Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The Red Cloud chief. (Red Cloud, Webster Co., Neb.) 1873-1923 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 12, 1912)
TRUTH ABOUT THE CASE
Tho Experiences of M. F. Goron, Ex-Chief
of the Paris Detective Police
1 Edited by Albert Keyier
AN UGLY CASE
T fIx In the morning,
Vulllnnt, tho tnan who
throw thu bomb In
tho Chamber of Depu
ties had been execut
ed, and I hnd been
compelled to nttend
UiIh hideous function.
I lmd not been to bed.
I reached my ofllco nn hour Inter,
Tory tlrod, and determined, If pozslhlo.
to retire early. Up to four o'clock
nothing hnd occurred to prevent my
having n nlght'B rest, when I roccived
tho following nolo:
"Dear Ooron: I nxnnct you to dinner t
tilKlit. Meet mo at 1'nunDet'ii nt luilf-pai
even Becloud bunlncM.
Kven without tho latst two word?, I
would hnvo guessed that Romothlng
hnd gone wrong. My frlcnd'n usually
bold writing appeared thin and shaky;
nd ho, tho exuberant man, who would
wrlto Ihrco pages to Hay what others
express In throe linen, had adopted a
laconic style. Yes. that noto forebod
ed trouble ir not worse and f scrib
bled n lino to say that I would meet
blm at tho appointed hour.
Arinnnd I nnd I wpro old chums.
Hoth born In ItcnncH, wo wero edu
cated at tho same college, and, al
though In later yenrB our wnys lay In
v different directions, our friendship
' Armand was the son of n retired
stock-broker, nnd hnd Inherited about
one hundred thousand dollars from his
mother, who died a year after ho was
born. Ho had a cousin, Marccllno,
whom ho loved; and on tho day ho
camo of ago ho Informed his father
and mo that ho intended to mnrry her.
I shnll novor forget thnt date, bocauso
It was the only tlmo ho and I quar
rolcd. His father, I know, was strongly op
posed to marrlnges between members
of tho snmo family. When ho romon
utratcd with Arinnnd, nnd tho latter
appealed to me, I Bided with tho fa
ther, and, after a stormy ticcne, In
duced my friend to give up his Idea.
Marcoltno was not the wlfo for tho
good-nnturcd Armnnd, nnd I wns glad
when that danger wns pnst. Two years
later ho married a lady ho had met at
Itoynt, nnd bought a pretty villa noar
VIHo d'Avrny, where I nomctlmoB paid
them n visit on a Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunntoly. this union did not
turn out woll. Mndamo P wns
rather bigoted, and, being of a highly
nervous temperament, her husband's
bolstcrouBneRB and his loud lnughtor
seemed to upset her. Theso two hnd
no thoughts In common, nnd after a
while my visits to Vlllo d'Avrny
Ab to Marccllno. sho had mnrrlod a
cavalry captain, who soon nfterward
wns killed by a fall from his horse,
leaving her a limited Incomo and a
houso at Versailles. From Vlllo d'Av
ray to Versailles Is but a twenty-minutes'
drive, nnd I knew thnt Armnnd,
slnco tho captain's death, spout much
of his tlmo with Marccllno.
When I reached Pousset's and saw
Armnnd I looked nt him In surprise
Hollow-checked, palo, with sunken,
lack-luster eyes, I hardly recognized
my poor friend. Ho roso whon ho saw
mo, wnlkcd with mo to tho door, and,
, hailing a cab, told tbo tnnn to drlvo to
"Is It a dlnncr-pnrty?" I asked.
"No," ho said. It was the first word
bo had spoken.
At Volsln's ho led tho way to a prl
Tate room on tho first floor. I saw ho
had ordered tho dinner and that tho
menu had been compiled with hi us
"I wonted to bo alono with you," ho
said, "and hero wo enn talk undis
turbed." I was hungry and quite propared to
do honor to Volsln's culslno, but be
fore I hnd swallowed my first spoonful
of boup, I noticed thnt tho wnltcr had
placed beforo Armand n boiled egg
and a glass of milk.
"Are you going to mako your dlnnor
"Yes,': ho replied with a painful
emtle, "but don't trouble about mo.
Wo will talk whon you hnvo finished."
Tho fish wns served, nnd tho man
wns about to leave tho room whon I
railed him back.
"That will do," I ordered; "younood
not bring tho remainder of tbo din
Thou, turnlug to Armand, I ex
claimed: "And now, for heaven's sake,
He wnlkcd up to mo slowly, placed
both bands on my shoulders, nnd in
a strained volco asked:
"Did you see Valllant beforo ho was
led to execution?"
