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Mademoiselle of monte carlo

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Title:MademoiselleofMonteCarlo
Author:WilliamLeQueux
ReleaseDate:April13,2006[EBook#4694]
LastUpdated:November18,2016
Language:English

***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKMADEMOISELLEOFMONTECARLO***

ProducedbyDagny;JohnBickers;DavidWidger


MADEMOISELLEOFMONTE
CARLO



ByWilliamLeQueux
1921

CONTENTS
MADEMOISELLEOFMONTE
CARLO
FIRSTCHAPTER
SECONDCHAPTER
THIRDCHAPTER
FOURTHCHAPTER
FIFTHCHAPTER
SIXTHCHAPTER
SEVENTHCHAPTER
EIGHTHCHAPTER
NINTHCHAPTER
TENTHCHAPTER
ELEVENTHCHAPTER
TWELFTHCHAPTER
THIRTEENTHCHAPTER
FOURTEENTHCHAPTER
FIFTEENTHCHAPTER
SIXTEENTHCHAPTER
SEVENTEENTHCHAPTER

THESUICIDE’SCHAIR
CONCERNSAGUILTYSECRET
INTHENIGHT
WHATTHEDOSSIERCONTAINED
ONTHEHOG’SBACK
FACINGTHEUNKNOWN
FROMDARKTODAWN
THEWHITECAVALIER
CONCERNSTHESPARROW
ALESSONINARGOT
MOREABOUTTHESPARROW
THESTRANGERINBONDSTREET
POISONEDLIPS
REDDAWN
THENAMELESSMAN
THEESCROCSOFLONDON


ONTHESURREYHILLS


EIGHTEENTHCHAPTER
NINETEENTHCHAPTER
TWENTIETHCHAPTER
TWENTY-FIRSTCHAPTER
TWENTY-SECOND
CHAPTER
TWENTY-THIRDCHAPTER
TWENTY-FOURTH
CHAPTER
TWENTY-FIFTHCHAPTER
TWENTY-SIXTHCHAPTER
TWENTY-SEVENTH
CHAPTER
TWENTY-EIGHTH
CHAPTER
TWENTY-NINTHCHAPTER
CONCLUSION

THEMANWITHTHEBLACKGLOVE
THESPARROW
THEMANWHOKNEW
THEMANWITHMANYNAMES
CLOSINGTHENET
WHATLISETTEKNEW
FRIENDORENEMY?
THEMANCATALDI
LISETTE’SDISCLOSURES
THEINQUISITIVEMR.SHRIMPTON
THESPARROW’SNEST
THESTORYOFMADEMOISELLE


MADEMOISELLEOFMONTE
CARLO


FIRSTCHAPTER
THESUICIDE’SCHAIR
“Yes!I’mnotmistakenatall!It’sthesamewoman!”whisperedthetall,goodlookingyoungEnglishmaninawell-cutnavysuitashestoodwithhisfriend,a
man some ten years older than himself, at one of the roulette tables at Monte
Carlo, the first on the right on entering the room—that one known to habitual
gamblersas“TheSuicide’sTable.”
“Areyouquitecertain?”askedhisfriend.
“Positive.Ishouldknowheragainanywhere.”
“She’sveryhandsome.Andlook,too,byJove!—howsheiswinning!”
“Yes. But let’s get away. She might recognize me,” exclaimed the younger
mananxiously.“Ah!IfIcouldonlyinducehertodisclosewhatsheknowsabout
mypoorfather’smysteriousendthenwemightclearupthemystery.”
“I’mafraid,ifallwehearistrueabouther,MademoiselleofMonteCarlowill
neverdothat,”wastheother’sreplyastheymovedawaytogetherdownthelong
saloontowardsthetrente-et-quaranteroom.
“Messieurs! Faites vos jeux,” the croupiers were crying in their strident,
monotonous voices, inviting players to stake their counters of cent-sous, their
louis,ortheirhundredorfivehundredfrancnotesuponthespinoftheredand
black wheel. It was the month of March, the height of the Riviera season, the
fetes of Mi-Careme were in full swing. That afternoon the rooms were
overcrowded, and the tense atmosphere of gambling was laden with the
combinedodoursofperspirationandperfume.
Around each table were crowds four or five deep behind those fortunate
enoughtoobtainseats,alleagerandanxioustotrytheirfortuneupontherouge
ornoir,orupononeofthethirty-sixnumbers,thecolumns,orthetransversales.
There was but little chatter. The hundreds of well-dressed idlers escaping the
winterweretoointentuponthegame.Butabovetheclickoftheplaques,blue
andredofdifferentsizes,astheywererakedintothebankbythecroupiers,and
theclatterofcountersastheluckyplayerswerepaidwithdefthands,thererose
everandanon:
“Messieurs!Faitesvosjeux!”


