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three chapters by Robert Barr 
and published by D. Appleton & Co., New York (1906)
(released 94-jul-03)

                 T H E  T R I U M P H S  O F 
                  E U G E N E  V A L M O N T


                      C H A P T E R   I V


     The events I have just related led to my dismissal by the
French Government.  It was not because I had arrested an innocent
man; I had done that dozens of times before, with nothing said
about it.  It was not because I had followed a wrong clew, or
because I had failed to solve the mystery of the five hundred
diamonds.  Every detective follows a wrong clew now and then, and
every detective fails more often than he cares to admit.  No. 
All these things would not have shaken my position, but the
newspapers were so fortunate as to find something humorous in the
case, and for weeks Paris rang with laughter over my exploits and
my defeat.  The fact that the chief French detective had placed
the most celebrated English detective into prison, and that each
of them were busily sleuth-hounding a bogus clew, deliberately
flung across their path by an amateur, roused all France to great
hilarity.  The Government was furious.  The Englishman was
released and I was dismissed.  Since the year 1893 I have been
a resident of London.

     When a man is, as one might say, the guest of a country, it
does not become him to criticise that country.  I have studied
this strange people with interest, and often with astonishment,
and if I now set down some of the differences between the English
and the French, I trust that no note of criticism of the former
will appear, even when my sympathies are entirely with the
latter.  These differences have sunk deeply into my mind,
because, during the first years of my stay in London, my lack of
understanding them was often a cause of my own failure when I
thought I had success in hand.  Many a time did I come to the
verge of starvation in Soho, through not appreciating the
peculiar trend of mind which causes an Englishman to do
inexplicable things - that is, of course, from my Gallic
standpoint.  For instance, an arrested man is presumed to be
innocent until he is proved guilty.  In England, if a murderer is
caught red-handed over his victim, he is held guiltless until the
judge sentences him.  In France we make no such foolish
assumption, and although I admit that innocent men have sometimes
been punished, my experience enables me to state very
emphatically that this happens not nearly so often as the public
imagines.  In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred an innocent man
can at once prove his innocence without the least difficulty.  I
hold it is his duty toward the state to run the very slight risk
of unjust imprisonment in order that obstacles may not be thrown
in the way of the conviction of real criminals.  But it is
impossible to persuade an Englishman of this.  Mon Dieu!  I have
tried it often enough.

     Never shall I forget the bitterness of my disappointment
when I captured Felini, the Italian anarchist, in connection with
the Greenwich Park murder.  At this time - it gives me no shame
to confess it - I was myself living in Soho, in a state of
extreme poverty.  Having been employed so long by the French
Government, I had formed the absurd idea that the future depended
on my getting, not exactly a similar connection with Scotland
Yard, but at least a subordinate position on the police force
which would enable me to prove my capabilities, and lead to
promotion.  I had no knowledge, at that time, of the immense
income which awaited me entirely outside the Government circle. 
Whether it is contempt for the foreigner, as has often been
stated, or that native stolidity which spells complacency, the
British official of any class rarely thinks it worth his while to
discover the real cause of things in France, or Germany, or
Russia, but plods heavily on from one mistake to another.  Take,
for example, those periodical outbursts of hatred against England
which appear in the continental press.  They create a dangerous
international situation, and more than once have brought Britain
to the verge of a serious war.  Britain sternly spends millions
in defense and preparation, whereas, if she would place in my
hand half a million pounds, I would guarantee to cause Britannia
to be proclaimed an angel with white wings in every European

     When I attempted to arrive at some connection with Scotland
Yard, I was invariably asked for my credentials.  When I
proclaimed that I had been chief detective to the Republic of
France, I could see that this announcement made a serious
impression, but when I added that the Government of France had
dismissed me without credentials, recommendation, or pension,
official sympathy with officialism at once turned the tables
against me.  And here I may be pardoned for pointing out another
portentous dissimilarity between the two lands which I think is
not at all to the credit of my countrymen.

     I was summarily dismissed.  You may say it was because I
failed, and it is true that in the case of the queen's necklace I
had undoubtedly failed, but, on the other hand, I had followed
unerringly the clew which lay in my path, and although the
conclusion was not in accordance with the facts, it was in
accordance with logic.  No, I was not dismissed because I failed.

I had failed on various occasions before, as might happen to any
man in any profession.  I was dismissed because I made France for
the moment the laughingstock of Europe and America.  France
dismissed me because France had been laughed at.  No Frenchman
can endure the turning of a joke against him, but the Englishman
does not appear to care in the least.  So far as failure is
concerned, never had any man failed so egregiously as I did with
Felini, a slippery criminal who possessed all the bravery of a
Frenchman and all the subtlety of an Italian.  Three times he was
in my hands - twice in Paris, once in Marseilles - and each time
he escaped me; yet I was not dismissed.

     When I say that Signor Felini was as brave as a Frenchman,
perhaps I do him a little more than justice.  He was desperately
afraid of one man, and that man was myself.  Our last interview
in France he is not likely to forget, and although he eluded me,
he took good care to get into England as fast as train and boat
could carry him, and never again, while I was at the head of the
French detective force, did he set foot on French soil.  He was
an educated villain, a graduate of the University of Turin, who
spoke Spanish, French, and English as well as his own language,
and this education made him all the more dangerous when he turned
his talents to crime.

     Now, I knew Felini's handiwork, either in murder or in
housebreaking, as well as I know my own signature on a piece of
white paper, and as soon as I saw the body of the murdered man in
Greenwich Park I was certain Felini was the murderer.  The
English authorities at that time looked upon me with a tolerant,
good-natured contempt.

     Inspector Standish assumed the manner of a man placing at my
disposal plenty of rope with which I might entangle myself.  He
appeared to think me excitable, and used soothing expressions as
if I were a fractious child to be calmed, rather than a sane
equal to be reasoned with.  On many occasions I had the facts at
my finger's ends, while he remained in a state of most complacent
ignorance, and though this attitude of lowering himself to deal
gently with one whom he evidently looked upon as an irresponsible
lunatic was most exasperating, I nevertheless claim great credit
for having kept my temper with him.  However, it turned out to be
impossible for me to overcome his insular prejudice.  He always
supposed me to be a frivolous, volatile person, and so I was
unable to prove myself of any value to him in his arduous duties.

