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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. 38

reason for doubt. Had the true scene been, as Le Commerciel suggested, in the neighborhood of the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, the perpetrators of the crime, supposing them still resident in Paris, would naturally have been stricken with terror at the public attention thus acutely directed into the proper channel; and, in certain classes of minds, there would have arisen, at once, a sense of the necessity of some exertion to re-divert this attention. And thus, the thickets of the Barrière du Roule having been already suspected, the idea of placing the articles where they were found, might have been naturally entertained. There is no real evidence, although Le Soleil so supposes, that the articles discovered had been more than a very few days in the thicket, while there is much circumstantial proof that they would not have remained there, without attracting attention, during the twenty days elapsing between the fatal Sunday and the afternoon upon which they were found by the boys; ‘they were all mildewed down hard,’ says Le Soleil, adopting the opinions of its predecessors, ‘with the action of the rain, and
 

 

 

stuck together from mildew. The grass had grown around and over some of them. The silk of the parasol was strong, but the threads of it were run together within. The upper part, where it bad been doubled and folded, was all mildewed and rotten, and tore on being opened.’ In respect to the grass having ‘grown around and over some of them,’ it is obvious that the fact would only have been ascertained from the words, and thus from the recollections, of two small boys; for these boys removed the articles and took them home before they had been seen by a third party. But grass will grow, especially in warm and damp weather (such as was that of the period of the murder), as much as two or three inches in a single day. A parasol lying upon a newly turfed ground, might, in a single week, be entirely concealed from sight by the upspringing grass. And touching that mildew upon which the editor of Le Soleil so pertinaciously insists, that he employs the word no less than three times in the brief paragraph quoted just now—is the editor really unaware of the nature of this mildew? Is he to be told that it is one of the many classes of

Continued on p. 40

 

 


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