The Mystery of the Yellow Room HTML version

Chapter 22
The Incredible Body
I bent in great anxiety over the body of the reporter and had the joy to find that he was
deeply sleeping, the same unhealthy sleep that I had seen fall upon Frederic Larsan. He
had succumbed to the influence of the same drug that had been mixed with our food.
How was it then, that I, also, had not been overcome by it? I reflected that the drug must
have been put into our wine; because that would explain my condition. I never drink
when eating. Naturally inclined to obesity, I am restricted to a dry diet. I shook
Rouletabille, but could not succeed in waking him. This, no doubt, was the work of
Mademoiselle Stangerson.
She had certainly thought it necessary to guard herself against this young man as well as
her father. I recalled that the steward, in serving us, had recommended an excellent
Chablis which, no doubt, had come from the professor's table.
More-than a quarter of an hour passed. I resolved, under the pressing circumstances, to
resort to extreme measures. I threw a pitcher of cold water over Rouletabille's head. He
opened his eyes. I beat his face, and raised him up. I felt him stiffen in my arms and heard
him murmur: "Go on, go on; but don't make any noise." I pinched him and shook him
until he was able to stand up. We were saved!
"They sent me to sleep," he said. "Ah! I passed an awful quarter of an hour before giving
way. But it is over now. Don't leave me."
He had no sooner uttered those words than we were thrilled by a frightful cry that rang
through the chateau,--a veritable death cry.
"Malheur!" roared Rouletabille; "we shall be too late!"
He tried to rush to the door, but he was too dazed, and fell against the wall. I was already
in the gallery, revolver in hand, rushing like a madman towards Mademoiselle
Stangerson's room. The moment I arrived at the intersection of the "off-turning" gallery
and the "right" gallery, I saw a figure leaving her apartment, which, in a few strides had
reached the landing-place.
I was not master of myself. I fired. The report from the revolver made a deafening noise;
but the man continued his flight down the stairs. I ran behind him, shouting: "Stop!--stop!
or I will kill you!" As I rushed after him down the stairs, I came face to face with Arthur
Rance coming from the left wing of the chateau, yelling: "What is it? What is it?" We
arrived almost at the same time at the foot of the staircase. The window of the vestibule
was open. We distinctly saw the form of a man running away. Instinctively we fired our
revolvers in his direction. He was not more than ten paces in front of us; he staggered and
we thought he was going to fall. We had sprung out of the window, but the man dashed