     The Felini instance was my last endeavor to win his favor. 
Inspector Standish appeared in his most amiable mood when I was
admitted to his presence, and this in spite of the fact that all
London was ringing with the Greenwich Park tragedy, while the
police possessed not the faintest idea regarding the crime or its
perpetrator.  I judged from Inspector Standish's benevolent smile
that I was somewhat excited when I spoke to him, and perhaps used
many gestures which seemed superfluous to a large man whom I
should describe as immovable, and who spoke slowly, with no
motion of his hand, as if his utterances were the condensed
wisdom of the ages.

     "Inspector Standish," I cried, "is it within your power to
arrest a man on suspicion?"

     "Of course it is," he replied; "but we must harbor the
suspicion before we make the arrest."

     "Have confidence in me," I exclaimed. "The man who committed
the Greenwich Park murder is an Italian named Felini."

     I gave the address of the exact room in which he was to be
found, with cautions regarding the elusive nature of this
individual.  I said that he had been three times in my custody,
and those three times he had slipped through my fingers.  I have
since thought that Inspector Standish did not credit a word I had

     "What is your proof against this Italian?" asked the
inspector slowly.

     "The proof is on the body of the murdered man; but,
nevertheless, if you suddenly confront Felini with me without
giving him any hint of whom he is going to meet, you shall have
the evidence from his own lips before he recovers from his
surprise and fright."

     Something of my confidence must have impressed the official,
for the order of arrest was made.  Now, during the absence of the
constable sent to bring in Felini, I explained to the inspector
fully the details of my plan.  Practically he did not listen to
me, for his head was bent over a writing pad on which I thought
he was taking down my remarks, but when I had finished he went
on writing as before, so I saw I had flattered myself
unnecessarily.  More than two hours passed before the constable
returned, bringing with him the trembling Italian.  I swung round
in front of him, and cried, in a menacing voice:

     "Felini!  Regard me!  You know Valmont too well to trifle
with him!  What have you to say of the murder in Greenwich Park?"

     I give you my word that the Italian collapsed, and would
have fallen to the floor in a heap had not the constables upheld
him with hands under each arm.  His face became of a pasty
whiteness, and he began to stammer his confession, when this
incredible thing happened, which could not be believed in France.
Inspector Standish held up his finger.

     "One moment," he cautioned solemnly; "remember that whatever
you say will be used against you!"

     The quick, beady black eyes of the Italian shot from
Standish to me, and from me to Standish.  In an instant his alert
mind grasped the situation.  Metaphorically I had been waved
aside.  I was not there in any official capacity, and he saw in a
moment with what an opaque intellect he had to deal.  The Italian
closed his mouth like a steel trap, and refused to utter a word.
Shortly after he was liberated, as there was no evidence against
him.  When at last complete proof was in the tardy hands of the
British authorities, the agile Felini was safe in the Apennine
Mountains, and to-day is serving a life sentence in Italy for the
assassination of a senator whose name I have forgotten.

     Is it any wonder that I threw up my hands in despair at
finding myself among such a people?  But this was in the early
days, and now that I have greater experience of the English, many
of my first opinions have been modified.

     I mention all this to explain why, in a private capacity, I
often did what no English official would dare to do.  A people
who will send a policeman, without even a pistol to protect him,
to arrest a desperate criminal in the most dangerous quarter of
London, cannot be comprehended by any native of France, Italy,
Spain, or Germany.  When I began to succeed as a private
detective in London, and had accumulated money enough for my
project, I determined not to be hampered by this unexplainable
softness of the English toward an accused person.  I therefore
reconstructed my flat, and placed in the center of it a dark room
strong as any Bastile cell.  It was twelve feet square, and
contained no furniture except a number of shelves, a lavatory in
one corner, and a pallet on the floor.  It was ventilated by two
flues from the center of the ceiling, in one of which operated an
electric fan, which, when the room was occupied, sent the foul
air up that flue, and drew down fresh air through the other.  The
entrance to this cell opened out from my bedroom, and the most
minute inspection would have failed to reveal the door, which was
of massive steel, and was opened and shut by electric buttons
that were partially concealed by the head of my bed.  Even if
they had been discovered, they would have revealed nothing,
because the first turn of the button lit the electric light at
the head of my bed; the second turn put it out; and this would
happen as often as the button was turned to the right.  But turn
it three times slowly to the left, and the steel door opened. 
Its juncture was completely concealed by paneling.  I have
brought many a scoundrel to reason within the impregnable walls
of that small room.

     Those who know the building regulations of London will
wonder how it is possible for me to delude the Government
inspector during the erection of this section of the Bastile in
the midst of the modern metropolis.  It was the simplest thing in
the world.  Liberty of the subject is the first great rule with
the English people, and thus many a criminal is allowed to
escape.  Here was I, laying plans for the contravening of this
first great rule, and to do so I took advantage of the second
great rule of the English people, which is, that property is
sacred.  I told the building authorities I was a rich man with a
great distrust of banks, and I wished to build in my flat a safe
or strong room in which to deposit my valuables.  I built then
such a room as my be found in every bank, and many private
premises of the City, and a tenant might have lived in my flat
for a year and never suspect the existence of this prison.   A
railway engine might have screeched its whistle within it, and
not a sound would have penetrated the apartment that surrounded
it unless the door leading to it had been left open.

     But besides M. Eugene Valmont, dressed in elegant attire, as
if he were still a boulevardier of Paris, occupier of the top
floor in the Imperial Flats, there was another Frenchman in
London to whom I must introduce you, namely, Prof. Paul Ducharme,
who occupied a squalid back room in the cheapest and most
undesirable quarter of Soho.  Valmont flatters himself he is not
yet middle-aged, but poor Ducharme does not need his sparse grey
beard to proclaim his advancing years.  Valmont vaunts an air of
prosperity; Ducharme wears the shabby habiliments and the
shoulder stoop of hopeless poverty.  He shuffles cringingly along
the street, a compatriot not to be proud of.  There are so many
Frenchmen anxious to give lessons in their language, that merely
a small living is to be picked up by any one of them.  You will
never see the spruce Valmont walking alongside the dejected

     "Ah!" you exclaim, "Valmont in his prosperity has forgotten
those less fortunate of his nationality."