HereEnglishduchessesrubbedshoulderswiththemostnotoriouswomenin
Europe,andmenwhoathomeinEnglandweregoodchurchmenandexemplary
fathers of families, laughed merrily with the most gorgeously attired cocottes
from Paris, or the stars of the film world or the variety stage. Upon that wide
polished floor of the splendidly decorated Rooms, with their beautiful mural
paintingsandheavygiltornamentation,theworldandthehalf-worldwereupon
equalfooting.
Intothatstiflingatmosphere—fortheAdministrationoftheBainsdeMerof
Monaco seem as afraid of fresh air as of purity propaganda—the glorious
afternoon sunlight struggled through the curtained windows, while over each
table,inadditiontotheelectriclight,oil-lampsshadedgreenwithabilliard-table
effect cast a dull, ghastly illumination upon the eager countenances of the
players.MostofthosewhogotoMonteCarlowonderattheantiquatedmodeof
illumination.Itis,however,inconsequenceofanattemptedraiduponthetables
onenight,whensomeadventurerscuttheelectric-lightmain,andinthedarkness
grabbedalltheycouldgetfromthebank.
The two English visitors, both men of refinement and culture, who had
watched the tall, very handsome woman in black, to whom the older man had
referred as Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo, wandered through the trente-etquarante rooms where all was silence, and counters, representing gold, were
beingstakedwithatwelve-thousandfrancmaximum.
Those rooms beyond are the haunt of the professional gambler, the man or
woman who has been seized by the demon of speculation, just as others have
beenseizedbythatofdrugsordrink.Curiouslyenoughwomenaremoreprone
to gamble than men, and the Administration of the Etablissement will tell you
thatwhenawomanofanynationalitystartstogambleshewillbecomereckless
untilherlastthrowwiththedevil.
ThosewhoknowMonteCarlo,thosewhohavebeenhabituesfortwentyyears
—as the presentwriter hasbeen—knowtoo well, andhaveseen toooften,the
deadlyinfluenceofthetablesuponthelightersideofwoman’snature.Thesmart
womanfromParis,Vienna,orRomeneverlosesherhead.Shegamblesalways
discreetly.Thefashionablecocottesseldomlosemuch.Theygambleatthetables
discreetly and make eyes at men if they win, or if they lose. If the latter they
generallyobtaina“loan”fromsomebody.Whatmatter?Whenoneisat“Monty”
oneisnotinaWesleyanchapel.Englishmenandwomenwhentheygotothe
RivieraleavetheirmoralsathomewiththeirsilkhatsandSundaygowns.Andit
is strange to see the perfectly respectable Englishwoman admiring the same
daringcostumesoftheFrenchpseudo-“countesses”atwhichtheyhaveheldup


theirhandsinhorrorwhentheyhaveseenthempicturedinthepaperswearing
thoselatest“creations”ofthePlaceVendome.
Yes. It is a hypocritical world, and nowhere is canting hypocrisy more
apparentthaninsidetheCasinoatMonteCarlo.
While the two Englishmen were strolling over the polished parquet of the
elegant world-famous salles-de-jeu “Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo” was
experiencingquiteanextraordinaryrunofluck.
But “Mademoiselle,” as the croupiers always called her, was usually lucky.
She was an experienced, and therefore a careful player. When she staked a
maximum it was not without very careful calculation upon the chances.
MademoisellewaswellknowntotheAdministration.Oftenherwinningswere
sensational,hencesheservedasanadvertisementtotheCasino,forhersuccess
always induced the uninitiated and unwary to stake heavily, and usually with
disastrousresults.
The green-covered gaming table, at which she was sitting next to the end
croupierontheleft-handside,wascrowded.ShesatinwhatisknownatMonte
as“theSuicide’sChair,”forduringthepasteightyearstenmenandwomenhad
sat in that fatal chair and had afterwards ended their lives abruptly, and been
buriedinsecretintheSuicide’sCemetery.
Thecroupiersatthattableareeverwatchfulofthevisitorwho,allunawares,
occupiesthatfatalchair.ButMademoiselle,whoknewofit,alwayslaughedthe
superstitiontoscorn.Shehabituallysatinthatchair—andwon.
Indeed,thatafternoonshewaswinning—andveryconsiderablytoo.Shehad
wonfourmaximumsenpleinwithinthelasthalf-hour,andthecrowdaroundthe
tablenotinghergoodfortunewerenowfollowingher.
ItwaseasyforanynoviceintheRoomstoseethatthehandsome,dark-eyed
woman was a practised player. Time after time she let the coups pass. The
croupiers’invitationtoplaydidnotinteresther.Shesimplytoyedwithherbig
gold-chainpurse,orfingeredherdozenpilesorsoofplaquesinamannerquite
disinterested.
She heard the croupier announce the winning number and saw the rakes at
workdragginginthestakestoswellthebank.Butsheonlysmiled,andnowand
thenshruggedhershoulders.
Whether she won or lost, or whether she did not risk a stake, she simply
smiledandelevatedhershoulders,mutteringsomethingtoherself.
Mademoiselle of Monte Carlo was, truth to tell, a sphinx to the staff of the


