One story from the soon to be released book, Part One of Two
"HALLOW II": A Portentous Epoch of Sagacious Redolence and Epiphany
(A Significant Era of Perceptive Aroma and Vision)
“Bowery of The Crimson Frock
Gregory V. Boulware
“One day men will look back and
say, I gave birth to the twentieth century”
~Jack The Ripper~
Coincidences, seemingly of a marvelous character, there are
few persons who have not, on occasion, been startled. It also goes without
saying; even the calmest of thinkers have experienced a vague thrilling
half-credence in the supernatural genre.
Speaking of certain, albeit, limited, coincidences,
understand that we, Mr. ‘Eddie’ Poe
the Editor / Publisher,
to speak of this topic. In my own heart, I cannot speak of his
; there dwells no faith in the praetor nature. In past and
probably, future conversations, men will debate the issue of the original
intentions of God’s Laws. They may dispute that nature
and its God
two. The latter creating the former can, at will, control and/or modify it. Would
you not agree, my friend? The insanity of logic has, of course, assumed it is
not that the Deity cannot modify his laws, the question is of will. Does man insult God
with the imagination
of a possible necessity for modification? Mr. Poe espouses the origin of these
laws were fashioned to embrace all and every contingency which could lie in the
future. All that one would need to do is to pay the strictest and closes
attention with unwavering indulgences.
This topic is only referred to as coincidences. It was
submitted for my review as ‘Bowery of the Crimson Frock and Flesh - The
attempting to convey, should be seen as a situation between fate and an unhappy
young lady, known to many as Miss Mary Cecilia Rogers
coincidental cross reference of a Miss Marie Roget
along with the portentous examination of Miss Mary Kelly
victims in this narrative include a Mademoiselle L’Espanaye along
at a certain epoch in their history, therein existed in a
paralleled contemplation of exactitude. In proceeding, the display of this sad
tale, and in tracing the mystery, which enshrouded the two, it is our design to
hint at the extension of this parallel happenstance.
Adopted in Paris
the suggestion of the discovery of an assassin are founded in any similarity
could quite possibly, produce a very similar result.
Consider the most trifling variation of facts in this
supposition. With respect to the latter branch, the two cases might give rise
to the most important miscalculations. Thoroughly diverting the eventful
courses, a mathematical error in which its own individuality may be
inappreciated by a process resulting enormously at variance with the truth. We
must not fail in our understanding the calculus of probability, which forbids
any ideas of an extension of the parallel effect. In proportion, this parallel
has already been long-drawn and exactly on point. For example, nothing is of
sixes having been thrown twice in succession in a game of craps, is a
sufficient cause for betting against the odds, that a third pair of sixes could
be thrown. This effect suggests usual refection by an intelligent individual at
once. It would be impossible to believe that the first two attempts would have
any influence over the third throw. The chance that it would happen again would
as precisely as it would have been on the first two throws. Yes?
Let us not pretend the philosophical aspect needs no
exposure. Would it not be sufficient to say that it forms one of an infinite
series of mistakes – the rise in the path of reason through propensity for
seeking truth in every detail?
The mentality of the analytical mind is usually in and of
itself susceptible to analysis. Some people only appreciate them only for the
resulting effectiveness. Among other things, we’ve come to know that they are
always, when inordinately possessed by the possessor, the source of great
enjoyment. Just like the strongman of a bodybuilder who tends to show off his
muscles with feats of strength. Dis-tangling the tangled and puzzling webs of
deception delights in exercises of gray cell exertion. To this type of
personality, pleasure is derived from the most trivial of occupations that
employ their particular talents.
By complete and utter observation, this opportunity allows
the portrayal of the higher powers of the reflective intellect. Men and women
of the highest order of intellect have been known to take an (apparently) unaccountable
delight in their special analytical abilities; which a proficiency implies the
capacity for success in all important understanding where mind versus mind.
The analysts depicted within this writing “should not be
confounded with simple ingenuity; for while the analyst is necessarily
ingenious, the ingenious man is often remarkably incapable of analysis.”
According to Mr. Poe. I would certainly agree with the observation of the fancy
and the imagination, whereas, it would be found, that the ingenious are always
fanciful, and the truly imaginative are never otherwise than analytic.
Lord Charles Alexander Duprae
lived in Paris, France from May
through September during the turn of the 18th
century. This young
man was considered to be a gentleman. Indeed, he was of an illustrious family.
A variety of events have reduced their financial status to poverty. His
creditors allowed him every courtesy. He never showed any energy towards the
retrieval of his fortunes. He managed on a meager income from the family estate
and a rigorous economy. Duprae was able to procure the necessities of life
without too much trouble. His sole luxury was books. In Paris, these were readily
Duprae and I met at an obscure library by accident. We were
both in search of a very rare and remarkable volume, a one of a kind item. The ‘Rue Montmartre’
was our bowery of
chance and close communion. The detailed history of his family and the entire
candor that was afforded, found me deeply astonished. At length, I reciprocated
the confidentiality. We shared a common temper, although my worldly
circumstances were somewhat less embarrassing than his. With permission, the
experience of renting, and furnishing in a style, which suited the fantastic
gloom, a time-eaten mansion tottering to its fall in a desolate retired portion
of ‘Faubourg St. Germain,’
by we two. The old grotesque mansion was long deserted through superstitions we
did not ask about. We busied our souls in dreams, conversing, reading, and
writing until warned by the clock when darkness came to an end.
We took a stroll one night down a long dusty and dirty
street. It was in the vicinity of the ‘Palais
We were both occupied with thought. Suddenly, Duprae broke the
silence. He said, “He is a very little fellow, yes?”
I replied unwittingly without observing the extraordinary
manner in which he chimed in with my meditations. After I recovered from the
realization of Duprae’s ability to know what I was thinking.
“Duprae,” I said, “how do you…how did you know what I was
thinking?” I looked at him. I paused, to ascertain without a doubt, if he
actually knew what and of whom I was thinking. He looked back at me and said,
“Why do you pause? You were remarking to yourself that his diminutive figure
unfitted him for tragedy.”
He said, “He is a very little fellow, yes?”
I replied unwittingly without observing the extraordinary
manner is which chimed in with my meditations. After I recovered from the
realization of Duprae’s ability to know what I was thinking.
“Duprae,” I said, "how do you…how did you know what I
was thinking?” I looked at him, I paused to ascertain without a doubt, if he
actually knew what and of whom I was thinking. He looked back at me and said,
“Why so you pause? You were remarking to yourself that his diminutive figure
unfitted him for tragedy.”
As memory lends, I do recall a Chantilly. He was a Quandom
Cobbler. His shop was in the Rue St. Denis. The cobbler went mad, so they say.
He apparently attempted an on stage Portra Yal in the role of ‘Xerxes,’ a
character in one of Crebillion’s tragedies.
“Damn it man, tell me the method, if there is such, of how
you’ve come to know my soulful thinking on this matter?”
Duprae smiled. “It was the fruitier who brought you to
conclude, the shoe repairman was not tall enough to play the role of ‘Xerxes.’”
“I know of no fruitier.” I exclaimed.
“For the life of me man, I do not know of whom or what you
speak!” The more I tried to recollect, the more puzzled I became.
“He was the man who bumped into you when we turned the
corner to enter the street – just a few minutes ago,” he explained.
“Oh yes – how astute of you – I do remember!” I was astonished
at his sagacity while I was not. Yes, he carried a large fruit basket filled
with apples. He nearly, by accident, knocked me to the ground. He was in such a
There aren’t many people who haven’t, at one time or
another, experienced amusement with one’s self, in retracing the steps that
brought you to draw particular conclusions. I heard the Frenchman speak and I
didn’t hear him. The part that I did hear and comprehend was most certainly the
truth of it. I was totally astonished at the illuminating coherence between the
starting point and the end of mu meditation.
Just before leaving the Rue Montmartre, we were discussing
horses. It was the last subject on our minds at that point. I remembered the
fruitier. He carried a rather large basket upon his head.
Duprae continued to refresh my memory. “He was the man who
very quickly brushed past us, causing you to stumble and fall onto a pile of
paving stones at the causeway that was undergoing repair. You strained your
ankle a bit. An expression of vexation crossed your brow while you muttered a
few curses, turned and looked at the pile of stones, and then proceeded in
silence. Observation has become a necessity of practicum with me lately.