     Pardon, my friends, it is not so.  Behold, I proclaim to
you, the exquisite Valmont and the threadbare Ducharme are one
and the same person.  That is why they do not promenade together.
And, indeed, it requires no great histrionic art on my part to
act the role of the miserable Ducharme, for when I first came to
London I warded off starvation in this wretched room, and my hand
it was that nailed to the door the painted sign, "Professor Paul
Ducharme, Teacher of the French Language."  I never gave up the
room, even when I became prosperous and moved to Imperial Flats,
with its concealed chamber of horrors unknown to British
authority.  I did not give up the Soho chamber principally for
this reason:  Paul Ducharme, if the truth were known about him,
would have been regarded as a dangerous character; yet this was a
character sometimes necessary for me to assume.  He was a member
of the very inner circle of the International, an anarchist of
the anarchists.  This malign organization has its real
headquarters in London, and we who were officials connected with
the secret service of the Continent have more than once cursed
the complacency of the British Government which allows such a
nest of vipers to exist practically unmolested.  I confess that
before I came to know the English people as well as I do now, I
thought that this complacency was due to utter selfishness,
because the anarchists never commit an outrage in England. 
England is the one spot on the map of Europe where an anarchist
cannot be laid by the heels unless there is evidence against him
that will stand the test of open court.  Anarchists take
advantage of this fact, and plots are hatched in London which are
executed in Paris, Berlin, Petersburg, or Madrid.  I know now
that this leniency on the part of the British Government does not
arise from craft, but from their unexplainable devotion to their
shibboleth - "The liberty of the subject."  Time and again France
has demanded the extradition of an anarchist, always to be met
with the question:

     "Where is your proof?"

     I know many instances where our certainty was absolute, and
also cases where we possessed legal proof as well, but legal
proof which, for one reason or another, we dared not use in
public; yet all this had no effect on the British authorities.
They would never give up even the vilest criminal except on
publicly attested legal evidence, and not even then if the crime
were political.

     During my term of office under the French Government, no
part of my duties caused me more anxiety than that which
pertained to the political secret societies.  Of course, with a
large portion of the Secret Service fund at my disposal, I was
able to buy expert assistance, and even to get information from
anarchists themselves.  This latter device, however, was always
more or less unreliable.  I have never yet met an anarchist I
could believe on oath, and when one of them offered to sell
exclusive information to the police, we rarely knew whether he
was trying to get a few francs to keep himself from starving, or
whether he was giving us false particulars which would lead us
into a trap. I have always regarded our dealings with nihilists,
anarchists, or other secret associations for the perpetrating of
murder as the most dangerous service a detective is called upon
to perform.  Yet it is absolutely necessary that the authorities
should know what is going on in these secret conclaves.  There
are three methods of getting this intelligence.  First,
periodical raids upon the suspected, accompanied by confiscation
and search of all papers found. This method is much in favor with
the Russian police.  I have always regarded it as largely futile:
first, because the anarchists are not such fools, speaking
generally, as to commit their purposes to writing; and, second,
because it leads to reprisal.  Each raid is usually followed by a
fresh outbreak of activity on the part of those left free.  The
second method is to bribe an anarchist to betray his comrades.  I
have never found any difficulty in getting these gentry to accept
money.  They are eternally in need, but I usually find the
information they give in return to be either unimportant or
inaccurate.  There remains, then, the third method, which is to
place a spy among them.  The spy battalion is the forlorn hope of
the detective service.  In one year I lost three men on anarchist
duty, among the victims being my most valuable helper, Henri
Brisson.  Poor Brisson's fate was an example of how a man may
follow a perilous occupation for months with safety, and then by
a slight mistake bring disaster on himself.

     At the last gathering Brisson attended he received news of
such immediate and fateful import that, on emerging from the
cellar where the gathering was held, he made directly for my
residence instead of going to his own squalid room in the Rue
Falgarie.  My concierge said that he arrived shortly after one
o'clock in the morning, and it would seem that at this hour he
could easily have made himself acquainted with the fact that
he was followed.  Still, as there was on his track that human
panther, Felini, it is not strange poor Brisson failed to elude

     Arriving at the tall building in which my flat was then
situated, Brisson rang the bell, and the concierge, as usual, in
that strange state of semisomnolence which envelops concierges
during the night, pulled the looped wire at the head of his bed,
and unbolted the door.  Brisson assuredly closed the huge door
behind him, and yet, the moment before he did so, Felini must
have slipped in unnoticed to-the stone-paved courtyard.  If
Brisson had not spoken and announced himself, the concierge would
have been wide-awake in an instant.  If he had given a name
unknown to the concierge, the same result would have ensued.  As
it was, he cried aloud, "Brisson!" whereupon the concierge of the
famous chief of the French detective staff, Valmont, muttered,
"Bon!" and was instantly asleep again.

     Now Felini had known Brisson well, but it was under the name
of Revensky, and as an exiled Russian.  Brisson had spent all his
early years in Russia, and spoke the language like a native.  The
moment Brisson had uttered his true name he had pronounced his
own death warrant.  Felini followed him up to the first landing -
my rooms were on the second floor - and there placed his sign
manual on the unfortunate man, which was the swift downward
stroke of a long, narrow, sharp poniard, entering the body below
the shoulders, and piercing the heart.  The advantage presented
by this terrible blow is that the victim sinks instantly in a
heap at the feet of his slayer, without uttering a moan.  The
wound left is a scarcely perceptible blue mark which rarely even
bleeds.  It was this mark I saw on the body of the Maire of
Marseilles, and afterwards on one other in Paris besides poor
Brisson.  It was the mark found on the man in Greenwich Park,
always just below the left shoulder blade, struck from behind. 
Felini's comrades claim that there was this nobility in his
action, namely, he allowed the traitor to prove himself before he
struck the blow.  I should be sorry to take away this poor shred
of credit from Felini's character, but the reason he followed
Brisson into the courtyard was to give himself time to escape. 
He knew perfectly the ways of the concierge.  He knew that the
body would lie there until the morning, as it actually did, and
that this would give him hours in which to effect his retreat. 
And this was the man whom British law warned not to incriminate
himself!  What a people!  

