Arsene Lupin vs Herlock Sholmes
by Maurice Leblanc


CHAPTER VI : The Second Arrest of Arsene Lupin

By eight o'clock on Wednesday morning, a dozen pantechnicon vans were blocking the Rue Crevaux from the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne to the Avenue Bougeaud. M. Felix Davey was leaving the flat which he occupied on the fourth floor of No. 8. And, by a sheer coincidence?for the two gentlemen were not acquainted?M. Dubreuil, the expert, who had knocked into one the fifth-floor flat of No. 8 and the fifth-floor flats of the two adjoining houses, had selected the same day on which to send off the collection of furniture and antiques which used to be visited daily by one or other of his many foreign correspondents.

A peculiarity which attracted notice in the neighbourhood, but which was not mentioned until later, was that none of the twelve vans bore the name and address of the firm of removers and that none of the men in charge of them loitered in the wine-shops round about. They worked to such good purpose that all was over by eleven o'clock. Nothing remained but those piles of old papers and rags which are always left behind in the corners of empty rooms.

M. Felix Davey was a young man of smart appearance, dressed in the latest fashion, but carrying a heavily-weighted cane which seemed to indicate unusual muscular strength on the part of its owner. He walked away quietly and sat down on a bench in the cross alley which intersects the Avenue du Bois, opposite the Rue Pergolese. Beside him sat a young woman, clad in the costume of the lower middle-class and reading her paper, while a child played with its spade in the sand beside her.

Presently, Felix Davey said to the woman, without turning his head:


"Went out at nine o'clock this morning."

"Where to?"

"Police headquarters."



"No telegram last night?"


"Do they still trust you at the house?"

"Yes. I do odd work for Madame Ganimard and she tells me all her husband does.... We spent the morning together."

"Good. Continue to come here at eleven every morning, until further orders."

He rose and walked to the Pavillon Chinois, near the Porte Dauphine, where he took a frugal meal: two eggs, some vegetables and a little fruit. Then he returned to the Rue Crevaux and said to the concierge:

"I am going to have a look round upstairs and then I'll give you the keys."

He finished his inspection with the room which he used as a study. There he took hold of the end of a jointed gas-bracket which was fixed beside the chimney, unscrewed the brass nozzle, fitted a little funnel-shaped instrument to it and blew up the pipe.

A faint whistle sounded in reply. Putting the pipe to his mouth, he whispered:

"Any one there, Dubreuil?"


"Can I come up?"


He replaced the bracket, saying, as he did so:

"Where will progress stop? Our age teems with little inventions that make life really charming and picturesque. And so amusing too ... especially when a man knows the game of life as I know it!"

He touched one of the marble mouldings of the mantel-piece and made it swing round on a pivot. The marble slab itself moved and the mirror above it slid between invisible grooves, revealing a yawning gap which contained the lower steps of a staircase built in the body of the chimney itself. It was all very clean, in carefully-polished iron and white porcelain tiles.

He climbed up to the fifth floor, which had a similar opening over the mantel-piece, and found M. Dubreuil awaiting him:

"Is everything finished here?"


"All cleared up?"


"The staff?"

"All gone, except the three men keeping watch."

"Let's go up."

They climbed by the same way to the servants' floor and emerged in a garret where they found three men, one of whom was looking out of the window.

"Any news?"

"No, governor."

"Is the street quiet?"


"I shall leave for good in ten minutes.... You will go too. In the meantime, if you notice the least suspicious movement in the street, let me know."

"I've got my finger on the alarm-bell governor."

"Dubreuil, did you remember to tell the removers not to touch the bell-wires?"

"Yes. They work perfectly."

"That's all right, then."

The two gentlemen returned to Felix Davey's flat. And Davey, after readjusting the marble moulding, exclaimed, gaily:

"Dubreuil, I should love to see the faces of those who discover all these wonderful contrivances: alarm-bells, a network of electric wires and speaking-tubes, invisible passages, sliding floor-boards, secret staircases!... regular pantomime machinery!"

"What an advertisement for Arsene Lupin!"

"We could very well have done without the advertisement. It seems a pity to leave so fine an installation. We shall have to begin all over again, Dubreuil ... and upon a new plan, of course, for it never does to repeat one's self. Confound that Shears!"

"He's not come back, I suppose?"

