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“Even a man, who is pure of heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the ‘Wolfsbane’ blooms and the Autumn Moon is bright.”
“Howl Of An Angel”
Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.
Ellington searched the globe for forty-plus years until he caught him for the third time. This time, he caught up with him in Istanbul. He was able to box him and ship him home to the United States. His home in Connecticut was a safe place to keep him (so he thought) – where he could be watched closely. Ellington lived alone save a housekeeper who tended household needs five days a week. She was given specific instructions to not open a particular door of one of the rooms upstairs. Ellington explained in great detail about why he had instructed her so. She listened intently but didn’t believe him. She was a good woman, a good housekeeper, one who could be trusted, a good God-Fearing Christian Woman. She thought him to be a nut – an eccentric old fool – a madman. She jumped nearly out of her skin when she heard the blood chilling howl.
The two men walked through the halls without talking. The howling persisted…it grew louder and louder as the minutes ticked by. Kristophus made sure to lock every door behind them – with a separate key of each lock. Ellington asked Kristophus why the doors where being locked in such a fashion. He looked at David and sternly replied, “For your safety, sir!” Ellington raised an eyebrow and walked on.
That night, there was no clock to strike twelve within the Keep. With no way to tell time (which didn’t matter here anyway), the visitor could only assume that it was beyond the midnight hour. Stealthily, he came upon the sleeping gatekeeper. David snuck up on him and stole the keys. They were affixed to a ring of metal which in turn was fastened on a long rope tied and hanging about the neck of the key bearer.
The thief felt faint and dizzy as he made his way to the basement. The inmate was well aware of his anticipated presence. There were no howls resonating throughout the castle as the rescuer gained access to his false friend’s prison cell.
…Eduardo and Isabelle hurried along. After starting the car, the pair drove off. The howling of the wolf sounded again. Isabelle was deathly frightened. Eduardo sat in silence and harbored a grizzly grin.
“Yes, let us hurry and get back to town, I’m very hungry.”
~ “The Loch Of Satanus” ~
“Howl Of An Angel”
Pt.2 ‘The Loch of Satanus’
“They say there is no sin in killing a beast, only in killing a man…but where does one begin and the other end – Why is it the so-called educated do not acquire the good sense of knowing better?”
“I saw with my own two eyes, what that man had changed into. He changed, before my eyes, into the murderous monster of beasts; not unlike the one you see before you.”
‘Isle Manhattan’ – “The Changeling, Loup Garou”
Part Three: ‘Bowery of The Crimson Frock’
“They say there is no sin in killing a beast, only in killing a man…but where does one begin and the other end – Why is it the so-called educated do not acquire the good sense of knowing better?”
The ‘Chevalier’ endeavored to remove everything from his mind. His only thoughts were the case at hand. He began to relapse back into himself. His old moody habits regenerated into the morose ill-tempered individual of austere soliloquy.
Attempting to make light of a horrible situation, I joined my friend in throwing the future to the winds and fell tranquilly into the present. The presence and perpend of the previous days became a joyful dream, floating away with twinkling fog.
Emissaries brought the names of ‘Duprae’ and ‘Abberline’ to the America’s. Not unlike ‘Sherlock Holmes,’ they had become household names within the law enforcement community. Duprae’s mantra preceded that of his famous colleague. The family crest of Lord Talbot arrived years before them.
The simple process to which he incorporated in solving cases had never before been disclosed to anyone… Not even the Prefect. The sole entity of that demesne is gifted to only me.
Of course, it’s not so surprising that the closed and solvent affairs were regarded as just short of miracles or that Chaunea’s analytical abilities gained his the notoriety and awarded credit on intuition and sagacious insight.
Being frank would have created an atmosphere of prejudice and abuse to every individual who would inquire into his practicum of procedure; his indolent humor forbade any such agitation of a topic whose interest has long ago dissipated. This position in many past times, have found him the attraction of cynical political eyes. The insolvable cases of which he was engaged were requested services at a level above Prefect.
Marie was the only daughter of the widow ‘Estelle Roget (Rogers)’ In France, they were named ‘Roget’ while the American adoption changed it and pronounced it as ‘Rogers.’ Marie’s (she is sometimes called Mary) father died when she was a baby. He was assassinated when she was approximately eighteen months of age. The couple, along with their daughter, resided in a close-nit cul-de-sac community, in Queens. The father kept a flat in Manhattan for business ventures. His death provided the aggrieved ladies a comfortable living.
A perfume purveyor was attracted to Mary’s beauty. His shop was in the basement level of the busy shopping area of the city. She was in her twenty-second year. The shopkeeper was of gauche and incongruous character. He was very much a part of the desperate adventurer who indeed fouled the neighborhood with his contributing vile infestation. He wasted no time taking advantage of this fair delicacy who sampled his perfumery. His liberal advances were eagerly accepted by the young lady. The beautiful propositions were innocently coveted by the girl whose occupation was “cigar-girl.” Her mother portrayed an openly blatant hesitation regarding the advances of this shady individual.
The shopkeeper hoarded rooms of notorious reputation. His anticipations toward Mary were unwelcomed by the sprightly old lady. Mary was employed by this man for less than a year. When she suddenly went missing, her admirers were adamantly and vehemently concerned.