"I did Why?"
"Rocnuse you will then havo behold
two condemned men In ono day Vall
lant this morning, mo tonight I"
"Armand," I cried, "are you mad?"
"No, I am not mad. I am"
I saw ho was nearly fainting, and
led him to the sofa.
"I feol hotter, old chap," ho said
after a while, "and, now, I have to im
part to you a fearful socrct, which tho
chief of the detectlvo police must
Ignore. It is not from-him, but from
the faithful friend, and from the
clever detectlvo, that I claim assist'
J, I), Llpplncolt Co)
tince. Goron, I am being slowly pois
oned." I wns speechless with amazement.
"I want you to find out the culprit,
and 1 know you will. Hut you will
give mo your word of honor that no
harm shall befall tho murderer."
"My dear Armnnd" 1 began.
"Walt till I hnvo finished until I
hnvo told you tho namcB of two per
sons, one ot whom Is poisoning me.
Yes, there nro only two."
Ho gave n sob, nnd, nfter an uncan
ny silence, suddenly screntned out:
"Ooron, either my wife, or Mnrcellne,
my cousin, Is tho murderess! You may
well shudder. And now you will un
derstand why the chief of police may
not know of tho affair, nnd why neith
er of thoi,o women may bo harmed.
They aro sacred to tno. For ono bears
my name; nnd tho other, tho other
I have loved all my life!"
I battled long; but ns my friend's
llfo was at stake, I reluctantly yield
ed, and promised to help solvo tho
mystery without Injuring tho women.
"Thnnk you," ho whispered, "I shall
now dlo happy."
"No,". I Interrupted him. "you will
not die. Heaven kuowH whnt is lurk
ing behind nil this, and what sturtllng
dlscovury I may mako. But you will
havo to plnco yourself unreservedly in
my hands, nnd obey my Instructions
without questioning my motives."
"Then tell mo moro nbout your bus
plclons." "You call them 'suspicions?' Look
hero. Goron, two months ago I wnH a
strong man. Ami now! About six
weeks ngo, my health suddenly began
to fall. I experienced burning pnlns
In tho digestive' organs, nnd a dlsn
grccablo taBto In my mouth nfter
meals. I consulted my medical man,
who told mo It was a form of Indiges
tion, and prescribed a treatment
which I followed. Hut my condition
grow slowly worse, nnd for tho last
fortnight I havo been sustaining my
self on three eggs a day and a llttlo
"I consulted Dr. L and Professor
G , renowned specialists. They
took a big fco, nnd Informed mo that
my medical man'B diagnosis was right.
Until that moment tho Idea of poison
ing hnd never entered my mind until
by a singular coincidence, I happened
to read tho repot t of a poisoning case
In Milan, where a man hnd been sys
tematically administering nrsenie to
his victims. I was stiuck by the sim
ilarity of tho Bymptoms described with
what I myself experienced, except
that ono of tho victims hnd dark spots
on his body.
"Goron, tho next night when I un
dressed I discovered, dnrk spots on
my thighs! It Hashed upon mo that I,
too, was being poisoned, and, under
nn assumed namo, I went to tho Hotel
DIeu hospital, whero I told tho con
sulting physician thnt I feared I had
Inadvertently swallowed n doso of ar
senic. Ho did not seem to bollovo my
story, but ns I accused no ono, ho
inndo tho necessary examination, and
nfter n few dnyB informed mo that I
had really taken poison, and pre
scribed the proper remedy."
"And then?" I nsked.
"And then I know that only Jcanno
or Marcollno could havo been guilty
of this horrlblo crlmo. Jennno nnd I,
ns you know, aro not happy; and I nm
only too glad to Bpcnd a few hours
with Mnrcellne. Sometimes I lunch
with her, nt'othcrB I Invito myself to
dinner sho Is always glad to see me.
And, during the last week, I havo ta
kon all my meals at home or at my
"And these pains, and. the nasty
taste, did you notlco them after you
lunched or dined nt your house, or at
"I know you would ask me that.
And it Is there that tho mystery
comcB in, for those very Bnmo symp
toms show themsolves whon I return
from my cousin's nnd when I stay at
"So that you nro inclined to suspect
tho two women?"
"I don't know. It Is too terrible."
"Is Jennno on good terras with Mar
"Does your wlfo expect you backrto-
"Thon send hor a telegram that you
aro detained In town. Tonight you
btay with mo, and tomorrow I will
tnko you somewhero whore -you will
bo safe. Hut I havo a few moro ques
tions to nsk. Whnt do your wlfo nnd
Marcellno sny nbout your altered ap
pearance?" "They seem very concerned about
mo, nnd are anxious to do nil they
' "Frankly whom do you suspect?"
