The Mystery of the Yellow Room HTML version

Chapter 27
In Which Joseph Rouletabille Appears in All His Glory
The excitement was extreme. Cries from fainting women were to be heard amid the
extraordinary bustle and stir. The "majesty of the law" was utterly forgotten. The
President tried in vain to make himself heard. Rouletabille made his way forward with
difficulty, but by dint of much elbowing reached his manager and greeted him cordially.
The letter was passed to him and pocketing it he turned to the witness-box. He was
dressed exactly as on the day he left me even to the ulster over his arm. Turning to the
President, he said:
"I beg your pardon, Monsieur President, but I have only just arrived from America. The
steamer was late. My name is Joseph Rouletabille!"
The silence which followed his stepping into the witness-box was broken by laughter
when his words were heard. Everybody seemed relieved and glad to find him there, as if
in the expectation of hearing the truth at last.
But the President was extremely incensed:
"So, you are Joseph Rouletabille," he replied; "well, young man, I'll teach you what
comes of making a farce of justice. By virtue of my discretionary power, I hold you at the
court's disposition."
"I ask nothing better, Monsieur President. I have come here for that purpose. I humbly
beg the court's pardon for the disturbance of which I have been the innocent cause. I beg
you to believe that nobody has a greater respect for the court than I have. I came in as I
could." He smiled.
"Take him away!" ordered the President.
Maitre Henri Robert intervened. He began by apologising for the young man, who, he
said, was moved only by the best intentions. He made the President understand that the
evidence of a witness who had slept at the Glandier during the whole of that eventful
week could not be omitted, and the present witness, moreover, had come to name the real
"Are you going to tell us who the murderer was?" asked the President, somewhat
convinced though still sceptical.
"I have come for that purpose, Monsieur President!" replied Rouletabille.
An attempt at applause was silenced by the usher.