posted sheet in town." 

Then the detective proceeded to tell the re- 
porter the startling discovery he had just made 
at Lariboisiere. He concluded: 

"There, I suppose you can turn that into a 
thrilling story, eh?" 

"I certainly can." 

"The arrest is now scarcely more than a mat- 
ter of time." 

"And how are you going to set about it?" 

"I don't quite know. Well, good-bye." 

Fandor let the officer reach the door of the 
office, then called him back. 



"You are hiding something from me." 

"I? Nonsense." 

"Yes," persisted Fandor. "You are conceal- 
ing something. Don't deny it. I know you too 
well, my friend, to be content with your reti- 

"My reticences?" 

"You didn't come here merely to give me 

"Why " 

"No. You had some idea in coming to look 
me up and then you changed your mind. Why?" 


"I assure you you are mistaken." 

Fandor rose. 

"All right, if you won't tell me, I shall follow 
you." At the journalist's announcement Juve 
shrugged his shoulders. 

"That's what I feared. But it's absurd to be 
always dragging you into risky affairs." 

"Where are we going?" asked Fandor briefly, 
as he lit a cigarette. 

"We are going to-night to Doctor Chaleck's. 
If he's there we will force a confession from him; 
if he's not there, we will ransack his house for 
clues," and Juve added, smiling, "like good bur- 
glars. I have a whole bunch of false keys. We 
shall be able to get into Doctor Chaleck's with- 
out ringing his bell. Here's a snapshot I took 
of Josephine at the hospital." And throwing the 
proof on Fandor's desk, he said smilingly: 
'The young woman's not bad looking, is she ?" 



"I'm afraid it's not quite the thing to enter 
people's houses in this fashion," whispered Juve, 
as the two men found themselves in the hall of 
Doctor Chaleck's little house in the Frochot dis- 

It was about midnight, and through the fan- 
light of the outer door a dim twilight enabled the 
detective and the journalist to get an idea of the 
place in which they stood. 

It was a fairly large hall with double doors on 
either hand, leading into the drawing- and dining- 
rooms. At the far end rose a winding staircase, 
and under it a door to the cellar. A hanging 
lamp, unlit, was suspended from the ceiling and 
the walls were covered with dark tapestries. 

Juve and Fandor remained silent and motion- 
less for some moments/ They might well be per- 
turbed, for they had just entered the house in the 



most unwarrantable manner, and they knew the 
doctor to be at home. The lodge-keeper of the 
Cite had seen him return about two hours ago. 
For one moment Juve had asked himself whether 
he should not ring in the most natural manner in 
the world, and afterwards contrive some explana- 
tion; but the silence, the peace which prevailed 
and the conviction that Doctor Chaleck, quite off 
his guard, must be enjoying deep slumber, 
prompted him to try and get into the house un- 
announced. If the door was only bolted, if it was 
not secured from within by a latch, the officer 
might reckon on finding among his pass keys one 
that would allow him to open it. Juve was, in- 
deed, equipped like the prince of burglars. 

Well, the attempt had succeeded. Without 
trouble or noise, journalist and officer had made 
their way into the place. 

Before imparting to Fandor his plan of oper- 
ations, Juve handed him a pair of rubbers, and 
then at a signal they both ascended to the first 

The detective's plan was to make a sudden in- 
cursion into Chaleck's bedroom, and in the sur- 
prise of a sudden awakening, question him and 
inspect the fingers of his right hand, which, pre- 
sumably, had left on the register a tell-tale trace 
of blood. 


Juve had scarcely entered the room when Fan- 
dor switched on the lights; the two men started 
back in disgust; the room was empty! 

Without pause, Juve cried: "To the study!" 

A moment later they found themselves in the 
room they knew so well from having spent a 
whole night there, behind the window curtains. 

Chaleck was not there either. Fandor searched 
the bathroom near by, careless of the noise he 
made, then hurried after Juve to the floor below 
in the fear that the doctor might already have 
made his escape. 

Juve quickly reasurred him the windows and 
shutters of the rooms were hermetically closed; 
the hall door had not been touched. 

Suddenly slight sounds became audible from 
the floor above. A crackling of the boards, the 
muffled sounds of hasty footsteps, faint rustlings. 

"Chaleck knows we are here," whispered Juve. 
"We must play with our cards on the table." 

The two men cocked their pistols and made a 
rush upstairs. They had left the electric light 
burning on the floor above, and at first their eyes 
were dazzled by the sudden brightness, multiplied 
by the reflection from the glass which lined the 
octagonal-shaped landing. 

Again the noises were heard. Chaleck or some 
one else was in the study. 


Juve disappeared. In half a minute he re- 
turned and bumped into Fandor. 

"Where are you coming from?" he cried. "I 
thought you were behind me." 

"So I was," replied Fandor, "but I left you to 
take a look in the study." 

"But it was I who was in the study!" 

Fandor stared in amazement. "Are you losing 
your senses?" 

"I've just come from there myself!" 

"Well, we weren't there together, that's cer- 
tain. Let's try again." 

The two proceeded in the dark to the head of 
the staircase. With their heels they verified the 
last step; then Juve said in a low voice: 

"I will go forward four paces. I am now in 
the middle of the landing; I lift the curtain, turn 
and go in." 

The steady tick of the little Empire clock on 
the mantelpiece assured Juve that he was indeed 
in the study. 

"Well, here I am," and mechanically he flung 
his hat on the sofa. But scarcely had he uttered 
these words when Fandor's voice, very clear, but 
some way off answered 

"I am in the study, too." 

Juve now switched on the light. Fandor was 
not there. Rushing back to the landing he ran 


full tilt into his friend and the two gripped each 
other in amazement. 

"Look here," exclaimed Fandor, "if I'm not 
mistaken, you turned to the right past the cur- 
tain while I went to the left; there may be two 
separate entrances to the study." 

"Let us keep together this time," replied Juve; 
"I propose to get to the bottom of this mystery." 

As they came out of the darkness of the pas- 
sage and plunged into the full light of the room, 
Juve stopped short. His hat was no longer on 
the sofa. 

Fandor went to the mantelpiece, turned and 
confronted the detective. 

"I stopped the clock some moments ago, and 
here it is going and keeping exact time ! How do 
you account for it?" 

Juve was about to reply, when suddenly with 
a dry click the light went out. 

Fandor, at the same moment, gave a startled 
cry: "Juve! the door is fastened; we are shut 

With one bound Juve leaped for the window; 
but after opening the casement he perceived that 
thick iron shutters, padlocked, banished all hope 
of escape in that quarter. Fandor was ashy pale ; 
Juve staggered as he moved toward him. 

"Walled in!" he cried. "We are walled in!" 


But a new terror suddenly confronted the two 
men. The floor appeared to be giving way, 
and as the descent proceeded regularly, they 
realised that they were in a strange form of 

The study, however, did not drop very far. 
With a slight shock it reached the end of the run 
and stopped short. 

Juve cried with an air of relief, "Well, here we 
are, and it now remains to find out where we 

The existence of two studies identical in every 
particular, one of which was housed in an eleva- 
tor, explained not only the events of the evening, 
but also the tragedy of two days before. 

"Juve! did you feel anything?" 


"What is it?" 

"I don't know." 

Both had just experienced a weird sensation, 
impossible to define. Upon their hands and faces 
slight prickings irritated the skin. The air at the 
same time seemed heavier and more difficult to 
breathe. There was, besides, a soft, vague 
crackling. With some difficulty Juve lighted his 
pocket-lamp. By its faint glimmer the two men 
made a discovery. A fine rain of sand was fall- 
ing from the ceiling. 


"It's collapsed!" cried Fandor. 

"We're done for!" replied Juve. 

They passed through some awful moments. All 
around the sand gathered and rose. 

Juve tried to comfort his friend: 

"It would need an enormous amount of sand 
to fill this room and bury us alive. It will cease 
to fall presently." 

But horrible to relate, as the level of the sand 
rose on the floor, they observed by the flickering 
gleam of the lamp, that the ceiling was now be- 
ing lowered little by little. 

Fandor raised his arm and touched it. They 
were about to be crushed. 

"Juve, do not let me die this way. Kill me!" 

His comrade made no reply. At first para- 
lysed by the shock he now felt an unspeakable 
fury rise up in him. He began beating the walls 
with his fists, shaking the furniture. He seized 
a chair and drove it against the door. The chair 
struck with a ring upon metal and broke. 

Uttering a loud sigh, the detective drew out 
his revolver; he would, at least, save his friend 
the torments of an awful death. Suddenly a fear- 
ful crash resounded. The moving mass of sand 
was falling away from them into some gaping 
hole below, while at the same time fresh, moist 
air reached them and refreshed their lungs. Evi- 


dently some communication with the outside 
world had been established. 

Juve relit his lamp and was bending over to 
examine what had taken place when the floor all 
at once gave way under his feet and he fell, drag- 
ging Fandor with him. 

They found themselves up to mid-leg in water, 
but unhurt, 

Juve's voice rang out: "We are saved! I see 
now what happened! Our trap had a thin floor- 
ing, and, when down, it rested on a fragile arch. 
That arch gave way, and with the sand we have 
tumbled into the sewer of the Place Pigalle, 
which, if I am not mistaken, connects with the 
main of the Chaussee d'Autin. Come along, 
friend Fandor, we'll find means to get out of this 
before long." 

Floundering in the mud, they made their way 
along the drain until Juve halted and uttered a 
cry of triumph. On the left wall of the vault 
his hand encountered iron rings one above the 
other. It was a ladder leading to one of the 
manholes in the pavement. He quickly climbed 
up and, with a vigorous push, raised the heavy 
slab. In a few moments both men emerged and 
fell exhausted in the roadway. 

When Fandor recovered his senses he was ly- 
ing in a large, ill-lighted hall. The first sound 


he heard was Juve's voice arguing hotly and vol- 

"Why, you're nothing but a pack of idiots! 
We burglars ! It's utter rot. I tell you I'm Juve, 
Inspector of Public Safety!" 



The captives had been recognised, and had 
been set at liberty. They had scarcely got a few 
yards from the police station, when Juve took 
the journalist's arm. 

"Let's make haste!" he cried. "This foolish 
arrest has made us lose precious hours." 

"You have a plan, Juve? What is it?" 

"We must now turn our attention to Jose- 
phine; we must use her as a bait to catch the 
others. The girl won't be much longer at Lari- 
boisiere. She will be extremely anxious to leave 
that place and " 

"And go back to clear herself of treachery 
in Loupart's eyes? Is that it?" added Fan- 

"Exactly. Accordingly here is our plan of ac- 
tion. I must go at once to the Prefecture and 
advise M, Havard of our adventure. Mean- 


while you go to the hospital. Contrive to see 
Josephine, make sure she has not left, watch her 
and then wait for me; in two hours, at the lat- 
est, I shall be with you." 

"All right, Juve, you can reckon on me. Jose- 
phine shall not escape me." 

Fandor was already moving off when Juve 
called him back. 

"Wait! If ever for one reason or another you 
want an appointment with me, telegraph to the 
Safety, room 44, in my name. I will see that 
the messages always reach me." 

A quarter of an hour later Fandor was turn- 
ing into the Rue Ambroise Pare, when all at once 
as he passed a woman he gave a start. 

"Hullo!" he cried; "that's something we didn't 
bargain for! . . ." 

The woman walked along the Boulevard Cha- 
pelle toward the Boulevard Barbes. Fandor fol- 
lowed her. 

When the great clock which adorns the main 
front of the Lariboisiere buildings struck six, the 
nurses in the hospital were busy finishing their 
preparations for the night. 

The surgeon in Dr. Patel's division was just 
concluding his evening , visit to the patients. With 
a word of encouragement and cheer he passed 
from bed to bed until he reached the one at the 


end of the ward. The young woman occupying 
it was sitting up. 

"So you want to be off," exclaimed the 

"Yes, doctor." 

"Then you're not comfortable here?" 

"Yes, doctor, but " 

"But, what? Are you still afraid?" 
'No, no." 

The patient spoke these last words so con- 
fidently that the surgeon could not help smil- 

"Do you know," he observed, "that in your 
place I should be much less confident. What 
are you going to do? Where do you think of 
going when you leave here? Come, now, you 
are still very weak; you had much better spend 
the night here. You could go to-morrow morn- 
ing after the round at eleven. It would be much 
more rational." 

The young woman shook her head and replied 
curtly : 

"I want to go now, sir, at once." 

"Very good. They will give you your ticket." 

The doctor gone, the young woman quickly 
jumped out of bed and began to dress herself. 

"You don't suppose I'm going to stay here a 
minute longer than I have to," she grumbled with 


a laugh to her neighbour, who was watching her 
preparations with an envious eye. 

"Some one waiting for you?" 

"Sure there is. Loupart won't be pleased that 
I'm not back yet." 

"Are you going from here to his place?" 

"You bet I am." 

This she said in a tone that showed plainly 
she found the thing quite natural. The other 
was not of her mind. 

"Oh, well, I should be scared only at the 
thought of seeing that man. You were jolly 
lucky not to have been killed by him. And when 
he has got hold of you " 

But Josephine laughed merrily. 

"My dear," she said, "you don't know what 
you're saying. Depend on it, if Loupart didn't 
kill me it's because he didn't want to. He's a 
splendid shot. I suppose he had his reasons for 
not wanting me to stay here; I don't know his 
affairs, and besides, I came here without consult- 
ing him." 

A vigorous "hush" from the nurse on duty 
stopped the conversation. 

Josephine meanwhile completed her toilet. A 
nurse had brought her back the clothes she wore 
when she entered the hospital. She slipped on a 
poor muslin skirt, laced her bodice, buttoned her 


boots and set her curls straight; she was ready. 

"I'm off," she cried gaily to the porter as she 
held out her pass to him. "Thank the Lord, I'm 
going, and I have no fancy to come back to your 

Once in the street, Josephine walked quickly. 
She cast a glance at the clock at a cabstand, and 
found she was behind time. 

She went along the Rue Ambroise Pare, then 
turned on to the outer boulevards. 

The dinner-hour being at hand, the populous 
streets of the Chapelle quarter were at their low- 
est ebb of animation. The bookshops had long 
since released their employees, the cafes were giv- 
ing up their customers. Fandor, having recog- 
nised Josephine, followed her closely as she 
passed the outer boulevards, then by Boulevard 

"Beyond a doubt she is bound for the Goutte 
d'Or," he muttered. 

Some minutes later, sure enough, she reached 
her home. 

"Very good I The bird is back in the nest: 
My job is now to watch the visitors who come 
to call on her." 

Opposite Josephine's door there was a wine- 
shop. This Fandor entered. 

"Writing materials, please," he ordered. "I 


must drop a line to Juve," he thought. "We 
must begin to set the trap." 

He was busy drawing up a detailed plan of the 
neighbourhood when, on raising his head, he gave 
a violent start, and, throwing a coin on the table, 
rushed out of the shop. 

"She is well disguised, but there's no mistak- 
ing her!" 

Without losing sight of the woman he was 
watching, Fandor reached the Metropolitan Sta- 

"Good Lord! What does this mean?" he 
muttered. "Where is she off to? She's taking a 
first-class ticket. Can she have an appointment 
with Chaleck?" He also took a ticket behind 
the young woman and reached the platform. 

"I'm going where she goes," he thought. "But 
where the devil are we bound for?" 

Loupart's mistress was the embodiment of a 
charming Parisian. 

Her gown was tailor-made, of navy blue, plain 
but perfectly cut; she wore little shoes with high 
heels, and no one would have recognised in the 
well-dressed woman, who got out of the Metro- 
politan at the Lyons Station, the burnisher, who, 
a little while ago, had,left Lariboisiere. 

Josephine had scarcely taken a few steps on 
the great Square which divides Boulevard Dide- 


rot from the Lyons Station, when a young man, 
quietly dressed, came toward her. He ogled 
her, than in a voice of marked cordiality, said: 

"Can I say a few words to you?" 

"But, sir " 

"Two words, mademoiselle, I beg of you." 

"Speak," she said at last, after seeming to 
hesitate, halting on the edge of the pavement. 

"Oh, not here; surely you will accept a 

The young woman made up her mind: 

"Very well, if you like." 

The couple directed their steps toward a 
neighbouring "brasserie," and neither the young 
man nor Josephine dreamed of noticing that a 
passer-by entered the place in their wake. 

Fandor did not take a seat at one of the little 
tables outside, but made for the interior, clev- 
erly finding means to watch the two in a glass. 

"Is this the person Josephine was to meet?" 
he wondered. "Can he be a messenger of Lou- 
part's? Yet she did not seem to know him. 

Just as the waiter was bringing two glasses of 
wine to the table where Josephine and her partner 
had seated themselves, the young woman sud- 
denly arose, and, without taking leave, made for 
the door. 


Fandor managed to pass close to the deserted 
man. He heard the waiter jokingly say: 

"Not very kind, the little lady, eh?" 

"I should think not ! Didn't take her long to 
give me the slip." 

Then in a tone of regret the young man added : 
"Pity, she was a nice little thing." 

"That's all right," thought Fandor. "Now I 
know that Josephine accepted the drink because 
she thought he was sent by Loupart or one of 
the gang. Once enlightened as to his real object, 
she left him abruptly." 

Tracking the young woman, Fandor now felt 
sure he was going to witness an interesting meet- 
ing. Josephine, however, seemed in no hurry. 
She inspected the illustrated papers in the kiosks, 
and presently reached the box where platform 
tickets are distributed; having taken one, she sat 
down near the foot of the staircase which leads to 
the refreshment rooms. Behind her Fandor also 
took a ticket, and, going up the stairs, leaned 
against the balustrade. 

"I am waiting for some one," he said to the 
waiter who appeared. "You may bring me a 
cup of coffee." 

Scarcely five minutes had passed, when Fan- 
dor saw a shabby looking man approach Jose- 
phine and begin' an earnest conversation. 


The man drew from his pocket a greasy note- 
book. From it he took a paper which he handed 
to the young woman, who promptly put it away 
in her handbag. 

Fandor was puzzled. 

"Where was she going? Why did this per- 
son hand her a ticket?" 

The man pointed to a train where passengers 
were already taking their seats. 

"The Marseilles train! So Loupart has left 

Then he called a messenger. 

"Go and get me a first-class ticket to Mar- 
seilles. Here is money. Is there a telegraph 
office near at hand?" 

"On the arrival platform, sir." 

"Right. I will give you a message to take; 
go and hurry back." 

Fandor took out his note-book and scrawled 
a message: 

"Juve, Prefecture of Police, Room 44. 

"Have met Josephine and followed her. 
She is off first class, by Marseilles train. Don't 
know her destination. Will wire you as soon 
as there's anything fresh. 




"Tickets, please." 

The guard took the one offered by Fandor. 

"Excuse me, sir, there'^ a mistake here," he 

"This train doesn't go to Marseilles?" 

"The train, yes, but not the last carriage 
in which you are, for it is bound for Pontarlier, 
and will be slipped at Lyons from this ex- 

Fandor was nonplussed. The essential was to 
follow Josephine, ensconced in the compartment 
next to his. 

"Well, I'll get into another carriage when we 
are off; it's so easy with the corridors." 

"You can't do that, sir," insisted the guard. 
"While all the carriages for Marseilles in the 
front of the train communicate, this one is sepa- 
rated from them by a baggage car." 



"Then I'll change later, during the night. I 
have till Dijon, haven't I?" 

"You have." 

The guard went away. Fandor suddenly 
asked himself: 

"Has Josephine made a mistake, too? Or has 
she a definite purpose in being in a carriage which 
is to be slipped from the Southern Express at 
Dijon to go on toward the Swiss frontier?" 

The guard was looking at tickets in Jo- 
sephine's compartment. Fandor went near to lis- 
ten; he heard the tail of a conversation between 
the fair traveller, her companion and the guard. 
The latter declared as he withdrew: 

"Exactly so, you shall not be disturbed." 

When Josephine had boarded the train, Fan- 
dor had not ventured to watch her too closely, 
nor the companion she had met on the platform 
at the last moment. He now decided to take 
advantage of the corridor to take a look at the 

He was quite stout, rather common in appear- 
ance, although with a prosperous air. A man of 
middle age, whose jolly face was framed in a 
beard, giving him the look of an old mariner. 
Moreover, he was v one-eyed. 

Josephine was playful, full of smiles and amia- 
bility, but also somewhat absent-minded. 


The pair had decidedly the appearance of be- 
ing lovers. 

Although it was quite early, passengers were 
arranging to pass the night as comfortably as 
possible. The lamps had been shaded with their 
little blue curtains, and the portieres, facing the 
corridors, had been drawn. 

Fandor returned to his compartment. Two 
corners of it were already occupied the two 
furthest away from the corridor. One was in 
possession of a man about forty, with a waxed 
moustache, having the air of an officer in mufti, 
the other was taken by a young collegian with 
a waxen complexion. 

The journalist determined to keep awake, but 
scarcely had he settled himself when drowsiness 
crept over him. Rocked by the regular motion 
of the train he sank into a slumber troubled by 
nightmares. Then suddenly he sprang up. He 
had the clear impression of some one brushing 
by him and opening the door to the corridor. 

"Who is there?" he murmured in a voice thick 
with sleep and drowned by the rush of the train. 
No one answered him. He staggered out into 
the corridor. At the far end of the carriage a 
passenger, with a long black beard, was standing 
smoking a cigar, arid apparently studying the 
murky country. Not a sound came from Jo- 


sephine's apartment. With a shrug of his shoul- 
ders and cursing his fears, Fandor returned to 
his own seat. 

Why should he fancy, because he was follow- 
ing Josephine, that all the passengers in the train 
were cut-throats and accomplices of Loupart's 
mistress? Yet, five minutes after these sage re- 
flections, Fandor started again; he had distinctly 
seen, passing along the corridor, two fellows with 
villainous faces and suspicious demeanour. One 
of them cast into Fandor's compartment such a 
murderous glance that it made the journalist's 
heart palpitate. 

Fandor glanced at his companions. The offi- 
cer was sleeping soundly, but the young fellow, 
although keeping perfectly still, opened his eyes 
from time to time and cast uneasy glances about 
him, then pretended to sleep as soon as he caught 
Fandor watching him. 

The train slackened speed; they were enter- 
ing Laroche Station; there was a stop to change 
engines. The officer suddenly awoke and got 
out. The compartment holding Josephine and 
her companion was thrown open, and, strange to 
say, his neighbour, the collegian, had moved into 
it, sitting just opposite the stout gentleman. 

Fandor, with a view to keeping awake, aban- 
doned his comfortable seat and settled himself 


in one of the hammocks in the corridor. He 
chose the one just opposite Josephine's door. 
But so great was his weariness that he quickly 
fell into a deep sleep. Suddenly a violent shock 
sent him rolling to the cross-seat in Josephine's 
compartment. As he picked himself up in a 
dazed condition, a cry of terror broke from his 
lips. Three inches from his head was the muzzle 
of a revolver held by a big ruffian wearing a 
mask, who cried: 

"Hands up, all!" 

Fandor and his companions were too amazed 
to immediately obey, and the command came 
again, more forcible. 

"Hands up, and don't stir or I'll blow out your 

And now a gnome-like individual appeared, 
also masked. 

The first one turned to Josephine : "You, wom- 
an, out of here!" 

Without betraying by her expression whether 
or no she was his accomplice, Josephine hurried- 
ly left her place and, slipping between the gnome 
and the colossus, went and cowered down at the 
end of the carriage. 

"Go on!" suddenly commanded the big ruf- 
fian, who seemed to be the leader. "Go on! 
rifle 'em!" 


The gnome, with wonderful adroitness, ran- 
sacked the coat and waistcoat pockets of the trav- 
eller. The stout man, shaking with alarm, made no 
resistance. After relieving him of his watch and 
pocketbook, they forced him to undo his shirt. 
Around his waist he wore a broad leather belt. 

"Go it, Beaumome, relieve him of his burden, 
the fat jackass 1" 

From the body of the traveller, the stolen belt 
passed to the big masked robber, who weighed 
the prize complacently. The belt contained pock- 
ets stuffed with gold and bank notes. The two 
robbers then moved away toward the further 
end of the carriage. 

Fandor, furious at being tricked like the sim- 
plest of greenhorns, determined to seize the oc- 
casion to give the alarm. 

The emergency bell was immediately above the 
pale-faced collegian. With a bound the journal- 
ist sprang for it, but fell back with a loud cry 
as he felt a sharp pain in his hand. The col- 
legian had leaped up and cruelly bitten his finger. 
So great was the pain that Fandor swooned for 
a few seconds, and that gave his assailant time 
to cross the compartment and reach the corridor. 
At this moment the express slackened its speed 
and slowly came to a standstill. 

"Is it too high to jump?" 


Fandor knew the voice: it was Josephine's. 

"No," answered some one. "Let yourself go. 
I'll catch you." 

The sound of heavy shoes on the footboard 
told him that the robbers were making off. Jo- 
sephine went with them, so she was their accom- 
plice. The journalist sprang into the corridor to 
rush in pursuit. But he recoiled. A shot rang 
out, the glass fell broken before him, and a bul- 
let flattened above his head in the woodwork. 

It now seemed to him that the train was grad- 
ually gathering way again. Fandor put his head 
through the broken glass and searched the dark- 
ness outside. 

"Ah!" he cried in amazement. There was no 
longer a train on the track, or rather, the main 
body of the train was vanishing in the distance, 
while the carriage in which he was and the rear 
baggage car had pulled up. Apparently the rob- 
bers had broken the couplings. 

At the moment, the stout man, having quite re- 
covered, drew near Fandor and observed the situ- 

"Why, we're backing ! We're backing !" he bel- 
lowed with alarm. 

"Naturally, we're going down a slope," calmly 
replied Fandor. The other groaned and wrung 
his hands. 


"It's appalling! The Simplon express is only 
twelve minutes behind us!" 

Fandor now realized the frightful danger. 
Without delay he made for the carriage door, 
ready to jump and risk breaking his bones rather 
than face the terrible crash which seemed in- 
evitable. But before he could make up his mind 
to the leap, a grinding noise became audible. 
The guard in the baggage car had applied the 
Westinghouse brakes and in a few minutes they 
came to a stop. 

Fandor and the stout gentleman sprang fran- 
tically out of the carriage, and two brakemen 
jumped from the baggage car, crying : "Get away ! 
Save yourselves!" 

Clambering over the ties, they jumped a hedge, 
floundered in a hole full of water, scratching their 
hands and tearing their clothes; they rolled down 
a grassy slope, stuck in a ploughed field, then 
dropped to the ground, motionless, as a fearful 
din burst like thunder on the hush of the night. 
The Simplon express, racing at full speed, had 
crashed into the two carriages left on the rails 
and smashed them to bits, while the engine and 
forward carriages of the train were telescoped. 



Scarcely had Loupart received Josephine in his 
arms, as she jumped from the carriage, than he 
strenuously urged his companions to make haste. 