"Sometimes I think It Is Mnrcollno;
sometimes I think it Is my wlfo. It is
"Yes, it is horrible. Haa thoro over
been nny real trouble between you and
either of them?"
"Is your life Insured?"
"In anyone's name?"
"Yes, in Marcellno's."
He colored slightly, and thon said:
"You sec, old cunp, Marccllno is
not rich, nnd, strictly between our
selves, sho is a bit of a gambler. She
bets on horses, and, occasionally, dab
bles in stocks. Sho has already cost
mo a rather big amount. So, ono day,
t Insured my llfo for thirty thousand
dollars In her name, in case anything
happened to me."
I could notholp starting slightly.
"When waB that?"
"About a year ago."
"Havo you told Marccllno of this?"
"And your wlfo?"
''Sho knows I Insured my llfo, but
believes It was done in her name."
It wns nearly eleven o'clock. I
took Armand homo with me, and tho
next morning conducted him to n san
atorium, near Chlnon, whero I hnd
taken n llttlo villa for my family, toll
ing tho director of tho establishment
that my friend wns suffering from
nervous prostration, nnd wanted abso
lute rest. I then sont him n vnlet
ono of my own men who every morn
ing hnd to fetch him a bottle of fresh
milk. I also gave him instructions re
specting the bread, and even tho
eggs, for Armnnd's frugnl meal, which
had toibo boiled In my friend's sitting
room. Having taken those precautions, I
made Armand wrlto to his wlfo and
to Mnrcellne that by his doctor's or
ders he wns taking n rest-cure.
I begnn by making a searching in
vestigation, which brought to light
such a startling fact thnt I went
down to my friend, whom I found In
bed, but looking less dejected. Tho
burning pnlns wero less intense and
the dark spots wero slowly disappear
ing. "Armnnd," I Bald, "boforo touching
upon the business that brings mo hero
I must refer to tho btatcment you
made tbo other night that you ex
perienced these ugly symptoms no
matter where you took your meals.
For a minute I had the Idea that pos
sibly both women might bo Implicated
in the crlmo; but, In tho absenco of
direct proof, I abandoned this hypoth
esis, especially as I havo it on tho
highest medical authority that tho ef
fects of systematic nrscnical poison
ing do not show thempclvcn till sov
oral hours Inter. And slnco every day
you dined and lunched either nt homo
or at Marcellno's, wo cannot draw any
Inference ns to whero tho poison was
"And now," I continued. "lot us talk
of Mnrcollno. Did you know that her
brother Gaston tho young scamp
is tack In Paris?"
"Yes, I did."
"Havo you over mot hlui?"
"A fow months ngo I bow him nt his
sister's, and tho next morning ho bor
rowed ono hundred dollars from mo.
Slnco that day I havo nover corao
"And his sister?"
"Sho has nothing more to do with
"Aro you certain of that?"
"Then lot mo tell you that not only
her own money hut tho sums you give
her go' into that fellow's pocket"
"It Is Impossible! What proofs
"Ono moment. What was tho last
amount you gave Marcellno, and on
"Four hundred dollars on tho 19th
of last month. Dut why do you ask?"
"Because tho day following, Gaston,
who, three days before, borrowed a
dbllar from Hlppolyto, tho waiter In
tho Cafe do Franco, paid four hundred
dollars to the VIcomto do S- , to
whom ho had lost that amount In tho
gambling-club in the Rue Tnitbout, of
which he Is one of tho chief orna
ments. 1 hnvo a little list In my pocket
of tho sums this amiable youth lost
and spent during the last six months.
And you will find the total agree with
what you gave Murcelino and what
sho took out of her own pocket. Mar
collno herself Is heavily in debt and
owes money to her tradespeople. It
Is not sho who gambles, but he; and
you have been supplying him with the
Armnnd looked at mo In speechless
"Good heavens!" ho exploded, "I
will at once"
"You will do nothing nt all," I said,
"until I glvo you permission. Leavo
the matter to me. Havo you heard at
ail from your wife or ivlarceline?"
"Yes, Jeanne telegraphed yesterday
that sho Is ill, but expects to be able
to come and see me here In a couple
of days. And half an hour before
you came I received this noto from
"Dear Armnnd," It said: "I nm Bind you
aro taking u rest-cure, and tiopo It will
noon put you rlKht. I hoar Jennie linn
Influenza, so I will come for n few days
to Chlnon. to the. Hotel de la Houle il'Or.
