The Mystery of the Yellow Room HTML version

Chapter 26
In Which Joseph Rouletabille Is Awaited with Impatience
On the 15th of January, that is to say, two months and a half after the tragic events I have
narrated, the "Epoque" printed, as the first column of the front page, the following
sensational article: "The Seine-et-Oise jury is summoned to-day to give its verdict on one
of the most mysterious affairs in the annals of crime. There never has been a case with so
many obscure, incomprehensible, and inexplicable points. And yet the prosecution has
not hesitated to put into the prisoner's dock a man who is respected, esteemed, and loved
by all who knew him--a young savant, the hope of French science, whose whole life has
been devoted to knowledge and truth. When Paris heard of Monsieur Robert Darzac's
arrest a unanimous cry of protest arose from all sides. The whole Sorbonne, disgraced by
this act of the examining magistrate, asserted its belief in the innocence of Mademoiselle
Stangerson's fiance. Monsieur Stangerson was loud in his denunciation of this
miscarriage of justice. There is no doubt in the mind of anybody that could the victim
speak she would claim from the jurors of Seine-et-Oise the man she wishes to make her
husband and whom the prosecution would send to the scaffold. It is to be hoped that
Mademoiselle Stangerson will shortly recover her reason, which has been temporarily
unhinged by the horrible mystery at the Glandier. The question before the jury is the one
we propose to deal with this very day.
"We have decided not to permit twelve worthy men to commit a disgraceful miscarriage
of justice. We confess that the remarkable coincidences, the many convicting evidences,
and the inexplicable silence on the part of the accused, as well as a total absence of any
evidence for an alibi, were enough to warrant the bench of judges in assuming that in this
man alone was centered the truth of the affair. The evidences are, in appearance, so
overwhelming against Monsieur Robert Darzac that a detective so well informed, so
intelligent, and generally so successful, as Monsieur Frederic Larsan, may be excused for
having been misled by them. Up to now everything has gone against Monsieur Robert
Darzac in the magisterial inquiry. To-day, however, we are going to defend him before
the jury, and we are going to bring to the witness stand a light that will illumine the
whole mystery of the Glandier. For we possess the truth.
"If we have not spoken sooner, it is because the interests of certain parties in the case
demand that we should take that course. Our readers may remember the unsigned reports
we published relating to the 'Left foot of the Rue Oberkampf,' at the time of the famous
robbery of the Credit Universel, and the famous case of the 'Gold Ingots of the Mint.' In
both those cases we were able to discover the truth long before even the excellent
ingenuity of Frederic Larsan had been able to unravel it. These reports were written by
our youngest reporter, Joseph Rouletabille, a youth of eighteen, whose fame to-morrow
will be world-wide. When attention was first drawn to the Glandier case, our youthful
reporter was on the spot and installed in the chateau, when every other representative of
the press had been denied admission. He worked side by side with Frederic Larsan. He
was amazed and terrified at the grave mistake the celebrated detective was about to make,