Casino.Shelookedaboutthirty,butprobablyshewasolder.Forfiveyearsshe
had been there each season and gambled heavily with unvarying success.
Alwayswellbutquietlydressed,hernationalitywasasobscureasherpast.To
thestaffshewasalwayspolite,andshepressedhundred-francnotesintomanya
palmin theRooms. Butwho shewasorwhatwereherantecedentsnobodyin
thePrincipalityofMonacocouldevertell.
ThewholeCoted’AzurfromHyerestoVentimigliaknewofher.Shewasone
of the famous characters of Monte Carlo, just as famous, indeed, as old Mr.
Drewett, the Englishman who lost his big fortune at the tables, and who was
pensioned off by the Administration on condition that he never gamble at the
Casinoagain.ForfifteenyearshelivedinNiceuponthemeagrepittanceuntil
suddenly another fortune was left him, whereupon he promptly paid up the
wholeofhispensionandstartedatthetablesagain.Inamonth,however,hehad
lost his second fortune. Such is gambling in the little country ruled over by
PrinceRouge-et-Noir.
AsthetwoEnglishmenslippedpasttheendtableunseenontheirwayoutinto
thebigatriumwithitsmanycolumns—thehallinwhichplayersgoouttocool
themselves,orcollecttheirdeterminationforafinalflutter—Mademoisellehad
just won the maximum upon the number four, as well as the column, and the
croupier was in the act of pushing towards her a big pile of counters each
representingathousandfrancs.
Theeagerexcitedthrongaroundthetablelookedacrossatherwithenvy.But
her handsome countenance was quite expressionless. She simply thrust the
counters into the big gold-chain purse at her side, glanced at the white-gloved
fingers which were soiled by handling the counters, and then counting out
twenty-five,eachrepresentingalouis,gavethemtothecroupier,exclaiming:
“Zero-trois!”
Nextmomentadozenpersonsfollowedherplay,stakingtheircent-sousand
louisuponthespotwhereshehadaskedthecroupierattheendofthetableto
placeherstake.
“Messieurs!Faitesvosjeux!”camethestridentcryagain.
Thenafewsecondslaterthecroupiercried:
“Riennevasplus!”
Theredandblackwheelwasalreadyspinning,andthelittleivoryballsentby
the croupier’s hand in the opposite direction was clicking quickly over the
numberedspaces.


Sixhundredormoreeyesofmenandwomen,feveredbythegamblingmania,
watchedtheresult.Slowlyitlostitsimpetus,andafterspinningaboutunevenly
itmadeafinaljumpandfellwithaloudclick.
“Zer-r-o!”criedthecroupier.
And a moment later Mademoiselle had pushed before her at the end of the
croupier’s rake another pile of counters, while all those who had followed the
remarkablewoman’splaywerealsopaid.
“Mademoiselleisingoodformto-day,”remarkedoneuglyoldFrenchwoman
whohadbeenawell-knownfigureatthetablesforthepasttenyears,andwho
playedcarefullyandlivedbygambling.Shewasoneofthosequeer,mysterious
old creatures who enter the Rooms each morning as soon as they are open,
securethebestseats,occupythemalltheluncheonhourpretendingtoplay,and
then sell them to wealthy gamblers for a consideration—two or three louis—
perhaps—andthenatoncegototheireaseintheirownobscureabode.
ThepublicwhogotoMonteknowlittleofitsstrangemysteries,oroftheodd
peoplewhopickuplivingsthereinallsortsofqueerways.
“Ah!” exclaimed a man who overheard her. “Mademoiselle has wonderful
luck! She won seventy-five thousand francs at the CerclePrive last night. She
wonenpleinfivetimes running.Dieu!Suchluck!Anditnevercausesherthe
slightestexcitement.”
“Theladymustbeveryrich!”remarkedanAmericanwomansittingnextto
theoldFrenchwoman,andwhoknewFrenchwell.
“Rich! Of course! She must have won several million francs from the
Administration. They don’t like to see her here. But I suppose her success
attracts others to play. The gambling fever is as infectious as the influenza,”
declared the old Frenchwoman. “Everyone tries to discover who she is, and
where she came from five years ago. But nobody has yet found out. Even
MonsieurBernard,thechiefoftheSurveillance,doesnotknow,”shewentonin
a whisper. “He is a friend of mine, and I asked him one day. She came from
Paris, he told me. She may be American, she may be Belgian, or she may be
English. She speaks English and French so well that nobody can tell her true
nationality.”
“Andshemakesmoneyatthetables,”saidtheAmericanwomaninthewellcutcoatandskirtandsmallhat.ShecamefromChelsea,Mass.,anditwasher
firstvisittowhather piousfatherhadalwaysreferredtoastheplaguespotof
Europe.
“Money!”exclaimedtheoldwoman.“Money!Dieu!Shehaslosses,itistrue,


