THE EXPLOITS 'OF JOVE
IN MEMORY OF
MRS. VIRGINIA B. SPORER
EXPLOITS OF JUVE
BEING THE SECOND OF THE SERIES
OF THE "FANTOMAS"
COPYRIGHT, 1917, BY BRENTANO'S
I. THE COMRADES' TRYST i
II. ON THE TRACK 14
III. BEHIND THE CURTAIN 22
IV. A WOMAN'S CORPSE 33
V. Lou PART'S ANGER . ... 42
VI. THE LARIBOISIERE HOSPITAL ... 50
VII. A REVOLVER SHOT 58
VIII. THE SEARCH FOR THE CRIMINAL . . 64
IX. IN THE REFRIGERATORY .... 70
X. THE BLOODY SIGNATURE .... 75
XI. THE SHOWER OF SAND ...... 81
XII. FOLLOWING JOSEPHINE 90
XIII. ROBBERY; AMERICAN FASHION . . 99
XIV. FLIGHT THROUGH THE NIGHT . . 107
XV. THE SIMPLON EXPRESS DISASTER . .113
XVI. A DRAMA AT THE BERCY WAREHOUSE 118
XVII. ON THE SLABS OF THE MORGUE . . 131
XVIII. FANTOMAS' VICTIM 142
XIX. THE ENGLISHWOMAN OF BOULEVARD
XX. THE ARREST OF JOSEPHINE . . .153
XXI. AT THE MONTMARTRE FETE . . .165
XXII. THE PUGILIST'S WHIM . . ... ... 176
EXPLOITS OF JUVE
XXIII. "STATE'S EVIDENCE" 185
XXIV. A MYSTERIOUS CLASP 192
XXV. THE TRAP 204
XXVI. AT THE HOUSE OF BONARDIN, THE
ACTOR . 212
XXVII. THE MOTHER SUPERIOR .... 222
XXVIII. AN OLD PARALYTIC 230
XXIX. THROUGH THE WINDOW .... 238
XXX. UNCLE AND NEPHEW 245
XXXI. LOVERS AND ACCOMPLICES .... 256
XXXII. THE SILENT EXECUTIONER . . . 268
XXXIII. A SCANDAL IN THE CLOISTER . . . 280
XXXIV. FANTOMAS' REVENGE 291
EXPLOITS OF JUVE
THE COMRADES' TRYST
"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
2 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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,
"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?"
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-
4 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
6 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
8 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
There was a burst of general laughter. No one
could bluff the police like the Square.
Loupart turned to Josephine : "How are things
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
"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-
io EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
"I know, sir, that to-morrow Loupart will be
at Garnet's wine-shop at seven o'clock, which you
12 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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-
"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-
"Address it to
"Commissioner of Safety,
"At the Prefecture, Paris."
ON THE TRACK
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?"
"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.
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
1 6 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
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
"This disguise for a commonplace affair?" cried
Fandor. "Come, Juve, don't keep me in the
Juve laughed at his friend's eagerness.
1 8 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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.
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
"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."
"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?"
Juve motioned to his companion to be silent and
"Fandor, you hear what that man's singing; the
one drinking at the bar?"
20 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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-
"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
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
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
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-
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
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
"Come straight back to me.'*
Fandor was moving off when Juve addressed
him out loud: "Thank you, kind gentlemen! But
24 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
as you are so charitable, give me something more
for God's sake."
The other drew near the pretended beggar and
"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
"Look, Fandor! The bird is going into the
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
26 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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-
"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
28 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
two wall panels. A set of book-shelves covered
a whole wall. Here and there cosy arm-chairs
"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
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
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
30 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
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-
"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,
32 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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.
A WOMAN'S CORPSE
"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."
34 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
At this moment Fandor pointed out to Juve
three men who were running toward them, vio-
"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 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
A loud ringing brought no reply. It was re-
peated, and finally a voice cried: "Who is there;
what's the matter?"
36 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
"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
"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
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."