"How could he? There's only one boat from Southampton, which leaves at midnight. From the Havre, there's only one train, which leaves at eight in the morning and arrives at eleven three. Once he has not taken the midnight steamer?and he has not, for my orders to the captain were formal?he can't reach France till this evening, via Newhaven and Dieppe."

"If he comes back!"

"Shears never throws up the game. He will come back, but it will be too late. We shall be far away."

"And Mlle. Destange?"

"I am to meet her in an hour."

"At her house?"

"No, she won't go home for a few days, until the storm has blown over ... and I am able to look after her more thoroughly.... But you must hurry, Dubreuil. It will take a long time to ship all the cases and you will be wanted on the wharf."

"You're sure we are not being watched?"

"Whom by? I was never afraid of any one but Shears."

Dubreuil went away. Felix Davey took a last walk round the flat, picked up a torn letter or two and then, seeing a piece of chalk, he took it, drew a large circle on the dark wall-paper of the dining room, and wrote, after the style of a commemorative tablet:








This little joke seemed to cause him a lively satisfaction. He whistled gaily as he looked at it and cried:

"Now that I have put myself right with the historians of the future generations, let's be off! Hurry up, Maitre Holmlock Shears! In three minutes I shall have left my lair, and your defeat will be absolute.... Two minutes more! You're keeping me waiting, maitre!... One minute more! Aren't you coming? Very well, I proclaim your downfall and my apotheosis.... With which last words I proceed to make myself scarce. Farewell, O Kingdom of Arsene Lupin! I shall not look upon you again. Farewell, ye five-and-fifty rooms of the six flats over which I reigned! Farewell, austere and humble dwelling!"

A bell cut short his lyrical effusion, a short, shrill, strident bell, twice interrupted, twice resumed and then ceasing. It was the alarm-bell.

What could it mean? Some unexpected danger? Ganimard? Surely not!...

He was on the point of making for his study and escaping. But first he turned to the window. There was no one in the street. Was the enemy already in the house, then? He listened and seemed to distinguish confused sounds. Without further hesitation he ran to his study and, as he crossed the threshold, heard the sound of a latchkey fumbling at the lock of the hall-door.

"By Jove!" he muttered. "I have only just time. The house may be surrounded.... No use trying the servants' staircase.... Fortunately, the chimney...."

He pushed the moulding smartly: it did not move. He exerted greater force: it did not move.

At the same moment, he received the impression that the outer door was opening and that steps sounded.

"Curse it all!" he swore. "I'm lost, if this confounded spring...."

His fingers clutched the moulding; he bore upon it with all his weight. Nothing moved, nothing! By some incredible bad luck, by a really bewildering piece of malice on the part of fate, the spring, which was working only a moment before, now refused to work!

He persisted madly, convulsively. The block of marble remained inert, motionless. Curse it! Was it conceivable that this stupid obstacle should bar his way? He struck the marble, struck it furious blows with his fists, hammered it, insulted it....

"Why, M. Lupin, is something not going as you wish?"

Lupin turned round, terror-stricken. Holmlock Shears stood before him.

Holmlock Shears! Lupin gazed at him, blinking his eyes, as though smarting under a cruel vision. Holmlock Shears in Paris! Holmlock Shears, whom he had packed off to England the day before, as he might a compromising parcel, stood there before him, triumphant and free! Ah, for this impossible miracle to be performed in despite of Arsene Lupin's will there must have been a revolution of the laws of nature, a victory of all that is illogical and abnormal! Holmlock Shears standing opposite him!

And the Englishman, resorting to irony in his turn, said, with that supercilious politeness with which his adversary had so often lashed him:

"M. Lupin, believe me, from this minute I shall cease to remember the night you made me spend in Baron d'Hautrec's house, cease to remember my friend Wilson's mishaps, cease to remember how I was kidnapped by motor-car, cease to remember the sea-voyage which I have just taken, fastened down, by your orders, to an uncomfortable berth. This minute wipes out all. I forget everything. I am rewarded, amply rewarded."

Lupin did not speak. The Englishman added:

"Don't you think so yourself?"

He appeared to be insisting, as though demanding an assent, a sort of receipt with regard to the past.

After a moment's reflection, during which the Englishman felt himself searched and fathomed to the very bottom of his soul, Lupin said:

"I presume, sir, that your present action rests upon serious motives?"

"Extremely serious motives."

"The fact of your escaping from my captain and his crew is only a secondary incident in our struggle. But the fact of your being here, before me, alone, do you understand, alone in the presence of Arsene Lupin, makes me believe that your revenge is as complete as possible."