but oh!—what she wins! I only wish I had ten per cent of it. I should then be
rich. Mine is a poor game, madame—waiting for someone to buy my seat
insteadofstandingthewholeafternoon.Yousee,thereisonlyonerowofchairs
all around. So if a smart woman wants to play, some man always buys her a
chair—and that is how I live. Ah! madame, life is a great game here in the
Principality.”
Meanwhile young Hugh Henfrey, who had travelled from London to the
Rivieraandidentifiedthemysteriousmademoiselle,hadpassedwithhisfriend,
WalterBrock,throughtheatriumandoutintotheafternoonsunshine.
As they turned upon the broad gravelled terrace in front of the great white
facade of the Casino amid the palms, the giant geraniums and mimosa, the
sapphire Mediterranean stretched before them. Below, beyond the railway line
whichistheoneblemishtothepicturesquescene,outuponthepointinthesea
theconstantpop-popshowedthatthetir-aux-pigeonswasinprogress;whileup
and down the terrace, enjoying the quiet silence of the warm winter sunshine
with the blue hills of the Italian coast to the left, strolled a gay, irresponsible
crowd—the cosmopolitans of the world: politicians, financiers, merchants,
princes,authors,andartists—thecrowdwhichputsoffitsmoralsaseasilyasit
discards its fur coats and its silk hats, ahrewd.Heissucharealladies’man,”
laughedLisette,usingsomeoftheargotoftheMontmartre.
“Yes. Do you recollect that American, Lindsay—with whom you had
somethingtodo?”
“Oh, yes, I remember. I was in London and we went out to dinner together
quitealot.Manfieldwaswithmeandwegotfromhisdispatch-boxthepapers
concerningthatoilwellatBaku.ThecompanywasstartedlateroninChicago,
andonlytwomonthsagoIreceivedmydividend.”
“Teddy Manfield is a very good friend,” declared the man with the gloved
hand.“Birthandeducationalwayscount,eveninthesedays.Toanyex-service
man I hold out my hand as the unit who saved us from becoming a German
colony.Butdoothers?Imakewaruponthosewhohaveprofitedbywar.Ihave
neverattackedthosewhohaveremainedhonestduringthegreatstruggle.Inthe
case of dog-eat-dog I place myself on the side of the worker and the misled


patriot—notonlyinBritain,butinallthecountriesoftheAllies.Ifmembersof
theAlliedGovernmentsareprofiteerswhatcantheman-in-the-streetexpectof
the poor little scraping-up tradesman oppressed by taxation and bewildered by
waste?Butthere!”headded,“Iamnopolitician!Myonlyobjectistosolvethe
mysteryofwhoshotpoorMademoiselleYvonne.”
Theprettydecoyofthegreatassociationofescrocssmokedanothercigarette,
and gazed into the young man’s face. Sometimes she shuddered when she
reflecteduponallsheknewconcerninghisfather’sunfortunateend,andofthe
cleverly concocted will by which he was to marry Louise Lambert, and
afterwardsenjoybutashortcareer.
FatehadmadeLisettewhatshewas—achildoffortune.Herownlifewould,
ifwritten,formastrangeandsensationalnarrative.Forshehadbeenimplicated
inanumberofgreatrobberieswhichhadstartledtheworld.
SheknewmuchofthetruthoftheHenfreyaffair,andshehadnowdecidedto
assistHughtovanquishthosewhoseintentionsweredistinctlyevil.
Atlastsheroseandwishedthembonsoir.
“IshallleavetheGaredeLyonatelevenfifty-eightto-morrow,andgodirect
toMadameOdette’sinNice,”shesaid.
“Yes. Remain there. If I want you I will let you know,” answered The
Sparrow.
Andthenshedescendedthestairsandwalkedtoherhotel.
Next evening Hugh and The Sparrow, both dressed quite differently, left by
theRivieratrain-de-luxe.AsTheSparrowlaythatnightinthewagon-lithetried
to sleep, but the roar and rattle of the train prevented it. Therefore he calmly
thoughtoutacompleteanddeliberateplan.
FromoneofhisfriendsinLondonhehadhadsecretwarningthatthepolice,
onthedayheleftCharingCross,haddescendeduponShapleyManorandhad
arrestedMrs.BondunderawarrantappliedforbytheFrenchpolice,andhealso
knewthatherextraditionfortrialinParishadbeengranted.
That there was a traitor in the camp was proved, but happily Hugh Henfrey
hadescapedjustintime.
ForhimselfTheSparrowcaredlittle.Heseemedtobeimmunefromarrest,so
cleverlydidhedisguisehistrueidentity;yetnowthatsomepersonhadrevealed
his secrets, what more likely than the person, whoever it was, would also give
him away for the sake of the big reward which he knew was offered for his
apprehension.


