The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 143

a reward; and
even then this reward was limited to a thousand francs. In the mean time
the investigation proceeded with vigor, if not always with judgment, and
numerous individuals were examined to no purpose; while, owing to the
continual absence of all clue to the mystery, the popular excitement
greatly increased. At the end of the tenth day it was thought advisable
to double the sum originally proposed; and, at length, the second week
having elapsed without leading to any discoveries, and the prejudice
which always exists in Paris against the Police having given vent to
itself in several serious émeutes, the Prefect took it upon himself
to offer the sum of twenty thousand francs "for the conviction of the
assassin," or, if more than one should prove to have been implicated,
"for the conviction of any one of the assassins." In the proclamation
setting forth this reward, a full pardon was promised to any accomplice
who should come forward in evidence against his fellow; and to the whole
was appended, wherever it appeared, the private placard of a committee
of citizens, offering ten thousand francs, in addition to the amount
proposed by the Prefecture. The entire reward thus stood at no less than
thirty thousand francs, which will be regarded as an extraordinary
sum when we consider the humble condition of the girl, and the great
frequency, in large cities, of such atrocities as the one described.

No one doubted now that the mystery of this murder would be immediately
brought to light. But although, in one or two instances, arrests were
made which promised elucidation, yet nothing was elicited which could
implicate the parties suspected; and they were discharged forthwith.
Strange as it may appear, the third week from the discovery of the body
had passed, and passed without any light being thrown upon the subject,
before even a rumor of the events which had so agitated the public
mind, reached the ears of Dupin and myself. Engaged in researches which
absorbed our whole attention, it had been nearly a month since either of
us had gone abroad, or received a visiter, or more than glanced at
the leading political articles in one of the daily papers. The first
intelligence of the murder was brought us by G ----, in person. He
called upon us early in the afternoon of the thirteenth of July, 18--,
and remained with us until late in the night. He had been piqued by
the failure of all his endeavors to ferret out the assassins. His
reputation--so he said with a peculiarly Parisian air--was at stake.
Even his honor

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