"Now, then, boys, off we go, and quickly, too ! 
Josephine, pick up your skirts and get a move 

It was a dark night, without moon, favourable 
to the robber's plans. For a good fifteen minutes 
the ill-omened crew continued their retreat by 
forced march. From time to time Loupart ques- 
tioned the "Beard": 

"This the way?" 

The other nodded assent: "Keep on, we'll get 

At length they descried the white ribbon of a 
road winding up the si^e of the low hill and van- 
ishing in the distance into a small wood. 

"There's the track," declared the Beard. 


"To Dijon?" 

"No, to Verrez." 

"That's a good thing; now, stop and listen to 

Loupart sat down on the grass and addressed 

"It's been a good stroke, friends, but unfor- 
tunately it's not finished yet. They took pre- 
cautions we couldn't foresee. We have only part 
of the fat. We share up to-morrow evening." 

He was answered by growls of disappointment. 

"I said to-morrow evening," he repeated. 
"Those who aren't satisfied with that can stay 
away. There'll be all the more for the others. 
Now, we must separate. Josephine, you, the 
Beard and I will get back together. There's 
work for us in Paris. The others scatter and 
take care not to get pinched; be back in the nest 
by ten." 

Loupart motioned to the Beard and Jose- 
phine to follow him. 

"Show us the way, Beard." 

"Where to?" 

"The telegraph office." 

"What's up?" 

"Why, you idiot," replied Loupart, "we've 
been robbed! The wine-dealer's notes are only 
halves! The swine insured himself for nothing." 


The Beard broke out into recriminations. 

"To have a hundred and fifty notes in your 
pocket, and they good for nothing! There was 
no such thing as Providence ! It was sicken- 

"Come, don't get angry, two halves will make 
a whole." 

"You know where to lay hands on the rest?" 

"Yes, old man." 

"That's our job to-morrow evening? That's 
why you're chasing to the telegraph office?" 

Loupart clenched his fists. 

"That and something else ; there's bigger game 



"Oh, the devil!" murmured the Beard, divided 
between pleasure and fear. "You've got the beg- 

"I have." 



The little group moved forward in silence. 
At length Josephine began to tire. 

"Say, have we much further to go?" 

"No," replied the Beard. "Verrez village is 
behind that hill. The main road runs by the row 
of poplars." 


"All right. Go and wait there with Josephine. 
I'll catch you up in a quarter of an hour," or- 
dered Loupart. "I've a wire to send off." 

His acolytes gone, Loupart resumed his way. 
As a measure of precaution, he took off his 
jacket, turned it inside out and put it on again. 
The jacket was a trick one: the lining was a dif- 
ferent colour and the pockets differently placed. 

On reaching Verrez, Loupart turned round. 
From the top of the little hill he could see, in 
the distance, the reddening flames. 

"That's going all right," thought the wretch; 
"the Simplon express has run into the cars. There 
must be a fine mix-up there." 

Reaching the post-office at last, he seized a 
blank and wrote on it hastily: 

"Juve, Inspector of Safety, 142 Rue Bona- 
parte, Paris. All is well; found gang complete, 
including Loupart. Robbery committed but 
failed. Cannot give details. Be at Bercy Stores 
alone, but armed, to-morrow at eleven at night, 
near the Kessler House cellars. 


The clerk held out her hand to take the mes- 
sage. The bandit was extremely polite. 

"Be so good as to pay special attention to this 


message. Read it over, madam. You grasp the 
importance of it? You see it must be kept abso- 
lutely secret. I rely on you." 

Ten minutes' quick walking brought Loupart 
once more to Josephine and the Beard. 

"Hullo !" he cried. "Anything new ?" 


"Josephine, go down the hill and the first 
motor that passes, set to and howl; call 'help' 
and 'murder' ; got to stop it. Be off ! Look 

Some minutes passed. The two men watched 
Josephine go down the road and hide in one of 
the ditches. 

"Your barker is ready, Beard?" 

"Six plugs, Loupart." 

"Good! You go to the right, I to the left." 

Loupart had scarcely given these orders, when, 
on the horizon, a bright gleam became visible, 
growing larger every minute, while the noise of 
a motor broke the silence of the open country. 

Loupart laughed. 

"Look, Beard. Acetylene lamps, eh? That 
car will do our job splendidly." 

An automobile was fast nearing them. As it 
passed by Josephine^ she rushed into the road, 
uttering piercing cries. 

"Help! Murder! Have pity! Stop!" 


With a hasty movement the chauffeur, taken 
aback by the sight of a woman rising unexpect- 
edly on the lonely road, made a dash at his 
brakes. Meanwhile from the inside of the car 
a traveller leaned out. 

"What is it? What's the matter?" 

As the car was about to stop, Loupart and the 
Beard rushed out. 

"You take the passenger!" cried the former; 
"I'll attend to the chauffeur." 

The two brigands sprang on the footboards. 

"No tricks, or I'll shoot! Josephine, truss 
these fowls for me!" cried Loupart. 

Josephine took a roll of cord from her lov- 
er's pocket and tied the two victims firmly while 
Loupart gagged them. 

"Now, Beard, take them into the field and give 
them a rap on the head to keep them quiet." 

Then he got into the car and skilfully turned 
it round. When Josephine and the Beard were 
on board, he got under way at full speed with a 
grim smile. 

"And, now, Juve, it's between us two!" 



While Loupart and his mates were making off 
across country the disaster occurred. At a curve 
in the track the Simplon Express coming at 
full speed charged the cars and crushed 
them, then, lifted by the shock, the engine 
reared backwards on its wheels and fell heavily, 
dragging down in its fall a baggage car and 
the first two carriages coupled behind it. Then 
rose in the night cries of terror and the frantic 
rush of the passengers who fled from the 
luxurious train. 

Fandor picked himself up and went forward. 
From the tender of the engine a cloud of steam 
escaped with hoarse whistlings. 

The driver held out his two broken arms. 

"Give me a hand, for God's sake! Open the 
tap ! There, that hoisted bar. Lift it up. Quick, 
the boiler is going to burst." 



Fandor was still engaged in carrying out this 
manoeuvre when succour began to arrive. 

The stoker, less seriously hurt than the driver, 
had managed to drag himself clear of the wreck- 
age, which was beginning to catch fire. The head 
guard, and those passengers whose seats had been 
at the rear of the train, hurried up and the com- 
bined effort at rescue began. They searched for 
the injured and put out the incipient blazes. 

Instinctively those who had fled from the train 
followed in a frantic stampede the road at the 
foot of the embankment, reached Verrez village 
out of breath and gave the alarm. 

The countryside was soon in an uproar. Lights 
flashed, torches and lamps of vehicles harnessed 
in haste: a quarter of an hour after the disaster 
half the neighbourhood was afoot from all quar- 

"A bit of luck, sir," remarked the conductor, 
still pallid with horror, to Fandor, "that the col- 
lision happened at the curve where our speed 
was slackened. Ten minutes sooner and all the 
carriages would have been telescoped." 

"Yes, it was luck," replied the journalist, as he 
wiped his face, covered with soot and coal dust. 
"The two carriages telescoped were almost 

From a neighbouring way-station the railway 


officials had telephoned news of the accident. 
The section of line was kept clear by telegraph. 
Word came that a relief train was being made 
up, and would arrive in an hour. 

Fandor had quickly regained his coolness, and 
was one of the first to lend a hand in the rescue, 
turning over the wreckage and setting free the 

As he passed along the track, he was attracted 
by the appeals of a stout man, who hurried 
toward him, wailing : 

'Sir! Sir! What a terrible calamity!" 

Fandor recognised his fellow-passenger, Jo- 
sephine's lover. 

"Yes, and we had a lucky escape. But what 
has become of your wife?" 

In using the word "wife" Fandor was under 
no illusion; he merely wanted to interview the 

"My wife? Ah, sir, that's the terrible part of 
it. She's not my wife she's a little friend, and 
now it's all bound to come out. My lawful wife 
will hear everything. As for the girl, I don't 
know what has become of her." 

"She knew that you were carrying money?" 

"Yes, sir. I am an agent for wines at Bercy, 
and I was going to pay over dividends to stock- 
holders, one hundred and fifty thousand francs. 


I recognised one of my men among the robbers, 
a cooper. He knew that every month I travel, 
carrying large sums of money. I am quite sure 
this robbery was planned beforehand." 

"And who are you, sir?" 

"M. Martialle, of Kessler & Barries. Fortu- 
nately the money is not lost." 

"Not lost! You know where to find the rob- 

"That I do not, but they have only the halves 
of the notes. These are worth nothing to them 
unless they can lay their hands on the correspond- 
ing halves. It's a way of cheap insurance." 

"And where are the other halves of the notes?" 

"Oh, in a safe place, in the office of the firm at 

Fandor abruptly left M. Martialle and ap- 
proached an official. 

"When will the line be cleared?" 

"In an hour's time, sire." 

"There'll be no train for Paris till then?" 

"No, sir." 

Fandor moved off along the track. 

"That's all right, I can make it. I'll have time 
to send a wire to The Capital" 

The journalist sat down on the grass, took 
out his writing-pad and began his article. But he 
had overrated his strength. He was worn out, 


body and soul. He had not been writing ten 
minutes when he dropped into a doze, the pencil 
slipped from his fingers and he was fast asleep. 

When Fandor opened his eyes, the twilight 
was beginning to come down. It was between 
five and six o'clock. 

"What a fool I've been! I've made a mess 
of the whole business now," he cried as he ran 
frantically to the nearest station. 

"How soon the first train to Paris?" 

"In two minutes, sir: it is signalled." 

"When does it arrive?" 

"At ten o'clock." 

Fandor threw up his hands. 

"I shall be too late. I haven't time to wire 
Juve and warn him. Oh! what an idiot I was 
to sleep like that!" 



Juve passed the whole day at the Cite Frochot. 
Despite the precautions taken to keep the failure 
two days back a secret, the papers had got wind 
of the drama: The Capital itself had spoken of 
it, though without naming his fellow-worker. 
The staff of that paper was unaware that Fan- 
dor was the other man who had so marvellously 
escaped from the sewer. Blood-curdling tales 
were told about Doctor Chaleck, Juve, Loupart, 
the house of the crime, the affair at the hospital; 
but to anyone familiar with the actual happen- 
ings, the newspaper accounts were very far from 
giving the truth. 

And Juve, far from contradicting these misstate- 
ments, took a delight in spreading them broadcast. 

It is sometimes useful to set astray the pow- 
erful voice of the Press so as to give a false 
security to the real culprits. 


However, when masons, electricians and zinc- 
workers were seen to take possession of Doctor 
Chaleck's house and begin to turn it upside down, 
a crowd quickly assembled to witness the per- 

It was with great difficulty that Juve, who did 
not want too many witnesses round the place, or- 
ganised arrangements of a vigorous character. 

Installed in the drawing-room on the ground 
floor, he first had a long interview with the owner 
of the house, M. Nathan, the well-known dia- 
mond broker of the Rue de Provence. The poor 
man was in despair to think his property had 
been the scene of the extraordinary events which 
were on everybody's tongue. All he knew of 
Doctor Chaleck was that that gentleman had been 
his tenant just four years, and had always paid 
his rent regularly. 

"You didn't suspect," asked Juve in conclusion, 
"the ingenious contrivance of that electric lift in 
which the doctor placed a study identically simi- 
lar to the real one?" 

"Certainly not, sir," replied the worthy man. 
"Eighteen months ago my tenant asked permis- 
sion to repair the house at his own expense; as 
you may suppose, I granted his request at once. 
It must have been at 'that time that the queer 
contrivance was built. Have I your permission 


to go down to the cellars and ascertain their con- 

"Not before to-morrow, sir, when I shall have 
finished my inspection," replied Juve, as he saw 
M. Nathan out. 

The inspector was assisted in his investigation 
by detectives Michel and Dupation. They inter- 
viewed the old couple in charge of the Cite and 
various neighbours of Doctor Chaleck, but with- 
out lighting upon a clue. Nobody had seen or 
heard anything whatever. 

Toward noon he and Michel, who did not 
wish to leave the house, decided to have a modest 
repast brought to them. M. Dupation, a fidgety 
official, took this chance of getting away. 

"Well, gentlemen," he declared, "you are 
much more up to this business than I, and be- 
sides my wife expects me to luncheon. You don't 
need any further help from me?" 

Juve reassured the worthy superintendent and 
gave him permission to go. He was only too 
glad to find himself alone with his lieutenant. 
The workmen who were repairing the caved-in 
basement of the little house were already gone, 
and there was no chance of their being back be- 
fore two o'clock. Thus Juve found himself alone 
with Michel. 

"What I can't understand, sir," said Michel, 


"is the telephone call we got toward morning 
from here asking for help at the office in the Rue 
Rochefoucauld. Either the victim herself 'phoned, 
and in that case she did not die, as we think, in 
the early part of the night, or it was not she, and 
then " 

Juve smiled. 

"You are right in putting the problem that 
way, but to my mind it is easy to solve. The 
call was not given by the murdered woman for, 
remember, when we raised the body at half-past 
six it was already cold. Now the call was not 
given till six, when the woman had been dead 
some little time. That I am sure of, and you will 
see the report of the medical expert will uphold 

"Then it was a third person who gave it?" 

"Yes, and one who sought to have the crime 
discovered as soon as possible, and who reckoned 
on the officers coming from the Central Station, 
but did not expect Fandor or me to come back." 

"Then according to you, sir, the murderer 
knew of your presence behind the curtain in the 
study while the crime was being committed." 

"I can't tell about the murderer, but Doctor 
Chaleck certainly knew' we were there. That man 
must have watched us all night, known the exact 
instant we left the house, and immediately after- 


wards got some one to telephone or must have 
done so himself." 

Michel, becoming more and more convinced by 
Juve's reasoning, went on: 

"At any rate, the existence of two studies, in 
all respects similar, goes to show a carefully pre- 
meditated plan, but there is something I can't ac- 
count for. When you came back to the study 
where we found the dead woman, you found 
traces of mud by the window brought in by your 
shoes. You must therefore have been watching 
through the night the room where the crime was 

Juve was about to put in a word, but Michel, 
launched on his train of argument, continued: 

"Allow me, sir; you are going, no doubt, to 
tell me that they might during your short ab- 
sence have carried the body of the victim into the 
study in question, but I would point out to you, 
that on the loosened hair of the poor creature 
blood had caked, that some was on the carpet 
and had even gone through it to the flooring be- 
neath. Now if they carried in the body just a 
little while before we discovered it, that would 
not have been the case." 

Michel was delighted with his own argument. 
Juve smiled indulgently. 

"My poor Michel," he cried, "you would be 


quite right if I put forward such an explanation. 
It is certain that the room in which we found the 
body was that in which the crime took place. It 
is therefore that in which we were not! As for 
the marks of mud near the window, they are 
ours, but transferred from the room in which we 
were into the room in which we were not! 
Which again proves that our presence was known 
to the culprits. 

"Furthermore, the candle with which Doctor 
Chaleck melted the wax to seal his letters was 
scarcely used, it only burned in fact a few minutes. 
Now we found another candle in the same state. 
So you see that the precautions were well taken 
and everything possible done to lead us astray. 

"We see the puppets moving Loupart, Cha- 
leck, Josephine, others maybe, but we do not see 
the strings." 

"The strings which move them perhaps may be 
no other than Fantomas," ventured Michel. 

Juve frowned and suddenly fell silent. Then 
abruptly changing the conversation, he asked his 

"You told me, did you not, that you could no 
longer appear in the character of the Sapper?" 

"Quite true, Inspector, I was spotted just the 
day before the crime by Loupart, and so was my 
colleague, Nonet." 


"Talking of that," answered Juve, "Nonet 
mentioned vaguely something about an affair at 
the docks, supposed to have been planned by the 
Beard and an individual known as the Cooper. 
Are you fully informed?" 

"Unfortunately no, Inspector. I know no 
more about the matter than you do." 

"And what is Nonet about now?" 

"He has left for Chartres." 

Juve shrugged his shoulders. He was an- 
noyed. Perhaps if Leon, nicknamed Nonet, had 
not been transferred he would by now have ob- 
tained pertinent clues to the dock's affair. 

After having enjoined Michel to devise a new 
disguise which allowed him to mix once more 
with the Band of Cyphers and going back to 
"The Good Comrades," Juve went down to the 
basement to supervise the workmen, who were 
now back; while Michel busied himself with the 
inventory of the papers found in Doctor Cha- 
leck's study. 

On leaving the house toward half-past seven 
in the evening Juve went slowly down to the Rue 
des Martyrs, pondering over the occurrences 
which for several days had succeeded each other 
with such startling rapidity. 

As he reached the boulevards the bawling of 


newsboys attracted his attention. An ominous 
headline was displayed in the papers the crowd 
was struggling for. 


Juve anxiously bought a paper and scanned the 
list of the injured, fearful that Fandor would be 
found among the number. But as he read the 
details and learned that those in the detached 
carriage had escaped, he felt somewhat re- 
lieved. Hailing a taxi he drove off rapidly to 
the Prefecture in search of more precise infor- 

"A message for you, M. Juve." 

The detective, hurrying home, was passing the 
porter's lodge. He pulled up short. 


"Yes it's certainly your name on the tele- 

Juve took the blue envelope with distrust and 
uneasiness. He had given his home address to 
no one. He glanced over the message, and gave 
a sigh of relief. 

"The dear fellow," he muttered as he went 


upstairs. "He's had a narrow escape; however, 
all's well than ends well." 

After a hurried toilet and a bite of dinner, 
Juve set off again, jumped into a train for the 
Boulevard St. Germain and got down at the Jar- 
din des Plantes. Then, sauntering casually along, 
he made for Bercy by the docks, which were cov- 
ered as far as the eye could see with rows and 
rows of barrels. 

About two hours later, Juve, who had been 
wandering about the vast labyrinth of wine-docks, 
began to grow impatient. 

It was already fifty minutes past the appointed 
hour, and the detective began to feel uneasy. 
Why was Fandor so late? Something must 
surely have happened to him! And then what 
a queer idea to choose such a meeting place! 

Suddenly, Juve started. He recalled his talk 
that afternoon with Michel; the reference made 
to the affair of the docks in which the Beard and 
the Cooper were implicated. What if he had 
been drawn into a trap ! 

The detective's reflections were suddenly cut 
short by unusual and alarming sounds. 

He fancied he heard the shrill blast of a whis- 
tle, followed by the rush of footsteps and a col- 
lision of empty barrels. 


Juve held his breath and crouched down under 
the shed in which he stood; he thought he saw 
the outline of a shadow passing slowly in the dis- 
tance. Juve was stealthily following in its tracks 
when he caught a significant click. 

"Two can play at that," he growled between 
his teeth, as he cocked his revolver. The shadow 
disappeared, but the footsteps went on. 

Disguising his voice he called out: "Who goes 

A sharp summons answered him, "Halt!" 

Juve was about to call upon his mysterious 
neighbour to do likewise, when a report rang out, 
at once followed by another. Juve saw where the 
shots came from. His assailant was scarcely fif- 
teen paces from him, but luckily the shots had gone 

"Use up your cartridges, my friend," muttered 
Juve; "when your get to number six, it will be 
my turn." 

The sixth shot rang out. This was the signal 
for Juve to spring forward. Leaping over the 
barrels, he made for the shadow which he espied 
at intervals. All at once he gave a cry of tri- 
umph. He was face to face with a man. 

His cry, however/changed into amazement. 

"You, Fandor?" 



"You've begun shooting at me, now, have 

For answer, the journalist held out his revol- 
ver, which was fully loaded. 

"But what are you doing here, Juve?" he asked. 

"You wired to me to come." 

"That I never did." 

Juve drew the telegram from his pocket and 
held it out to Fandor, but as the two men drew 
close together, they were startled by a lightning 
flash, and a report. A bullet whistled past their 
ears. Instinctively they lay flat between two bar- 
rels, holding their breaths. 

Juve whispered instructions: "When I give 
the signal, fire at anything you see or toward 
the direction of the next report. 

The two men slowly and noiselessly raised their 

"Ah," cried Juve. 

And he fired at the rapidly fleeing figure. 

"Did you see?" whispered Fandor, clutching 
Juve's arm. "It's Chaleck." 

Juve was about to leap up and start in pur- 
suit when a series of dull thuds, the overturning 
of barrels, stifled oaths and cracking planks smote 
his ear. These noises were followed by the meas- 
ured footfall of a body of men drawing near, 
words of command and shrill whistles. 


"What's all that now?" questioned Fandor. 

"The best thing that could happen for us," 
replied Juve. "The police are coming. These 
quays are a refuge for all kinds of tramps and 
crooks who from time to time are rounded up. 
We are probably going to see a 'drive.' ' 

Juve had scarcely finished speaking when sev- 
eral shots rang out; these were followed by a 
general uproar and then a great blue flame sud- 
denly rose, died away and flared up again. A 
thick smoke permeated the atmosphere. 

"Fire," exclaimed Fandor. 

"The kegs of alcohol are alight," added Juve. 

The two had now to think of their own safety. 
Evidently bandits had been tracking them for 
more than an hour, guided by Doctor Chaleck. 

But they soon found that their retreat was cut 
off by a ring of flames. 

"Let us head for the Seine," suggested Fandor, 
who had discovered a break in the ring of fire at 
that point. A fresh explosion now took place. 
From a burst cask a spurt of liquid fire shot up, 
closing the circle. It had become impossible to 
pass through in any direction. 

They heard the cries of the rabble, the whis- 
tles of the officers. In the distance the horns of 
the fire engines moaned dolefully. The heat was 
growing unbearable, and the ring enclosing Fan- 


dor and Juve narrowed more and more. Sud- 
denly Juve pointed to an enormous empty pun- 
cheon that had just rolled beside them. 

"Have you ever looped the loop?" he asked. 
"Hurry up now; in you go; we'll let it roll down 
the slope of the quay into the river." 

In a few moments the cask was rolling at top 
speed. Juve and Fandor guessed by the crackling 
of the outer planks and by a sudden rise in the 
temperature that they were passing through the 
fire. All at once the great vat reached the level 
of the river. It plunged into the waves with a 
dull thud. 



As he turned at the far side of the Pont St. 
Louis, Doctor Ardel, the celebrated medical jurist, 
caught sight of M. Fuselier, the magistrate, chat- 
ting with Inspector Juve in front of the Morgue. 

"I am behind-hand, gentlemen. So sorry to 
have made you wait." 

M. Fuselier and Juve crossed the tiny court 
and entered the semi-circular lecture-room, where 
daily lessons in medical jurisprudence are given to 
the students and the head men of the detective 
police force. 

Doctor Ardel, piloting his guests, did the hon- 

"The place is not exactly gay; in fact, it has 
an ill reputation; but anyhow, gentlemen, it is at 
your disposition. M, Fuselier, you will be able 
to investigate in peace : M. Juve, you will be at lib- 
erty to put any questions you choose to your client." 



The doctor spoke in a loud voice, emphasising 
each word with a jolly laugh, good natured, de- 
void of malice, yet making an unpleasant impres- 
sion on his two visitors less at home than he in 
the gruesome abode they had just entered. 

"You will excuse me," he went on, "if I leave 
you for a couple of minutes to put on an overall 
and my rubber gloves?" 

The doctor gone, the two instinctively felt a 
vague need to talk to counteract the doleful at- 
mosphere the Morgue seemed to exhale, where 
so many unclaimed corpses, so much human flot- 
sam, had come to sleep under the inquiring eyes 
of the crowd, before being given to the common 
ditch, being no more than an entry in a register 
and a date: "Body found so and so, buried so 
and so." 

"Tell me, my dear Juve," asked M. Fuselier. 
"This morning directly I got your message I at 
once acceded to your wish and asked Ardel to 
have us both here this afternoon, but I hardly 
understand your object. What have you come 
here for?" ' 

Juve, with both hands in his pockets, was walk- 
ing up and down before the dissecting table. At 
the Magistrate's question he stopped short, and, 
turning to M. Fuselier, replied: 

"Why have I come here? I scarcely know 


myself. It's everything or nothing. The key to 
the puzzle. I tell you, M. Fuselier, things are 
becoming increasingly tragic and baffling." 

"How's that?" 

"The part played by Josephine is less and less 
clear. She is Loupart's mistress; she informs 
against him, is fired at by him, then, according to 
Fandor, becomes in some manner his accomplice 
in a robbery so daring that you must search the 
annals of American criminality to find its like." 

"You refer to the train affair?" 

"Yes. Now, leaving Josephine on one side, we 
are confronted with two enigmas. Doctor Cha- 
leck, a man of the world, a scholar, crops up as 
leader of a band of criminals. What we know 
for certain about him is that he fired at Josephine, 
that he was concerned in the affair of the docks 
no more. There remains Loupart; and about 
him being the real culprit we know nothing. 
There is no proof that he killed the woman. In 
order to prove that we should have to know who 
that woman is and why she was killed, and also 
how. The how and why of the crime alone 
might chance to give us the answer." 

"What trail are you following?" 

"That of the dead woman. The body we are 
about to examine will determine me in which 
quarter to direct my search." 


M. Fuselier, looking at the detective with a 
penetrating eye, asked: 

"You surely haven't the notion of suspecting 

"You are right, M. Fuselier," he replied. 
"Behind Loupart, behind Chaleck, everywhere 
and always it is Fantomas I am looking for." 

Whatever information the detective was about 
to impart to the magistrate was cut short by the 
return of Doctor Ardel. That gentleman, in 
donning the uniform of the expert, had resumed 
an appearance of professional gravity. 

"We are going to work now, gentlemen," he 
announced. "I need not remind you, of course, 
that the body you are about to see, that of the 
woman found in the Cite Frochot, has already 
undergone certain changes due to decomposition, 
which have modified its aspect." 

So saying, Dr. Ardel pressed a button and gave 
an attendant the necessary order. "Be so good 
as to bring the body from room No. 6." 

Some minutes later a folding door in the wall 
opened and two men pushed a truck into the mid- 
dle of the hall upon which lay the corpse of the 

"I now give over the dead woman to you to 
identify," declared Doctor Ardel. "My exami- 
nation has been carried out and my part as 


expert is over I am ready to hand in 
my report." 

Fuselier and Juve bent long over the slab upon 
which the body had been placed. 

"Alas!" cried Juve, "how recognise anything 
in this countenance destroyed by pitch? What 
discover in these crushed limbs, this human form, 
which is now a shapeless mass?" And, turning 
to Dr. Ardel, he questioned: 

"Professor, what did you learn from your au- 

"Nothing, or very little," replied the doctor. 
"Death was not due to one blow more than an- 
other. A general effusion of blood took place 
everywhere at once." 

"Everywhere at once? What do you mean 
by that?" questioned Juve. 

