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The Mystery of the Yellow Room

Chapter 12
Frederic Larsan's Cane
It was not till six o'clock that I left the chateau, taking with me the article hastily written
by my friend in the little sitting-room which Monsieur Robert Darzac had placed at our
disposal. The reporter was to sleep at the chateau, taking advantage of the to me
inexplicable hospitality offered him by Monsieur Robert Darzac, to whom Monsieur
Stangerson, in that sad time, left the care of all his domestic affairs. Nevertheless he
insisted on accompanying me to the station at Epinay. In crossing the park, he said to me:
"Frederic is really very clever and has not belied his reputation. Do you know how he
came to find Daddy Jacques's boots?--Near the spot where we noticed the traces of the
neat boots and the disappearance of the rough ones, there was a square hole, freshly made
in the moist ground, where a stone had evidently been removed. Larsan searched for that
stone without finding it, and at once imagined that it had been used by the murderer with
which to sink the boots in the lake. Fred's calculation was an excellent one, as the success
of his search proves. That escaped me; but my mind was turned in another direction by
the large number of false indications of his track which the murderer left, and by the
measure of the black foot-marks corresponding with that of Daddy Jacques's boots, which
I had established without his suspecting it, on the floor of The Yellow Room. All which
was a proof, in my eyes, that the murderer had sought to turn suspicion on to the old
servant. Up to that point, Larsan and I are in accord; but no further. It is going to be a
terrible matter; for I tell you he is working on wrong lines, and I--I, must fight him with
nothing!"
I was surprised at the profoundly grave accent with which my young friend pronounced
the last words.
He repeated:
"Yes terrible!--terrible! For it is fighting with nothing, when you have only an idea to
fight with."
At that moment we passed by the back of the chateau. Night had come. A window on the
first floor was partly open. A feeble light came from it as well as some sounds which
drew our attention. We approached until we had reached the side of a door that was
situated just under the window. Rouletabille, in a low tone, made me understand, that this
was the window of Mademoiselle Stangerson's chamber. The sounds which had attracted
our attention ceased, then were renewed for a moment, and then we heard stifled sobs.
We were only able to catch these words, which reached us distinctly: "My poor Robert!"-
-Rouletabille whispered in my ear:
"If we only knew what was being said in that chamber, my inquiry would soon be
finished."
 
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