I suspect that the very self or soul in Locale-II is no more than an organized vortex or warp in this fundamental. As you think, so you are. This empirical out-of-body observation is echoed in quantum theory, which of course is based upon solid, self-consistent, repeatable, scientific experimentation:. To the naive realist the universe is a collection of objects. To the quantum physicist it is an inseparable web of vibrating energy patterns in which no one component has reality independently of the entirety; and included in the entirety is the observer In the absence of an observation a quantum system will evolve in a certain way.
When an observation is made, an entirely different type of change occurs. Just what produces this different behavior is not clear, but at least some physicists insist that it is explicitly caused by the mind itself. Physicists describe matter at the subatomic level as a "wave function," and tell us that it is more "idea-like" i. Unfortunately, Einstein left himself as observer out of his equation. If this is at all accurate and the implications of quantum physics seem to require it , then the lowest common denominator to which reality can be reduced is Consciousness itself.
If Consciousness what else? Since time and consciousness can't be separated from each other without logical absurdity, time could be thought of as a one-dimensional function of Consciousness projected into three-dimensional space. Thus, the four-dimensional space-time continuum. This time-consciousness interface is what sets space "in motion" and is the only way a differentiated point-of-view can experience dimensional reality.
Outside of the dimensional bubble-universes i. Each differentiated point is a potential "free agent" which may be arbitrarily assigned to any position in any dimension. Being conscious, they become attitudes or points-of-view within multidimensional space "God's observers," if you will. Your individual human consciousness is essentially the interface of a point-singularity "you" , linking our particular space-time bubble with Super-Space, or perhaps more accurately, the Objective Psyche: which is Jung's revised, much better, label for the "Collective Unconscious.
What Jung calls the objective psyche may then be likened to an encompassing energy stratum from which arise varying field activities discernable to the experienced observer through the patterning of image, emotion and drive configurations. These psychic field expressions Jung has called complexes and archetypes of the objective psyche The objective psyche exists independently of the ego, but can be experienced and comprehended to a limited extent by the ego.
These complexes and archetypes within the Objective Psyche have traditionally been regarded as "gods," but not as "God" i. The difference between you or any other differentiated point-of-view and the Objective Psyche, as such, is the difference between man and "God. We'll examine the traditions informing this concept in our next article. Because our unconscious mind is a two-way wormhole connecting subjective perception with the infinite realms of the Objective Psyche, it is not uncommon for profound insights to emerge from those dimensions into human awareness -- often before their time.
Figure 1 is taken from Rene Descartes' posthumous work, Traite de l'Homme, which illustrates his theory of perception. He regarded the pineal gland as the "gateway to the soul," and in this drawing he hypothesizes how visual perception is concentrated therein. Most of Descartes' theories have been disproved by modern research, but his fundamental intuition in this case is still valid. All that is missing is the concept of the DMT-synthesizing pineal gland discussed in our last article as a singularity linking space-time awareness with the Objective Psyche to complete the hypothesis being proposed here.
And I hope my hypothesis is beginning to make sense: Since we experience ourselves as a conscious center a "point" inhabiting a physical body, which perceives itself as part of a three-dimensional "outside" reality, it is obvious that all external sensory input is perpendicular to our subjective awareness. We have the empirical testimony of out-of-body explorer William Buhlman that this is so:. For two years I had believed that I was moving laterally from one area to another within the same dimension, but now the startling truth was apparent.
I was not moving laterally but inwardly within the universe from one energy environment to another. Buhlman goes on to describe what can only be a kind of singularity of consciousness imploding into itself, into a dimension of many dimensions. Here he is, out-of-body, in the Locale-I version of his bedroom, about to enter a typical Locale-II environment, perhaps one of Monroe's "upper rings":.
Feeling centered, I stand at the foot of my bed and say aloud, "I move inward. The sensation of motion is so intense that I shout "Stop! I am outdoors in a beautiful parklike setting. Although admittedly rare, this perception is neither new nor unique. The Tibetan Book of the Dead tells us explicitly that all of the bardo realms are "inside of us":. O nobly-born, these realms are not come from somewhere outside [thyself]. They come from within the four divisions of thy heart, which, including its center, make the five directions. They issue from within there, and shine upon thee.
The deities, too, are not come from somewhere else: they exist from eternity within the faculties of thine own intellect. Seldom do we perceive "inside" literally: as a real, honest-to-god dimension of reality. Here's another version of this ancient idea from the Vedic tradition of India:. The seat for the Gods is indeed within, in the inner being which is wider and far greater and subtler and supple and enlightened and distinguished from the physical being. Come on! Gimmie a break! The logical mind wants to know how a vessel can be smaller than its contents.
Although an impossibility in any three-dimensional context, four-dimensional space is obviously not bound by such provincial illusions. Actually, instead of an absurdity to be dismissed out of hand, initiated awareness recognizes immediately that it is dealing with a legitimate dimensional interface when such "impossibilities" are depicted. For example, it is not at all uncommon for UFO abductees to describe the inside of the spacecraft as much larger than the outside:.
As strange as it sounds, this bigger-on-the-inside-than- out impression is exactly what a three dimensional creature like An analysis of the geometry by Stan Kulikowski in the MUFON UFO Journal concluded: "Whether this inside- too- big phenomenon is actual alien technology or deliberate fraud or a subconscious psychological trick of perception, it is nevertheless based on good mathematics and related to the fundamental physics of our universe. All of the confusion surrounding OBEs, NDEs, alien abductions and life itself, for that matter , is directly attributable to the difficulty that a consciousness hypnotized by three dimensions has in perceiving "beyond" that illusion.
Thus, we project these spaces "outside" of ourselves, and regard our bodies as "vessels" which must be "gotten out of" in order to "ascend" to "higher" realms. Notice that we can't even discuss the subject without using three-dimensional, "external" concepts. Because the imploded dimensions are generally believed to be difficult to visualize, authentic mystical i. Here's another description of this interior reality from the Chandogya Upanishad. Note that it describes the "heart" as the center of awareness. That could be poetic license -- the pineal gland might make a better candidate:.
As large as the universe outside, even so large is the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning, and all the stars. What is in the macrocosm is in this microcosm. If we superimpose our observation of the hypothetical XYZ galaxy onto this picture, we have photons imploding from space-time into mindspace: inner and outer galaxies connecting, interacting and evolving within the matrix of Consciousness itself.
Since we know that the pineal gland a singularity within the human brain is associated with out-of-body perception, it's a fair hypothesis that some kind of eye-pineal connection constitutes the focal "point" linking these two realms. The eye is [the Self's] dwelling place while we wake, the mind [pineal gland? I won't quarrel about where the pineal gland fits into the above scheme, because if Descartes is correct in his intuition, the pineal is the dimensional aperture that processes sensory input from everywhere in the body.