"It is as complete as possible."

"This house...?"


"The two next houses...?"


"The flat above this...?"

"The three flats on the fifth floor which were occupied by M. Dubreuil are invested."

"So that...?"

"So that you are caught, M. Lupin, irredeemably caught."

Lupin now experienced the same feelings that had stirred Shears during his motor-car drive: the same concentrated rage, the same rebellion; but also, when all was said and done, the same sense of loyalty which compelled him to bow before the force of circumstances. Both were equally strong: both alike were bound to accept defeat as a temporary evil, to be received with resignation.

"We are quits, sir," he said, bluntly.

The Englishman seemed delighted at this confession. The two men were silent. Then Lupin, already master of himself, resumed with a smile:

"And I am not sorry. It was becoming wearisome to win every thrust. I had only to put out my arm to hit you full in the chest. This time, you score one. Well, hit, maitre!" He laughed whole-heartedly. "At last we shall have some fun! Lupin is caught in the trap. How will he get out?... Caught in the trap!... What an adventure!... Ah, maitre, I have to thank you for a grand emotion. This is what I call life!"

He pressed his clenched fists to his temples as though to restrain the ungovernable joy that was bubbling up within him; and he also had gestures like those of a child amusing itself beyond its power of endurance.

At last, he went up to the Englishman:

"And now, what are you here for?"

"What am I here for?"

"Yes. Ganimard is outside, with his men. Why does he not come in?"

"I asked him not to."

"And he consented?"

"I called in his services only on the express condition that he would be led by me. Besides, he believes that M. Felix Davey is merely an accomplice of Lupin's."

"Then I will repeat my question under another form. Why did you come in alone?"

"I wanted to speak to you first."

"Aha! You want to speak to me!"

The idea seemed to please Lupin greatly. There are circumstances in life in which we much prefer words to deeds.

"Mr. Shears, I am sorry not to have a chair to offer you. Does this broken box suit you? Or the window-ledge? I am sure a glass of beer would be acceptable.... Do you like it light or dark?... But do sit down, I beg...."

"Never mind that: let us talk."

"I am listening."

"I shall not be long. The object of my stay in France was not to effect your arrest. I was obliged to pursue you, because no other means offered of attaining my real object."

"Which was?"

"To recover the blue diamond."

"The blue diamond!"

"Certainly; because the one discovered in Herr Bleichen's tooth-powder flask was not the real one."

"Just so. The real one was posted by the blonde lady. I had an exact copy made; and as, at that time, I had designs upon the Comtesse de Crozon's other jewels and as the Austrian consul was already under suspicion, the aforesaid blonde lady, lest she should be suspected in her turn, slipped the imitation diamond into the aforesaid consul's luggage."

"While you kept the real one."

"Quite right."

"I want that diamond."

"Impossible. I'm sorry."

"I have promised it to the Comtesse de Crozon. I mean to have it."

"How can you have it, seeing that it's in my possession?"

"I mean to have it just because it is in your possession."

"You mean that I shall give it back to you?"



"I will buy it of you."

Lupin had a fit of merriment:

"Any one can tell what country you come from! You treat this as a matter of business."

"It is a matter of business."

"And what price do you offer?"

"The liberty of Mlle. Destange."

"Her liberty? But I am not aware that she is under arrest."

"I shall give M. Ganimard the necessary information. Once deprived of your protection, she will be taken also."

Lupin burst out laughing again:

"My dear sir, you are offering me what you do not possess. Mlle. Destange is safe and fears nothing. I want something else."

The Englishman hesitated, obviously embarrassed and flushing slightly. Then he put his hand brusquely on his adversary's shoulder:

"And, if I offered you...?"

"My liberty?"

"No ... but, still, I might leave the room, to arrange with M. Ganimard...."

"And leave me to think things over?"


"Well, what on earth would be the good of that? This confounded spring won't work," said Lupin, irritably pushing the moulding of the mantel.

He stifled an exclamation of surprise: this time, freakish chance had willed that the block of marble should move under his fingers! Safety, flight became possible. In that case, why submit to Holmlock Shears's conditions?

He walked to and fro, as though reflecting upon his answer. Then he, in his turn, put his hand on the Englishman's shoulder:

"After due consideration, Mr. Shears, I prefer to settle my little affairs alone."


"No, I don't want anybody's help."