On the fourth day missing, a body was discovered. It was found floating in the ‘Hudson River’ by a fishing boy who was out for a morning catch. No one had ever before been so intensely interested in a corpse found floating in the water.
Mary Cecelia Rogers was so terribly beautiful and popular, drew the ineffable anger of all she knew. The praetor foolishly made stupid exertions and uniformed police were overtaxed to the utmost as usual. The assumption and verbal outburst by the magistrate planted the seed of a murder prior to the assignment of an official task-force to the case.
“We will catch this murderer. He will not elude us for long. He should do himself justice by surrendering – turning himself in could very well save his life. He should do so now before it is too late!
A reward has been posted for anyone who can provide assistance with information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the identified perpetrator of perpetrators of this evil deed upon this poor sweet and beautiful creature; our own Marie Roget!
The reward currently stands at $2,300.00.”
Not one person gave doubt to the mystery that this murder would immediately be brought to light. Elucidation was promised albeit nothing was elicited to implicate the suspected parties. In one, maybe two instances, they were discharged forthwith.
“The third week, strange as it may appear; the discovery of the body had passed without any new light being cast upon the subject. Well before any rumor of the events which had agitated the publics’ mind reached our ears. Our combined research fully absorbed the attention of us both. Three, nearly four weeks had passed since Duprae or I had visitors or traveled abroad. We also did not engage in trials and tribulations of any political articles that were published in one of the daily newspapers. The first intelligent information about the murder had been brought to us by divine intervention. It had made itself clear on the afternoon of July, 18. The vision did remain with us into the late hours of that night. The failure of all our endeavored energies piqued to ferret out the murders. Duprae held a peculiar air of Parisian pride over his concern for his reputation and honor. Even though there was no sacrifice which he would not make or be willing to make for the advancement to solve this mystery; the eyes of the public were indeed upon him. My friend had been drawn to a droll and complicated speech in which he deemed tactful.
The compliment to which he rebutted as best he could was accepted at once. They were accepted with provisions, however.
With that point being mentally settled, the half verbal thought process was interrupted when the Prefect interjected his point of view. He spoke upon the evidence with a long explanation; the latter of which we were not yet in possession.
Duprae sat listening steadily while displaying the embodiment of respectful attention. During the interview, he glanced occasionally over the top of the green colored lenses of his spectacles. This glancing gaze sufficed to convince me that he hadn’t slept soundly throughout the seven or eight hours which preceded the prefect’s departure.
At morning’s light, I managed to procure a full report of all elicited evidence at the prefecture and various newspaper offices. The reports included any and all published information regarding this sad affair.
This mass of positively disproved information stated the following details:
‘Marie left her mother’s house on June 22nd, on Sunday at about 9 a.m. greeting Monsieur St. Eustache, and only to him, she told of her plans for the day. He even took note of her intention to spend the day with her aunt. She resided in the ‘Rue Des Dromes’ while Marie lived in the ‘Rue Pavee St. Andre,’ a short distance of a little over 1 kilometer (1.6 miles). It was also not far from the river. St. Eustache was the designated suitor of Marie. He also resided at the boarding house where the two women stayed. He lodged and took his meals at this particular pension only. The plan also entailed the agreement between Marie and Jacques to meet at dusk. He was to escort his betrothed home for the evening.
During the afternoon of that day, it began to rain quite heavily. He thought about his beloved’s journey during the storm and ascertained that she would spend the night with her aunt. This action had been taken in the past. The promise to meet was no longer necessary. As the night drew forebodingly closer, Madame Roget spoke in horror-filled soliloquy.
“I will never see my daughter again!” This statement was not heard by anyone. She was sadly peering out of her bedroom window during the heavy wind and rain.
Monday had come and gone and no one had seen or heard from Marie. A search began. The tardy initiation was instituted at every possible location of the city and its individual neighborhoods. Nothing positive of negative surfaced until about two weeks later. It was Wednesday, June 25th, Monsieur Beauvis and his friend had been walking and talking about this particular case. While they walked along the river bank, they came upon a group who were attempting to remove a corpse from the water. Nearby fishermen noticed the floating body and notified the police.
The friend of Beauvis recognized the body as that of Marie Cecelia Roget at once. When Beauvis, after hesitating; saw the body, he immediately concurred with his friend.
“It is indeed that of the perfumery-girl.” They said.
Her face was suffused with the darkest blood, much of which oozed and dripped from her mouth and ears. Foaming was not present. That would be indicative of drowning. Her throat was another story. It bore more bruises that could be counted. On the right side was a gaping wound that revealed the very innards of working parts that were left behind. The edges of the wound appeared to be ripped and torn some sort of large animal of beast. The remnants of sharp incisors or teeth marks boasted of doing the dastardly deadly deed.
Her arms were bent and twisted over the breast, and were stiff to the touch. Her right hand was bloodied and clenched; the left was missing up to the elbow. Claw marks showed deep gashes on her back and down the length of both arms. Her shoulder blades bore deep lacerations, allowing sticky gore to partially seal and fill the wounds. The flesh of her body was puffed due to the prolonged exposure and absorption of bay water. Regardless of the puffiness, the remaining body parts appeared whole although battered and bruised. It appeared as if it had been thrown about and slammed multiple times. It was like that of a child bashing, slamming, and throwing a rag doll of the trouncing of a Teddy Bear. A piece of lace was found tightly wound around the neck as well. It was saturated in blood and embedded into the flesh. The material and the flesh seemed as one; it was nearly invisible to the naked eye. This strangling affect alone would have been sufficient to kill.