"Gentlemen, that is the exact truth. In dis- 
secting this body I was surprised to find all the 
blood vessels burst, the heart, the veins, the arter- 
ies, even the lung cells. More than this, the very 
bones are broken, splintered into a vast number 
of little pieces. Lastly, both on the limbs and 
over the whole body I find a general ecchymosis, 
reaching from the top of the neck to the lower, 

"But," objected Juye, who feared the profes- 
sor might linger over technical details too com- 


plex for him, "what general notion does this 
suggest to you as to the cause of death?" 

"A strange idea, M. Juve, and one it is not 
easy for me to define. You might say that the 
body of this woman had passed under the grind- 
ers of a roller I The body is 'rolled,' that is just 
the word, crushed all over, and there is no point 
where the pressure might be conjectured to have 
been greatest." 

M. Fuselier looked at Juve. 

"What can we deduce from that?" he asked. 

"Professor Ardel demonstrates scientifically the 
same doubts to which a rough inspection led 
me. How did the murderer go to work? It be- 
comes more and more of a mystery." 

"It is so much so," declared Professor Ardel, 
"that even by postulating the worst complications 
I really cannot conceive of any machine capable 
of thus crushing a human being." 

"I do not believe," declared the magistrate, 
"that we have any more to see here. It is plain, 
Juve, that this corpse cannot furnish any clues to 
you and me for the inquest." 

"The corpse, no," cried Juve, "but there is 
something else." 

Then, turning to the professor, he asked: 

"Could you have brought to us the clothes this 
woman wore?" 


"Quite easily." 

From a bag that an attendant handed him 
Juve drew out the garments of the dead woman. 
The shoes were by a good maker, the silk stock- 
ings with open-work embroidery, the chemise 
and the drawers were of fine linen and the corset 
was well cut. 

"Nothing," he cried, "not a mark on this linen 
nor even the name of the shop where it was 

He examined her petticoat, her bodice, a sort 
of elegant blouse, trimmed with lace, and the vel- 
vet collar which had several spots of blood upon 
it. He then drew a small penknife from his 
pocket and, kneeling on the floor, proceeded to 
probe the seams. Suddenly he uttered a muffled 
exclamation : 

"Ah! What's this?" From the lining of the 
bodice he drew out a thin roll of paper, crum- 
pled, stained with blood, torn unfortunately. 

"Goodness of God in whom I trust I do not wish to 
die with this remorse I do not wish to risk his killing 
me to destroy this secret I write this confession, I will 
tell him it is deposited in a safe place yes, I was the 
cause of the death of that hapless actor ! Yes, Valgrand 
paid for the crime which Gurn committed. . . . Yes, I 
sent Valgrand to the scaffold by making him pass for 


Gurn Gurn who killed Lord Beltham, Gurn, who I 
sometimes think must be Fantomas!" 

Juve read these lines in an agitated voice, and 
as he came to the signature he turned pale and was 
obliged to stop. 

"What is the matter?" 

"It is signed 'Lady Beltham.' " 

In order that Doctor Ardel, understanding noth- 
ing of Juve's agitation, might grasp that import 
of the paper just discovered he would have had to 
call to mind the appalling tragedy which three 
years before had stirred the whole world with its 
bloody vicissitude and mystery, one not solved to 
that hour. 

"Lady Beltham!" 

At that name Juve called up the whole blood- 
curdling past I He saw in fancy the English lady * 
whose husband was murdered by the Canadian 
Gurn, who perhaps was her lover. 

And Juve, following his train of thought, pon- 
dered that he had accused this same lady of hav- 
ing, to save her lover, the very day the guillotine 
was erected on the boulevard, found means to 
send in his stead the innocent actor, Valgrand. 

And here in connection with this affair of the 
Cite Frochot he found Lady Beltham involved in 

*See "Fantomas." 


the puzzle of which he was so keenly seeking the 

Juve again read the momentous paper he had 
just unearthed. 

"By Jove, it was plain," ran his thought, "the 
lady, criminal though she might be, was first and 
foremost Fantomas' passionate inamorata. And 
this paper he held in his hands was the tail end 
of her confession the remains of a document in 
which in a fit of moral distress she had avowed 
her remorse and made known the truth." 

And taking line by line the cryptic statement, 
Juve asked himself further: 

"What do these phrases signify? How ex- 
tract the whole truth from these few words? 'I 
do not want him to kill me in order to destroy 
that secret'!" When Lady Beltham wrote that 
she was angry with Gurn. Then again what did 
this other doubtful expression mean? 'Gurn 
who I sometimes fancy may be Fantomas.' She 
did not know then the precise identity of her 
lover! Oh, the wretch! To what depths had 
she sunk?" 

Then as he put this query to himself, Juve 
shook from head to foot. Like a thunderclap he 
thought he grasped the truth he had followed so 
eagerly. What had 'become of Lady Beltham? 
Must he not come to the conclusion that this 


woman whose face had been crushed out of all 
recognition by the murderer was none other than 
the lady? How else explain the discovery in her 
bodice of the betraying document? Who but she 
could have had it in her possession? Who else 
could have so sedulously concealed it? 

Juve read over another clause : "I will tell him 
it is deposited in a safe place." 

Feverishly Juve took up the garments trailing 
on the ground, carefully explored the fabric, made 
a minute search. 

"It is impossible," he thought, "that I should 
not find another document. The beginning of this 
confession I must have it!" 

All at once he stopped short in his search. 
"Curse it all !" And he pointed out to M. Fuse- 
lier, disguised in the lining of a loose pocket in 
the petticoat a fresh hiding place, but torn and 
alas! empty. 

"This woman had split up her confession into 
several portions. And if she was killed it was 
certainly to strip her of these compromising pa- 
pers. Well, the murderer had attained his object 

"Look, Fuselier, this empty 'cache' is the proof 
of what I put forward, and chance alone allowed 
the page concealed in the collar of this bodice to 
fall into my hands." 

Long did the detective still grope and ponder, 


heedless of the questions the professor and the 
magistrate kept asking him. He rose at last, 
and with a distracted gesture took the arm of M. 
Fuselier, and dragged him before the stone slab 
on which the corpse, but recently unknown, smiled 
a ghastly smile. 

"M. Fuselier, the dead woman has spoken. 
She is Lady Beltham. This is the body of Lady 

The magistrate recoiled in horror. He mur- 

"But who then can Doctor Chaleck be? Who 
can Loupart be?" 

Juve replied without hesitation. 

"Ask Fantomas the names of his accomplices!" 

And leaving him and Doctor Ardel without 
any farewell Juve rushed from the Morgue, his 
features so distorted that as they passed him 
people drew aside, amazed and murmuring: 

"A madman or a murderer 1" 



"You understand my object, Fandor? Hither- 
to I have worked unaided. I wanted to unearth 
Fantomas and bring him to Headquarters, saying 
to my superiors, 'For three years you have main- 
tained this man was dead; well, here he is! I 
have put the darbies on the most terrible ruffian 
of modern times.' Well, I must forego my little 
triumph. We must now work in the open. Pub- 
lic opinion must come to our aid." 

"Then you want me to write my article?" 

"Yes, and tell all the details; wind up by put- 
ting the question squarely. 'Is not Fantomas still 
alive?' Then sum up in the affirmative. Now, 
be off. I want to read your article this evening 
in the Capital." 

Fandor had just left his detective friend when 
old Jean, the only servant that Juve tolerated 
in his private quarters, entered the room. 



"Don't forget the person who is waiting in the 
parlour, sir." 

u Ah, yes, to be sure. A person who comes to 
see me at home, when nobody knows my address 
should be interesting. Show him in, Jean." 

Juve placed his revolver in reach of his hand 
as Jean announced: "Maitre Gerin, notary." 

Juve rose, motioned his visitor to a chair and 
inquired the object of his visit 

Maitre Gerin bowed respectfully to Juve. 

"I must apologise," he said, "for coming to dis- 
turb you at home, sir, but it concerns a matter 
of such importance and it Involves names so ter- 
rible that I could not utter them within the walls of 
the Surete. What brings me here is a crime which 
must be laid to Fantomas or his heirs in crime." 

Juve was strangely moved. 

"Speak, sir, I am all attention." 

"M. Juve, I believe that one of my clients, a 
woman, has been killed. I have had for some 
time a certain sympathy, and, I don't disguise it, 
an immense curiosity concerning her because she 
was actually involved in the mysterious affairs of 

"The name of the woman, counsel, her name, 
I beg of you?" 

"The name of the woman who, I fear, has 
been murdered is Lady Beltham!" 


Juve gave a sigh of relief. It was the name 
he wished to hear. 

Maitre Gerin continued: "I have been Lady 
Beltham's lawyer for a long period of time, but 
since the Fantomas case came to an end in the 
sentencing to death of Gurn and the subsequent 
scandal attached to the name of Lady Beltham, 
I have ceased to have any further tidings of that 
unhappy woman. 

"Indirectly, through the medium of the papers 
which at times gave out some echo of her, I knew 
that she had been travelling, then, that she was 
back in Paris, and had gone to live at Neuilly, 
Boulevard Inkermann. But I did not see her 
again. It is true her family matters were set- 
tled, her husband's estate entirely wound up. In 
short, she had no reason to appeal to me profes- 

"To be sure." 

"Well, some days ago, I was greatly surprised 
by her visiting my office. Naturally I refrained 
from asking her any awkward questions." 

Juve interrupted: "In Heaven's name, sir, 
how long ago is it since Lady Beltham 
called on you?" 

"Nineteen days, sir." 

A sigh of relief escaped Juve. He had feared 
all his theories regarding the body at the Morgue 


the day before were going to collapse. "Go on, 
sir," he cried. 

"Lady Beltham, on being shown into my pri- 
vate office, appeared to me much the same phys- 
ically as I had known her previously, but she was 
no longer the great lady, cold, haughty, a trifle 
disdainful. She seemed crushed under a terrible 
load, a prey to awful mental torture. She made 
appeal to my discretion, both professionally and 
as a man of honour. 

"She then spoke as follows: 'I am going to 
write a letter which, if it fell into the hands of a 
third person, would bring about a great calamity. 
This letter I shall intrust to you together with 
my Will which will instruct you what to do with 
it at my death. I will send you a visiting card 
with a line in my own handwriting every fort- 
night. If ever this card fails to come, conclude 
that I am dead, that they have murdered me, and 
carry that letter where I tell you Avenge me!' ' 

"Well, what then?" cried Juve, anxiously. 

"That is all, M. Juve. I have not seen Lady 
Beltham again, nor had any news of her. When 
I called at her residence I was told she was away. 
I have come to ask you whether you think she has 
been murdered." 

Juve was pacing his room with great strides. 

"Maitre," he said at last, "your story confirms 


all I have suspected. Yes, Lady Beltham is dead. 
She has been murdered. That letter contained 
her confession and revealed not only her own 
crimes, but those of her accomplices, of her mas- 
ter of Fantomas. Fantomas killed her to free 
himself of a witness to his evil life." 

"Fantomas! But Fantomas is dead." 

"So they say." 

"Have you proofs of his existence?" 

"I am looking for them." 

"What do you think of doing?" 

"I am going to make an investigation. I am 
going to learn where and how Lady Beltham was 
killed. I shall see you again, Maitre. Read The 
Capital this evening. You will find in it many in- 
teresting surprises." 



"To sum up what I have just learned." 
Juve was seated at his desk, and those who 
knew the private life of the great detective would 
assuredly have guessed that he was gravely pre- 
occupied. He was trying to extract some useful 
information from the notary's visit, some hints 
essential to the investigation he had taken in 
hand, and that at all hazards he meant to pur- 
sue to a successful termination. The task was 
fraught with difficulties and even peril. But 
the triumph would be great if he should 
succeed in putting the "bracelets" on the 
"genius of crime," as he had called him to 
his friend Fandor. 

"Lady Beltham had gone to visit Gerin. She 
was an astute woman 'after all, and knew how to 
get her own way. There must have been power- 


ful motives which urged her to write that confes- 
sion. What were those motives ? 

"Remorse? No. A woman who loves has no 
remorse. Fear? Probably, but fear of what?" 

Juve, without being aware of it, had just writ- 
ten on the paper of his note-book the ill-omened 
name which haunted him. 


"Why, of course, Fantomas killed Lady Bel- 
tham, and killed her in the house of Doctor Cha- 
leck, an accomplice. And Loupart, a third ac- 
complice, got his mistress to write to me, and I 
believed the denunciation. Loupart got us to dog 
him, led me unawares behind the curtains in the 
study, and made me witness that Chaleck was in- 
nocent. Oh, the ruse was a clever one. Jose- 
phine herself, by the two shots she received some 
days later at Lariboisiere, became a victim. In 
short, the scent was crossed and broken." 

The detective snatched up his hat, saw care- 
fully to the charges of his pocket revolver, then 
gravely and solemnly cried: 

"It is you and I now, Fantomas!" with which 
he left his rooms. 

Juve and Fandor were entering a taxi-cab. 
"To Neuilly Church," cried Juve to the driver. 
"And, now, my dear Fandor, you must be think- 


ing me crazy, as less than two hours ago I sent 
you off to write an article, and here I come tak- 
ing you from your paper and carrying you away 
in this headlong fashion. But just listen to the 
tale of this morning's doings." 

Juve then gave 'a full account of Maitre Ge- 
rin's visit and wound up by saying: "It is 
through Lady Beltham that we must unearth that 
monster, Fantomas." 

"That's all very well," replied Fandor, "but 
as the lady is dead, how are we going to set about 

"By reconstructing the last hours of her life. 
We are now on our way to Lady Beltham's resi- 
dence, Boulevard Inkermann." 

"And what are we to do when we arrive 

"I shall examine the house, which is probably 
empty, and you are to 'pump' the neighbours, to 
ask questions of the tradespeople. I should at- 
tract too much attention if I were to do this my- 
self, and that is why I dragged you away from 
your work." 

Some moments later the taxi pulled up at the 
corner of Boulevard Inkermann. 

"The house is number " said Juve as he 
took Fandor by the arm. "Bless me, you remem- 
ber the house I It is the one in which I arrested 


Gurn three years ago; that famous day he came 
to see Lady Beltham, disguised as a beggar." 

The two friends soon found themselves at 
their destination. Through the garden railing, 
which was wholly covered with a dense growth 
of ivy, the two saw the house, which now looked 
very dilapidated. 

"It doesn't look as if it had been inhabited for 
a long while," said Fandor. 

"That's what we want to make sure of. Go 
and make your inquiries." 

Fandor left his companion and made his way 
back to the commercial section of Neuilly. He 
stopped opposite a sign which read: 

"Gardening done." 

"Anyone there?" he inquired. 

An old woman, standing in the doorway, came 
forward. "What can I do for you, sir?" 

"If I am not mistaken, it was you who attended 
to Lady Beltham's garden?" 

"Yes, sir, we kept her garden in order. But 
my husband hasn't worked there for several 
months, as Lady Beltham has been away." 

"I heard she was coming back to Paris, and 
called to-day, but found the house closed up." 

"Oh, I am sorry. Lady Beltham's an excellent 
customer and Mme. Raymond also bought flow- 
ers of us." 


"Mme. Raymond. She is a friend of Lady 

"Her companion. It is now close to a year 
that Mme. Raymond has been living with her. 
Oh! a very pleasant lady; a pretty brunette, very 
elegant and not at all proud." 

Fandor thought it well not to seem astonished. 

"Oh, yes, of course," he cried, "Mme. Ray- 
mond. I remember now. Lady Beltham's life 
is so sad and lonely." 

"True enough," the woman replied, and, low- 
ering her voice: "And then, what with all 
these tales of noises and ghosts, the house can't 
be too pleasant to live in, eh?" 

Fandor pretended to be well posted. "People 
still talk of these incidents?" 

"Oh, yes, sir." 

Fandor did not venture to press the subject, 
and, taking leave of the worthy woman, he 
made his way back to the Boulevard. As soon 
as Juve caught sight of him in the distance he ran 
up eagerly. 


"Well, Juve, what have you found out during 
my absence?" 

"In the first place t,hat it is exactly sixty-four 
days since Lady Beltham left Neuilly. I discov- 
ered this by the dates on a lot of circulars in the 


letter box. I also had a talk with a butcher's 
man and learned that Lady Beltham had a com- 

"Oh! I was bringing you that same news!" 

"This Mme. Raymond is young, dark, very 
pretty. Can't you guess who she is?" 

Fandor stared at Juve. 

"You mean " 

"Josephine. It's perfectly clear. We know 
Lady Beltham wrote a confession, that Fantomas 
suspected this and murdered her to get hold of it, 
and further that in this murder Loupart was in- 
volved. Josephine was introduced to Lady Bel- 
tham by Fantomas. A spy going there to betray 
the great lady and possibly entice her later to 
the Cite Frochot. Let us make haste, lad. We 
thought we had to follow the trail of Loupart 
and Chaleck, but we mustn't lose sight of Jo- 
sephine. She may be the means of helping us to 
the truth." 



The somewhat grim faces of Mme. Guinon, 
Julie and the Flirt lit up suddenly. Bonzille, 
the tramp set free by the police the day after the 
"drive" in the Rue Charbonnieje, had opened 
the bottle of vermouth, and Josephine bustled 
around to find glasses to put on the table. 

Josephine had visitors in her little lodging. 
There was to be a quiet lunch. On the sideboard 
attractive dishes were ready, a fine savour of 
cooking onions came from the dark corner in 
which Loupart's pretty mistress was doing hasty 
cookery over the gas. 

"Neat or with water?" asked Bonzille, per- 
forming his office of cup bearer with comical dig- 

Mme. Guinon asked for plenty of water. 
Julie shrugged her shoulders indifferently; she 
didn't care so long as there was drink, while the 


Flirt, in her cracked voice, breathed in the loaf- 
er's ear: "How about a sip of brandy to put with 

The appetiser loosened tongues: they began to 
cackle. From a drawer Josephine got out a pack 
of cards, which the Flirt promptly seized, while 
Julie, leaning familiarly on her shoulder, coun- 
selled her: 

"Cut with the left and watch what you are 
doing; we shall see if there's any luck for us in 
the pack." 

Josephine had now been back three days from 
her painful journey and had not seen Loupart. 
The latter, after having abandoned the motor in 
some waste ground among the fortifications, had 
vanished with the Beard, only bidding his mis- 
tress go home as if nothing had happened and 
wait for news of him. 

The Simplon Express affair had made a great 
stir in the fashionable world, and had produced 
considerable uneasiness among the criminal class. 

To be sure no name had been mentioned, and 
apparently the police were not following any 
definite clue. Still, in the Chapelle quarter, and 
especially in the den of the "Goutte d'Or" and 
the Rue de Chartres, it was noticed that the ab- 
sence of the chief members of the Band of 


Cyphers coincided with the date of the tragedy. 

At first there had been some slight stand- 
offishness shown to Josephine on her return. She 
was greeted with doubtful allusions, equivocal 
compliments, with a touch of coldness, and folks 
were also amazed at not seeing Loupart reappear 
with her. 

Josephine told herself that she must at all costs 
disabuse her neighbours of this bad impression, 
and that is why she had decided to give a lun- 
cheon party to her most intimate friends. These 
might also be her most formidable opponents, for 
such damsels as the Flirt and Julie, even big 
Ernestine, could not fail to be jealous of the mis- 
tress of a distinguished leader; besides, she was 
the prettiest woman in the quarter. 

Joining the conversation from time to time, Jo- 
sephine smiled and regained confidence. Her 
manoeuvre bade fair to be crowned with success. 

As they sat down to table the door opened and 
Mother Toulouche came in, carrying a capacious 

"Well," cried the old fence, "I got wind that 
something was going on here, and I said to my- 
self, 'Why shouldn't Mother Toulouche be in it 
as well?' One more ,or less don't matter, eh, 

Josephine assented and made room for her. 


Before sitting down the old woman put her basket 
on the floor. 

"If I invite myself, Fifine, I bring something 
to the feast. Here are some portugals and two 
dozen snails which will help out." 

All at once, Josephine, who, despite the gen- 
eral gaiety, was absent-minded and preoccupied, 
rose and ran to the door, answering a knock. 
She was at bottom horribly uneasy at hearing 
nothing of her lover. She began to fear that the 
police for once might have got the upper hand. 
It was little Paulot, the porter's son, who rushed 
in quite out of breath. 

"Mme. Josephine, mother told me to come up 
and warn you that two gentlemen were asking 
for you in the lodge just now. Two gentlemen in 
special 'rig.' " 

"Do you know them, Paulot?" 

"I don't, Mme. Josephine." 

"What did they want of me?" 

"They didn't say." 

"What did your mother answer?" 

"Don't know. Believe she told 'em you were 
in your den." 

The occurrence cast a chill over the company. 
Little Paulot was given a big glass of claret, and 
when he had left the Flirt observed gravely: 

"It's the cops." 


"Why should they come and inquire for 

Julie tried to console her. 

"Anyhow they'll not come up to your place." 

Josephine was greatly upset. Were they after 
her or Loupart? Why had they withdrawn? 
Would they come back? 

In a flash she burst out, beating her fist on the 
table : 

"Bah! IVe had enough of this, not knowing 
what is going to happen from one moment to the 
next. Sooner than stay here, I'll go and find 

The Flirt suggested, with a spiteful smile. 

"Go ahead, my girl, they won't be far away; 
go and ask them what they want." 

"Very well," cried Josephine, "I will." 

And the young girl emptied her glass to give 
her courage. 

"And if you don't come back, we'll set your 
room to rights," cried the Flirt after her. "Good 
luck, try and not sleep in the jug." 

Josephine rushed downstairs, and then, after 
a moment's hesitation, turned and went down the 
Rue de Chartres. 

At first she noticed, nothing unusual or suspi- 
cious. The faces of those she met were mostly 
familiar to her. But suddenly her heart stopped 


beating. Two men accosted her simultaneously, 
one on her right, the other on her left. 

Her neighbour on the right asked very softly: 

"Are you Josephine Ramot?" 


"You must come with us." 

"Yes," said Josephine, resigned. 

A few moments later, Josephine, seated in a 
cab between the two men, was crossing Paris. 
The detectives had given the address: "Boule- 
vard du Palais." 

Loupart's mistress, taken on her arrival to the 
anteroom adjoining the private rooms of the ex- 
amining magistrates, had not much time for re- 

To be sure, she was not guilty. Not guilty? 
Well, at bottom the affair of the Marseilles train 
made Josephine uneasy. And the story of the 
motor, too, the motor taken by force from un- 
known travellers. What knowledge had the po- 
lice of these events? When questioned, was she 
to confess or deny? 

A little old man, bald and fussy, appeared at 
the end of the passage and called her. 

"Josephine Ramot, the private room of Jus- 
tice Fuselier." 

Mechancially she went forward between her 
two captors, who pushed her into a well-lit apart- 


ment, in the corner of which stood a big desk. A 
well-dressed gentleman was sitting there, writing; 
opposite him, in the shadow, some one stood mo- 
tionless. The magistrate raised his head ; his face 
was cold and contained, but not spiteful. 

"What is your name?" 

"Josephine Ramot." 

"Where were you born?" 

"Rue de Belleville." 

"What is your age?" 


"You live by prostitution?" 

Josephine coloured and, with an angry voice, 

"No, your honour, I have a calling. I am a 

"Are you working now?" 

Josephine felt awkward. 

"Well, to say the truth, at the moment I have 
no work, but they know me at M. Monthier's, 
Rue de Malte; it was there I was apprenticed, 
and " 

"And since you became the mistress of the ruf- 
fian Loupart, known as 'The Square,' you have 
ceased to practise an honest calling?" 

"I won't deny being Loupart's mistress, but as 
for prostitution " 

The man Josephine had noticed standing in 


the shadow came forward and murmured a few 
words in the magistrate's ear. 

"M. Juve," cried Josephine, moving toward 
the inspector with her hand out. She stopped 
short as the detective motioned to her that such a 
familiarity was not allowable, and the examination 
was resumed. 

The magistrate, after having by some curt ques- 
tions brought to light the salient points of Jo- 
sephine's life, and clearly mapped out the speedy 
development of the honest little work girl into a 
ruffian's mistress, and in all probability, accom- 
plice, began the interrogation on the main point. 

At some length he narrated without losing a 
single change of her countenance, the various in- 
cidents of the evening begun in the railway which 
ended with the disaster to the Simplon Express. 

Fuselier made Josephine pass again through 
her headlong exit from Lariboisiere, her quick 
passage through Paris when she was barely con- 
valescent, and still suffering from the effects of 
the fever, her departure in the Marseilles Ex- 
press, where she picked up half a score of foot- 
pads headed by her redoubtable lover; then the 
waiting in the silence of the night, the affray, the 
threats, and lastly, after breaking the couplings 
to the train, the dangerous flight of the band, the 
headlong rush through the country. 


The magistrate wound up: 

"You came to town afterwards, Josephine Ra- 
mot, in company with Loupart, called 'The 
Square,' and his factotum, the ruffian 'Beard.' ' 

Josephine, embarrassed by the steady glance 
of the magistrate, endeavoured to keep her face 
devoid of expression, but as in his recital the 
points of the adventure she had shared grew more 
definite, she felt she was constantly changing col- 
our and at certain moments her eyelids quivered 
over her downcast eyes. 

Evidently he was well posted. That young 
man who got into the same compartment as M. 
Martialle must certainly have belonged to the 
police. But for that the judge would never have 
known precisely what took place. Decidedly this 
was a bad beginning. 

Josephine now dreaded to see the door open 
and Loupart appear, the bracelets on his wrists, 
followed by the Beard, similarly fettered, for be- 
yond a doubt the two men had been nabbed. 

Hunched up, her nerves tense, Josephine kept 
her mind fixed on one point. She was waiting 
anxiously for the first chance to protest. At a 
certain juncture the magistrate declared: 

"You three, LouparJ, 'The Beard' and your- 
self, shared between you the proceeds of the rob- 
beries committed." 


As soon as she could get a word in, Josephine 
shouted her innocence. 

Oh, as to that, no! She had not touched a 
cent from the business. She did not even know 
what was involved. 

The exact truth was this. She was ill in the 
hospital when all of a sudden she remembered 
that Loupart had some days before bidden her 
be at all costs at the Lyons Station, on a certain 
Saturday evening at exactly seven o'clock. Now 
that particular Saturday was the day after the 
attempt on her life. As she was much better she 
set off in obedience to her lover. She knew no 
more ; she had done no more ; she would not have 
them accuse her of any more. 

The young woman had gradually grown warm, 
her voice rose and vibrated. The judge let her 
have her say, and when she had finished there 
was a silence. 

M. Fuselier slowly dipped a pen in the ink, 
and in his level voice declared, casting a glance 
in Juve's direction: 

"After all, what seems clearly established is 

Josephine gave a start she knew the terrible 
significance of the term. Complicity meant joint 

But Juve intervened : 


"Excuse me, in place of 'complicity' perhaps 
we had better say 'compulsion.' ' 

"I don't follow you, Juve." 

