Newspaper Page Text
TRUTH ABOUT THE CASE
Tho Experiences of M. F. Goron, Ex-Chief
,of tho Paria Detective Police
Edited by Albeit Kcyzcr
A QUEER COUPLE
(Copyright by J. II. Upplucott Co)
riltST made the nc
quulntnneo of Hortenso
nni! Itoliert Peirlchon
whllo I WHH Btlll ik1Ico
commissary In tho Pnn-
tin district. A Scotland
Ynrd ofllclal happened to
bo In my ofllco when"!
they woro ushered in,
nnd nt tho Bight of them
lio leaned back In his
ciinlr convulsed with
"What's tho fun?" I naked.
"Why." ho ronrcd, "It's Sully nnd
Sampson Brass como to llfo!"
1 had not rend Dickens, nnd there
foro did not understand tho allusion.
Itut when after his return to Ixindun
my English colleaguo sent mo an il
lustrated copy or "Tho Old Curiosity
Shop," I appreciated tho Joke. Mho
Dickens's fatuous but unscrupulous
characters, tho Perrlchons woro red
haired, tall nnd sallow-skinned, nnd
curiously llko each olhor, tho resem
blance being all tho moro striking be
causo tho woman woro her hair short.
Hortenso was christened Sally, a
nnino that stuck to her.
Tho father of llortenso nnd Robert
kept a "rench-mo-down" shop In tho
Ruo Fnubourg-du-TcmpIo, nnd had nov
eral times been convicted of dealing
In stolen goods. After his death ht:i
on nnd daughter carried on tho busi
ness, but, moro cautious' than tho old
tnnn, managed to keep clear of tho
law, and added considerably to their
Income by lending money nt fabulous
After a few years together, broth'cr
and Bister accused each other prob
ably with cnuso of robbing tho till,
whereupon thoy gnvo up tho shop, and
Bnlly started a servants' registry of
fice Robert committed forgery, was
sentenced to threo years' Imprison
ment, nnd nftcr tho expiration of his
time left tho country. Sally nlso
graced tho dock In connection with a
coco of swindling, but was acquitted,
nnd for a long whllo nothing was
heard of her.
Ono morning a card was brought in
to mo bearing tho nnmo of Mndamo
do Salnt-Floront. It was Sally; and
If her English godfnthcr had been
thcro ho would hnvo Indulged in an
other laugh, for nbovo hor dowdy
dress bIio woro a costly sable capo and
a hat set rnklshly on ono side.
"I havo something to toll you, M.
Goron," nlio began In hor gruff volco;
"Robert Is back."
"I am Borry to hear It," I snld. "I
havo qulto enough criminals on my
hands, nnd could well hnvo dispensed
with him. Rut why did you como to
toll mo that?"
"Dccauso I am nfrnld t)f him. Ho
looked so shabby and hungry that I
bought him a rig-out nnd allowed him
to tnko his meals with mo. Tho other
day I camo homo unexpectedly nnd
found him busy with tho lock of tho
cupboard In my bedroom. I forbadd
him to como to tho houso again, nnd
then ho threatened me, nnd becamo no
inennclng that I gavo him money to
cot rid of him. Ho will murder mo
line of theso days."
"If Robert threatens you," I replied,
"You havo only to go to tho pollco
commissary In your district; ho will
tako tho mattor up."
"It's no uso of my going thcro, M.
Goron. I do not bear tho best of
"Thnt you do not."
"I know it, sir. And, thoroforo, tho
pollco commissary will not trouble
about mo; nor would Robort mind
him much. Hut tho very montlon of
jrour namo frightens my brother, nnd
woro you but to Bay a word to him it
would bring him to his senses. Plcaso
do this for mo, M. Goron."
I told hor that this affair did not
concorn mo In any way. Sally, how
ever, left mo no peace. Sho said her
life was in danger; and sho begged
o hard that I at last promised to sec
hor brother, and, to uso hor own
words, "frighten him to death."
"I shall bo away from Parlo for a
week," I said, "so you had hotter send
mo Robort in ton or twolvo dnys."