The medical examiner reported with confidence regarding his findings and that of the deceased most virtuous character.
“She had been subjected to the most brutal violence I had ever seen since the examinations of war-torn victims in all my professionally experienced observations.” the Doctor said.
The corpse was not so badly damaged that recognition by family and friends was impossible. The dress was badly torn and mutilated yet recognizable as well.
The outer garment had been ripped and tattered. It had been torn upward from the bottom hem to the waist, but not torn off. The slip beneath, was slashed and pulled from around the waist and dangled, twisted about the right thigh two or three times, remaining partly attached to the waistline of her body. The dress immediately, beneath the frock was of fine muslin; and from this the slip twenty inches wide had been torn and ripped. It was found to be fitting rather loosely, and secured by a belt of fine tanned leather. During the course of garment strings and other attachments, the lady’s bonnet strings also played a role in the fatal determination.
Over the muslin dress and slip of fine lace, the strings of the bonnet were attached, yet appended. The knot by which the strings of the bonnet were fastened was not a lady’s, it was a slip knot of sailor’s knot.
Marie’s body was transferred from the morgue to the funeral parlor. She was interred with great haste. The burial site was not very far from the spot where her corpse was discovered.
Monsieur Beauvais was making boisterous exertions all over town – at barber shops, pubs and taverns, and the many shops all about the French Quarter, not to mention what New York’s mass media had to say in printed versions. The matter was meticulously and industriously hushed up. Only one week had lapsed before the story was urgently and once again ignited. Public emotion exploded.
A local weekly newspaper exacerbated the issue with speculations of its own after another body had turned up not far from the Hudson Bay near Central Park.
Marie’s corpse was almost immediately disinterred, and re-examined. Nothing was discovered that wasn’t already known. Her clothing, however, were not given to Madame Roget after discovery of the body. They were obviously held as evidence. Since they turned up nothing but the sailor’s knot for clues, they meticulously photographed, documented, and returned the body to its mother.
The investigation headed by New York City Police Chief Inspector Jason Randolph Henderson and Chief Inspector Frederick Quincy Abberline of Scotland Yard; was followed closely by the New York City Newspapers. They in turn were followed by me and Chaunea as the excitement increased by the hour. We needed to keep abreast of the idiosyncrasies of the local populace and the networking between them and the police force. The visit ‘Uptown’ in Harlem provided and atmosphere of much hate, resentment, and apprehension towards the police and its policies of policing. This interested Chaunea very much. If there is mistrust between the two, as is in Paris, the method of interaction would most certainly prove a daunting task. Retrieving inside information was almost unheard of due to the notoriety of the city cops. No one trusted anyone…ever.
Many individuals were arrested and released. One fellow who immediately fell under suspicion was St. Eustache, Marie’s would be suitor. Especially when it was noted by investigators that he wasted no time in perusing the homes several ladies, wed and unwed. One of his haunts was the house of ‘Ill-repute’ in ‘Hoboken,’ just outside of town. He thought his indiscretion would not take notice, I presume.
At first, he failed at giving intelligible accounts of his whereabouts during the Sunday on which his betrothed left home. He did finally submit to the intense inquiries and gave his accounts with some satisfied acceptance. Witness follow-up accounts and affidavits reinforced his statements. The examining dentist was also satisfied the teeth marks and bite patterns were not his.
Time passed and no new discoveries presented themselves. Thousands of rhetorical and contradictory rumors circulated throughout the neighborhood and all over town. Journalists busied themselves in a multitude of suggestions. Many of those attracted a lot of notice. The one that caused a major uproar and rippling affect was the idea that Marie Rogers was still alive and walking with the undead. It was also suggested that the vampire who killed her was building a harem of female vampires who will infiltrate and assimilate the lives of their victims; go forth to conquer all of New York City, allowing the same fate for the remaining cities and boroughs across the United States of America.
Charles (Chaunea) Auguste Duprae took a keen notice to how the team of investigators interacted with one another. The subordinate detectives and officers almost immediately rebuked and resented the authority of an outsider like the Chief Inspector Frederick Quincy Abberline. It did not matter that he was the major investigator who helped crack the “Ripper Case” in London and Paris. The team of fifteen, six uniforms, four 1st and 2nd grade detectives, the chief inspector from Scotland Yard, a private detective, Chaunea, and myself was headed by New York City Chief Inspector Jason Randolf Henderson, a rather tall, ruggedly, and not so handsome dark-skinned Black Man of about forty-eight years of age.
The facts of the matter, conceding the similarities between Mademoiselle L’Espanaye and Marie Roget, is not that Mademoiselle did leave her mother’s house on Sunday morning, June 22nd with the ostensible purpose of going to see her aunt or some other connection, in the Rue Des Dromes of Manhattan’s French Quarter. From the time of about 9 o’clock a. m., she has been seen by no one; not one living soul had laid eyes upon her.
“Nobody is proved to have seen her!” Duprae said aloud. “Not one person has come forward to say that on that day, they did see this young lady except for the suitor, Monsieur Eustache. He alone was witness to Marie’s plan for that day.”