"We must bear in mind, your honour, that this 
girl is to be pardoned to a certain extent for 
having obeyed her lover's order, more particu- 
larly at a time when the latter had gained quite 
a victory over the police. For in spite of the 
protection of our people, his attempt against her 
partially succeeded." 

Taken aback, M. Fuselier looked from the de- 
tective to the young woman whom he regarded 
as guilty. Juve's outburst seemed to him out of 

"Your pardon, Juve, but your reasoning seems 
to me somewhat specious; however, I will not 
press this charge against the girl; we have some- 
thing better." 

Turning to Loupart's mistress, the judge asked 
abruptly : 

"What has become of Lady Beltham?" 

Josephine was amazed by the question. She 
turned inquiring eyes toward Juve, who quickly 

"M. Fuselier, this is not the moment " 

The magistrate, dropping this line, again tack- 
led Josephine on her relations with Loupart. 

In a flash Josephine made up her mind. She 


would simulate innocence at all costs. With the 
craft of a consummate actress, she began in a 
low voice, which gradually rose and became im- 
pressive, insinuating : 

"How pitiful it is to think that everyone bears 
a grudge against a poor girl who, some day in 
springtime, has given herself the pleasure of a 
lover! Is there any harm in giving oneself to 
the man who loves you? Who forbids it? No 
one but the priests, and they have been kicked 
out of doors!" 

The magistrate could not help smiling, and 
Juve showed signs of amusement. 

"But I am honest, and when I understand 
something of what was going on, I wrote to M. 
Juve. And what thanks did I get? Two bullet 
holes in my skin!" 

M. Fuselier hesitated about turning his sum- 
mons into a committal. 



The fete of Montmartre was at its height. In 
the Place Blanche a joyous crowd was pressing 
round a booth of huge dimensions, splendidly 
lighted. On the stage a cheap Jack, decked out 
in many-coloured frippery, was delivering his pat- 

"Walk in, ladies and gentlemen; it's only ten 
cents, and you won't regret your money! The 
management of the theatre will present to you, 
without delay, the prettiest woman in the world 
and also the fattest, who weighs a trifle over 600 
pounds and possibly more; as no scale has yet 
been found strong enough to weigh her without 
breaking into a thousand pieces. 

"You will also have the rare and weird sight 
of a black from Abyssinia whose splendid ebony 
hide has been tattooed' in white. Furthermore, a 
young girl of scarcely fourteen summers will 



astound you by entering the cage of the ferocious 
beasts, whose terrible roarings reach you here! 
The programme is most interesting, and after 
these incomparable attractions, you will applaud 
the cinema in colours the last exploit of modern 
science showing the recent tour of the President 
of the Republic, and himself in person delivering 
his speech to an audience as numerous as it is 
select. You will also see, reproduced in the most 
stirring and life-like manner, all the details of 
the mysterious murder which at this moment en- 
gages public interest and keeps the police on 
tenter-hooks. The crime at the Cite Frochot, 
with the murdered woman, the Empire clock, and 
the extinguished candle: all the accessories in 
full, including the collapse of the elevator into 
the sewer. The show is beginning! It has be- 

Among the throng surrounding the mounte- 
bank three persons seemed especially amused by 
the peroration. They were two gentlemen, very 
elegant and distinguished, in evening clothes, and 
with them a pretty woman wearing a loose silk 
mantle over her low dress. 

She put her lips to the ear of the older of her 
companions, who, with his turned-up moustache 
and grey hair, looked like a cavalry officer. 

She murmured to him these strange words: 


"Squint at the guy on the left, the one passing 
before the clock-seller's booth. "That's one of 
the gang. He was in the Simplon affair." 

The pretty Parisian, so smartly dressed, was 
no other than Josephine. The young man with 
the fair beard was Fandor and the cavalry officer 
was Juve. The three now "worked" together. 
The partnership dated from the afternoon that 
Josephine escaped arrest, thanks to the lucky in- 
tervention of Juve. 

The latter had little belief in the young wom- 
an's innocence, but by getting her on his side, he 
hoped to secure information as to Loupart's do- 

Juve was talking to a ragged Arab selling 
nougat to the passers-by. 

"Ay, sir," explained the Arab. "I have been 
dogging little Mimile since two this afternoon." 

"Bravo, my dear Michel, your disguise is a 
perfect success." 

Josephine came suddenly close and pulled Juve 
by the sleeve, and then pointed to a group of 
persons who were crossing the Place Blanche. 
Without troubling further about the Arab, Juve 
at once began to follow this group, motioning to 
Josephine and Fandor to follow him closely. The 
three threaded their way through the crowd with 
a thousand precautions, seeking to avoid atten- 


tion, yet not losing sight of their quarry. All 
three had recognised Loupart! 

The outlaw, dressed in a long blouse, with a 
tall cap, and armed with a stout cudgel, was 
walking among half a dozen individuals similarly 
attired. By their garb they would be taken for 
cattle-herders from La Villette. 

This group proceeded slowly in the direction 
of Place Pigalle, and Juve, who was pressing 
hard on his quarry, slackened his pace in order 
to let them forge ahead a little. The square, 
which was surrounded by brilliantly illuminated 
restaurants, was a flood of light, and the detec- 
tive did not want people to notice him. More- 
over, the pseudo-cattle-drivers had stopped, too: 
gathering round Loupart they listened attentively 
to his remarks, made in a low tone. Clearly they 
were accomplices of the robber, who, perhaps, 
realised that they were being followed. 

Fandor, who had put his arm through Jose- 
phine's, felt the young woman's heart beating as 
though it would burst. They were all playing 
for high stakes. Josephine, especially, was in a 
compromising and dangerous plight. Not only 
had she to fear the wrath of her lover, but she 
ran the risk of being "spotted" by one of the 
many satellites of the gang of Cyphers, in which 
case her condemnation would be certain. 


Fandor encouraged her with a few kind 
words : 

"You know, mademoiselle, you mustn't be 
frightened. If I am not greatly mistaken, Lou- 
part is about to be nabbed, and once in Juve's 
hands he won't get out of them in a hurry." 

Josephine's perturbation was scarcely quieter, 
and Fandor, a trifle skeptical, asked himself 
whether in reality the girl was on their side or 
if she were not playing the game of false infor- 
mation. Suddenly something fresh happened. 

Loupart, separating himself from his compan- 
ions, entered a restaurant upon which the words 

"The Crocodile" 

were inscribed in dazzling letters on its front. 
The Crocodile comprised, like most night resorts, 
a large saloon on the ground floor and a dining- 
room on the first floor which was reached by a 
little stairway and guarded by a giant clad in 
magnificent livery. Above this were apartments 
and private rooms. 

Just then, as it was near midnight, a number 
of carriages were bringing couples in evening 
dress, who mounted the staircase. To their great 
surprise, Fandor and Josephine saw Loupart 
make for this staircase. The long smock of the 
seeming cattle-driver would certainly make a 


queer showing. What was the formidable rob- 
ber's game? Juve gave hasty directions: 

"It's all right. I know the house. It has only 
one exit. You, Ramot," he went on, addressing 
the young woman, "go up to the first floor and 
take your place at a table; here are ten dollars, 
order champagne and don't be too stiff with the 

Josephine nodded and went upstairs. 

Juve and Fandor followed a few minutes later 
and took up a strategic position at a table near 
the doorway. Fandor had a view of the room 
and Juve commanded the hall and stairway. 
From the room came a confused hum of laughter, 
cries and doubtful jokes. A negro, clad in red 
and armed with a gong, capered among the ta- 
bles, dancing and singing. 

Fandor caught sight of Josephine, who ap- 
peared to be carrying out Juve's instructions. 
Beside her was a fair giant of red complexion 
and clean-shaven face, whose Anglo-Saxon origin 
was beyond doubt. Fandor knew the face; he 
had seen the man somewhere ; he remembered his 
square shoulders and bull-like neck, and the enor- 
mous biceps which stood out under the cloth of 
his sleeves. 

"By Jove!" he cried suddenly. "Why it's 
Dixon, the American heavyweight champion 1" 


Juve signalled to the waiter to bring him the 
bill as he fitted a monocle into his right eye. 

Fandor stared at him, surprised. 

"Well, Juve, when you get yourself up as a 
man of the world, you omit no detail." 

Juve made no reply for some moments, then 
turned to his companion. 

"Who else do you see in the room?" 

Fandor looked carefully, and then made a ges- 
ture of amazement. 

"Chaleck! Chaleck is over there eating his 

"Yes," said Juve simply, "and you are stupid 
not to have seen him before." 

The profile of the mysterious doctor was in 
fact outlined very sharply at a table, amply 
served and covered with bottles and flowers, 
around which half a score of persons, men and 
women, had taken their places. 

Without turning his head, Juve remarked: 

"Judging by the action of the person who is 
at this moment lighting a cigar the supper is not 
far from coming to an end." 

"Come, now, Juve, have you eyes in your 
back? How can you know what is going on at 
Doctor Chaleck's table, while you are looking in 
the opposite direction?" 

Juve handed his eye-glass to the journalist. 


"Ah! Now I see! A trick eye-glass, with a 
mirror in it not a bad idea." 

"It is quite simple," murmured Juve. "The 
main thing is to have thought of it. Come, let us 
go down." 

"What? And desert the doctor?" 

"An arrest should never be made in a public 
place when it can be avoided. Here, give me 
your card that I may send it up with mine." 

Juve called M. Dominique, the manager, and, 
pointing out Chaleck to him, said: 

"M. Dominique, please give our cards to that 
gentleman and say that we are waiting outside to 
speak to him." 

In a few moments Chaleck came out of the sa- 
loon to the Place Pigalle. 

His face was calm and his glance unmoved. 
Juve laid his hand upon the doctor's shoulder, 
and, signalling to a subordinate in uniform, cried: 

"Doctor Chaleck, I arrest you in the name of 
the law." 

Chaleck quietly flicked off his cigar ash and 

"Do you know, M. Juve, I am not pleased 
with you. I read in the papers, during a recent 
holiday abroad, that you had pulled my house ab- 
solutely to pieces! That was not nice of you, 
when we had been on such good terms." 


This speech was so startling, so unlocked for, 
that Juve, though not easily surprised, had noth- 
ing to answer for the moment. 

Meanwhile, Chaleck tamely let himself be 
dragged toward the station in the Rue Roche- 

"The fine fellow," thought Juve, "must have 
got his whole case prepared he will give us a 
run for our money; still it must " 

The detective gave vent to a loud yell. They 
had just got to the point where the Rue Rochefou- 
cauld is intersected by the Rue Notre Dame de 
Lorette : a cab drawn by a big horse was moving 
in one direction and a motor-bus coming from 
another. It had already cleared the Rue Pigalle, 
and in a second would cut across the Rue Roche- 
foucauld, when Chaleck, literally coming out of 
the Inverness coat he wore, leaped ahead of Juve, 
dodged under the cab horse and boarded the bus, 
which rapidly went on its way. All this had 
been accomplished in an instant. 

Left dumbfounded, face to face, Juve and Fan- 
dor, together with the officer, contemplated the 
only token left them by Chaleck. An elegant 
Inverness cloak with capes, which, oddly enough, 
had shoulders and arms arms of India-rubber, 
so well imitated that through the cloth they dis- 
tinctly gave the impression of human arms. 


Juve let fly a tremendous oath, then turned to 
Fandor and cried: 

"How about Loupart?" 

The two men hastily reascended the Rue Pi- 
galle. They counted on standing sentry again 
before the "Crocodile." But as they reached 
the square Juve and Fandor were faced by fresh 
surprises. A powerful motor-car was slowly 
getting under way. In it was the American 
Dixon, with Josephine beside him. 

Was the girl playing them false? That was 
the most important thing to ascertain. 

The car made off at a good pace toward the 
Place Clichy. Half a moment later Juve was 
bowling after them in a taxi, calling to Fandor 
as he left: 

"Look after the other." 

Fandor understood "The other" referred to 
Loupart, and carefully pumped M. Dominique, 
but could get no further news from him, so, after 
waiting an hour for Juve to return, he went home 
to bed far from easy in his mind. 

Juve followed the American through Billan- 
court, past Sevres Bridge, and finally into the 
Bellevue District, when, opposite Brimboison 
Park, Dixon, with the air of a proprietor, took 
his motor into a fine looking estate. Then, hav- 


ing housed the car, the pugilist, with Loupart's 
mistress, went into the house, which was lit up 
for half an hour, after which all was plunged 
again into darkness. 

Juve had left his taxi at the bottom of the 
hill, and, having cleared the low wall of the 
grounds, hid himself in view of the house. He 
waited until daybreak, but nothing occurred to 
trouble the peace and hush of the night. And 
then, unwilling to be seen in his evening clothes 
by chance passers-by, he regretfully returned to 
the Rue Bonaparte. 



An old servant had brought out the early coffee 
to the arbour in the garden. It was about eight 
o'clock, and in the shady retreat the freshness of 
springtime reigned. Soon down the gravel walk 
appeared the well-built figure of Dixon, dressed 
in white flannels. He bent under the arch of 
grenery that led to the arbour, and seemed vexed 
to find that it was empty. 

Clearly the pugilist was not going to break- 
fast alone and, to while away the time until his 
companion should appear, he lighted a cigarette. 

Suddenly the door of the house opened to give 
passage to a gracious apparition Josephine. 
Wrapped in a kimona of bright silk and smiling 
at the fine morning, the young woman came slow- 
ly down the steps and then stopped short, 
blushing. Some one came to meet her it was 



The giant, too, seemed moved. Lowering his 
eyes he asked: 

"How are you this morning, fair lady?" 

"And you, M. Dixon?" 

"Mile. Finette, the coffee is served, won't you 
join me?" 

The two young people broke their fast in si- 
lence, exchanging only monosyllables, to ask for 
a napkin, a plate, the sugar. At last, overcom- 
ing his bashfulness Dixon asked in a voice full 
of entreaty: 

"Will you always be so hard-hearted?" 

Josephine, embarrassed, evaded the question, 
and with a show of gaiety to hide her confusion, 

"This is an awfully nice place of yours." 

The pugilist answered her by describing the 
calm and simple delights of a country life in the 
springtime, and, slipping his arm round her sup- 
ple waist, asked her softly: 

"As you consented to come this far with me, 
why did you repel me afterwards? Why resist 
me so stubbornly?" 

"I was a trifle tipsy yesterday," she replied. 
"I don't know what I did or why I came here 
with you." And then, with a touch of sadness: 
"Naturally, finding me in such a place you took 
me for a " 


"Sure enough," replied the American, "but I 
can see you are not like the others." 

"And what attracts me to you," continued Jo- 
sephine, "is that you are not a brute. Why, yes- 
terday evening, if you had wanted, when we were 
alone together, eh?" 

And she gave Dixon such a queer look that he 
asked himself whether she did not regard him as 
absurd for having respected her. 

"I like you very much," he said, "more than 
any other woman. In a month from now I shall 
be off to America. I have already a good deal 
of money and I shall earn much more out there. 
If you will come with me, we won't part any more. 
Do you agree?" 

Josephine was at first amused by this down- 
right declaration, but gradually she took it more 
seriously. She would see the world, be elegant, 
rich, well dressed. She would have her future se- 
cured and no more bother with the police. But, 
on the other hand, it might become terribly bor- 
ing after the exciting life she had led. And there 
was Loupart. Certainly he was often repellant 
to her, but he had only to come back and speak 
to her to be again submissive, loving and trac- 
table. And, strange to say, there was also just 
of late at the bottom of Josephine's heart, a feel- 
ing of friendship, almost affection, for the stern 


and thorough-going detective, for Juve, to whom 
she owed her escape from a very bad fix. Fandor, 
too, she liked pretty well. She valued the daring 
journalist, quick, full of courage, and yet a good 
sort, free from prejudice. The more she thought 
about it, the more Josephine felt herself to be 
strikingly complex: she felt that she could not 
analyse her feelings, she was incomprehensible 
even to herself. 

"Let me think it over a little longer," she 
asked. Dixon rose ceremoniously. 

"Dear friend," he declared, "you are at home 
here, as long as you care to stay, and I hope you 
will consent to lunch with me at one o'clock. 
From now till then I shall leave you alone to 
think at your leisure." 

The old servant, too, having gone off shop- 
ping, Josephine remained alone in the place, and 
after visiting the charming villa from top to bot- 
tom strolled delightedly amid the lovely scenery 
of the park. As she was about to turn 
into a narrow path, she uttered a loud cry. 
Loupart was before her. The leader of the 
Gang of Cyphers had his evil look and savage 

"How goes it?" he cried, then queried, sardon- 
ically: "Which would madame prefer, the pig- 
sticker or the barker?" 


Josephine, in terror, stepped backwards till 
she rested against the trunk of a great tree. 

Loupart carelessly got out his revolver and his 
knife : he seemed to hesitate which weapon to use. 

"Loupart," stammered Josephine, in a choking 
voice, "don't kill me what have I done?" 

The ruffian snarled. 

"Not only do you peach to M. Juve, but you 
let yourself be carried off by the first toff that 
comes along; you don't stick at making me a 
cuckold! That's very well!" 

Josephine fell on her knees in the thick grass. 
Sure enough she had played Loupart false, and 
suddenly a wave of remorse rose in her heart 
She was overcome at the thought that she could 
have endangered her lover even for a moment, 
that she could have informed the police. She 
was honestly maddened by the thought that Lou- 
part had all but been arrested through her fault. 
Yes, he was right in reproaching her, she de- 
served to be punished. As for having wronged 
him, that was not true. She protested with all 
her might against his accusation of unfaithful- 

"I was wrong in listening to the pugilist, in 
coming here, but in spite of appearances Lou- 
part, believe me, I am still worthy of you." 

Loupart shrugged his shoulders. 


"Well, we'll leave that for the moment. Just 
now you are going to obey me without a word 
or protest." 

Josephine's heart stopped; she knew these pre- 
ambles. She tried to turn the conversation. 

"And how did you get here?" 

"How did you get here yourself?" 

"M. Dixon's motor-car." 

"And who tracked you?" 

"Why no one." 

"No one?" jeered the ruffian. "Then what 
was Juve doing in the taxi which was rolling 
after you?" 

Josephine uttered an exclamation of surprise. 
Loupart went on, greatly satisfied with himself: 

"And what was Loupart up to? That crafty 
gentleman was cosily ensconced on the springs be- 
hind the taxi in which the worthy inspector was 

The ruffian was teasing, and that showed he 
was in good humour again. Josephine put her 
arms round his neck and hugged him. 

"It's you that I love and you alone let's go, 
take me away, won't you?" 

Loupart freed himself from the embrace. 

"Since you are at home here the American 
said as much I must see to profiting by it. You 
will stay here till this evening: at five you will be 


at the markets, and so shall I. You won't rec- 
ognise me, but I shall speak to you, and then 
you will tell me exactly where this pugilist locks 
up his swag. I want a full plan of the house, the 
print of the keys, all the usual truck. This eve- 
ning I shall have something new for Juve and 
his crew, an affair in which you will serve me." 

Josephine, panting, did not pay heed to this 
last sentence. She flushed crimson, perspiration 
broke out on her forehead, a great agony tight- 
ened her heart. She, so docile till then, so de- 
voted, suddenly felt an immense scruple, an awful 
shame at the thought of being guilty of what her 
lover demanded. Against any other man, she 
would have obeyed, but to act in that way to- 
ward Dixon, who had treated her so consider- 
ately, she felt was beyond her powers. Here Jo- 
sephine showed herself truly a woman. While 
determined not to be false to Loupart, she would 
not leave the pugilist with an evil memory of her. 
She hesitated to betray him and unwittingly 
proved the truth of the philosopher's dictum: 
"The most honest of women, though unwilling 
to give hope, is never sorry to leave behind her a 

But Loupart was not going to stay discussing 
such subtleties with his mistress. He never gave 
his orders twice. To seal the reconciliation he 


imprinted a hasty kiss on Josephine's cheek and 
vanished. A sound of crackling marked his pas- 
sage through the thickets. Josephine was once 
more alone in the great park around the villa. 

Fandor and Dixon were taking tea in the 
drawing-room. The journalist came, he alleged, 
to interview Dixon about his fight with Joe Sans, 
the negro champion of the Soudan, which was to 
come off next day. After getting various details 
as to weight, diet and other trifles, Fandor in- 
quired with a smile : 

"But to keep in good form, Dixon, you must 
be as sober as a camel, as chaste as a monk, eh?" 

The American smiled. Fandor had told him 
a few moments before that he had seen him sup- 
ping at the "Crocodile" with a pretty woman. 

At Juve's instigation Fandor had alleged a 
sporting interview, in order to get into the Amer- 
ican's house and discover if Josephine was still 
there. He meant to ascertain what the relations 
were between the pugilist and the girl. 

The allusion to that evening loosened the 
American's tongue. Absorbed by the pleasing 
impression which his pretty partner had made on 
him, Dixon began talking on the subject. He 
belonged to that class of men who, when they are 
in love, want the whole world to know it. 


The American set the young woman on such 
a pedestal of innocence and purity that Fandor 
wondered if the pugilist were not laughing at him. 
But Dixon, quite unconscious, did not conceal his 
intention to elope with Josephine and shortly 
take her to America. Suddenly he rose. 

"Come," he said, "I will introduce you to 

Fandor was about to protest, but the Amer- 
ican was already scouring the house and search- 
ing the park, calling: 

"Finette, Mile. Finette, Josephine!" 

Presently he returned, his face distorted, un- 
nerved, dejected, and in a toneless voice he ejacu- 
lated painfully: 

"The pretty little woman has made off without 
a word to me. I am very much grieved!" 

Five minutes later, Fandor jumped into a train 
which took him back to Paris. 


"Juve, IVe been fooled." The journalist 
was resting on the great couch in his friend's 
study, Rue Bonaparte, and wound up with this 
assertion the long account of the fruitless inquiry 
he had made at Dixon's. 

"I'm played out! For two days I haven't 
stopped a minute. After the night at the "Croco- 
dile," which I spent for the most part, as I told 
you, in search of Loupart, yesterday my day 
went in fruitless trips ; my mind is made up ; to- 
night I shall do no more!" 

"A cigarette, Fandor?" 


From the crystal vase where Juve, an invet- 
erate smoker, always -kept an ample stock of to- 
bacco, he chose an Egyptian cigarette. 

"My dear Juve, it is absolutely necessary to 
go again to Sevres and draw a close net round 



Dixon. He needs watching. Isn't that your 

"I'm not sure." 

Juve thought for a few moments, then: 

"After all, what grounds have you for think- 
ing that Dixon should be watched?" 

"Why, any number of reasons." 

"What are they?" 

It was Fandor's turn to be surprised. He had 
given Juve the account of his visit, supposing that 
would bring him to his way of thinking, and now 
Juve doubted Dixon being a suspect. 

"You ask me for particulars. I am going to 
reply with generalisations. Taking it all in all, 
what do we know of Dixon? That he was in a 
certain place and carried off Josephine under our 
very eyes. Hence he is a friend of Josephine's, 
which in itself looks compromising." 

"Oh!" protested Juve. "You arrive at your 
conclusions very quickly, Fandor. Josephine is 
not an honest woman. She may know the type 
of people that haunt the night resorts, yet who, 
for all that, need not be murderers." 

"Then, Juve, how do you account for it that 
during my visit Dixon tricked me and kept me 
from meeting Josephine while making believe to 
look for her? Is not that again a sign of com- 
plicity? Does not that show clearly that Jo- 


sephine, realising that she is suspected in our 
eyes, has decided to evade us?" 

Juve smiled. 

"Fandor, my lad, you are endowed with a pro- 
digious imagination. You impute to Dixon the 
worst intentions without any proof. He got Jo- 
sephine away, you say? What makes you think 
so ? If you did not see her it was due to collusion 
between them both. Why? As far as I can see, 
Josephine simply picked up an old lover of hers at 
the 'Crocodile' and went off with him as natu- 
rally as possible, preferring not to see the arrest 
of Loupart or of Chaleck. I admit that next 
day she simply took French leave of the worthy 
American, and you may be sure he knew noth- 
ing about her going." 

Fandor was silent and Juve resumed: 

"That being so, what can we bring against 
Dixon ? Merely that he knows Josephine." 

"You are right, Juve; perhaps I went too far 
with my deductions, but to speak frankly, I don't 
see clearly what we are to do now. All our 
trails are crossed. Loupart is in flight, Chaleck 
vanished, and as for Josephine, I doubt our find- 
ing her again for ever so long." 

All the while the journalist was speaking, 
Juve had remained leaning against the window, 
watching the passers-by. 


"Fandor, come and see! By the omnibus, 
there. The person who is going to cross." 

The journalist burst out: 

"Well, I'm damned!" 

"You see, Fandor, you must never swear to 

"Well, ain't we going to catch and arrest 

"Why? Do you think her being in this street 
is due to chance? Look, she is crossing; she is 
coming straight here. She is entering the house. 
I tell you in a few moments Josephine will have 
climbed my stairs and will be seated cosily in this 
armchair, which I get ready and set full in the 

Fandor could not get over his astonishment. 

"Did you make an appointment with her?" 

"Not at all." 

Jean, the detective's servant, came into the 
room and announced: 

"There is a lady waiting in the sitting-room. 
She would not give her name." 

"Show her in, Jean." 

A few moments later Josephine entered. 

"Good day, Mademoiselle," cried Juve in a 
cordial tone. "What fresh news have you to tell 

Loupart's mistress stood in the middle of the 


room, somewhat taken aback. But Juve set her 
at ease. 

"Sit down, Josephine. You mustn't mind my 
friend Fandor. He has just been telling me 
about your friend Dixon." 

"You know him, sir?" 

"A little," said Fandor. "And you, Mademoi- 
selle, have been seeing something of him lately?" 

"I happened to meet him at the 'Crocodile.' ' 

"And took a liking to him?" 

"We took a liking to each other." She turned 
to Juve. "I suppose you distrust me for giving 
you the slip with another man?' r 

Juve smiled. "You found a good companion 
and forgot us. There is really nothing to be 
angry about. Now, won't you tell us what brings 
you here?" 

"Yes, but M. Juve, you must swear to me that 
you will never repeat what I am going to tell 

"It is very serious then?" 

"M. Juve, I am going to put you in the way of 
arresting Loupart." 

"You are very kind, my dear Josephine, but 
if the attempt is to succeed no better than that 
we made at the 'Crocodile' " 

"No, no, this time you'll be sure to nab him. 
Day after to-morrow at 2 o'clock, Loupart is 


going with some of his gang to Nogent, 7 Rue 
des Charmilles. He has a job there under way." 

Juve laughed. "They've been fooling you, Jo- 
sephine. Isn't that your view, Fandor? Do you 
think that Loupart would try a stroke in broad 

Josephine gave more details, eager to persuade 

"There will be fifteen of them outside a little 
house whose tenants are away. Some of them 
will make a crowd to help their mates in case of 
danger. The Beard is to be in it, too." 