With petulance, you kept looking at the ground. The
attraction seemed to be the holes and pavement ruts. It appeared to me that you
still had the stones on your mind; until we reached that little alley the
locals call Lamartine. It was paved with overlapping and riveted blocks. Your
countenance brightened. I perceived your lips move; I did not doubt you
murmuring the word ‘stereometry.’ The word certainly defines this species of
pavement. Almost immediately I knew that you could not say that word to
yourself without thinking of atomies and the theory of ‘Epicurus
.’ Since we did discuss the subject not too long ago, I
recall mentioning to you how singularly, yet with little notice, the vague
guesses of that noble Greek. With confirmation of the late cosmogony, you could
not avoid casting your eyes to the sky, peering at the great ‘Nebula in Orion.’
I knew you would like to do that. I was now convinced that I had correctly
followed your steps. However, in the tirade upon the Chantilly which appeared
in yesterday’s newspaper, the satirist made disgraceful allusions to the cobbler’s
name change. He’d assumed the bushkin quoted a Latin line of which we often
conversed, “Perdidit Antiquum Liter Prima
I told you this was in reference to Orion, a.k.a., Urion.
There are certain pungencies connected with this explanation, you know. I
thought you could not have forgotten it. Could you not fail to combine the two
ideas of Orion and Chantilly? The smile that’s passing over your face tells me
that you did combine the two ideas. You thought about the cobbler’s immolation
when I interrupted your meditation. You were going to remark that he was a
little fellow – that Chantilly – he would do better at the theater."
I could only, at that point, nod and agree with Duprae’s
correct and near precise analogy.
Not long after this discussion, we found ourselves looking
over the evening ‘Gazette Des Tribunaux.’ The headlines grabbed us by the
eyeballs and read:
“This Evening, Extra Ordinary Murders Have Been Discovered!”
The newspaper’s report stated inhabitants, at about 3a.m.,
of the ‘Quarter St. Roch,’
aroused from their beds by blood-curdling screams and shrieks from the upper
floors. On the fourth floor of the Rue Morgue, therein resided Madame L’Espanaye
and her daughter, Mademoiselle Camille L’Espanaye.
were the sole occupants of the flat, not mention, the entire building.
The newspaper further mentioned how two Gendarmes and about
eight to ten male neighbors felt the need to break into the flat with the intention
of providing aid to the lone women. After knocking on the door, to no avail,
the door was kicking down. On the outside, one of the neighbors climbed the
balcony trestle and peered inside one of the windows. What he saw sent chills
up and down his spine. After the group completely destroyed the gate hinges,
gaining access to the locked front garden area, most entered the front while
another went to the rear. The room appeared to be totally trashed with what
also looked like blood splashed across the walls. At that point, the gendarmes
and friends gained entrance into the flat. The downed garden gate, front door,
and abounding to the fourth floor of the house, with a thunderous roaring boom,
down came the locked door of the front room. The death sounding screams had
ceased long before their entrance.
Once entry was achieved, the rescuers fanned out in the
building. Each and every room was searched. When they arrived at the fourth
floor landing, there stood a large door, which was also destroyed by their
forced entrance, leading to the inner rooms and the back ones as well. On the
way up, several of the men could almost swear they heard voices that ceased
upon their arrival. The voices were described as voices of angry contention.
They seemed to come from behind the locked door of the furthest room at the
rear of the flat. Two rough voices that couldn’t be deciphered, although loudly
audible upon the attempt at turning the knob. The antiquities styled black
lacquered locked knob would not give way in either direction of this back room.
Once the doors were forced and egress acquired, they were
met with a horrifying astonishment. The flat was torn to bits. Broken furniture
was thrown everywhere. Only one large bed which originally sat to one side of
the room against the right-side wall facing the left side which housed linen
and garb closets. The bed was covered in blood. It was virtually destroyed when
thrown to the center of the room. A nearby chair sat untouched. It was a large
overstuffed sized chair with larger than normal cushions. It was a tannish
brown in color. On the left arm was a blood covered straight razor.
The thick oozing gore dripped from the razor’s blade tip,
down to the carpeted floor. The small puddle of crimson colored fluid began to
grow into a larger pool, indicating it hasn’t been dripping very long.
Three or four thickly trussed human hair samples were found
on the hearth also stained with blood. The hair, long and grey, seemed to have
been ripped from their roots. Jewelry and heir-loomed items of metal lay
scattered about the bloodstained floor. They were mostly topaz, silver, and
gold. Bureau drawers still contained much of its content. They had been pulled
out and thrown. Several others were merely rifled. A safe was found open. It
was a small portable safe. It was discovered standing on its original spot
where it sat under the bed. The bed, in its entirety, was ripped from its
foundation and tossed into the middle of the room. It was the only one in the
room. A dark imprint on the floor in the right corner of the room, revealed its
original spot. The little safe was found standing smack in the middle of the
rectangle spot on the floor which was lighter than the rest.
The open safe, with the key firmly in the lock, exposed a
few old letters and some other unimportant correspondence. Two leathery pouched
sized bags lay in a corner opposite the safe. The bags contained gold coins.
They totaled nearly eight-thousand francs. They too were simply tossed to the
Despite the gory presentation, no human bodies were
detected. Where are the bodies? The hair samples appeared to be that of an
elderly female. Where are the occupants of this flat? Where are Madam
L’Espanaye and her daughter, Mademoiselle Camille L’Espanaye? There were no
traces of the women.
Duprae, noted Poe, took notice of an unusual amount of soot
in the fireplace. This observation took hold after a thorough search of the
house. However, Duprae was not satisfied with its result.
The new search of the chimney allowed a horrible and
bone-chilling discovery. The bloody corpse was lowered into the fireplace, head
first. It had been forced upward into the narrowed orifice. If it were humanly
possible, considering the distance upward in the chimney, one would think the
body was pulled, feet first, up the hole of the structure; possibly from the
outside of the building.
Camille’s body was still warm. If there had been a fire, it
would have been singed. This was an unusually violent act. The face had
multiple severe cuts and scratches. Marks on the throat, deep dark bruises, and
bone-deep indentations of fingernails were also revealed. It would certainly
appear, in the advent of this horrific examination, the deceased had been incitefully
throttled; beaten to death.
The second intense search revealed in the back of the
building, another bloodied corpse. The old lady’s mangled body laid soaked in a
pool of warm and sticky crimson gore. Her throat had been cut just under the
jaw-line. The flesh had the familiar fingernail indentations as found on her
daughter’s face and body. When they attempted to raise the body, the woman’s
head fell off. The investigators weren’t quite prepared for this type of
butchery. Several gendarmes turned and vomited all over the paving tiles
outside the building’s backyard. A number of the investigation team had never
seen a body so viciously and savagely mutilated to the point of doubtful
possibilities of indistinguishing it as human.
The mystery of this terrible horrifically murder, has not
yet produced one single clue as to ‘who dunnit?’
News media headlines blasted the tragedy of the Rue Morgue
across the morning papers. It was there for all to see; the breakfast tables,
neighborhood eateries, barber shops, the gentleman’s club, and yes, the palace
and the Queen’s chambers.
Multiple interviews have produced no leads as to who the
murderous perpetrator might be. Police had interviewed the laundress who washed
for the butchered women. She has known the mother and daughter for three years.
They maintained a good and solid working relationship. The pay was good. The
laundress expressed a loving and mutual affection for each other. The mother
and daughter were nearly inseparable. She also espoused an ignorance of how the
madam came by her fortune. She once thought the elder woman told fortunes to
fill their bellies. The reputation of money set aside was simply that. No
persons ever came to meet the women at the house. There was no furniture except
on the fourth floor. There was no evidence of any other servants on the
premises either. The clothing to be cleaned was taken from the L’Espanaye
building to the home of the laundress.
A Rue Morgue tobacconist, who sold quantities of tobacco and
snuff to the Madame for more than four years, was also deposed. The man was
born in the neighborhood has lived there ever since. The deceased women had
occupied the building for more than seven years. The former occupant was a
jeweler who sublet rooms in the house to various tenants. Madame L’Espanaye did
not like the way her building was utilized. She put a stop to the abuse by
moving into the building, she and her daughter.
“There will be no subletting or tenants of any kind from
this point on!” That was her stern position as she had mentioned to the
The two women lead a retired life. The elder lady kept her
daughter close. They were reputedly wealthy. Once or twice, a porter was seen
to enter and leave the building – a physician was seen coming and going – the
daughter, five or six times. No other person or persons were ever seen entering
or leaving the house containing the corpses – ever.