In connection with this, it is highly significant that theorists studying our space-time universe postulate the existence of tunnels, tubes, or wormholes, yoking the dimensions together. Cosmologists have even proposed the startling possibility that our universe is just one among an infinite number of parallel universes. These universes might be compared to a vast collection of soap bubbles suspended in air.
Normally, contact between these bubble universes is impossible, but, by analyzing Einstein's equations, cosmologists have shown that there might exist a web of wormholes, or tubes, that connect these parallel universes The Einstein-Rosen bridge acts like a tunnel connecting two regions of space-time; it is a wormhole. By now it shouldn't surprise us that the experience of passing through a "tunnel" is one of the most universally reported characteristics of out-of-body travel. Later in his career, Robert Monroe founded The Monroe Institute, a non- profit corporation, to scientifically study and induce the out-of-body experience in a wide-range of individuals.
Here's one of the first things he found:. As the induction of the OBE state was examined further, one key element did repeat consistently In slow motion it "felt as if one were going through a tunnel to get to the light," a classic description that has been brought forth by many who performed the OBE inadvertently or in a near-death situation. Can there be any doubt that the following accounts are portrayals of interior-dimensional "wormhole-analogs" which mirror their space-time counterparts?
And now it seemed to me there was a sort of hole or break formed in the continuity of the astral matter; and through this, in the distance -- as though viewed through a very long tunnel -- I could see something indistinct which might have been the entrance to a temple, with a statue still further away showing through it I was falling, with seemingly tremendous velocity, down a dark, narrow tunnel or shaft. Subjects undergoing a DMT-induced out-of-body experience commonly describe an identical phenomenon.
DMT: N, N- dimethyltryptamine, a product of pineal synthesis, was discussed in the previous article of this series :. First I saw a tunnel or channel of light off to the right. I had to turn to go into it. Then the whole process repeated on the left. It was intentional that way.
It was as if it had a source, further away. It got bigger farther away, like a funnel. It was bright and pulsating I had a sense of great speed. Everything was unimportant relative to this. Things were flashing, flashing by, as if from a different perspective. It was so much more real than life. The left and right tunnels joined in front of me. John Mack, in his study of the UFO Abduction Syndrome, also describes the tunnel as a common experience among his abductee-informants. These are apparently inter-dimensional doorways through which the Aliens both enter our space and convey their victims into hyperspace.
A forty-one year old health care executive spoke to me of large tubes through which he passed during one of his abductions "into the next plane where there was this light" Catherine [another abductee] Raymond Moody, the pioneer investigator of this unique form of out-of-body projection.
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In fact, the "tunnel phenomenon" is so ubiquitous that he lists it as one of fifteen symptoms considered definitive of an NDE. Often concurrently with the occurrence of the noise, people have the sensation of being pulled very rapidly through a dark space of some kind. Many different words are used to describe this space. I have heard the space described as a cave, a well, a trough, an enclosure, a tunnel, a funnel, a vacuum, a void, a sewer, a valley, and a cylinder. Although people use different terminology here, it is clear that they are all trying to express some one idea.
In a later article we will examine the phenomenon of "Remote Viewing," a tactic used by both United States and Soviet intelligence agencies to spy on each other during the Cold War. We will then determine if these specially-trained psychics were actually "out-of-body" travelers in the classical sense of the term as we've defined it so far, but for now it is instructive to examine some representative descriptions of Remote Viewing in light of the tunnel phenomenon under discussion.
Here are some excerpts from the remote viewings of Captain David Morehouse:. My phantom body fell through the tunnel of light again I began plummeting down the tunnel of light I made the long fall down the tube of light and passed through the membrane into the target area The fall through the tunnel seemed longer this time and I never hit the membrane at all I found myself falling into a tunnel of light and passing into another world. Here is a description by Captain F. As described in his book, this particular event was almost certainly a classic "astral projection" OBE :.
My kinesthetic sense of motion like the feeling you get when flying in an airplane was accompanied by a strange visual perception. I seemed to be moving through a white tube or tunnel, its walls lined with crystalline forms. And finally, here is another observance by William Buhlman, the out-of-body explorer who even more than Robert Monroe , defined his experiences within the context of modern quantum theory:. The tunnel experience is much more significant than most people recognize. Not only does it provide substantial evidence of a logical transitional method for consciousness after physical death, but it directly relates to the modern physics theories concerning parallel universes and energy wormholes, as well as to my observations concerning the multidimensional universe.
Yeah, but what about Locale-I the Sidpa Bardo , which Monroe describes as our own familiar world, though perceived while out-of-body? How that could be regarded as an "inside" dimension? Imagine consciousness as a dimensional "double mirror" with back-to-back reflective surfaces: one facing outward to space-time, the other facing inward to hyperspace.
The evidence suggests that when someone goes "out-of-body" into Locale-I, they are not actually interfacing with the physical world that we touch when "in-body," but with the "etheric double" of the physical world on the other side of the mirror. Technically, of course, we're not going "out-of- body" at all, but "in-our-body," but for now at least, let's not complicate the nomenclature.
Here's Buhlman again:. Slowly I came to understand that the environment I was observing was not the physical world, as I had assumed. I realized that the structures I normally observed when out-of-body were nonphysical structures Now I finally understood why there were slight variations between the nonphysical and physical furniture and other objects. For example, the nonphysical walls were often a different color, and the shapes and styles of some of the furniture and rugs were different.
Much of this was minor but nevertheless noticeable It appears that we are not observing the physical world from a different perspective, as many believe, but are interacting in a separate but parallel dimension of energy. The throat had evidently been cut with some very sharp instrument-probably with a razor. Dumas to view the bodies. Corroborated the testimony, and the opinions of M. A murder so mysterious, and so perplexing in all its particulars, was never before committed in Paris-if indeed a murder has been committed at all. The police are entirely at fault-an unusual occurrence in affairs of this nature.
There is not, however, the shadow of a clew apparent. The evening edition of the paper stated that the greatest excitement still continued in the Quartier St. Roch-that the premises in question had been carefully re-searched, and fresh examinations of witnesses instituted, but all to no purpose. A postscript, however, mentioned that Adolphe Le Bon had been arrested and imprisoned-although nothing appeared to incriminate him, beyond the facts already detailed. Dupin seemed singularly interested in the progress of this affair-at least so I judged from his manner, for he made no comments.