…Secondly, at noontime on Wednesday, three days later, a female body was found floating in the ‘Barriere Du Roule,’ a pier on the Hudson Bay off the French Quarter reef. It has been presumed by the gendarmes, New York’s finest; that Marie Roget was thrown into the water within three to four hours after exiting her mother’s domicile – three days to the hour.
“Wouldn’t it be folly to suppose that murder was committed on the body of this once lovely young woman?” Duprae asked this aloud while looking directly at me.
“The body, if submerged in the river for two or three days at the outset would require six to ten days for sufficient decomposition. This in turn would bring the body to the surface. What do you think was the cause for the murderer or murderers to throw the body into the water?” He asked this question while continuing to look at me – but not looking at me.
“If the girl’s body had been kept in a mangled stat on dry land until Tuesday night, would there not be some indication of the perpetrator’s presence? Is it not to be doubted whether the body would float in such a short period of time – only two days after being dead? It is exceedingly improbable that any fool of a villain committing such a crime as murder would bother wasting precious time and exposure without adding weight to sink it!
Why would they not take such an easy measure if this were a planned thing?”
The facts continue with Monsieur Beauvais’s position of quintessential steadfast identification of the body. He entertained no doubt in his believing the corpse as that of Marie Roget. He took it upon himself to rip up the girl’s gown sleeve, pointing to marks and skin blemishes as proof of identification. The public took the information at face value and supposed the account true and accurate.
He then rubbed the arm of the body and found hair upon it. This folly proved to be of insignificant support – this move was a conclusive as finding an arm in a sleeve.
Monsieur Beauvis sent word to Madame Roget at about seven p.m. that night. He did not return to the house that night. It was Wednesday evening. He informed her, via the message, that the investigation is ongoing and making great progress as it relates to tracking her daughter’s killer.
The aged Madame Roget, in her grief, could not mentally or physically bring herself to go over to the precinct, daily or otherwise. One would certainly think it a worthwhile effect to go there and follow the investigation for her, keeping her informed and updated, especially if they thought the body was truly that of the unfortunate young lady – Marie ‘Rogers’ Roget.
Nobody did… No one went over there. There was actually nothing said or heard about for quite a while. The initial news of the tragedy in the Rue Davee St. Andree of Manhattan’s French Quarter, never reached the occupants of that particular building. Monsieur St. Eustache, the professed lover and intended husband of the young lady, who resided in her mother’s house, deposed that he heard nothing of a discovery of a body until the very next day – the next morning. And that was when Monsieur Beauvis burst into his room and told him of it.
“Eddie…a bit of news like this strikes note when such a horrible tragedy – a loved one; a betrothed, is so very coolly received, don’t you think?” asked Duprae intentionally aloud. “I find it quite strange…to ascertain that St. Eustache appeared to be initially unnerved and then stricken with grief needed the support of Monsieur Beauvis. He was so distraught that Beauvis’ friend and another who claimed to be a relative prevented him from attending the re-interment of the body. However, several members of the young lady’s family did attend the brief ceremony.
“Thinking further, upon recall,” I responded. “We were told that, on more than one occasion, a woman of Beauvis’ acquaintance visited the home of Madame Roget.
One particular visitation was shared by the duo.
The last visit brought about a warning – a directive, if you will…instructing the Madame to expect the calling of a gendarme. She was instructed to say nothing to the officer until his return – he insisted that Madame Roget say absolutely nothing…to leave the matter completely in his hands for him to deal with.
She was completely and utterly under his control. Her state of existence, at that time, was locked away in his head. She could not make a single move; a single step without Monsieur Beauvis. It was determined by him, that no one shall have anything to do with the investigation proceedings but him. It was also reported, upon further recollection Chaunea, that the Madame’s relatives pushed and shoved him out of the room of inquiry – he, for some reason did not want the relatives to be involved in the affairs of the women or the investigation. Why?”
“Suspicion indeed had been thrust upon Monsieur Beauvis. A visitor to his office prior to Marie’s disappearance, and while the occupant was absent, did observe a rose in the key-hole of the door. The note attached was addressed to ‘Marie,’” smiled Duprae.
“We had been led to believe that Marie had become the victim of a street-gang. And by these individuals, had been taken against her will across the river, assaulted, and murdered. We have indeed been given a false scent and led down the path of deceit, my dear Poe.”
Chaunea continued on in wild and excited soliloquy. He threw one or two sharp glances in my direction and then back to the direction of the door leading to the instant debating chamber occupied by the team of examining detectives.
“Eddie…do you think it virtually impossible to believe that a person so well known as this young woman as pretty as she, could have passed through a three block neighborhood on a Sunday and not be noticed by anyone? Anyone, especially men, who would have seen her would surely remember her, I would think.” I pondered the question and then answered.
“Yes Chaunea. I think when the streets were full of people, she was among them. They all knew her and yet no one has come forward to say they recognized her with the exception of the previous testimony regarding her cited expression of intent.
Her once lovely and bright gown was torn, tied round her, including the throat, and knotted. With that being done, it makes sense to believe the body was carried like that of a bundle and dumped into the bay… There is no real proof of that fact of where it could have possibly been tossed. There is another fact to consider, my friend.”