All of the other bowery neighbors concurred in their
evidentiary statements of fact. No one knew of relatives to the women. The
shutters on the front windows and the rear were seldom opened. Only the large
window on the fourth floor could be seen open. The house was not a very old
one. It was very well designed and constructed. The first official respondent,
a gendarme, testified at the inquiry. He stated he’d been called to the
residence at about three in the morning. He witnessed screams, shrieks, and
blood curdling shrills from the voices within.
When he arrived, there were about forty to fifty people
standing about the house. The hand held open flamed torches lit the blackened
night sky. The cop could clearly see several men and women kicking and shaking
on the front gate at the front garden of the house. The aroma of alarm, anger,
fear, drunkenness, and torch smoke permeated the flame-lit darkness. It was all
very thick indeed…
The screaming voices ceased its slicing of the fairly quiet
night, after the loud snap. The gendarme forced the gate with his bayonet. The
added shaking and kicking upon the gate did snap the locked latch. It popped
with a loud and piercing metallic sounding snap. The officer only took action
after he heard the loud angry voices concerting with horrific and terrifying
cries of death.
When the leading policeman and company reached the first
floor landing, two voices; maybe one or two more, angrily bantered back and
forth. One or two shrilling voices while the other, a gruff sounding one, was
distinguishable by the group. One of the softer, shriller voices sounded
different. It was strange. It was foreign. It could not be told, at the moment,
to be male or female. A couple of words containing “diable’
were clear enough for all to hear. Someone in the charging albeit paused, team
shouted, “Spanish, the language is Spanish!”
Another man; a silversmith and neighbor of the deceased
ladies, said, “No…I do believe the voice was Italian. It was not French. Nor
was it the voices of either of the dead women. I’ve conversed with them both on
numerous occasions” He added concurring testimony to the gendarme regarding the
description of the scene as found. He also said that he aided the police n
restraining the large crowd that was growing fast. They closed all the doors to
the rooms, leaving the things untouched. The crowd of people was forced from
the building and property in an attempt to preserve what undamaged evidence
A German restaurateur who was passing the house at the time
of the screams, a banker from Rue De Loraine who managed the Madame’s accounts
and a delivery clerk left the bags of gold at the house 30 days before the
deaths; an English tailor who was part of the entering group, heard the gruff
voices as male and French while the shrill voice could have been German and
female; all cohesively concurred the report of the officiating gendarme.
Five of the witnesses testified that the door of
Mademoiselle’s chamber was locked from the inside. They broke the door frame
and locks in order to gain entry. That is where they found her mangled body. No
one, other than the victim, was seen. All of the windows, front and back were
locked fast. The door between the two rooms was closed but not locked. The main
entry door of the rooms, leading from the corridor, was locked with the key
still in the inside key hole. The time between screams and the forced entrance
by the saviors was described as short as two minutes and as long as five. It
was with great difficulty accessing entry via that particular door.
Another witness spoke of his residency in Spain. He also
entered the house but did not go upstairs. He said that he was nervous and
apprehensive of agitation consequences. He spoke of persons arguing. The rough
or gruff voice was one of a Frenchman. He could not make out what the man was
saying. The voice with the shrill was that of an Englishwoman. He was certain
of that description.
A confectioner from the bowery volunteered his role. He was
among the first to climb the stairs of the house. He heard the voices too. He
couldn’t understand the words of the shrilled voice, but concluded the gruff
voice to be French. He came back to second guess the shrilled voice as Russian.
“It could’ve been Italian – I’ve never conversed with a
All of the witnesses chimed in on testimony as to their
belief of the impossibility of stuffing a body into the narrow chimneys’
throughout the house, especially those of the fourth floor. It took the
combined strength of four or five able bodied men to un-wedge the tightly squeezed
corpse of Mademoiselle L’Espanaye.
The doctor, Paul Dumas, reported that he was summoned
sometime after day break. He was called to examine the bodies and to determine
the cause of death.
Needless to say, the mademoiselle’s body was badly damaged beyond
reproach. It was much bruised, scraped, cut, and broken. The thought of
stuffing a human body up through a hole the size of a three foot wide sewer
pipe is unimaginable, even to the staunchest gore-seasoned detective in France.
Duprae and Poe noticed everything. They noticed her throat
was greatly bruised and scraped, the impression of large finger marks. They’ve
produced several deep scratches and lacerations just below her chin. The
bruises, scrapes, and a series of livid spots were evident of such.
…Camille’s face was fearfully distorted, discolored, and her
eyeballs protruded – nearly popped from their sockets. Her tongue was bitten
through. It hung in place by a simple single bloody thread. In the pit of her
stomach was a large bruise. The examining detective assumed it was a pressure
mark from a knee.
It has also been surmised that Ms. L’Espanaye had been
throttled to death by a person or persons unknown, according to one examiner on
the scene. Poe and Dumas looked at one another and smiled.
All the bones of the mother’s right leg and arm were
pulverized. Her corpse was terribly mutilated. Her right tibia was shattered
and splintered along with all the ribs of the left side. It wasn’t quite
possible to say how the injuries had been delivered while her entire body was
dreadfully bruised and discolored. It appeared obvious that some form of weapon
was used. It could have possibly have been a heavy club of wood, an iron bar, a
chair leg, or any large and heavy obtuse object would have done the trick if or
when wielded by the hands of a very strong and powerful man – not a woman.
According to the witnesses, the head of the mother was
entirely separated from the body, and was shattered greatly. Her throat damage
was indicative of being cut with a very sharp instrument. It would more than
likely be a single edged straight razor.
A surgeon and Dr. Dumas were called to view the bodies and
to corroborate testimony and opinions. Never before have they encountered a
murder so perplexing and mysterious – never before in Paris.
The investigators saw no possible way to trace this vicious
murderer. Duprae leaned over to Poe and asked for his opinion regarding the
murders. He seemed very interested in knowing more about a certain ‘Adolphe Le
Bon.’ The evening newspaper reported with robust zeal on fresh witness
examinations, all for naught. However, one postscript mentioned Le bon being
arrested and questioned. There was no incriminating evidence to support the
Duprae felt the police had no method in their proceedings.
They merely focused on the moment.
‘My friend, we must not be fooled by all this. They are
pretending to know what it is they are doing. The results attained are not
surprising nor are they unique – they are mostly simple diligent activity.” He
went on to explain as he analyzed the police investigators. “One gendarme, for
example, was pretty good at guessing. He appeared to be a persevering fellow.
But, he lacked as educated thought. He screwed up royally by his investigative
intensity. His vision was impaired when he constantly held objects too closely.
He lost sight of the evidentiary matter with this faulty practice. He would
probably see things more clearly if he simply took his time and gave the case
more thought. Contemplation is the key. He is too profound - by undue
profundity, men perplex themselves and enfeeble the thought process; it is
possible to make even the Goddess Venus disappear from a firm scrutiny too
sustained, too concentrated, and/or too direct.”
I was, as always amazed at Duprae’s systematic logical way
of factoring an analytical, albeit assumptive determination of a given
“As for these murders, let us launch our own official
examination of this case. We need to do this before we make a respectful conclusion
to this mysterious circumstance. Besides, this inquiry will give us a bit of
I thought the statement of ‘amusement’ a bit weird. But ‘Chaunea’s,’
the name his family addresses him by, mind was always one that thrived on
puzzles, perplexities, and mystery busting.
“We will go and re-examine the premises with fresh eyes.
And, besides, Le Bon once rendered me a service for which I am not ungrateful.
We will have no problem getting the necessary permission – I know the police
It was late in the afternoon when permission was given. We
at once proceeded to the Rue Morgue. It was a great distance from where we
lived. The thoroughfares to the Rue Morgue were miserable between the Rue
Richelieu and the Rue St. Roch. The house was easily found; for there were
still people gazing up at the closed window shutters.
It was a Parisian styled house of ordinary design with a
gateway on one side which was a glazed watch-box. It had a sliding panel in the
window, indicative of a Loge de Concierge. We walked up the street before going
into the house. Duprae and I turned down the alley, and then turning again,
passing the rear of the building, examining the entire neighborhood, including
the house, with a minuteness of attention. Duprae gave it an attention for
which I could see no need to object.
With the retracing of our steps, we came back to the front
of the house. Having shown our credentials, we were admitted into the building
by the agents attending security. Going upstairs into the chamber where the
body of mademoiselle L’Espanaye had been found. Both of the deceased females
remained therein. We saw nothing that would contradict what had been stated in
the “Gazette des Tribunaux.”