"When Ganimard has you, it will be up with you. They won't let you go again."

"Who knows?"

"Come, this is madness. Every outlet is watched."

"One remains."

"Which one?"

"The one I shall select."

"Words! Your arrest may be looked upon as effected."

"It is not effected."


"So I shall keep the blue diamond."

Shears took out his watch:

"It is ten minutes to three. At three o'clock, I call Ganimard."

"That gives us ten minutes to chat in. Let us make the most of our time, Mr. Shears, and tell me, to satisfy the curiosity by which I am devoured: how did you procure my address and my name of Felix Davey?"

Keeping a watchful eye on Lupin, whose good-humour made him feel uneasy, Shears gladly consented to give this little explanation, which flattered his vanity, and said:

"I had your address from the blonde lady."


"Yes. You remember ... yesterday morning ... when I meant to carry her off in the motor-cab, she telephoned to her dressmaker."

"So she did."

"Well, I understood later that the dressmaker was yourself. And, last night, in the boat, thanks to an effort of memory which is perhaps one of the things of which I am most proud, I succeeded in recollecting the last two figures of your telephone number: 73. In this way, as I possessed the list of the houses which you had 'touched up,' it was easy for me, on my arrival in Paris at eleven o'clock this morning, to look through the telephone directory until I discovered the name and address of M. Felix Davey. The name and address once known, I called in the aid of M. Ganimard."

"Admirable! First-rate! I make you my bow! But what I can't quite grasp is that you took the train at the Havre. How did you manage to escape from the Hirondelle?"

"I did not escape."

"But ..."

"You gave the captain orders not to reach Southampton until one o'clock. Well, they landed me at twelve and I caught the Havre boat."

"The captain played me false? Impossible."

"He did not play you false."

"What then...?"

"It was his watch."

"His watch?"

"Yes, I put his watch on an hour."


"The only way in which one can put a watch on, by turning the winder. We were sitting together chatting and I told him things that interested him.... By Jove, he noticed nothing!"

"Well done; well done! It's a good trick and I must remember it. But what about the cabin clock?"

"Oh, the clock was more difficult, for my legs were bound: but the sailor who was put in charge of me whenever the captain went on deck kindly consented to give the hands a push."

"The sailor? Nonsense! Do you mean to say, he consented...?"

"Oh, he did not know the importance of what he was doing! I told him I must, at all costs, catch the first train to London and ... he allowed himself to be persuaded...."

"In consideration...."

"In consideration of a little present ... which the decent fellow, however, intends faithfully to send to you."

"What present?"

"A mere nothing."

"Well, but what?"

"The blue diamond."

"The blue diamond!"

"Yes, the imitation one, which you substituted for the countess's diamond and which she left in my hands...."

Arsene Lupin gave a sudden and tumultuous burst of laughter. He seemed ready to die: his eyes were wet with tears:

"Oh, what a joke! My faked diamond handed back to the sailor! And the captain's watch! And the hands of the clock!..."

Never before had Holmlock Shears felt the struggle between Arsene Lupin and himself grow so intense as now. With his prodigious intuition, he guessed that, under this excessive gaiety, Lupin was concentrating his formidable mind and collecting all his faculties.

Lupin had gradually drawn closer. The Englishman stepped back and slipped his fingers, as though absent-mindedly, into his pocket:

"It's three o'clock, M. Lupin."

"Three o'clock already? What a pity!... We were having such fun!"

"I am waiting for your answer."

"My answer? Goodness me, what a lot you want! So this finishes the game. With my liberty for the stakes!"

"Or the blue diamond."

"Very well.... It's your lead. What do you do?"

"I mark the king," said Shears, firing a shot with his revolver.

"And here's my hand," retorted Arsene, hurling his fist at the Englishman.

Shears had fired at the ceiling, to summon Ganimard, the need for whose intervention now seemed urgent. But Arsene's fist caught him full in the wind and he turned pale and staggered back. Lupin gave one bound toward the chimney and the marble slab moved.... Too late! The door opened.

"Surrender, Lupin! If not...."

Ganimard, who had doubtless been posted nearer than Lupin thought, stood there, with his revolver aimed at him. And, behind Ganimard, ten men, twenty men crowded upon one another's heels, powerful, ruthless fellows, prepared to beat Lupin down like a dog at the least sign of resistance.

He made a quiet gesture:

"Hands off there! I surrender."

And he crossed his arms over his chest.

