The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 129

Upon this point I had
been satisfied in my walk with you around the building. About five feet
and a half from the casement in question there runs a lightning-rod.
From this rod it would have been impossible for any one to reach the
window itself, to say nothing of entering it. I observed, however, that
the shutters of the fourth story were of the peculiar kind called by
Parisian carpenters _ferrades_--a kind rarely employed at the present
day, but frequently seen upon very old mansions at Lyons and Bordeaux.
They are in the form of an ordinary door, (a single, not a folding door)
except that the lower half is latticed or worked in open trellis--thus
affording an excellent hold for the hands. In the present instance these
shutters are fully three feet and a half broad. When we saw them from
the rear of the house, they were both about half open--that is to say,
they stood off at right angles from the wall. It is probable that the
police, as well as myself, examined the back of the tenement; but, if
so, in looking at these _ferrades_ in the line of their breadth (as they
must have done), they did not perceive this great breadth itself, or,
at all events, failed to take it into due consideration. In fact, having
once satisfied themselves that no egress could have been made in this
quarter, they would naturally bestow here a very cursory examination.
It was clear to me, however, that the shutter belonging to the window
at the head of the bed, would, if swung fully back to the wall, reach
to within two feet of the lightning-rod. It was also evident that, by
exertion of a very unusual degree of activity and courage, an entrance
into the window, from the rod, might have been thus effected.--By
reaching to the distance of two feet and a half (we now suppose the
shutter open to its whole extent) a robber might have taken a firm grasp
upon the trellis-work. Letting go, then, his hold upon the rod, placing
his feet securely against the wall, and springing boldly from it, he
might have swung the shutter so as to close it, and, if we imagine the
window open at the time, might even have swung himself into the room.

"I wish you to bear especially in mind that I have spoken of a _very_
unusual degree of activity as requisite to success in so hazardous and
so difficult a feat. It is my design to show you, first, that the thing
might possibly have

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