Duprae scrutinized everything. He and I went through every
room. We were accompanied by one of the assigned gendarme security men. The
examination was intense. It took us into the late hours of darkness. When
Duprae decided that this was all for now. On the way home, we stopped in at the
office of one of the daily newspapers. Duprae had a habit of not discussing or
declining all conversation on the subject of murder. It was his way of being
It was noon the next day when he suddenly asked me about my
thoughts on the case. He particularly wanted to know if I had noticed anything
peculiar at the scene of the atrocity.
There was something…I don’t know, I shuddered at the way the
question was phrased; something in his demeanor caused me to feel unnerved. I
didn’t know why.
I answered him, “No, I didn’t see anything that we haven’t
already seen, Chaunea. Why did you…?”
“The police are confounding with the fact, there seems to be
no motive. They deem this to be an invisible case with no easy solution. The
newspaper, which printed what it believed to be factual, did not enter into the
equation. There idle printed opinions are of no consequence. The police have
determined this case to be impossible to solve. They cannot reconstruct the
voices that were supposedly heard in contention with what is perceived to be factual.
We know that no one was discovered upstairs other than the two victims, yes?”
“There was no way the assailant could exit without being
noticed by the interviewed witnesses. The room was in such disarray with the
body of the young woman being thrust downward in the chimney, the mutilated
body of the old woman; these are simply some of the reasons the police are
paralyzed. They have all fallen into common error of blending and confusing the
obvious with abstruse. But it’s okay! It is with this faux pas that the
ordinary is changed and sliced through to what is sought; the true and correct
answers to this hideous mystery. In an investigation such as this, the question
should not have been ‘what has occurred,’ as to ‘what has occurred that has occurred has never occurred before
The solution to this dilemma is in direct deliverability to the insolubility in
the eyes of the examining authorities.”
I stopped to stare at Duprae. I was in complete awe;
“In this supposition, I await a person who, perhaps not the
perpetrator of these butcheries, was probably implicated by some measure. In
this crime; the worst part of this summary is that he could also be innocent.
I do hope that my supposition is correct. I do expect to
draw a conclusion to this abominable deed.”
Duprae, out of nowhere, exposed two pistols, one of which he
handed to me!
I took the pistol in hand and placed it in the deep pocket
of the right side of my outer coat. If I were to aim and shoot the thing, I’d
want it in my right hand. If in my left, I would not be as confident. Duprae
spoke but I didn’t hear. My mind was focused on what my friend was alluding. He
espoused the belief that the man, the perpetrator would soon be arriving. I
didn’t know what to do – how to react, should he show up here. Duprae said when
he arrives we would need to detain him. Duprae’s voice sounded again. He spoke
as if in a soliloquy. He gazed at the wall. His eyes regarded only the wall. He
addressed me, of course, in his aforementioned abstract voice, albeit by no
means shouted. He entertained a vacant expression.
“The voices that were heard in contention by the party on
the stairs were not the voices of the women. That was proven by the evidence at
hand. With the doubt removed, that the old woman could have harmed her
daughter, and committed suicide. Besides, she would not have had the strength
to shove a corpse up a chimney, especially in the shape that it was in, not to
mention the wounds on her body.
Their murder definitely had to have been a third, and
possibly a fourth party involved.
Now, allow me address not the entire testimony, but that of
the peculiar in the submitted testimony.
Eddie, let me ask you again, did you not notice anything of
the unusual – anything peculiar?”
I looked around and about. I looked at Duprae who stood
stupidly silent. I responded with the observance of witness testimonial
“Precisely,” replied Duprae.
It always amazes me to hear him speak. He sometimes carries
a French accent while the majority of his verbiage is without; he spoke clear
and perfect English.
We agreed there was much disagreement with regard to the
shrill sound while agreeing on the gruff voice of a Frenchman.
“That is exactly the evidence in this case, Mon’Ami. All of
the witnesses proved to be reliable and responsible citizens who all heard
something different. All of the witnesses held different backgrounds and spoke
in different tongues, yes? Each of them, an Italian, an Englishman, a Spaniard,
a Frenchman, and a German have all described what they heard spoken in the
others language; while none have ever conquered of are cognizant of the Russian
tongue. All of them said it was definitely a foreigner. The denizens of the
five great European divisions could not describe the harsh rather than shrill
voices of anything but foreign. They have not mentioned the possibility of an
Asiatic or African voice because they are not familiar, while people of these
backgrounds also reside in Paris. There was no distinguishable words or sounds
mentioned by the witnessing either.
I don’t know what impression I have made so far, but I do
not hesitate to say that legitimate deductions from this point are sufficient
to suspension. However, the suspicion points in several directions in our
inquiries, Mr. Poe,” explained Duprae.
I asked, “Several directions?”
“What shall we examine first?” Duprae thought aloud as he
walked about the main sitting room on the second floor of the killing flat.
“What was the means of egress employed by the assailants?
Neither of us believes in praeternatural events. The women were not destroyed
by spectres or haints. The doers of the dastardly deed were indeed carbon based
mortals who happened to escape unnoticed, but how? Fortunately for us, there is
but one mode of reasoning upon the point, and that point of reasoning must lead
to a definite conclusion.
Let us take another look, point by point, the possible means
of egress. Is it clear, Poe, that the assassins were in the room where
mademoiselle L’Espanaye was found? Well, at least in the adjoining room where
the party ascended the stairs, yes? We need merely to focus on issues within
these two apartments. The floors were left bare by the gendarmes during their
investigation. There were no secret issues escaping their intent vigilance.
Even the walls and ceilings were laid naked to the human eye, Oui?” asked
Duprae continued to ascertain the issues surrounding the
killers’ exiting venue. Both doors were locked securely. The keys were inside.
“Poe, let’s look at the chimneys. Their widths were
ordinary. They were wide enough to allow the close and tight fit of a large
tabby. They were also some eight of ten feet above the hearths. This
determination took the two investigators to the windows. No one could have
escaped notice from the crowds on the street below. They were located in the
front room of the second floor apartment. Poe and Duprae proceeded into the
back room. This room held two windows like the ones in the front. One of them
was unobstructed by debris or furnishings. The other was blocked by a large and
un-yielding bedstead that was positioned close up against it.
The front window was fastened securely from inside. The sash
firmly resisted the utmost force of anyone who endeavored to thrust it upward.
Upon further investigation, the widows were found to have very large and stout
nails driven into their frames. The police were entirely satisfied that egress
did not occur here. Of course the cops pondered over the idea of removing the nails
and opening the windows.
“After personal examination, I have found that all apparent
impossibilities must be proven to be not so in reality.” Duprae whispered to
“My dear Eddie, the murderers did escape from one of these
windows. My friend, they could not have re-fastened the window sashes from
inside as we know, they were found to be fastened securely. Through its’
obvious points, they do not have the power to do this trick, but the police are
completely satisfied with their investigative results. I, on the other hand, am
Eddie, consider this, there is no escaping my well thought
out conclusion. 1st
, I stepped over to the window casement, which
was unobstructed. I then pulled out the nail that was holding it tight and
tried to raise the sash. I could not raise it. I then wondered if this window
was held tight by something else. Then I realized the sash must have some sort
of mechanized fastening. Like a spring maybe? My premise was correct, although
the mystery concerning the nail remained to haunt me. Carefully, I searched
from hidden grooves that would reveal a spring mechanism. I succeeded in
finding it. Upon pressing, I was quite satisfied when it rose almost
effortlessly – quite easily to my amazement.
My attention remained with the nail fastener. Someone who
went through this window would have had to replace the nail, yes? Of course
that would be a great impossibility. The murderer or murderers must have made
their escape by another window. I was again correct in assuming all the windows
would be the same, having spring locks embedded within the sash.
My friend, I was at my wits end. I was completely puzzled.
All of the nails holding the windows tight were identical to one another. The
window, the second one, over top of the bedstead; the nail, like the others,
was driven into the sill nearly up to the head.
Eddie, you must see it by now? That particular nail was
keeping my attention. There must be something wrong with it because it calls to
me. I then went back to it, I touched it and the head fell off.
The shaft of the nail remained embedded within the wood of
the sill. The rust on and around the nail gave evidence of being old. I raised
the window sash. Upon making note of the fact that a small fissure, a cut, a
groove if you will, was gouged from the bottom portion of the window sash.
Fitting the head of the nail into it, submitted a perfect fit.