     After Brisson's tragic death, I resolved to set no more
valuable men on the track of the anarchists, but to place upon
myself the task in my moments of relaxation.  I became very much
interested in the underground workings of the International.  I
joined the organization under the name of Paul Ducharme, a
professor of advanced opinions, who because of them had been
dismissed from his situation in Nantes.  As a matter of fact,
there had been such a Paul Ducharme, who had been so dismissed,
but he had drowned himself in the Loire, at Orleans, as the
records show.  I adopted the precaution of getting a photograph
of this foolish old man from the police at Nantes, and made
myself up to resemble him.  It says much for my disguise that I
was recognized as the professor by a delegate from Nantes, at the
annual convention held in Paris, which I attended, and although
we conversed for some time together he never suspected that I was
not the professor, whose fate was known to no one but the police
of Orleans.  I gained much credit among my comrades because of
this encounter, which, during its first few moments, filled me
with dismay, for the delegate from Nantes held me up as an
example of a man well off, who had deliberately sacrificed his
worldly position for the sake of principle.  Shortly after this I
was chosen delegate to carry a message to our comrades in London,
and this delicate undertaking passed off without mishap.

     It was perhaps natural, then, that when I came to London
after my dismissal by the French Government, I should assume the
name and appearance of Paul Ducharme, and adopt the profession of
French teacher.  This profession gave me great advantages.  I
could be absent from my rooms for hours at a time without
attracting the least attention, because a teacher goes wherever
there are pupils.  If any of my anarchist comrades saw me
emerging shabbily from the grand Imperial Flats where Valmont
lived, he greeted me affably, thinking I was coming from a pupil.

     The sumptuous flat was therefore the office in which I
received my rich clients, while the squalid room in Soho was
often the workshop in which the tasks intrusted to me were
brought to completion.

                   T H E   T R I U M P H S  O F               
                    E U G E N E   V A L M O N T 


                            CHAPTER V


     I NOW come to very modern days indeed, when I spent much
time with the emissaries of the International.

     It will be remembered that the King of England made a round
of visits to European capitals, the far-reaching results of which
in the interest of peace we perhaps do not yet fully understand
and appreciate.  His visit to Paris was the beginning of the
present entente cordial, and I betray no confidence when I say
that this brief official call at the French capital was the
occasion of great anxiety to the Government of my own country and
also of that in which I was domiciled.  Anarchists are against
all governments, and would like to see each one destroyed, not
even excepting that of Great Britain.

     My task in connection with the visit of King Edward to Paris
was entirely unofficial.  A nobleman, for whom on a previous
occasion I had been so happy as to solve a little mystery which
troubled him, complimented me by calling at my flat about two
weeks before the king's entry into the French capital.  I know I
shall be pardoned if I fail to mention this nobleman's name.  I
gathered that the intended visit of the king met with his
disapproval.  He asked if I knew anything, or could discover
anything, of the purposes animating the anarchist clubs of Paris,
and their attitude toward the royal function, which was now the
chief topic in the newspapers.  I replied that within four days I
would be able to submit to him a complete report on the subject. 
He bowed coldly and withdrew.  On the evening of the fourth day I
permitted myself the happiness of waiting upon his lordship at
his West End London mansion.

     "I have the honour to report to your lordship," I began,
"that the anarchists of Paris are somewhat divided in their
opinions regarding his Majesty's forthcoming progress through
that city.  A minority, contemptible in point of number, but
important so far as the extremity of their opinions are
concerned, has been trying - "

     "Excuse me," interrupted the nobleman, with some severity of
tone; "are they going to attempt to injure the king or not?"

     "They are not, your lordship," I replied, with what, I
trust, is my usual urbanity of manner, despite his curt
interpolation.  "His most gracious Majesty will suffer no
molestation, and their reason for quiescence - "

     "Their reasons do not interest me," put in his lordship
gruffly.  "You are sure of what you say?"

     "Perfectly sure, your lordship."

     "No precautions need be taken?"

     "None in the least, your lordship."

     "Very well," concluded the nobleman shortly.  "If you tell
my secretary in the next room as you go out how much I owe you,
he will hand you a check," and with that I was dismissed.

     I may say that, mixing as I do with the highest in two
lands, and meeting invariably such courtesy as I myself am always
eager to bestow, a feeling almost of resentment arose at this
cavalier treatment.  However, I merely bowed somewhat
ceremoniously in silence, and availed myself of the opportunity
in the next room to double my bill, which was paid without demur.

     Now, if this nobleman had but listened, he would have heard
much that might interest an ordinary man, although I must say
that during my three conversations with him his mind seemed
closed to all outward impressions save and except the grandeur of
his line, which he traced back unblemished into the northern part
of my own country.

     The king's visit had come as a surprise to the anarchists,
and they did not quite know what to do about it.  The Paris Reds
were rather in favour of a demonstration, while London bade them,
in God's name, to hold their hands, for, as they pointed out,
England is the only refuge in which an anarchist is safe until
some particular crime can be imputed to him, and, what is more,
proven up to the hilt.

     It will be remembered that the visit of the king to Paris
passed off without incident, as did the return visit of the
president to London.  On the surface all was peace and good will,
but under the surface seethed plot and counterplot, and behind
the scenes two great governments were extremely anxious, and high
officials in the Secret Service spent sleepless nights.  As no
"untoward incident" had happened, the vigilance of the
authorities on both sides of the Channel relaxed at the very
moment when, if they had known their adversaries, it should have
been redoubled.  Always beware of the anarchist when he has been
good:  look out for the reaction.  It annoys him to be compelled
to remain quiet when there is a grand opportunity for strutting
across the world's stage, and when he misses the psychological
moment he is apt to turn "nasty," as the English say.

