Rolling Stones HTML version
Tracked To Doom
THE MYSTERY OF THE RUE DE PEYCHAUD
'Tis midnight in Paris.
A myriad of lamps that line the Champs Elysées and the Rouge et Noir, cast their
reflection in the dark waters of the Seine as it flows gloomily past the Place Vendôme
and the black walls of the Convent Notadam.
The great French capital is astir.
It is the hour when crime and vice and wickedness reign.
Hundreds of fiacres drive madly through the streets conveying women, flashing with
jewels and as beautiful as dreams, from opera and concert, and the little bijou supper
rooms of the Café Tout le Temps are filled with laughing groups, while bon mots,
persiflage and repartee fly upon the air—the jewels of thought and conversation.
Luxury and poverty brush each other in the streets. The homeless gamin, begging a sou
with which to purchase a bed, and the spendthrift roué, scattering golden louis d'or, tread
the same pavement.
When other cities sleep, Paris has just begun her wild revelry.
The first scene of our story is a cellar beneath the Rue de Peychaud.
The room is filled with smoke of pipes, and is stifling with the reeking breath of its
inmates. A single flaring gas jet dimly lights the scene, which is one Rembrandt or
Moreland and Keisel would have loved to paint.
A garçon is selling absinthe to such of the motley crowd as have a few sous, dealing it
out in niggardly portions in broken teacups.
Leaning against the bar is Carnaignole Cusheau—generally known as the Gray Wolf.
He is the worst man in Paris.
He is more than four feet ten in height, and his sharp, ferocious looking face and the mass
of long, tangled gray hair that covers his face and head, have earned for him the name he