It was only after the announcement that Le Bon had been imprisoned, that he asked me my opinion respecting the murders. I could merely agree with all Paris in considering them an insoluble mystery. I saw no means by which it would be possible to trace the murderer. There is no method in their proceedings, beyond the method of the moment. When these qualities are unavailing, their schemes fail.
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Vidocq, for example, was a good guesser, and a persevering man. But, without educated thought, he erred continually by the very intensity of his investigations. He impaired his vision by holding the object too close. He might see, perhaps, one or two points with unusual clearness, but in so doing he necessarily, lost sight of the matter as a whole. Thus there is such a thing as being too profound. Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial.
The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found. The modes and sources of this kind of error are well typified in the contemplation of the heavenly bodies. A greater number of rays actually fall upon the eye in the latter case, but, in the former, there is the more refined capacity for comprehension. By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmament by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct.
An inquiry will afford us amusement," [I thought this an odd term, so applied, but said nothing] "and, besides, Le Bon once rendered me a service for which I am not ungrateful. We will go and see the premises with our own eyes. The permission was obtained, and we proceeded at once to the Rue Morgue. This is one of those miserable thoroughfares which intervene between the Rue Richelieu and the Rue St.
It was late in the afternoon when we reached it; as this quarter is at a great distance from that in which we resided.
The house was readily found; for there were still many persons gazing up at the closed shutters, with an objectless curiosity, from the opposite side of the way. Retracing our steps, we came again to the front of the dwelling, rang, and, having shown our credentials, were admitted by the agents in charge.
We went up stairs-into the chamber where the body of Mademoiselle L'Espanaye had been found, and where both the deceased still lay. The disorders of the room had, as usual, been suffered to exist. The examination occupied us until dark, when we took our departure. On our way home my companion stepped in for a moment at the office of one of the daily papers.
It was his humour, now, to decline all conversation on the subject of the murder, until about noon the next day. There was something in his manner of emphasizing the word 'peculiar,' which caused me to shudder, without knowing why. But dismiss the idle opinions of this print. The police are confounded by the seeming absence of motive-not for the murder itself-but for the atrocity of the murder. They are puzzled, too, by the seeming impossibility of reconciling the voices heard in contention, with the facts that no one was discovered up stairs but the assassinated Mademoiselle L'Espanaye, and that there were no means of egress without the notice of the party ascending.
They have fallen into the gross but common error of confounding the unusual with the abstruse. But it is by these deviations from the plane of the ordinary, that reason feels its way, if at all, in its search for the true. In investigations such as we are now pursuing, it should not be so much asked 'what has occurred,' as 'what has occurred that has never occurred before.
Of the worst portion of the crimes committed, it is probable that he is innocent. I hope that I am right in this supposition; for upon it I build my expectation of reading the entire riddle. I look for the man here-in this room-every moment. It is true that he may not arrive; but the probability is that he will. Should he come, it will be necessary to detain him.
Here are pistols; and we both know how to use them when occasion demands their use. I took the pistols, scarcely knowing what I did, or believing what I heard, while Dupin went on, very much as if in a soliloquy. I have already spoken of his abstract manner at such times. His discourse was addressed to myself; but his voice, although by no means loud, had that intonation which is commonly employed in speaking to some one at a great distance.
His eyes, vacant in expression, regarded only the wall. This relieves us of all doubt upon the question whether the old lady could have first destroyed the daughter, and afterward have committed suicide. I speak of this point chiefly for the sake of method; for the strength of Madame L'Espanaye would have been utterly unequal to the task of thrusting her daughter's corpse up the chimney as it was found; and the nature of the wounds upon her own person entirely preclude the idea of self-destruction.
Murder, then, has been committed by some third parry; and the voices of this third party were those heard in contention. Did you observe any thing peculiar about it? I remarked that, while all the witnesses agreed in supposing the gruff voice to be that of a Frenchman, there was much disagreement in regard to the shrill, or, as one individual termed it, the harsh voice.
You have observed nothing distinctive. Yet there was something to be observed. The witnesses, as you remark, agreed about the gruff voice; they were here unanimous. Each likens it-not to the voice of an individual of any nation with whose language he is conversant-but the converse.
You will say that it might have been the voice of an Asiatic-of an African. Neither Asiatics nor Africans abound in Paris; but, without denying the inference, I will now merely call your attention to three points. The voice is termed by one witness 'harsh rather than shrill. I said 'legitimate deductions;' but my meaning is not thus fully expressed. What the suspicion is, however, I will not say just yet. I merely wish you to bear in mind that, with myself, it was sufficiently forcible to give a definite form-a certain tendency-to my inquiries in the chamber.
What shall we first seek here? The means of egress employed by the murderers. Madame and Mademoiselle L'Espanaye were not destroyed by spirits. The doers of the deed were material, and escaped materially. Then how? Let us examine, each by each, the possible means of egress. It is clear that the assassins were in the room where Mademoiselle L'Espanaye was found, or at least in the room adjoining, when the party ascended the stairs. It is then only from these two apartments that we have to seek issues. The police have laid bare the floors, the ceilings, and the masonry of the walls, in every direction.
Both doors leading from the rooms into the passage were securely locked, with the keys inside. Let us turn to the chimneys. These, although of ordinary width for some eight or ten feet above the hearths, will not admit, throughout their extent, the body of a large cat. The impossibility of egress, by means already stated, being thus absolute, we are reduced to the windows. Through those of the front room no one could have escaped without notice from the crowd in the street. Now, brought to this conclusion in so unequivocal a manner as we are, it is not our part, as reasoners, to reject it on account of apparent impossibilities.
It is only left for us to prove that these apparent 'impossibilities' are, in reality, not such. One of them is unobstructed by furniture, and is wholly visible. The lower portion of the other is hidden from view by the head of the unwieldy bedstead which is thrust close up against it. The former was found securely fastened from within. It resisted the utmost force of those who endeavoured to raise it. A large gimlet-hole had been pierced in its frame to the left, and a very stout nail was found fitted therein, nearly to the head.
Upon examining the other window, a similar nail was seen similarly fitted in it; and a vigorous attempt to raise this sash failed also. The police were now entirely satisfied that egress had not been in these directions. This being so, they could not have re-fastened the sashes from the inside, as they were found fastened;-the consideration which put a stop, through its obviousness, to the scrutiny of the police in this quarter.
There was no escape from this conclusion. I stepped to the unobstructed casement, withdrew the nail with some difficulty, and attempted to raise the sash. It resisted all my efforts, as I had anticipated. A concealed spring must, I now knew, exist; and this corroboration of my idea convinced me that my premises, at least, were correct, however mysterious still appeared the circumstances attending the nails. A careful search soon brought to light the hidden spring.