Duprae turned to look me full in the face. He gave me his complete and utter attention with that sneering yet intensely inquisitive facial expression. That expressive gesture appears almost always when he is nearing a conclusive resolution… But there is always the chance…always the possibility of room for doubt.
“Pray tell, what is this stifling fact friend Eddie?”
I then quickly projected fact based on and surrounding the poor girl’s petticoats.
“The piece of one of the young lady’s petticoat was torn out and tied under her chin around the back of her head; the two-foot-long and one-foot-wide swatch could have been used; probably to prevent her screaming; to choke her into submission or unconsciousness as it was discovered imbedded in her throat. This action could very well indicate the attacker…or attackers had no pocket-handkerchief.”
Duprae smiled. Before he could make a responsive gesture, our thoughts and conversation was violently interrupted by the intrusive thrusting of the examinations room door. It was quickly pushed open by the investigation team leader, Chief inspector Jason Randolph Henderson.
“You fellows will want to hear this! You’ll have to join us in the next room where I’ll be briefing the entire team on this impending case.”
Chief Detective Armbruister gave everyone the opportunity to position themselves. The greedy-eared audience of fifteen stared intently as the tall dark gentleman began to speak in a commanding voice.
Many members of the group resented and scoffed at the idea of taking orders from a Black man; particularly this man of color. However, they dared not disobey an order from such a high ranking official such as ‘Chief Detective’ or ‘Chief Inspector.’
“Okay, now that I have your complete and full attention, I’d like to fill you all in on some new developments as well as a review of what we have currently.
A couple of days ago, some important information fell into our laps. It appears to be the possibility of a witness of witnesses to this particular case.
Two small boys, according to the report, sons of one ‘Madame Deluc,’ were running and playing in the woods of Central Park’s ‘Barriere Du Roule.’ They happened upon a deer thicket. Inside this heavily packed shelter they found three or four large stones which seemed to replicate a seat with a back along with a footstool. They also found, on the upper stone, a white petticoat. On the lower level a silk scarf, a parasol, a pair of white gloves, and a pocket-handkerchief.
Fragments of a dress were also discovered within the brambles as well. The ground was trampled and bush-branches were broken. The scene portrayed evidence of a struggle.
Gentlemen, I might add another interesting twist to this scenario… The handkerchief had a monogrammed name upon it. The name is that of one “Marie Roget.” All eyes widened with new anticipation.
“Between the thicket and the river, the fences were found to be broken down, and the earthen disheveling betrayed evidence of something heavy being dragged along.
All of these items and particulars appear to have been there for not more than three or four weeks. Although they were all mildew covered and pressed from rain activity and stuck to the various surfaces; grass had grown over and around them, were still without question the identifiable garments of our victim.
Consequentially, Madame Deluc testified that she owns the roadside inn which is not far from the riverbank, opposite the Barriere Du Roule. This particular inn is reputed to be the hangout of a miscreant gang of blackguards from the city.
At approximately three o’clock, in the afternoon on the Sunday in question, a young girl arrived at the inn. She was accompanied by a young man of dark complexion. The two remained there for quite some time. They took to the road, upon departure, to some thick woods in the vicinity. The owner’s attention was called to the dress worn by the girl. She particularly noticed the scarf.
The Madame went on to add…not long upon the couple’s departure from her establishment, the gang of ruffians entered the tavern. “They were loud, rude, and behaved like animals. They ate and drank without paying!” She said she and her staff made note of them for complaint to the local authorities. The owner said the group followed the identical route used by the young couple. The young men returned to the inn along about dusk. They hurriedly re-crossed the river, heading back to the dark cover of the city with the greatest of haste.
Upon that same evening, soon after dark, Madame Deluc and her eldest son said they heard violent yet brief screams. The screams were that of a female…a young woman. They said they came from the direction of the thicket. She not only recognized the scarf which was found in the thicket, but the dress upon the discovered corpse.
Valance, a bus driver, testified that he saw Marie Roget cross the river via ferry on that particular Sunday. She was in the company of a dark complected man. Valance exclaimed he knew Marie and could not have been mistaken about her identity. Marie’s relatives also helped our investigation by fully identifying the articles on her person.”
Duprae embraced another point. “Monsieur Chief Inspector, if you will pardon please? It appears that immediately after the discovered clothing and pre-described items there was another thing seemingly of vast consequences. The lifeless body of Monsieur St. Eustache, Marie’s betrothed.”
An empty bottle of ‘Laudanum’ was found clutched in his hand. His breath provided the necessary evidence to convince the presence of poison. A letter was also found on his person. It briefly stated his love and devotion for Marie.
“I need scarcely tell you,” said Duprae, while completing his perusal of my notes, and excitingly benchmarking his against them; gave me a look that I’ve seen many a time – “the hunt is on! The scent is in the air! He shouted, “This is a far more intricate case than the one we’ve previously experienced in France. The two cases differ only in one respect. This is an atrocious instance of crime; albeit nothing really appears to be out of the ordinary. You may observe that, for this reason, the mystery has been considered easy, when, for this reason, it should have been considered difficult.
We should have been able at once to comprehend how and why such an atrocity might have been committed. We all could picture in our imaginations a mode – many modes, and a motive – many motives; and because it was not impossible for either of these numerous modes and motives could quite possibly have been only one. Have we taken for granted that one of them must be correct?