Before leaving Paris that evening he had dispatched a telegram, a reply to
whichwashandedhiminthetrainwhenitstoppedatLyonsearlynextmorning.
Thisdecidedhim.HesentanothertelegramandthenreturnedtowhereHugh
waslyinghalfawake.WhentheystoppedatMarseilles,bothmenwerecareful
nottoleavethetrain,butcontinuedinit,arrivingatthegreatstationofNicein
theearlyafternoon.
Theylefttheirbagsatasmallhoteljustoutsidethestation,andtakingacab,
theydroveawayintotheoldtown.AfterwardstheyproceededonfoottotheRue
Rossetti,wheretheyclimbedtotheflatoccupiedbyoldGiulioCataldi.
Theoldfellowwasout,buttheelderlyItalianwomanwhokepthouseforhim
saidsheexpectedhimbackatanymoment.Hewasduetocomeoffdutyatthe
cafewherehewasemployed.
So Hugh and his companion waited, examining the poorly-furnished little
room.
Now The Sparrow entertained a strong suspicion that Cataldi knew more of
thetragedyattheVillaAmettethananyoneelse.Indeed,oflate,ithadmorethan
oncecrossedhismindthathemightbetheactualculprit.
Atlastthedooropenedandtheoldmanentered,surprisedtofindhimselfin
thepresenceofthemastercriminal,TheSparrow,whomhehadonlymetonce
before.
Hegreetedhisvisitorsrathertimidly.
AfterashortchatTheSparrow,whohadofferedtheoldmanacigarettefrom
acheapplatedcasemuchworn,begantomakecertaininquiries.
“This is a very serious and confidential affair, Cataldi,” he said. “I want to
knowtheabsolutetruth—andImusthaveit.”
“I know it is serious, signore,” replied the old man, much perturbed by the
unexpected visit of the king of the underworld, the elusive Sparrow of whom
everyonespokeinawe.“ButIonlyknowoneortwofacts.IrecognizeSignor
Henfrey.”
“Ah! Then you know me!” exclaimed Hugh. “You recognized me on that
nightattheVillaAmette,whenyouopenedthedoortome.”
“Ido,signore.Irecollecteverything.Itisallphotographeduponmymemory.
Poor Mademoiselle! You questioned her—as a gentleman would—and you
demandedtoknowaboutyourfather’sdeath.Sheprevaricated—and——”
“Thenyouoverheardit?”saidHugh.
“Yes,Ilistened.WasInotMademoiselle’sservant?Onthatnightshehadwon


quitealargesumattheRooms,andshehadgivenme—ah!shewasalwaysmost
generous—five hundred francs—twenty pounds in your English money. And
theywereacceptableinthesedaysofhighprices.Iheardmuch.Iwasinterested.
MademoisellewasmymistresswhomIhadservedfaithfully.”
“You wondered why this young Englishman should call upon her at that
hour?”saidTheSparrow.
“Idid.Sheneverreceivedvisitorsafterherfiveo’clocktea.Itwasthehabitat
theVillaAmettetolunchatoneo’clock,Englishteaatfiveo’clock,anddinner
at eight—when the Rooms were slack save for the tourists from seven till ten.
Strange! The tourists always think they can win while the gambling world has
gonetoitsmeals!Theygetseats,itistrue,buttheyalwayslose.”
“Yes,” replied The Sparrow. “It is a strange fact that the greatest losses are
sustainedbytheplayerswhentheRoomsaremostempty.Nobodyhasyetever
beenabletoaccountforit.”
“And yet it is so,” declared old Cataldi. “I have watched it day by day. But
poorMademoiselle!Whatcanwedotosolvethemystery?”
“WereyounotwithMademoiselleandMr.Bentonwhenyoubothbroughtoff
thatgreatcoupintheAvenueLouise,inBrussels?”askedTheSparrow.
“Yes,signore,”saidtheoldman.“ButIdonotwishtospeakofitnow.”
“Quite naturally. I quite appreciate it. Since Mademoiselle’s—er—accident
youhave,Isuppose,beenleadinganhonestlife?”
“Yes.Ihavetriedtodoso.AtpresentIamacafewaiter.”
“AndyoucantellmenothingfurtherregardingtheaffairattheVillaAmette?”
askedTheSparrow,eyeinghimnarrowly.
“Iregret,signore,Icantellyounothingfurther,”repliedthestaid,rathersadlookingoldman;“nothing.”Andhesighed.
“Why?”askedthemanwhosetentacleswere,likeanoctopus,uponahundred
schemes, and as many criminal coups in Europe. He sought a solution of the
problem,butnothingappearedforthcoming.
Hehadstrainedeveryeffort,buthecouldascertainnothing.
ThatCataldiknewthekeytothewholeproblemTheSparrowfeltassured.Yet
whydidnottheoldfellowtellthetruth?
AtlastTheSparrowroseandleft,andHughfollowedhim.Bothwerebitterly
disappointed.Theoldmanrefusedtosaymorethanthathewasignorantofthe
wholeaffair.


Cataldi’sattitudeannoyedthemastercriminal.
ForthreedaysheremainedinNicewithHugh,atgreatriskofrecognitionand
arrest.
On the fourth day they went together in a hired car along the winding road
acrosstheVartoCannes.
Atabigwhitevillaalittledistanceoutsidetheprettywintertownofflowers
andpalms,theyhalted.Thehouse,whichwasontheFrejusroad,wasoncethe
residenceofaRussianprince.
WithTheSparrowHughwasusheredintoabig,sunnyroomoverlookingthe
beautifulgardenwhereclimbinggeraniumsranriotwithcarnationsandviolets,
andforsomeminutestheywaited.Fromthewindowsspreadawideviewofthe
calmsapphiresea.
Thensuddenlythedooropened.