On my return from Cherbourg my
secretary informed mo thnt.. Robert
"Ho has not grown handsomer,"
laughed my assistant "I gavo him a
good talking to, and ho promised to
lenvo Sally" nlono in tho futuro, al
though ho asserts that all bIio told you
about hlB threatening her was a pack
"Why did ho not wait for my ro
turn?" I asked.
"I reckon, sir, ho was too frightened
of you, nnd preforred mo to donl with
Several months elapsed, whon tho
nowB renchod mo that a M. F had
beon found dend In a hotel In tho Ruo
Lnfayctto. Ho wns a widower, highly
respected, nnd a member of two fash
ionable clubs. The postmortem show
ed ho had died from poisoning, and
everything pointed to a Biiicldo, al
though neither his mnrrled daughter,
his valet or cook could nsslgu any
reason for tho act
At tho hotel I learned that M. F
had como thero the previous ovonlng
at about ten o'clock, and had paid for
his room in advance. Ho bad not
locked his door, and wns found tho
next morning lying fully dressed on
tho bed. Tho most careful examina
tion of his papers fulled to throw any
light on tho affair, and nt tho ofllclal
Inquest a verdict of sulcldo was re
turned. It transpired that M. P had
wlthdiawu largo amounts from his
bank, no trace of which could bo
found. Ho neither speculated nor
gambled, nnd ho always noted down
every cent ho ppnt. Yet of tho hun
dred thousand francs that had disap
peared no record rould bo found.
What, had becotno of tho cash? Ills
helm moved heaven and earth to find
It, but in vain.
Although I concurred In tho verdict
of suicide, I was not satisfied, for I
scented blackmailers. Thoso who, llko
me, hnvo lived In an ntmosphero of
crlmo, will know tho mischief wrought
by thebo scoundrels.
In tho pnntomlnio of life, wherein
criminals piny bucIi nn Important lole,
swindlers nnd sharpers often lmpor
sonato tho "funny man." Rut tho
blnckmnllcr Is tho "villain," tho traitor
who stabs his victims In tho back, and
rarely leaves a traco of his deadly
When a few dnys after M. F 's
i funeral I called on his daughter ami
expressed my view, sho Indignantly
dcclnred that thero could bo nothing
hidden In her father's llfo a man
whoso reputation had been nbovo bus
plclon. Her husband was of tho same
opinion. I know they woro speaking
tho truth, nnd I also knew that I could
not hope for nny help from them.
After an anxious search I at last
nindo an Importnnt discovery. M.
P had engaged himself to a liar-
onno do V In Tours, and had con
cealed this fact from his daughter and
his friends. Dcoply In lovo with Mnd
amo do V , ho hnd pressed her
hard to fix their wedding for nn early
dato, whereupon It was nrranged that
It was to havo taken place toward tho
end of June. In less than a fortnight,
however, ho had suddenly become
despondent, nnd, to tho lady'B surprise,
hid Informed her thnt tho wedding
had to bo postponed.
All this was related to mo by Mad-
amo do V . who was eager to as-
Hist mo In nlftlng tho matter. Ab I
rose to tako my leave sho Bald:
"Tho last tlmo my poor friend was
hero bo left his clgarotte-caso behind,
nnd Insldo I found this scrap of pa
per. It Is In his handwriting, and tha
notes in pencil refer to a snlo of a
small cstnto ho owned. I am afraid
you will not find it very useful."
I examined tho leaflet with caro.
"Madame," I replied, "this Bcrnp dis
closes four distinct facts, which,
pieced together, may supply a valu
"Tho nddress printed nt tho top of
tho pngo is that of a shady cafo in
tho Iloulovnrd Rochochouart. And
did you notlco tho curious characters
nt tho back?"
"Yes, I did. I fancied they were
"No, thoy nro Arabic. From all this
I deduce: First, that your friend, who
could havo gono to such a placo only
under compulsion, did not meet the
peoplo ho hnd como to seo; second,
that, having hnd to wnlt for them, ho
whtlcd away tho tlmo by scribbling
theso notes on a piece of lotter-papcr
ho found lying on tho tablo; third, that
ho grow Impatient and restless, for
tho characters nt tho back aro jotted
down nervously nnd lack tho llrmncss
of tho othor writing; fourth, that, as
Arabic Is not a languago usually taught
nt college, It Is moro than probnblo
that M. F spent some tlmo in our
"Why, yes," Madnmo do V ex
claimed. "I remombor ho once de
scribed to mo a scono ho witnessed In
"That simplifies mattors," I rejoined,
"nnd I can now set to work."