A sort of stupor followed. In the room stripped of its furniture and hangings, Arsene Lupin's words seemed drawn-out like an echo:

"I surrender!"

The words sounded incredible. The others were expecting to see him vanish suddenly down a trap or a panel of the wall to fall back and once more to hide him from his assailants. And he surrendered!

Ganimard stepped forward and, greatly excited, with all the gravity that the act demanded, brought his hand slowly down upon his adversary's shoulder and enjoyed the infinite satisfaction of saying:

"Lupin, I arrest you."

"Brrrrr!" shivered Lupin. "You make me feel quite overcome, my dear Ganimard. What a solemn face! One would think you were making a speech over a friend's grave. Come, drop these funereal airs!"

"I arrest you."

"You seem quite flabbergasted! In the name of the law, of which he is a faithful limb, Chief-Inspector Ganimard arrests wicked Arsene Lupin. It is an historic moment and you grasp its full importance.... And this is the second time a similar fact occurs. Bravo, Ganimard; you will do well in your career!"

And he held out his wrists for the handcuffs....

They were fastened on almost solemnly. The detectives, in spite of their usual roughness and the bitterness of their resentment against Lupin, acted with reserve and discretion, astounded as they were at being allowed to touch that intangible being.

"My poor Lupin," he sighed, "what would your smart friends say if they saw you humbled like this!"

He separated his wrists with a growing and continuous effort of every muscle. The veins on his forehead swelled. The links of the chain dug into his skin.

"Now then!" he said.

The chain snapped and broke in two.

"Another, mates: this one's no good."

They put two pairs on him. He approved:

"That's better. You can't be too careful."

Then, counting the detectives, he continued:

"How many of you are there, my friends? Twenty-five? Thirty? That's a lot.... I can't do anything against thirty. Ah, if there had been only fifteen of you!"

He really had a manner about him, the manner of a great actor playing his instinctive, spirited part impertinently and frivolously. Shears watched him as a man watches a fine sight of which he is able to appreciate every beauty and every shade. And he absolutely received the strange impression that the struggle was an equal one between those thirty men on the one hand, backed up by all the formidable machinery of the law, and that single being on the other, fettered and unarmed. The two sides were evenly matched.

"Well, maitre," said Lupin, "this is your work. Thanks to you, Lupin is going to rot on the damp straw of the cells. Confess that your conscience is not quite easy and that you feel the pangs of remorse."

The Englishman gave an involuntary shrug, as though to say:

"You had the chance...."

"Never! Never!" exclaimed Lupin. "Give you back the blue diamond? Ah, no, it has cost me too much trouble already! I value it, you see. At the first visit I have the honour of paying you in London, next month, I daresay, I will tell you why.... But shall you be in London next month? Would you rather I met you in Vienna? Or St. Petersburg?"

He started. Suddenly, an electric bell rang just below the ceiling. And, this time, it was not the alarm-bell, but the bell of the telephone, which had not been removed and which stood between the two windows.

The telephone! Ah, who was going to fall into the trap laid by an odious chance? Arsene Lupin made a furious move toward the instrument, as though he would have smashed it to atoms and, in so doing, stifled the unknown voice that wished to speak to him. But Ganimard took the receiver from its hook and bent down:

"Hullo!... Hullo!... 648.73.... Yes, that's right."

With a brisk gesture of authority, Shears pushed him aside, took the two receivers and put his handkerchief over the mouthpiece to make the sound of his voice less distinct.

At that moment, he glanced at Lupin. And the look which they exchanged showed them that the same thought had struck them both and that they both foresaw to the end the consequences of that possible, probable, almost certain supposition: it was the blonde lady telephoning. She thought that she was telephoning to Felix Davey, or, rather, Maxime Bermond; and she was about to confide in Holmlock Shears!

And the Englishman repeated:

"Hullo!... Hullo!..."

A pause and Shears:

"Yes, it's I; Maxime."

The drama took shape forthwith, with tragic precision. Lupin, the mocking, indomitable Lupin, no longer even thought of concealing his anxiety and, with features pale as death, strove to hear, to guess. And Shears continued, in reply to the mysterious voice:

"Yes, yes, it's all finished and I was just getting ready to come on to you, as arranged.... Where? Why, where you are.... Isn't that best?"