Lowering the sash, ever so gently, the nail appeared to be
The mystery was beginning to unfold. The murderer escaped
through this window atop the bed. It became vividly obvious that the sash was
purposely or incidentally lowered, resulting in the appearance of the nail
being whole and untouched. This action also allowed the retention spring’s
engagement, thus giving the police no reason to question this window as a route
Now, friend Eddie, what would you suppose, to be a mode of
descent? I was taken aback. Yes, I was a bit puzzled…at first. Take notice. Not
for an instant was the scent lost. Am I beginning to sound like Poirot,
Morse, Holmes, Creek, Chan, Weinthropp, or Jane Tennison
? I have
examined this over and over again. There is no flaw, no missing link in this
chain of events. I have traced the secret to the ultimate result. Do you know
what the secret is Eddie…no? I think that I shall tell you what the ultimate
secret is… The ultimate result is the nail!
In every respect, the appearance of its brother, embedded
within the other window, were identical. But, for human-like reasons, I felt
the need to touch it. The head of the nail along with one quarter of its shank
fell off in my hand. The remainder of the nail was embedded within the sill.
The groove that was cut into the bottom sash accepted the head of the nail
readily. When I raised the window, the nail head went with it and upon lowering
it, the nail fitted perfectly into the rust crusted hole and bottom portion of
the nail. Immediately I knew that butcher had escaped through this window over
top the bed’s headboard.
When the window dropped…probably purposely lowered, the
locking retainer spring locked the window in place, which is probably the
reasons the gendarme missed the clue of escape.”
“Duprae, you cannot be serious! You don’t mean to imply that
a man, even a small man, would have the ability to climb up and down on the
lightning rod attached to the building outside?”
The pair went back outside to the back of the building.
The casement in question was about five and a half feet from
the lightning rod. This rod couldn’t possibly support the weight of anyone let
alone being able to climb down on it. Upon further observation, Poe began to
see what Duprae was seeing. The shutters of the fourth floor were of a
particularly peculiar make. They were called, by Parisian carpenters,
‘Ferrades’ – a kind rarely used in present day, but frequently seen upon very
old mansions at Lyons and Bordeaux. They are in the form of an ordinary single
door, except the upper half is latticed or in open trellis – thus allowing an
excellent hand-hold. At present, these shutters are a full three and a half
feet wide. While continuing their examination at the rear of the house, the
stalwart detectives also noted the shutters were half way open.
Just like the police in the initial examination, missed the
fact that it was not possible to accept the probability that egress has
occurred here. The slats would have been fully pressed backward against the
wall. But the possibility of such an action cannot be ruled out completely.
The police investigators returned to the scene, inquiring
into Duprae and Poe’s activities.
“Under rule of law, gentlemen, the activity concerning this
matter evades the practice as it were. The ultimate object is to only arrive at
the truth, yes? This very unusual activity, along with the difficulty in
determining voice identification, i.e., unequal voice or the peculiar shrilling
sound, as described by your witness; the nationality of no two persons could be
found to agree.”
My friend portrayed a mental, though a bit vague and half
formed conception that began to take form…a comprehension without the ability
“You see my friends; I have shifted the question from the
mode of egress to that of ingress. My mental design suggests that both were
affected in the same manner, at the same point.”
Duprae continued his rant while moving from the outside rear
of the building to the inside rear, slowly walking toward the front of the
building. The odious stench of mildew and wood rot singed the nostrils of the
men upon entering the aging structure.
“Let us now revert to the interior of the room while
surveying the appearances therein. According to the reports, drawers of the
bureau had been rifled, oui? Many of the apparel articles remained within.
Something here is not right gentlemen, my dear Poe. To draw any conclusions at
this point would be totally absurd. To guess would be very silly indeed. How
are we to know that the intact articles are not all that was within the bureau
drawers? Madame L’Espanaye and her once beautiful daughter lived a life exceedingly
secluded and private. They entertained not and welcomed no company – seldom
ventured out in the day – accepted and had very little use for numerous changes
of habiliments. The ones found within the drawers were at least as good a
quality as any that is likely to be possessed by the two women. Should a thief
make off with them, why would he not take the best of the lot? Why did he not
take them all? The bags of gold which lay upon the floor were unmolested as
My friends, I wish for you to discard the thoughts and
blundering ideas of motive, engendered in your brains by that portion of
evidence which speaks of money delivered at the door of this house.
Coincidences such as these, as remarkable as they may seem, happen to all of us
every day of our lives.
The delivery of the money and murder committed within three
days’ time upon its receipt – without a single momentary notice. In general,
coincidences are stumbling blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have
been educated to know nothing of the theory of possibilities – that theory to
which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most
glorious of illustration.”
Duprae continued his gleeful repose on light of the factual
demonstrative display of the obvious. He especially took delight in knowing he
held superiority over the weak and doubtful conclusions of the police, save one
inspector – ‘Frederick Abberline.’ This inspector said much of nothing. Unlike
his braggart compatriots, his qualities reflected a bit of analytic
observations. He took copious notes and entertained a keen eye of portentous
vista. He was a dreamer. Duprae had the opportunity to have met with Abberline
only once or twice. The case of the ripper was in question, and a lone
survivor, known only to him and his assistant. Her name…? - Miss/Mademoiselle Mary
Kelly. Several colloquial interludes have abounded them an amount of mutual
respect and admiration. There was no mention of the mind altering psychological
realms of realization. Poe took note of him, this attentive and astute erudite.
“Keeping everything in the present instance, gentlemen, had
the gold been gone, the fact of its delivery three days before would have been
corroborative of this idea of motive. But, under the real circumstances
involved within this case, if we are to suppose the gold is the motive of this
outrage, we must also imagine the perspective so vacillating, an idiot as to
have abandoned his gold and his motive together.”
Duprae paced back and forth. He then walked in dizzying
circles around and about the room. Our eyeball focusing abilities tarried with
the strain of keeping up with his movements.
“I would gather this colloquial addendum of focus in keeping
now steadily in mind the points to which I have drawn your attention – that
particular voice, that unusual agility, and that startling absence of motive in
a murder so singularly an atrocity as this.”
Chaunea had masterfully succeeded in acquiring our full
attention as he laid forth, the plotting assertions.
“Gentlemen, let us glance at the butchery itself. Here is a
woman strangled to death by manual strength. She…the body was thrust up a
chimney feet first. The common assassins do not employ such time consuming and
useless tactics as a mode for murder. They would not, to say the least, engage
in the time it would take to dispose of a corpse in such a manner. With the
very idea of thrusting a body up a chimney, one must admit there was something
of an outburst of excessive outrage or complete and vile madness. It had to be
something of an irreconcilable circumstance with our common notions of human
action…even when we suppose the perpetrators are the most depraved of mankind.
Ponder upon this too, was it not feasible to conclude the killer was endowed
with inhuman strength which could indeed, thrust the body up such an aperture
so forcibly that the unified indulgence of several strong and vigorous persons
found it difficult in dragging it out of the un-smoked enclosure?
Other indications indict the employment of a most ferocious
and maddening intent to hide the corpse. On the hearth were very thick tresses
of grey human hair. The hair had been ripped out from the roots. You are all,
no doubt, aware of the great force necessary in tearing hair, thick ad healthy
hair, from the head – most likely thirty to fifty hairs together would cause
and present a hideous sight to behold, good gentlemen. You’ve seen the locks in
question as well as me and Eddie, the roots clotted with flesh from the scalp
of the tormented soul. The sight of such indicates a sure token of the
prodigious power which had to have been exerted in uprooting, probably a half
million hairs per snatch. The throat of the old lady was not merely cut, but
her head was only left attached to the body by the slither of spinal cord. The
weapon of choice was a mere straight razor of the facial shaving variety.”
A pin could drop upon this floor and it would be heard by
all in the vicinity. The room filled by this time with twelve men; was deathly
silent. Duprae continued on with his recital of perception.
“Now, look at the brutal ferocity of these evil deeds. I’m
not speaking of the bruises upon the body of Madame L’Espanaye, Monsieur
He and his coadjutor Monsieur Etienne were the pronouncers
of the wound inflicting instruments. They concurred in a colloquial manner,
that an obtuse tool, such as a saw or machete was the cutting tool as opposed
to the razor. They’ve also alluded to the possibility of the obtuse instrument
being the stone pavement in the yard. The explanation highlighted the victim,
possibly, falling from the window which was above the yard and her bed. The
idea however simple it may seem, escaping the police for the same reason the
breath of the shutters escaped them. The affair involving the nails, their compounded
perceptions had been hermetically sealed against the possibility of the windows
having ever been opened at all.