If you are well enough, come nnd lunch
with mo at ono o'clock.
up, her lips parted, her whole
turned an ashy gray.
My friend looked nt me expectantly.
"What must I do?" ho asked.
"My dear Armand," I said, "I know
you aro anxious to go to the heart of
this terrible business, and bo am I. Go
to Marcellno to-morrow. About ono
o'clock I shall come to tho hotol to
seo you; as I am supposed to havo
missed you when I called here. Ro
member 'that you havo not seen me,
nor heard from mo, for a long time.
Marccllno, of courso, will ask mo to
luncheon. You will havo your milk
and eggs, which you must not touch.
Hut, two or threo minutes nfter wo
are at table, when you seo mo twirl
my moustache, rlso, and toll your
cousin you feel faint and want to Ho
down. Havo you understood?"
Tho next day whon I called at tho
Houlo d'Or, Marcollno insisted on my
staying, nnd sho herself placed a Jug
of milk and two boiled eggs beforo
Armnnd. I gave tho agreed signal,
whereupon Armand at onco rose and
asked permission to rest a llttlo
while. As I expected, Mnrcellne con
ducted him to tho adjoining bedroom,
nnd tho instnnt sho had gono I poured
some of tho milk from the Jug Into a
small flash I had brought with roe.
When Marcellno returned sho looked
"I did not know Armand was so 111,"
I remarked. "I was surprised to hear
he bad gone to a sanatorium."
"Yes," she replied, "he aoems real
"This milk," I said, "looks delicious.
We do not got It liko that In Paris. Try
It." And I poured her out a gloss.
But sho shook her head.
"No, I do not caro for it. I never
Sho remained pensive, with hor chin
on her hand; suddenly sho Bald:
"M. Goron, I have to ask you a
great fnvor. Can I have a few min
utes' prlvato conversation with you
nny tlmo .next week?"
"With great pleasure," I replied.
This Interview, to which I attached
much Importance, never camo off.
On my return to town I Immediate
ly sent tho flask I had brought with
me from Chlnon to the Municipal Lab
oratory to havo tho contents analyzed,
and early tho next morning received
a short report stating that the milk
did not contain tho slightest trnco of
arsenic. I had Just finished rending It
when Armnnd was nnnounccd. He
seemed greatly agitated. '
"You here?" I called out "Why
did you leavo Chlnon without my per
mission?" "I camo up by tho early train," ho
retorted, "to show you this. It camo
last night after you -hod left."
And he threw mo a crumpled piece
It was a shockingly written, bndly
spelled, letter addressed to Monsieur
Armand P :
"The woman you love Is attempting
your life. Be warned cro It Is too late."
Thero was no signature.
I examined It long and carefully.
"What a calamity!" cried Armand
In a hoarse volco.
"What Is a calamity?" I asked.
"Why, this letter! Can't you see
that tho business has leaked out?
Who can bavo sent this?"
"Armand, for a fairly intelligent
man, you aro not sharp. This letter
gives u'b tho last link wo wauted, and
It como3 at the right moment. Listen
carefully, and I will show you which
aro tho points on which this mystery
turns. My suspicions, I own, wore at
first directed against Mnrcellne. Her
love ot money, and tho knowledge thnt
your death would bring her thirty
thousand dollars, told against her.
When, however, I heard of hor broth
er's doings I changed my opinion.
Women, my dear Armand, may bo
weak and foolish enough to impover
ish themselves for their brothors, yot
sisterly devotiou will not lead them
Into crime. A woman will commit a
murder for motives of her own, and
sometimes, though very rarely, sho
will risk her neck for tho man Bhe
loves for her brother, nover.
"This dlsposos ot Marcollno. And
now It is your wlfo who stands be
fore us as tho accused person. Of her
guilt I have little doubt, and that let
ter confirms what other suspicions I
may have entertained. Sho penned
that note herself, and her attempt to
compromise Marcellno tells Us own
talo. Bhe wrote It with her left band,
and In the writing otherwise excel
lently disguised I detect her curious
habit of putting the dots, not over the
I's, but above tho letters that follow.
This, no doubt, escaped you. There
remains only tho serious question of
what led her to this."
Armand was in deep thought.
"What will you do-with her?" he at
"You have my word Bho Bhnll not
be touched. Rut I havo a duty to pep
form, and will perform It. Hy to-morrow
night we Bhnll bo In possession of
all tho facts, nnd this ugly nightmare
will havo como to nn end. Pleaso re
turn at onco to Chlnon, and wait till
you hear from mo." (
My friend's villa In Vlllo d'Avray
Btood within its own grounds behind a
cluster of trees that hid It from view. As
Madnmo P had written to her hus
band that sho was suffering from in
fluenza, I went to the tobacconist's at
tho corner, nnd, having purchased a
few cigars, Inquired nfter Monsieur
P Ho, I was told, was In Paris;
but madamo hnd not gono with him.