I pressed it, and, satisfied with the discovery, forbore to upraise the sash. A person passing out through this window might have re-closed it, and the spring would have caught-but the nail could not have been replaced. The conclusion was plain, and again narrowed in the field of my investigations. Getting upon the sacking of the bedstead, I looked over the head-board minutely at the second casement. Passing my hand down behind the board, I readily discovered and pressed the spring, which was, as I had supposed, identical in character with its neighbour.
I now looked at the nail. It was as stout as the other, and apparently fitted in in the same manner-driven in nearly up to the head. To use a sporting phrase, I had not been once 'at fault. There was no flaw in any link of the chain. The rest of the shank was in the gimlet-hole, where it had been broken off. The fracture was an old one for its edges were encrusted with rust , and had apparently been accomplished by the blow of a hammer, which had partially imbedded, in the top of the bottom sash, the head portion of the nail.
I now carefully replaced this head portion in the indentation whence I had taken it, and the resemblance to a perfect nail was complete-the fissure was invisible. Pressing the spring, I gently raised the sash for a few inches; the head went up with it, remaining firm in its bed. I closed the window, and the semblance of the whole nail was again perfect. The assassin had escaped through the window which looked upon the bed. Dropping of its own accord upon his exit or perhaps purposely closed , it had become fastened by the spring; and it was the retention of this spring which had been mistaken by the police for that of the nail,-farther inquiry being thus considered unnecessary.
Upon this point I had been satisfied in my walk with you around the building. About five feet and a half from the casement in question there runs a lightning-rod. From this rod it would have been impossible for any one to reach the window itself, to say nothing of entering it. They are in the form of an ordinary door, a single, not a folding door except that the upper half is latticed or worked in open trellis-thus affording an excellent hold for the hands. In the present instance these shutters are fully three feet and a half broad.
When we saw them from the rear of the house, they were both about half open-that is to say, they stood off at right angles from the wall. In fact, having once satisfied themselves that no egress could have been made in this quarter, they would naturally bestow here a very cursory examination. It was clear to me, however, that the shutter belonging to the window at the head of the bed, would, if swung fully back to the wall, reach to within two feet of the lightning-rod. It was also evident that, by exertion of a very unusual degree of activity and courage, an entrance into the window, from the rod, might have been thus effected-by reaching to the distance of two feet and a half we now suppose the shutter open to its whole extent a robber might have taken a firm grasp upon the trellis-work.
Letting go, then, his hold upon the rod, placing his feet securely against the wall, and springing boldly from it, he might have swung the shutter so as to close it, and, if we imagine the window open at the time, might even have swung himself into the room. This may be the practice in law, but it is not the usage of reason. My ultimate object is only the truth. At these words a vague and half-formed conception of the meaning of Dupin flitted over my mind.
I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension, without power to comprehend-as men, at times, find themselves upon the brink of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to remember. My friend went on with his discourse. It was my design to suggest the idea that both were effected in the same manner, at the same point. Let us now revert to the interior of the room. Let us survey the appearances here. The drawers of the bureau, it is said, had been rifled, although many articles of apparel still remained within them.
The conclusion here is absurd. It is a mere gues-a very silly one-and no more. How are we to know that the articles found in the drawers were not all these drawers had originally contained? Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter lived an exceedingly retired life-saw no company-seldom went out-had little use for numerous changes of habiliment. Those found were at least of as good quality as any likely to be possessed by these ladies.
If a thief had taken any, why did he not take the best-why did he not take all? In a word, why did he abandon four thousand francs in gold to encumber himself with a bundle of linen? Nearly the whole sum mentioned by Monsieur Mignaud, the banker, was discovered, in bags, upon the floor. Coincidences ten times as remarkable as this the delivery of the money, and murder committed within three days upon the party receiving it , happen to all of us every hour of our lives, without attracting even momentary notice.
Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities-that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration. In the present instance, had the gold been gone, the fact of its delivery three days before would have formed something more than a coincidence. It would have been corroborative of this idea of motive.
But, under the real circumstances of the case, if we are to suppose gold the motive of this outrage, we must also imagine the perpetrator so vacillating an idiot as to have abandoned his gold and his motive together. Here is a woman strangled to death by manual strength, and thrust up a chimney, head downward.
Ordinary assassins employ no such modes of murder as this. Least of all, do they thus dispose of the murdered. On the hearth were thick tresses-very thick tresses-of grey human hair. These had been torn out by the roots. You are aware of the great force necessary in tearing thus from the head even twenty or thirty hairs together. You saw the locks in question as well as myself. Their roots a hideous sight! The throat of the old lady was not merely cut, but the head absolutely severed from the body: the instrument was a mere razor. Of the bruises upon the body of Madame L'Espanaye I do not speak.
Monsieur Dumas, and his worthy coadjutor Monsieur Etienne, have pronounced that they were inflicted by some obtuse instrument; and so far these gentlemen are very correct. The obtuse instrument was clearly the stone pavement in the yard, upon which the victim had fallen from the window which looked in upon the bed. This idea, however simple it may now seem, escaped the police for the same reason that the breadth of the shutters escaped them-because, by the affair of the nails, their perceptions had been hermetically sealed against the possibility of the windows having ever been opened at all.
What result, then, has ensued? What impression have I made upon your fancy? I felt a creeping of the flesh as Dupin asked me the question. But the voices of madmen, even in their wildest paroxysms, are never found to tally with that peculiar voice heard upon the stairs. Madmen are of some nation, and their language, however incoherent in its words, has always the coherence of syllabification. Besides, the hair of a madman is not such as I now hold in my hand. I disentangled this little tuft from the rigidly clutched fingers of Madame L'Espanaye.
Tell me what you can make of it. Dumas and Etienne, as a 'series of livid spots, evidently the impression of fingers. Each finger has retained-possibly until the death of the victim-the fearful grasp by which it originally imbedded itself. Attempt, now, to place all your fingers, at the same time, in the respective impressions as you see them. Here is a billet of wood, the circumference of which is about that of the throat. Wrap the drawing around it, and try the experiment again. I did so; but the difficulty was even more obvious than before.
It was a minute anatomical and generally descriptive account of the large fulvous Ourang-Outang of the East Indian Islands. The gigantic stature, the prodigious strength and activity, the wild ferocity, and the imitative propensities of these mammalia are sufficiently well known to all.
I understood the full horrors of the murder at once. I see that no animal but an Ourang-Outang, of the species here mentioned, could have impressed the indentations as you have traced them. This tuft of tawny hair, too, is identical in character with that of the beast of Cuvier. But I cannot possibly comprehend the particulars of this frightful mystery.