"And Loupart?" 

"Yes, Loupart, I tell you. He will wear a 
black mask by which you can identify him." 

"Very well, if we have nothing better to do 
we will take a trip to Nogent day after to-mor- 
row; eh, Fandor?" 

"As you like, Juve." 

"Only, remember this, my dear Josephine, if 
you are putting up a game on us you'll be sorry 
for it. There is a way, to be sure, in which you 
can prove your good faith. Be at Nogent Station 
at half-past one. If we find Loupart where you 
say he will be, we shall arrest him; if we don't 
find him " 

The detective paused, significantly. 

"You will nab him. Only we mustn't look as 


if we met by appointment. No one must suspect 
that I gave you the tip." 

Hereupon, Josephine started to go. Her ma- 
noeuvre had succeeded, and Loupart's business 
would go ahead safely. She turned at the door 
and nodded, looking at Fandor. 

"Another thing; Loupart doesn't love you; you 
had better be on your guard." 

Juve turned thoughtfully to Fandor: 

"Strange! Is this woman playing with us, or 
is she in earnest, and how she looked at you 
when telling us to be on our guard!" 



"Hullo! Hullo!" 

Waking with a start, Juve rushed to the tele- 
phone. It was already broad daylight, but the 
detective had gone to bed very late and had been 
sleeping profoundly. 

"Yes, it's I, Juve. The Surete? It's you, M. 
Havard? Yes, I am free. Oh! That's strange. 
No signs? I understand. Count on me. I'll go 
there and keep you informed." 

Juve dressed in haste, went down to the street 
and hailed a taxi. 

"To Sevres, the foot of the hill at Bellevue, 
and look sharp about it!" 

Juve left his taxi-cab, and mounted the slope 
on foot to the elegant villa inhabited by Dixon. 
All was quiet, and if he had not had word, the 
detective would have doubted that he was close 



to the scene of a crime, or at least of an at- 
tempted one. 

Scarcely had he entered the grounds when a 
sergeant came toward him and saluted. Juve 

"What has happened?" 

"M. Dixon is resting just now, and the doctor 
has forbidden the least noise." 

"Is his condition serious?" 

"I think not from what Doctor Plassin says." 

"Now, Sergeant, tell me everything from the 

The sergeant drew Juve to the arbour, where 
a policeman was seated making out a report. 
Juve took the paper and read: 

"We, the undersigned, Dubois, Sergeant in the second 
squad of foot-police, quartered at Sevres, together with 
Constable Verdier, received this morning, June 28th, at 
6.35 from M. Olivetti, a business man, living in Bellevue, 
the following declaration: 

" 'Having left my home at 6.15 and being on 
the way to the State Railway to take the 6.42 
train, by which I go every day to my work, I was 
passing the slopes of .Bellevue, when, being level 
with Brimborion Park, a little short of the villa 
number 16, which I hear belongs to M. Dixon, 
an American pugilist, I heard a revolver shot 


followed by the noise of breaking glass, the 
pieces falling on to a hard ground, most likely 

" 'Having halted for a moment through cau- 
tion, I looked to see if anyone was hiding near by. 
I saw nothing but heard three more revolver 
shots in quick succession, seeming to come from 
Dixon's house. After some minutes I went near 
the house and ascertained that the panes of the 
window on the right side of the front were 
broken, and the pieces strewed the asphalt ter- 
race in front of the house. 

" 'I made up my mind to ring, but no one 
opened the door. I then thought that some 
prowlers had amused themselves by making a 
shindy, and I was about to continue to the train 
when I thought I heard faint cries coming from 
the inside of the house. Then, fearing there was 
a mishap or a crime, I ran to the police station 
and made the above statement in presence of the 
sergeant.' " 

Juve turned to the sergeant, who gave further 

"Constable Verdier and I immediately has- 
tened here. We reached the terrace of the 
house, but there we came to a closed door we 
could not break in. Having shouted loudly we 
were answered by groans and cries for help 
which came from the room on the first floor of 


which the windows were broken. We then got a 
ladder and climbed up. I passed my hand inside 
and worked the hasp of the window. We went 
in and found ourselves in a bedroom in apple- 
pie order and in which nothing appeared to have 
been disarranged. 

"And on a second inspection?" queried Juve. 

"I went to the far end of the room and found 
stretched on the bed a man in undress, who 
seemed a prey to violent pains. I learned after- 
wards that this was M. Dixon, the tenant of the 
house. He could scarcely utter a word or move. 
His shoulders and arms were out of the clothes, 
and I could discern that the skin of his chest and 
shoulders bore traces of blood effusion. On a 
bracket to the right of the bed lay a revolver, the 
six cartridges of which had been recently fired." 

"Ah!" cried Juve. "And then?" 

"I thought the first thing to do was to call in 
a doctor. M. Olivetti consented to go and call 
Doctor Plassin, who lives near by. Five minutes 
later the doctor came, and I took advantage of 
his presence to send my man to the Station." 

"Have you been over the house?" 

"Not yet, Inspector, but nothing will be easier, 
for in turning out the pockets of the victim's 
clothes we found his bunch of keys." 

"To bring the doctor into the house, you must 


have opened the door to him, and therefore had 
a glimpse of the other rooms in the house, the 
lobby, the staircase?" 

The sergeant shook his head. 

"No, Inspector. We went up the ladder. I 
tried to get out of the door of M. Dixon's room, 
but found it was locked. This seemed strange, 
for the assailant presumably entered by the door." 

"By the by, Sergeant, are there no servants 
here? The place seems deserted." 

Constable Verdier put in his word: 

"The American lives here alone except for an 
old charwoman who comes in before nine. She 
will probably be here in half an hour, for she 
can have no idea of what has happened." 

"Good," said Juve. "You will let me know 
as soon as she comes ; wait for her in the garden. 
As for us," and he turned to the sergeant, "let 
us make our way inside." 

The two, armed with Dixon's keys, opened 
without difficulty the main entrance door to the 
ground floor. There they found nothing out of 
the way, but on reaching the first floor, the marks 
of some one's passage was clearly visible. 

The door of a lumber room stood wide open, 
and on its floor sheets of paper, letters and docu- 
ments lay scattered about. Juve took a candle 
and, after a brief investigation, exclaimed: 


"They were after the strong box." 

A large steel safe, built into the wall, had 
been burst open, and the workman-like manner in 
which it had been done showed clearly the hand 
of an expert. Juve carefully examined the floor, 
picked up two or three papers that had evidently 
been trodden on, took some measurements which 
he jotted down in his note-book, and, without tell- 
ing the sergeant his conclusions, went downstairs 
again, paying no heed to the next room in which 
Dixon lay, watched over by Doctor Plassin. 

Verdier, who was mounting guard before the 
house, came forward and said: 

"Mr. Inspector, the doctor says M. Dixon is 
awake. Do you care to see him?" 

Juve at once had the ladder put to the first 
story window and made his way into the pugilist's 
room. The men's description was correct. No 
disorder reigned in the chamber, at the far end 
of which, on a great brass bed, a sturdy individ- 
ual, his face worn with suffering, lay stretched. 

In two words Juve introduced himself to the 
doctor; then expressed his sorrow for Dixon's 

"These are only contusions, M. Juve. Serious 
enough, but nothing more. By the by, M. Dixon 
may congratulate himself upon owning muscles 
of exceptional vigour. Otherwise, from the grip 


he must have undergone, his body would be no 
more than a shapeless pulp." 

Juve pricked up his ears. He had heard be- 
fore of bones snapped and broken under a strain 
that neither flesh nor muscle could resist. The 
mysterious death of Lady Beltham at once oc- 
curred to his memory. 

"Mr. Dixon, you will tell me all the details 
of the tragic night you have passed through. 
You probably dined in Paris last evening?" 

The sick man replied in a fairly firm voice: 

"No, sir, I dined at home alone." 

"Is that your usual habit?" 

"No, sir, but between five and seven I had 
been training hard for my match which was to 
have come off to-morrow with Joe Sans." 

"Do you think your opponent would have been 
capable of trying to injure you to keep you out 
of the ring?" 

"No, Joe Sans is a good sportsman; besides, 
he lives at Brussels, and isn't due in Paris till 

"And after dinner, what did you do?" 

"I fastened the shutters and doors, came up 
here and undressed." 

"Are you in the habit of bolting yourself into 
your room?" 

"Yes, I lock my door every evening." 


"What time was it when you went to bed?" 

"Ten at latest." 

"And then?" 

"Then I went fast asleep, but in the middle of 
the night I was waked by a strange noise. It 
sounded like a scratching at my door. I gave a 
shout and banged my fist on the partition." 

"Why?" asked Juve, surprised. 

The American explained: 

"I thought the scratching came from rats, and 
I simply made a noise to frighten them away. 
Then, the sound having ceased, I fell asleep 

"And afterwards?" 

"I was waked again by the sound of stealthy 
footsteps on the landing of the first floor." 

"This time you went to see?" 

"I meant to do so, I was about to get up. I 
had put out my arm to get my matches and re- 
volver, when suddenly I felt a weight on my bed 
and then I was corded, bound like a sausage, my 
arms tight to my body! For ten minutes I 
struggled with all the power of my muscles 
against a frightful and mysterious grip which 
continually grew tighter." 

"A lasso!" suggested Doctor Plassin in a low 

"Were you able to determine the nature of 


the thing that was gripping you?" asked Juve. 

"I don't know. I remember feeling at the 
touch of the thing a marked sensation of damp- 
ness and cold." 

"A wetted lasso, exactly. A rope dipped in 
water tautens of itself," remarked the doctor. 

"You had to make a great effort to prevent 
being crushed or broken?" 

"A more than human effort, Mr. Inspector, as 
the doctor has witnessed; if I had not mus- 
cles of steel and exceptional strength I should 
have been flattened." 

"Good good," applauded Juve. "That's ex- 
actly itl" 

"Really! You think so?" queried the Ameri- 
can with a touch of sarcasm. 

Juve smilingly apologised. His approval 
meant no more than that the statements of the 
victim coincided with the theories he had formed. 
And indeed he saw clearly in the unsuccessful at- 
tempt on the American and the achieved killing 
of Lady Beltham a common way of going to 
work, the same process. Undoubtedly the Ameri- 
can owed it to his robust physique that he got off 
but slightly scathed, whereas the hapless woman 
had been totally crushed. 

The similarity of the two crimes allowed Juve 
to make further inductions. He reckoned that it 


was not by chance that Dlxon had met Josephine 
at the "Crocodile" two nights before, while the 
presence of both Chaleck and Loupart in that 
establishment was still less accidental. And al- 
ready he felt pleased at the thought that he 
knew almost to a certainty the villains to whom 
this fresh crime must be ascribed. They had 
wanted to get rid of Dixon, that was sure, and 
by a process still unknown to Juve, but which 
he would soon discover. They had rendered 
the pugilist helpless while they were robbing 

"Had you a large sum of money in your safe?" 
he asked. 

The American gave a violent start. 

"They've burgled me! Tell me, sir, tell me 

Juve nodded in the affirmative. Dixon stam- 
mered feebly: 

"Four thousand pounds! They've taken four 
thousand pounds from me! I received the sum 
a few days ago!" 

"Gently, gently!" observed the doctor. "You 
will make yourself feverish and I shall have to 
stop the interview." 

Juve put in: 

"I only want a few moments more, doctor. It 
is important." Then, turning to Dixon, he re- 


sumed: "How did your struggle with the mys- 
terious pressure end?" 

"After about ten minutes I felt my bands re- 
laxing. In a short while I was free; I heard no 
more, but suffered such great pain that I fell back 
in bed and either slept or fainted." 

"Then you did not get up at all?" 


"And the door of your room to the landing re- 
mained locked all night?" 

"Yes, all night." 

"How about this broken glass in your window? 
Those revolver shots at six in the morning?" 

"It was I, firing from my bed to make a noise 
and bring some one here." 

"I thought as much," said Juve, as he went 
down on all fours and proceeded to examine the 
carpeting of the room between the bed and the 
door, a distance of some seven feet. The carpet, 
of very close fabric, afforded no trace, but on a 
white bearskin rug the detective noted in places 
tufts of hair glued together as if something moist 
and sticky had passed over it. He cut off one 
of these tufts and shut it carefully in his pocket- 
book. He then went to the door which was hid- 
den by a velvet curtain. He could not suppress 
a cry of amazement. In the lower panel of the 
door a round hole had been made about six or 


eight inches in diameter. It was four inches 
above the floor, and might have been made for 
a cat. 

"Did you have that hole made in the door?" 
asked Juve. 

"No. I don't know what it is," replied the 

"Neither do I," rejoined Juve, "but I have an 
idea." Doctor Plassin was jubilant. 

"There you are!" he cried. "A lasso! And 
it was thrust in by that hole." 

Through the window, Verdier called: 

"M. Inspector, the charwoman is coming." 

Juve looked at his watch. 

"Half-past nine. I will see her in a minute." 



"Twelve o'clock! Hang it! I've just time 
to get there to keep my engagement with Jose- 

Juve was going down Belleville hill as fast as 
his legs could take him by a short cut past the 
Sevres school. He cast a mocking glance toward 
the little police station which stands smart and 
trim at one side of the high road. 

"Pity," he murmured, "that I can't escort my 
friends to that delightful country house." 

Then he hastened his pace still more. He was 
growing angry. 

"I told Fandor to be at Nogent Station exactly 
at 1.30. It is now five past twelve and I am still 
at Sevres. Matters are getting complicated. Oh, 
I'll take the tramway to Versailles' gate. From 
there I'll drive to Nogent Station in a taxi." 

He put this plan into execution, and was lucky 


enough to find a place in the Louvre- Versailles' 

"All things considered, I have not wasted my 
morning. Poor Dixon ! He was lucky to get off 
so cheaply. It would seem now that Josephine 
told the truth in saying he is not an accomplice 
of the Gang." 

Juve reflected a while, then added: 

"Only it looks as if that accursed Josephine 
had put her friends up to the job." 

At the St. Cloud gate the tram came to a stop 
and Juve got down, hailed a taxi, and told the 
driver : 

"To Nogent Station and look sharp. I'm in a 
terrible hurry." 

The driver nodded assent, Juve got in, and 
the vehicle started. The taxi had hardly been 
going five minutes when Juve became impatient. 

"Go quicker, my man! Don't you know how 
to drive?" 

The man replied, nettled: 

"I don't want to get run in for breaking the 

Juve laughed. 

"Never mind the regulations, I'm from Police 

The magical word took effect. From that mo- 
ment, heedless of the frantic signals of policemen, 


the driver tore along at full speed and reached 
the square in front of Nogent Station. 

"It is only 1.45 Fandor should just have got 

Juve, indeed, had only just settled with his 
driver when Fandor popped up from the waiting- 

"Well, Juve! Anything fresh this morning?" 

The detective smiled. 

"Any number of things. But I'll tell you 
later. Where is Josephine?" 

"Not here yet." 

"The deuce!" 

"That confirms my suspicions; eh, Juve?" 

"Somewhat. I should be astonished if we did 
see her." 

The detective led the journalist away, and the 
two went for a turn beside the railway-line on 
the deserted boulevard. 

"Fandor, this is the time to draw up a plan of 
action. Do you remember the directions Jose- 
phine gave us?" 


"Well, we are now going to the neighbour- 
hood of the Rue des Charmilles. It is number 7 
that Loupart and his gang are to loot, according 
to Josephine. Yesterday afternoon I sent my 
men to look at the street; this is how they de- 


scribed it to me. It is a sort of lane with no 
issue; the house which we are concerned with is 
the last, standing on the right. It is a lodge of 
humble aspect, the tenants of which are really 
away. There are not many people living in this 
Charmilles Lane, and the place is well chosen for 
such a job, at least that is Michel's opinion. 

"Oh, I forgot one thing, round the house is a 
fairly large garden of which the walls are luck- 
ily high. So it is likely that even if the burglars 
should discover our presence they could not get 
off the back way." 

"And what is your plan of action, Juve?" 

"A very simple one. We are going to the 
entry of the Rue Charmilles and wait there. 
When our men come up with us I shall try to 
pick out Loupart and fly at his throat. There 
will be a struggle, no doubt, but in the meantime 
you must bellow with all your might: 'Murder' 
and 'Help.' I trust that succour will reach us." 

"Then you haven't any plain-clothes men 

"No. I don't want to let my superiors know 
about this expedition." 

The two men went forward some paces in si- 
lence along an empty side street, till Juve halted 
in a shady corner and drew out his Browning, 
carefully seeing to the magazine. 


"Do as I do, Fandor"; he prepared for a tus- 
sle. "I smell powder in the air." 

Juve was about to start forward again when 
suddenly a tremendous uproar broke out : "Help ! 

Juve seized Fandor by the arm. 

"Take the left-hand pavement!" 

The two had just reached the corner of the 
street where the house spoken of by Josephine 
should stand, when a jostling crowd of people 
came in sight, rushing toward them, uttering 
shouts and yells. Juve and Fandor recognised 
a man fleeing at full speed in front of them, 
whose face was hidden by a black mask! Behind 
him two other men were running, also masked, 
but with grey velvet. In the crowd following 
were grocers' assistants, workmen of all kinds, 
even a Nogent policeman. 

"Help! Murder! Arrest him!" 

The fleeing man was threatening his pursuers 
with an enormous revolver. 

"Look out!" shouted Juve. "Loupart is mine! 
You tackle the others!" 

But suddenly catching sight of the detective 
Loupart slackened his pace. 

"Get out of the way!" he cried, flourishing 
his revolver. 

"Stop, or I fire!" returned Juve. 


"Fire then! I, too, shall fire!" And, leaping 
toward the detective, the outlaw pointed his re- 
volver at him and fired twice. 

With a quick movement Juve leaped aside. 
The bullets must have brushed him, but luckily 
he was not touched. The plucky detective again 
flung himself on Loupart, seized him by the col- 
lar and tried to throw him down. 

"Let me go! I'll do for you " 

For a moment Juve felt the cold muzzle of 
the weapon on his neck. Then, with a supreme 
effort, he forced the outlaw's hands down and, 
aiming his revolver, fired. 

"Help! I I " 

A gush of blood welled up from the ruffian's 
collar. He turned twice, and then fell heavily 
on the ground. 

In the meantime Fandor was struggling with 
the two men in the grey masks. Juve was about 
to go to his assistance, when the crowd now 
made a rush and the detective became the central 
point of a furious encounter: blows and kicks 
rained on him. He succumbed to numbers. 

It was now Fandor's turn to help his friend, 
and he was about to join the fight when he stood 
rooted to the spot in utter amazement A little 
beyond the groups of struggling men he caught 
sight of an individual standing beside a tripod 


on which was placed a contrivance he did not at 
once identify. The man seemed greatly amused, 
and was watching the scene laughing and show- 
ing no desire to intervene. 

"Very good! Very good! That will make a 
splendid film!" 

Fandor understood 

His head bandaged and his arm in a sling, 
Juve was replying in a shaky voice to the Su- 
perintendent of Police of Nogent. 

"No, Superintendent, I realised nothing. It is 
monstrous ! I asked in the most perfect good faith. 
I did not fire till I had been fired at three times." 

"You didn't notice the strange get-up of the 
burglars? And of the policemen? Of that 
poor actor, Bonardin, you half killed?" 

Juve shook his head. 

"I hadn't time to notice details. I want you 
to understand, Superintendent, how things came 
about, to realise how the trap was laid for me. . . . 
I came to Nogent, assured that I was about to 
face dangerous ruffians. I was to encounter 
them at such an hour, in such a street. I was 
given their description: they would have their 
faces masked and come out of a certain house. 
And it all happened as described. I hadn't gone 
ten paces in the said street when sure enough I 
saw people rushing toward me bawling 'Help.' 


I recognised men in masks: had I time to look 
at the details of their costumes? Certainly not! 
I spring at the throat of the fugitive. He has a 
revolver and fires. How could I know the 
weapon was only loaded blank? He, an actor in 
a cinematograph scene, takes me for another, act- 
ing the part of a policeman. He fires at me and 
I retaliate." 

"And you half kill him." 

"For which I am exceedingly sorry. But noth- 
ing could lead me to suspect a trap." 

"It's lucky you didn't wound anyone else. 
How did matters end?" 

"The actors, naturally enough, were furious 
with me, and I was being roughly handled when 
the real policemen arrived and rescued me. All 
was explained when I brought out my card of 
identity. While they were taking me to the sta- 
tion, the actor Bonardin was being carried to the 
nearest house, a convent, I believe." 

"Yes, the Convent of the Ladies of St. Clotilde." 

The trap had been well devised, and Juve was 
not wrong in saying that anyone in his place 
would have been take'n in by it. And so while 
the detective was detained at the station, Fandor, 
after a long and minute interrogation, returned 
to Paris in a state of deep dejection. 



In the Place d'Anvers, Fandor was passing 
Rokin College. He heard some one calling him. 

"Monsieur Fandor! Monsieur Fandor!" 

It was Josephine, breathless and panting, her 
bright eyes glowing with joy. 

Fandor turned, astonished. 

"What is up?" 

Josephine paused a second, then taking Fan- 
dor's hand familiarly drew him into the square, 
which at this time of day was almost de- 

"Oh, it's something out of the common, I can 
assure you. I am going to astonish you!" 

"You've done that already. The mere sight 
of you " 

"You thought I was arrested, didn't you?" 

Fandor nodded. 

"Well, it's your Juve who is jugged!" 



Contrary to Josephine's expectation, Fandor 
did not appear very astonished. 

"Come now, Miss Josephine, that's a likely 
tale! Juve arrested? On what grounds?" 

Josephine began an incoherent story. 

"I tell you they squabbled like rag-pickers! 
'You make justice ridiculous,' shouted Fuselier. 
'No one has the right to commit such blunders !' 
Well, they kept going on like that for a quarter 
of an hour. And then Fuselier rang and two 
Municipal guards came and he said: 'Arrest that 
man there!' pointing to Juve. And your friend 
the detective was obliged to let them do it. 
Only as he left the room he gave Fuselier such a 
look! Believe me, between those two it is war 
to the death from now." 

When she had ended Fandor asked in a calm 
voice : 

"And how did you get away, Josephine?" 

"Oh, M. Fuselier was very nice. 'It's you 
again?' said he when he saw me. 'To be sure it 
is,' answered I, 'and I'm glad to meet you again, 
M. Magistrate.' Then he began to hold forth 
about the cinema business. I told him what I 
knew about it, what I told you. Loupart stuffed 
me up with his tale of a trap. As sure as my 
name's Josephine I believed what my lover told 



Fandor gave her a penetrating glance. 

"And how about the Dixon business?" 

Josephine coloured, and said in a low tone: 

"Oh, the Dixon business, as to that we are 
very good pals, Dixon and I. Just fancy, I went 
to see him yesterday afternoon. He has taken a 
fancy to me. He promised to keep me in luxury. 
Ah, if I dared," sighed the girl. 

"You would do well to leave Loupart." 

"Leave Loupart? Especially now that Juve is 
in quod, Loupart will be the King of Paris !" 

"Do you think your lover will attach much 
weight to the arrest of Juve? Won't he fancy 
it's a put-up job?" 

"A put-up job! How could it be? Why, I 
saw with my two eyes Juve led away with the 
bracelets on his wrists." 

The growing hubbub of the newsboys crying 
the evening papers drew near the Place d'An- 
vers. Instinctively Fandor, followed by Jose- 
phine, went toward them. On the boulevard he 
bought a paper. 

"There you see!" cried Josephine triumphant- 
ly. "Here it is in print, so it is true!" 

In scare headlines appeared this notice 
"Amazing development in the affair of the Out- 
laws of La Chapelle. Detective Juve under lock 
and key." 


Fandor, when he met Josephine in the Place 
d'Anvers, was on his way to the Rue des Abesses 
where Bonardin occupied a nice little suite of 
three rooms, tastefully decorated and comfortably 

The actor had his shoulder in plaster Juve's 
bullet had broken his clavicle, but the doctor de- 
clared that with a few days' rest he would be 
quite well again. 

"M. Fandor, I am very sorry for what is hap- 
pening to M. Juve. Do you think if I were to 
declare my intention not to proceed against 
him " 

Fandor cut his companion short. 

"Let justice take its course, M. Bonardin. 
There will always be time later on." 

Although M. Bonardin was only twenty-five, 
he was beginning to have some reputation. By 
hard work he had come rapidly to the front, and 
was fast gaining a position among the best inter- 
preters of modern comedy. 

"My dream," he exclaimed to Fandor, "is one 
day to attain to the fame of my masters, of such 
men as Tazzide, Gemier, Valgrand and Du- 

"You knew Valgrand?" asked Fandor. 

Bonardin smiled. 

"Why, we were great friends. When I first 


made my appearance at the theatre, after the 
Conservatoire, Valgrand was my model, my mas- 
ter. You certainly don't recollect it, M. Fandor, 
but I played the lover in the famous play 'La 
Toche Sanglante,' for which Valgrand had made 
himself up exactly like Gurn, the murderer of 
Lord Beltham. You must have heard of the 

Fandor pretended to tax his memory. 

"Why, to be sure I do recall certain incidents, 
but won't you refresh my memory?" 

Bonardin asked no better than to chatter. 

"Valgrand, on the first night of his presenta- 
tion of Gurn,* was quite worn out and left the 
theatre very late. He did not come again! For 
the second performance, his understudy took his 
part. The following day they sent to Valgrand's 
rooms; he had not been there for two days. The 
third day from the 'first night' Valgrand came 
among us again." 

"Pray go on, you interest me immensely I" 

"Valgrand came back, but he had gone mad. 
He managed to get to his dressing-room after 
taking the wrong door. 'I don't know a single 
word of my part,' he confessed to me. I com- 
forted him as best I could, but he flung himself 
down on his couch and shook his head helplessly 

* See "Fantomas." 


at me. 'I have been very ill, Bonardin,' then 
suddenly he demanded: 'Where is Chariot?' 

"Chariot was his dresser. I remembered now 
that Chariot had not returned to the theatre since 
his master's disappearance. His body was found 
later in the Rue Messier. He ha'd been mur- 
dered. I did not want to mention this to him 
for fear it might upset him still more, so I ad- 
vised my old friend to wait for me till the end 
of the play and let me keep him company. I 
intended to take him home and fetch a doctor. 
Valgrand assented readily. I was then obliged 
to leave him hurriedly: they were calling me 
it was my cue. When I returned Valgrand had 
vanished: he had left the theatre. We were not 
to see him again!" 

"A sad affair," commented Fandor. 

Bonardin continued his narrative: 

"Shortly afterwards in a deserted house in the 
Rue Messier, near Boulevard Arago, the police 
found the body of a murdered man. The corpse 
was easily identified; it was that of Chariot, Val- 
grand's dresser." 

