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American Detective Fiction    April 1841-July 1891

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  Published in three parts in
Ladies’ Companion, November 1842, December 1842, and February 1843

    "The Mystery of Marie Roget" continued from p. 35

Saint Eustache, the suspicion of all. She could not have thought of returning to brave this suspicion; but the suspicion becomes a point of trivial importance to her, if we suppose her not intending to return.

“We may imagine her thinking thus—‘I am to meet a certain person for the purpose of elopement. It is necessary that there be no chance of interruption—there must be sufficient time given us to elude pursuit—I will give it to be understood that I shall visit and spend the day with my aunt at the Rue des Drômes—I will tell Saint Eustache not to call for me until dark—in this way, my absence from home for the longest possible period, without causing suspicion or anxiety, will be accounted for, and I shall gain more time than in any other manner. If I bid Saint Eustache call for me at dark, he will be sure not to call before; but, if I wholly neglect to bid him call, my time for escape will be diminished, since it will be expected that I return the earlier, and my absence will the sooner excite anxiety. Now, if it were my design to return at all—if I

 

 

 

had in contemplation merely a stroll with the individual in question—it would not be my policy to bid Saint Eustache call; for, calling, he will be sure to ascertain that I have played him false—a fact of which I might keep him forever in ignorance, by leaving home without notifying him of my intention, by returning before dark, and by then stating that I had been to visit my aunt in the Rue des Drômes. But, as it is my design never to return, the gaining of time is the only point about which I need give myself any concern.’

“Such thoughts as these we may imagine to have passed through the mind of Marie, but the point is one upon which I consider it necessary now to insist. I have reasoned thus, merely to call attention, as I said a minute ago, to the culpable remissness of the police.

“You have observed, in your notes, that the most general opinion in relation to this sad affair, is and was from the first, that the girl had been the victim of a gang of blackguards. Now, the popular opinion, under certain conditions, is not to be disregarded. When arising of itself—when manifesting itself in a

Continued on p. 37

 

 


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