He hesitated, seeking his words, and then stopped. It was evident that he was trying to draw out the girl without saying too much himself and that he had not the least idea where she was. Besides, Ganimard's presence seemed to hinder him.... Oh, if some miracle could have cut the thread of that diabolical conversation! Lupin called for it with all his might, with all his strained nerves!

And Shears went on:

"Hullo!... Hullo!... Can't you hear?... It's very bad at this end too ... and I can hardly make out.... Can you hear me now? Well ... on second thoughts ... you had better go home.... Oh, no, there's no danger at all.... Why, he's in England! I've had a telegram from Southampton!"

The irony of the words! Shears uttered them with an inexpressible sense of satisfaction. And he added.

"So go at once, dear, and I shall be with you soon."

He hung up the receivers.

"M. Ganimard, I propose to borrow three of your men."

"It's for the blonde lady, I suppose?"


"Do you know who she is, where she is?"


"By Jove! A fine capture! She and Lupin ... that completes the day's work. Folenfant, take two men and go with Mr. Shears."

The Englishman walked away, followed by the three detectives.

The end had come. The blonde lady also was about to fall into Shears's hands. Thanks to his wonderful persistency, thanks to the aid of fortunate events, the battle was turning to victory for him and irreparable disaster for Lupin.

"Mr. Shears!"

The Englishman stopped:

"Yes, M. Lupin?"

Lupin seemed completely crushed by this last blow. His forehead was wrinkled; he was worn-out and gloomy. Yet he drew himself up, with a revival of energy; and, in spite of all, exclaimed, in a voice of glad unconcern:

"You must admit that fate is dead against me. Just now, it prevented me from escaping by the chimney and delivered me into your hands. This moment, it has made use of the telephone to make you a present of the blonde lady. I bow before its decrees."


"Meaning that I am prepared to reopen negotiations."

Shears took the inspector aside and begged permission, but in a tone that allowed of no refusal, to exchange a few words with Lupin. Then he walked across to him. The momentous conversation took place. It opened in short, nervous phrases:

"What do you want?"

"Mlle. Destange's liberty."

"You know the price?"


"And you agree?"

"I agree to all your conditions."

"Ah!" exclaimed the astonished Englishman. "But ... you refused just now ... for yourself...."

"It was a question of myself, Mr. Shears. Now it involves a woman ... and a woman whom I love. You see, we have very peculiar ideas about these things in France, and it does not follow that, because a man's name is Lupin, he will act differently: on the contrary!"

He said this quite simply. Shears gave him an imperceptible nod and whispered:

"Where is the blue diamond?"

"Take my cane, over there, in the chimney corner. Hold the knob in one hand and turn the iron ferrule with the other."

Shears took the cane, turned the ferrule and, as he turned it, perceived that the knob became unscrewed. Inside the knob was a ball of putty. Inside the putty a diamond.

He examined it. It was the blue diamond.

"Mlle. Destange is free, M. Lupin."

"Free in the future as in the present? She has nothing to fear from you?"

"Nor from any one else."

"Whatever happens?"

"Whatever happens. I have forgotten her name and where she lives."

"Thank you. And au revoir. For we shall meet again, Mr. Shears, shall we not?"

"I have no doubt we shall."

A more or less heated explanation followed between the Englishman and Ganimard and was cut short by Shears with a certain roughness:

"I am very sorry, M. Ganimard, that I can't agree with you. But I have no time to persuade you now. I leave for England in an hour."

"But ... the blonde lady?"

"I know no such person."

"Only a moment ago...."

"You must take it or leave it. I have already caught Lupin for you. Here is the blue diamond ... which you may have the pleasure of handing to the countess yourself. I can't see that you have anything to complain of."

"But the blonde lady?"

"Find her."

He settled his hat on his head and walked away with a brisk step, like a gentleman who has no time to loiter once his business is done.

"Good-bye, maitre!" cried Lupin. "And a pleasant journey! I shall always remember the cordial relations between us. My kind regards to Mr. Wilson!"

He received no reply and chuckled:

"That's what we call taking English leave. Ah, those worthy islanders do not possess that elegant courtesy which distinguishes us. Just think, Ganimard, of the exit which a Frenchman would have made in similar circumstances! Under what exquisite politeness would he not have concealed his triumph!... But, Lord bless my soul, Ganimard, what are you doing? Well, I never: a search! But there's nothing left, my poor friend, not a scrap of paper! My archives have been moved to a place of safety."

"One can never tell."

