It seems to me that imagination and reasoning have reached magnificent heights with some writers, especially poets. Among them, I strongly believe, the highest ever was Edgar Allan Poe. With Baudelaire I state that "le poete est souverainement intelligent, qu'il est l'intelligence par excellence, -et que l'imagination est la plus scientifique des facultes, parce que seule elle comprend l'analogie universelle...". One of those poets was Edgar Allan Poe. I reproduce here "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" as a gesture against what Baudelaire called "la ferocite de l'hypocrisie bourgeoise", and what I personally call mediocrity, imbecility, and comprehensive intellectual dishonesty, all of which is presented as "realistic thinking". And, as we know, contemporary development studies are full of  "realistic thinking". So, let us learn something from Edgar Allan Poe!.  (Róbinson Rojas - 1996)
The Project Gutenberg Etext of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe V. 1
Volume 1 of the Raven Edition  #6 in our series by Edgar Allan Poe

VOLUME I  Contents
Edgar Allan Poe, An Appreciation
Life of Poe, by James Russell Lowell
Death of Poe, by N. P. Willis
The Unparalled Adventures of One Hans Pfall
The Gold Bug
Four Beasts in One
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Mystery of Marie Rogêt
The Balloon Hoax
MS. Found in a Bottle
The Oval Portrait                          BACK TO MAIN INDEX

                   THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET.{*1} 
Es giebt eine Reihe idealischer Begebenheiten, die der Wirklichkeit  
parallel lauft. Selten fallen sie zusammen. Menschen und zufalle  
modifieiren gewohulich die idealische Begebenheit, so dass sie 
unvollkommen erscheint, und ihre Folgen gleichfalls unvollkommen 
sind. So bei der Reformation; statt des Protestantismus kam das 
Lutherthum hervor. 
There are ideal series of 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 Lutheranism. 
                   - Novalis. {*2} Moral Ansichten. 
THERE are few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not 
occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half-credence 
in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvellous a 
character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable 
to receive them. Such sentiments - for the half-credences of which I 
speak have never the full force of thought - such sentiments are 
seldom thoroughly stifled unless by reference to the doctrine of 
chance, or, as it is technically termed, the Calculus of 
Probabilities. Now this Calculus is, in its essence, purely 
mathematical; and thus we have the anomaly of the most rigidly exact 
in science applied to the shadow and spirituality of the most 
intangible in speculation. 
The extraordinary details which I am now called upon to make public, 
will be found to form, as regards sequence of time, the primary 
branch of a series of scarcely intelligible coincidences, whose 
secondary or concluding branch will be recognized by all readers in 
the late murder of Mary Cecila Rogers, at New York. 
When, in an article entitled "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," I 
endeavored, about a year ago, to depict some very remarkable features 
in the mental character of my friend, the Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, 
it did not occur to me that I should ever resume the subject. This 
depicting of character constituted my design; and this design was 
thoroughly fulfilled in the wild train of circumstances brought to 
instance Dupin's idiosyncrasy. I might have adduced other examples, 
but I should have proven no more. Late events, however, in their 
surprising development, have startled me into some farther details, 
which will carry with them the air of extorted confession. Hearing 
what I have lately heard, it would be indeed strange should I remain 
silent in regard to what I both heard and saw so long ago. 
Upon the winding up of the tragedy involved in the deaths of Madame 
L'Espanaye and her daughter, the Chevalier dismissed the affair at 
once from his attention, and relapsed into his old habits of moody 
reverie. Prone, at all times, to abstraction, I readily fell in with 
his humor; and, continuing to occupy our chambers in the Faubourg 
Saint Germain, we gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered 
tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into 
But these dreams were not altogether uninterrupted. It may readily be 
supposed that the part played by my friend, in the drama at the Rue 
Morgue, had not failed of its impression upon the fancies of the 
Parisian police. With its emissaries, the name of Dupin had grown 
into a household word. The simple character of those inductions by 
which he had disentangled the mystery never having been explained 
even to the Prefect, or to any other individual than myself, of 
course it is not surprising that the affair was regarded as little 
less than miraculous, or that the Chevalier's analytical abilities 
acquired for him the credit of intuition. His frankness would have 
led him to disabuse every inquirer of such prejudice; but his 
indolent humor forbade all farther agitation of a topic whose 
interest to himself had long ceased. It thus happened that he found 
himself the cynosure of the policial eyes; and the cases were not few 
in which attempt was made to engage his services at the Prefecture. 
One of the most remarkable instances was that of the murder of a 
young girl named Marie Rogêt. 
This event occurred about two years after the atrocity in the Rue 
Morgue. Marie, whose Christian and family name will at once arrest 
attention from their resemblance to those of the unfortunate "cigar- 
girl," was the only daughter of the widow Estelle Rogêt. The father 
had died during the child's infancy, and from the period of his 
death, until within eighteen months before the assassination which 
forms the subject of our narrative, the mother and daughter had dwelt 
together in the Rue Pavée Saint Andrée; {*3} Madame there keeping a 
pension, assisted by Marie. Affairs went on thus until the latter had 
attained her twenty-second year, when her great beauty attracted the 
notice of a perfumer, who occupied one of the shops in the basement 
of the Palais Royal, and whose custom lay chiefly among the desperate 
adventurers infesting that neighborhood. Monsieur Le Blanc {*4} was 
not unaware of the advantages to be derived from the attendance of 
the fair Marie in his perfumery; and his liberal proposals were 
accepted eagerly by the girl, although with somewhat more of 
hesitation by Madame. 
The anticipations of the shopkeeper were realized, and his rooms soon 
became notorious through the charms of the sprightly grisette. She 
had been in his employ about a year, when her admirers were thrown 
info confusion by her sudden disappearance from the shop. Monsieur Le 
Blanc was unable to account for her absence, and Madame Rogêt was 
distracted with anxiety and terror. The public papers immediately 
took up the theme, and the police were upon the point of making 
serious investigations, when, one fine morning, after the lapse of a 
week, Marie, in good health, but with a somewhat saddened air, made 
her re-appearance at her usual counter in the perfumery. All inquiry, 
except that of a private character, was of course immediately hushed. 
Monsieur Le Blanc professed total ignorance, as before. Marie, with 
Madame, replied to all questions, that the last week had been spent 
at the house of a relation in the country. Thus the affair died away, 
and was generally forgotten; for the girl, ostensibly to relieve 
herself from the impertinence of curiosity, soon bade a final adieu 
to the perfumer, and sought the shelter of her mother's residence in 
the Rue Pavée Saint Andrée. 
It was about five months after this return home, that her friends 
were alarmed by her sudden disappearance for the second time. Three 
days elapsed, and nothing was heard of her. On the fourth her corpse 
was found floating in the Seine, * near the shore which is opposite 
the Quartier of the Rue Saint Andree, and at a point not very far 
distant from the secluded neighborhood of the Barrière du Roule. {*6} 
The atrocity of this murder, (for it was at once evident that murder 
had been committed,) the youth and beauty of the victim, and, above 
all, her previous notoriety, conspired to produce intense excitement 
in the minds of the sensitive Parisians. I can call to mind no 
similar occurrence producing so general and so intense an effect. For 
several weeks, in the discussion of this one absorbing theme, even 
the momentous political topics of the day were forgotten. The Prefect 
made unusual exertions; and the powers of the whole Parisian police 
were, of course, tasked to the utmost extent. 
Upon the first discovery of the corpse, it was not supposed that the 
murderer would be able to elude, for more than a very brief period, 
the inquisition which was immediately set on foot. It was not until 
the expiration of a week that it was deemed necessary to offer a 
reward; and even then this reward was limited to a thousand francs. 
In the mean time the investigation proceeded with vigor, if not 
always with judgment, and numerous individuals were examined to no 
purpose; while, owing to the continual absence of all clue to the 
mystery, the popular excitement greatly increased. At the end of the 
tenth day it was thought advisable to double the sum originally 
proposed; and, at length, the second week having elapsed without 
leading to any discoveries, and the prejudice which always exists in 
Paris against the Police having given vent to itself in several 
serious émeutes, the Prefect took it upon himself to offer the sum of 
twenty thousand francs "for the conviction of the assassin," or, if 
more than one should prove to have been implicated, "for the 
conviction of any one of the assassins." In the proclamation setting 
forth this reward, a full pardon was promised to any accomplice who 
should come forward in evidence against his fellow; and to the whole 
was appended, wherever it appeared, the private placard of a 
committee of citizens, offering ten thousand francs, in addition to 
the amount proposed by the Prefecture. The entire reward thus stood 
at no less than thirty thousand francs, which will be regarded as an 
extraordinary sum when we consider the humble condition of the girl, 
and the great frequency, in large cities, of such atrocities as the 
one described. 
No one doubted now that the mystery of this murder would be 
immediately brought to light. But although, in one or two instances, 
arrests were made which promised elucidation, yet nothing was 
elicited which could implicate the parties suspected; and they were 
discharged forthwith. Strange as it may appear, the third week from 
the discovery of the body had passed, and passed without any light 
being thrown upon the subject, before even a rumor of the events 
which had so agitated the public mind, reached the ears of Dupin and 
myself. Engaged in researches which absorbed our whole attention, it 
had been nearly a month since either of us had gone abroad, or 
received a visiter, or more than glanced at the leading political 
articles in one of the daily papers. The first intelligence of the 
murder was brought us by G ----, in person. He called upon us early 
in the afternoon of the thirteenth of July, 18--, and remained with 
us until late in the night. He had been piqued by the failure of all 
his endeavors to ferret out the assassins. His reputation - so he 
said with a peculiarly Parisian air - was at stake. Even his honor 
was concerned. The eyes of the public were upon him; and there was 
really no sacrifice which he would not be willing to make for the 
development of the mystery. He concluded a somewhat droll speech with 
a compliment upon what he was pleased to term the tact of Dupin, and 
made him a direct, and certainly a liberal proposition, the precise 
nature of which I do not feel myself at liberty to disclose, but 
which has no bearing upon the proper subject of my narrative. 
The compliment my friend rebutted as best he could, but the 
proposition he accepted at once, although its advantages were 
altogether provisional. This point being settled, the Prefect broke 
forth at once into explanations of his own views, interspersing them 
with long comments upon the evidence; of which latter we were not yet 
in possession. He discoursed much, and beyond doubt, learnedly; while 
I hazarded an occasional suggestion as the night wore drowsily away. 
Dupin, sitting steadily in his accustomed arm-chair, was the 
embodiment of respectful attention. He wore spectacles, during the 
whole interview; and an occasional signal glance beneath their green 
glasses, sufficed to convince me that he slept not the less soundly, 
because silently, throughout the seven or eight leaden-footed hours 
which immediately preceded the departure of the Prefect. 
In the morning, I procured, at the Prefecture, a full report of all 
the evidence elicited, and, at the various newspaper offices, a copy 
of every paper in which, from first to last, had been published any 
decisive information in regard to this sad affair. Freed from all 
that was positively disproved, this mass of information stood thus: 
Marie Rogêt left the residence of her mother, in the Rue Pavée St. 
Andrée, about nine o'clock in the morning of Sunday June the 
twenty-second, 18--. In going out, she gave notice to a Monsieur 
Jacques St. Eustache, {*7} and to him only, of her intent intention 
to spend the day with an aunt who resided in the Rue des Drômes. The 
Rue des Drômes is a short and narrow but populous thoroughfare, not 
far from the banks of the river, and at a distance of some two miles, 
in the most direct course possible, from the pension of Madame Rogêt. 
St. Eustache was the accepted suitor of Marie, and lodged, as well as 
took his meals, at the pension. He was to have gone for his betrothed 
at dusk, and to have escorted her home. In the afternoon, however, it 
came on to rain heavily; and, supposing that she would remain all 
night at her aunt's, (as she had done under similar circumstances 
before,) he did not think it necessary to keep his promise. As night 
drew on, Madame Rogêt (who was an infirm old lady, seventy years of 
age,) was heard to express a fear "that she should never see Marie 
again;" but this observation attracted little attention at the time. 
