The Purloined Letter, Part 2

by Edgar Allan Poe

Scary chat story format by captivatedchat.com

Monsieur G
Any man is a dolt who permits a ‘secret’ to escape him in a search of this kind. The thing is so plain. There is a certain amount of bulk——of space——to be accounted for in every cabinet. 
Dupin
But how precise were you in searching?
Monsieur  G
We have accurate rules. The fiftieth part of a line could not escape us. After the cabinets we took the chairs. We probed the cushions with fine long needles. We removed the tabletops.  
Me
Why?
Monsieur G
Sometimes a thief removes the top of a table or other similar piece of furniture to conceal an article; then excavates the leg, deposits the article and replaces the top.
Me
But could not the cavity be detected by sounding?
Monsieur G
By no means, if, when the article is deposited, a sufficient wadding of cotton is placed around it. Besides, we needed to be quiet. Microscopes employed
Me
  But you could not have taken to pieces all articles of furniture in which it would have been possible to make a deposit of a letter. A letter may be compressed into a thin spiral roll.  
Monsieur G
Indeed, but we examined every piece of furniture by the aid of a most powerful microscope. Any traces of recent disturbance, even a single grain of gimlet-dust, for example, would have been as obvious as an apple. 
Me
I presume you probed the beds and the bed-clothes, as well as the curtains and carpets.”
Monsieur G
That of course; and when we had absolutely completed every particle of the furniture, then we examined the house itself. Monsieur G: We scrutinized each individual square inch throughout the premises, including the two houses immediately adjoining, employing the microscope, as before.
Me
The two houses adjoining! You must have had a great deal of trouble.
Monsieur G
We had, but the reward offered is prodigious!”
Me
You included the grounds about the houses?
Monsieur G
All are paved with brick. They gave us comparatively little trouble. We examined the moss between the bricks, and found it undisturbed.  
Me
You looked among D—‘s papers, of course, and into the books of the library?
Monsieur G
Certainly, we opened every package and parcel; we not only opened every book, but we turned over every leaf, not content with a mere shake. We also measured the thickness of every book-cover, and utilized the microscope. 
Me
You explored the floors of all rooms?
Monsieur G
Beyond doubt. We removed every carpet, and examined the boards with the microscope.
Me
And the paper on the walls?
Monsieur G
Yes.
Me
You looked into the cellars?
Monsieur G
We did. Miscalculation
Me
Then you have been making a miscalculation, and the letter is not on the premises, as you suppose.
Monsieur G
  I fear you are right there. And now, Dupin, what would you advise?
Monsieur G
To make a thorough re-search of the premises.
Monsieur G
Absolutely needless, I am not more sure that I breathe than I am that the letter is not at the Hotel.
Dupin
I have no better advice to give you. You have, of course, an accurate description of the letter?
Monsieur G
Oh yes! Here is a copy of the description for you. I must depart for work. (a month later)
Me
Well, G—, what of the purloined letter? I presume you have at last made up your mind that there is no such thing as overreaching the Minister?
Monsieur G
Confound him, say I—yes; I made the re-examination, however, as Dupin suggested—but it was all labor lost, as I knew it would be.
Dupin
How much was the reward offered, did you say?
Monsieur G
  A great deal—I will say that I wouldn’t mind giving my individual check for fifty thousand francs to any one who could obtain me that letter.
Dupin
Why, I really—think you have not exerted yourself—to the utmost in this matter. You might—do a little more, think, eh? Taking advice
Monsieur G
  How?—in what way?  
Dupin
Above all, you might employ counsel in the matter.
Dupin
Once a certain wealthy miser conceived of spunging on a man named Abernethy for a medical opinion.
Monsieur G
Hang Abernathy!
Dupin
And welcome to it. The miser insinuated his case to the physician as that of an imaginary individual.
Dupin
Suppose, said the miser, that his symptoms are such and such; now, doctor, what would you have directed him to take?
Dupin
Take!, said Abernethy, “why, take a doctor’s advice, to be sure.”
Monsieur G
But I am perfectly willing to take advice, and to pay for it. I would really give fifty thousand francs to any one who would aid me in the matter.  
Dupin
In that case you may as well fill me up a check for the amount mentioned. When you have signed it, I will hand you the letter.
Look for Part 3, coming soon!