It la not always oasy to dlvo Into a
dead man's past. Tho moment tho
human machinery has been brought
to a Btandstlll everything that onco
gravitated around him seems to dis
appear. Ho Is forgotten hy friends,
and detractors who persecuted htm to
his last breath havo potent reasons
never to mention his nnmo.
Hut tho threads suppllod to mo by
that noto would, I expected, put mo
on tho right course, nnd 1 felt I could
not havo any peneo as long ns tho mis
creants responsible for M. F 's
dentil went about unchallenged.
Tho statement in a do to mo by M.
F 's daughter that her father's
reputation was nbovo suspicion was
undoubtedly- truo ns far ns l'nris was
concerned. If, therefore, thcro wns a
blot In tho man's llfo I had to look
for It elsewhere, and Oran at onco
presented Itself to my mind.
I mndo discreet Inquiries, und learn
ed that somo twolvo years ago M.
F , whllo in Oran, had allowed him
self to bo foolishly implicated in a
scandal, which, thanks to powerful
protection, had been hiibhcd up.
Whllo I was trying to clenr up that
sldo of tho problem, It was nlso es
sential that I should know something
of tho peoplo who frequented tho
cafe in tho Roulovard Rochecbouart,
nnd I selected as my observatory a
rival establishment a few doors off,
whenco I could watch thoso passing
In and out. '
I know I could rely on my momory,
nnd on tho first day recognized many
who In various ways had passed
through my hands. Not a fow of them
had anything but clean records, but
they woro cither book-makorB, sharp
ors, or tricky horso-dcalers, fre
quenters of the race-course, whoso spe
cialty lay in n different direction.
Ono evening, half an hour after I
had reached my post of observation, I
saw a cloati-flhnven man walk up nnd
tnko his sent outsldo. After a whllo
ho tapped nt tho window for a waiter,
who replied to a question put to him,
whereupon tho man flow into a rage
and, talking rapidly, pulled onco or
twlco tho lobo of his left cnr.
I looked at him In surprise. Many
years ago I had known a follow who,
when his temper was roused, Indulged
In that curious habit. Ho was nick
named tho "Patriarch," becauso of his
long beard; but ho was reported to
havo died In tho Toulon hospital. Ills
namo wns Rachclct, nnd he had been
a notorious blackmailer.
I cautiously got closo to him, nnd
then do doubt was possible. It wiw
tho "Patriarch," minus his benrd and
with his hair dyed black. Even had
I not seen htm pull his ear I should
havo known him by his oyes.
Ho was n cunning rascal, who to
save his skin would not scruplo to
turn on his nccompllcos, which nc
counted for his having onco received an
ugly knife-thrust. Although ho de
clared at tho tlmo ho did not know his
assailant, I suspected ho had good
reason to conceal tho truth.
Whllo I was watching him a man
In a dirty blouse nnd torn cap, his
faco begrimed with dirt, tho typo of
tho Paris loafer, Hlouched past mo
and gavo mo a hardly perceptible nod.
I bad trouble to keep from laughing;
"Toward ten o'clock ho went, jump
ed on a 'bus, changed twice, and
when near tho Iloulovnrd Ney got
down and walked toward tho Ruo
IlousBoau. It Is a dark street, or I
could not havo followed him, At the
end of tho street, where a houso is
being built, I saw him climb over tho
palings, looking for something or
somebody. Ho remained thero for
two hours, nnd then returned homo
tho wny ho came.
"Yesterday ho rose late, spent tno
greater part of the afternoon in the
enfo whero you pointed hlmf out to
mo; and, tho moment darkness had
set in ngnln, took up his position be
hind tho palings In the Rue Rousseau.