On Monday, it was ascertained that the girl had not been to the Rue 
des Drômes; and when the day elapsed without tidings of her, a tardy 
search was instituted at several points in the city, and its 
environs. It was not, however until the fourth day from the period of 
disappearance that any thing satisfactory was ascertained respecting 
her. On this day, (Wednesday, the twenty-fifth of June,) a Monsieur 
Beauvais, {*8} who, with a friend, had been making inquiries for 
Marie near the Barrière du Roule, on the shore of the Seine which is 
opposite the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, was informed that a corpse had 
just been towed ashore by some fishermen, who had found it floating 
in the river. Upon seeing the body, Beauvais, after some hesitation, 
identified it as that of the perfumery-girl. His friend recognized it 
more promptly. 
The face was suffused with dark blood, some of which issued from the 
mouth. No foam was seen, as in the case of the merely drowned. There 
was no discoloration in the cellular tissue. About the throat were 
bruises and impressions of fingers. The arms were bent over on the 
chest and were rigid. The right hand was clenched; the left partially 
open. On the left wrist were two circular excoriations, apparently 
the effect of ropes, or of a rope in more than one volution. A part 
of the right wrist, also, was much chafed, as well as the back 
throughout its extent, but more especially at the shoulder-blades. In 
bringing the body to the shore the fishermen had attached to it a 
rope; but none of the excoriations had been effected by this. The 
flesh of the neck was much swollen. There were no cuts apparent, or 
bruises which appeared the effect of blows. A piece of lace was found 
tied so tightly around the neck as to be hidden from sight; it was 
completely buried in the flesh, and was fasted by a knot which lay 
just under the left ear. This alone would have sufficed to produce 
death. The medical testimony spoke confidently of the virtuous 
character of the deceased. She had been subjected, it said, to brutal 
violence. The corpse was in such condition when found, that there 
could have been no difficulty in its recognition by friends. 
The dress was much torn and otherwise disordered. In the outer 
garment, a slip, about a foot wide, had been torn upward from the 
bottom hem to the waist, but not torn off. It was wound three times 
around the waist, and secured by a sort of hitch in the back. The 
dress immediately beneath the frock was of fine muslin; and from this 
a slip eighteen inches wide had been torn entirely out - torn very 
evenly and with great care. It was found around her neck, fitting 
loosely, and secured with a hard knot. Over this muslin slip and the 
slip of lace, the strings of a bonnet were attached; the bonnet being 
appended. The knot by which the strings of the bonnet were fastened, 
was not a lady's, but a slip or sailor's knot. 
After the recognition of the corpse, it was not, as usual, taken to 
the Morgue, (this formality being superfluous,) but hastily interred 
not far front the spot at which it was brought ashore. Through the 
exertions of Beauvais, the matter was industriously hushed up, as far 
as possible; and several days had elapsed before any public emotion 
resulted. A weekly paper, {*9} however, at length took up the theme; 
the corpse was disinterred, and a re-examination instituted; but 
nothing was elicited beyond what has been already noted. The clothes, 
however, were now submitted to the mother and friends of the 
deceased, and fully identified as those worn by the girl upon leaving 
Meantime, the excitement increased hourly. Several individuals were 
arrested and discharged. St. Eustache fell especially under 
suspicion; and he failed, at first, to give an intelligible account 
of his whereabouts during the Sunday on which Marie left home. 
Subsequently, however, he submitted to Monsieur G----, affidavits, 
accounting satisfactorily for every hour of the day in question. As 
time passed and no discovery ensued, a thousand contradictory rumors 
were circulated, and journalists busied themselves in suggestions. 
Among these, the one which attracted the most notice, was the idea 
that Marie Rogêt still lived - that the corpse found in the Seine was 
that of some other unfortunate. It will be proper that I submit to 
the reader some passages which embody the suggestion alluded to. 
These passages are literal translations from L'Etoile, {*10} a paper 
conducted, in general, with much ability. 
"Mademoiselle Rogêt left her mother's house on Sunday morning, June 
the twenty-second, 18--, with the ostensible purpose of going to see 
her aunt, or some other connexion, in the Rue des Drômes. From that 
hour, nobody is proved to have seen her. There is no trace or tidings 
of her at all. . . . There has no person, whatever, come forward, so 
far, who saw her at all, on that day, after she left her mother's 
door. . . . Now, though we have no evidence that Marie Rogêt was in 
the land of the living after nine o'clock on Sunday, June the 
twenty-second, we have proof that, up to that hour, she was alive. On 
Wednesday noon, at twelve, a female body was discovered afloat on the 
shore of the Barrière de Roule. This was, even if we presume that 
Marie Rogêt was thrown into the river within three hours after she 
left her mother's house, only three days from the time she left her 
home - three days to an hour. But it is folly to suppose that the 
murder, if murder was committed on her body, could have been 
consummated soon enough to have enabled her murderers to throw the 
body into the river before midnight. Those who are guilty of such 
horrid crimes, choose darkness rather the; light . . . . Thus we see 
that if the body found in the river was that of Marie Rogêt, it could 
only have been in the water two and a half days, or three at the 
outside. All experience has shown that drowned bodies, or bodies 
thrown into the water immediately after death by violence, require 
from six to ten days for decomposition to take place to bring them to 
the top of the water. Even where a cannon is fired over a corpse, and 
it rises before at least five or six days' immersion, it sinks again, 
if let alone. Now, we ask, what was there in this cave to cause a 
departure from the ordinary course of nature? . . . If the body had 
been kept in its mangled state on shore until Tuesday night, some 
trace would be found on shore of the murderers. It is a doubtful 
point, also, whether the body would be so soon afloat, even were it 
thrown in after having been dead two days. And, furthermore, it is 
exceedingly improbable that any villains who had committed such a 
murder as is here supposed, would have throw the body in without 
weight to sink it, when such a precaution could have so easily been 
The editor here proceeds to argue that the body must have been in the 
water "not three days merely, but, at least, five times three days," 
because it was so far decomposed that Beauvais had great difficulty 
in recognizing it. This latter point, however, was fully disproved. I 
continue the translation: 
"What, then, are the facts on which M. Beauvais says that he has no 
doubt the body was that of Marie Rogêt? He ripped up the gown sleeve, 
and says he found marks which satisfied him of the identity. The 
public generally supposed those marks to have consisted of some 
description of scars. He rubbed the arm and found hair upon it - 
something as indefinite, we think, as can readily be imagined - as 
little conclusive as finding an arm in the sleeve. M. Beauvais did 
not return that night, but sent word to Madame Rogêt, at seven 
o'clock, on Wednesday evening, that an investigation was still in 
progress respecting her daughter. If we allow that Madame Rogêt, from 
her age and grief, could not go over, (which is allowing a great 
deal,) there certainly must have been some one who would have thought 
it worth while to go over and attend the investigation, if they 
thought the body was that of Marie. Nobody went over. There was 
nothing said or heard about the matter in the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, 
that reached even the occupants of the same building. M. St. 
Eustache, the lover and intended husband of Marie, who boarded in her 
mother's house, deposes that he did not hear of the discovery of the 
body of his intended until the next morning, when M. Beauvais came 
into his chamber and told him of it. For an item of news like this, 
it strikes us it was very coolly received." 
In this way the journal endeavored to create the impression of an 
apathy on the part of the relatives of Marie, inconsistent with the 
supposition that these relatives believed the corpse to be hers. Its 
insinuations amount to this: - that Marie, with the connivance of her 
friends, had absented herself from the city for reasons involving a 
charge against her chastity; and that these friends, upon the 
discovery of a corpse in the Seine, somewhat resembling that of the 
girl, had availed themselves of the opportunity to impress press the 
public with the belief of her death. But L'Etoile was again 
over-hasty. It was distinctly proved that no apathy, such as was 
imagined, existed; that the old lady was exceedingly feeble, and so 
agitated as to be unable to attend to any duty, that St. Eustache, so 
far from receiving the news coolly, was distracted with grief, and 
bore himself so frantically, that M. Beauvais prevailed upon a friend 
and relative to take charge of him, and prevent his attending the 
examination at the disinterment. Moreover, although it was stated by 
L'Etoile, that the corpse was re-interred at the public expense - 
that an advantageous offer of private sculpture was absolutely 
declined by the family - and that no member of the family attended 
the ceremonial: - although, I say, all this was asserted by L'Etoile 
in furtherance of the impression it designed to convey - yet all this 
was satisfactorily disproved. In a subsequent number of the paper, an 
attempt was made to throw suspicion upon Beauvais himself. The editor 
"Now, then, a change comes over the matter. We are told that on one 
occasion, while a Madame B---- was at Madame Rogêt's house, M. 
Beauvais, who was going out, told her that a gendarme was expected 
there, and she, Madame B., must not say anything to the gendarme 
until he returned, but let the matter be for him. . . . In the 
present posture of affairs, M. Beauvais appears to have the whole 
matter looked up in his head. A single step cannot be taken without 
M. Beauvais; for, go which way you will, you run against him. . . . 
For some reason, he determined that nobody shall have any thing to do 
with the proceedings but himself, and he has elbowed the male 
relatives out of the way, according to their representations, in a 
very singular manner. He seems to have been very much averse to 
permitting the relatives to see the body." 
By the following fact, some color was given to the suspicion thus 
thrown upon Beauvais. A visiter at his office, a few days prior to 
the girl's disappearance, and during the absence of its occupant, had 
observed a rose in the key-hole of the door, and the name "Marie" 
inscribed upon a slate which hung near at hand. 
The general impression, so far as we were enabled to glean it from 
the newspapers, seemed to be, that Marie had been the victim of a 
gang of desperadoes - that by these she had been borne across the 
river, maltreated and murdered. Le Commerciel, {*11} however, a print 
of extensive influence, was earnest in combating this popular idea. I 
quote a passage or two from its columns: 
"We are persuaded that pursuit has hitherto been on a false scent, so 
far as it has been directed to the Barrière du Roule. It is 
impossible that a person so well known to thousands as this young 
woman was, should have passed three blocks without some one having 
seen her; and any one who saw her would have remembered it, for she 
interested all who knew her. It was when the streets were full of 
people, when she went out. . . . It is impossible that she could have 
gone to the Barrière du Roule, or to the Rue des Drômes, without 
being recognized by a dozen persons; yet no one has come forward who 
saw her outside of her mother's door, and there is no evidence, 
except the testimony concerning her expressed intentions, that she 
did go out at all. Her gown was torn, bound round her, and tied; and 
by that the body was carried as a bundle. If the murder had been 
committed at the Barrière du Roule, there would have been no 
necessity for any such arrangement. The fact that the body was found 
floating near the Barrière, is no proof as to where it was thrown 
into the water. . . . . A piece of one of the unfortunate girl's 
petticoats, two feet long and one foot wide, was torn out and tied 
under her chin around the back of her head, probably to prevent 
screams. This was done by fellows who had no pocket-handkerchief." 
A day or two before the Prefect called upon us, however, some 
important information reached the police, which seemed to overthrow, 
at least, the chief portion of Le Commerciel's argument. Two small 
boys, sons of a Madame Deluc, while roaming among the woods near the 
Barrière du Roule, chanced to penetrate a close thicket, within which 
were three or four large stones, forming a kind of seat, with a back 
and footstool. On the upper stone lay a white petticoat; on the 
second a silk scarf. A parasol, gloves, and a pocket-handkerchief 
were also here found. The handkerchief bore the name "Marie Rogêt." 
Fragments of dress were discovered on the brambles around. The earth 
was trampled, the bushes were broken, and there was every evidence of 
a struggle. Between the thicket and the river, the fences were found 
taken down, and the ground bore evidence of some heavy burthen having 
been dragged along it. 
