The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 121

by the pressure of a knee. In the opinion
of M. Dumas, Mademoiselle L'Espanaye had been throttled to death by
some person or persons unknown. The corpse of the mother was horribly
mutilated. All the bones of the right leg and arm were more or less
shattered. The left _tibia_ much splintered, as well as all the ribs of
the left side. Whole body dreadfully bruised and discolored. It was not
possible to say how the injuries had been inflicted. A heavy club of
wood, or a broad bar of iron--a chair--any large, heavy, and obtuse
weapon would have produced such results, if wielded by the hands of
a very powerful man. No woman could have inflicted the blows with any
weapon. The head of the deceased, when seen by witness, was entirely
separated from the body, and was also greatly shattered. The throat
had evidently been cut with some very sharp instrument--probably with a

"_Alexandre Etienne_, surgeon, was called with M. Dumas to view the
bodies. Corroborated the testimony, and the opinions of M. Dumas.

"Nothing farther of importance was elicited, although several other
persons were examined. A murder so mysterious, and so perplexing in all
its particulars, was never before committed in Paris--if indeed a murder
has been committed at all. The police are entirely at fault--an unusual
occurrence in affairs of this nature. There is not, however, the shadow
of a clew apparent."

The evening edition of the paper stated that the greatest excitement
still continued in the Quartier St. Roch--that the premises in question
had been carefully re-searched, and fresh examinations of witnesses
instituted, but all to no purpose. A postscript, however, mentioned
that Adolphe Le Bon had been arrested and imprisoned--although nothing
appeared to criminate him, beyond the facts already detailed.

Dupin seemed singularly interested in the progress of this affair--at
least so I judged from his manner, for he made no comments. It was only
after the announcement that Le Bon had been imprisoned, that he asked me
my opinion respecting the murders.

I could merely agree with all Paris in considering them an insoluble
mystery. I saw no means by which it would be possible to trace the

"We must not judge of the means," said Dupin, "by this shell of an
examination. The Parisian police, so much extolled for _acumen_, are
cunning, but no more. There is no method in their proceedings, beyond
the method of the moment. They make a vast parade of measures; but, not
unfrequently, these are so ill adapted to the objects proposed, as
to put us in mind of Monsieur Jourdain's calling for his
_robe-de-chambre--pour mieux

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Text Comparison with The Fall of the House of Usher

Page 0
It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down--but with a shudder even more thrilling than before--upon the remodelled and inverted images of the grey sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.
Page 1
The MS gave evidence of nervous agitation.
Page 2
Much that I encountered on the way contributed, I know not how, to heighten the vague sentiments.
Page 3
Feeble gleams of encrimsoned light made their way through the trellised panes, and served to render sufficiently distinct the more prominent objects around; the eye, however, struggled in vain to reach the remoter angles of the chamber, or the recesses of the vaulted and fretted ceiling.
Page 4
The now ghastly pallor of the skin, and the now miraculous lustre of the eye, above all things startled and even awed me.
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A sensation of stupor oppressed me, as my eyes followed her retreating steps.
Page 6
From the paintings over which his elaborate fancy brooded, and which grew, touch by touch, into vagueness at which I shuddered the more thrillingly, because I shuddered knowing not why;--from these paintings (vivid as their images now are before me) I would in vain endeavour to educe more than a small portion which should lie within the compass of merely written words.
Page 7
Certain accessory points of the design served well to convey the idea that this excavation lay at an exceeding depth below the surface of the earth.
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Wanderers in that happy valley .
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Page 11
The conditions of the sentience had been here, he imagined, fulfilled in the method of collocation of these stones--in the order of their arrangement, as well as in that of the many fungi which overspread them, and of the decayed trees which stood around--above all, in the long undisturbed endurance of this arrangement, and in its reduplication in the still waters of the tarn.
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Its immense weight caused an unusually sharp grating sound, as it moved upon its hinges.
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I endeavoured to believe that much, if not all of what I felt, was due to the bewildering influence of the gloomy furniture of the room--of the dark and tattered draperies, which, tortured into motion by the breath of a rising tempest, swayed fitfully to and fro upon the walls, and rustled uneasily about the decorations of the bed.
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His air appalled me--but anything was preferable to the solitude which I had so long endured, and I even welcomed his presence as a relief.
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Could I have judged, indeed, by the wild overstrained air of vivacity with which he hearkened, or apparently hearkened, to the words of the tale, I might well have congratulated myself upon the success of my design.
Page 16
Having rapidly taken notice of all this, I resumed the narrative of Sir Launcelot, which thus proceeded: "And now, the champion, having escaped from the terrible fury of the dragon, bethinking himself of the brazen shield, and of the breaking up of the enchantment which was upon it, removed the carcass from out of.
Page 17
But, as I placed my hand upon his shoulder, there came a strong shudder over his whole person; a sickly smile quivered about his lips; and I saw that he spoke in a low, hurried, and gibbering murmur, as if unconscious of my presence.
Page 18
For a moment she remained trembling and reeling to and fro upon the threshold,--then, with a low moaning cry, fell heavily inward upon the person of her brother, and in her violent and now final death-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to the terrors he had anticipated.