Besides, there were two voices heard in contention, and one of them was unquestionably the voice of a Frenchman. Upon these two words, therefore, I have mainly built my hopes of a full solution of the riddle. A Frenchman was cognizant of the murder. It is possible-indeed it is far more than probable-that he was innocent of all participation in the bloody transactions which took place. The Ourang-Outang may have escaped from him. He may have traced it to the chamber; but, under the agitating circumstances which ensued, he could never have recaptured it.
It is still at large. I will not pursue these guesses-for I have no right to call them more-since the shades of reflection upon which they are based are scarcely of sufficient depth to be appreciable by my own intellect, and since I could not pretend to make them intelligible to the understanding of another. We will call them guesses then, and speak of them as such. If the Frenchman in question is indeed, as I suppose, innocent of this atrocity, this advertisement, which I left last night, upon our return home, at the office of 'Le Monde,' a paper devoted to the shipping interest, and much sought by sailors, will bring him to our residence.
The owner, who is ascertained to be a sailor, belonging to a Maltese vessel, may have the animal again, upon identifying it satisfactorily, and paying a few charges arising from its capture and keeping. Call at No. Moreover, this knot is one which few besides sailors can tie, and is peculiar to the Maltese. I picked the ribbon up at the foot of the lightning-rod.
It could not have belonged to either of the deceased. Now if, after all, I am wrong in my induction from this ribbon, that the Frenchman was a sailor belonging to a Maltese vessel, still I can have done no harm in saying what I did in the advertisement. If I am in error, he will merely suppose that I have been misled by some circumstance into which he will not take the trouble to inquire. But if I am right, a great point is gained. Cognizant although innocent of the murder, the Frenchman will naturally hesitate about replying to the advertisement-about demanding the Ourang-Outang.
He will reason thus: 'I am innocent; I am poor; my Ourang-Outang is of great value-to one in my circumstances a fortune of itself-why should I lose it through idle apprehensions of danger? Here it is, within my grasp. It was found in the Bois de Boulogne-at a vast distance from the scene of that butchery. How can it ever be suspected that a brute beast should have done the deed? The police are at fault-they have failed to procure the slightest clew.
Should they even trace the animal, it would be impossible to prove me cognizant of the murder, or to implicate me in guilt on account of that cognizance. I am not sure to what limit his knowledge may extend. Should I avoid claiming a property of so great value, which it is known that I possess, I will render the animal at least, liable to suspicion. It is not my policy to attract attention either to myself or to the beast.
I will answer the advertisement, get the Ourang-Outang, and keep it close until this matter has blown over. The front door of the house had been left open, and the visitor had entered, without ringing, and advanced several steps upon the staircase. Now, however, he seemed to hesitate. Presently we heard him descending. Dupin was moving quickly to the door, when we again heard him coming up. He did not turn back a second time, but stepped up with decision, and rapped at the door of our chamber. A man entered. He was a sailor, evidently,-a tall, stout, and muscular-looking person, with a certain dare-devil expression of countenance, not altogether unprepossessing.
He bowed awkwardly, and bade us 'good evening,' in French accents, which, although somewhat Neufchatel-ish, were still sufficiently indicative of a Parisian origin. Upon my word, I almost envy you the possession of him; a remarkably fine, and no doubt a very valuable animal. How old do you suppose him to be? The sailor drew a long breath, with the air of a man relieved of some intolerable burden, and then replied, in an assured tone: "I have no way of telling-but he can't be more than four or five years old. Have you got him here?
He is at a livery stable in the Rue Dubourg, just by. You can get him in the morning. Of course you are prepared to identify the property? Am very willing to pay a reward for the finding of the animal-that is to say, any thing in reason. Let me think! I will tell you. My reward shall be this. You shall give me all the information in your power about these murders in the Rue Morgue. Dupin said the last words in a very low tone, and very quietly. Just as quietly, too, he walked toward the door, locked it, and put the key in his pocket.
He then drew a pistol from his bosom and placed it, without the least flurry, upon the table. The sailor's face flushed up as if he were struggling with suffocation. He started to his feet and grasped his cudgel; but the next moment he fell back into his seat, trembling violently, and with the countenance of death itself. He spoke not a word. I pitied him from the bottom of my heart. We mean you no harm whatever. I pledge you the honour of a gentleman, and of a Frenchman, that we intend you no injury.
I perfectly well know that you are innocent of the atrocities in the Rue Morgue. It will not do, however, to deny that you are in some measure implicated in them. From what I have already said, you must know that I have had means of information about this matter-means of which you could never have dreamed.
Now the thing stands thus. You have done nothing which you could have avoided-nothing, certainly, which renders you culpable. You were not even guilty of robbery, when you might have robbed with impunity. You have nothing to conceal. You have no reason for concealment. On the other hand, you are bound by every principle of honour to confess all you know.
An innocent man is now imprisoned, charged with that crime of which you can point out the perpetrator. The sailor had recovered his presence of mind, in a great measure, while Dupin uttered these words; but his original boldness of bearing was all gone. What he stated was, in substance, this.
He had lately made a voyage to the Indian Archipelago. A party, of which he formed one, landed at Borneo, and passed into the interior on an excursion of pleasure. Himself and a companion had captured the Ourang-Outang. This companion dying, the animal fell into his own exclusive possession. After great trouble, occasioned by the intractable ferocity of his captive during the home voyage, he at length succeeded in lodging it safely at his own residence in Paris, where, not to attract toward himself the unpleasant curiosity of his neighbours, he kept it carefully secluded, until such time as it should recover from a wound in the foot, received from a splinter on board ship.
His ultimate design was to sell it. Returning home from some sailors' frolic on the night, or rather in the morning of the murder, he found the beast occupying his own bedroom, into which it had broken from a closet adjoining, where it had been, as was thought, securely confined. Razor in hand, and fully lathered, it was sitting before a looking-glass, attempting the operation of shaving, in which it had no doubt previously watched its master through the key-hole of the closet. Terrified at the sight of so dangerous a weapon in the possession of an animal so ferocious, and so well able to use it, the man, for some moments, was at a loss what to do.
He had been accustomed, however, to quiet the creature, even in its fiercest moods, by the use of a whip, and to this he now resorted. Upon sight of it, the Ourang-Outang sprang at once through the door of the chamber, down the stairs, and thence, through a window, unfortunately open, into the street. The Frenchman followed in despair; the ape, razor still in hand, occasionally stopping to look back and gesticulate at its pursuer, until the latter had nearly come up with it. It then again made off. In this manner the chase continued for a long time. The streets were profoundly quiet, as it was nearly three o'clock in the morning.