A weekly paper, Le Soleil,{*12} had the following comments upon this 
discovery -- comments which merely echoed the sentiment of the whole 
Parisian press: 
"The things had all evidently been there at least three or four 
weeks; they were all mildewed down hard with the action of the rain 
and stuck together from mildew. The grass had grown around and over 
some of them. The silk on the parasol was strong, but the threads of 
it were run together within. The upper part, where it had been 
doubled and folded, was all mildewed and rotten, and tore on its 
being opened. . . . . The pieces of her frock torn out by the bushes 
were about three inches wide and six inches long. One part was the 
hem of the frock, and it had been mended; the other piece was part of 
the skirt, not the hem. They looked like strips torn off, and were on 
the thorn bush, about a foot from the ground. . . . . There can be no 
doubt, therefore, that the spot of this appalling outrage has been 
Consequent upon this discovery, new evidence appeared. Madame Deluc 
testified that she keeps a roadside inn not far from the bank of the 
river, opposite the Barrière du Roule. The neighborhood is secluded 
-- particularly so. It is the usual Sunday resort of blackguards from 
the city, who cross the river in boats. About three o'clock, in the 
afternoon of the Sunday in question, a young girl arrived at the inn, 
accompanied by a young man of dark complexion. The two remained here 
for some time. On their departure, they took the road to some thick 
woods in the vicinity. Madame Deluc's attention was called to the 
dress worn by the girl, on account of its resemblance to one worn by 
a deceased relative. A scarf was particularly noticed. Soon after the 
departure of the couple, a gang of miscreants made their appearance, 
behaved boisterously, ate and drank without making payment, followed 
in the route of the young man and girl, returned to the inn about 
dusk, and re-crossed the river as if in great haste. 
It was soon after dark, upon this same evening, that Madame Deluc, as 
well as her eldest son, heard the screams of a female in the vicinity 
of the inn. The screams were violent but brief. Madame D. recognized 
not only the scarf which was found in the thicket, but the dress 
which was discovered upon the corpse. An omnibus driver, Valence, 
{*13} now also testified that he saw Marie Rogêt cross a ferry on the 
Seine, on the Sunday in question, in company with a young man of dark 
complexion. He, Valence, knew Marie, and could not be mistaken in her 
identity. The articles found in the thicket were fully identified by 
the relatives of Marie. 
The items of evidence and information thus collected by myself, from 
the newspapers, at the suggestion of Dupin, embraced only one more 
point -- but this was a point of seemingly vast consequence. It 
appears that, immediately after the discovery of the clothes as above 
described, the lifeless, or nearly lifeless body of St. Eustache, 
Marie's betrothed, was found in the vicinity of what all now supposed 
the scene of the outrage. A phial labelled "laudanum," and emptied, 
was found near him. His breath gave evidence of the poison. He died 
without speaking. Upon his person was found a letter, briefly stating 
his love for Marie, with his design of self- destruction. 
"I need scarcely tell you," said Dupin, as he finished the perusal of 
my notes, "that this is a far more intricate case than that of the 
Rue Morgue; from which it differs in one important respect. This is 
an ordinary, although an atrocious instance of crime. There is 
nothing peculiarly outré about it. You will observe that, for this 
reason, the mystery has been considered easy, when, for this reason, 
it should have been considered difficult, of solution. Thus; at 
first, it was thought unnecessary to offer a reward. The myrmidons of 
G--- were able at once to comprehend how and why such an atrocity 
might have been committed. They could picture to their imaginations a 
mode - many modes - and a motive - many motives; and because it was 
not impossible that either of these numerous modes and motives could 
have been the actual one, they have taken it for granted that one of 
them must. But the case with which these variable fancies were 
entertained, and the very plausibility which each assumed, should 
have been understood as indicative rather of the difficulties than of 
the facilities which must attend elucidation. I have before observed 
that it is by prominences above the plane of the ordinary, that 
reason feels her way, if at all, in her search for the true, and that 
the proper question in cases such as this, is not so much 'what has 
occurred?' as 'what has occurred that has never occurred before?' In 
the investigations at the house of Madame L'Espanaye, {*14} the 
agents of G---- were discouraged and confounded by that very 
unusualness which, to a properly regulated intellect, would have 
afforded the surest omen of success; while this same intellect might 
have been plunged in despair at the ordinary character of all that 
met the eye in the case of the perfumery-girl, and yet told of 
nothing but easy triumph to the functionaries of the Prefecture. 
"In the case of Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter there was, even at 
the beginning of our investigation, no doubt that murder had been 
committed. The idea of suicide was excluded at once. Here, too, we 
are freed, at the commencement, from all supposition of self- murder. 
The body found at the Barrière du Roule, was found under such 
circumstances as to leave us no room for embarrassment upon this 
important point. But it has been suggested that the corpse 
discovered, is not that of the Marie Rogêt for the conviction of 
whose assassin, or assassins, the reward is offered, and respecting 
whom, solely, our agreement has been arranged with the Prefect. We 
both know this gentleman well. It will not do to trust him too far. 
If, dating our inquiries from the body found, and thence tracing a 
murderer, we yet discover this body to be that of some other 
individual than Marie; or, if starting from the living Marie, we find 
her, yet find her unassassinated -- in either case we lose our labor; 
since it is Monsieur G---- with whom we have to deal. For our own 
purpose, therefore, if not for the purpose of justice, it is 
indispensable that our first step should be the determination of the 
identity of the corpse with the Marie Rogêt who is missing. 
"With the public the arguments of L'Etoile have had weight; and that 
the journal itself is convinced of their importance would appear from 
the manner in which it commences one of its essays upon the subject - 
'Several of the morning papers of the day,' it says, 'speak of the 
_conclusive_ article in Monday's Etoile.' To me, this article appears 
conclusive of little beyond the zeal of its inditer. We should bear 
in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather 
to create a sensation -- to make a point - than to further the cause 
of truth. The latter end is only pursued when it seems coincident 
with the former. The print which merely falls in with ordinary 
opinion (however well founded this opinion may be) earns for itself 
no credit with the mob. The mass of the people regard as profound 
only him who suggests _pungent contradictions_ of the general idea. 
In ratiocination, not less than in literature, it is the epigram 
which is the most immediately and the most universally appreciated. 
In both, it is of the lowest order of merit. 
"What I mean to say is, that it is the mingled epigram and melodrame 
of the idea, that Marie Rogêt still lives, rather than any true 
plausibility in this idea, which have suggested it to L'Etoile, and 
secured it a favorable reception with the public. Let us examine the 
heads of this journal's argument; endeavoring to avoid the 
incoherence with which it is originally set forth. 
"The first aim of the writer is to show, from the brevity of the 
interval between Marie's disappearance and the finding of the 
floating corpse, that this corpse cannot be that of Marie. The 
reduction of this interval to its smallest possible dimension, 
becomes thus, at once, an object with the reasoner. In the rash 
pursuit of this object, he rushes into mere assumption at the outset. 
'It is folly to suppose,' he says, 'that the murder, if murder was 
committed on her body, could have been consummated soon enough to 
have enabled her murderers to throw the body into the river before 
midnight.' We demand at once, and very naturally, why? Why is it 
folly to suppose that the murder was committed _within five minutes_ 
after the girl's quitting her mother's house? Why is it folly to 
suppose that the murder was committed at any given period of the day? 
There have been assassinations at all hours. But, had the murder 
taken place at any moment between nine o'clock in the morning of 
Sunday, and a quarter before midnight, there would still have been 
time enough ''to throw the body into the river before midnight.' This 
assumption, then, amounts precisely to this - that the murder was not 
committed on Sunday at all - and, if we allow L'Etoile to assume 
this, we may permit it any liberties whatever. The paragraph 
beginning 'It is folly to suppose that the murder, etc.,' however it 
appears as printed in L'Etoile, may be imagined to have existed 
actually thus in the brain of its inditer - 'It is folly to suppose 
that the murder, if murder was committed on the body, could have been 
committed soon enough to have enabled her murderers to throw the body 
into the river before midnight; it is folly, we say, to suppose all 
this, and to suppose at the same time, (as we are resolved to 
suppose,) that the body was not thrown in until after midnight' -- a 
sentence sufficiently inconsequential in itself, but not so utterly 
preposterous as the one printed. 
"Were it my purpose," continued Dupin, "merely to _make out a case_ 
against this passage of L'Etoile's argument, I might safely leave it 
where it is. It is not, however, with L'Etoile that we have to do, 
but with the truth. The sentence in question has but one meaning, as 
it stands; and this meaning I have fairly stated: but it is material 
that we go behind the mere words, for an idea which these words have 
obviously intended, and failed to convey. It was the design of the 
journalist to say that, at whatever period of the day or night of 
Sunday this murder was committed, it was improbable that the 
assassins would have ventured to bear the corpse to the river before 
midnight. And herein lies, really, the assumption of which I 
complain. It is assumed that the murder was committed at such a 
position, and under such circumstances, that the bearing it to the 
river became necessary. Now, the assassination might have taken place 
upon the river's brink, or on the river itself; and, thus, the 
throwing the corpse in the water might have been resorted to, at any 
period of the day or night, as the most obvious and most immediate 
mode of disposal. You will understand that I suggest nothing here as 
probable, or as cöincident with my own opinion. My design, so far, 
has no reference to the facts of the case. I wish merely to caution 
you against the whole tone of L'Etoile's suggestion, by calling your 
attention to its ex parte character at the outset. 
"Having prescribed thus a limit to suit its own preconceived notions; 
having assumed that, if this were the body of Marie, it could have 
been in the water but a very brief time; the journal goes on to say: 
'All experience has shown that drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into 
the water immediately after death by violence, require from six to 
ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to 
the top of the water. Even when a cannon is fired over a corpse, and 
it rises before at least five or six days' immersion, it sinks again 
if let alone.' 
"These assertions have been tacitly received by every paper in Paris, 
with the exception of Le Moniteur. {*15} This latter print endeavors 
to combat that portion of the paragraph which has reference to 
'drowned bodies' only, by citing some five or six instances in which 
the bodies of individuals known to be drowned were found floating 
after the lapse of less time than is insisted upon by L'Etoile. But 
there is something excessively unphilosophical in the attempt on the 
part of Le Moniteur, to rebut the general assertion of L'Etoile, by a 
citation of particular instances militating against that assertion. 
Had it been possible to adduce fifty instead of five examples of 
bodies found floating at the end of two or three days, these fifty 
examples could still have been properly regarded only as exceptions 
to L'Etoile's rule, until such time as the rule itself should be 
confuted. Admitting the rule, (and this Le Moniteur does not deny, 
insisting merely upon its exceptions,) the argument of L'Etoile is 
suffered to remain in full force; for this argument does not pretend 
to involve more than a question of the probability of the body having 
risen to the surface in less than three days; and this probability 
will be in favor of L'Etoile's position until the instances so 
childishly adduced shall be sufficient in number to establish an 
antagonistical rule. 
"You will see at once that all argument upon this head should be 
urged, if at all, against the rule itself; and for this end we must 
examine the rationale of the rule. Now the human body, in general, is 
neither much lighter nor much heavier than the water of the Seine; 
that is to say, the specific gravity of the human body, in its 
natural condition, is about equal to the bulk of fresh water which it 
displaces. The bodies of fat and fleshy persons, with small bones, 
and of women generally, are lighter than those of the lean and 
large-boned, and of men; and the specific gravity of the water of a 
river is somewhat influenced by the presence of the tide from sea. 
But, leaving this tide out of question, it may be said that very few 
human bodies will sink at all, even in fresh water, of their own 
accord. Almost any one, falling into a river, will be enabled to 
float, if he suffer the specific gravity of the water fairly to be 
adduced in comparison with his own - that is to say, if he suffer his 
whole person to be immersed, with as little exception as possible. 