     When it first became known that there was to be a royal
procession through the streets of Paris, a few fanatical
hot-heads, both in that city and in London, wished to take
action, but they were overruled by the saner members of the
organization.  It must not be supposed that anarchists are a band
of lunatics.  There are able brains among them, and these born
leaders as naturally assume control in the underground world of
anarchy as would have been the case if they had devoted their
talents to affairs in ordinary life.  They were men whose minds,
at one period, had taken the wrong turning. These people,
although they calmed the frenzy of the extremists, nevertheless
regarded the possible rapprochement between England and France
with grave apprehension.  If France and England became as
friendly as France and Russia, might not the refuge which England
had given to anarchy become a thing of the past?  I may say here
that my own weight as an anarchist while attending these meetings
in disguise under the name of Paul Ducharme was invariably thrown
in to help the cause of moderation.  My role, of course, was not
to talk too much; not to make myself prominent; yet in such a
gathering a man cannot remain wholly a spectator.  Care for my
own safety led me to be as inconspicuous as possible, for members
of communities banded together against the laws of the land in
which they live are extremely suspicious of one another, and an
inadvertent word may cause disaster to the person speaking it.

     Perhaps it was this conservatism on my part that caused my
advice to be sought after by the inner circle, what you might
term the governing body of the anarchists; for, strange as it may
appear, this organization, sworn to put down all law and order,
was itself most rigidly governed, with a Russian prince elected
as its chairman, a man of striking ability, who, nevertheless, I
believe, owed his election more to the fact that he was a
nobleman than to the recognition of his intrinsic worth.  And
another point which interested me much was that this prince ruled
his obstreperous subjects after the fashion of Russian despotism,
rather than according to the liberal ideas of the country in
which he was domiciled.  I have known him more than once
ruthlessly overturn the action of the majority, stamp his foot,
smite his huge fist on the table, and declare so and so should
not be done, no matter what the vote was.  And the thing was not
done, either.

     At the more recent period of which I speak, the chairmanship
of the London anarchists was held by a weak, vacillating man, and
the mob had got somewhat out of hand. In the crisis that
confronted us I yearned for the firm fist and dominant boot of
the uncompromising Russian. I spoke only once during this time,
and assured my listeners that they had nothing to fear from
the coming friendship of the two nations.  I said the Englishman
was so wedded to his grotesque ideas regarding the liberty of the
subject; he so worshipped absolute legal evidence, that we would
never find our comrades disappear mysteriously from England as
had been the case in continental countries. 

     Although restless during the exchange of visits between king
and president, I believe I could have carried the English phalanx
with me, if the international courtesies had ended there.  But
after it was announced that members of the British Parliament
were to meet the members of the French Legislature, the Paris
circle became alarmed, and when that conference did not end
the entente, but merely paved the way for a meeting of business
men belonging to the two countries in Paris, the French
anarchists sent a delegate over to us, who made a wild speech one
night, waving continually the red flag.  This roused all our own
malcontents to a frenzy.  The French speaker practically charged
the English contingent with cowardice; said that as they were
safe from molestation, they felt no sympathy for their comrades
in Paris, at any time liable to summary arrest and the torture of
the secret cross-examination.  This Anglo-French love feast must
be wafted to the heavens in a halo of dynamite.  The Paris
anarchists were determined, and although they wished the
cooperation of their London brethren, yet, if the speaker did not
bring back with him assurance of such cooperation, Paris would
act on its own initiative.

     The Russian despot would have made short work of this
blood-blinded rhetoric, but, alas! he was absent, and an
overwhelming vote in favour of force was carried and accepted by
the trembling chairman.  My French confrere took back with him to
Paris the unanimous consent of the English comrades to whom he
had appealed.  All that was asked of the English contingent was
that it should arrange for the escape and safe-keeping of the
assassin who flung the bomb into the midst of the English
visitors; and after the oratorical madman had departed, I, to my
horror, was chosen to arrange for the safe transport and future
custody of the bomb thrower.  It is not etiquette in anarchist
circles for any member to decline whatever task is given him by
the vote of his comrades.  He knows the alternative, which is
suicide.  If he declines the task and still remains upon earth,
the dilemma is solved for him, as the Italian Felini solved it
through the back of my unfortunate helper Brisson.  I therefore
accepted the unwelcome office in silence, and received from the
treasurer the money necessary for carrying out the same.

     I realized for the first time since joining the anarchist
association years before that I was in genuine danger.  A single
false step, a single inadvertent word, might close the career of
Eugene Valmont, and at the same moment terminate the existence of
the quiet, inoffensive Paul Ducharme, teacher of the French
language.  I knew perfectly well I should be followed.  The
moment I received the money the French delegate asked when they
were to expect me in Paris.  He wished to know so that all the
resources of their organization might be placed at my disposal. 
I replied calmly enough that I could not state definitely on what
day I should leave England.  There was plenty of time, as the
business men's representatives from London would not reach Paris
for another two weeks.  I was well known to the majority of the
Paris organization, and would present myself before them on the
first night of my arrival.  The Paris delegate exhibited all the
energy of a new recruit, and he seemed dissatisfied with my
vagueness, but I went on without heeding his displeasure.  He
was not personally known to me, nor I to him, but, if I may say
so, Paul Ducharme was well thought of by all the rest of those

     I had learned a great lesson during the episode of the
queen's necklace, which resulted in my dismissal by the French
Government.  I had learned that if you expect pursuit it is
always well to leave a clew for the pursuer to follow.  Therefore
I continued in a low conversational tone:

     "I shall want the whole of to-morrow for myself:  I must
notify my pupils of my absence.  Even if my pupils leave me it
will not so much matter.  I can probably get others.  But what
does matter is my secretarial work with Monsieur Valmont of the
Imperial Flats.  I am just finishing for him the translation of a
volume from French into English, and to-morrow I can complete the
work, and get his permission to leave for a fortnight.  This man,
who is a compatriot of my own, has given me employment ever since
I came to London. From him I have received the bulk of my income,
and if it had not been for his patronage, I do not know what I
should have done.  I not only have no desire to offend him, but I
wish the secretarial work to continue when I return to London."