"I was beginning to wonder what it
all meant, when I saw a woman walk
down tho Btrect nt a brisk pace. Sho
was about a couple of yards from tho
placo whero I was hiding. At that
moment Intouche rushed up to her,
nnd, seizing her roughly by both nrms,
called out: Tvo caught you ut last,
you beauty.' Hut with a quick move
ment sho shook htm off, nnd turned on
hltn llko a tigress. At the sumo time
her veil fell oft nnd I recognized
whom do you think? Sally, the "
"I know. Go on with your story."
"Hnchelct!' she shrieked, "I'll'
"Hut tho fellow did not let her con
tinue. 'Don't bawl like that, you de
mon,' he hissed; 'only tell mo whero
your brother Is. You know how ho
swindled me, tho despicable hound.
Where Is he?'
" 'I swear I know nothing about
him,' sho cried. 'Hut If ever you daro
again Iny your dirty lingers on me,
I'll bawl tho namo of Hachelet a lit
tlo louder that I did tonight!' And
sho strutted away. As I wanted to re
port to you, I sent word to Rerard to
tako my place and keep tho fellow un
der observation. Do you want mo to
wntch him further?"
"No, Darlaud," I said. "Rut tomor
row you must tell him I want to sec
to nsk protection agalnBt hor brother
becauso ho threatened her life; but I
know bettor, It's nil blnrney. They
meet at her house, nnd I havo seen
Robert go thero repeatedly Into at
night and not como out again. Robert
did mo a bad turn. I moant to be
even with him, nnd kept my eye on
tho pair. No easy matter, for thoy aro
never seen together. I found out he
hnd denllngs with a gentleman who
seemed to stand In terror of him, nnd
I traced this gentleman to his nd
dress in tho Ruo do Provcnco. Ills
name, I discovered, was M. P .and
whon I henrd ho committed sulcldo I
connected Robert with tho affair. I
ought to any Robert and his sister; for
thoy work together, although the sis
ter always manages to keop In tho
"I compliment you on your detective
skill," I said; "but how Is It you bring
mo this Information after so many
weeks havo elapsed?"
"Recauso Robert Biiddenly disap
peared, nnd I waited for his return be
fore calling on you. Robert has becti
blackmailing that poor M. P , nnd,
under tho threat of disclosing some
thing that occurred at Oran, succeed
ed in extracting a lot of money from
"How do you know this?" I nsked.
"I heard It from ono of Robert's
pals, whom he cheated, llko ho docs
"Llko ho cheated you, too, In that
business, I suppose?"
Ho Btartcd from his chair.
"No, M. Goron," ho cried. "I had
nothing to do with this affair, or I
would not bo hero to toll you about
And tho old rascal bowed himself
out of tho room.
It is not to tho credit of mankind
thnt nine-tenths of tho information
supplied to tho pollco Is prompted by
revenge: Uacholet, of course, hnd par
ticipated In tho blackmailing affair,
'Mill ihf L-ifBk
in 'm.,iir ., uiMiiftLOKarai n ,
fBSdil Iff if
" InK I I'l i'vylijM ! I Mil I'll
nil j$b- "ppw JfL
WHEN SHE SAW ME . SHE SHOOK HER FIST AT ME
for, desplto his disguise, I recognized
Darlaud, ono of my men.
Poor Darlaud! In bis constant hunt
after criminals of tho lowest order ho
rarely had time to appear in ro
b pec tablo clothes. It was oven snld
that on his Bister's wedding-day he
had not found a mlnuto to put on a
clean suit, and thnt whon ho attempt
ed to enter tho church tho bcadlo
wanted to glvo htm Into custody. I
walked a llttlo way In front of him
and then turned nround.
"Do you boo that man outsldo the
cafo over yonder?" I asked.
"Do not loso Bight of him, and re
port his movements to me."
On tho afternoon of tho third day
Darlaud turned up.
"I Bcent n mystery, sir," ho began.
"So do 1," I replied; "but possibly
tho solution of tho mystory that puz
zles you may provo tho solution of tho
ono I nra trying to work out"
"Woll, Blr," ho continued, "I never
lost sight of my mnn; I had to go
carefully to work, for ho la terribly
wldo-awake. Ho mado mo trot. Ho
dined at a wine-shop in tho Ruo Louis
Wane, then btrollcd toward tho Ruo
Ilollovlllo und entered an hotel kept
by a mau cnllcd Coulon. A mlnuto
later I saw him at ono of the windows
In his shlrt-sleoves, so I gathered bo
lived thero. I nt onco asked for a
room for myself, nnd mannged to so
euro ono two doors from our friend.