The proper position for one who cannot swim, is the upright position 
of the walker on land, with the head thrown fully back, and immersed; 
the mouth and nostrils alone remaining above the surface. Thus 
circumstanced, we shall find that we float without difficulty and 
without exertion. It is evident, however, that the gravities of the 
body, and of the bulk of water displaced, are very nicely balanced, 
and that a trifle will cause either to preponderate. An arm, for 
instance, uplifted from the water, and thus deprived of its support, 
is an additional weight sufficient to immerse the whole head, while 
the accidental aid of the smallest piece of timber will enable us to 
elevate the head so as to look about. Now, in the struggles of one 
unused to swimming, the arms are invariably thrown upwards, while an 
attempt is made to keep the head in its usual perpendicular position. 
The result is the immersion of the mouth and nostrils, and the 
inception, during efforts to breathe while beneath the surface, of 
water into the lungs. Much is also received into the stomach, and the 
whole body becomes heavier by the difference between the weight of 
the air originally distending these cavities, and that of the fluid 
which now fills them. This difference is sufficient to cause the body 
to sink, as a general rule; but is insufficient in the cases of 
individuals with small bones and an abnormal quantity of flaccid or 
fatty matter. Such individuals float even after drowning. 
"The corpse, being. supposed at the bottom of the river, will there 
remain until, by some means, its specific gravity again becomes less 
than that of the bulk of water which it displaces. This effect is 
brought about by decomposition, or otherwise. The result of 
decomposition is the generation of gas, distending the cellular 
tissues and all the cavities, and giving the puffedappearance which 
is to horrible. When this distension has so far progressed that the 
bulk of the corpse is materially increased with. out a corresponding 
increase of mass or weight, its specific gravity becomes less than 
that of the water displaced, and it forthwith makes its appearance at 
the surface. But decomposition is modified by innumerable 
circumstances - is hastened or retarded by innumerable agencies; for 
example, by the heat or cold of the season, by the mineral 
impregnation or purity of the water, by its depth or shallowness, by 
its currency or stagnation, by the temperament of the body, by its 
infection or freedom from disease before death. Thus it is evident 
that we can assign no period, with any thing like accuracy, at which 
the corpse shall rise through decomposition. Under certain conditions 
this result would be brought about within an hour; under others, it 
might not take place at all. There are chemical infusions by which 
the animal frame can be preserved foreverfrom corruption; the 
Bi-chloride of Mercury is one. But, apart from decomposition, there 
may be, and very usually is, a generation of gas within the stomach, 
from the acetous fermentation of vegetable matter (or within other 
cavities from other causes) sufficient to induce a distension which 
will bring the body to the surface. The effect produced by the firing 
of a cannon is that of simple vibration. This may either loosen the 
corpse from the soft mud or ooze in which it is imbedded, thus 
permitting it to rise when other agencies have already prepared it 
for so doing; or it may overcome the tenacity of some putrescent 
portions of the cellular tissue; allowing the cavities to distend 
under the influence of the gas. 
"Having thus before us the whole philosophy of this subject, we can 
easily test by it the assertions of L'Etoile. 'All experience shows,' 
says this paper, 'that drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into the 
water immediately after death by violence, require from six to ten 
days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to the 
top of the water. Even when a cannon is fired over a corpse, and it 
rises before at least five or six days' immersion, it sinks again if 
let alone.' 
"The whole of this paragraph must now appear a tissue of 
inconsequence and incoherence. All experience does not show that 
'drowned bodies' require from six to ten days for sufficient 
decomposition to take place to bring them to the surface. Both 
science and experience show that the period of their rising is, and 
necessarily must be, indeterminate. If, moreover, a body has risen to 
the surface through firing of cannon, it will not 'sink again if let 
alone,' until decomposition has so far progressed as to permit the 
escape of the generated gas. But I wish to call your attention to the 
distinction which is made between 'drowned bodies,' and 'bodies 
thrown into the water immediately after death by violence.' Although 
the writer admits the distinction, he yet includes them all in the 
same category. I have shown how it is that the body of a drowning man 
becomes specifically heavier than its bulk of water, and that he 
would not sink at all, except for the struggles by which he elevates 
his arms above the surface, and his gasps for breath while beneath 
the surface - gasps which supply by water the place of the original 
air in the lungs. But these struggles and these gasps would not occur 
in the body 'thrown into the water immediately after death by 
violence.' Thus, in the latter instance, the body, as a general rule, 
would not sink at all - a fact of which L'Etoile is evidently 
ignorant. When decomposition had proceeded to a very great extent - 
when the flesh had in a great measure left the bones - then, indeed, 
but not till then, should we lose sight of the corpse. 
"And now what are we to make of the argument, that the body found 
could not be that of Marie Rogêt, because, three days only having 
elapsed, this body was found floating? If drowned, being a woman, she 
might never have sunk; or having sunk, might have reappeared in 
twenty-four hours, or less. But no one supposes her to have been 
drowned; and, dying before being thrown into the river, she might 
have been found floating at any period afterwards whatever. 
" 'But,' says L'Etoile, 'if the body had been kept in its mangled 
state on shore until Tuesday night, some trace would be found on 
shore of the murderers.' Here it is at first difficult to perceive 
the intention of the reasoner. He means to anticipate what he 
imagines would be an objection to his theory - viz: that the body was 
kept on shore two days, suffering rapid decomposition - morerapid 
than if immersed in water. He supposes that, had this been the case, 
it might have appeared at the surface on the Wednesday, and thinks 
that only under such circumstances it could so have appeared. He is 
accordingly in haste to show that it was not kept on shore; for, if 
so, 'some trace would be found on shore of the murderers.' I presume 
you smile at the sequitur. You cannot be made to see how the mere 
duration of the corpse on the shore could operate to multiply traces 
of the assassins. Nor can I. 
" 'And furthermore it is exceedingly improbable,' continues our 
journal, 'that any villains who had committed such a murder as is 
here supposed, would have thrown the body in without weight to sink 
it, when such a precaution could have so easily been taken.' Observe, 
here, the laughable confusion of thought! No one - not even L'Etoile 
- disputes the murder committed _on the body found_. The marks of 
violence are too obvious. It is our reasoner's object merely to show 
that this body is not Marie's. He wishes to prove that Marie is not 
assassinated - not that the corpse was not. Yet his observation 
proves only the latter point. Here is a corpse without weight 
attached. Murderers, casting it in, would not have failed to attach a 
weight. Therefore it was not thrown in by murderers. This is all 
which is proved, if any thing is. The question of identity is not 
even approached, and L'Etoile has been at great pains merely to 
gainsay now what it has admitted only a moment before. 'We are 
perfectly convinced,' it says, 'that the body found was that of a 
murdered female.' 
"Nor is this the sole instance, even in this division of his subject, 
where our reasoner unwittingly reasons against himself. His evident 
object, I have already said, is to reduce, us much as possible, the 
interval between Marie's disappearance and the finding of the corpse. 
Yet we find him urging the point that no person saw the girl from the 
moment of her leaving her mother's house. 'We have no evidence,' he 
says, 'that Marie Rogêt was in the land of the living after nine 
o'clock on Sunday, June the twenty-second.' As his argument is 
obviously an ex parte one, he should, at least, have left this matter 
out of sight; for had any one been known to see Marie, say on Monday, 
or on Tuesday, the interval in question would have been much reduced, 
and, by his own ratiocination, the probability much diminished of the 
corpse being that of the grisette. It is, nevertheless, amusing to 
observe that L'Etoile insists upon its point in the full belief of 
its furthering its general argument. 
"Reperuse now that portion of this argument which has reference to 
the identification of the corpse by Beauvais. In regard to the hair 
upon the arm, L'Etoile has been obviously disingenuous. M. Beauvais, 
not being an idiot, could never have urged, in identification of the 
corpse, simply hair upon its arm. No arm is without hair. The 
generality of the expression of L'Etoile is a mere perversion of the 
witness' phraseology. He must have spoken of some peculiarity in this 
hair. It must have been a peculiarity of color, of quantity, of 
length, or of situation. 
" 'Her foot,' says the journal, 'was small - so are thousands of 
feet. Her garter is no proof whatever - nor is her shoe - for shoes 
and garters are sold in packages. The same may be said of the flowers 
in her hat. One thing upon which M. Beauvais strongly insists is, 
that the clasp on the garter found, had been set back to take it in. 
This amounts to nothing; for most women find it proper to take a pair 
of garters home and fit them to the size of the limbs they are to 
encircle, rather than to try them in the store where they purchase.' 
Here it is difficult to suppose the reasoner in earnest. Had M. 
Beauvais, in his search for the body of Marie, discovered a corpse 
corresponding in general size and appearance to the missing girl, he 
would have been warranted (without reference to the question of 
habiliment at all) in forming an opinion that his search had been 
successful. If, in addition to the point of general size and contour, 
he had found upon the arm a peculiar hairy appearance which he had 
observed upon the living Marie, his opinion might have been justly 
strengthened; and the increase of positiveness might well have been 
in the ratio of the peculiarity, or unusualness, of the hairy mark. 
If, the feet of Marie being small, those of the corpse were also 
small, the increase of probability that the body was that of Marie 
would not be an increase in a ratio merely arithmetical, but in one 
highly geometrical, or accumulative. Add to all this shoes such as 
she had been known to wear upon the day of her disappearance, and, 
although these shoes may be 'sold in packages,' you so far augment 
the probability as to verge upon the certain. What, of itself, would 
be no evidence of identity, becomes through its corroborative 
position, proof most sure. Give us, then, flowers in the hat 
corresponding to those worn by the missing girl, and we seek for 
nothing farther. If only one flower, we seek for nothing farther - 
what then if two or three, or more? Each successive one is multiple 
evidence - proof not _added_ to proof, but multiplied by hundreds or 
thousands. Let us now discover, upon the deceased, garters such as 
the living used, and it is almost folly to proceed. But these garters 
are found to be tightened, by the setting back of a clasp, in just 
such a manner as her own had been tightened by Marie, shortly 
previous to her leaving home. It is now madness or hypocrisy to 
doubt. What L'Etoile says in respect to this abbreviation of the 
garter's being an usual occurrence, shows nothing beyond its own 
pertinacity in error. The elastic nature of the clasp-garter is 
self-demonstration of the unusualness of the abbreviation. What is 
made to adjust itself, must of necessity require foreign adjustment 
but rarely. It must have been by an accident, in its strictest sense, 
that these garters of Marie needed the tightening described. They 
alone would have amply established her identity. But it is not that 
the corpse was found to have the garters of the missing girl, or 
found to have her shoes, or her bonnet, or the flowers of her bonnet, 
or her feet, or a peculiar mark upon the arm, or her general size and 
appearance - it is that the corpse had each, and _all collectively_. 