     There was a murmur of approval at this.  It was generally
recognized that a man's living should not be interfered with, if
possible.  Anarchists are not poverty-stricken individuals, as
most people think, for many of them hold excellent situations,
some occupying positions of great trust, which is rarely

     It is recognized that a man's duty, not only to himself, but
to the organization, is to make all the money he can, and thus
not be liable to fall back on the relief fund.  This frank
admission of my dependence on Valmont made it all the more
impossible that anyone there listening should suspect that it was
Valmont himself who was addressing the conclave.

     "You will then take the night train to-morrow for Paris?"
persisted the inquisitive French delegate.

     "Yes and no.  I shall take the night train, and it shall be
for Paris, but not from Charing Cross, Victoria, or Waterloo.  I
shall travel on the 8.30 Continental express from Liverpool
Street to Harwich, cross to the Hook of Holland, and from there
make my way to Paris through Holland and Belgium.  I wish to
investigate that route as a possible path for our comrade to
escape.  After the blow is struck, Calais, Boulogne, Dieppe, and
Havre will be closely watched.  I shall perhaps bring him to
London by way of Antwerp and the Hook.

     These amiable disclosures were so fully in keeping with Paul
Ducharme's reputation for candour and caution, that I saw they
made an excellent impression on my audience, and here the
chairman intervened, putting an end to further cross-examination
by saying they all had the utmost confidence in the judgment of
Monsieur Paul Ducharme, and the Paris delegate might advise his
friends to be on the lookout for the London representative within
the next three or four days.

     I left the meeting and went directly to my room in Soho,
without even taking the trouble to observe whether I was watched
or not.  There I stayed all night, and in the morning quitted
Soho as Ducharme, with gray beard and bowed shoulders, walked
west to the Imperial Flats, took the lift to the top, and, seeing
the corridor was clear, let myself into my own flat.  I departed
from my flat promptly at six o'clock, again as Paul Ducharme,
carrying this time a bundle done up in brown paper under my arm,
and proceeded directly to my room in Soho.  Later I took a bus,
still carrying my brown paper parcel, and reached Liverpool
Street in ample time for the Continental train.  By a little
private arrangement with the guard, I secured a compartment for
myself, although, up to the moment the train left the station, I
could not be sure but that I might be compelled to take the trip
to the Hook of Holland after all.  If anyone had insisted on
coming into my compartment, I should have crossed the North Sea
that night.  I knew I should be followed from Soho to the
station, and that probably the spy would go as far as Harwich,
and see me on the boat.  It was doubtful if he would cross.  I
had chosen this route for the reason that we have no organization
in Holland:  the nearest circle is in Brussels, and if there had
been time, the Brussels circle would have been warned to keep an
eye on me.  There was, however, no time for a letter, and
anarchists never use the telegraph, especially so far as the
Continent is concerned, unless in cases of the greatest
emergency.  If they telegraphed my description to Brussels, the
chances were it would not be an anarchist who watched my landing,
but a member of the Belgian police force.

     The 8:30 Continental express does not stop between Liverpool
Street and Parkeston Quay, which it is timed to reach three
minutes before ten.  This gave me an hour and a half in which to
change my apparel.  The garments of the poor old professor I
rolled up into a ball, one by one, and flung out through the open
window, far into the marsh past which we were flying in a 
pitch-dark night.  Coat, trousers, and waistcoat rested in
separate swamps at least ten miles apart.  Gray whiskers and gray
wig I tore into little pieces, and dropped the bits out of the
open window.

     I had taken the precaution to secure a compartment in the
front of the train, and when it came to rest at Parkeston Quay
Station, the crowd, eager for the steamer, rushed past me, and I
stepped out into the midst of it, a dapper, well-dressed young
man, with black beard and mustaches, my own closely cropped black
hair covered by a new bowler hat.  Anyone looking for Paul
Ducharme would have paid small attention to me, and to any friend
of Valmont's I was equally unrecognizable.

     I strolled in leisurely manner to the Great Eastern Hotel on
the Quay, and asked the clerk if a portmanteau addressed to Mr.
John Wilkins had arrived that day from London.  He said "Yes,"
whereupon I secured a room for the night, as the last train had
already left for the metropolis.

     Next morning, Mr. John Wilkins, accompanied by a brand-new
and rather expensive portmanteau, took the 9:57 train for
Liverpool Street, where he arrived at half past ten, stepped into
a cab, and drove to the Savoy Restaurant, lunching there with the
portmanteau deposited in the cloakroom.  When John Wilkins had
finished an excellent lunch in a leisurely manner at the Cafe
Parisien of the Savoy, and had paid his bill, he did not go out
into the Strand over the rubber-paved court by which he had
entered, but went through the hotel and down the stairs, and so
out into the thoroughfare facing the Embankment.  Then turning to
his right he reached the Embankment entrance of the Hotel Cecil. 
This leads into a long dark corridor, at the end of which the
lift may be rung for.  It does not come lower than the floor
above unless specially summoned.  In this dark corridor, which
was empty, John Wilkins took off the black beard and mustache,
hid it in the inside pocket of his coat, and there went up into
the lift a few moments later to the office floor, I, Eugene
Valmont, myself for the first time in several days.

     Even then I did not take a cab to my flat, but passed under
the arched Strand front of the Cecil in a cab, bound for the
residence of that nobleman who had formerly engaged me to see
after the safety of the king.

