[00:18.42]It was in Paris in the summer of 1840 that I met August Dupin.
[00:25.79]Dupin was a strangely interesting young man with a busy, forceful mind.
[00:33.74]He seemed to look right through a person and uncover their deepest thoughts.
[00:41.32]Sometimes Dupin seemed to be not one,
[00:45.36]but two people — one who coldly put things together, and another who just as coldly took them apart.
[00:55.83]One morning, in the heat of the summer, Dupin showed me once again his special mental power.
[01:05.25]We read in the newspaper about a terrible killing.
[01:10.29]An old woman and her daughter, living alone in an old house in the Rue Morgue, had been killed in the middle of the night.
[01:21.07]The story in the paper went:
[01:24.46]Paris, July 7, 1840 -- Early this morning, cries of terror were heard in the western part of the city.
[01:34.78]They reportedly came from a house on the Rue Morgue, in which the only occupants were a Mrs. L’Espanaye, and her daughter Camille.
[01:45.74]Several neighbors and a policeman ran to the house.
[01:49.87]By the time they reached it, the cries had stopped.
[01:53.69]They forced the door open.
[01:56.07]As they entered, they heard two voices, apparently from above.
[02:01.92]The group searched but found nothing until the fourth floor.
[02:07.16]There, they came to a door, locked from the inside.
[02:11.38]Quickly they forced it open.
[02:13.86]Before them was a bloody horror scene!
[02:17.93]The room was in total disorder — broken chairs and tables and the mattress pulled from the bed.
[02:26.01]Blood was everywhere; on the walls, the floor, the bed.
[02:32.73]A sharp knife lay on the floor in a pool of blood.
[02:37.96]In front of the fireplace was a clump of long gray hair, also bloodied; it seemed to have been pulled straight out of a head.
[02:49.89]On the floor were four pieces of gold, an earring, several silver objects, and two bags containing a large amount of money in gold.
[03:01.67]Clothes had been thrown around the room.
[03:04.54]A lock box was found left open with just a few old letters and papers inside.
[03:11.84]There was no one there. But, when the group inspected the fireplace, they discovered another horror.
[03:20.25]A still-warm body had been forced up the chimney.
[03:23.81]It was the old woman’s daughter.
[03:26.91]There was blood on the face, and dark, deep finger marks on the neck, suggesting a strangling.
[03:35.73]After searching the house thoroughly, the group went outside.
[03:40.49]They found the body of the old woman behind the building.
[03:44.80]Her neck had been cut so severely that when they tried to lift the body, the head fell off.
[03:54.38]The next day the newspaper offered to its readers these new facts:
[04:03.00]Paris, July 8, 1840-- The police have questioned many people about the vicious murders in the old house on the Rue Morgue.
[04:15.52]But none of the answers revealed the identity of the killers.
[04:21.04]Pauline Dubourg, a washwoman, said she has known both of the victims for more than three years, and washed their clothes.
[04:31.33]She said the two seemed to love each other dearly.
[04:36.24]They always paid her well.
[04:38.51]She did not know where their money came from, she said.
[04:42.19]She never met anyone in the house.
[04:45.33]Only the two women lived on the fourth floor.
[04:49.45]Pierre Moreau, a shopkeeper, said Mrs. L’Espanaye had bought food at his shop for almost four years.
[04:59.29]She owned the house and had lived in it for more than six years.
[05:04.54]He never saw anyone enter the door except the old lady and her daughter, and a doctor eight or ten times, perhaps.
[05:14.22]Many other persons, neighbors, said the same thing.
[05:18.64]Almost no one ever went into the house.
[05:23.15]Mrs. L’Espanaye and her daughter were not often seen.
[05:27.84]Banker Jules Mignaud said that Mrs. L’Espanaye had put money in his bank, beginning eight years before.
[05:36.80]Three days before the killings, she withdrew a large amount in gold.
[05:43.27]A man from the bank carried it to her house for her.
[05:47.34]Isidore Muset, a policeman, said that he was with the group that first entered the house.
[05:55.54]While he was going up the stairs, he heard two voices, one low and soft, and one hard, high, and very strange — the voice of someone who was surely not French, the voice of a foreigner, maybe Spanish.
[06:12.37]It was not a woman’s voice, he said, although he could not understand what it said.
[06:18.34]But the other voice, said softly, in French, “My God!”
[06:23.20]Alfonso Garcia, who is Spanish and lives on the Rue Morgue, says he entered the house but did not go up the stairs.
[06:33.40]A nervous man, he was afraid he might be sick.
[06:37.51]He heard the voices.
[06:39.18]He believes the high voice was not that of a Frenchman.
[06:43.32]Perhaps it was English; but he said he doesn’t understand English, so he is not sure.
[06:49.98]William Bird, an Englishman who has lived in Paris for two years, also entered the house.
[06:57.35]He said the low voice was that of a Frenchman, he was sure, because he heard it say, in French, “My God!”
[07:06.07]The high voice was very loud, he said.
[07:09.13]He is sure it was not the voice of an Englishman, nor the voice of a Frenchman.
[07:15.30]It seemed to be that of an Italian, a language he does not understand.
[07:21.47]He said it might have been a woman’s voice.
[07:25.30]Mr. Alberto Montani, an Italian, was passing the house at the time of the cries.
[07:32.80]He said the screams lasted for about two minutes.
[07:36.80]Montani, who speaks Spanish but not French, says that he also heard two voices.
[07:44.63]He thought both voices were French.
[07:47.73]But he could not understand any of the words spoken.
[07:51.81]All who went in the house agreed that the door to the room on the fourth floor was locked from the inside.
[08:03.30]They saw no one.
[08:05.19]The windows were closed and locked from the inside.
[08:08.93]There is only one stairway to the fourth floor.
[08:13.42]They said that the chimney opening is too small for escape that way.
[08:19.48]It took four or five people to pull the daughter’s body out of the chimney.
[08:26.01]It was four or five minutes from the time they heard the voices to the moment they entered the room.
[08:32.76]Paul Dumas, a doctor, says that he was called to inspect the bodies soon after they were found.
[08:40.90]They were in a horrible condition, badly marked and broken.
[08:46.57]He said only a man could have caused such injury.
[08:51.41]The daughter had been strangled, he said.
[08:57.71]When we had finished reading the newspaper’s report of the murders, we were quiet for a while.
[09:05.24]Dupin had that cold, empty look that I know means his mind is working busily.
[09:13.80]He asked me what I thought of the crime.
[09:17.66]I said I considered it a mystery with no answer.
[09:23.69]But Dupin responded,
[09:26.80] “No, no. No. I think you are wrong. A mystery, yes. But there must be an answer. Let us go to the house and see what we can see. There must be an answer. There must!”