Could it be proved that the editor of L'Etoile _really_ entertained a 
doubt, under the circumstances, there would be no need, in his case, 
of a commission de lunatico inquirendo. He has thought it sagacious 
to echo the small talk of the lawyers, who, for the most part, 
content themselves with echoing the rectangular precepts of the 
courts. I would here observe that very much of what is rejected as 
evidence by a court, is the best of evidence to the intellect. For 
the court, guiding itself by the general principles of evidence - the 
recognized and _booked_ principles - is averse from swerving at 
particular instances. And this steadfast adherence to principle, with 
rigorous disregard of the conflicting exception, is a sure mode of 
attaining the maximum of attainable truth, in any long sequence of 
time. The practice, in mass, is therefore philosophical; but it is 
not the less certain that it engenders vast individual error. {*16} 
"In respect to the insinuations levelled at Beauvais, you will be 
willing to dismiss them in a breath. You have already fathomed the 
true character of this good gentleman. He is a busy-body, with much 
of romance and little of wit. Any one so constituted will readily so 
conduct himself, upon occasion of real excitement, as to render 
himself liable to suspicion on the part of the over acute, or the 
ill- disposed. M. Beauvais (as it appears from your notes) had some 
personal interviews with the editor of L'Etoile, and offended him by 
venturing an opinion that the corpse, notwithstanding the theory of 
the editor, was, in sober fact, that of Marie. 'He persists,' says 
the paper, 'in asserting the corpse to be that of Marie, but cannot 
give a circumstance, in addition to those which we have commented 
upon, to make others believe.' Now, without re-adverting to the fact 
that stronger evidence 'to make others believe,' could never have 
been adduced, it may be remarked that a man may very well be 
understood to believe, in a case of this kind, without the ability to 
advance a single reason for the belief of a second party. Nothing is 
more vague than impressions of individual identity. Each man 
recognizes his neighbor, yet there are few instances in which any one 
is prepared to give a reason for his recognition. The editor of 
L'Etoile had no right to be offended at M. Beauvais' unreasoning 
"The suspicious circumstances which invest him, will be found to 
tally much better with my hypothesis of romantic busy-bodyism, than 
with the reasoner's suggestion of guilt. Once adopting the more 
charitable interpretation, we shall find no difficulty in 
comprehending the rose in the key-hole; the 'Marie' upon the slate; 
the 'elbowing the male relatives out of the way;' the 'aversion to 
permitting them to see the body;' the caution given to Madame B----, 
that she must hold no conversation with the gendarmeuntil his return 
(Beauvais'); and, lastly, his apparent determination 'that nobody 
should have anything to do with the proceedings except himself.' It 
seems to me unquestionable that Beauvais was a suitor of Marie's; 
that she coquetted with him; and that he was ambitious of being 
thought to enjoy her fullest intimacy and confidence. I shall say 
nothing more upon this point; and, as the evidence fully rebuts the 
assertion of L'Etoile, touching the matter of apathy on the part of 
the mother and other relatives - an apathy inconsistent with the 
supposition of their believing the corpse to be that of the 
perfumery- girl - we shall now proceed as if the question of identity 
were settled to our perfect satisfaction." 
"And what," I here demanded, "do you think of the opinions of Le 
"That, in spirit, they are far more worthy of attention than any 
which have been promulgated upon the subject. The deductions from the 
premises are philosophical and acute; but the premises, in two 
instances, at least, are founded in imperfect observation. Le 
Commerciel wishes to intimate that Marie was seized by some gang of 
low ruffians not far from her mother's door. 'It is impossible,' it 
urges, 'that a person so well known to thousands as this young woman 
was, should have passed three blocks without some one having seen 
her.' This is the idea of a man long resident in Paris - a public man 
- and one whose walks to and fro in the city, have been mostly 
limited to the vicinity of the public offices. He is aware that he 
seldom passes so far as a dozen blocks from his own bureau, without 
being recognized and accosted. And, knowing the extent of his 
personal acquaintance with others, and of others with him, he 
compares his notoriety with that of the perfumery-girl, finds no 
great difference between them, and reaches at once the conclusion 
that she, in her walks, would be equally liable to recognition with 
himself in his. This could only be the case were her walks of the 
same unvarying, methodical character, and within the same species of 
limited region as are his own. He passes to and fro, at regular 
intervals, within a confined periphery, abounding in individuals who 
are led to observation of his person through interest in the kindred 
nature of his occupation with their own. But the walks of Marie may, 
in general, be supposed discursive. In this particular instance, it 
will be understood as most probable, that she proceeded upon a route 
of more than average diversity from her accustomed ones. The parallel 
which we imagine to have existed in the mind of Le Commerciel would 
only be sustained in the event of the two individuals' traversing the 
whole city. In this case, granting the personal acquaintances to be 
equal, the chances would be also equal that an equal number of 
personal rencounters would be made. For my own part, I should hold it 
not only as possible, but as very far more than probable, that Marie 
might have proceeded, at any given period, by any one of the many 
routes between her own residence and that of her aunt, without 
meeting a single individual whom she knew, or by whom she was known. 
In viewing this question in its full and proper light, we must hold 
steadily in mind the great disproportion between the personal 
acquaintances of even the most noted individual in Paris, and the 
entire population of Paris itself. 
"But whatever force there may still appear to be in the suggestion of 
Le Commerciel, will be much diminished when we take into 
consideration the hour at which the girl went abroad. 'It was when 
the streets were full of people,' says Le Commerciel, 'that she went 
out.' But not so. It was at nine o'clock in the morning. Now at nine 
o'clock of every morning in the week, _with the exception of Sunday_, 
the streets of the city are, it is true, thronged with people. At 
nine on Sunday, the populace are chiefly within doors _preparing for 
church_. No observing person can have failed to notice the peculiarly 
deserted air of the town, from about eight until ten on the morning 
of every Sabbath. Between ten and eleven the streets are thronged, 
but not at so early a period as that designated. 
"There is another point at which there seems a deficiency of 
observation on the part of Le Commerciel. 'A piece,' it says, 'of one 
of the unfortunate girl's petticoats, two feet long, and one foot 
wide, was torn out and tied under her chin, and around the back of 
her head, probably to prevent screams. This was done, by fellows who 
had no pocket-handkerchiefs.' Whether this idea is, or is not well 
founded, we will endeavor to see hereafter; but by 'fellows who have 
no pocket-handkerchiefs' the editor intends the lowest class of 
ruffians. These, however, are the very description of people who will 
always be found to have handkerchiefs even when destitute of shirts. 
You must have had occasion to observe how absolutely indispensable, 
of late years, to the thorough blackguard, has become the 
"And what are we to think," I asked, "of the article in Le Soleil?" 
"That it is a vast pity its inditer was not born a parrot - in which 
case he would have been the most illustrious parrot of his race. He 
has merely repeated the individual items of the already published 
opinion; collecting them, with a laudable industry, from this paper 
and from that. 'The things had all evidently been there,' he says,'at 
least, three or four weeks, and there can be _no doubt_ that the spot 
of this appalling outrage has been discovered.' The facts here 
re-stated by Le Soleil, are very far indeed from removing my own 
doubts upon this subject, and we will examine them more particularly 
hereafter in connexion with another division of the theme. 
"At present we must occupy ourselves with other investigations You 
cannot fail to have remarked the extreme laxity of the examination of 
the corpse. To be sure, the question of identity was readily 
determined, or should have been; but there were other points to be 
ascertained. Had the body been in any respect despoiled? Had the 
deceased any articles of jewelry about her person upon leaving home? 
if so, had she any when found? These are important questions utterly 
untouched by the evidence; and there are others of equal moment, 
which have met with no attention. We must endeavor to satisfy 
ourselves by personal inquiry. The case of St. Eustache must be 
re-examined. I have no suspicion of this person; but let us proceed 
methodically. We will ascertain beyond a doubt the validity of the 
affidavits in regard to his whereabouts on the Sunday. Affidavits of 
this character are readily made matter of mystification. Should there 
be nothing wrong here, however, we will dismiss St. Eustache from our 
investigations. His suicide, however corroborative of suspicion, were 
there found to be deceit in the affidavits, is, without such deceit, 
in no respect an unaccountable circumstance, or one which need cause 
us to deflect from the line of ordinary analysis. 
"In that which I now propose, we will discard the interior points of 
this tragedy, and concentrate our attention upon its outskirts. Not 
the least usual error, in investigations such as this, is the 
limiting of inquiry to the immediate, with total disregard of the 
collateral or circumstantial events. It is the mal-practice of the 
courts to confine evidence and discussion to the bounds of apparent 
relevancy. Yet experience has shown, and a true philosophy will 
always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of truth, arises 
from the seemingly irrelevant. It is through the spirit of this 
principle, if not precisely through its letter, that modern science 
has resolved to calculate upon the unforeseen. But perhaps you do not 
comprehend me. The history of human knowledge has so uninterruptedly 
shown that to collateral, or incidental, or accidental events we are 
indebted for the most numerous and most valuable discoveries, that it 
has at length become necessary, in any prospective view of 
improvement, to make not only large, but the largest allowances for 
inventions that shall arise by chance, and quite out of the range of 
ordinary expectation. It is no longer philosophical to base, upon 
what has been, a vision of what is to be. Accident is admitted as a 
portion of the substructure. We make chance a matter of absolute 
calculation. We subject the unlooked for and unimagined, to the 
mathematical _formulae_ of the schools. 
"I repeat that it is no more than fact, that the larger portion of 
all truth has sprung from the collateral; and it is but in accordance 
with the spirit of the principle involved in this fact, that I would 
divert inquiry, in the present case, from the trodden and hitherto 
unfruitful ground of the event itself, to the contemporary 
circumstances which surround it. While you ascertain the validity of 
the affidavits, I will examine the newspapers more generally than you 
have as yet done. So far, we have only reconnoitred the field of 
investigation; but it will be strange indeed if a comprehensive 
survey, such as I propose, of the public prints, will not afford us 
some minute points which shall establish a direction for inquiry." 
In pursuance of Dupin's suggestion, I made scrupulous examination of 
the affair of the affidavits. The result was a firm conviction of 
their validity, and of the consequent innocence of St. Eustache. In 
the mean time my friend occupied himself, with what seemed to me a 
minuteness altogether objectless, in a scrutiny of the various 
newspaper files. At the end of a week he placed before me the 
following extracts: 
"About three years and a half ago, a disturbance very similar to the 
present, was caused by the disappearance of this same Marie Rogêt, 
from the parfumerie of Monsieur Le Blanc, in the Palais Royal. At the 
end of a week, however, she re-appeared at her customary comptoir, as 
well as ever, with the exception of a slight paleness not altogether 
usual. It was given out by Monsieur Le Blanc and her mother, that she 
had merely been on a visit to some friend in the country; and the 
affair was speedily hushed up. We presume that the present absence is 
a freak of the same nature, and that, at the expiration of a week, or 
perhaps of a month, we shall have her among us again." - Evening 
Paper - Monday June 23. {*17} 
"An evening journal of yesterday, refers to a former mysterious 
disappearance of Mademoiselle Rogêt. It is well known that, during 
the week of her absence from Le Blanc's parfumerie, she was in the 
company of a young naval officer, much noted for his debaucheries. A 
quarrel, it is supposed, providentially led to her return home. We 
have the name of the Lothario in question, who is, at present, 
stationed in Paris, but, for obvious reasons, forbear to make it 
public." - Le Mercurie - Tuesday Morning, June 24. {*18} 
"An outrage of the most atrocious character was perpetrated near this 
city the day before yesterday. A gentleman, with his wife and 
daughter, engaged, about dusk, the services of six young men, who 
were idly rowing a boat to and fro near the banks of the Seine, to 
convey him across the river. Upon reaching the opposite shore, the 
three passengers stepped out, and had proceeded so far as to be 
beyond the view of the boat, when the daughter discovered that she 
had left in it her parasol. She returned for it, was seized by the 
gang, carried out into the stream, gagged, brutally treated, and 
finally taken to the shore at a point not far from that at which she 
had originally entered the boat with her parents. The villains have 
escaped for the time, but the police are upon their trail, and some 
of them will soon be taken." - Morning Paper - June 25. {*19} 
"We have received one or two communications, the object of which is 
to fasten the crime of the late atrocity upon Mennais; {*20} but as 
this gentleman has been fully exonerated by a loyal inquiry, and as 
the arguments of our several correspondents appear to be more zealous 
than profound, we do not think it advisable to make them public." - 
Morning Paper - June 28. {*21} 
"We have received several forcibly written communications, apparently 
from various sources, and which go far to render it a matter of 
certainty that the unfortunate Marie Rogêt has become a victim of one 
of the numerous bands of blackguards which infest the vicinity of the 
city upon Sunday. Our own opinion is decidedly in favor of this 
supposition. We shall endeavor to make room for some of these 
arguments hereafter." - Evening Paper - Tuesday, June 31. {*22} 
"On Monday, one of the bargemen connected with the revenue service, 
saw a empty boat floating down the Seine. Sails were lying in the 
bottom of the boat. The bargeman towed it under the barge office. The 
next morning it was taken from thence, without the knowledge of any 
of the officers. The rudder is now at the barge office." - Le 
Diligence - Thursday, June 26. § 
Upon reading these various extracts, they not only seemed to me 
irrelevant, but I could perceive no mode in which any one of them 
could be brought to bear upon the matter in hand. I waited for some 
explanation from Dupin. 