"How did he come there? The house had no 
porter: the owner, an old peasant, knew noth- 

"Well, what do you conclude from this?" 
asked Fandor. 


"My theory is that Valgrand murdered his 
dresser, for some reason unknown to us. Then, 
overcome by his crime, he went mad and com- 
mitted suicide. Of that there is no doubt." 

"Oh!" muttered Fandor, a little taken aback 
by this unexpected assertion. 

The journalist, though he had closely followed 
the actor's account, was far from drawing the 
same conclusions. For in fact, Gurn, Lord Bel- 
tham's murderer, whom Fandor believed to be 
Fantomas, had certainly got Valgrand executed 
in his stead. The Valgrand who came back to 
the theatre, three days after the execution, was 
not the real one, but the man who had taken his 
place Gurn, the criminal, Gurn Fantomas. 
Ah ! that was a stroke of the true Fantomas sort ! 
It was certain that if Valgrand's disappearance 
had been simultaneous with Gurn's execution, 
there might have been suspicions. Gurn Fanto- 
mas then found it necessary to show Valgrand 
living to witnesses, so that these could swear that 
the real Valgrand had not died instead of Gurn. 

But Valgrand was an actor, Gurn Fantomas 
was not! Not enough of one at least. to venture 
to take the place on the boards of such a con- 
summate player, such a famous tragedian. 

"And that was the end?" asked Fandor. 

"The end, no!" declared the actor. "Val- 


grand was married and had a son. As is often 
the case with artists, the Valgrand marriage was 
not a success, and madame, a singer of talent, 
was separated from her husband, and travelled 
much abroad. 

"About a year after these sad occurrences I 
had a visit from her. On her way through 
Paris, she had come to draw the allowance made 
her by her husband, to supply not only her own 
wants, but also those of her son, of whom she 
had the custody. Mme. Valgrand chatted with 
me for hours together. I recounted to her at 
length what I have had the honour of telling you, 
and it seemed to me that she gave no great cre- 
dence to my words. 

"Not that she threw doubts on my statements, 
but she kept reiterating, 'That is not like him; I 
know Valgrand would never have behaved in 
such a way!' 

"But I never could get her to say exactly what 
she thought. Some weeks after this first visit I 
saw her again. Matters were getting compli- 
cated. There was no certificate of her husband's 
death. Her men of business made his 'absence' a 
pretext: she no longer drew a cent of her allow- 
ance, and yet people knew that Valgrand had left 
a pretty large amount, and it was in the bank or 
with a lawyer, I forget which. You are aware, 


M. Fandor, that when the settling of accounts, 
or questions of inheritance or wills, come to the 
fore there is no end to them." 

"That's a fact," replied Fandor. 

"We must believe," went on Bonardin, "that 
the matter was important in Mme. Valgrand's 
eyes, for she refused fine offers from abroad, and 
planted herself in Paris, living on her savings. 
The good woman evidently had a double object, 
to recover the inheritance for her son, little 
Rene, and also to get at the truth touching her 
husband's fate. 

"She evidently cherished the hope that her 
husband was not guilty of the dresser's murder, 
that perhaps he was not even dead, that he would 
get over his madness if ever they managed to find 
him. In short, M. Fandor, some six or seven 
months ago, when I had quite ceased to think of 
these events, I found myself face to face with 
Mme. Valgrand on the Boulevard. I had some 
difficulty in recognising her, for my friend's 
widow was no longer dressed like the Parisian 
smart woman. Her hair was plastered down 
and drawn tightly back, her garments were plain 
and humble, her dress almost neglected. No 
doubt the poor woman had experienced cruel dis- 

" 'Good day, Mme. Valgrand,' I cried, mov- 


ing toward her with outstretched hands. She 
stopped me with a gesture. 

" 'Hush,' she breathed, 'there is no Mme. Val- 
grand now. I am a companion.' And the un- 
happy woman explained that to earn her living 
she had to accept an inferior position as reader 
and housekeeper to a rich lady." 

"And to whom did Mme. Valgrand go as com- 

"To an Englishwoman, I believe, but the name 
escapes me." 

"Mme. Valgrand wished, you say, that her 
identity should remain unkown? Do you know 
what name she took?" 

"Yes Mme. Raymond." 

Some moments later Fandor left the actor and 
was hastening down the Rue Lepic as fast as his 
legs would take him. 



"The Mother Superior, if you please?" 

The door shut automatically upon Fandor. 
He was in the little inner court of the small con- 
vent, face to face with a Sister, who gazed in 
alarm at the unexpected guest. The journalist 

"Can I see the Mother Superior?" 

"Well, sir, yes no, I think not." 

The worthy nun evidently did not know what 
to say. Finally making up her mind she pointed 
to a passage, and, drawing aside to let the jour- 
nalist pass, said: 

"Be good enough to go In there and wait a 
few moments." 

Fandor was ushered into a large, plain and 
austere room doubtless the parlour of the com- 
munity. At the windows hung long, white cur- 
tains, while before the half-dozen armchairs lay 



tiny rugs of matting; the floor, very waxed, was 
slippery to the tread. The journalist regarded 
curiously the walls upon which were hung here 
and there religious figures or chromos of an edi- 
fying kind. Above the chimney hung a great 
crucifix of ebony. But for the noise from with- 
out, the passing of the trains and motors, and 
were it not also for the fine savour of cooking 
and roast onions, one might have thought one- 
self a hundred leagues from the world in the peace- 
ful calm of this little convent. 

Fandor, on leaving Bonardin, had decided to 
fulfill without delay a pious mission given him by 
Juve's victim. 

Taken in at the time of his accident by the 
Sisters of the Rue Charmille, Bonardin had re- 
ceived from them the first aid his condition re- 
quired, and as he had left them without a word 
of thanks, he had begged Fandor to return and 
hand them on his behalf a fifty-franc bill for 
their poor. 

After some minutes the door opened and a nun 
appeared. She greeted Fandor with a slight 
movement of the head; while the journalist bowed 
deferentially before her. 

"Have I the honour of speaking to the Mother 

"Our Mother sends her excuses," murmured 


the nun, "for not being able to receive you at 
this moment. However, I can take her place, sir. 
I am in charge of the finances of the house." 

"I bring you news, Sister." 

The nun clasped her hands. 

"Good news, I hope ! How is the poor young 
man doing?" 

"As well as can be expected; the ball was ex- 
tracted without trouble by the doctors." 

"I shall thank St. Comus, the patron saint of 
surgeons. And his assailant? Surely he will be 
well punished?" 

Fandor smiled. 

"His assailant was the victim of a terrible mis- 
conception. He is a most upright man." 

"Then I will pray to St. Yves, the patron saint 
of advocates, to get him out of his difficulty." 

"Well," cried Fandor, "since you have so many 
saints at command, Sister, you would do well to 
point out to me one who might favour the efforts 
of the police in their struggle with the ruffians." 

The nun was a woman of sense who under- 
stood a joke. She rejoined: "You might try St. 
George, sir, the patron saint of warriors." Then 
becoming serious again, the Sister made an end 
of the interview. "Our Mother Superior will be 
much touched, sir, when I report the kind step you 
have taken in coming here to us." 


"Allow me, Sister," broke in Fandor, "my mis- 
sion is not over yet." 

Here the journalist discreetly proffered the 

"This is from M. Bonardin, for your poor." 

The nun was profuse in her thanks, and look- 
ing at Fandor with a touch of malice : 

"You may perhaps smile, sir, if I say I shall 
thank St. Martin, the patron saint of the char- 
itable. In any case I shall do it with my whole 

The soft sound of a bell came from the dis- 
tance ; the Sister instinctively turned her head and 
looked through the windows at the inner cloister 
of the convent. 

"The bell calls you, no doubt, Sister?" he in- 

"It is, indeed, the hour of Vespers." 

Fandor, followed by the Sister, left the par- 
lour and reached the outer gate. Already the 
porter was about to open it for him when he 
pulled up short. Moving at a measured pace, 
one behind the other, the ladies of the community 
crossed the courtyard, going toward the chapel 
at the far end of the garden. 

"Sister," Fandor inquired anxiously, "who is 
that nun who walks at the head?" 

"That is our holy Mother Superior." 


Fandor was lucky enough to find a taxi as he 
left the little convent, into which he jumped: he 
was immersed in such deep reflections that when 
the taxi stopped he was quite surprised to find 
himself in Rue Bonaparte, when he had meant 
to go up to Bonardin's and expected to reach 

"Where did I tell you to go?" he asked the 

The man looked at his fare in amazement: 

"To the address you gave me, I suppose." 

Fandor did not reply, but paid his fare. 

"Heaven inspires me," he thought. "To be 
sure I wanted to see Bonardin to tell him I had 
done his commission, but it was to prove I should 
have gone after what I found out at the con- 

The journalist remained motionless on the 
pavement without seeming to feel the jostling 
of the passers-by. He stood there with his eyes 
fixed on the ground, his mind lost in a dream. 
He had unconsciously gone back several years, 
to his mysterious childhood, stormy and restless. 
He went over again in thought, this last affair, 
which had once more brought him so intimately 
into Juve's life: the abominable crime in the Cite 
Frochot, in which Chaleck and Loupart were in- 
volved, and behind them Fantomas the crime of 


which the victim as Juve had clearly established 
was no other than Lady 

He quickly entered the house and rushed up 
the stairs, but halted on the landing. 

"What have I come here for? If I am to 
believe the papers, Juve is under lock and key: 
It must be instinct that guides me. I feel that I 
am going to see Juve: besides, I must." 

He did not ring, for he enjoyed the unique 
favour of a key which allowed him to enter 
Juve's place at will. He entered and went 
straight to the study: it was empty. He then 
cried out: 

"Juve! Many things have happened since I 
had the pleasure of seeing you ! Be good enough 
to let me into your office. I have two words to 
say to you." 

But Fandor's words fell dead in the silence 
of the apartment After this summons he made 
his way into the office, and ensconced himself in 
an armchair: clearly Fandor was assured his 
friend had heard him. And he was not wrong! 
Two seconds later, lifting a curtain that hid a 
secret entrance to the study, Juve appeared. 

"You speak as if you knew I was here!" 

The two men looked at each other and burst 
into shouts of laughter. 

"So you understood it was all a put-up affair 


intended to make our opponents believe that for 
a time I was powerless to hurt them. What do 
you think of my notion?" 

"First rate," replied Fandor. "The more 
so that the fair Josephine 'saw with her own 
eyes' some of the force taking you off to 

"Everybody believe it, don't they?" 


"Look here. You spoke just now as though 
you knew I was here?" 

Fandor smiled. 

"The odour of hot smoke is easily distin- 
guished from the dankness of cold tobacco." 

Juve approved. 

"Well done, Fandor. Here, for your pains, 
roll a cigarette and let's talk. Have you any- 
thing fresh?" 

"Yes and a lot, tool" 

Fandor related the talk he had had with Bo- 
nardin touching Valgrand, the actor, and Mme. 
Valgrand, alias Mme. Raymond. 

Juve uttered his reflections aloud. 

"This is one riddle the more to solve. I still 
adhere to the theory that Josephine, some months 
ago, was brought into intimate relations with 
Lady Beltham, whose body I discovered at Cite 
Frochot and later identified." 


Fandor sprang up and placed both of his 
hands upon Juve's shoulders. 

"Lady Beltham is not dead: She is alive! As 
surely as my name's Fandor, the Superior of the 
Convent at Nogent is Lady Beltham." 



At the far end of the Rue de Rome Fandor 
halted. "After all," he thought, "maybe I am 
going straight into a trap. Who sent me the let- 
ter? Who is this M. Mahon? I never heard 
of him. Why this menacing phrase, 'Come, if 
you take any interest in the affairs of Lady 

B and F .' Oh, if only I could take 

counsel of Juve!" 

But for the last fortnight, since the ill-starred 
affair of Nogent and the almost incredible dis- 
covery he had made that Lady Beltham was still 
alive, Fandor had not seen Juve. He had been 
to the Surete a number of times, but Juve had 

Fandor stopped before a private house on 
the Boulevard Pereire North. He passed in 
through the outer hall and reached the porter's 



"Madame, have you a tenant here named Ma- 

The porteress came forward. 

"M. Mahon? To be sure fifth floor on the 

"Thank you. I should like to ask a few ques- 
tions about him. I have come to negotiate an 
insurance policy for him and I should like to 
know about the value of the furniture in his 
rooms. What sort of a man is this M. Mahon? 
About how old is he?" 

Fandor had, by pure professional instinct, 
found the best device in the world. There is 
not a porteress who has not many times enlight- 
ened insurance agents. 

"Why, sir, M. Mahon has lived here only a 
month or six weeks. He can scarcely be very 
well off, for when he moved in I did not see any 
fine furniture go up. I believe for that matter 
he is an old cavalry officer, and, in the army 
nowadays, folks scarcely make fortunes." 

"That's true enough," assented Fandor. 

"Anyhow he is a very charming man, an ideal 
lodger. To begin with, he is infirm, almost 
paralysed in both legs. I believe he never goes 
out of an evening. And then he never has any 
visitors except two young fellows who are serv- 
ing their time in the army." 


"Are they with him now?" 

"No, sir, they never come till three or four in 
the afternoon." 

Fandor slipped a coin into the woman's hand 
and went upstairs. He rang at the door and 
was surprised at a strange, soft rolling sound. 

"Oh, I know," he thought; "the poor man 
must move about his rooms in a rubber-tired 
wheel chair." 

He was not mistaken. Scarcely was the door 
opened when he caught sight of an old man of 
much distinction seated in a wheel chair. This 
invalid greeted the journalist pleasantly. 

"M. Fandor?" 

"The same, sir." 

M. Mahon pushed forward his chair and mo- 
tioned to his visitor to come in. 

Fandor entered a room in which the curtains 
were closely drawn and which was brilliantly il- 
luminated with electric lights, although it was 
the midcfle of the afternoon. Was it a trap? 
The journalist instinctively hesitated in the door- 
way. But behind him a cordial voice called: 

"Come in, you all kinds of an idiot!" 

The door clicked behind him and the invalid, 
getting out of his chair, burst into a fit of laugh- 

"Juve! Juve!" 


"As you see!" 

"Bah, what farce are you playing here? Why 
this lit-up room?" 

"All for very good reasons. If you will be 
kind enough to take a seat, I will explain." 

Fandor dropped into a chair staring at Juve, 
who continued: 

"When you came back the other day and told 
me that unlikely yarn about Lady Beltham be- 
ing alive, I decided to try new methods. First 
of all, I became a cavalry officer, then I got this 
wheel chair and moved into this apartment." 

As Juve paused, Fandor, more and more 
amazed, inquired: 

"But your reason for all this !" 

"Just wait! The day after the Dixon busi- 
ness, I put three of my best men on the track of 
the American. I had a notion he would want to 
see Josephine again, and I was not mistaken. 
She came back to justify herself in his eyes. The 
story ended as might have been foreseen. Mi- 
chel, who brought me the news, said that Jose- 
phine had agreed to become Dixon's mistress." 

"The deuce!" 

"Oh, there is nothing to be surprised at that. 
Michel made arrangements to learn all the de- 
tails. Josephine is to live at 33 C in Boulevard 
Pereire South ; that is, to the right of the railway 


line, fourth floor. Here we are at 24 B Boule- 
vard Pereire North, to left of the railway, fifth 
floor, and just opposite." 

"And what does this old M. Mahon do, 

Juve smiled. 

"You are going to see, my lad." 

He settled himself again in the wheel chair, 
drew a heavy rug over his knees and became once 
more the old invalid. 

"My dear friend, will you open the door for 

Fandor laughingly complied, and Juve wheeled 
himself into another room. 

"You see I have plenty of air here thanks to 
this balcony upon which I can wheel my chair. 
Would you be good enough to pass me that spy- 

Juve pointed the glass toward the far end 
of Boulevard Pereire, in the direction of Poste 

"Mile. Josephine has lately had a craze for 
keeping her nails polished." 

"But you are not looking toward the house 
opposite, you are looking in a contrary direc- 

Juve laid his spy-glass on his knees and 


"I expected you to make that remark. See, 
those glasses at the end are only for show, in- 
side is a whole system of prisms. With this 
perspective you see not in front of you, but on 
one side. In other words, when I point it at the 
far end of the boulevard, what I am really look- 
ing at is the house opposite." 

Fandor was about to congratulate his friend 
on this new specimen of his ingenuity, but Juve 
did not give him time. He startled the journal- 
ist by suddenly asking him: 

"Tell me, do you love the army?" 


"Because I think those two soldiers you see 
over there are coming." 

"To see you," added Fandor. 

"How do you know?" 

"From your porteress." 

"You pumped her?" 

"I did. I got her to talk a bit about that ex- 
cellent M. Mahon." 

Juve laughed: 

"Confound you 1" 

With a quick movement Fandor, at the detec- 
tive's request, drew back the wheel chair and shut 
the window. 

"You understand," explained Juve, "there is 
nothing to surprise my neighbours in my having 


two soldiers to visit me. But I don't care for 
third persons to hear what they say to me." 
There was a ring at the apartment door. "Go 
and open, Fandor. I don't leave my cripple's chair 
for them; people can see through the curtains." 

Shown in by Fandor, the soldiers shook hands 
with Juve and took seats opposite him. 

"Do you recognise Michel and Leon?" 

"Oh, perfectly!" cried Fandor, "but why this 

"Because no heed is paid to uniforms, there 
are soldiers everywhere, and also it is not easy 
to recognise a civilian suddenly appearing in uni- 
form. What is fresh, Michel?" 

"Something pretty serious, sir. According to 
your instructions we have been shadowing the 
Superior of the Nogent Convent." 

"Well, what have you discovered?" 

"Every Tuesday evening the Superior leaves 
Nogent and goes to Paris." 


"To one of the branches of her religious house 
in the Boulevard Jourdan." 

"No. 1 80?" 

Michel was dumbfounded. 

"Yes, sir, you knew?" 

"No," said Juve, coldly. "What does she do 
at this branch?" 


"There are four or five old nuns there. The 
Superior spends Tuesday night there and on 
Wednesday goes back to Nogent about one in 
the afternoon." 

"And you know no more than that?" 

"No, sir. Must we go on with the shadow- 

"No, it is not worth while. Return to the 
Prefecture and report to M. Havard." 

When the two men had left, Fandor turned to 

"What do you make of it?" 

Juve shrugged his shoulders. 

"Michel is an idiot. That house has two ex- 
its; one to the Boulevard, the other to waste 
ground that leads to the fortifications. The Su- 
perior, or Lady Beltham, goes there to change 
her dress, and then hastens to some prearranged 
meeting elsewhere. The house at Neuilly will 
bear watching. 



"What a splendid fellow! One can count on 
him at any time. A friendship like his is rare 
and precious." 

Fandor had just left Juve, and the detective 
could not help being strangely moved as he 
thought of the devotion shown him by the jour- 

The detective was still in his wheel chair; with 
a skilful turn he went back to the balcony and 
his post of observation. 

Evening was coming on. After a fine day the 
sky had become leaden and overcast with great 
clouds: a storm was threatening. Juve swore. 

"I shan't see much this evening; this confound- 
ed Josephine is so sentimental that she loves 
dreaming in the gloaming at her window without 
lighting up. Devil take her!" 

Juve had armed himself with his spy-glass; 


he apparently levelled it at Porte Maillot, and 
in that way he could see something of the move- 
ments of Josephine in the rooms opposite him. 

"Flowers on the chimney and on the piano! 
Expecting her lover probably!" 

Suddenly he started up in his chair. 

"Ah! some one has rung her bell. She is go- 
ing toward the entrance door." 

A minute passed; in the front rooms Juve no 
longer saw anyone. Josephine must be receiving 
a visitor. 

"Some minutes more went by; a heavy shower 
of rain came down and Juve was forced to leave 
his balcony. 

When he resumed his watching he could not 
suppress an exclamation of surprise. 

"Ah, if he would only turn ! This cursed rafin 
prevents me from seeing clearly what is afoot. 
The brute ! Why won't he turn ! There, he has 
laid his bag on a chair, his initials must be on 
it, but I can't read them. Yet the height of 
the man! His gestures! It's he, sure enough, 
it's Chaleck!" 

Juve suddenly abandoned his post of observa- 
tion, propelled his chair to the back room of the 
suite and seized the telephone apparatus. 

"Hello! Give me the Prefecture. It is Juve 
speaking. Send at once detectives Leon and Mi- 


chel to No. 33 C Boulevard Pereire South. They 
are to wait at the door of the house and arrest 
as they come out the persons I marked as num- 
bers 14 and 15. Let them make haste." 

"Assuredly Chaleck won't leave at once if he 
has come to see Josephine; no doubt he has im- 
portant things to say. Leon and Michel will ar- 
rive in time to nab him first and Josephine after. 
And to-morrow, when I have them handcuffed be- 
fore me, it's the deuce if I don't manage to get 
the truth out of them." 

Juve went back to his look-out. 

"Oh, they seem very lively, both of them; the 
talk must be serious. Josephine doesn't look 
pleased. She seems to disagree with what Cha- 
leck is saying. One would think he was giving 
her orders. No! she is down on her knees. A 
declaration of love! After Loupart and Dixon 
it's that infernal doctor's turn!" 

Juve watched for a moment longer the young 
woman and the mysterious and elusive Chaleck. 

"Ah! that's what I feared! Chaleck is going 
and Leon and Michel haven't come!" 

Juve hesitated. Should he go down, rush to 
the Boulevard and try to collar the ruffian? That 
wasn't possible. Juve lived on the fifth floor, so 
that he had one more story to get down than 
Chaleck, then there was the railway line between 


him and Josephine's house. Chaleck would have 
ample time to disappear. But Juve reassured 

"Luckily he has left his hold-all, and if I mis- 
take not, that is his stick on the chair. There- 
fore he expects to come back." 

Powerless to act, Juve witnessed the exit of 
Chaleck, who soon appeared at the door of Jo- 
sephine's house and went striding off. Juve fol- 
lowed him with his eyes, intensely chagrined. 
Would he ever again find such a good oppor- 
tunity of laying hands on the ruffian? 

Chaleck vanished round the corner of the 
street, and Juve again took to watching Jose- 
phine! The young woman did not appear to be 
upset by her late visitor. She sat, her elbows 
on the table, turning with a listless finger the 
pages of a volume. 

"Clearly he is coming back," thought Juve, 
"or he would not have left his things there. I 
shall nab him in a few days at latest." 

Juve was about to leave his post of observa- 
tion when he saw Josephine raise her head in an 
attitude of listening to an indefinable and mys- 
terious noise. 

"What is going on?" Juve asked himself. 
"She cannot be already watching for Chaleck's 


Then Juve started. 

"Oh! oh!" 

He had just seen Josephine at a single bound 
spring toward the window. The young woman 
gazed steadily in front of her, her arms out- 
stretched in a posture of horror. She seemed in 
a state of abject terror. There was no mistaking 
her motions. She was panic-stricken, panting, 
trembling in all her limbs. Juve, who lost no 
movement of the hapless woman, felt a cold 
sweat break out on his forehead. 

"What's the matter with her? There is no- 
body in the room, I see nothing! What can 
frighten her to that extent? Oh, my God!" 

Forgetting all precautions, all the comedy he 
was preparing so carefully for the neighbour's 
benefit, he sprang to his feet, deserting his wheel 
chair. His hands clenched on the rail of the 
balcony while spellbound by the sight he beheld, 
he leaned over the rail as if in a frantic desire 
to fling himself to the young woman's help. Jo- 
sephine had bestridden the sash of her window. 
She was now standing on the ledge, holding with 
one hand to the rail of her balcony and her body 
flung backwards as if mad with terror. 

"What is happening? Oh, the poor soul!" 

Josephine, uttering a desperate cry, had let 
go of the supporting rail and had flung herself 


into space. Juve saw the young woman's body 
spin in the air, heard the dull thud that it made 
as it crashed against the ground. 

"It is monstrous!" 

Juve beside himself tore down the stairs full 
tilt, passed breathlessly the porteress, who seemed 
likely to faint at the sight of the headlong pace 
of the supposed paralytic. 

He went round Boulevard Pereire, darted 
along the railway line, and, panting, got to the 
side of the ill-starred Josephine. At the sound 
of her fall and the cries she uttered people had 
flown to the windows, passers-by had turned 
round : when Juve got there a ring of people had 
already formed round the unfortunate woman. 
The detective roughly pushed some of them aside, 
knelt down beside the body and put his ear to 
the chest. 

"Dead? No!" 

A faint groan came from the lips of the poor 
sufferer. Juve realised that by unheard-of luck, 
Josephine, in the course of her fall, had struck 
the outer branches of one of the trees that fringed 
the Boulevard. This had somewhat broken the 
shock, but her legs were frightfully broken and 
one of her arms hung lifeless. 

"Quick!" commanded Juve. "A cab; take her 
to the hospital." 


As soon as help was forthcoming, Juve, re- 
called to the duties of his profession, asked him- 

"What can have occurred? What was it she 
tried to escape by throwing herself into space? 
I saw the whole room, there was no one with 
her. She must have been the victim of a delu- 



"So, uncle, you have decided to live at Neu- 

'Oh, it's quite settled. Your aunt finds the 
place charming, and besides, it would be so pleas- 
ant to have a garden. Also, the land is sure 
to grow more valuable in this neighbourhood 
and the purchase of a house here would be a good 

The stout man, as he uttered the word "specu- 
lation," beamed. The mere sight of him sug- 
gested the small tradesman grown rich by dint 
of long and arduous years of toil, retired from 
business and prone to fancy he was a man of 

Compared with him the young man he styled 
nephew, slim, elaborately elegant, his little mous- 
tache carefully curled, gave the impression of 
coming out of a draper's shop and wanting to be 



taken for a swell. Evidently the nephew courted 
the uncle and flattered him. 

"You are right, land speculations are very 
sure and very profitable. So you wrote to the 
caretaker of the house to let you view it?" 

"I did, and he answered, 'Come to-day or to- 
morrow. I shall be at your orders.' That is 
why I sent you word to go with me, for since 
you are the sole heir of my fortune " 

"Oh, uncle, you may be sure " 

The Madeleine tramway where the two men 
were talking aloud, heeding little the amused no- 
tice of the other passengers, pulled up a moment 
in the Place de 1'Eglise at Neuilly. 

"Let us get down. Boulevard Inkermann be- 
gins here." 

With the pantings and gaspings of a man 
whose stoutness made all physical exercise irk- 
some, the uncle lowered himself off the footboard 
of the tram. The young man sprang to his side. 
After five minutes' walk the two men were in 
front of Lady Beltham's house, the identical 
house to which Juve and Fandor had previously 
come before to make exhaustive inquiries. 

"You see, my boy," declared the stout party, 
"it is not at all a bad looking house. Evidently 
it has not been lived in for a long time, its state 
of outside dilapidation shows how neglected it 


has been, but it is possible that inside there may 
not be many repairs to be made." 