In passing down an alley in the rear of the Rue Morgue, the fugitive's attention was arrested by a light gleaming from the open window of Madame L'Espanaye's chamber, in the fourth story of her house. Rushing to the building, it perceived the lightning-rod, clambered up with inconceivable agility, grasped the shutter, which was thrown fully back against the wall, and, by its means, swung itself directly upon the headboard of the bed.
The whole feat did not occupy a minute. The shutter was kicked open again by the Ourang-Outang as it entered the room. The sailor, in the meantime, was both rejoiced and perplexed. He had strong hopes of now recapturing the brute, as it could scarcely escape from the trap into which it had ventured, except by the rod, where it might be intercepted as it came down.
On the other hand, there was cause for anxiety as to what it might do in the house. This latter reflection urged the man still to follow the fugitive. A lightning-rod is ascended without difficulty, especially by a sailor; but, when he had arrived as high as the window, which lay far to his left, his career was stopped; the most that he could accomplish was to reach over so as to obtain a glimpse of the interior of the room. At this glimpse he nearly fell from his hold through excess of horror. Now it was that those hideous shrieks arose upon the night, which had startled from slumber the inmates of the Rue Morgue.
Madame L'Espanaye and her daughter, habited in their night clothes, had apparently been occupied in arranging some papers in the iron chest already mentioned, which had been wheeled into the middle of the room. It was open, and its contents lay beside it on the floor. The victims must have been sitting with their backs toward the window; and, from the time elapsing between the ingress of the beast and the screams, it seems probable that it was not immediately perceived.
The flapping-to of the shutter would naturally have been attributed to the wind. As the sailor looked in, the gigantic animal had seized Madame L'Espanaye by the hair, which was loose, as she had been combing it, and was flourishing the razor about her face, in imitation of the motions of a barber. The daughter lay prostrate and motionless; she had swooned. The screams and struggles of the old lady during which the hair was torn from her head had the effect of changing the probably pacific purposes of the Ourang-Outang into those of wrath.
With one determined sweep of its muscular arm it nearly severed her head from her body. The sight of blood inflamed its anger into phrenzy. Gnashing its teeth, and flashing fire from its eyes, it flew upon the body of the girl, and imbedded its fearful talons in her throat, retaining its grasp until she expired. Its wandering and wild glances fell at this moment upon the head of the bed, over which the face of its master, rigid with horror, was just discernible.
The fury of the beast, who no doubt bore still in mind the dreaded whip, was instantly converted into fear. Conscious of having deserved punishment, it seemed desirous of concealing its bloody deeds, and skipped about the chamber in an agony of nervous agitation; throwing down and breaking the furniture as it moved, and dragging the bed from the bedstead. In conclusion, it seized first the corpse of the daughter, and thrust it up the chimney, as it was found; then that of the old lady, which it immediately hurled through the window headlong.
As the ape approached the casement with its mutilated burden, the sailor shrank aghast to the rod, and, rather gliding than clambering down it, hurried at once home-dreading the consequences of the butchery, and gladly abandoning, in his terror, all solicitude about the fate of the Ourang-Outang. The words heard by the party upon the staircase were the Frenchman's exclamations of horror and affright, commingled with the fiendish jabberings of the brute.
I have scarcely anything to add. The Ourang-Outang must have escaped from the chamber, by the rod, just before the breaking of the door. It must have closed the window as it passed through it. This functionary, however well disposed to my friend, could not altogether conceal his chagrin at the turn which affairs had taken, and was fain to indulge in a sarcasm or two, about the propriety of every person minding his own business. I am satisfied with having defeated him in his own castle.
Nevertheless, that he failed in the solution of this mystery, is by no means that matter for wonder which he supposes it; for, in truth, our friend the Prefect is somewhat too cunning to be profound. But he is a good creature after all. I like him especially for one master stroke of cant, by which he has attained his reputation for ingenuity. But Bret Harte, who also did a great deal to establish the formula used in Westerns to this day, was a master of generic conventions and a skilled editor and literary critic.
This story, and others collected in two volumes of Condensed Novels, were written to indulge Harte's passion for critiquing the very conventions that were the mainstays of his and other writers' popular success. Born Francis Bret Harte in Albany, New York, in , he was a precocious child who at the age of five burlesqued his school primers. He was raised in the eastern United States, where he moved from school to school according to his father's varying ability to pay tuition.
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His father changed the family name to Harte a year before he died. Soon afterward, the teenage Harte began to support himself, establishing a lifelong pattern of moving from job to job while pursuing his writing. At the age of eighteen, Harte joined his remarried mother in California, where he was to spend the next sixteen years of his life.
His first six years out west were not successful in terms of either literary or ordinary employment. But in drifting from job to job and dabbling in experiences like riding shotgun on a stagecoach and tutoring ranchers' children, he gathered a wealth of material that he would mine for years as he put 'Bret Harte Country' on the literary map.
Harte's connections with literary journals and newspapers ranged from writing for them to physically printing them. He simultaneously lost his job and made a name for himself when, in February , he strongly editorialised about a massacre of Indians perpetrated by whites. In his non-fiction and lectures, Harte revealed that he despised the corruption and lawlessness of the very world in which he chose to set his fiction.
In his literary criticism, he disdained the use of formula and stock characters while unabashedly using both to his advantage in his highly popular fiction. And at the same time he could indulge a bad boy's sense of play. I found Hemlock Jones in the old Brook Street lodgings, musing before the fire. With the freedom of an old friend I at once threw myself in my usual familiar attitude at his feet, and gently caressed his boot.
I was induced to do this for two reasons: one, that it enabled me to get a good look at his bent, concentrated face, and the other, that it seemed to indicate my reverence for his superhuman insight. So absorbed was he even then, in tracking some mysterious clue, that he did not seem to notice me. But therein I was wrong-as I always was in my attempt to understand that powerful intellect.
I sat aghast at his penetration. After a pause he said carelessly, as if dismissing the subject: "Besides, I hear the rain on the window. I listened. I could scarcely credit my ears, but there was the soft pattering of drops on the panes. It was evident there was no deceiving this man! He drew back his foot slightly, and seemed to hesitate ere he returned it to its original position. Then he answered wearily: "Mere trifles-nothing to speak of.
The Prince Kupoli has been here to get my advice regarding the disappearance of certain rubies from the Kremlin; the Rajah of Pootibad, after vainly beheading his entire bodyguard, has been obliged to seek my assistance to recover a jewelled sword. The Grand Duchess of Pretzel-Brauntswig is desirous of discovering where her husband was on the night of February 14; and last night"-he lowered his voice slightly-"a lodger in this very house, meeting me on the stairs, wanted to know why they didn't answer his bell.