"It is not my present design," he said, "to dwell upon the first and 
second of those extracts. I have copied them chiefly to show you the 
extreme remissness of the police, who, as far as I can understand 
from the Prefect, have not troubled themselves, in any respect, with 
an examination of the naval officer alluded to. Yet it is mere folly 
to say that between the first and second disappearance of Marie, 
there is no _supposable_ connection. Let us admit the first elopement 
to have resulted in a quarrel between the lovers, and the return home 
of the betrayed. We are now prepared to view a second elopement (if 
we know that an elopement has again taken place) as indicating a 
renewal of the betrayer's advances, rather than as the result of new 
proposals by a second individual - we are prepared to regard it as a 
'making up' of the old amour, rather than as the commencement of a 
new one. The chances are ten to one, that he who had once eloped with 
Marie, would again propose an elopement, rather than that she to whom 
proposals of elopement had been made by one individual, should have 
them made to her by another. And here let me call your attention to 
the fact, that the time elapsing between the first ascertained, and 
the second supposed elopement, is a few months more than the general 
period of the cruises of our men-of-war. Had the lover been 
interrupted in his first villany by the necessity of departure to 
sea, and had he seized the first moment of his return to renew the 
base designs not yet altogether accomplished - or not yet altogether 
accomplished by _him?_ Of all these things we know nothing. 
"You will say, however, that, in the second instance, there was no 
elopement as imagined. Certainly not - but are we prepared to say 
that there was not the frustrated design? Beyond St. Eustache, and 
perhaps Beauvais, we find no recognized, no open, no honorable 
suitors of Marie. Of none other is there any thing said. Who, then, 
is the secret lover, of whom the relatives (at least most of them) 
know nothing, but whom Marie meets upon the morning of Sunday, and 
who is so deeply in her confidence, that she hesitates not to remain 
with him until the shades of the evening descend, amid the solitary 
groves of the Barrière du Roule? Who is that secret lover, I ask, of 
whom, at least, most of the relatives know nothing? And what means 
the singular prophecy of Madame Rogêt on the morning of Marie's 
departure? -- 'I fear that I shall never see Marie again.' 
"But if we cannot imagine Madame Rogêt privy to the design of 
elopement, may we not at least suppose this design entertained by the 
girl? Upon quitting home, she gave it to be understood that she was 
about to visit her aunt in the Rue des Drômes and St. Eustache was 
requested to call for her at dark. Now, at first glance, this fact 
strongly militates against my suggestion; - but let us reflect. That 
she did meet some companion, and proceed with him across the river, 
reaching the Barrière du Roule at so late an hour as three o'clock in 
the afternoon, is known. But in consenting so to accompany this 
individual, (_for whatever purpose -- to her mother known or 
unknown,_) she must have thought of her expressed intention when 
leaving home, and of the surprise and suspicion aroused in the bosom 
of her affianced suitor, St. Eustache, when, calling for her, at the 
hour appointed, in the Rue des Drômes, he should find that she had 
not been there, and when, moreover, upon returning to the pension 
with this alarming intelligence, he should become aware of her 
continued absence from home. She must have thought of these things, I 
say. She must have foreseen the chagrin of St. 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, or for certain other purposes known 
only to myself. 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 well tell St. 
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 St. 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 St. Eustache call; for, calling, he 
will be sure to ascertain that I have played him false - a fact of 
which I might keep him for ever 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 - or not for some weeks - or not 
until certain concealments are effected - the gaining of time is the 
only point about which I need give myself any concern.' 
"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 strictly 
spontaneous manner -- we should look upon it as analogous with that 
_intuition_ which is the idiosyncrasy of the individual man of 
genius. In ninety-nine cases from the hundred I would abide by its 
decision. But it is important that we find no palpable traces of 
_suggestion_. The opinion must be rigorously _the public's own_; and 
the distinction is often exceedingly difficult to perceive and to 
maintain. In the present instance, it appears to me that this 'public 
opinion' in respect to a gang, has been superinduced by the 
collateral event which is detailed in the third of my extracts. All 
Paris is excited by the discovered corpse of Marie, a girl young, 
beautiful and notorious. This corpse is found, bearing marks of 
violence, and floating in the river. But it is now made known that, 
at the very period, or about the very period, in which it is supposed 
that the girl was assassinated, an outrage similar in nature to that 
endured by the deceased, although less in extent, was perpetuated, by 
a gang of young ruffians, upon the person of a second young female. 
Is it wonderful that the one known atrocity should influence the 
popular judgment in regard to the other unknown? This judgment 
awaited direction, and the known outrage seemed so opportunely to 
afford it! Marie, too, was found in the river; and upon this very 
river was this known outrage committed. The connexion of the two 
events had about it so much of the palpable, that the true wonder 
would have been a failure of the populace to appreciate and to seize 
it. But, in fact, the one atrocity, known to be so committed, is, if 
any thing, evidence that the other, committed at a time nearly 
coincident, was not so committed. It would have been a miracle 
indeed, if, while a gang of ruffians were perpetrating, at a given 
locality, a most unheard-of wrong, there should have been another 
similar gang, in a similar locality, in the same city, under the same 
circumstances, with the same means and appliances, engaged in a wrong 
of precisely the same aspect, at precisely the same period of time! 
Yet in what, if not in this marvellous train of coincidence, does the 
accidentally suggested opinion of the populace call upon us to 
"Before proceeding farther, let us consider the supposed scene of the 
assassination, in the thicket at the Barrière du Roule. This thicket, 
although dense, was in the close vicinity of a public road. Within 
were three or four large stones, forming a kind of seat with a back 
and footstool. On the upper stone was discovered a white petticoat; 
on the second, a silk scarf. A parasol, gloves, and a 
pocket-handkerchief, were also here found. The handkerchief bore the 
name, 'Marie Rogêt.' Fragments of dress were seen on the branches 
around. The earth was trampled, the bushes were broken, and there was 
every evidence of a violent struggle. 
"Notwithstanding the acclamation with which the discovery of this 
thicket was received by the press, and the unanimity with which it 
was supposed to indicate the precise scene of the outrage, it must be 
admitted that there was some very good reason for doubt. That it was 
the scene, I may or I may not believe - but there was excellent 
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 redivert this attention. And 
thus, the thicket 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 could 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 could 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 just quoted, is be really unaware of the nature of 
this mildew? Is he to be told that it is one of the many classes of 
fungus, of which the most ordinary feature is its upspringing and 
decadence within twenty-four hours? 
"Thus we see, at a glance, that what has been most triumphantly 
adduced in support of the idea that the articles bad been 'for at 
least three or four weeks' in the thicket, is most absurdly null as 
regards any evidence of that fact. On the other hand, it is 
exceedingly difficult to believe that these articles could have 
remained in the thicket specified, for a longer period than a single 
week - for a longer period than from one Sunday to the next. Those 
who know any thing of the vicinity of Paris, know the extreme 
difficulty of finding seclusion unless at a great distance from its 
suburbs. Such a thing as an unexplored, or even an unfrequently 
visited recess, amid its woods or groves, is not for a moment to be 
imagined. Let any one who, being at heart a lover of nature, is yet 
chained by duty to the dust and heat of this great metropolis - let 
any such one attempt, even during the weekdays, to slake his thirst 
for solitude amid the scenes of natural loveliness which immediately 
surround us. At every second step, he will find the growing charm 
dispelled by the voice and personal intrusion of some ruffian or 
party of carousing blackguards. He will seek privacy amid the densest 
foliage, all in vain. Here are the very nooks where the unwashed most 
abound - here are the temples most desecrate. With sickness of the 
heart the wanderer will flee back to the polluted Paris as to a less 
odious because less incongruous sink of pollution. But if the 
vicinity of the city is so beset during the working days of the week, 
how much more so on the Sabbath! It is now especially that, released 
from the claims of labor, or deprived of the customary opportunities 
of crime, the town blackguard seeks the precincts of the town, not 
through love of the rural, which in his heart he despises, but by way 
of escape from the restraints and conventionalities of society. He 
desires less the fresh air and the green trees, than the utter 
license of the country. Here, at the road-side inn, or beneath the 
foliage of the woods, he indulges, unchecked by any eye except those 
of his boon companions, in all the mad excess of a counterfeit 
hilarity - the joint offspring of liberty and of rum. I say nothing 
more than what must be obvious to every dispassionate observer, when 
I repeat that the circumstance of the articles in question having 
remained undiscovered, for a longer period - than from one Sunday to 
another, in any thicket in the immediate neighborhood of Paris, is to 
be looked upon as little less than miraculous. 
"But there are not wanting other grounds for the suspicion that the 
articles were placed in the thicket with the view of diverting 
attention from the real scene of the outrage. And, first, let me 
direct your notice to the date of the discovery of the articles. 
Collate this with the date of the fifth extract made by myself from 
the newspapers. You will find that the discovery followed, almost 
immediately, the urgent communications sent to the evening paper. 
These communications, although various and apparently from various 
sources, tended all to the same point - viz., the directing of 
attention to a gang as the perpetrators of the outrage, and to the 
neighborhood of the Barrière du Roule as its scene. Now here, of 
course, the suspicion is not that, in consequence of these 
communications, or of the public attention by them directed, the 
articles were found by the boys; but the suspicion might and may well 
have been, that the articles were not before found by the boys, for 
the reason that the articles had not before been in the thicket; 
having been deposited there only at so late a period as at the date, 
or shortly prior to the date of the communications by the guilty 
authors of these communications themselves. 
"This thicket was a singular - an exceedingly singular one. It was 
unusually dense. Within its naturally walled enclosure were three 
extraordinary stones, forming a seat with a back and footstool. And 
this thicket, so full of a natural art, was in the immediate 
vicinity, within a few rods, of the dwelling of Madame Deluc, whose 
boys were in the habit of closely examining the shrubberies about 
them in search of the bark of the sassafras. Would it be a rash wager 
- a wager of one thousand to one -- that a day never passed over the 
heads of these boys without finding at least one of them ensconced in 
the umbrageous hall, and enthroned upon its natural throne? Those who 
would hesitate at such a wager, have either never been boys 
themselves, or have forgotten the boyish nature. I repeat -- it is 
exceedingly hard to comprehend how the articles could have remained 
in this thicket undiscovered, for a longer period than one or two 
days; and that thus there is good ground for suspicion, in spite of 
the dogmatic ignorance of Le Soleil, that they were, at a 
comparatively late date, deposited where found. 