Lupin looked on in resignation. Held by two inspectors and surrounded by all the rest, he patiently watched the various operations. But, after twenty minutes, he sighed:

"Come along, Ganimard; you'll never be finished, at this rate."

"Are you in a great hurry?"

"Yes, I should think I was! I have an important engagement!"

"At the police-station?"

"No, in town."

"Tut, tut! At what time?"

"At two o'clock."

"It's past three."

"Exactly: I shall be late; and there's nothing I detest so much as being late."

"Will you give me five minutes?"

"Not a minute longer."

"You're too good.... I'll try...."

"Don't talk so much.... What, that cupboard too? Why, it's empty!"

"There are some letters, for all that."

"Old bills."

"No, a bundle done up in ribbon."

"A pink ribbon, is it? Oh, Ganimard, don't untie it, for heaven's sake!"

"Are they from a woman?"


"A lady?"


"What's her name?"

"Mme. Ganimard."

"Very witty! Oh, very witty!" cried the inspector, in an affected tone.

At that moment, the men returned from the other rooms and declared that their search had led to nothing. Lupin began to laugh:

"Of course not! Did you expect to find a list of my friends, or a proof of my relations with the German Emperor? What you ought to have looked for, Ganimard, are the little mysteries of this flat. For instance, that gas-pipe is a speaking tube. The chimney contains a staircase. This wall here is hollow. And such a tangle of bell-wires! Look here, Ganimard: just press that button."

Ganimard did as he was asked.

"Did you hear anything?"


"Nor I. And yet you have instructed the captain of my balloon-park to get ready the airship which is soon to carry us up to the sky."

"Come," said Ganimard, who had finished his inspection. "Enough of this nonsense. Let us start."

He took a few steps, followed by his men.

Lupin did not budge a foot's breadth.

His custodians pushed him. In vain.

"Well," said Ganimard, "do you refuse to come?"

"Not at all."

"Then ..."

"It all depends."

"Depends on what?"

"On where you're taking me."

"To the police-station, of course."

"Then I shan't come. I have nothing to do at the station."

"You're mad!"

"Didn't I tell you I had an important engagement?"


"Come, Ganimard, the blonde lady must be getting quite anxious about me; and do you think I could have the rudeness to keep her waiting? It would not be the conduct of a gentleman!"

"Listen to me, Lupin," said the inspector, who was beginning to lose his temper under all this chaff. "So far, I have treated you with excessive consideration. But there are limits. Follow me."

"Impossible. I have an engagement and that engagement I mean to keep."

"For the last time?"


Ganimard made a sign. Two men seized Lupin under the arms and lifted him from the floor. But they dropped him at once with howls of pain: with his two hands, Arsene Lupin had dug two long needles into their flesh.

Maddened with rage, the others rushed upon him, wreaking their hatred at last, burning to avenge their comrades and themselves for the numberless affronts put upon them, and they rained a shower of blows upon his body. One blow, more violent than the rest, struck him on the temple. He fell to the floor.

"If you hurt him," growled Ganimard, angrily, "you'll have me to deal with."

He bent over Lupin, prepared to assist him. But, finding that he was breathing freely, he told the men to take Lupin by the head and feet, while he himself supported his hips.

"Slowly, now, gently!... Don't jolt him!... Why, you brutes, you might have killed him. Well, Lupin, how do you feel?"

Lupin opened his eyes and stammered:

"Not up to much, Ganimard.... You shouldn't have let them knock me about."

"Dash it, it's your own fault ... with your obstinacy!" replied Ganimard, in real distress. "But you're not hurt?"

They reached the landing. Lupin moaned:

"Ganimard ... the lift ... they'll break my bones."

"Good idea, capital idea!" agreed the inspector. "Besides, the stairs are so narrow ... it would be impossible...."

He got the lift up. They laid Lupin on the seat with every imaginable precaution. Ganimard sat down beside him and said to his men:

"Go down the stairs at once. Wait for me by the porter's lodge. Do you understand?"

He shut the door. But it was hardly closed when shouts arose. The lift had shot up, like a balloon with its rope cut. A sardonic laugh rang out.

"Damnation!" roared Ganimard, feeling frantically in the dark for the lever. And failing to find it, he shouted, "The fifth floor! Watch the door on the fifth floor!"

The detectives rushed upstairs, four steps at a time. But a strange thing happened: the lift seemed to shoot right through the ceiling of the top floor, disappeared before the detectives' eyes and suddenly emerged on the upper story, where the servants' bedrooms were, and stopped.