I became dumb at once. He paused for a moment, and then suddenly changing back to his usual pitiless, analytical style, he said: "When I say these are trifles, they are so in comparison to an affair that is now before me. A crime has been committed,-and, singularly enough, against myself. You start," he said.
So did I; nevertheless, it has been done. You, Hemlock Jones, the Terror of Peculators! I would confess it to no other. I arose and embraced him warmly, yet he was already so engrossed in thought that at the same moment he mechanically placed his hand upon his watch chain as if to consult the time.
I hesitated, and perhaps coloured. I had really given it up because, with my diminished practice, it was too expensive. I could afford only a pipe. What have you lost? He arose, and planting himself before the fire with his hands under his coattails, looked down upon me reflectively for a moment. It was that one. I mean the cigar case.
It was incrusted with diamonds. I remember considering it a proof of your extraordinary perception. But, by Jove, you don't mean to say you have lost it? He was silent for a moment. And by myself alone! In your profession, my dear fellow, when a member is seriously ill, he does not prescribe for himself, but calls in a brother doctor. Therein we differ. I shall take this matter in my own hands. I could scarcely believe my senses. He, the great Hemlock Jones, accepting suggestions from a humble individual like myself! I kissed his hand reverently, and began in a joyous tone: "First, I should advertise, offering a reward; I should give the same intimation in hand-bills, distributed at the 'pubs' and the pastry-cooks'.
I should next visit the different pawnbrokers; I should give notice at the police station. I should examine the servants. I should thoroughly search the house and my own pockets. I speak relatively," I added, with a laugh. Make yourself perfectly at home until I return; there may be some things," he added with a sweep of his hand toward his heterogeneously filled shelves, "that may interest you and while away the time.
There are pipes and tobacco in that corner. Then nodding to me with the same inscrutable face he left the room. I was too well accustomed to his methods to think much of his unceremonious withdrawal, and made no doubt he was off to investigate some clue which had suddenly occurred to his active intelligence. Left to myself I cast a cursory glance over his shelves.
There were a number of small glass jars containing earthy substances, labelled 'Pavement and Road Sweepings,' from the principal thoroughfares and suburbs of London, with the sub-directions 'for identifying foot-tracks. I was thus engaged when I heard the slight creaking of a door, and I looked up as a stranger entered. He was a rough-looking man, with a shabby overcoat and a still more disreputable muffler around his throat and the lower part of his face. Considerably annoyed at his intrusion, I turned upon him rather sharply, when, with a mumbled, growling apology for mistaking the room, he shuffled out again and closed the door.
I followed him quickly to the landing and saw that he disappeared down the stairs. With my mind full of the robbery, the incident made a singular impression upon me. I knew my friend's habit of hasty absences from his room in his moments of deep inspiration; it was only too probable that, with his powerful intellect and magnificent perceptive genius concentrated on one subject, he should be careless of his own belongings, and no doubt even forget to take the ordinary precaution of locking up his drawers. I tried one or two and found that I was right, although for some reason I was unable to open one to its fullest extent.
The handles were sticky, as if some one had opened them with dirty fingers. Knowing Hemlock's fastidious cleanliness, I resolved to inform him of this circumstance, but I forgot it, alas! Until-but I am anticipating my story. His absence was strangely prolonged. I at last seated myself by the fire, and lulled by warmth and the patter of the rain on the window, I fell asleep. I may have dreamt, for during my sleep I had a vague semi-consciousness as of hands being softly pressed on my pockets — no doubt induced by the story of the robbery. When I came fully to my senses, I found Hemlock Jones sitting on the other side of the hearth, his deeply concentrated gaze fixed on the fire.
Deeply gratified, I awaited more. But in vain. I ought to have remembered that in his moods Hemlock Jones was reticence itself. I told him simply of the strange intrusion, but he only laughed. Later, when I arose to go, he looked at me playfully. There are a few short brown sealskin hairs on the inner side of your forearm, just where they would have adhered if your arm had encircled a sealskin coat with some pressure! He frowned slightly, yet, nevertheless, on my turning to go he embraced me warmly-a rare exhibition in that man of ice. He even helped me on with my overcoat and pulled out and smoothed down the flaps of my pockets.
He was particular, too, in fitting my arm in my overcoat sleeve, shaking the sleeve down from the armhole to the cuff with his deft fingers. Nevertheless, I did not find him at home when I next called. One afternoon, when nearing my own home, I met him in one of his favourite disguises,-a long blue swallow-tailed coat, striped cotton trousers, large turn-over collar, blacked face, and white hat, carrying a tambourine. Of course to others the disguise was perfect, although it was known to myself, and I passed him-according to an old understanding between us-without the slightest recognition, trusting to a later explanation.
At another time, as I was making a professional visit to the wife of a publican at the East End, I saw him, in the disguise of a broken-down artisan, looking into the window of an adjacent pawnshop. I was delighted to see that he was evidently following my suggestions, and in my joy I ventured to tip him a wink; it was abstractedly returned.
Two days later I received a note appointing a meeting at his lodgings that night. That meeting, alas! I will try to set it down calmly, though my pulses still throb with the recollection of it. I found him standing before the fire, with that look upon his face which I had seen only once or twice in our acquaintance-a look which I may call an absolute concatenation of inductive and deductive ratiocination-from which all that was human, tender, or sympathetic was absolutely discharged.
He was simply an icy algebraic symbol! Indeed, his whole being was concentrated to that extent that his clothes fitted loosely, and his head was absolutely so much reduced in size by his mental compression that his hat tipped back from his forehead and literally hung on his massive ears. After I had entered he locked the doors, fastened the windows, and even placed a chair before the chimney.
As I watched these significant precautions with absorbing interest, he suddenly drew a revolver and, presenting it to my temple, said in low, icy tones: "Hand over that cigar case! He smiled bitterly, and threw down his revolver. Then let me now confront you with something more awful, more deadly, more relentless and convincing than that mere lethal weapon,-the damning inductive and deductive proofs of your guilt!
We will go back to the time when you first saw the cigar case. Your expressions," he said in cold, deliberate tones, consulting his paper, were, 'How beautiful! I wish it were mine. But as in my methods it was necessary that there should be an overwhelming inducement to the crime, that unholy admiration of yours for the mere trinket itself was not enough. You are a smoker of cigars. Of course you told me! What more natural than for you to blazon forth that prepared and unsolicited statement to prevent accusation. Yet, as I said before, even that wretched attempt to cover up your tracks was not enough.