"But there are still other and stronger reasons for believing them so 
deposited, than any which I have as yet urged. And, now, let me beg 
your notice to the highly artificial arrangement of the articles. On 
the upper stone lay a white petticoat; on the second a silk scarf; 
scattered around, were a parasol, gloves, and a pocket-handkerchief 
bearing the name, 'Marie Rogêt.' Here is just such an arrangement as 
would naturally be made by a not over-acute person wishing to dispose 
the articles naturally. But it is by no means a really natural 
arrangement. I should rather have looked to see the things all lying 
on the ground and trampled under foot. In the narrow limits of that 
bower, it would have been scarcely possible that the petticoat and 
scarf should have retained a position upon the stones, when subjected 
to the brushing to and fro of many struggling persons. 'There was 
evidence,' it is said, 'of a struggle; and the earth was trampled, 
the bushes were broken,' - but the petticoat and the scarf are found 
deposited as if upon shelves. 'The pieces of the frock torn out by 
the bushes were about three inches wide and six inches long. One part 
was the hem of the frock and it had been mended. They looked like 
strips torn off.' Here, inadvertently, Le Soleil has employed an 
exceedingly suspicious phrase. The pieces, as described, do indeed 
'look like strips torn off;' but purposely and by hand. It is one of 
the rarest of accidents that a piece is 'torn off,' from any garment 
such as is now in question, by the agency of a thorn. From the very 
nature of such fabrics, a thorn or nail becoming entangled in them, 
tears them rectangularly - divides them into two longitudinal rents, 
at right angles with each other, and meeting at an apex where the 
thorn enters - but it is scarcely possible to conceive the piece 
'torn off.' I never so knew it, nor did you. To tear a piece off from 
such fabric, two distinct forces, in different directions, will be, 
in almost every case, required. If there be two edges to the fabric - 
if, for example, it be a pocket- handkerchief, and it is desired to 
tear from it a slip, then, and then only, will the one force serve 
the purpose. But in the present case the question is of a dress, 
presenting but one edge. To tear a piece from the interior, where no 
edge is presented, could only be effected by a miracle through the 
agency of thorns, and no one thorn could accomplish it. But, even 
where an edge is presented, two thorns will be necessary, operating, 
the one in two distinct directions, and the other in one. And this in 
the supposition that the edge is unhemmed. If hemmed, the matter is 
nearly out of the question. We thus see the numerous and great 
obstacles in the way of pieces being 'torn off' through the simple 
agency of 'thorns;' yet we are required to believe not only that one 
piece but that many have been so torn. 'And one part,' too, 'was the 
hem of the frock!' Another piece was 'part of the skirt, not the 
hem,' - that is to say, was torn completely out through the agency of 
thorns, from the uncaged interior of the dress! These, I say, are 
things which one may well be pardoned for disbelieving; yet, taken 
collectedly, they form, perhaps, less of reasonable ground for 
suspicion, than the one startling circumstance of the articles' 
having been left in this thicket at all, by any murderers who had 
enough precaution to think of removing the corpse. You will not have 
apprehended me rightly, however, if you suppose it my design to deny 
this thicket as the scene of the outrage. There might have been a 
wrong here, or, more possibly, an accident at Madame Deluc's. But, in 
fact, this is a point of minor importance. We are not engaged in an 
attempt to discover the scene, but to produce the perpetrators of the 
murder. What I have adduced, notwithstanding the minuteness with 
which I have adduced it, has been with the view, first, to show the 
folly of the positive and headlong assertions of Le Soleil, but 
secondly and chiefly, to bring you, by the most natural route, to a 
further contemplation of the doubt whether this assassination has, or 
has not been, the work of a gang. 
"We will resume this question by mere allusion to the revolting 
details of the surgeon examined at the inquest. It is only necessary 
to say that is published inferences, in regard to the number of 
ruffians, have been properly ridiculed as unjust and totally 
baseless, by all the reputable anatomists of Paris. Not that the 
matter might not have been as inferred, but that there was no ground 
for the inference: - was there not much for another? 
"Let us reflect now upon 'the traces of a struggle;' and let me ask 
what these traces have been supposed to demonstrate. A gang. But do 
they not rather demonstrate the absence of a gang? What struggle 
could have taken place - what struggle so violent and so enduring as 
to have left its 'traces' in all directions - between a weak and 
defenceless girl and the gang of ruffians imagined? The silent grasp 
of a few rough arms and all would have been over. The victim must 
have been absolutely passive at their will. You will here bear in 
mind that the arguments urged against the thicket as the scene, are 
applicable in chief part, only against it as the scene of an outrage 
committed by more than a single individual. If we imagine but one 
violator, we can conceive, and thus only conceive, the struggle of so 
violent and so obstinate a nature as to have left the 'traces' 
"And again. I have already mentioned the suspicion to be excited by 
the fact that the articles in question were suffered to remain at all 
in the thicket where discovered. It seems almost impossible that 
these evidences of guilt should have been accidentally left where 
found. There was sufficient presence of mind (it is supposed) to 
remove the corpse; and yet a more positive evidence than the corpse 
itself (whose features might have been quickly obliterated by decay,) 
is allowed to lie conspicuously in the scene of the outrage - I 
allude to the handkerchief with the name of the deceased. If this was 
accident, it was not the accident of a gang. We can imagine it only 
the accident of an individual. Let us see. An individual has 
committed the murder. He is alone with the ghost of the departed. He 
is appalled by what lies motionless before him. The fury of his 
passion is over, and there is abundant room in his heart for the 
natural awe of the deed. His is none of that confidence which the 
presence of numbers inevitably inspires. He is alone with the dead. 
He trembles and is bewildered. Yet there is a necessity for disposing 
of the corpse. He bears it to the river, but leaves behind him the 
other evidences of guilt; for it is difficult, if not impossible to 
carry all the burthen at once, and it will be easy to return for what 
is left. But in his toilsome journey to the water his fears redouble 
within him. The sounds of life encompass his path. A dozen times he 
hears or fancies the step of an observer. Even the very lights from 
the city bewilder him. Yet, in time and by long and frequent pauses 
of deep agony, he reaches the river's brink, and disposes of his 
ghastly charge - perhaps through the medium of a boat. But now what 
treasure does the world hold - what threat of vengeance could it hold 
out - which would have power to urge the return of that lonely 
murderer over that toilsome and perilous path, to the thicket and its 
blood chilling recollections? He returns not, let the consequences be 
what they may. He could not return if he would. His sole thought is 
immediate escape. He turns his back forever upon those dreadful 
shrubberies and flees as from the wrath to come. 
"But how with a gang? Their number would have inspired them with 
confidence; if, indeed confidence is ever wanting in the breast of 
the arrant blackguard; and of arrant blackguards alone are the 
supposed gangs ever constituted. Their number, I say, would have 
prevented the bewildering and unreasoning terror which I have 
imagined to paralyze the single man. Could we suppose an oversight in 
one, or two, or three, this oversight would have been remedied by a 
fourth. They would have left nothing behind them; for their number 
would have enabled them to carry all at once. There would have been 
no need of return. 
"Consider now the circumstance that in the outer garment of the 
corpse when found, 'a slip, about a foot wide had been torn upward 
from the bottom hem to the waist wound three times round the waist, 
and secured by a sort of hitch in the back.' This was done with the 
obvious design of affording a handle by which to carry the body. But 
would any number of men hare dreamed of resorting to such an 
expedient? To three or four, the limbs of the corpse would have 
afforded not only a sufficient, but the best possible hold. The 
device is that of a single individual; and this brings us to the fact 
that 'between the thicket and the river, the rails of the fences were 
found taken down, and the ground bore evident traces of some heavy 
burden having been dragged along it!' But would a number of men have 
put themselves to the superfluous trouble of taking down a fence, for 
the purpose of dragging through it a corpse which they might have 
lifted over any fence in an instant? Would a number of men have so 
dragged a corpse at all as to have left evident traces of the 
"And here we must refer to an observation of Le Commerciel; an 
observation upon which I have already, in some measure, commented. 'A 
piece,' says this journal, 'of one of the unfortunate girl's 
petticoats was torn out and tied under her chin, and around the back 
of her head, probably to prevent screams. This was done by fellows 
who had no pocket-handkerchiefs.' 
"I have before suggested that a genuine blackguard is never without a 
pocket-handkerchief. But it is not to this fact that I now especially 
advert. That it was not through want of a handkerchief for the 
purpose imagined by Le Commerciel, that this bandage was employed, is 
rendered apparent by the handkerchief left in the thicket; and that 
the object was not 'to prevent screams' appears, also, from the 
bandage having been employed in preference to what would so much 
better have answered the purpose. But the language of the evidence 
speaks of the strip in question as 'found around the neck, fitting 
loosely, and secured with a hard knot.' These words are sufficiently 
vague, but differ materially from those of Le Commerciel. The slip 
was eighteen inches wide, and therefore, although of muslin, would 
form a strong band when folded or rumpled longitudinally. And thus 
rumpled it was discovered. My inference is this. The solitary 
murderer, having borne the corpse, for some distance, (whether from 
the thicket or elsewhere) by means of the bandage hitched around its 
middle, found the weight, in this mode of procedure, too much for his 
strength. He resolved to drag the burthen - the evidence goes to show 
that it wasdragged. With this object in view, it became necessary to 
attach something like a rope to one of the extremities. It could be 
best attached about the neck, where the head would prevent its 
slipping off. And, now, the murderer bethought him, unquestionably, 
of the bandage about the loins. He would have used this, but for its 
volution about the corpse, the hitch which embarrassed it, and the 
reflection that it had not been 'torn off' from the garment. It was 
easier to tear a new slip from the petticoat. He tore it, made it 
fast about the neck, and so dragged his victim to the brink of the 
river. That this 'bandage,' only attainable with trouble and delay, 
and but imperfectly answering its purpose - that this bandage was 
employed at all, demonstrates that the necessity for its employment 
sprang from circumstances arising at a period when the handkerchief 
was no longer attainable -- that is to say, arising, as we have 
imagined, after quitting the thicket, (if the thicket it was), and on 
the road between the thicket and the river. 
"But the evidence, you will say, of Madame Deluc, (!) points 
especially to the presence of a gang, in the vicinity of the thicket, 
at or about the epoch of the murder. This I grant. I doubt if there 
were not a dozen gangs, such as described by Madame Deluc, in and 
about the vicinity of the Barrière du Roule at or about the period of 
this tragedy. But the gang which has drawn upon itself the pointed 
animadversion, although the somewhat tardy and very suspicious 
evidence of Madame Deluc, is the only gang which is represented by 
that honest and scrupulous old lady as having eaten her cakes and 
swallowed her brandy, without putting themselves to the trouble of 
making her payment. Et hinc illæ iræ? 
"But what is the precise evidence of Madame Deluc? 'A gang of 
miscreants made their appearance, behaved boisterously, ate and drank 
without making payment, followed in the route of the young man and 
girl, returned to the inn about dusk, and recrossed the river as if 
in great haste.' 
"Now this 'great haste' very possibly seemed greater haste in the 
eyes of Madame Deluc, since she dwelt lingeringly and lamentingly 
upon her violated cakes and ale - cakes and ale for which she might 
still have entertained a faint hope of compensation. Why, otherwise, 
since it was about dusk, should she make a point of the haste? It is 
no cause for wonder, surely, that even a gang of blackguards should 
make haste to get home, when a wide river is to be crossed in small 
boats, when storm impends, and when night approaches. 
"I say approaches; for the night had not yet arrived. It was only 
about dusk that the indecent haste of these 'miscreants' offended the 
sober eyes of Madame Deluc. But we are told that it was upon this 
very evening that Madame Deluc, as well as her eldest son, 'heard the 
screams of a female in the vicinity of the inn.' And in what words 
does Madame Deluc designate the period of the evening at which these 
screams were heard? 'It was soon after dark,' she says. But 'soon 
after dark,' is, at least, dark; and'about dusk' is as certainly 
daylight. Thus it is abundantly clear that the gang quitted the 
Barrière du Roule prior to the screams overheard (?) by Madame Deluc. 
And although, in all the many reports of the evidence, the relative 
expressions in question are distinctly and invariably employed just 
as I have employed them in this conversation with yourself, no notice 
whatever of the gross discrepancy has, as yet, been taken by any of 
the public journals, or by any of the Myrmidons of police. 
"I shall add but one to the arguments against a gang; but this one 
has, to my own understanding at least, a weight altogether 
irresistible. Under the circumstances of large reward offered, and 
full pardon to any King's evidence, it is not to be imagined, for a 
moment, that some member of a gang of low ruffians, or of any body of 
men, would not long ago have betrayed his accomplices. Each one of a 
gang so placed, is not so much greedy of reward, or anxious for 
escape, as fearful of betrayal. He betrays eagerly and early that he 
may not himself be betrayed. That the secret has not been divulged, 
is the very best of proof that it is, in fact, a secret. The horrors 
of this dark deed are known only to one, or two, living human beings, 
and to God. 
