The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 173

restraints and conventionalities of society. He desires
less the fresh air and the green trees, than the utter license of the
country. Here, at the road-side inn, or beneath the foliage of the
woods, he indulges, unchecked by any eye except those of his boon
companions, in all the mad excess of a counterfeit hilarity--the joint
offspring of liberty and of rum. I say nothing more than what must
be obvious to every dispassionate observer, when I repeat that the
circumstance of the articles in question having remained undiscovered,
for a longer period--than from one Sunday to another, in any thicket in
the immediate neighborhood of Paris, is to be looked upon as little less
than miraculous.

"But there are not wanting other grounds for the suspicion that the
articles were placed in the thicket with the view of diverting attention
from the real scene of the outrage. And, first, let me direct your
notice to the date of the discovery of the articles. Collate this with
the date of the fifth extract made by myself from the newspapers. You
will find that the discovery followed, almost immediately, the urgent
communications sent to the evening paper. These communications, although
various and apparently from various sources, tended all to the same
point--viz., the directing of attention to a gang as the perpetrators
of the outrage, and to the neighborhood of the Barrière du Roule as its
scene. Now here, of course, the suspicion is not that, in consequence of
these communications, or of the public attention by them directed, the
articles were found by the boys; but the suspicion might and may well
have been, that the articles were not before found by the boys, for the
reason that the articles had not before been in the thicket; having
been deposited there only at so late a period as at the date, or shortly
prior to the date of the communications by the guilty authors of these
communications themselves.

"This thicket was a singular--an exceedingly singular one. It was
unusually dense. Within its naturally walled enclosure were three
extraordinary stones, forming a seat with a back and footstool. And this
thicket, so full of a natural art, was in the immediate vicinity, within
a few rods, of the dwelling of Madame Deluc, whose boys were in the
habit of closely examining the shrubberies about them in search of
the bark of the sassafras. Would it be a rash wager--a wager of one
thousand to one--that a day never passed over the heads of these boys
without finding at least one of them ensconced in the umbrageous hall,
and enthroned

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Ide, junior.
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