The Mystery of Orcival
M. Lecoq was the first to reach the staircase, and the spots of blood at once caught his
"Oh," cried he, at each spot he saw, "oh, oh, the wretches!"
M. Courtois was much moved to find, so much sensibility in a detective. The latter, as he
continued to ascend, went on:
"The wretches! They don't often leave traces like this everywhere - or at least they wipe
On gaining the first landing, and the door of the boudoir which led into the chamber, he
stopped, eagerly scanning, before he entered, the position of the rooms.
Then he entered the boudoir, saying:
"Come; I don't see my way clear yet."
"But it seems to me," remarked the judge, "that we have already important materials to
aid your task. It is clear that Guespin, if he is not an accomplice, at least knew something
about the crime."
M. Lecoq had recourse to the portrait in the lozenge-box. It was more than a glance, it
was a confidence. He evidently said something to the dear defunct, which he dared not
"I see that Guespin is seriously compromised," resumed he. "Why didn't he want to tell
where he passed the night? But, then, public opinion is against him, and I naturally
The detective stood alone in the middle of the room, the rest, at his request, remained at
the threshold, and looking keenly about him, searched for some explanation of the
frightful disorder of the apartment.
"Fools!" cried he, in an irritated tone, "double brutes! Because they murder people so as
to rob them, is no reason why they should break everything in the house. Sharp folks
don't smash up furniture; they carry pretty picklocks, which work well and make no
noise. Idiots! one would say - "
He stopped with his mouth wide open.
"Eh! Not so bungling, after all, perhaps."