3 8 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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,
40 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"we've had enough yarns from you; now tell us
"But, good God! I have told you the truth!"
"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,
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-
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
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
44 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
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."
"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
46 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
Josephine's apartment, a comfortable and spa-
cious room, with a fine bird's-eye view of Paris,
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-
"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
48 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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-
"What! He knows already!"
THE LARIBOISIERE HOSPITAL
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
Juve gave a grunt of satisfaction.
"You understand what is going on?" asked
"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
52 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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?"
"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."
54 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
"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
5 6 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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.
"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."
A REVOLVER SHOT
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
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
"Look here, you'll end by making me
think . . ."
"Well, own yourself beaten!"
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
6o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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."
62 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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?"
"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.
THE SEARCH FOR THE CRIMINAL
"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
66 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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?"
68 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
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?"
"What am I to do meanwhile?"
"Nothing, unless you care to go over the hos-
"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-
IN THE REFRIGERATORY
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
72 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
74 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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.
THE BLOODY SIGNATURE
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
"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
76 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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.
7 8 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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."
"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-
"You didn't come here merely to give me
"No. You had some idea in coming to look
me up and then you changed your mind. Why?"
8o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"I assure you you are mistaken."
"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 ?"
THE SHOWER OF SAND
"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
82 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
Again the noises were heard. Chaleck or some
one else was in the study.
84 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
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!"
86 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
88 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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,
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
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-
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
92 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
end of the ward. The young woman occupying
it was sitting up.
"So you want to be off," exclaimed the
"Then you're not comfortable here?"
"Yes, doctor, but "
"But, what? Are you still afraid?"
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
The young woman shook her head and replied
"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-
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
94 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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-
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
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-
96 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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.
98 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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.
ROBBERY; AMERICAN FASHION
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."
ioo EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"Then I'll change later, during the night. I
have till Dijon, haven't I?"
The guard went away. Fandor suddenly
"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-
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-
102 EXPLOITS pF JUVE
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
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,
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!
io 4 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
"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
106 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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 !
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.
FLIGHT THROUGH THE NIGHT
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.
io8 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
Loupart motioned to the Beard and Jose-
phine to follow him.
"Show us the way, Beard."
"The telegraph office."
"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
"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-
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
no EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
"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.
"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!"
ii2 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"And, now, Juve, it's between us two!"
THE SIMPLON EXPRESS DISASTER
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
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."
ii 4 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
"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.
n6 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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?"
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!"
A DRAMA AT THE BERCY WAREHOUSE
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
120 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
"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-
122 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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 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
i2 4 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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-
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.
"ANOTHER RAILROAD ACCIDENT.
THE SIMPLON EXPRESS TELESCOPES
THE MARSEILLES LIMITED. MANY
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
126 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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.
128 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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-
1 30 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
ON THE SLABS OF THE MORGUE
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
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
"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."
"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."
i 3 4 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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-
136 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
Then, turning to the professor, he asked:
"Could you have brought to us the clothes this
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
"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
138 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
the puzzle of which he was so keenly seeking the
Juve again read the momentous paper he had
"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
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
I 4 o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
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!"
i 4 4 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
Juve was pacing his room with great strides.
"Maitre," he said at last, "your story confirms
i 4 6 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
THE ENGLISHWOMAN OF BOULEVARD
"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-
148 /'EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
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
1 50 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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:
"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
"Well, Juve, what have you found out during
"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
152 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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 ARREST OF JOSEPHINE
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
154 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
"Cut with the left and watch what you are
doing; we shall see if there's any luck for us in
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
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.
i 5 6 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
"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
158 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
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?"
"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 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
160 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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-
1 62 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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-
Turning to Loupart's mistress, the judge asked
"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
1 64 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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.
AT THE MONTMARTRE FETE
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
i66 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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-
1 68 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
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
170 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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.
172 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
"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
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.
174 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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.
THE PUGILIST'S WHIM
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
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
"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 "
i 7 8 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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?"
i8o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
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
1 82 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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.
1 84 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
"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
1 86 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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?"