"Let us sum up now the meagre yet certain fruits of our long 
analysis. We have attained the idea either of a fatal accident under 
the roof of Madame Deluc, or of a murder perpetrated, in the thicket 
at the Barrière du Roule, by a lover, or at least by an intimate and 
secret associate of the deceased. This associate is of swarthy 
complexion. This complexion, the 'hitch' in the bandage, and the 
'sailor's knot,' with which the bonnet-ribbon is tied, point to a 
seaman. His companionship with the deceased, a gay, but not an abject 
young girl, designates him as above the grade of the common sailor. 
Here the well written and urgent communications to the journals are 
much in the way of corroboration. The circumstance of the first 
elopement, as mentioned by Le Mercurie, tends to blend the idea of 
this seaman with that of the 'naval officer' who is first known to 
have led the unfortunate into crime. 
"And here, most fitly, comes the consideration of the continued 
absence of him of the dark complexion. Let me pause to observe that 
the complexion of this man is dark and swarthy; it was no common 
swarthiness which constituted the sole point of remembrance, both as 
regards Valence and Madame Deluc. But why is this man absent? Was he 
murdered by the gang? If so, why are there only traces of the 
assassinated girl? The scene of the two outrages will naturally be 
supposed identical. And where is his corpse? The assassins would most 
probably have disposed of both in the same way. But it may be said 
that this man lives, and is deterred from making himself known, 
through dread of being charged with the murder. This consideration 
might be supposed to operate upon him now - at this late period - 
since it has been given in evidence that he was seen with Marie - but 
it would have had no force at the period of the deed. The first 
impulse of an innocent man would have been to announce the outrage, 
and to aid in identifying the ruffians. This policy would have 
suggested. He had been seen with the girl. He had crossed the river 
with her in an open ferry-boat. The denouncing of the assassins would 
have appeared, even to an idiot, the surest and sole means of 
relieving himself from suspicion. We cannot suppose him, on the night 
of the fatal Sunday, both innocent himself and incognizant of an 
outrage committed. Yet only under such circumstances is it possible 
to imagine that he would have failed, if alive, in the denouncement 
of the assassins. 
"And what means are ours, of attaining the truth? We shall find these 
means multiplying and gathering distinctness as we proceed. Let us 
sift to the bottom this affair of the first elopement. Let us know 
the full history of 'the officer,' with his present circumstances, 
and his whereabouts at the precise period of the murder. Let us 
carefully compare with each other the various communications sent to 
the evening paper, in which the object was to inculpate a gang. This 
done, let us compare these communications, both as regards style and 
MS., with those sent to the morning paper, at a previous period, and 
insisting so vehemently upon the guilt of Mennais. And, all this 
done, let us again compare these various communications with the 
known MSS. of the officer. Let us endeavor to ascertain, by repeated 
questionings of Madame Deluc and her boys, as well as of the omnibus 
driver, Valence, something more of the personal appearance and 
bearing of the 'man of dark complexion.' Queries, skilfully directed, 
will not fail to elicit, from some of these parties, information on 
this particular point (or upon others) - information which the 
parties themselves may not even be aware of possessing. And let us 
now trace the boatpicked up by the bargeman on the morning of Monday 
the twenty-third of June, and which was removed from the 
barge-office, without the cognizance of the officer in attendance, 
and without the rudder, at some period prior to the discovery of the 
corpse. With a proper caution and perseverance we shall infallibly 
trace this boat; for not only can the bargeman who picked it up 
identify it, but the rudder is at hand. The rudder of a sail-boat 
would not have been abandoned, without inquiry, by one altogether at 
ease in heart. And here let me pause to insinuate a question. There 
was no advertisement of the picking up of this boat. It was silently 
taken to the barge-office, and as silently removed. But its owner or 
employer - how happened he, at so early a period as Tuesday morning, 
to be informed, without the agency of advertisement, of the locality 
of the boat taken up on Monday, unless we imagine some connexion with 
the navy - some personal permanent connexion leading to cognizance of 
its minute in interests - its petty local news? 
"In speaking of the lonely assassin dragging his burden to the shore, 
I have already suggested the probability of his availing himself of a 
boat. Now we are to understand that Marie Rogêt was precipitated from 
a boat. This would naturally have been the case. The corpse could not 
have been trusted to the shallow waters of the shore. The peculiar 
marks on the back and shoulders of the victim tell of the bottom ribs 
of a boat. That the body was found without weight is also 
corroborative of the idea. If thrown from the shore a weight would 
have been attached. We can only account for its absence by supposing 
the murderer to have neglected the precaution of supplying himself 
with it before pushing off. In the act of consigning the corpse to 
the water, he would unquestionably have noticed his oversight; but 
then no remedy would have been at hand. Any risk would have been 
preferred to a return to that accursed shore. Having rid himself of 
his ghastly charge, the murderer would have hastened to the city. 
There, at some obscure wharf, he would have leaped on land. But the 
boat - would he have secured it? He would have been in too great 
haste for such things as securing a boat. Moreover, in fastening it 
to the wharf, he would have felt as if securing evidence against 
himself. His natural thought would have been to cast from him, as far 
as possible, all that had held connection with his crime. He would 
not only have fled from the wharf, but he would not have permitted 
the boat to remain. Assuredly he would have cast it adrift. Let us 
pursue our fancies. - In the morning, the wretch is stricken with 
unutterable horror at finding that the boat has been picked up and 
detained at a locality which he is in the daily habit of frequenting 
- at a locality, perhaps, which his duty compels him to frequent. The 
next night, without daring to ask for the rudder, he removes it. Now 
where is that rudderless boat? Let it be one of our first purposes to 
discover. With the first glimpse we obtain of it, the dawn of our 
success shall begin. This boat shall guide us, with a rapidity which 
will surprise even ourselves, to him who employed it in the midnight 
of the fatal Sabbath. Corroboration will rise upon corroboration, and 
the murderer will be traced." 
[For reasons which we shall not specify, but which to many readers 
will appear obvious, we have taken the liberty of here omitting, from 
the MSS. placed in our hands, such portion as details the following 
up of the apparently slight clew obtained by Dupin. We feel it 
advisable only to state, in brief, that the result desired was 
brought to pass; and that the Prefect fulfilled punctually, although 
with reluctance, the terms of his compact with the Chevalier. Mr. 
Poe's article concludes with the following words. - Eds. {*23}] 
It will be understood that I speak of coincidences and no more. What 
I have said above upon this topic must suffice. In my own heart there 
dwells no faith in præter-nature. That Nature and its God are two, no 
man who thinks, will deny. That the latter, creating the former, can, 
at will, control or modify it, is also unquestionable. I say "at 
will;" for the question is of will, and not, as the insanity of logic 
has assumed, of power. It is not that the Deity cannot modify his 
laws, but that we insult him in imagining a possible necessity for 
modification. In their origin these laws were fashioned to embrace 
all contingencies which could lie in the Future. With God all is Now. 
I repeat, then, that I speak of these things only as of coincidences. 
And farther: in what I relate it will be seen that between the fate 
of the unhappy Mary Cecilia Rogers, so far as that fate is known, and 
the fate of one Marie Rogêt up to a certain epoch in her history, 
there has existed a parallel in the contemplation of whose wonderful 
exactitude the reason becomes embarrassed. I say all this will be 
seen. But let it not for a moment be supposed that, in proceeding 
with the sad narrative of Marie from the epoch just mentioned, and in 
tracing to its dénouement the mystery which enshrouded her, it is my 
covert design to hint at an extension of the parallel, or even to 
suggest that the measures adopted in Paris for the discovery of the 
assassin of a grisette, or measures founded in any similar 
ratiocination, would produce any similar result. 
For, in respect to the latter branch of the supposition, it should be 
considered that the most trifling variation in the facts of the two 
cases might give rise to the most important miscalculations, by 
diverting thoroughly the two courses of events; very much as, in 
arithmetic, an error which, in its own individuality, may be 
inappreciable, produces, at length, by dint of multiplication at all 
points of the process, a result enormously at variance with truth. 
And, in regard to the former branch, we must not fail to hold in view 
that the very Calculus of Probabilities to which I have referred, 
forbids all idea of the extension of the parallel: - forbids it with 
a positiveness strong and decided just in proportion as this parallel 
has already been long-drawn and exact. This is one of those anomalous 
propositions which, seemingly appealing to thought altogether apart 
from the mathematical, is yet one which only the mathematician can 
fully entertain. Nothing, for example, is more difficult than to 
convince the merely general reader that the fact of sixes having been 
thrown twice in succession by a player at dice, is sufficient cause 
for betting the largest odds that sixes will not be thrown in the 
third attempt. A suggestion to this effect is usually rejected by the 
intellect at once. It does not appear that the two throws which have 
been completed, and which lie now absolutely in the Past, can have 
influence upon the throw which exists only in the Future. The chance 
for throwing sixes seems to be precisely as it was at any ordinary 
time - that is to say, subject only to the influence of the various 
other throws which may be made by the dice. And this is a reflection 
which appears so exceedingly obvious that attempts to controvert it 
are received more frequently with a derisive smile than with anything 
like respectful attention. The error here involved - a gross error 
redolent of mischief - I cannot pretend to expose within the limits 
assigned me at present; and with the philosophical it needs no 
exposure. It may be sufficient here to say that it forms one of an 
infinite series of mistakes which arise in the path or Reason through 
her propensity for seeking truth in detail. 
~~~ End of Text ~~~ 
FOOTNOTES--Marie Rogêt 
{*1} Upon the original publication of "Marie Roget," the foot-notes 
now appended were considered unnecessary; but the lapse of several 
years since the tragedy upon which the tale is based, renders it 
expedient to give them, and also to say a few words in explanation of 
the general design. A young girl, Mary Cecilia Rogers, was murdered 
in the vicinity of New York; and, although her death occasioned an 
intense and long-enduring excitement, the mystery attending it had 
remained unsolved at the period when the present paper was written 
and published (November, 1842). Herein, under pretence of relating 
the fate of a Parisian grisette, the author has followed in minute 
detail, the essential, while merely paralleling the inessential facts 
of the real murder of Mary Rogers. Thus all argument founded upon the 
fiction is applicable to the truth: and the investigation of the 
truth was the object. The "Mystery of Marie Roget" was composed at a 
distance from the scene of the atrocity, and with no other means of 
investigation than the newspapers afforded. Thus much escaped the 
writer of which he could have availed himself had he been upon the 
spot, and visited the localities. It may not be improper to record, 
nevertheless, that the confessions of two persons, (one of them the 
Madame Deluc of the narrative) made, at different periods, long 
subsequent to the publication, confirmed, in full, not only the 
general conclusion, but absolutely all the chief hypothetical details 
by which that conclusion was attained. 
{*2} The nom de plume of Von Hardenburg. 
{*3} Nassau Street. 
{*4} Anderson. 
{*5} The Hudson. 
{*6} Weehawken. 
{*7} Payne. 
{*8} Crommelin. 
{*9} The New York "Mercury." 
(*10} The New York "Brother Jonathan," edited by H. Hastings Weld,  
{*11} New York "Journal of Commerce." 
(*12} Philadelphia "Saturday Evening Post," edited by C. I. Peterson, 
{*13} Adam 
{*14} See "Murders in the Rue Morgue." 
{*15} The New York "Commercial Advertiser," edited by Col. Stone. 
{*16} "A theory based on the qualities of an object, will prevent its 
being unfolded according to its objects; and he who arranges topics 
in reference to their causes, will cease to value them according to 
their results. Thus the jurisprudence of every nation will show that, 
when law becomes a science and a system, it ceases to be justice. The 
errors into which a blind devotion to principles of classification 
has led the common law, will be seen by observing how often the 
legislature has been obliged to come forward to restore the equity 
its scheme had lost." - Landor. 
{*17} New York "Express" 
{*18} NewYork "Herald." 
{*19} New York "Courier and Inquirer." 
{*20} Mennais was one of the parties originally suspected and 
arrested, but discharged through total lack of evidence. 
{*21} New York "Courier and Inquirer." 
{*22} New York "Evening Post." 
{*23} Of the Magazine in which the article was originally published.