Ills namo, 1 discovered, Is Charles La
toueho, or, rathor, that is how" bo en
tcrod In tho hotel books.
him on a personal matter, and you
will bring him hero. Address him, of
courso, as Lntoucho."
Tho next morning at eleven ho wns
shown in. Ills faco was thin and
crafty, and ho peered at mo with cu
riosity and cunning expressed in his
"You aro Latoucbe?" I began.
"Yes, sir Charles Latouche."
"I havo an Interesting communica
tion to roako to you. A man has just
died, leaving all his estate to a certain
Charlos Lntoucho; and I havo been
asked to hunt for this fortunnto heir.
Havo you any papers to prove your
identity in caso you aro that lucky
Ho Btared nt mo In bewilderment,
and his hand slowly crept up to his
"Don't do that," I laughed, "or you
will mako mo think of somo ono who
had tho samo curious knack. Ills
namo was nachelct"
Ho turned livid. But I Baw It was
with rago and not from fear.
"When you began about that leg
acy," ho said, "I know you wero only
making fun of mo. Yes, I nm Bach
olot; and I changed my namo becauBo
of my past life. If you had not sent
for mo, I would havo como to seo you,
for I havo something to Bay to you.
It roferB to Hortenso and Robort Per
rlchon, Bister nnd brother, twins, a
queer couplo, awfully alike. You know
"Thoy are a pair of scoundrels. The
I woman spread the story that she had
nnd had evidently been defrauded by
his confederate. With his usual cau
tion, however, he had kept on the
safe Bide, and could, therefore, risk
I ordered Inspector Bernrd to arre3t
Robort, and, as we had not yet dis
covered his whereabouts to watch
Sally'B houso, where bo was supposed
to go every night '
Sally lived near tho Porto Cllngna
court, on the outskirts of the city, a
forlorn spot facing tho fortifications.
It was a dismal building situated in
what had onco been a gardon, but hnd
becomo a wilderness. A thick, high
hedgo ran along tho front of tho houoo,
which stood Bomo fifty yards away
from tho road; a wall and a ditch pro
tectcd it at tho back. In tho garden
was a well, walled in with masslvo
stono. govcral windows at tho back
of tho dwelling wero broken nnd
blocked with wooden boards. Al
together, it was a gloomy placo that
would havo lent itself ndmlrnbly for
a sonsatlonal sccno in a molodrama.
On tho morning of tho fifth day I
found Insiector Berard sitting In my
ofllco looking very uncomfortable.
"What's amiss?" I asked.
"Everything," ho roplled. "Fabro
and I watched tho promises very
closely and saw tho woman go out
sovoral tlmos. But never a sign of
Robort. Last night at ton Fabro was
at tho back and I in front of tho houso,
when a cab drove up, stopped about
a hundred yards from tho place, and
some one alighted, whom, in tho
darkness, I could not see. Twenty
minutes elapsed and I was wondering
what had become of tho Individual. A
flguro then suddenly emerged from a
heap of Btoneo opposite me, and like
lightning disappeared into tho houso.
I hnd recognized Ilobert, but unfor
tunately ho had beon too quick for
"Having whistled softly, Fnbro crept
up from his hiding-place, and we con
ferred ns to the best courso to tako.
Wo remained on guard nil night, nnd
this morning nt daybreak knocked at
tho door. After a quarter of an hour
It was opened by tho woman. She
looked pale, and trembled from head
to foot, i
" 'Who aro you?' she asked.
"When wo told her wo wanted to
bco Robert, sho screamed:
"'Ho Is not here! I haven't seen
him for ever so long. Go away, the
lot of you, I havo beon taken 111 dur
ing tho night. You'd better send for
"And sho crept up to hor room.
"Wo then searched tho houso from
top to bottom, but the fellow had dls
nppeaied. We aro certain he Is hid
den somewhere. But where? Fnbre
thinks thcro must be n subterranean
passage leading Into tho fields be
yond, nnd I nm Inclined to think bo
too. Thnt funny-looking well ought
to bo examined. I left tho other men
there. Wo want your help, sir."