Duprae was teaching and scolding, all at the same time with
a voice that ascended and descended.
“Now, in addition to all these things, I would assume that
you have properly reflected upon the odd disorder of the bed chamber. We have
gone so far as to combine the ideas of an agility that astounds of superhuman
strength, brutal ferocity, butchery without motive; an alien form of absolute
grotesque horror, and foreign voices in tones to the ears of men from many
nations – devoid of any and all distinct of intelligible syllabification. What
results have ensued? Have I made an impression that suits your fancy, gentlemen?
The detective turned with a wry smile, piercing but stern
eyes fell upon his friend, Eddie Poe. The report stated how his flesh creeped
when Duprae made an eerie statement, quite out of the ordinary. He asked a
question that was directed at each of the examining detectives and gendarmes.
“A mad man had done this deed – some raving lunatic, a
maniac escaped from neighboring ‘Maison
“In some respects,” replied Monsieur Dumas, “your idea is
“But the voices of the Madame and the Mademoiselle, Duprae pointed,
“even in their wildest paranoia or paroxysms, are never found to tally with
that peculiar voice heard upon the stairs. Madmen are of some nation, and their
language, however incoherent in its words had always the coherence of
syllabification. Besides, the hair of a madman is not such as I now hold in my
hand. I’ve untangled this little tuft from the rigidly clutched fingers of
Madame L’Espanaye. Please, tell me what you can make of it?”
The inspectors, each of them, and the two uniformed
gendarmes, inspected the tuft of hair. They all looked at one another with
vivid and duped astonishment. Fred Abberline shot a sharp glance into the
smiling eyes of Duprae.
“Charles!” said the unnerved Poe, “this hair is highly
“How do you mean, Eddie?”
“My friend, it’s not human hair!”
“Okay, remain aware that I never said that it was. Take a
look at this bit of sketching that I have doodled from a tracing. This little
facsimile could be described in one portion of the collective testimony.
Beginning with the dark bruises and deep indentations of finger nails on the
throat of Camille. The body of her mother, Elizabeth, held finger impressions
too.” Duprae continued, “Gentlemen, you will understand that this drawing gives
the idea of a firm and fixed grip. It appears that each finger on the bodies has
retained this grip – this death grip with such pressure, it left clearly visible
marks upon the throats of the victims.”
Duprae reached into his pocket and produced a sheet of
folded paper. First he asked us all, in turn, to place our open hand, placing
all of our fingers into the sketched image of the large hand print. Amazement
is to mild a description to mention. The attempts were all made in vain.
“So you see, gentlemen,” said Duprae. “this is the mark of
no normal human being!” Duprae’s eyes flashed and blinked furiously. He
snatched the paper from the hand of het lase examining gendarme. The master
detective motioned to all of us to remain as we are. He swiftly walked outside.
From the garden, he retrieved a chunk of wood. It was a dried tree limb, the
size and roundness equaling in size to that of an average female throat. He
then wrapped the paper around the wood. Duprae handed the paper wrapped wood to
the first examining detective.
“You didn’t seem too convinced with the first test – so try
this one. Grab the paper and wood, wrap your entire hand and fingers around it
and squeeze as if it were a throat.”
They all followed suit in tandem. It then came to me. I also
took the test and handed it back to my friend. It was totally obvious that
Duprae was on target with his analogy. The aghast faces of these colloquial
participants did not surprise Duprae. He continued to ascertain while
describing the circumstances endeavoring a conclusion.
Duprae walked around us and out the front door. We all
waited to see what it is he’d do next. Chaunea walked out to the roadway just
as a horse and carriage rolled and clanked by. He fussed and cursed the fresh
pungent droppings of the steel black stallion trotting ahead of the eloquently
painted purple and black transport.
The irate detective glanced about. He looked to the right
and then left. Waving with a left handed flurry, summoning the boy hawking the
Cuvier newspaper. Obtaining the paper, he turned and rushed back into the house
where were all standing. Duprae unfolding and re-folded it along the way.
“Gentlemen, now read this…read this passage right here!”
Duprae pointed to a minute anatomical and generally
descriptive account concerning a large animal. Right beneath the article of
‘Georges Curvier,’ the renowned naturalist and zoologist’s essay, ‘The Theory
of The Earth – 1796,’ establishing the basic principles of biostraightigraphy;
was the story of an escaped Ourang-Outang. The beast in the photograph was a
gigantic creature with a wild ferocity, prodigious strength, and imitative
abilities that are very well known to the average zoological attendee.
Suddenly, it hit us all like a bolt of lightning – it all
became brilliantly clear… The size of the digits in the print, the coarse, yet
smooth and long tuft of tawny to orange-reddish hair, and the description of
voices being somewhat French; rang all sorts of alarms, bells, and whistles. In
contention, there were two voices. One of them was unquestionably the voice of
Duprae began again, to speak.
“Ah yes, you will all remember an expression attributed
almost unanimously in evidence, to the voice – the expression, “Mon Dieu!” The
confectioner expostulated the quote characterization justly, oui? I have mainly
staked my trust in the full and complete solution to this riddle.”
My friend maintained a stern albeit, stoic look as he paced
to and fro.
“Poe, continue reading the passage on the next page, mon
We all, including inspector Abberline, looked at each other.
Our faces depicted astonishment, were even more impressed with the printed
news. I began to read the advertisement aloud.
“Caught – in the Bois de Boulogne, early in the morning,
same morning of the murders,” I added. “It’s described as a very large, tawny
Ourang-Outang of a Bornes species; as described in Curvier’s zoological
account, may be retrieved immediately by the owner. The owner, may have the
animal again, upon satisfactory identification, and a nominal fee for its
capture and keeping. You may call upon notifier at the Bois de Boulogne Station
I looked at Duprae and asked, “How did you know the owner
was a sailor and to what vessel he belonged?
He replied, “I am not sure. In fact, I don’t really know.”
The master detective picked up a piece of ribbon from the
floor in the crevice of the building. They were standing once again in the
backyard garden of the house. At the foot of the lightning rod, lay the ribbon.
Duprae examined the interesting find.
“The ribbon is the belonging of a sailor, Eddie.” Poe took
the item from his friend and began to examine it closely.
“This small piece of ribbon my friend, is the greasy tie of
a sailor’s hair. It is evident due to the knot and the few dark strands
embedded within the material. Moreover, this type of knot is only known to and
utilized by men of the sea. They are quite found of the long queues they wear.
So you see, this ribbon could not possibly belong to either of the deceased
The other investigators took turns examining the ribbon as
well. They all glared at Duprae in complete and utter awe.
“Now gentlemen, if I am wrong In my induction of this piece
of evidence and the deduction as to its owner being a French sailor belonging
to the vessel ‘Maltese,’ then I have done no harm in what I have said in my
posted advertisement. Should I be in error, the reader will suppose that
circumstances surrounding the situation will simply be ignored. However, I
shall be correct in my supposition that this advertisement will bring him to
claim his property, his per, or perhaps his friend.”
The attending gendarmes smiled and grinned in disbelief of
this man’s arrogance. How dare he presume to assume this conjured sailor would
show to claim something of a ridiculous prize - a monkey, an ape, why not a
gorilla? They all laughed.
Inspector Abberline did not laugh. He made it very clear
that this particular master detective has, thus far, not been proven to be in
error nor incorrect about any of the theories or facts put forth. He also
brought to the forefront, that they; no one offered valid alternatives or close
to reasonable suppositions. The room fell silent.
The murders occurred a vast distance from the Bois de
Boulogne. Questions were raised regarding the distance the suspected brute
would have had to travel. The seaman decided to answer the advertisement in
response to and defense of the threat of charges being levied against him of
his primate beast.
At that moment, while the gendarmes were divulging in a
heated argument regarding the ribbon, they heard a step upon the stairs.
“Okay men,” said the ranking inspector. “Be ready lads!”
They all drew their pistols and stood at the ready. All but Inspector Abberline;
he stood in a darkened corner intending to do absolutely nothing. His intention
was to be quite invisible.
Duprae gave instructions not to shot or show themselves or
their guns until he gave the signal.
The front door of the house was left open. Duprae had been
expecting this particular visitor. He would be the one who will claim the
Ourang-Outang. The sound of footsteps ascending, were clearly audible. Then the
sound changed to those of descending and back again. He was unsure of what to
expect with his intended claim. His decision was now firm and confirmed with
his steadied direction.