     You will say that this was all very elaborate precaution to
take when a man was not even sure he was followed.  To tell you
the truth, I do not know to this day whether anyone watched me or
not, nor do I care.  I live in the present:  when once the past
is done with, it ceases to exist for me.  It is quite possible,
nay, entirely probable, that no one tracked me farther than
Liverpool Street Station the night before, yet it was for lack of
such precaution that my assistant Brisson received the Italian's
dagger under his shoulder blade fifteen years before.  The
present moment is ever the critical time; the future is merely
for intelligent forethought.  It was to prepare for the future
that I was now in a cab on the way to my lord's residence.  It
was not the French anarchists I feared during the contest in
which I was about to become engaged, but the Paris police.  I
knew French officialdom too well not to understand the futility
of going to the authorities there and proclaiming my object.  If
I, ventured to approach the Chief of Police with the information
that I, in London, had discovered what it was his business in
Paris to know, my reception would be far from cordial, even
though, or rather because, I announced myself as Eugene Valmont.
The exploits of Eugene had become part of the legends of Paris,
and these legends were extremely distasteful to those then in
power.  My doings have frequently been made the subject of
feuilletons in the columns of the Paris press, and were, of
course, exaggerated by the imagination of the writers, yet,
nevertheless, I admit I did some good strokes of detection during
my service with the French Government.  It is but natural, then,
that the present authorities should listen with some impatience
when the name of Eugene Valmont is mentioned.  I recognize this
as quite in the order of things to be expected, and am honest
enough to confess that in my own time I often hearkened to
narratives regarding the performances of Lecocq with a doubting
shrug of the shoulders.

     Now, if the French police knew anything of this anarchist
plot, which was quite within the bounds of possibility, and if I
were in surreptitious communication with the anarchists, more
especially with the man who was to fling the bomb, there was
every chance I might find myself in the grip of French justice. 
I must, then, provide myself with credentials to show that I was
acting, not against the peace and quiet of my country, but on the
side of law and order.  I therefore wished to get from the
nobleman a commission in writing, similar to that command which
he had placed upon me during the king's visit.  This commission I
should lodge at my bank in Paris, to be a voucher for me at the
last extremity.  I had no doubt his lordship would empower me to
act in this instance as I had acted on two former occasions.

                   T H E  T R I U M P H S  O F 

                    E U G E N E  V A L M O N T

                       C H A P T E R   V I

                     A REBUFF AND A RESPONSE

     Perhaps if I had not lunched so well I might have approached
his lordship with greater deference than was the case; but when
ordering lunch I permitted a bottle of Chateau du Tertre, 1878, a
most delicious claret, to be decanted carefully for my
delectation at the table, and this caused a genial glow to
permeate throughout my system, inducing a mental optimism which
left me ready to salute the greatest of earth on a plane of
absolute equality.  Besides, after all, I am a citizen of a

     The nobleman received me with frigid correctness, implying
disapproval of my unauthorized visit, rather than expressing it. 
Our interview was extremely brief.

     "I had the felicity of serving your lordship upon two
occasions," I began.

     "They are well within my recollection," he interrupted, "but
I do not remember sending for you a third time."

     "I have taken the liberty of coming unrequested, my lord,
because of the importance of the news I carry.  I surmise that
you are interested in the promotion of friendship between France
and England."

     "Your surmise, sir, is incorrect.  I care not a button about
it.  My only anxiety was for the safety of the king."

     Even the superb claret was not enough to fortify me against
words so harsh and tones so discourteous as those his lordship
permitted himself to use.

     "Sir," said I, dropping the title in my rising anger, "it
may interest you to know that a number of your countrymen run the
risk of being blown to eternity by an anarchist bomb in less than
two weeks from to-day.  A party of business men, true
representatives of a class to which the preeminence of your
empire is due, are about to proceed - "

     "Pray spare me," interpolated his lordship wearily.  "I have
read that sort of thing so often in the newspapers.  If all these
estimable City men are blown up, the empire would doubtless miss
them, as you hint, but I should not, and their fate does not
interest me in the least, although you did me the credit of
believing that it would.  Thompson, will you show this person
out?  Sir, if I desire your presence here in future, I will
send for you."

     "You may send for the devil!" I cried, now thoroughly
enraged, the wine getting the better of me.

     "You express my meaning more tersely than I cared to do, "he
replied coldly, and that was the last I ever saw of him.

     Entering the cab I now drove to my flat, indignant at the
reception I had met with.  However, I knew the English people too
well to malign them for the action of one of their number, and
resentment never dwells long with me.  Arriving at my rooms I
looked through the newspapers to learn all I could of the
proposed business men's excursion to Paris, and, in reading the
names of those most prominent in carrying out the necessary
arrangements, I came across that of W. Raymond White, which
caused me to sit back in my chair and wrinkle my brow in an
endeavour to stir my memory.  Unless I was much mistaken, I had
been so happy as to oblige this gentleman some dozen or thirteen
years before.  As I remembered him, he was a business man who
engaged in large transactions with France, dealing especially in
Lyons and that district.  His address was given in the newspaper
as Old 'Change, so at once I resolved to see him.  Although I
could not recall the details of our previous meeting, if, indeed,
he should turn out to be the same person, yet the mere sight of
the name had produced a mental pleasure, as a chance chord struck
may bring a grateful harmony to the mind.  I determined to get my
credentials from Mr. White if possible, for his recommendation
would in truth be much more valuable than that of the gruff old
nobleman to whom I had first applied, because, if I got into
trouble with the police of Paris, I was well enough acquainted
with the natural politeness of the authorities to know that a
letter from one of the city's guests would secure my instant

     I took a hansom to the head of that narrow thoroughfare
known as Old 'Change, and there dismissed my cab.  I was so
fortunate as to recognize Mr. White coming out of his office.  A
moment later, and I should have missed him.

     "Mr. White," I accosted him, "I desire to enjoy both the
pleasure and the honour of introducing myself to you."

     "Monsieur," replied Mr. White, with a smile, "the
introduction is not necessary, and the pleasure and honour are
mine.  Unless I am very much mistaken, this is Monsieur Valmont
of Paris?

     "Late of Paris," I corrected.

     "Are you no longer in Government service then?"

     "For a little more than ten years I have been a resident of

     "What, and have never let me know?  That is something the
diplomatists call an unfriendly act, monsieur.  Now, shall we
return to my office, or go to a cafe?"

     "To your office, if you please, Mr. White.  I come on rather
important business."