"In any case, the garden is very fine." 

"Yes, the grounds are large enough. And 
then what I like is its wonderful seclusion: the 
wall surrounding it on all sides is very high, and 
the entrance gate would be hard for robbers to 

"Shall I ring?" 

"Yes, ring." 

The young man pressed the button, a peal rang 
out in the distance : presently the porter appeared. 
He was a big fellow with long whiskers and a dis- 
tinguished air, the perfect type of the high-class 

"You gentlemen have come to see the house?" 

"Exactly. I am M. Durant. It is I who 
wrote to you." 

"To be sure, sir, I remember." 

The porter showed the two visitors into the 
garden, and forthwith the stout man drew his 
nephew along the paths. The sense of proprie- 
torship came over him at once ; he spared his rela- 
tive none of the points of the property. 

"You see, Emile, it isn't big, but still it is 
amply sufficient. No trees before the house, 
which allows a view of the Boulevard from all 
the windows. The servants' quarters being in the 


far part of the garden can in no way annoy the 
people in the house: Notice, too, that the trees 
are quite young and their foliage thin. I don't 
care for too luxuriant gardens which are apt to 
block the view." 

"That's right, Uncle." 

The porter, who was following the two, broke 
in upon the ecstasy of the prospective owner. 

"Would you gentlemen like to see the house?" 

"Why, certainly, certainly." 

The stout man, however, before entering, was 
bent on going round it. He noticed the smallest 
details, growing more and more enthusiastic. 

"Look, Emile, it is very well built. The 
ground floor is sufficiently raised so as not to be 
too damp. This big terrace, on which the three 
French windows open, must be very cheerful in 
summer. Oh, there are drain pipes at the four 
corners ! And we mustn't fail to see the cellars. 
I'm sure they are very fine. Bend down over the 
air-holes; what do you think of the gratings that 
close them? And, now, shall we go in?" 

The porter led them to the main entrance door. 

"Here is the vestibule, gentlemen, to the left, 
the servants' hall and kitchen; to the right, the 
dining-room; facing you a small drawing-room, 
then the large drawing-room, and, lastly, the 
double staircase leading to the first floor." 


The stout man dropped into a chair. 

"And to whom does this place belong?" 

"Lady Beltham, sir." 

"She does not live here?" 

"Not now. At this moment she is travel- 

In the wake of the porter, uncle and nephew 
went through the rooms on the ground floor. As 
happens in all untenanted houses, the damp had 
wrought terrible havoc. The flooring, worm- 
eaten, creaked under their feet, the carpets had 
large damp spots on them, the paper hung loose 
on the walls, while the furniture was covered with 
a thick coat of dust. 

"Don't pay any attention to the furniture, 
Emile, it matters little; what we must first look 
at is the arrangement of the rooms. Why, there 
are iron shutters I like that." 

"To be sure, Uncle, they are very practical." 

"Yes, yes; to begin with, when those shutters 
are closed it would be impossible from the out- 
side to see anything in the rooms. Not even the 
least light." 

The porter proceeded to show them the first 
floor of the house. 

"There is only one staircase?" asked the stout 

"Yes, only one." 


"And what is the cause of the unusual damp- 
ness? We are far from the Seine; the garden is 
not very leafy." 

"There is a leaky cistern in the cellars, sir. 
Here is the largest bedroom. It was my Lady's." 

"Yes, one sees it has been the last room to be 
lived in." 

At this harmless remark the porter seemed 
very upset. 

"What makes you think that, sir?" 

"Why, the chairs are pushed about as though 
recently used. There is much less dust on the 
furniture. And there's a print look at the 
desk, there is a trace of dust on the diary. The 
blotting paper has been moved lately, some one 
has been writing there why, what's wrong with 

As he listened to the stout man's remarks the 
porter grew strangely pale. 

"Oh," he stammered, "it's nothing, nothing at 

"One would say you were afraid." 

"Afraid? No, sir. I am not afraid 
only " 

"Only what?" 

"Well, gentlemen, it is best not to stay here 
Lady Beltham is selling the house because it is 


Neither of the visitors seemed impressed by the 
statement of their guide. The elder laughed a 
jolly laugh. 

"Are there ghosts?" 

"Why, sir, 'spirits' come here." 

"Have you seen them?" 

"Oh! certainly not, sir. When they are there, 
I shut myself up in the lodge, I can assure 
you " 

"When do they appear?" 

"They come almost always on Tuesday nights." 

And warming to his subject the porter gave de- 
tails. He got the impression first on one occasion 
when her Ladyship was absent. She had left 
some days before for Italy. It was Sunday, and 
then during Tuesday night while walking in the 
garden he heard movements inside the house. 

"I went to fetch my keys and when I came 
back I found nobody! I thought at first it was 
burglars, but I saw nothing had been taken away. 
Yet, I was not mistaken, furniture had been 
moved. There were bread crumbs on the floor." 

The young man roared with laughter. 

"Bread crumbs! Then your spirits come and 
sup here?" 

The uncle, equally 'amused, asked: 

"And what did Lady Beltham think when 
you told her that?" 


"Lady Beltham laughed at me. But, sir, I 
had my own ideas. I watched in the gar- 
den daily and I heard the same sounds and 
always on Tuesday nights. At last I laid a 
trap; I put a chalk mark round the chairs in 
Lady Beltham's room, she being still away. 
Well, sir, when I came to the house again on 
Thursday the chairs had been moved. I told 
Lady Beltham, and this time she seemed very 
much frightened. It is since then she made up 
her mind to sell the house." 

"For all that, what makes you say they are 

"What else could it be, sir. I also heard the 
sounds of chains jangling. One night I even 
heard a strange and terrible hiss." 

"Well!" cried the stout man, beginning to go 
down the staircase, "since the house is haunted I 
shall have to pay less for it; eh, Emile?" 

"You will buy, sir, in spite of that?" 

"To be sure. Your phantoms alarm me less 
than the damp." 

"Oh, the damp? That can be easily remedied. 
You will see that we have a central heating stove 

The porter led his vistors down a narrow stair 
to the cellars. 

"Take care, gentlemen, the stairs are slippery." 


Then he observed: "You don't need a candle, 
the gratings are big enough to give plenty of 

"What is that?" asked the young man, point- 
ing to a huge iron cylinder embedded in the earth 
and rising some four-and-a-half feet above the 

"The cistern of which I spoke, as you can see 
for yourselves, it is all but full." 

The porter hurried them on. 

"That is the heating stove. There are con- 
ductors throughout the house. When it is in full 
blast the house is even too warm." 

"But your grate stove is in pieces!" objected 
the stout man, pointing with his stick to iron 
plates torn out of one side of the central fur- 

"Oh, sir, that happened at the time of the 
floods. But it won't cost much to put it right. 
If you gentlemen will examine the inside of the 
apparatus you will see that the pipes are in per- 
fect order." 

The uncle followed the porter's suggestion. 

"Your pipes are as big as chimneys; a man 
could pass through them. 

The inspection ended, uncle and nephew be- 
stowed a liberal tip on their guide. They would 
think it over and write or come again soon. 


The two relatives retraced their steps to Bou- 
levard Inkermann. 



"We have got them !" 

Uncle and nephew that is to say, Juve and 
Fandor could talk quite freely now. 

"Juve, are you certain that we have got them?" 

Juve pushed his friend into a wine-shop and 
ordered drinks. He then drew from his pocket a 
piece of paper, quite blank. 

"What is that?" 

"A bit of paper I picked up on Lady Beltham's 
desk while the porter's back was turned. It will 
serve for a little experiment. If it is not long 
since a hand rested on it, we shall find the print." 

"On this blank paper?" 

"Yes, Fandor. Look!" 

Juve drew a pencil from his pocket and 
scratched off a fine dust of graphite which he 
shook over the paper. Gradually the outline of 
a hand appeared, faint, but quite visible. 

"That is how," resumed Juve, "with this very 
simple process, you can decipher the finger prints 
of persons who have written or rested their hands 
on anything paper, glass, even wood. Accord- 
ing to the clearness of this outline which is thrown 
up by the coagulation of the plumbago thanks 


to the ordinary moisture of the hand which was 
laid on the paper, I can assure you that some one 
wrote on Lady Beltham's desk about ten days 

"It is wonderful," said Fandor. "Here, then, 
is proof positive that her Ladyship visits her 
house from time to time." 

"Correct or at least that some one goes there, 
for that is a man's hand." 

"Well, what are you going to do now, Juve?" 

"Now? I'm off to the Prefecture to get rid 
of my false embonpoint, which bothers me no 
end. I have never been so glad that I am not 
naturally stout." 

Fandor laughed. 

"And I own to you that I shan't be sorry to 
get rid of my false moustache. All the while 
I was inspecting that cursed house, this mous- 
tache kept tickling my nose and making me want 
to sneeze." 

"You should have done so." 

"But suppose my moustache had come off?" 



"Oh! who is that?" 

From the shadow issued some one who calmly 
replied : 

"It is I." 

"Ah! I know you now, but why this dis- 

"Madame the Superior I present myself 
Doctor Chaleck. Isn't my disguise as good as 

"What do you want of me? Speak quickly, I 
am frightened." 

"To begin with, I thank you for coming to 
the tryst at your house at ours. For five Tues- 
days I have waited in vain. But first, madame, 
explain your sudden conversion, the reason of 
your sudden entry into Orders. That is a strange 
device for the mistress of Gurn." 

Doctor Chaleck held under the lash of his 


irony the unhappy woman who seemed overcome 
by anxiety. The two were facing each other in 
the large room that formed the middle of the 
first floor of the house in Boulevard Inkermann 
at Neuilly. It was, in fact, the only room fit to 
use: they had left to neglect and inclement 
weather the other rooms in the elegant mansion 
which some years before was considered in the 
Parisian world as one of the most comfortable 
and luxurious in the foreign colony. 

It was in truth here that in days gone by 
the tragic drama had been played: death had laid 
its cold hand upon the gilded trappings of the 
great apartment and laughter and joy had taken 
flight. However, time passes so quickly and evil 
memories so soon grow dim that many had for- 
gotten the grim happenings which three years 
before had beset the mansion on the Boulevard. 

It was at first the deep mourning of Lady Bel- 
tham whose husband had been mysteriously done 
to death at Belleville. Then, some weeks later, 
occurred the awful scene of the arrest of Lord 
Beltham's murderer, just as he was leaving the 
house, an arrest due to Juve, who, though he 
succeeded in laying hands on the assassin, the in- 
famous Gurn, was not able to prove sure though 
he might be of it that the slayer of the hus- 
band was the lover of the wife. 


After these shocking events Lady Beltham 
left France, dismissing the many attendants with 
whom she loved to surround herself like a true 
queen of beauty, luxury and wealth. 

At rare intervals the Lady, whose existence 
grew more and more mysterious, went back for a 
few days to her house at Neuilly. She would 
vanish, would reappear, living like a recluse, al- 
most in entire solitude, receiving none of her old 

About a year ago she seemed to want to settle 
finally at Boulevard Inkermann. Workmen be- 
gan to put the house in order again, the lodge 
was opened and a family of caretakers came; 
then suddenly the work had been broken off; 
some weeks went by while Lady Beltham lived 
alone with her companion; then both disap- 

Lady Beltham shivered, and, gathering about 
her shoulders the cloak which covered her re- 
ligious habit, muttered: "I'm cold." 

"Beastly weather, and to think this is July." 

Chaleck crossed to a register in the corner of 
the room. 

"No good to leave that open! An icy wind 
comes through the passage to the cellar." 

Lady Beltham turned in 'alarm toward her 
enigmatic companion. 


"Why did you let it be supposed I was dead?" 

"Why did you yourself leave here two days 
before the crime at the Cite Frochot?" 

Lady Beltham hung her head and with a sob 
in her voice: 

"I was deserted and jealous. Besides, I was 
enduring frightful remorse. The Idea had come 
to me to write down the terrible secret which 
haunted my spirit, to give the story to some one 
I could trust, an attorney, and then " 

"Go on, pray!" 

"And, then, what I had written suddenly van- 
ished. It was after that I lost my head and fled. 
I had long been meaning to withdraw from the 
world. The Sisters of St. Clotilde offered to re- 
ceive me in their house at Nogent." 

Chaleck added brutally: 

"That isn't all. You forgot to say you were 
afraid. Come, be frank, afraid of Gurn, of 

"Well, yes, I was afraid, not so much of you, 
but of our crimes. I am also afraid of dying." 

"That confession you wrote became known to 
some one who confided it to me." 

"Heavens," murmured the unhappy woman. 
"Who mentioned it?" 

Chaleck had again crossed to the register, 
which, although closed by him some moments be- 


fore, was open again, letting into the room a 
blast of icy air from the basement. 

"This can't stay shut, it must be seen to," he 

Lady Beltham, shaken by a nervous tremour, 
insisted : 

"Who betrayed me? Who told?" 

Chaleck seated himself by her side. 

"You remember Valgrand, the actor? Well, 
Valgrand was married. His wife sought to 
clear up the mystery of his disappearance and 
went where, I ask you? Why, to you, Lady 
Beltham! You took her as companion! It 
would have been impossible to introduce a more 
redoubtable spy into the house than the widow 
Valgrand, known by you under the false name of 
Mme. Raymond." 

Lady Beltham remained panic-stricken. 

"We are lost!" 

Chaleck squeezed her two hands in a genuine 
burst of affection. 

"We are saved!" he shouted. "Mme. Ray- 
mond will talk no more !" 

"The body at the Cite Frochot!" 

Chaleck nodded. "Yes." 

She looked at him in alarm, mingled with re- 
pulsion and horror. 

"Now, understand that that death saved you, 


and if I saved you it is because I loved you, love 
you still, will always love you!" 

Lady Beltham, overcome, let herself fall into 
Chaleck's arms, her head resting on her lover's 
shoulder as she wept hot tears. 

Lady Beltham was once more enslaved, a cap- 
tive! More than two years ago she had broken 
with the mysterious and terrible being whom she 
had once egged on to kill her husband, and with 
whom she then committed the most appalling 
of crimes. During this separation the unhappy 
woman had tried to pull herself together, to ac- 
quire a fresh honesty of mind and body, a new 
soul; dreamed of finding again in religion some 
help, some forgetfulness. She had later expe- 
rienced the frightful tortures of jealousy, know- 
ing her late lover had mistresses! But she re- 
sisted the craving to see him again, and pictured 
him to herself in such terrible guise that she felt 
an overwhelming fear of finding herself face to 
face with him. Now the season of calm and 
quiet she had evoked was suddenly dispelled. 
First came the mysterious disappearance of her 
confession and the weird crime of the Cite Fro- 
chot following on its, loss. To be sure she did 
not then know that Doctor Chaleck, of whom the 
papers spoke, was none other than Gurn, but had 
they not in La Capitale spoken of Fantomas in 


that connection? And at this disquieting com- 
parison Lady Beltham had felt sinister forebod- 
ings. Other mysteries had then supervened, un- 
accountable to the guilty lady who by that time 
was already seeking her new birth in the bosom 
of Religion. Alas! her miseries were to grow 
definite enough. 

At the very gate of the convent an innocent 
man, Bonardin, the actor, fell victim to the at- 
tack of Juve, also innocent, and in that affair she 
felt the complicity of her late lover grow more 
and more certain. She then received a letter 
from him, followed by a second. Gurn called 
her to his place their place the mansion 
at Neuilly, every Tuesday night. She held 
out several times despite threatened reprisals. 
At last she yielded and went: she expected Gurn 
it was Chaleck she found. The two were 

From henceforth she was faced with this ac- 
complice, guilty of new crimes, clothed in a new 
personality, already under suspicion, which doubt- 
less he would cast off only to assume another 
which would enable him still further to extend 
the list of his crimes ! But despite all the horror 
her lover inspired her with she felt herself tamed 
again, powerless to resist him, ready to do any- 
thing the moment he bade her ! 


She inquired feebly: 

"Who was it killed Mme. Raymond? Was 
it that ruffian whom they speak of in the pa- 
pers Loupart ?" 

"Well, not exactly!" 

"Then was it you? Speak, I would rather 

"It was neither he nor I, and yet it was to 
some extent both." 

"I do not understand." 

"It is rather difficult to understand. Our 'ex- 
ecutioner' does not lack originality. I may say 
it is something which lives yet does not think." 

"Who is it! Who is it!" 

"Why not ask Detective Juve. Oh! Juve, too, 
would like to know who the deuce all these peo- 
ple are. Gurn, Chaleck, Loupart, and, above all 
Fantomas !" 

"Fantomas! Ah, I scarcely dare utter that 
name. And yet a doubt oppresses my heart! 
Tell me, are you not, yourself Fantomas?" 

Chaleck freed himself gently, for Lady Bel- 
tham had wound her arms round his neck. 

"I know nothing, I am merely the lover who 
loves you." 

"Then let us go far away. Let us begin a new 
existence together. Will you? Come!" She 
stopped all at once "I heard a noise." Cha- 


leek, too, listened. Some slight creakings had, 
indeed, disturbed the hush of the room. But 
outside the wind and the rain whirled around the 
dilapidated, lonely abode, and it was not sur- 
prising that unaccountable sounds should be au- 
dible in the stillness. Once more Lady Beltham 
built up her plans, catching a glimpse of a future 
all peace and happiness. 

With a brief, harsh remark, Chaleck brought 
her back to reality. 

"All that cannot be, at least for the moment, 
we must first " 

Lady Beltham laid her hand on his lips. 

"Do not speak!" she begged. "A fresh crime 
that's what you mean?" 

"A vengeance, an execution! A man has set 
himself to run me down, has determined my ruin : 
between us it is a struggle without quarter; my 
life is not safe but at the cost of his, so he must 
perish. In four days they will find Detective 
Juve dead in his own bed. And with him will 
finally vanish the fiction he has evoked of Fan- 
tomas! Fantomas! Ah, if society knew if 
humanity, instead of being what it is but it 
matters little!" 

"And Fantomas? What will become of him 
of you?" 

"Have I told you that I was Fantomas?" 


"No," stammered she, "but " 

The dim light of a pale dawn filtered through 
the closed shutters of the big drawing-room in 
which lover and mistress had met again, after 
long weeks of separation, to call up sinister mem- 
ories. For all their hopes the limit of the tribula- 
tions to which they were a prey seemed still far off. 

Chaleck blew out the lamp. He drew aside 
the curtains. Sharply he put an end to the inter- 

"I am off, Lady Beltham. Soon we shall meet 
again. Never let anyone suspect what we have 
said to each other Farewell." 

The hapless woman, crushed and broken by 
emotion, remained nearly an hour alone in the 
great room. Then the requirements of her offi- 
cial life came to her mind. It was necessary to 
return to the convent at Nogent. 

Extricating themselves painfully from the pipes 
of the great stove, Juve and Fandor, covered 
with plaster, wreathed with cobwebs, and freely 
sprinkled with dust, fell back suddenly into the 
middle of the cellar. The two men, heedless of 
the disarray of their dress and their painful 
cramped limbs, spoke both at once, dumbfounded 
but joyful: 


"Well, Juve?" 

"Well, Fandor, we got something for our 

"Oh, what a lovely night, Juve; I wouldn't 
have given up my place for a fortune." 

"We had front seats, though to be sure the 
velvet armchairs were lacking." 

They were silent for a moment, their minds 
fully occupied with a crowd of ideas. So Cha- 
leck and Loupart were one and the same? And 
Lady Beltham was indeed the acccomplice of Gurn. 
An unhappy accomplice, repentant, wretched, a 
criminal through love. 

"Fandor, they are ours now. Let us act!" 

The pair, not sorry to breathe a little more 
easily than they had done for the past few hours, 
went upstairs, reached the ground floor and made 
their way into the drawing-room, where during 
the night Doctor Chaleck and Lady Beltham had 
had their memorable interview. 

Juve, without a word, paced up and down the 
room, poking in all the corners, then gave a 

"Here is the famous mouth of the heater 
which that brute Chaleck tried to shut, and I 
persisted in opening so as not to lose a word of 
his instructive conversation. No matter, if he 
felt cold, what did I feel like?" 


"The fact is," added Fandor, whose hoarse 
voice bore witness to the difficulties he had just 
passed through, "these stove pipes have very lit- 
tle comfort about them." 

"What can you expect?" cried Juve. "The 
architect did not think of us when he built the 
house. And now, Fandor, we have a hard task 
before us and we need all the luck we can get. 
For certainly it is Fantomas we have unearthed: 
Fantomas, the lover of Lady Beltham, the slayer 
of her husband, the murderer of Valgrand, the 
master that got rid of Mme. Raymond! Gurn, 
Chaleck, Loupart. The one being who can be 
all those and himself too Fantomas." 

As the two friends left Lady Beltham's house 
without attracting notice, the detective drew from 
his pocket a species of little scale which he showed 

"What do you make of that?" 

"I haven't the least idea." 

"Well, I have, and it may put us in the way 
of a great discovery. Did you notice that Cha- 
leck did not say definitely who the 'executioner' 
of Mme. Raymond was?" 

"To be sure." 

"Well, I believe that I have a morsel of this 
'executioner' in my pocket. 



Juve was in his study smoking a cigarette. 
It was nine in the evening. The door leading to 
the lobby opened and Fandor walked in. 

"All right, this evening?" 

"All right. What brings you here, Fandor?" 

The journalist smiled and pointed to a calen- 
dar on the wall: "The fact that it's this eve- 
ning, Juve." 

"The date fixed by Chaleck or Fantomas for 
my demise. To-morrow morning I am to be 
found in my bed, strangled, crushed, or some- 
thing of the sort. I suppose you've come to get 
a farewell interview for La Capitate. To gather 
the minutest details of the frightful crime so that 
you can publish a special edition. 'The tragedy 
in Rue Bonaparte! Juve overcome by Fantomas!' " 

Fandor listened, amused at the detective's out- 



"You'd be angry with me, Juve," he declared, 
in the same jocular strain, "for passing by such 
a sensational piece of news, wouldn't you?" 

"That is so. And then I own I expected my last 
evening to be a lonely one, there was a feeling of 
sadness at the bottom of my heart. I thought 
that before dying I should have liked to say fare- 
well to young Fandor, whose life I am contin- 
ually putting in peril by my crazy ventures, but 
whom I love as the surest "of companions, the 
sagest of advisers, the most discreet of con- 

Fandor was touched. With a spontaneous 
movement he sprang to the armchair in which 
Juve sat, seized and wrung the detective's hands. 


"I shall stay here. You don't suppose I'm* 
going to leave you to pass this night alone?" 

Juve, touched beyond measure by Fandor's 
words, seemed uncertain what he ought to de- 

"I can't pretend, Fandor, that your presence is 
not agreeable, and I'm grateful to you for your 
sympathy; I knew I could count on you: but 
after all, lad, we must look ahead and .consider 
all contingencies. Fantomas may succeed! Now 
you know what I have set out to do; if I should 
fail, I should like to think that you would carry 


on the work as my successor and put an end to 

"But, Juve, you are threatened by Fantomas; 
that is why I am here to help you." 

"Well, I have no bed to put you in." 

Fandor, taken aback, stared at the detective. 
The later rose and began walking about the room, 
then turned sharply and gazed at the young man : 

"You are quite determined to stay with me?" 


"And if I bade you go?" 

"I should disobey you." 

"Very well, then," concluded Juve, shrugging 
his shoulders, "come along and light me." 

The detective passed out of the apartment and 
made for the stairs. 

"Where are we bound for?" asked Fandor. 

"The garret," Juve replied. 

A quarter of an hour later Juve and Fandor 
dragged into the bedroom a huge open-work 

"Whew!" cried Juve, mopping his forehead, 
"no one would believe it was so heavy." 

Fandor smiled. 

"It's full of rubbish. Really, Juve, you are 
not a tidy man!" 

Juve, without reply, proceeded to empty the 
basket, pulling out books, linen, pieces of wood, 


carpet, rolls of paper; in fact, the accumulated 
refuse of fifteen years. 

"What is your height?" he asked. 

"If I remember right, five feet ten." 

Juve got out his pocket measure and took the 
length of the crate. 

"That's all right," he murmured. "You'll be 
quite snug and comfortable in it." 

Fandor burst out: 

"You're a cheerful host, Juve. You bottle up 
your guests in cages now!" 

Juve placed a mattress at the bottom of 
the basket and laid two blankets over that, then 
he put a pillow on top. Patting the bed- 
ding to make it smooth, he declared with a 
laugh : 

"I fear nothing, but I have taken precautions. 
I have posted two men in the porter's lodge. I 
have loaded my revolver, and dined comfortably. 
About half-past eleven I shall go to bed as usual. 
However, instead of going to sleep I shall en- 
deavour to keep awake. At dinner I took three 
cups of coffee, and when you go I shall drink a 

"Excuse me," said, Fandor, "but I am not 
going away." 

"There! You'll sleep splendid inside that, 


The journalist, used to the devices of his 
friend, nodded his head. Juve had already taken 
off his coat and waistcoat and now drew from a 
box three belts half a yard in breadth and 
studded outside with sharp points. "Look, Fan- 
dor! I shall be completely protected when I am 
swathed in them. Oh," he added, "I was going 
to forget my leg guards!" 

Juve went back to the box and took out two 
other rolls, also studded with spikes. Fandor 
looked in amazement at this gear and Juve ob- 
served laughingly: 

"It will cost me a pair of sheets and maybe a 

"What does it mean?" 

"These defensive works have a double object 
To protect me against Fantomas, or the 'execu- 
tioner' he will send, and also I shall be able 
to determine the civil status of the 'executioner' 
in question." 

Fandor, more and more puzzled, inspected the 
iron spikes, which were two or more inches in 

"This contrivance is not new," said Juve; "Lia- 
beuf wore arm guards like these under his jacket, 
and when the officers wanted to seize him they 
tore their hands." 

"I know, I know," replied Fandor, "but " 


The detective all at once laid a finger on his 

"It's now twenty past eleven, and I am in the 
habit of being in bed at half past. Fantomas is 
bound to know it: when he comes or sends, he 
must not notice anything out of the way. Get 
into your wicker case and shut the lid down care- 
fully. By the by, I shall leave the window slightly 

"Isn't that a bit risky?" 

"It is one of my habits, and not to make Fan- 
tomas suspicious I alter my ways in nothing." 

Fandor settled himself in his case and Juve 
also got into bed. As he put out the light he 
gave a warning. 

"We mustn't close an eye or utter a word. 
Whatever happens, don't move. But when I 
call, strike a light at once and come to me." 

"All right," replied Fandor. 


Juve's cry rent the stillness of the night, loud 
and compelling. The journalist leaped from his 
wicker-basket so abruptly that he knocked against 
the lamp stand and the lamp fell to the floor. 
Fandor searched for his matches in vain. 

"Light up, Fandor !" shouted Juve. 