1 Jumped into n cnb with my secre
tary, nnd drove straight to Sally's
house. Inspector Bernrd was outsldo,
and informed me that tho woman was
really III, nnd that somo ono had gone
to fetch medical help.
I mado a thorough Investigation of
tho plnce, my men following my move
ment with curiosity. I went down tho
drlod-up well, und saw that tho old
stones, firmly cemented together, had
not been moved for a century. l'
tupped all the floors nnd walls, but
found no traco of nny secret passage.
"Any clue, sir?" nsked Berard.
"Yes. Robert hns been cnught In
his own trap, and cannot get away.
And now I Bball pay a visit to Sally."
Tho room I entered was In a terribly
untidy Btate. Tho floor, chnlrs, and
tnbles wero Uttered with nrtlclcs of
tho most heterogeneous description,
and a strong smell of spirits pervaded
the place. Sally was sitting up In bed,
her head propped up with pillows.
When sho saw mo, sho shook her fist
nt mo nnd said In an angry tone:
"What do you wnnt? Don't bother
mo nbout Robert. Ho Is gono nway,
thank heaven! nnd, what's moro, I
don't want him back. And now leave
me alono. I'm ill."
"I am sorry to disturb you," I said,
"hut I bring you news from your broth
cd. Ho Is hero. Quito closo to us."
Sally bent forward, clenching an old
handkerchief with which bIio hnd wip
ing her forehead.
"Whero do you say ho Is?" she
"Ho Is lying In this bed, looking me
straight In tho face."
"You aro-mad. Do you think I am
"Oh, no. I always know a lady
when I bco her. I should bo sorry to
doubt your sex. But, although you
nro Mile. Hortenso Perrlchon, you
also aro your own brother, or, rathor.
you havo Impersonated him. Is that
A knock fell on tho door. It was
the doctor, nnd I wlthdrow to tho gar
den, nfter hnvlng asked him to signal
to mo the moment ho had douo with
My sccretnry was pacing tho gar
den up nnd down.
"You nllowcd yourself to bo nicely
bluffed," I said to him. "Yes," I con
tlnued, "this woman bluffed you, and
others as well. In tho annals of
crlmo It certainly Is a record case.
Hor brother did not return to this
country, nnd, I daro say, died years
ago. Sally performed a stroko of
genius, coming to my ofllco claiming
my protection ngalnst him. With her
short hair and wonderful likeness to
him, sho put on man's clothes, and
then waited until I was away from
Paris beforo calling at tho ofllco and
introducing herself to you ns Robert
You nover thought that tho gentleman
who camo to seo you was Sally!
"Onco Robert's existence was es
tablished, Sally know sho could with
perfect safety carry out nefarious
schemes, nnd chnngo hor sex tho mo
ment things becamo threatening. It
was she who blackmailed that un
fortunate M. F .
"When Berard came to mo this
morning and rolatcd that wonderful
Btory of Robert's ghostly appearance,
I began to havo an Inkling of the
truth. I do not believe In secret pas
sages nor In miracles."
Tho doctor hero called mo and said
that tho woman was seriously HI, and
I ordered her Immediate removal to
the Infirmary of the Depot X. (the
Central Police Station).
Boforo going away sho beckoned to
mo and whlsporcd In my ear:
"The game is up. You found mo
Thoy wero tho last words I heard
After sho had gono I ransacked her
room, and from tho most Impossible
hiding-places brought to light securi
ties, money, Jewelry, men's clothes of
every description. Among her corro
Bpondenco I found several letters of
M. F ; nlso a document relatlvo to
tho death of Robert threo years be
Sally hnd been struck down with
enterlo fever. When bIio recovered,
tho doctors declared that her mind
wns affected and that bIio could not
bo put on her trial. Sho was trans
ferred to tho St. Anne's Asylum,
whero sho died hopelessly Insnno.
Curiously enough, thoro nro still
peoplo who, having known Sally, re
fuse to bollovo she alono carried out
such a bold scheme Thoy ure con
vinced that Robert was not a myth at
the time, and that he nnd his sister
I bad been plotting together.
T'.LII I I.J ii II I I I
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