The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 1

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 180

just as I have employed them in this conversation
with yourself, no notice whatever of the gross discrepancy has, as yet,
been taken by any of the public journals, or by any of the Myrmidons of
police.

"I shall add but one to the arguments against a gang; but this one has,
to my own understanding at least, a weight altogether irresistible.
Under the circumstances of large reward offered, and full pardon to
any King's evidence, it is not to be imagined, for a moment, that some
member of a gang of low ruffians, or of any body of men, would not long
ago have betrayed his accomplices. Each one of a gang so placed, is not
so much greedy of reward, or anxious for escape, as fearful of betrayal.
He betrays eagerly and early that he may not himself be betrayed. That
the secret has not been divulged, is the very best of proof that it is,
in fact, a secret. The horrors of this dark deed are known only to one,
or two, living human beings, and to God.

"Let us sum up now the meagre yet certain fruits of our long analysis.
We have attained the idea either of a fatal accident under the roof of
Madame Deluc, or of a murder perpetrated, in the thicket at the Barrière
du Roule, by a lover, or at least by an intimate and secret associate of
the deceased. This associate is of swarthy complexion. This complexion,
the 'hitch' in the bandage, and the 'sailor's knot,' with which the
bonnet-ribbon is tied, point to a seaman. His companionship with the
deceased, a gay, but not an abject young girl, designates him as
above the grade of the common sailor. Here the well written and urgent
communications to the journals are much in the way of corroboration. The
circumstance of the first elopement, as mentioned by Le Mercurie, tends
to blend the idea of this seaman with that of the 'naval officer' who is
first known to have led the unfortunate into crime.

"And here, most fitly, comes the consideration of the continued
absence of him of the dark complexion. Let me pause to observe that the
complexion of this man is dark and swarthy; it was no common swarthiness
which constituted the sole point of remembrance, both as regards Valence
and Madame Deluc. But why is this man absent? Was he murdered by the
gang? If so, why are there only traces of the assassinated girl? The
scene of the two outrages will naturally be supposed identical. And
where is his corpse? The assassins would

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