You see ‘Mon’Ami,’ the ease with which these variable fancies were entertained, and the very plausibility which each assumed, should have been understood as indicative rather than difficulties of the facilities which must attend elucidation, oui?
Therefore, I have keenly observed that it is by prominences above the level of the ordinary. That reason feels its way, if at all, in its search for the true, and the proper questions in cases such as this is not so much as ‘what has occurred’ as ‘what has occurred’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before, oui?”
“Even at the beginning of our investigation; the prior case of ‘Marie L’Espanaye’ and her mother, there was no doubt that murder had been done. The insulting idea of suicide was at once excluded. In this case, we are also freed from the idea of believing so; the commencement to all supposition of ‘self-murder.’
Observe, the body was found under circumstances as to have us believe suicide at this point in the investigation, PREPOSTUROUS! I call your attention to the main character of this misadventure. We are all well aware that research and past investigations of drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into the water. The result is that bodies thrown into the water by violence, immediately after death requires six to ten days allowing sufficient decomposition. This action brings the body to the surface. If something, let’s say a cannon is fired and it causes the body to rise before the fifth of sixth day, it will sink again if left alone.
The human body, in general, is neither much lighter nor heavier than the water in the river. The specific gravity of a human body naturally is about equal to the bulk of fresh water. People whose bodies are fat and fleshy, women in general, are lighter the those of someone who is lean, large boned, and/or heavily muscled. However, the fresh water river is influenced by the presence of the sea’s tide level. If not for the tide, very few human bodies would sink at all. When a body id fully immersed, efforts to breathe ultimately pull water into the lungs while most of it is received into the stomach. This causes a body to become heavier by the difference between the weight of the air and that of the fluid which fills them. This simple difference is more than sufficient to cause a body to sink. It has also been recorded that individual with small bones and an abnormal quantity of flaccid or fatty matter will float even after drowning. But I would also suggest another fact to take in to account regarding a drowned body.
My experience does not show that ‘drowned bodies’ require the stated six to ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place, bringing a body to the surface. The proof is indeterminate. If a body has risen to the surface after being disturbed, it will not sink again if let alone. Decomposition has to have progressed far in order to permit the escape of generated gases within.
The distinction made between ‘drowned bodies and that of bodies thrown into the water after death will not sink before decomposure, and will sink if struggling is present.”
“The argument is constant. Is this of is this not, the body of Marie (Rogers) Roget? Three days have come and gone. The body was found floating, oui? If drowned being a female,, she might never have sunk; if having sunk, might have re-appeared in about 24 hours of less,” said Duprae. “However, no one supposes her to have been drowned; and dying before being thrown into the river. She could very well have been floating at any period of time thereafter. Another voice argued if the body had been kept in its’ mangled state on shore until Tuesday night, would not some trace be found on shore of the murderer of murderers? This is at first difficult to perceive the intentions of the architect.
He probably anticipates an objection to his theory by investigators, thinking the body would be kept on shore for two days, believing that rapid decomposition would be more rapid if immersed in water. He is in quite a hurry to show that it was not kept on shore at all. Because some trace would be found of the murderers on shore. This reasoning in no non-sequitor gentlemen, it is highly improbable that any villains would possibly throw a body into the river without weighing it, guaranteeing the sinking.”
“No one disputes the murder. The violent marks are definitely too obvious. It is our killer’s intention to show that the body was not that of Marie Roget. He wishes us to believe that Marie was not assassinated. However, it goes without merit to have us believe the found body is none other than Marie Roget, oui? But we have no real proof of anything, do we? Here, we have a corpse without weight attached in the water. Murderers casting it in would not have failed to attach a weight to the body.
Therefore, it had not been thrown in by murderers. This issue has been addressed and proven. This question of identification has not technically been approached. Someone in and of the media have made statements implying they are convinced of the body’s identity being that of Marie Roget. That particular person has unwittingly reassured against that belief. Also obvious is the intent in reducing as much as possible, the interval between Marie’s disappearance and the finding of this corpse. This thinking urges the point that no person saw the girl from the moment of departing her mother’s house. The conjecture insists there is no evidence that Marie Roget was in the land of the living after 9 o’clock on Sunday, the twenty-second of June. As the media’s argument is at best an expert one, they should, at least have kept this matter out of sight; because if someone truly saw Marie, say on Monday or Tuesday, the interval in question would have probably been reduced the disbelief or the body being that of the missing young lady.
It is however, amusing to notice how media representatives insist upon its point in the full belief in furthering its general argument.
Re-examine if you will, that portion of this argument having reference to the identification of the corpse by Monsieur Beauvis. Not being a complete idiot, he could not have urged in identifying the corpse based simply upon the arm. No human arm is without hair! There would have to be some sort of peculiarity in the shape, color, of length in order to make such a determination, oui? The so-called garter belonging to the mademoiselle is no proof. Nor is a shoe, regardless if the garter was sold in combination package. The flowers in her hat are no proof as well.
It could be most difficult to suppose the killer or killers in earnest. If Monsieur Beauvis, while searching, come upon a body fitting the general size and appearance of the missing woman, he would have been warranted in forming an opinion if his search had proven successful. In addition to the point of general size and contour, if he had noticed upon the woman’s arm, a peculiar hair pattern or sharpen mark, such a birthmark upon the living Marie would certainly have merit. The feet of the corpse were small, as was Marie’s. The probability of this particular body being that of Marie Roget would not be an increase in ratio.