Hnd sho been 111? No, madamo had
been driving hor ponies every dny. Ho
had Just 'seen her enter tho gates.
I went straight to tho house, nnd, a
few minutes later, Madamo P
como to mo In the library.
"You here, M. Goron?" Bhe exclaim
ed. "It Is six months since we Baw
you. You nro neglecting your friends."
Sho was still tho same thin, old-maldlsh-looklng
little woman, with,
pale cheeks, pale hair, pale hands,
and a curiously big voice, not In keep
ing with her small stature.
"Havo you -seen Armand?" she
asked. "Yes, I know he was better, and I
como hero hoping to find him."
"No, ho Is still away, t could not
go to him because I have only Just
recovered from an nttnek of Influenza.
Can I do anything for you?"
"Yes, you can render mo a small
service. I want to send a letter to
porno ono, but not In my own writing.
I want to sign It only. Will you al
low mo to dlctnto it to you?"
Sho sat at her husband's dCBk,
dipped her pen In tho ink, nnd waited.
"The woman you love," I began, "Is
Madamo looked up, her lips parted,
her whole face turned an ashy gray.
"Is attempting your llfo. Be
I could go no further. i
With fear expressed In every line
of hor face, sho rushed at mo, seized
both my arms In a convulsive grasp,
nnd, throwing herself on tho sofa,
her face burled in tho cushions, broke
Into peals of uncontrollablo laughter.
It was fearful.
After a while she grew calmer.
"Madame," I said, "will you"
At tho sound of my volco she
Jumped up and stood In front of mo.
"No!" she screamed In a paroxysm
of excitement, "don't speak, don't ut
ter a word. Only listen. Yes, you
know I wrote thnt letter. You guessed
the whole truth. I can read It In
your face. You havo como to avengo
Armand. Hut you shnll listen to mo.
You shall know what I suffered, and
why I becume a murderess. M. Goron,
havo you ever heard of a woman kill
ing a man becauso sho loved him?
Don't look at mo surprised. I nm not
mad. I nm quite sano. Had I been
beroft of reason I should havo suffer
"I lov Armand as no woman ever
beforo loved a man. Ho is kind, gen
erous, and I would give my llfo for
him any hour of the day. I loved him
from the moment I first saw him, and,
when wo married, I wanted blm to
know all ho was to me. But a curse
seemed to rest on me. My stony
features and my harsh volco repelled
him; and when. I tried to tell him bow
I worshipped hlra, nnd that I was pin
ing for 'his affection, my tongue
seemed paralyzed. Finally I gave up.
And then I knew he was lost to me;
and I had to see him spend half his
days In the company of that flighty
doll, his cousin. I resolved to kill
myself, but I knew that be would
marry that woman; and I swore that
sooner than that be should diet" ,
I longed to have this painful inter
view over, and said:
"Madame, I have not come to ar
rest you, because Armand made me
promise that, if the crlmo should be
brought homo to you, you should not
be harmed, bo far as the law Is con
cerned. In order to save my friend's
life I am making the sacrifice of my
duty; but I must Insist on your obey
ing my injunctions."
Sho bowed her headland it was de
cided that before tho end of tho week
she should leave France. She at once
proposed to go to tho cholera-stricken
district tn Tonquln, where she could
be useful, nnd I promised to see her
safely on board the next outgoing
steamer. She also Blgned a declara
tion to tho effect that sho was leaving
her husband and her home, which
would enable Armand to obtain a di
vorce without any trouble. As I rose
to go, sho stopped me.
"Allow mo to mako a last request
Don't tell Armand anything about my
confession to you. He neon not know
what I have Buffered. Will you prom
"I promise It."
"I thnnk you. Qood-by, M. Goron; I
shall not forget your kindness." ,
In less than a week she left for
Tonquln, where she tolled night and
day in the hospital. Sho died six
months after her arrival, from over
exertion. Armand, I believe, married Mnr
cellne. I say "I bellove," because that
lady wrote mo an indignant letter,
whoreln sho snld she would nover tor
give my suspicions of hor. And Bhe
must have made Armand share her in
dignation, fori I have nolther seen blm
nor beard from him since. ' ,
k4pJ&ft'.fti. . .. M rfViJfw- -
I && ,aa V uvtf J . .vaJ.w
Powered by Open ONI