Monsieur Lecoq by Emile Gaboriau

Monsieur Lecoq

byEmile Gaboriau

Kobo ebook | October 7, 2013

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At about eleven o'clock in the evening of the 20th of February, 186--,

which chanced to be Shrove Sunday, a party of detectives left the police

station near the old Barriere d'Italie to the direct south of Paris.

Their mission was to explore the district extending on the one hand

between the highroad to Fontainebleau and the Seine, and on the other

between the outer boulevards and the fortifications.


This quarter of the city had at that time anything but an enviable

reputation. To venture there at night was considered so dangerous

that the soldiers from the outlying forts who came in to Paris with

permission to go to the theatre, were ordered to halt at the barriere,

and not to pass through the perilous district excepting in parties of

three or four.


After midnight, these gloomy, narrow streets became the haunt of

numerous homeless vagabonds, and escaped criminals and malefactors,

moreover, made the quarter their rendezvous. If the day had been a lucky

one, they made merry over their spoils, and when sleep overtook them,

hid in doorways or among the rubbish in deserted houses. Every effort

had been made to dislodge these dangerous guests, but the most energetic

measures had failed to prove successful. Watched, hunted, and in

imminent danger of arrest though they were, they always returned with

idiotic obstinacy, obeying, as one might suppose, some mysterious law

of attraction. Hence, the district was for the police an immense trap,

constantly baited, and to which the game came of their own accord to be



The result of a tour of inspection of this locality was so certain, that

the officer in charge of the police post called to the squad as they

departed: "I will prepare lodgings for our guests. Good luck to you and

much pleasure!"


This last wish was pure irony, for the weather was the most disagreeable

that could be imagined. A very heavy snow storm had prevailed for

several days. It was now beginning to thaw, and on all the frequented

thoroughfares the slush was ankle-deep. It was still cold, however; a

damp chill filled the air, and penetrated to the very marrow of one's

bones. Besides, there was a dense fog, so dense that one could not see

one's hands before one's face.

Title:Monsieur LecoqFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 7, 2013Publisher:WDS PublishingLanguage:English

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