TWENTY-NINTHCHAPTER
THESTORYOFMADEMOISELLE
Both men turned and before them they saw the plainly dressed figure of a
beautifulwoman,andbehindheranelderly,grey-facedman.
ForafewsecondsthewomanstaredatTheSparrowblankly.Thensheturned
hergazeuponHugh.
Her lips parted. Suddenly she gave vent to a loud cry, almost of pain, and
placingbothhandstoherhead,gasped:
“Dieu!”
ItwasYvonneFerad.Andthecrywasoneofrecognition.
Hughdashedforwardwiththedoctor,forshewasonthepointofcollapseat
recognizing them. But in a few seconds she recovered herself, though she was
deathlypaleandmuchagitated.
“Yvonne!” exclaimed The Sparrow in a low, kindly voice. “Then you know
whowereallyare?Yourreasonhasreturned?”
“Yes,”sheansweredinFrench.“Irememberwhoyouare.Ah!But—butitis
all so strange!” she cried wildly. “I—I—I can’t think! At last! Yes. I know. I
recollect!You!”AndshestaredatHugh.“You—youareMonsieurHenfrey!”
“Thatisso,mademoiselle.”
“Ah, messieurs,” remarked the elderly doctor, who was standing behind his
patient. “She recognized you both—after all! The sudden shock at seeing you
has accomplished what we have failed all these months to accomplish. It is
efficaciousonlyinsomefewcases.Inthisitissuccessful.Butbecareful.Ibeg
of you not to overtax poor mademoiselle’s brain with many questions. I will
leaveyou.”
Andhewithdrew,closingthedoorsoftlyafterhim.
ForafewminutesTheSparrowspoketoMademoiselleofMonteCarloabout
generalthings.
“I have been very ill,” she said in a low, tremulous voice. “I could think of
nothing since my accident, until now—and now”—and she gazed around her
withanewinterestuponherhandsomecountenance—“andnowIremember!—


butitallseemstoohazyandindistinct.”
“Yourecollectthings—eh?”askedTheSparrowinakindlyvoice,placinghis
handuponhershoulderandlookingintohertiredeyes.
“Yes. I remember. All the past is slowly returning to me. It seems ages and
agessinceIlastmetyou,Mr.—Mr.Peters,”andshelaughedlightly.“Peters—
thatisthename?”
“Itis,mademoiselle,”helaughed.“Anditisahappyeventthat,byseeingus
unexpectedly,yourmemoryhasreturned.ButthereasonMr.Henfreyishereis
to resume that conversation which was so suddenly interrupted at the Villa
Amette.”
Mademoiselle was silent for some moments. Her face was averted, for she
wasgazingoutofthewindowtothedistantsea.
“DoyouwishmetorevealtoMonsieurHenfreythe—thesecretofhisfather’s
death?”sheaskedofTheSparrow.
“Certainly.Youwereabouttodosowhen—whentheaccidenthappened.”
“Yes.But—but,oh!—howcanItellhimtheactualtruthwhen—when,alas!I
amsoguilty?”criedthewoman,muchdistressed.
“No, no, mademoiselle,” said Hugh, placing his hand tenderly upon her
shoulder. “Calm yourself. You did not kill my father. Of that I am quite
convinced.Donotdistressyourself,buttellmeallthatyouknow.”
“Mr.Petersknowssomethingoftheaffair,Ibelieve,”shesaidslowly.“Buthe
never planned it. The whole plot was concocted by Benton.” Then, turning to
Hugh, Mademoiselle said almost in her natural tone, though slightly highpitchedandnervous:
“Benton,theblackguard,wasyourfather’sfriendatWoodthorpe.Withaman
namedHowell,knownalsoasShaw,hepreparedawillwhichyourfathersigned
unconsciously,andwhichprovidedthatintheeventofhisdeathyoushouldbe
cutofffromalmosteverybenefitifyoudidnotmarryLouiseLambert,Benton’s
adopteddaughter.”
“ButwhoisLouiseactually?”askedHughinterrupting.
“The real daughter of Benton, who has made pretence of adopting her. Of
courseLouiseisunawareofthatfact,”Yvonnereplied.
Hughwasmuchsurprisedatthis.ButhenowsawthereasonwhyMrs.Bond
wassosolicitousofthepoorgirl’swelfare.
“NowIhappenedtobeinLondon,andononeofyourfather’svisitstotown,
Benton, his friend, introduced us. Naturally I had no knowledge of the plot