Now, the flowers in the hat did correspond to those worn by the missing mademoiselle. If only one flower; each successive one is multiple evidence or proof multiplied by hundreds, even thousands. Upon the deceased, let us now discover garters such as the living Marie used. These garters appear to be tightened by setting back the clasp, such as practiced by the dead body.
The elastic nature of this clasp-garter is self-demonstrative of the unusual. What is made to adjust itself, most out of necessity, require foreign adjustment on a rarity? It could have been by accident, in its strictest sense, that these garters needed the described tightening. That perfection alone would have ample information in establishing the identity of Marie’s identity.
Gentlemen, it is not that the corpse was found to have the garters of the missing young lady, or found to be wearing her shoes, of her bonnet, or the flowers of her bonnet, of her feet, or a peculiar mark upon her arm, or her general size and appearance – it is that this particular corpse collectively had them all.
With this proof, it could be proved to the doubtful voice, under the circumstances, there would be no need, because in this case, the doubting voices warrant a legitimate assignment to themselves; a commission of ‘De Lunatico Inquirendo!” The doubtful voice has thought is sagacious to echo the small talk of the lawyers, who, for the most part, content themselves with echoing the rectangular precepts of the courts. I would, at this point, observe that very much of what is rejected as evidence by a court, as being that very much of what is rejected as evidence by a court, as being the best evidence to the intellect.
The court, my friends, guided itself by the ‘General Principles of Evidence – The Recognized and Booked Principles.’ These general rules are averse at particular instances. This steadfast diligence and adherence to principle with a rigorous disregard of the conflicting exceptions, is surely a mode of attaining the maximum attainment to and of truth, regardless of the amount of time. Philosophically, this practice engenders a vast amount of individual error.
Monsieur Beauvis is a busy-body. You have all no doubt fathomed the true character of this fellow of low wit. His over acuteness has rendered himself liable to suspicion. In his persistence in asserting the body to be that of Marie Roget, while being unable to volunteer a circumstance to make others believe it too. You see, a man could very well be understood to believe, in such a case as this, without the ability to forward one single reason to believe a second party opinion.
Nothing is more vague, my friends, than impression of individual identity. Each man or woman, in his or her own right, recognizes a neighbor, yet there are few instances in which anyone is prepared to give a reason for his or her reasoning of recognition.
The suspicious circumstances which involve him, will be found to tally with a much better hypothesis of my deduction of a romantic ‘busy-body’ meddling of a supposition of guilt. Once you have grasped the more charitable interpretation, we will have no difficulty in comprehending the rose in the key-hole; the body upon the slate; the elbowing of the male relatives pushing them out of the way; the wayward aversion in permitting them to view the body; the caution given to Madame Roget by Monsieur Beauvis and his female companion, that she must hold no conversation with a gendarme until his return; and lastly, his apparent determination ‘that nobody should have anything to do with the proceedings except himself.’ It seems to me, and quite possibly to you, that Beauvis was a suitor of Marie Roget; that she coquetted with him; and that he was ambitious of being thought to enjoy her fullest intimacy and confidence.
At this point, I shall say nothing further, touching the matter of apathy on the part of the momma and relatives – an apathy in consistent with the supposition of their believing the corpse to be that of the perfumery girl. We shall proceed as it the identity question was settled with the utmost satisfaction.”
I marveled at ‘Chaunea’s’ theory and reckoning as many in the room did as well. At that very moment, not unlike many, I was exceptionally proud of my friend; my cousin, as he so gracefully succeeded in acquiring the full attention of every soul in this listening arena.
“There are those who would have us believe that Mademoiselle Marie was seized by a rough street gang for the city, oui?
But that my dear friends is impossible! Think for a moment, se vous ple, a person so well known by hundreds as this young woman was, could have passed four to six blocks without someone seeing her; without recognizing her is simply ludicrous. Someone like you or me, residing in Paris – you in New York, whose walks to and fro in the city are mostly limited to our respective areas of abode. You all would agree it is seldom we would pass someone who would not recognize us in our daily routines, knowing and being acquainted with others in that particular vicinity. The notoriety of the perfumery-girl, finds no great disparaging between she and us in a walk-about. We all have a tendency to acquaint ourselves with those in our immediate neighborhoods with a kindred spirit, as did this unfortunate soul.
Taking into consideration, the hour at which the girl abounded, was it not during a time when the streets were full of people? The hour suggested nine o’clock in the morning. At that particular time of day, the streets are full of people during the week. On Sunday, however, the populace are mainly indoors preparing for church services. It would prove highly improbable that no observing person could have failed to notice, from about seven until eleven on the morning of every ‘Sabbath,’ the peculiarly deserted air about town.
Also, there is another unsettling point of interest and observation. A piece of one of the dead girl’s petticoats, two feet long, and one foot wide, was torn out and tied under her chin, and around the back of her head; one would guess to silence her screams.