A knock sounded at the door.
“Come in.” said Duprae in a welcoming and cheerful sounding
tone of voice.
He entered the room. He was tall, barreled, dark, muscular,
and a sailor. He held an expression of countenance; a seafarer with the
expression of a ‘Daredevil.’ He wore a cudgel made of oak. It was kept under
his belt. That appeared to be his only weapon. His sunburnt face bore a
mustache and full beard of black. He bowed in a respectful manner and greeting.
He then said, “Good evening.” It was spoken with a French accent.
“Have a seat, mon ami.” Duprae said. “You have come to claim
the ape, oui?”
He replied, “Oui monsieur.”
“Tell me, my friend, how old do you suppose the primate is?
I envy you that ownership. I think he is a marvelous and remarkable animal. He
is without a doubt very valuable, oui?”
The sailor looked at Duprae and sighed with a burden or
relief. He then replied, “Oui.” He continued. “I’m not quite sure of his age –
I think he is somewhere around four or five years of age. You have him here,
“No…we have no accommodations for an animal of that size. He
is being kept at a livery stable not far from here. You are of course, prepared
to identify the property?”
“Yes sir, with absolution sir…with deep appreciative
“I will be saddened with his departure monsieur. You can
retrieve the property in the morning. There will be a nominal fee for his care
and housing that need to be met as well.”
“I am willing to pay a small reward in return for his
keeping and feeding costs, Monsieur Officer – meaning that I am not a rich man,
but only a poor sailor with meager savings kept in secret.”
“Very well my friend. To be sure, this is all very good.
Now, let me think for a moment – what shall I claim as a reward for our
efforts? Oh, I am not an officer. But, these gentlemen are.” The two plain
clothes gendarmes and the three in uniform stepped out from the shadows. The
sailor knew there were others in the room. He just didn’t know who they were
“I will tell you that my reward shall be for you to tell me
all that you know about the ‘murders in the Rue Morgue.” Duprae got up from his
chair, walked over to the door, and locked it.
“As I’ve stated, monsieur, I am not an officer. I am special
investigating detective, Sir Charles Alexander Duprae. I am on personal and
special assistance to the ‘Crown’ and the police during this inquiry, and you
monsieur are a prime suspect.”
Duprae spoke those words in a calming, low, quiet, and
controlling tone with stern authority.
The sailor was set aback with the powerful revelation.
Duprae looked over his shoulder at Poe. Then he glanced over to the darkened
corner occupied by Chief Inspector Frederick Abberline. He did not step forward
as did the others. Poe looked over as well. The two men looked back again at
each other with bewilderment expressions.
The sailor’s face flushed vividly. He appeared as if he
suddenly could not breathe; as though he were suffocating. He then jumped to
his feet grabbing with his right hand, the wooden cudgel.
Duprae drew a rather large and formidable looking revolver
from the rear waistband of his trousers.
The sailor sat back down and removed his threatening hand
from the oaken wood. He fell back into his seat, violently trembling with fear.
Poe looked upon the man with concern and pity.
Duprae spoke to the man in a calm and understanding tone. He
then placed the pistol down on the table. He made sure it was out of the
“Mon ami, you are alarming yourself without clear cause. We
mean you no harm. I make this pledge on my honor as a gentleman and a Noble
Frenchman. I am well aware of your innocence of the horrors and atrocity which
took place in the Rue Morgue. But, you cannot deny to me that you are innocent
of some amount of implication in the horrific events. You should realize that I
have information by means of which you cannot dream. Your culpability is
limited. You are not guilty of robbery, least of all, murder; albeit, you could
have been. You have no reason to conceal anything because there is nothing for
you to hide. On the other hand, you are bound by honor; being an honorable man,
you will tell us all that you know. Currently, an innocent man is imprisoned
and charged with a crime that you know the guilty party.”
The sailor spoke after regaining his composure. His original
demeanor and expression of countenance had vanished.
Duprae pressed close to the ruffled sailor. “You know who
the guilty party is – you can and will point to the perpetrator, oui?”
“So help me God, good Sir, I will tell you all that I know
concerning this affair and the party who made contact with me. The man was a
gentleman of average stature while I do not expect you to believe me when I
unveil to you that I do not know his name – only his face is one that I will
Right then, at that point, the chief inspector did not step
out from behind the shadow of the corner. Poe took notice. Duprae noticed the
non-movement as well.
“Monsieur Duprae, I am innocent, and I will make a clean
abreast regarding this situation or die for it.”
“There is no need to die, Mon ami, just tell us the simple
The sailor began to explain the voyage to the Indian
Archipelago. The two-party crew landed at Borneo, and passed into the interior,
intent on pleasure hunting. They did indeed capture an Ourang-Outang during
this quest. The sailor’s companion died on the journey home. He was now sole
owner of the secreted primate. The beast was not an easy secret to keep. The
new sole owner was forced to deal with the occasional period of intractable
ferocity during the return voyage. The sailor succeeded, with a great deal of
trouble, in housing the creature safely in his cabin and while at home in
Paris. He went to great lengths in distracting the unpleasant curiosity of
noisy neighbors. He was careful in keeping the animal in seclusion until such a
time allowed for the recovery of an injury to its foot. The wound was inflicted
while on board ship from a splinter. The paramount plan was to sell the ape to
the highest bidder.
Upon returning home, or rather on the morning of the
murders, the sailor found the beast in his bedroom. While he was out on a night
filled with frolic and gaiety, the beast had broken out from the adjoining
closet, where it had been kept. It was thought to be secured and safe.
The sailor could see the straight razor in its hand. Fully
lathered around its jaws, the Ourang-Outang was sitting before the full length
mirror, attempting to shave itself. The lather was all over its face, mimicking
the way men prepared to shave themselves for shaving. There was no doubt the
beast had witnessed this type of operation in the past.
The sight of this animal holding a razor instantly terrified
the pet’s owner. He was at a loss of what to do next. He had been successful in
calming the animal with a small whip and a soft, but firm and even voice. But
now, the animal held a weapon. Upon seeing the whip in the sailor’s hand, the
ape bolted. He almost flew through the doorway of the bed chamber and down the
stairs from the second floor, and out into the street he went. The ape had seen
doors open and close. His memory did not fail him when he turned the knob of
the unlocked door.
The ape with razor in hand was quickly followed by the
desperate sailor. The beast frolicked up and down the street. It was taken with
its newly found freedom on the profoundly quiet streets of the city. It was
after all, three a.m. The free spirited beast ran past an alley in the rear of
the Rue Morgue. It happened to notice the light gleaming from the open fourth
floor window of Madame L‘Espanaye’s bed chamber. “I noticed it as well,” explained
the remorseful sailor.
“There was loud talking to the point of screams,” the sailor
continued. “The Ourang-Outang rushed to the building’s lightning rod and
grabbed hold of it. The beast made a few defiant gestures at me and with the
greatest agility, alighted the pole. It grasped the shutter, which was fully
opened, and flung itself into the opened window of the second floor flat. The
loud voices from the fourth floor did not cease. It seemed they were unaware or
the chase and noise commotion emanating from the back yard.
The lightning rod, of which the ape ascended, was no
obstacle for a seasoned sailor. He was quite capable of maintaining pursuit of
his escaped prize.
While climbing the well secured rod, the man could hear
shrieks of terror and agony. He nearly fell backward from his perch after
viewing the excessively horrible sight. It was at that moment, the hideous
shrieks that arose in the night, the noises traveled to awaken and startle many
of the slumbering inmates in and about the Rue Morgue.
Upon peering through the opened window, he could see the
carnage which had taken place. The crimson colored gore was splashed all about
the place. It was on the walls, the ceiling, the floors and furniture, and the
bed. The egressed door had just closed upon the sailor’s absorbing sight. There
were no more voices or screams. All that was there was the ourang-outang and
the dead body of Madame L’Espanaye and the ape that was holding her by the hair
in one of its hands. In the other was the un-bloodied straight razor.
“The gigantic ape tossed the woman’s body around like that
of a ragged doll. It may well be that Madame L’Espanaye may have been combing
or brushing her hair at the time of intrusion. The intruder could have been the
accented man or the ape. This observation serves as the reason her hair was
loose and untied.
The beast brandished the razor in its other hand. There
appeared to be no trace of blood on it. The ape began to swing the about her
face as though he were imitating a barber. The young Mademoiselle L’Espanaye
lay prostrate and unmoving upon the floor. I was not sure if she was dead or
alive,” explained the sailor.