whichBentonandHowellhadformed,andfindingyourfatheraveryagreeable
gentleman,IinvitedhimtothefurnishedflatIhadtakenatQueen’sGate.Iwent
to the theatre with him on two occasions, Benton accompanying us, and then
your father returned to the country. One day, about two months later Howell
happenedtobeinLondon,andpresumablytheydecidedthattheplotwasripe
for execution, for they asked me to write to Mr. Henfrey at Woodthorpe, and
suggestthatheshouldcometoLondon,haveanearlysupperwithus,andgotoa
big charity ball at the Albert Hall. In due course I received a wire from Mr.
Henfrey, whocametoLondon,hadsupperwithme,BentonandHowellbeing
also present, while Howell’s small closed car, which he always drove himself,
waswaitingoutsidetotakeustotheball.”
Then she paused and drew a long breath, as though the recollection of that
nighthorrifiedher—asindeeditdid.
“AftersupperIroseandlefttheroomtospeaktomyservantforamoment,
when,justasIre-entered,IsawHowell,whowasstandingbehindMr.Henfrey’s
chair,suddenlybend,placehisleftarmaroundyourfather’sneck,andwithhis
righthandpressonthenapeoftheneckjustabovehiscollar.‘Here!’yourfather
cried out, thinking it was a joke, ‘what’s the game?’ But the last word was
scarcelyaudible,forhecollapsedacrossthetable.Istoodthereaghast.Howell,
suddenly noticing me, told me roughly to clear out, as I was not wanted. I
demandedtoknowwhathadhappened,butIwastoldthatitdidnotconcernme.
My idea was that Mr. Henfrey had been drugged, for he was still alive and
apparently dazed. I afterwards heard, however, that Howell had pressed the
needleofahypodermicsyringecontaininganewlydiscoveredanduntraceable
poisonwhichhehadobtainedinsecretfromacertainchemistinFrankfort,who
makesaspecialityofsuchthings.”
“Andwhathappenedthen?”askedHugh,aghastandastoundedatthestory.
“BentonandHowellsentmeoutoftheroom.Theywaitedforoveranhour.
Then Howell went down to the car. Afterwards, when all was clear, they half
carried poor Mr. Henfrey downstairs, placed him in the car, and drove away.
NextdayIheardthatmyguesthadbeenfoundbyaconstableinadoorwayin
Albemarle Street. The officer, who first thought he was intoxicated, later took
himtoSt.George’sHospital,wherehedied.Afterwardsascratchwasfoundon
the palm of his hand, and the doctors believed it had been caused by a pin
infectedwithsomepoison.Thetruthwas,however,thathishandwasscratched
inopeningabottleofchampagneatsupper.Thedoctorsneversuspectedthetiny
punctureinthehairatthenapeoftheneck,andtheyneverdiscoveredit.”
“I knew nothing of the affair,” declared The Sparrow, his face clouded by


anger.“ThenHowellwastheactualmurderer?”
“He was,” Yvonne replied. “I saw him press the needle into Mr. Henfrey’s
neck,whileBentonstoodby,readytoseizethevictimifheresisted.Bentonand
HowellhadagreedtokillMr.Henfrey,compelhissontomarryLouise,andthen
getHugh outoftheworldbyoneorotheroftheirdevilishschemes. Ah!”she
sighed,lookingsadlybeforeher.“Iseeitallnow—everything.”
“ThenitwasarrangedthatafterIhadmarriedLouiseIshouldalsomeetwith
anunexpectedend?”
“Yes. One that should discredit you in the eyes of your wife and your own
friends—an end probably like your father’s. A secret visit to London, and a
mysteriousdeath,”Mademoisellereplied.
She spoke quite calmly and rationally. The shock of suddenly encountering
the two persons who had been uppermost in her thoughts before those terrible
injuries to her brain had balanced it again. Though the pains in her head were
excruciating,assheexplained,yetshecouldnowthink,andsherememberedall
thebitternessofthepast.
“You, M’sieur Henfrey, are the son of my dead friend. You have been the
victim of a great and dastardly conspiracy,” she said. “But I ask your
forgiveness,forIassureyouthatwhenIinvitedyourfatherupfromWoodthorpe
Ihadnoideawhateverofwhatthoseassassinsintended.”
“Benton is already under arrest for another affair,” broke in The Sparrow
quietly.“IheardsofromLondonyesterday.”
“Ah! And I hope that Howell will also be punished for his crime,” the
handsomewomancried.“ThoughIhavebeenathief,aswindler,andadecoy—
ah! yes, I admit it all—I have never committed the crime of murder. I know,
messieurs,” she went on—“I know that I am a social outcast, the mysterious
MademoiselleofMonteCarlo,theycallme!ButIhavesuffered.Ihaveindeed
in these past months paid my debt to Society, and of you, Mr. Henfrey, I beg
forgiveness.”
“Iforgiveyou,Mademoiselle,”Hughreplied,graspingherslim,whitehand.
“Mademoisellewill,Ihope,meetMissRanscomb,Mr.Henfrey’sfiancee,and
tellherthewholetruth,”saidTheSparrow.
“That I certainly will,” Yvonne replied. “Now that I can think I shall be
allowedtoleavethisplace—eh?”
“Of course. I will see after that,” said the man known as Mr. Peters. “You
mustreturntotheVillaAmette—foryouarestillMademoiselleofMonteCarlo,