This, of course, is supposed to have been done by the fellows without pocket-handkerchiefs. This idea was not well founded. The idea that these so-called “lowest class of ruffians” are the astute description of people who will always be found to have handkerchiefs even when they are destitute of shirts! Gentlemen, observe, you must have had occasion to realize how absolutely indispensable to the hold-up man, his most essential tool of the trade – the pocket-handkerchief or facial mask, oui?
At present, we should not fail to recognize the laxity in the examination of the corpse. Points to be ascertained, to be sure, are the questions of this readily determined identity. Has the body been mutilated in an inordinary fashion? Did the deceased have any articles of jewelry on her person when leaving home? If so, where there any found after discovering the body? These questions are profoundly important due to evidence untouched, with others that have yet to gain attention.
We will ascertain the validity of the affidavits regarding the whereabouts of Monsieur St. Eustache pm the Sunday in question. His character has been most mystifying to the naked eye. However, we should dismiss St. Eustache from our attention because there is no wrong doing ‘beyond’ suicide. The interior points of this tragedy is truly disconcerting, but outside of the realm of murder.
In looking further, if not deeper into the circumstances of this case; past activities of the missing young lady re-arise with a report just three and one half year ago. The affidavits record a disturbance very similar to the present was caused by the disappearance of this same Marie Roget. She disappeared for more than a week from the perfumery of Monsieur Le Blanc in the ’Palais Royal.’ She did re-appear in her customary fashion and delightful demeanor just as if nothing has happened. However, she did appear noticeably pale of complexion.
It was not out of the ordinary for one to appear pale of complexion at this time of year; she appeared to be abnormally pale. The whiteness of her skin was as if the blood in her system had drained away.
It was known to many that she was in the company of a young naval officer. He, just so happens, to be well known for his past and present debaucheries. It was also supposed that Marie returned home because of a lovers’ quarrel.
And still, another report told of a family being accosted by ‘ferry-bandits.’ The report stated something about an outrageous atrocity perpetrated by a character or characters of low regard. It says a gentleman along with his wife and daughter, along about dusk, employed the services of six young men who were rowing a boat back and forth across the river. They rowed from the banks near the restaurant-inn of Madame DeLuc and her two sons’ roadside inn to the little Island where Eustache’s body was found, and to the shoreline of the city. These young men were to deliver the family to the shoreline of the city.
Upon reaching the opposite shore, the party stepped from the boat onto dry land. They walked away from the docks to a point just beyond view when the daughter realized she’d left her parasol behind.
When she returned to retrieve the umbrella, the gang seized her and carried her in the boat back out into the middle of the river. She was gagged and brutally s*xually assaulted.
It was thought, at that time, a man named ‘Mennais’ was the reputed leader of that particular gang. It was also reported that he was the head of several groups there and about. He was arrested and brought in for questioning and examination. After three days had past, he was exonerated and released after legal inquiries and venues were set into play.
Several days after the attack, a bargeman happened upon an empty sailboat. The sails lay at the bottom of the boat. The bargeman towed the empty vessel back to the ‘Harbor Master.’ The following morning, it was found to be missing. It went missing right under the very noses of the harbor officers on duty.
What was left of the missing boat was its rudder. It was found left alone, on the lonely dock.
“It was not by current design,” said Duprae, “to dwell upon the first or second of the extracted events. I have taken note of them mainly to show you all the extreme remissness of New York’s finest, who as far as I can understand from the Prefect of first investigator on scene, have not bothered to examine the alluded to naval officer. Oui, you have been inept in your investigation gentlemen. However, we now have the opportunity to remedy the situation.
Would it be a fair observation to suggest that between the first and second disappearance of the mademoiselle, there is no supposable connection? First, allow yourselves to admit the return home or from the elopement due to a lover’s spat…the returning home of one who was betrayed.
Secondly, only if we truly knew that an elopement has again taken place; the indication of the betrayer’s s*xual advances, rather than being the result of a new proposal by a second individual. We could very well regard it as ‘making up’ or rekindling the old amour, rather than as a commencement of a new one. We must also take note of the time elapsed between the first determination and the second supposed elopement being a few months more than the general period of the cruising of our men-of-war. My friends, you must by now realize the error of your ways… If the lover had been interrupted by the need to return to sea and had been seized with the opportunity the first time to initiate his design, which he has not yet accomplished – means absolutely nothing, because we truly know what? There was in reality no elopement as previously ascertained? Certainly not! But, are we really prepared to say that there was not a pre-planned design? Other than St. Eustache, and possibly Beauvis, we do not find a recognition, open, or honorable suitors of Marie. Who then, could be the secret lover of Marie Roget? Who is the secret lover that relatives no nothing, but meets on the morning of Sunday? One who is so deeply held in the strictest confidence; that she hesitates – not to remain with him until the cover of evening descends over the solitary groves of the ‘Barriere Du Roule?’
Who is this secret lover? When asked, many of the relatives knew nothing. And what was meant by the mysteriously chilling and prophesized statement made by Madame Roget after Marie’s departure?
“I fear that I shall never see Marie again.”
Pt.2 ‘The Loch of Satanus’ (“Howl Of An Angel”)
“Hallow II”: ‘Bowery Of The Crimson Frock’ (Parts One, Two, and Three)
‘Isle Manhattan’ – “The Changeling, Loup Garou”
Part Three: ‘Bowery of The Crimson Frock’
Gregory V. Boulware, Esq.
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