The noise of a struggle, the dull thud of a 


fall on the floor, maddened the journalist. In 
the darkness he heard Juve groaning, scraping 
the floor with his boots, making violent efforts 
to resist some mysterious assailant. . 

"Be quick, in God's name," implored the pain- 
wrung voice of the detective. Fandor trod on 
the glass of the lamp, which broke. He tripped, 
knocked his head against a press, rebounded, 
then suddenly uttered a terrible cry. His hands, 
outstretched apart, in the gloom, had brushed 
a cold, shiny body which slid under his 

"Fandor! Help, Fandor!" 

Desperate, Fandor plunged haphazard about 
the disordered chamber, wrapped in darkness. 
Suddenly, he rushed into the study hard by, found 
there another lamp which he lit in haste, and hur- 
ried back with it. 

A fearful sight wrung a cry of terror from 
him. Juve, on his knees on the floor, was cov- 
ered with blood. 


"It's all right, Fandor. Some one has bled, but 
not I." 

The detective rushed to the open window and 
leaned out into the dark night. 

"Listen!" he cried. "Do you hear that low 
hissing, that dull rustling?" 


"Yes. I heard it just now." 

"It was the 'executioner.' ' 

The detective drew back into the room, shut 
the window, pulled down the blinds, and then 
took off his armour. Curiously he examined the 
stains of blood, the tiny shreds of flesh that had 
remained on the points. 

"We have no more to fear now," he said, "the 
stroke has been tried and has failed." 

"Juve! tell me what has just happened? I 
may be an idiot, but I don't understand at all!" 

"You are no fool, Fandor; far from it, but 
if in many circumstances you reason and argue 
with considerable aptness, I grant you far less 
deductive faculty. That does not seem to be 
your forte." 

Fandor seated himself before the detective, 
and the latter held forth. 

"When we found ourselves faced with the first 
crime, that of the Cite Frochot, and our notice 
was drawn to the elusive Fantomas, we were 
unable to decide in what manner that hapless 
Mme. Raymond, whom we then took for Lady 
Beltham, had been done to death. Now, remem- 
ber, Fandor, that during that night of mystery, 
hidden behind the curtains in Chaleck's study we 
heard weird rustlings and faint sort of hissings, 
didn't we?" 


"We did," admitted Fandor, at a loss, "but go 
on, Juve." 

"When we were called to investigate the attack 
on the American, Dixon, it was easy for us to 
conclude that the attempt of which the pugilist 
had been the object was the outcome of the same 
plan of battle as that which cost the widow Val- 
grand her life. The mysterious 'executioner,' 
which Chaleck did not disguise from Lady BeK 
tham, was thus a being endowed with vigour 
enough to completely crush a woman's body, 
and likely do as much to that of an ordinary man. 
But the 'executioner' in question was not strong 
enough to get the better of the grand physique 
of the champion pugilist, since it failed in its 

"This instrument 'of limited power,' if I may 
so describe it, must then be, not a mechanism 
which nothing can resist, but a living being! It 
must also be a creature striking panic, terrifying, 
formidable: you ask why, Fandor?" 

"Yes, to be sure." 

"I am going to tell you. If our poor friend 
Josephine were not still in a high fever she would 
certainly uphold me. You remember the busi- 
ness on the Boulevard Pereire? Chaleck or Fan- 
tomas wants to be rid of the woman he loved 
under the guise of Loupart, since he has gone 


back to Lady Beltham. Moreover, Josephine 
chatters too much with Dixon, with the police. 

"Chaleck, Fantomas, therefore, goes up to Jo- 
sephine's. After having told the poor creature 
I know not what yarn, he departs, leaving behind 
in his hold-all, the instrument. Now this last, 
when it shows itself, so terrifies the poor girl 
that she throws herself out of the window." 

"I begin to see what you mean," said the jour- 

"Listen," replied Juve. "The mysterious, 
nameless and terrible accomplice of Fantomas, is 
no other than a snake I A snake trained to crush 
bodies in its coils. After having long suspected 
its existence, I began to be sure of it when I 
found that strange scale at Neuilly. This ac- 
counts for the incomprehensible state of Mme. 
Valgrand's body, the extraordinary attempt on 
Dixon, the murderous thing that terrified Jose- 
phine! That is why, expecting to-night's visit, I 
barbed myself with iron like a knight of old, feel- 
ing pretty sure that if the hands of the officers 
were torn by the armlets of Liabeuf, the coils of 
Fantomas' serpent would be flayed on touching 
my sharp spikes." 

"Juve!" cried Fandor, "if I hadn't had the 
bad luck to upset the lamp, we should have 
caught this frightful beast." 


"Probably, but what should we have done 
with it? After all, it's better that it should go 
back to Fantomas." 

"But you haven't yet told me what hap- 
pened!" ' 

The young man's face displayed such curiosity 
that Juve burst out laughing. 

"Journalist! Incorrigible newsmonger! All 
right, take notes for your article describing this 
appalling adventure. So, then, Fandor, the lamp 
once out, the hours go by, a trifle more slowly 
in the darkness than in the light. You are silent 
and still like a little Moses in your wicker cradle. 
As for me, armoured as I was, I tried not to stir 
in my bed to spare the sheets Juve is not 
wealthy. Midnight, one o'clock, two, the quarter 
past. How long it is ! Then, an alarm ! A cat 
that mews strangely. Then comes that little hiss- 
ing sound I begin to know. Hiss hiss! Oh, 
what a horrid feeling! I guess that the window 
is opening wider. You heard, as I did, Fandor, 
the revolting scales grit on the boards. But you 
didn't know what it was, whereas I did know it 
was the snake! I swear to you it needed all my 
pluck not to flinch, for I wanted at any cost to 
see it through to the end, and know whether, 
behind this reptile, Fantomas was not going to 
show his vile snout. 


"Ah, the brute, how quickly he went to work. 
As I was listening, my muscles tense, my nerves 
on edge, I suddenly felt my sheet stir the foul 
beast is trained to attack beds, remember the at- 
tack on Dixon and suddenly it was the grip, 
furious, quick as a whip stroke, twining about 
me. I was thrown down, tossed, shaken, torn 
like a feather, tied up like a sausage! 

"My arms glued to my body, my loins ham- 
pered. I intended not to say a word, I had faith 
in my iron-work; but to be frank, I was scared, 
awfully scared. And I yelled: Tandor! Help!' 

"Oh, those accursed moments. He began to 
squeeze horribly when all at once I felt a cold 
liquid flow over my skin blood. The brute was 
wounded. We still wrestled, and you tripped in 
the darkness and smashed the glass of the lamp, 
and I was choking gradually. All my life I shall 
remember it. And then, what relief, what joy 
when the grip slackened, when he gives up and 
makes off. The beast glided over the floor, 
reached the window, hissed frantically and van- 
ished. There, M. Reporter, you have impres- 
sions from life, and rough ones, too! Well, the 
luck is turning, and I, think it is veering to our 
quarter. Things are going from bad to worse 
for Fantomas. I tell you, Fandor, we shall nab 
him before long!" 



Slight sounds, scarcely audible, disturbed the 
peace of the cloister. In the absolute silence of 
the night, vague noises could be distinguished. 
Furtive steps, whisperings, doors opened or shut 
cautiously. Then the blinking light of a candle 
shone at a casement, two or three other windows 
were illuminated and the hubbub grew general. 
Voices were heard, frightened interjections, the 
stir increased in the long corridor on which cells 
opened. Generally the curtains of these cells 
were discreetly drawn; now they were being 
pulled aside. Drowsy faces looked out of the 
gloom; the excitement increased. 

"Sister Marguerite! Sister Vincent! Sis- 
ter Clotilde! What is it? What is happening? 

The alarmed nuns gathered at the far end of 
the passage. The worthy women, roused from 



their rest, had hastily arranged their coifs, and 
chastely wrapped themselves in their flowing 
robes. They turned their frightened faces to- 
ward the chapel. 

"Burglars!" murmured the Sister who was 
treasurer of the convent, thinking of the cup of 
gold that the humble little sisterhood preserved 
as a relic with jealous care. 

Another Sister, recently come from the creuse, 
from which she had been driven by the laws, 
did not conceal her fears. 

"More emissaries of the government! They 
are going to turn us out!" 

The Senior, Sister Vincent, quivering with 
alarm, stammered: 

"It is a revolution I saw that in '70." 

A heap of chairs under the vaulting suddenly 
toppled down. Panic stricken, the sisters crowd- 
ed closed together, not daring to go to the chapel, 
which was joined to the passage by a little stair- 

"And the Mother Superior, what did she think 
of it all what would she say?" 

They drew near the cell, a little apart from 
the others, occupied by the lady, who, on taking 
the headship of the "House," had brought with 
her precious personal assistance and a good deal 
of money as well. Sister Vincent, who had 


gone forward and was about to enter the little 
chamber, drew back. 

"Our Holy Mother," she informed the others, 
"is at her prayers." 

At this very moment broken cries rang down 
the passage. Sister Frances, the janitress, who 
everyone believed was calmly slumbering in her 
lodge, suddenly appeared, her eyes wild, her gar- 
ments in disarray. 

The sisters gathered round her, but the help- 
less woman shrieked, quite beside herself. 

"Let me go! Let us fleel I have seen the 
devil ! He is there ! In the church ! It is fright- 

Mad with terror, the Sister explained in dis- 
jointed phrases what had alarmed her. She had 
heard a noise and fancied it might be the gar- 
dener's dog shut by mistake in the chapel. Then 
behold! At the moment she entered the choir the 
stained-glass window above the shrine of St. Clo- 
tilde, their patroness, suddenly gave way, and 
through the opening appeared a supernatural 
being who came toward her ejaculating words 
she could not understand. Armed with a great 
cudgel, he struck right and left, making a terri- 
ble uproar. 

Thereupon the janitress made an effort to es- 
cape, but the demon barred her path, and in 


a sepulchral voice commanded her to go for the 
Mother Superior and bid her come at once, if she 
did not want the worst of evils to fall upon the 

She had scarcely finished when an echoing 
crash was heard. The sisters suppressed a cry, 
and as they turned, pale with dread, before them 
stood their Mother Superior. With a sweeping 
gesture, she vaguely gave a blessing as if to en- 
dow them with courage, then turned to the jani- 

"My dear Sister Framboise, calm yourself! 
Be brave I God will not forsake us ! I intend to 
comply with the desire of the stranger. I will go 
alone with God alone !" Lady Beltham made a 
mighty effort to disguise the emotion she felt. 
Slowly she went down the steps and entered the 
sanctuary, where she halted in a state of terror. 

The choir was lit up. The tapers were flaring 
on the high altar, and in the middle of the chapel, 
wrapped in a large black cloak, his face hidden 
by a black mask, stood a man, mysterious and 

"Lady Beltham!" 

At the sound of this voice, Lady Beltham 
fancied she recognised her lover. 

"What do you want? What are you doing? 
It is madness I" 


"Nothing is madness in Fantomas!" 

Lady Beltham pressed her hands to her heart, 
unable to speak. 

The voice resumed: "Fantomas bids you leave 
here, Lady Beltham. In two hours you will go 
from this convent; a closed motor will be wait- 
ing for you at the back of the garden, at the little 
gate. The vehicle will take you to a seaport, 
where you will board a vessel which the driver 
will indicate; when the voyage is over you will 
be in England: there you will receive fresh orders 
to make for Canada." 

Lady Beltham wrung her hands in despair. 

"Why do you wish to force me to leave my 
dear companions?" 

"Were you not ready to leave everything, 
Lady Beltham, to make a new life for yourself 
with him you love?" 


"Remember last Tuesday night at the Neuilly 

"Ah! You should have carried me off then, 
not left me time to think it over. Now I am no 
longer willing." 

"You will go! Yes or no. Will you obey?" 

"I will for, after all, I love you!" 

The two tragic beings were silent for a mo- 
ment, listening; outside the church the uproar 


grew in violence, brief orders were being shouted, 
a blowing of whistles. Suddenly, uttering a 
hoarse cry, the ruffian exclaimed: 

"The police! The police are on the track of 
Fantomas! Juve's police. Well, this time Fan- 
tomas will be too much for them. Lady Bel- 
tham till we meet again." 

Beating a rapid retreat behind a pillar of the 
chapel he vanished. Lady Beltham found her- 
self alone in the chapel. Five minutes later the 
heavy steps of the police sounded in the pas- 
sages. They went through the house, searching 
for clues, then disappeared in the darkness of the 

Lady Beltham addressed the nuns: 

"A great peril threatens our sisters of the 
Boulevard Jourdan. They must be warned at all 
costs and at once. And it is necessary that I, 
and I only, should go to warn them. Have no 
fear. No harm will happen to me. I know what 
I am doing." 

Under the appalled eyes of the sisterhood the 
Mother Superior slowly passed from the assem- 
bled community with a sweeping gesture of fare- 
well. The moment she was alone, she ran to 
the far end of the garden and passed through 
the little gate in the wall behind the chapel. She 
was gone! 


While these strange occurrences were in prog- 
ress at the peaceful convent of Nogent, and the 
flight of Lady Beltham at the bidding of Fanto- 
mas was effected under the eyes of the sisters, 
no little stir was manifest in the environs of La 
Chapelle, in the dreaded region where the hooli- 
gans, forming the celebrated gang of Cyphers, 
have their haunts. 

A certain misrule reigned in the confederation, 
due to the fact that Loupart had not been seen 
for some time. None of its members believed 
for an instant the newspaper story that Loupart 
had turned out to be Fantomas the elusive, the 
superhuman, the improbable, the weird Fanto- 
mas. This was beyond them. Good enough to 
stuff the numskull of the law with such a tale, but 
there was no use for it among the gang of Cy- 

That same evening there was considerable ex- 
citement at the station in the Rue Stephenson. 
Detectives, inspectors, real or sham hooligans, 
were assembled there. 

"Who is that gentleman?" asked M. Rouquelet, 
the Commissary of the district, pointing to a 
young man seated in a corner of the room, tak- 
ing notes on a pad. 

Juve, to whom the query was addressed, 
turned his head. 


"Why, it's Fandor, Jerome Fandor, my 

Juve was seated at the magistrate's table, com- 
paring papers, documents, and material evidence; 
he had, standing round him men in uniform or 
mufti. One might have thought it the office of 
a general staff during a battle. The door opened 
to a man dressed like a market gardener. 

"Well, Leon?" asked Juve. 

"M. Inspector, it is done. We have nabbed 
the 'Cooper.' " 

A sergeant of the I9th Arrondissement ap- 
peared and saluted. 

"M. Inspector, my men are bringing in 'The 
Flirt.' Her throat is cut." 

"Is her murderer taken?" 

"Not yet there are several of them but we 
know them. The wounded woman was able to 
tell us their names. They 'bled' her because they 
suspected her of giving us information." 

M. Rouquelet telephoned to Lariboisiere for 
an ambulance, and the officers went to see the 
victim, who was lying on a stretcher in the hall. 
At that moment, the sound of a struggle hur- 
ried Juve to the entrance of the station. Some 
officers were hauling in a youth with a pallid 
complexion and wicked eyes. Fandor recognised 
the captive. 


"It's that little collegian who bit my finger the 
night of the Marseilles Express!" 

Leon, who had drawn near, likewise identified 
the youth. 

"I know him, that's Mimile. His account is 
settled, he is jugged!" 

The hall of the station filled once more: an 
old woman, dragged in forcibly, was groaning 
and bawling at the top of her voice: 

"Pack of swine! Isn't it shameful to treat 
a poor woman so!" 

"M. Superintendent," explained one of the 
men, "we caught this woman, Mother Toulouche 
in the act of stowing away in her bodice a 
bundle of bank notes just passed to her by a 
man. Here they are." 

The constable handed the packet to the magis- 
trate, and Fandor, who was watching, could not 
repress an exclamation. 

"Oh I Notes in halves ! Suppose they belong 
to M. Martialle! Allow me, M. Rouquelet, to 
look at the numbers." 

"In with Mother Toulouche !" cried the Super- 
intendent, then rubbing his hands he turned to 
Juve and cried: 

"A fine haul, M. Inspector. What do you 

But Juve did not hear him ; he had drawn Fan- 


dor into a corner of the office and was explain- 

"I have done no more at present than have 
Lady Beltham shadowed, but I do not mean to 
arrest her. You see, if I asked Fuselier for a 
warrant against Lady Beltham, a person legally 
dead and buried more than two months ago, that 
excellent functionary would swallow his clerk, 
stool and all, in sheer amazement." 

At that moment a cyclist constable, dripping 
with sweat and quite out of breath, came in and 
hastening straight to Juve, cried: 

"I come from Nogent !" 


"Well, M. Inspector, "they saw a masked man 
come out of the convent, wrapped in a big cloak. 
They gave chase he fired a revolver twice and 
killed two officers." 

"Good God! It was certainly " 

"We thought, too that perhaps after all it 
was it was Fantomas I" 

"Juve!" called the Commissary. "You are 
wanted on the telephone. Neuilly is asking for 

The detective picked up the receiver. 

"Hello! hello! Is that you, Michel? Yes. 
What is it? In a motor? Oh, you have taken 
the driver. But he curse it! Who the devil is 


this man who always escapes us? What? He is 
in Lady Beltham's house ! You have surrounded 
the house ? Good, keep your eyes open ! Do 
nothing till I come." 

Juve hung up the receiver and turned to Fan- 

"Fantomas is at Lady Beltham's; shut up in 
the house. I am going there." 

"I'll go with you." 

As the two men left the station, they were met 
by Inspector Grolle. 

"We have taken The Beard' at Daddy Korn's," 
he cried. 

"Confound that!" shouted Juve, as he jumped 
into a taxi with Fandor. "Neuilly! Boulevard 
Inkermann, and top speed!" 



"Phew! Here I am!" 

Checking his headlong course at the top of the 
terrace steps, Fantomas rapidly entered the house, 
then double-locked himself in. The ruffian at 
once inspected the fastenings of the windows and 
doors on the ground floor. 

The monster cocked his ear. Three calls of 
the horn sounded dolefully in the silence of the 
night. Fantomas counted them anxiously and 
then exclaimed: 

"There ! That's my signal ! My driver is 

A slight shudder shook the sturdy frame of 
the man. He went up to the first floor and peered 
through the shutters. He caught the sound of 
footsteps. In the light of a street lamp he sud- 
denly descried the outline of his driver. The 
latter, among half a score of policemen, was 



walking, head bent, with his hands fettered. 

"Poor fellow!" he murmured. "Another who 
has to pay ! Ah ! they have left my 'sixty horse' 
for my use presently. But there is no time to 
lose, I'll bet that Juve, flanked by his everlasting 
journalist, will not be long in coming here. Very 
well ! Juve, it is not as master that you will enter 
this house, but as a doomed man!" 

Fantomas now became absorbed in a strange 
task which claimed all his attention. On the floor 
of the dark closet where all the electric gear of the 
house terminated, the bandit laid a sort of oblong 
fusee that he drew from his capacious cloak. 

He fitted to the end of this fusee two electric 
wires previously freed of their insulator; then 
having verified the tie of the pulls of the distribu- 
tion board, he hid the cartridge under a little lid 
of wood. Then he left the closet, taking care to 
double-lock the door. 

"These detectives," he growled, "are about to 
witness the finest firework display imaginable and, 
I dare say, take part in it, too. Dynamite can 
transform a respectable middle-class house into a 
sparkling bouquet of loose stone 1" 

Such was, indeed, the fearful reception Fan- 
tomas held in reserve for his opponents. He had 
made everything ready to blow up the house and 
escape unhurt himself. 


If Juve and Fandor had paid more attention to 
the piping of the wires, they would have seen that 
some of them ran outside the house and disap- 
peared below ground, reappearing at the far end 
of the property in an old deserted woodshed. 

Fantomas was about to leave the house. He 
was already stepping onto the terrace when, sup- 
pressing an oath, he wheeled about suddenly. 

As Juve and Fandor were about to enter the 
grounds, Detective Michel rose up out of the 

"That you, sir?" 

"Well," replied Juve, "is the bird in the nest?" 

"Yes, sir, and the cage is well guarded, I as- 
sure you. Fifteen of my men kept a strict guard 
round the house." 

"Good. Here is the plan of action. You, 
Sergeant, will enter the house with Inspector Mi- 
chel, at my back. The men will continue to watch 
the exit." 

Juve broke off sharply. He saw the door of 
the house open a little way and Fantomas appear, 
then vanish again inside the house. 

"At last!'' cried Juve, who sprang forward, 
followed by Fandor. 

"Slowly, gentlemen! We have now victory in 
sight, we mustn't imperil it by rashness. You re- 
main on the ground floor. Each one in a room, 


and don't stir without good reason. I am going 

"I am going with you," exclaimed Fandor. 

The two went cautiously up the stairs to the 
first floor. 

"Fantomas!" challenged Juve, halting on the 
landing, "you are caught; surrender!" 

But the detective's voice only roused distant 
echoes; the big house was silent. 

"Now, this is what we must do," he cautioned 
Fandor. "Above us is a loft we will search it 
first; if it is empty, we will close it again. Then 
we will come down again, taking each room in 
turn and locking it after us. At the slightest 
sound fling yourself on the ground and let Fan- 
tomas fire first; the flash of the shot will tell us 
where it comes from." 

The two man-hunters searched the loft without 
success. At the first floor Juve repressed a slight 
tremor, for the handle of the door leading into 
Lady Beltham's room creaked ominously. He 
opened it, springing aside quickly, expecting to 
be fired at. The room was empty, no trace of 
Fantomas. The two passed into another room, 
then as soon as their visitation was completed 
locked up the apartment. 

Suddenly, as they reached the foot of the stairs, 
Juve gave a violent start. From the door of the 


drawing-room a shadow, black from head to foot, 
came bounding out. Quick as lightning the form 
crossed the ante-room, then plunged by a low en- 
trance into the cellarage. 

Two shots rang out ! 

Fantomas drew behind him a big bar and 
prided himself on the barrier he thus put between 
his pursuers and himself. But despite his con- 
summate confidence, he was beginning to feel a 
certain uneasiness, an undeniable anxiety. His black 
mask clung to his temples, drpping with sweat. 

He crossed the basement to the little air-hole 
overlooking the garden. 

"That is a way of escape," he thought, "un- 
less " 

But, baffled, he ceased his inspection. 

"Curse it! There are three policemen before 
that exit." 

He scraped a match and reviewed the place in 
which he found himself which for that matter 
he knew better than any one. 

Facing him stood the dilapidated stove and at 
his feet shimmered the cistern. 

All at once Fantomas clenched his fists. Under 
the increasing blows of the detective and his men 
the door of the basement yielded. Above the 
crash of the boards and iron-work Juve's voice 
rang out: 


"Fantomas ! Surrender !" 

Fantomas groped in the darkness. His hand 
came on a bottle. A crackle of shattered glass 
was heard, Fantomas had taken the bottle by the 
neck and broken it against the wall. 

Juve, revolver in hand, followed by Fandor, 
moved cautiously down the stairs to the cellar: 
both men were brave, yet they felt their hearts 
beating as though they would burst. 

Juve reached the last step. He pressed the 
knob of his electric torch; a rush of light lit up 
the little room. It was empty! 

Juve went the round of the cellar, carefully 
inspecting the walls and sounding them with the 
butt of his revolver. He went round the cistern. 
Its surface was black and still. A broken bottle, 
floating head downward, remained half immersed, 
absolutely motionless. 

Fandor laid his hand on the detective's arm. 

"Did you hear; some one breathed!" 

Beyond doubt some one had breathed! 

"Idiots that we are! He is in there," cried 
Juve, pointing to the pipe of the great stove. 

The detective caught sight in a corner of a 
number of bundles of straw. 

"That is what we want, Fandor! We are go- 
ing to make a bonfire." 


When the opening of the furnace was fitted, 
Juve set a light to it and the flames rose, crack- 
ling, while up the pipe of the heater rose a pun- 
gent smoke, thick and black. 

"And now to the openings of the stove! Ser- 
geant! Michel! This way!" 

Through the apertures in the ground-floor 
rooms the great stove was beginning to smoke. 

A broken bottle with the bottom gone was 
floating head downward on the black water of the 
tank. Scarcely had Juve and Fandor gone than 
the water was stirred, and slowly the mysterious 
bottle rose again to the top. Behind it rose the 
head of Fantomas, still wrapped in the black hood 
which now clung to his face like a mask moulded 
on the features. 

Dripping, he issued from the tank and breathed 
hard for some moments. Despite his ingenious 
contrivance for feeding his lungs he was not far 
from suffocating. 

"All the same," he growled, "if I hadn't re- 
membered the plan of the Tonkingese who lie 
stretched at the bottom of a river for hours at a 
time, breathing through hollow reeds, I think that 
time we should have exchanged shots to some 
purpose !" 

Fantomas was wringing out his garments in 


haste when loud cries sounded above his head, 
and two or three shots rang out. At the same 
time a sudden stirring took place in and around 
the house. He turned it to account by going at 
once to the air-hole. Now there was no one on 
guard, so Fantomas put his head through, then 
his shoulders. 

"That's all right; the brute is dead!" 

Juve was examining curiously the creature 
which lay helpless on the floor. Two trembling 
sergeants stood at the door of the room. 

"We were expecting Fantomas to appear and 
a snake unrolls itself and springs in our faces!" 
cried Fandor. 

Half emerging from the mouth of the heater 
the monstrous body of a boa constrictor lay on 
the floor. The men Juve had brought into the 
house were resolute, ripe for anything, but never 
did they imagine that Fantomas could assume 
such an unexpected shape. And terrified, over- 
whelmed with dread, they recoiled in a frenzy of 
fear and fled, calling on their mates outside, who 
at once ran to their assistance. 

"Sir!" A terrified voice called from outside. 

Juve rushed to the window. A dripping crea- 
ture, clad in black from head to foot, crossed the 
garden, running toward the servants' quarters. 


It was Fantomas. Juve swore a great oath : 
"There he is! Getting away!" 

The detective left his cry unfinished. 

As he issued by the air-holes, Fantomas leaped 
forward. He was free ! 

"Juve scored the first game, the second is 
mine," he cried. 

He reached the woodshed. With a practised 
hand he turned the electric tap which ignited a 
spark in the dark closet behind the pantry. 

"I win I" shouted Fantomas, as a terrible ex- 
plosion made itself heard. 

The earth shook, a huge column of black 
smoke rose skywards, explosion followed explo- 
sion. The roar of falling walls was mingled with 
fearful cries and dying groans. 

Lady Beltham's villa had been blown up, bury- 
ing under its ruins the hapless men who in their 
pursuit of Fantomas had ventured too near. As- 
suredly this arch-criminal had got away once 
more. But were Juve and Fandor among the 


University of California 


405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024-1388 

Return this material to the library 

from which it was borrowed. 

! [? ! 

OCT 1 9 1998 
o n i- r 


'DUE: FEB 4 2007 

A 000 029 668 1