The Mystery of Orcival
When M. Lecoq was in a hurry he walked fast. He almost ran down the Rue Notre Dame
de Lorette, so that Plantat had great difficulty in keeping up with him; and as he went
along he pursued his train of reflection, half aloud, so that his companion caught here and
there a snatch of it.
"All goes well," he muttered, "and we shall succeed. It's seldom that a campaign which
commences so well ends badly. If Job is at the wine merchant's, and if one of my men has
succeeded in his search, the crime of Valfeuillu is solved, and in a week people will have
He stopped short on reaching the foot of the street opposite the church.
"I must ask you to pardon me," said he to the old justice, "for hurrying you on so and
making you one of my trade; but your assistance might have been very useful at Madame
Charman's, and will be indispensable when we get fairly on Tremorel's track."
They went across the square and into the wine shop at the corner of the Rue des Martyrs.
Its keeper was standing behind his counter turning wine out of a large jug into some
litres, and did not seem much astonished at seeing his new visitors. M. Lecoq was quite at
home (as he was everywhere), and spoke to the man with an air of easy familiarity.
"Aren't there six or eight men waiting for somebody here?" he asked.
"Yes, they came about an hour ago."
"Are they in the big back room?"
"Just so, Monsieur," responded the wine merchant, obsequiously.
He didn't exactly know who was talking to him, but he suspected him to be some superior
officer from the prefecture; and he was not surprised to see that this distinguished
personage knew the ins and outs of his house. He opened the door of the room referred to
without hesitation. Ten men in various guises were drinking there and playing cards. On
M. Lecoq's entrance with M. Plantat, they respectfully got up and took off their hats.
"Good for you, Job," said M. Lecoq to him who seemed to be their chief, "you are
prompt, and it pleases me. Your ten men will be quite enough, for I shall have the three
besides whom I sent out this morning."
M. Job bowed, happy at having pleased a master who was not very prodigal in his