"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.
1 88 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
"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
"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
"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
i 9 o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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."
"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!"
A MYSTERIOUS CLASP
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
"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-
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
194 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
"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
196 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
198 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"Yes, I lock my door every evening."
"What time was it when you went to bed?"
"Ten at latest."
"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
"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
200 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
"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?"
The American gave a violent start.
"They've burgled me! Tell me, sir, tell me
Juve nodded in the affirmative. Dixon stam-
"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-
202 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"Did you have that hole made in the door?"
"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
"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
"To Nogent Station and look sharp. I'm in a
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
The man replied, nettled:
"I don't want to get run in for breaking the
"Never mind the regulations, I'm from Police
The magical word took effect. From that mo-
ment, heedless of the frantic signals of policemen,
206 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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."
"That confirms my suspicions; eh, Juve?"
"Somewhat. I should be astonished if we did
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.
208 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
"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
210 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
"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.
AT THE HOUSE OF BONARDIN, THE ACTOR
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?"
"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
"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
2i 4 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
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.
"Why, we were great friends. When I first
216 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
"How did he come there? The house had no
porter: the owner, an old peasant, knew noth-
"Well, what do you conclude from this?"
218 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
"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,
220 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
"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
"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
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
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
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
224 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
"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."
226 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
228 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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?"
"The odour of hot smoke is easily distin-
guished from the dankness of cold tobacco."
"Well done, Fandor. Here, for your pains,
roll a cigarette and let's talk. Have you any-
"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."
AN OLD PARALYTIC
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."
232 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"Are they with him now?"
"No, sir, they never come till three or four in
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
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.
"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-
"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,
"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
"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."
"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
234 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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,
"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."
"Confound you 1"
With a quick movement Fandor, at the detec-
tive's request, drew back the wheel chair and shut
"You understand," explained Juve, "there is
nothing to surprise my neighbours in my having
236 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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
THROUGH THE WINDOW
"What a splendid fellow! One can count on
him at any time. A friendship like his is rare
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
"Some minutes more went by; a heavy shower
of rain came down and Juve was forced to leave
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,
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-
2 4 o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
"What is going on?" Juve asked himself.
"She cannot be already watching for Chaleck's
242 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
Then Juve started.
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
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."
244 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
UNCLE AND NEPHEW!
"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
246 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
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?"
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
248 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
The porter proceeded to show them the first
floor of the house.
"There is only one staircase?" asked the stout
"Yes, only one."
2 5 o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
At this harmless remark the porter seemed
"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
"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
"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
"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
The uncle, equally 'amused, asked:
"And what did Lady Beltham think when
you told her that?"
252 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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-
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.
254 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
The two relatives retraced their steps to Bou-
"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
"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
"You should have done so."
"But suppose my moustache had come off?"
LOVERS AND ACCOMPLICES
"Oh! who is that?"
From the shadow issued some one who calmly
"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
"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.
258 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"No good to leave that open! An icy wind
comes through the passage to the cellar."
Lady Beltham turned in 'alarm toward her
"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-
260 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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,
"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
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
262 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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! 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
"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-
264 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"And Fantomas? What will become of him
"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
266 EXPLOITS OF 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.
THE SILENT EXECUTIONER
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-
"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
2 7 o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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."
"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
"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
"There! You'll sleep splendid inside that,
272 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
"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'
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
274 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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
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,
276 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"We did," admitted Fandor, at a loss, "but go
"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."
278 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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-
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!"
A SCANDAL IN THE CLOISTER
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
"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
282 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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-
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
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"
284 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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
"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
"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
286 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
288 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"It's that little collegian who bit my finger the
night of the Marseilles Express!"
Leon, who had drawn near, likewise identified
"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
2 9 o EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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,"
"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
"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
292 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
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,
294 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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-
But, baffled, he ceased his inspection.
"Curse it! There are three policemen before
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
296 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
"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,
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
"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
Fantomas was wringing out his garments in
298 EXPLOITS OF JUVE
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
"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!"
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
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