I still had to find that overwhelming, impelling motive necessary to affect a man like you. That motive I found in the strongest of all impulses-Love, I suppose you would call it," he added bitterly, "that night you called! You had brought the most conclusive proofs of it on your sleeve. You would say that even if you had embraced some Young Person in a sealskin coat, what had that to do with the robbery?
Let me tell you, then, that that sealskin coat represented the quality and character of your fatal entanglement! You bartered your honour for it-that stolen cigar case was the purchaser of the sealskin coat! Having thoroughly established your motive, I now proceed to the commission of the crime itself. Ordinary people would have begun with that-with an attempt to discover the whereabouts of the missing object.
So overpowering was his penetration that, although I knew myself innocent, I licked my lips with avidity to hear the further details of this lucid exposition of my crime. You were sitting in that chair, and I had arisen to take something from that shelf. In that instant you secured your booty without rising. Do you remember when I helped you on with your overcoat the other night? I was particular about fitting your arm in. While doing so I measured your arm with a spring tape measure, from the shoulder to the cuff. A later visit to your tailor confirmed that measurement.
You were again tampering with the drawer when I discovered you doing so! Do not start! The stranger that blundered into the room with a muffler on-was myself! More, I had placed a little soap on the drawer handles when I purposely left you alone. The soap was on your hand when I shook it at parting. I softly felt your pockets, when you were asleep, for further developments. I embraced you when you left-that I might feel if you had the cigar case or any other articles hidden on your body. This confirmed me in the belief that you had already disposed of it in the manner and for the purpose I have shown you.
As I still believed you capable of remorse and confession, I twice allowed you to see I was on your track: once in the garb of an itinerant negro minstrel, and the second time as a workman looking in the window of the pawnshop where you pledged your booty. Do you suppose I followed any of your suggestions, the suggestions of the thief? On the contrary, they told me what to avoid. I was for the first time really vexed.
I went to the nearest drawer and pulled it out sharply. It stuck as it had before, leaving a part of the drawer unopened. By working it, however, I discovered that it was impeded by some obstacle that had slipped to the upper part of the drawer, and held it firmly fast. Inserting my hand, I pulled out the impeding object.
It was the missing cigar case!
List of minor or background characters in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
I turned to him with a cry of joy. But I was appalled at his expression. A look of contempt was now added to his acute, penetrating gaze. I thought too highly of you even in your guilt! But I see now why you tampered with that drawer the other night. By some inexplicable means-possibly another theft-you took the cigar case out of pawn and, like a whipped hound, restored it to me in this feeble, clumsy fashion. You thought to deceive me, Hemlock Jones! More, you thought to destroy my infallibility. I give you your liberty.
I shall not summon the three policemen who wait in the adjoining room-but out of my sight forever! As I stood once more dazed and petrified, he took me firmly by the ear and led me into the hall, closing the door behind him. This reopened presently, wide enough to permit him to thrust out my hat, overcoat, umbrella, and overshoes, and then closed against me forever! I never saw him again. I am bound to say, however, that thereafter my business increased, I recovered much of my old practice, and a few of my patients recovered also. I became rich. I had a brougham and a house in the West End.
But I often wondered, pondering on that wonderful man's penetration and insight, if, in some lapse of consciousness, I had not really stolen his cigar case! The Georgia-born author also penned novels that have not stood the test of time. But his short stories gave us his great achievement: the American prototype of the scientific sleuth.
Van Dusen, Ph. However, no reader is likely to mistake Van Dusen for Sherlock Holmes, despite their cerebral similarities. With his outsize cranium, his mane of yellow hair, his petite body, and his arrogant freakishness, Van Dusen can't be imagined as welcome among the upper-crust British. And Van Dusen's character fits the American mould. His superlative reasoning powers are accompanied by a 'can-do' attitude that leads him to declare, "Nothing is impossible. I'd do it myself, but I'm busy. Dubbed 'The Thinking Machine' by the press after 'a remarkable exhibition at chess,' the professor is aided by newspaper reporter Hutchinson Hatch, who runs the research and rescue operations while Van Dusen does the thinking.
The story demonstrates the author's forte in the locked-room branch of detective fiction, with The Thinking Machine taking up a challenge to escape from a maximum-security prison cell with nothing but "shoes, stockings, trousers and shirt"-and, of course, his power to think. Practically all those letters remaining in the alphabet after Augustus S. Van Dusen was named were afterward acquired by that gentleman in the course of a brilliant scientific career, and, being honourably acquired, were tacked on to the other end.
His name, therefore, taken with all that belonged to it, was a wonderfully imposing structure. He was a Ph. He was also some other things-just what he himself couldn't say-through recognition of his ability by various foreign educational and scientific institutions. In appearance he was no less striking than in nomenclature. He was slender with the droop of the student in his thin shoulders and the pallor of a close, sedentary life on his clean-shaven face. His eyes wore a perpetual, forbidding squint-of a man who studies little things-and when they could be seen at all through his thick spectacles, were mere slits of watery blue.
But above his eyes was his most striking feature. This was a tall, broad brow, almost abnormal in height and width, crowned by a heavy shock of bushy, yellow hair. All these things conspired to give him a peculiar, almost grotesque, personality. Professor Van Dusen was remotely German. For generations his ancestors had been noted in the sciences; he was the logical result, the master mind.
First and above all he was a logician. At least thirty-five years of the half-century or so of his existence had been devoted exclusively to proving that two and two always equal four, except in unusual cases, where they equal three or five, as the case may be. He stood broadly on the general proposition that all things that start must go somewhere, and was able to bring the concentrated mental force of his forefathers to bear on a given problem.
Incidentally it may be remarked that Professor Van Dusen wore a No. It was a newspaper catch-phrase applied to him at the time of a remarkable exhibition at chess; he had demonstrated then that a stranger to the game might, by the force of inevitable logic, defeat a champion who had devoted a lifetime to its study. The Thinking Machine! Perhaps that more nearly described him than all his honorary initials, for he spent week after week, month after month, in the seclusion of his small laboratory from which had gone forth thoughts that staggered scientific associates and deeply stirred the world at large.
It was only occasionally that The Thinking Machine had visitors, and these were usually men who, themselves high in the sciences, dropped in to argue a point and perhaps convince themselves. Two of these men, Dr. Charles Ransome and Alfred Fielding, called one evening to discuss some theory which is not of consequence here. Ransome emphatically, in the course of the conversation. He always spoke petulantly. When science fully recognises that fact a great advance will have been made. Mind may be master of matter, but it hasn't yet found a way to apply itself.
There are some things that can't be thought out of existence, or rather which would not yield to any amount of thinking. Ransome was thoughtful for a moment as he smoked. If he could, there would be no prisoners. Could you escape?