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Produced by Nathan J. Miller









THE EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES OF ARSÈNE LUPIN, GENTLEMAN-BURGLAR

By Maurice Leblanc



Table of Contents:

I. The Arrest of Arsène Lupin
II. Arsène Lupin in Prison
III. The Escape of Arsène Lupin
IV. The Mysterious Traveller
V. The Queen's Necklace
VI. The Seven of Hearts
VII. Madame Imbert's Safe
VIII. The Black Pearl
IX. Sherlock Holmes Arrives Too Late





I. The Arrest of Arsène Lupin


It was a strange ending to a voyage that had commenced in a most
auspicious manner. The transatlantic steamship `La Provence' was a swift
and comfortable vessel, under the command of a most affable man. The
passengers constituted a select and delightful society. The charm of
new acquaintances and improvised amusements served to make the time pass
agreeably. We enjoyed the pleasant sensation of being separated from
the world, living, as it were, upon an unknown island, and consequently
obliged to be sociable with each other.

Have you ever stopped to consider how much originality and spontaneity
emanate from these various individuals who, on the preceding evening,
did not even know each other, and who are now, for several days,
condemned to lead a life of extreme intimacy, jointly defying the anger
of the ocean, the terrible onslaught of the waves, the violence of the
tempest and the agonizing monotony of the calm and sleepy water? Such
a life becomes a sort of tragic existence, with its storms and its
grandeurs, its monotony and its diversity; and that is why, perhaps,
we embark upon that short voyage with mingled feelings of pleasure and
fear.

But, during the past few years, a new sensation had been added to the
life of the transatlantic traveler. The little floating island is now
attached to the world from which it was once quite free. A bond united
them, even in the very heart of the watery wastes of the Atlantic. That
bond is the wireless telegraph, by means of which we receive news in
the most mysterious manner. We know full well that the message is not
transported by the medium of a hollow wire. No, the mystery is even more
inexplicable, more romantic, and we must have recourse to the wings of
the air in order to explain this new miracle. During the first day of
the voyage, we felt that we were being followed, escorted, preceded
even, by that distant voice, which, from time to time, whispered to one
of us a few words from the receding world. Two friends spoke to me. Ten,
twenty others sent gay or somber words of parting to other passengers.

On the second day, at a distance of five hundred miles from the French
coast, in the midst of a violent storm, we received the following
message by means of the wireless telegraph:

"Arsène Lupin is on your vessel, first cabin, blonde hair, wound right
fore-arm, traveling alone under name of R........"

At that moment, a terrible flash of lightning rent the stormy skies.
The electric waves were interrupted. The remainder of the dispatch never
reached us. Of the name under which Arsène Lupin was concealing himself,
we knew only the initial.

If the news had been of some other character, I have no doubt that the
secret would have been carefully guarded by the telegraphic operator as
well as by the officers of the vessel. But it was one of those events
calculated to escape from the most rigorous discretion. The same day, no
one knew how, the incident became a matter of current gossip and every
passenger was aware that the famous Arsène Lupin was hiding in our
midst.

Arsène Lupin in our midst! the irresponsible burglar whose exploits
had been narrated in all the newspapers during the past few months! the
mysterious individual with whom Ganimard, our shrewdest detective,
had been engaged in an implacable conflict amidst interesting and
picturesque surroundings. Arsène Lupin, the eccentric gentleman who
operates only in the chateaux and salons, and who, one night, entered
the residence of Baron Schormann, but emerged empty-handed, leaving,
however, his card on which he had scribbled these words: "Arsène Lupin,
gentleman-burglar, will return when the furniture is genuine." Arsène
Lupin, the man of a thousand disguises: in turn a chauffer, detective,
bookmaker, Russian physician, Spanish bull-fighter, commercial traveler,
robust youth, or decrepit old man.

Then consider this startling situation: Arsène Lupin was wandering about
within the limited bounds of a transatlantic steamer; in that very small
corner of the world, in that dining saloon, in that smoking room, in
that music room! Arsène Lupin was, perhaps, this gentleman.... or that
one.... my neighbor at the table.... the sharer of my stateroom....

"And this condition of affairs will last for five days!" exclaimed Miss
Nelly Underdown, next morning. "It is unbearable! I hope he will be
arrested."

Then, addressing me, she added:

"And you, Monsieur d'Andrézy, you are on intimate terms with the
captain; surely you know something?"

I should have been delighted had I possessed any information that would
interest Miss Nelly. She was one of those magnificent creatures who
inevitably attract attention in every assembly. Wealth and beauty form
an irresistible combination, and Nelly possessed both.

Educated in Paris under the care of a French mother, she was now going
to visit her father, the millionaire Underdown of Chicago. She was
accompanied by one of her friends, Lady Jerland.

At first, I had decided to open a flirtation with her; but, in the
rapidly growing intimacy of the voyage, I was soon impressed by her
charming manner and my feelings became too deep and reverential for a
mere flirtation. Moreover, she accepted my attentions with a certain
degree of favor. She condescended to laugh at my witticisms and display
an interest in my stories. Yet I felt that I had a rival in the person
of a young man with quiet and refined tastes; and it struck me, at
times, that she preferred his taciturn humor to my Parisian frivolity.
He formed one in the circle of admirers that surrounded Miss Nelly
at the time she addressed to me the foregoing question. We were all
comfortably seated in our deck-chairs. The storm of the preceding
evening had cleared the sky. The weather was now delightful.