     Entering his private office the merchant closed the door,
offered me a chair, and sat down himself by his desk.  From the
first he had addressed me in French, which he spoke with an
accent so pure that it did my lonesome heart good to hear it.

     "I called upon you half a dozen years ago," he went on,
"when I was over in Paris on a festive occasion, where I hoped to
secure your company, but I could not learn definitely whether you
were still with the Government or not."

     "It is the way of French officialism," I replied.  "If they
knew my whereabouts they would keep the knowledge to themselves."

     "Well, if you have been ten years in London, Monsieur
Valmont, we may now perhaps have the pleasure of claiming you as
an Englishman; so I beg you will accompany us on another festive
occasion to Paris next week.  Perhaps you have seen that a number
of us are going over there to make the welkin ring."

     "Yes, I have read all about the business men's excursion to
Paris, and it is with reference to this journey that I wish to
consult you," and here I gave Mr. White in detail the plot of the
anarchists against the growing cordiality of the two countries. 
The merchant listened quietly, without interruption, until I had
finished; then he said:

     "I suppose it will be rather useless to inform the police of

     "Indeed, Mr. White, it is the police of Paris I fear more
than the anarchists.  They would resent information coming to
them from the outside, especially from an ex-official, the
inference being that they were not up to their own duties. 
Friction and delay would ensue until the deed was inevitable.  It
is quite on the cards that the police of Paris may have some
inkling of the plot, and in that case, just before the event,
they are reasonably certain to arrest the wrong men.  I shall be
moving about Paris, not as Eugene Valmont, but as Paul Ducharme,
the anarchist; therefore there is some danger that as a stranger
and a suspect I may be laid by the heels at the critical moment. 
If you would be so good as to furnish me with credentials which I
can deposit somewhere in Paris in case of need, I may thus be
able to convince the authorities that they have taken the wrong

     Mr. White, entirely unperturbed by the prospect of having a
bomb thrown at him within two weeks, calmly wrote several
documents, then turned his untroubled face to me, and said, in a
very confidential, winning tone:

     "Monsieur Valmont, you have stated the case with that clear
comprehensiveness pertaining to a nation which understands the
meaning of words, and the correct adjustment of them; that
felicity of language which has given France the first place in
the literature of nations.  Consequently, I think I see very
clearly the delicacies of the situation.  We may expect
hindrances, rather than help, from officials on either side of
the Channel.  Secrecy is essential to success.  Have you spoken
of this to anyone but me?"

     "Only to Lord Blank," I replied; "and now I deeply regret
having made a confidant of him."

     "That does not in the least matter," said Mr. White, with a
smile; "Lord Blank's mind is entirely occupied by his own
greatness.  Chemists tell me that you cannot add a new ingredient
to a saturated solution; therefore your revelation will have made
no impression upon his lordship's intellect.  He has already
forgotten all about it.  Am I right in supposing that everything
hinges on the man who is to throw the bomb?"

     "Quite right, sir.  He may be venal, he may be traitorous,
he may be a coward, he may be revengeful, he may be a drunkard. 
Before I am in conversation with him for ten minutes, I shall
know what his weak spot is.  It is upon that spot I must act, and
my action must be delayed till the very last moment; for, if he
disappears too long before the event, his first, second, or third
substitute will instantly step into his place."  

     "Precisely.  So you cannot complete your plans until you
have met this man?"


     "Then I propose," continued Mr. White, "that we take no one
into our confidence.  In a case like this there is little use in
going before a committee.  I can see that you do not need any
advice, and my own part shall be to remain in the background,
content to support the most competent man that could have been
chosen to grapple with a very difficult crisis."

     I bowed profoundly.  There was a compliment in his glance as
well as in his words.  Never before had I met so charming a man.

     "Here," he continued, handing me one of the papers he had
written, "is a letter to whom it may concern, appointing you my
agent for the next three weeks, and holding myself responsible
for all you see fit to do.  Here," he went on, passing to me a
second sheet, "is a letter of introduction to Monsieur Largent,
the manager of my bank in Paris, a man well known and highly
respected in all circles, both official and commercial.  I
suggest that you introduce yourself to him, and he will hold
himself in readiness to respond to any call you may make, night
or day.  I assure you that his mere presence before the
authorities will at once remove any ordinary difficulty.  And
now," he added, taking in hand the third slip of paper, speaking
with some hesitation, and choosing his words with care, "I come
to a point which cannot be ignored.  Money is a magician's wand,
which, like faith, will remove mountains.  It may also remove an
anarchist hovering about the route of a business man's

     He now handed to me what I saw was a draft on Paris for a
thousand pounds.

     "I assure you, monsieur," I protested, covered with
confusion, "that no thought of money was in my mind when I took
the liberty of presenting myself to you.  I have already received
more than I could have expected in the generous confidence you
were good enough to repose in me, as exhibited by these
credentials, and especially the letter to your banker.  Thanks to
the generosity of your countrymen, Mr. White, of which you are
a most notable example, I am in no need of money."

     "Monsieur Valmont, I am delighted to hear that you have got
on well among us.  This money is for two purposes.  First, you
will use what you need.  I know Paris very well, monsieur, and
have never found gold an embarrassment there.  The second purpose
is this:  I suggest that when you present the letter of
introduction to Monsieur Largent, you will casually place this
amount to your account in his bank.  He will thus see that,
besides writing you a letter of introduction, I transfer a
certain amount of my own balance to your credit.  That will do
you no harm with him, I assure you.  And now, Monsieur Valmont,
it only remains for me to thank you for the opportunity you have
given me, and to assure you that I shall march from the Gare du
Nord without a tremor, knowing the outcome is in such capable

     And then this estimable man shook hands with me in action
the most cordial.  I walked away from Old 'Change as if I trod
upon air; a feeling vastly different from that with which I
departed from the residence of the old nobleman in the West End
but a few hours before.

[End of Valmont2.sht]
[To be concluded in Valmont3.sht]

[Prepared by Andrea Davies:   SDavies@MtRoyal.Ab.CA]