Three men were in waiting and opened the door. Two of them overpowered Ganimard, who, hampered in his movements and completely bewildered, hardly thought of defending himself. The third helped Lupin out.

"I told you, Ganimard!... Carried off by balloon ... and thanks to you!... Next time, you must show less compassion. And, above all, remember that Arsene Lupin does not allow himself to be bashed and mauled about without good reasons. Good-bye...."

The lift-door was already closed and the lift, with Ganimard inside, sent back on its journey toward the ground floor. And all this was done so expeditiously that the old detective caught up his subordinates at the door of the porter's lodge.

Without a word, they hurried across the courtyard and up the servants' staircase, the only means of communication with the floor by which the escape had been effected.

A long passage, with many windings, lined with small, numbered rooms, led to a door, which had been simply left ajar. Beyond this door and, consequently, in another house, was another passage, also with a number of turns and lined with similar rooms. Right at the end was a servants' staircase. Ganimard went down it, crossed a yard, a hall and rushed into a street: the Rue Picot. Then he understood: the two houses were built back to back and their fronts faced two streets, running not at right angles, but parallel, with a distance of over sixty yards between them.

He entered the porter's lodge and showed his card:

"Have four men just gone out?"

"Yes, the two servants of the fourth and fifth floors, with two friends."

"Who lives on the fourth and fifth floors?"

"Two gentlemen of the name of Fauvel and their cousins, the Provosts.... They moved this morning. Only the two servants remained.... They have just gone."

"Ah," thought Ganimard, sinking on to a sofa in the lodge, "what a fine stroke we have missed! The whole gang occupied this rabbit-warren!..."

Forty minutes later, two gentlemen drove up in a cab to the Gare du Nord and hurried toward the Calais express, followed by a porter carrying their bags.

One of them had his arm in a sling and his face was pale and drawn. The other seemed in great spirits:

"Come along, Wilson; it won't do to miss the train!... Oh, Wilson, I shall never forget these ten days!"

"No more shall I."

"What a fine series of battles!"


"A regrettable incident, here and there, but of very slight importance."

"Very slight, as you say."

"And, lastly, victory all along the line. Lupin arrested! The blue diamond recovered!"

"My arm broken!"

"With a success of this kind, what does a broken arm matter?"

"Especially mine."

"Especially yours. Remember, Wilson, it was at the very moment when you were at the chemist's, suffering like a hero, that I discovered the clue that guided me through the darkness."

"What a piece of luck!"

The doors were being locked.

"Take your seats, please. Hurry up, gentlemen!"

The porter climbed into an empty compartment and placed the bags in the rack, while Shears hoisted the unfortunate Wilson in:

"What are you doing, Wilson? Hurry up, old chap!... Pull yourself together, do!"

"It's not for want of pulling myself together."

"What then?"

"I can only use one hand."

"Well?" cried Shears, gaily. "What a fuss you make! One would think you were the only man in your plight. What about the fellows who have really lost an arm? Well, are you settled? Thank goodness for that!"

He gave the porter a half-franc piece.

"Here, my man. That's for you."

"Thank you, Mr. Shears."

The Englishman raised his eyes: Arsene Lupin!

"You!... You!" he blurted in his bewilderment.

And Wilson stammered, waving his one hand with the gestures of a man proving a fact:

"You!... You!... But you're arrested! Shears told me so. When he left you, Ganimard and his thirty detectives had you surrounded!"

Lupin crossed his arms with an air of indignation:

"So you thought I would let you go without coming to see you off? After the excellent friendly relations which we never ceased to keep up? Why, it would have been unspeakably rude. What do you take me for?"

The engine whistled.

"However, I forgive you.... Have you all you want? Tobacco, matches?... That's right.... And the evening papers? You will find the details of my arrest in them: your last exploit, maitre! And now, au revoir; and delighted to have made your acquaintance ... delighted, I mean it!... And, if ever I can do anything for you, I shall be only too pleased."

He jumped down to the platform and closed the door.

"Good-bye!" he cried again, waving his handkerchief. "Good-bye.... I'll write to you!... Mind you write too; let me know how the broken arm is, Mr. Wilson! I shall expect to hear from both of you.... Just a picture postcard, now and again.... 'Lupin, Paris' will always find me.... It's quite enough.... Never mind about stamping the letters.... Good-bye!... See you soon, I hope!"

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