The Mystery of the Yellow Room HTML version

Chapter 19
Rouletabille Invites Me to Breakfast at the Donjon Inn
It was not until later that Rouletabille sent me the note-book in which he had written at
length the story of the phenomenon of the inexplicable gallery. On the day I arrived at the
Glandier and joined him in his room, he recounted to me, with the greatest detail, all that
I have now related, telling me also how he had spent several hours in Paris where he had
learned nothing that could be of any help to him.
The event of the inexplicable gallery had occurred on the night between the 29th and 30th
of October, that is to say, three days before my return to the chateau. It was on the 2nd of
November, then, that I went back to the Glandier, summoned there by my friend's
telegram, and taking the revolvers with me.
I am now in Rouletabille's room and he has finished his recital.
While he had been telling me the story I noticed him continually rubbing the glass of the
eyeglasses he had found on the side table. From the evident pleasure he was taking in
handling them I felt they must be one of those sensible evidences destined to enter what
he had called the circle of the right end of his reason. That strange and unique way of his,
to express himself in terms wonderfully adequate for his thoughts, no longer surprised
me. It was often necessary to know his thought to understand the terms he used; and it
was not easy to penetrate into Rouletabille's thinking.
This lad's brain was one of the most curious things I have ever observed. Rouletabille
went on the even tenor of his way without suspecting the astonishment and even
bewilderment he roused in others. I am sure he was not himself in the least conscious of
the originality of his genius. He was himself and at ease wherever he happened to be.
When he had finished his recital he asked me what I thought of it. I replied that I was
much puzzled by his question. Then he begged me to try, in my turn, to take my reason in
hand "by the right end."
"Very well," I said. "It seems to me that the point of departure of my reason would be
this--there can be no doubt that the murderer you pursued was in the gallery." I paused.
"After making so good a start, you ought not to stop so soon," he exclaimed. "Come,
make another effort."
"I'll try. Since he disappeared from the gallery without passing through any door or
window, he must have escaped by some other opening."
Rouletabille looked at me pityingly, smiled carelessly, and remarked that I was reasoning
like a postman, or--like Frederic Larsan.