During the screams and struggles, a patch of the old ladies
hair was torn from her head. Her screams and struggle may have been
misinterpreted by the Ourang-outang. What may have been docile or pacific by
the ape, was surely changed to that of wrath. With a single swoop of its
muscular arm, it nearly tore the old woman’s head from her body. The sight of
the spouting blood brought the rampaging beast into frenzy. Dropping the
bloodied body, its eyes were inflamed with anger. Gnashing its teeth, and
flashing fire from its eyes, the animal flew rage filled upon the body of the
young girl. It embedded its formidable talons and fangs into her pretty throat.
The animal maintained its deadly grip on the girl until she expired.
Wandering about the room, wild glances fell upon the head
over the headboard of the bed. It was the face of its master, rigid with
horror. The beast stopped dead in its track. It somehow knew…it realized what
it had done. It knew what it had done deserved punishment. It was thinking of
the whip. The actions it next took indicated that is wished to conceal the
bloody misdeeds. The beast cried and skipped about the chamber in agony and
nervous agitation. It began to throw things such as the furniture. It broke the
stuff as it passed. It dragged the bed from the bedstead. Then it seized first
the corpse of the daughter, and thrust it up the chimney just the way it was
found; then that of the old woman which he immediately hurled head first
through the window down onto the backyard pavement. It then dropped the razor
and began an advance toward its pursuing master in the window. Upon its
approach, the sailor shrank backward, nearly falling off the rod. Gliding down
the pole, I at once rushed for home. I was dreading the consequences of the
bloodied butchery, and gladly ridding myself of the horrid gory scene.
In my solitude, the fate of the Ourang-outang in all its
horror was gladly abandoned.
What I scarcely have remaining in my minds black memory are
the voices heard. I heard the Frenchman as well as the men on the stairway. I
heard those men, along with the fiendish jabbering of the crazed and currently
timid ape commingling. The lone Frenchman’s voice was no more.”
The sailor spoke now with some ease of conscience. “The Ourang-outang
must have escaped from the house via the lightning rod, unknowingly closing the
window in its escape.
Subsequently, I was able to re-capture the animal. I cleaned
him up and sold him for a very large sum at the Jardin de Plantes.”
Adolphe Le Bon was immediately released from custody while
the sailor was placed in irons, packed up and made ready for the trip to the
The functionary, however deposed by my friend, publisher,
and editor could not altogether conceal his chagrin at the turn of events which
had taken place. He did see fit to indulge in a bit of sarcasm or two,
regarding the propriety of every person minding his or her own business.
The friend’s disposition mirrored that of several
investigating gendarmes involved in or discussing the case.
“Let them talk,” said Duprae. He didn’t think it necessary
to reply or indulge. He and Poe had submitted their reports. Duprae submitted
his findings to the headmaster of police investigations while Poe submitted to
his newspaper/magazine company. The royal administrator who contacted and
requested Duprae’s assistance was also informed and brought up to date on his
fact finding assignment.
The first respondent detectives indulged in post discussion,
the first claiming sovereignty as being the lead detective until the arrival of
the Chief Inspector. This individual held great disdain for Duprae’s
investigative success. He resented the fact that he had elitist connections and
that he was a ‘Blue-Blood’ involved himself in the business of the average
citizen and its police.
“Let him discourse, Eddie; it will ease his conscience. I am
satisfied with having defeated him in his own castle. Nevertheless, that he
failed in the solutions of this mystery is by no means a matter for wonder
which he supposes it; for in truth, our friend the prefect is somewhat too
cunning to be profound. In his wisdom is no ‘stamen.’ It is all head and no
body, like the pictures of the Goddess Laverna, or at best, all head and
shoulders, like a codfish – to deny what exists, and to explain what doesn’t is
a master stroke for his reputation for ingenuity, and integrity,” said Duprae.
“Chaunea,” Poe asked in bewilderment? “What about the Chief
Inspector…Inspector Abberline? He has not given his opinion. I would have liked
to hear what he has to say about this case. I would have liked to get his
“My friend, he was indeed different if not a strange sort of
fellow. Although he struck me as a shrewd, patient, thinking, analytical, and
very intelligent individual; he seemed to have something extra on his mind. I
do know that he has been on the trail of the ‘Ripper.’”
“Chaunea, I think I remember something about a secreted
royal wedding, kidnapping, and illegitimate child - a son born to Prince Edward
“Oui, mon ami, he did indeed disappear from the shadows of
the L’Espanaye household after we had determined the end result of this case.
He came to me and shook my hand in a congratulatory manner while we were at the
house of the police. He asked me if I believed in the devil and what I thought
of him. I asked him if he’d located his Mary Kelly. He responded with a queer
sort of look and said he had to go to America.
He said the missing Frenchman was going to America in search
of his prize. Eddie, I think we can provide him, the chief inspector with some
assistance. He suggested that the Ripper was there in the house with the two
women when the Ourang-outang disrupted their business affair. Should he request
our input or assistance, we will help him – we will go to New York. He said the
ripper is not dead. The man they caught afterwards was a retired surgeon who
blamed ladies of the night with his affliction – syphilis.”
“The other thing that worries me Eddie is from what I
remember of the kidnapping, murder, and the incarceration of the mother of the
so-called illegitimate child. The smaller newspapers reported the marriage was
legitimate in the eyes of the church. It is the Queen who does not wish it to
be so. Mary Kelly is in grave danger…the other ladies of the night have been eliminated
while the hunt is on for this woman, she will find no peace. Indeed we will go
to America and provide the support and assistance to the Chief Inspector. He
will need it”
“Chaunea, I’ve also noticed the chief inspector was gone
before the full moon appeared. There were reports of the howling of a wolf. The
townsfolk say they have not had wolves in the area for more than thirty years.
They say several of their livestock have gone missing”
“We shall look into this matter, mon ami. Now let us go and
refresh ourselves with a lager and breakfast.”
“There are ideal series of events which run parallel with the real
ones. The rarely coincide. Men and circumstances generally modify the ideal
train of events, so that it seems imperfect, and its consequences are equally
imperfect. Thus with the reformation; instead or Protestantism came
~Novalis, Morale Ansichten~
‘Nocturnal Excursions – It’s A Real Good Day’
There are ideal series or events which run parallel with the
real ones. They rarely coincide. Men and circumstances generally modify the
ideal train of events, so that it seems imperfect, and its consequences are
equally imperfect. Thus with the reformation; instead of Protestantism came
Protestantism / Protestantem, meaning "one who publicly
declares/protests", which refers to the protest against some beliefs and
practices of the early 16th century Roman Catholic Church. The word
"protest" being derived from the Latin prōtestārī, which literally
means to testify, or give a public witness.
The name Lutheran originated as a derogatory term used
against Martin Luther by German Scholastic theologian Dr. Johann Maier von Eck
during the Leipzig Debate in July 1519. Eck and other Roman Catholics followed
the traditional practice of naming a heresy after its leader, thus labeling all
who identified with the theology of Martin Luther as Lutherans. Martin Luther
always disliked the term, preferring instead to describe the reform movement
with the term "Evangelical", which was derived from Euangelion, a
Greek word meaning "good news
i.e. "Gospel." The followers of John Calvin also began to use that
term. To distinguish the two evangelical groups, others began to call them
." In time the word
"Evangelical" came to be dropped. Eventually Lutherans themselves
began to use the term in the middle of the 16th century in order to distinguish
themselves from other groups, such as Philippists and Calvinists. In 1597,
theologians in Wittenberg defined the title "Lutheran" as referring
to the true church.
Part Two: “The Wedding Party”
“We knew we were all doomed…all
of us who knew.”
Abberline recalled the statement from one of several
interviews with the six whores of ‘Cleveland Street’ in the ‘White Chapel
District.’ The funeral of Martha Taibron brought them all to collusion. They
needed to join forces for their very survival. They were constantly pursued by
McQueen, the pimp of Nickel Street. He extorted money and sexual favors from
the street walkers – ladies of the night.
Til Next Time…
Poe (Edgar Allan Poe
) and I
, the 3rd
Party Voice of the Editor/Publisher, Gregory V. Boulware
This story is based on and greatly inspired in whole or in part by Edgar Allen Poe, Master of the Macabre
, ‘Murders In The Rue Morgue’ and The Mystery of Marie Roget.
The Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
“From Hell,” ~Jack the Ripper~
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