The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 2

By Edgar Allan Poe

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a doubt; he was seen to take it. It is known, also,
that it still remains in his possession."

"How is this known?" asked Dupin.

"It is clearly inferred," replied the Prefect, "from the nature of the
document, and from the non-appearance of certain results which would at
once arise from its passing out of the robber's possession; that is to
say, from his employing it as he must design in the end to employ it."

"Be a little more explicit," I said.

"Well, I may venture so far as to say that the paper gives its holder
a certain power in a certain quarter where such power is immensely
valuable." The Prefect was fond of the cant of diplomacy.

"Still I do not quite understand," said Dupin.

"No? Well; the disclosure of the document to a third person, who shall
be nameless, would bring in question the honor of a personage of most
exalted station; and this fact gives the holder of the document an
ascendancy over the illustrious personage whose honor and peace are so
jeopardized."

"But this ascendancy," I interposed, "would depend upon the robber's
knowledge of the loser's knowledge of the robber. Who would dare--"

"The thief," said G., "is the Minister D--, who dares all things, those
unbecoming as well as those becoming a man. The method of the theft was
not less ingenious than bold. The document in question--a letter, to
be frank--had been received by the personage robbed while alone in the
royal boudoir. During its perusal she was suddenly interrupted by the
entrance of the other exalted personage from whom especially it was her
wish to conceal it. After a hurried and vain endeavor to thrust it in
a drawer, she was forced to place it, open as it was, upon a table. The
address, however, was uppermost, and, the contents thus unexposed, the
letter escaped notice. At this juncture enters the Minister D--. His
lynx eye immediately perceives the paper, recognises the handwriting
of the address, observes the confusion of the personage addressed, and
fathoms her secret. After some business transactions, hurried through in
his ordinary manner, he produces a letter somewhat similar to the one
in question, opens it, pretends to read it, and then places it in
close juxtaposition to the other. Again he converses, for some fifteen
minutes, upon the public affairs. At length, in taking leave, he takes
also from the table the letter to which he had no claim. Its rightful
owner saw, but, of course, dared not call attention to the act, in the
presence of the third personage who stood at her

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven Edition Table Of Contents And Index Of The Five Volumes

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THE BUSINESS MAN THE LANDSCAPE GARDEN MAELZEL'S CHESS-PLAYER THE POWER OF WORDS THE COLLOQUY OF MONOS AND UNA THE CONVERSATION OF EIROS AND CHARMION SHADOW—A PARABLE VOLUME 5 PHILOSOPHY OF FURNITURE.
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THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM THE POWER OF WORDS A PREDICAMENT THE PREMATURE BURIAL THE PURLOINED LETTER A TALE OF THE RAGGED MOUNTAINS SHADOW—A PARABLE SILENCE—A FABLE THE SPECTACLES THE SPHINX THREE SUNDAYS IN A WEEK THE SYSTEM OF DOCTOR TARR AND PROFESSOR FETHER THE TELL-TALE HEART.