remember!Leaveitalltome.”Andhelaughedhappily.
“Butwearenonearerthesolutionofthemysteryastowhoattemptedtokill
you,Mademoiselle,”Hughremarked.
“Therecanbebutoneperson.OldCataldiknowswhoitis,”sheanswered.
“Cataldi? Then why has he not told me? I questioned him closely only the
otherday,”saidTheSparrow.
“Forcertainreasons,”Mademoisellereplied.“Hedarenottellthetruth!”
“Why?”askedHugh.
“Because—well——”andsheturnedtoTheSparrow.“Youwillrecollectthe
affairwebroughtoffinBrusselsatthathouseoftheBelgianbaronesscloseto
theBoisdelaCambre.Aservantwasshotdead.GiulioCataldishothiminselfdefence.ButHowellknowsofit.”
“Well?”askedTheSparrow.
“HowellwasinMonteCarloonthenightoftheattemptuponme.Imethim
intheCasinohalfanhourbeforeIlefttowalkhome.Henodoubtrecognized
Mr.Henfrey,whowasalsothere,asthesonofthemanwhomhehadmurdered,
watchedhim,andfollowedhimuptomyvilla.HesuspectedthatMr.Henfrey’s
objectwastofacemeanddemandanexplanation.”
“Doyoureallythinkso?”gaspedHugh.
“OfthatIfeelpositive.OnlyCataldicanproveit.”
“WhyCataldi?”inquiredHugh.
“See him again and tell him what I have revealed to you,” answered
MademoiselleofMonteCarlo.
“WhowasitwhowarnedmeagainstyoubythatletterpostedinTours?”
“ItwaspartofHowell’sscheme,nodoubt.Ihavenoideaoftheidentityofthe
writerofanyanonymousletter.ButHowell,nodoubt,sawthatifheridhimself
ofmeitwouldbetohisgreatadvantage.”
“ThenCataldiwillnotspeakthetruthbecausehefearsHowell?”remarkedthe
notoriouschiefofEurope’sunderworld.
“Exactly.NowthatIcanthink,Icanpiecethewholepuzzletogether.Itisall
quiteplain.DoyounotrecollectHowell’scuriousriflefashionedintheformof
awalking-stick?WhenIhaltedtospeaktoMadameBerangeronthestepsofthe
CasinoasIcameoutthatnight,hepassedmecarryingthatstick.Indeed,heis
seldomwithoutit.BymeansofthatdisguisedrifleIwasshot!”
“ButyouspeakofCataldi.Howcanheknow?”


“When I entered the house I told him quickly that I believed Howell was
followingme.Iorderedhimtowatch.Thisnodoubthedid.Hehaseverbeen
faithfultome.”
“BuywhyshouldHowellhaveattemptedtofixhisguiltuponMr.Henfrey?”
askedTheSparrow.“Indoingsohewasdefeatinghisownaims.IfMr.Henfrey
weresenttoprisonhecouldnotmarry LouiseLambert,andifhehadmarried
Louise he would have benefited Howell! Therefore the whole plot was
nullified.”
“Exactly,m’sieur.Howellattemptedtokillmeinordertopreservehissecret,
fearing that if I told Mr. Henfrey the truth he would inform the police of the
circumstancesofhisfather’sassassination.Inmakingtheattempthedefeatedhis
ownends—afactwhichheonlyrealizedwhentoolate!”


CONCLUSION
Theforegoingisperhapsoneofthemostremarkablestoriesoftheunderworld
ofEurope.
Its details are set down in full in three big portfolios in the archives of the
SureteinParis—wherethepresentwriterhashadaccesstothem.
In that bald official narrative which is docketed under the heading “No.
23489/263—Henfrey” there is no mention of the love affair between Dorise
RanscombandHughHenfreyofWoodthorpe.
ButthetruefactsarethatwithinthreedaysofMademoiselle’srecoveryofher
mentalbalance,oldGiulioCataldimadeaswornstatementtothepoliceatNice,
andinconsequencetwogendarmesoftheDepartmentofSeineetOisewentone
night to a small hotel at Provins, where they arrested the Englishman, Shaw,
aliasHowell,whohadgonethereinwhathethoughtwassafehiding.
The arrest took place at midnight, but Howell, on being cornered in his
bedroom,showedfight,andraisinganautomaticpistol,whichhehadunderhis
pillow, shot and wounded one of the gendarmes. Whereupon his companion
drewhisrevolverinself-defenceandshottheEnglishmandead.
Benton,afewmonthslater,wassentencedtoforcedlabourforfifteenyears,
while his accomplice, Molly Bond, received a sentence of ten years. Only one
case—thatofjewelrobbery—was,however,provedagainsther.
Dorise,aboutsixweeksafterMademoiselleYvonne’sexplanation,metherin
London, and there she and Hugh became reconciled. Her jealousy of Louise
Lambertdisappearedwhensheknewtheactualtruth,andsheadmiredherlover
all the more for his generosity in promising, when the Probate Court had set
aside the false will, that he would settle a comfortable income upon the poor
innocentgirl.
This,indeed,hedid.
The Sparrow has never since been traced, though Scotland Yard and the
Surete have searched everywhere for him. But he is far too clever. The writer
believes he is now living in obscurity, but perfectly happy, in a little village


outsideBarcelona.Helovesthesunshine.
AsforHugh,heisnowhappilymarriedtoDorise,andastheProbateCourt
hasdecidedthatWoodthorpeandthesubstantialincomearehis,heisenjoying
allhisfather’swealth.
YvonneFeradisstillMademoiselleofMonteCarlo.Shestilllivesonthehill
inthepicturesqueVillaAmette,andisstillknowntothehabituesoftheRooms
as—MademoiselleofMonteCarlo.
OnmostnightsinspringshecanbeseenattheRooms,andthosewhoknow
the truth tell the queer story which I have in the foregoing pages attempted to
relate.

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