"I have no definite knowledge, mademoiselle," I replied, "but can not
we, ourselves, investigate the mystery quite as well as the detective
Ganimard, the personal enemy of Arsène Lupin?"

"Oh! oh! you are progressing very fast, monsieur."

"Not at all, mademoiselle. In the first place, let me ask, do you find
the problem a complicated one?"

"Very complicated."

"Have you forgotten the key we hold for the solution to the problem?"

"What key?"

"In the first place, Lupin calls himself Monsieur R - - - -."

"Rather vague information," she replied.

"Secondly, he is traveling alone."

"Does that help you?" she asked.

"Thirdly, he is blonde."

"Well?"

"Then we have only to peruse the passenger-list, and proceed by process
of elimination."

I had that list in my pocket. I took it out and glanced through it. Then
I remarked:

"I find that there are only thirteen men on the passenger-list whose
names begin with the letter R."

"Only thirteen?"

"Yes, in the first cabin. And of those thirteen, I find that nine of
them are accompanied by women, children or servants. That leaves only
four who are traveling alone. First, the Marquis de Raverdan - - "

"Secretary to the American Ambassador," interrupted Miss Nelly. "I know
him."

"Major Rawson," I continued.

"He is my uncle," some one said.

"Mon. Rivolta."

"Here!" exclaimed an Italian, whose face was concealed beneath a heavy
black beard.

Miss Nelly burst into laughter, and exclaimed: "That gentleman can
scarcely be called a blonde."

"Very well, then," I said, "we are forced to the conclusion that the
guilty party is the last one on the list."

"What is his name?"

"Mon. Rozaine. Does anyone know him?"

No one answered. But Miss Nelly turned to the taciturn young man, whose
attentions to her had annoyed me, and said:

"Well, Monsieur Rozaine, why do you not answer?"

All eyes were now turned upon him. He was a blonde. I must confess
that I myself felt a shock of surprise, and the profound silence that
followed her question indicated that the others present also viewed
the situation with a feeling of sudden alarm. However, the idea was an
absurd one, because the gentleman in question presented an air of the
most perfect innocence.

"Why do I not answer?" he said. "Because, considering my name, my
position as a solitary traveler and the color of my hair, I have already
reached the same conclusion, and now think that I should be arrested."

He presented a strange appearance as he uttered these words. His thin
lips were drawn closer than usual and his face was ghastly pale, whilst
his eyes were streaked with blood. Of course, he was joking, yet his
appearance and attitude impressed us strangely.

"But you have not the wound?" said Miss Nelly, naively.

"That is true," he replied, "I lack the wound."

Then he pulled up his sleeve, removing his cuff, and showed us his arm.
But that action did not deceive me. He had shown us his left arm, and
I was on the point of calling his attention to the fact, when another
incident diverted our attention. Lady Jerland, Miss Nelly's friend, came
running towards us in a state of great excitement, exclaiming:

"My jewels, my pearls! Some one has stolen them all!"

No, they were not all gone, as we soon found out. The thief had taken
only part of them; a very curious thing. Of the diamond sunbursts,
jeweled pendants, bracelets and necklaces, the thief had taken, not
the largest but the finest and most valuable stones. The mountings were
lying upon the table. I saw them there, despoiled of their jewels, like
flowers from which the beautiful colored petals had been ruthlessly
plucked. And this theft must have been committed at the time Lady
Jerland was taking her tea; in broad daylight, in a stateroom opening
on a much frequented corridor; moreover, the thief had been obliged to
force open the door of the stateroom, search for the jewel-case, which
was hidden at the bottom of a hat-box, open it, select his booty and
remove it from the mountings.

Of course, all the passengers instantly reached the same conclusion; it
was the work of Arsène Lupin.

That day, at the dinner table, the seats to the right and left of
Rozaine remained vacant; and, during the evening, it was rumored that
the captain had placed him under arrest, which information produced a
feeling of safety and relief. We breathed once more. That evening, we
resumed our games and dances. Miss Nelly, especially, displayed a spirit
of thoughtless gayety which convinced me that if Rozaine's attentions
had been agreeable to her in the beginning, she had already forgotten
them. Her charm and good-humor completed my conquest. At midnight, under
a bright moon, I declared my devotion with an ardor that did not seem to
displease her.

But, next day, to our general amazement, Rozaine was at liberty.
We learned that the evidence against him was not sufficient. He had
produced documents that were perfectly regular, which showed that he
was the son of a wealthy merchant of Bordeaux. Besides, his arms did not
bear the slightest trace of a wound.

"Documents! Certificates of birth!" exclaimed the enemies of Rozaine,
"of course, Arsène Lupin will furnish you as many as you desire. And as
to the wound, he never had it, or he has removed it."

Then it was proven that, at the time of the theft, Rozaine was
promenading on the deck. To which fact, his enemies replied that a man
like Arsène Lupin could commit a crime without being actually present.
And then, apart from all other circumstances, there remained one point
which even the most skeptical could not answer: Who except Rozaine, was
traveling alone, was a blonde, and bore a name beginning with R? To whom
did the telegram point, if it were not Rozaine?

And when Rozaine, a few minutes before breakfast, came boldly toward our
group, Miss Nelly and Lady Jerland arose and walked away.

An hour later, a manuscript circular was passed from hand to hand
amongst the sailors, the stewards, and the passengers of all classes.
It announced that Mon. Louis Rozaine offered a reward of ten thousand
francs for the discovery of Arsène Lupin or other person in possession
of the stolen jewels.

"And if no one assists me, I will unmask the scoundrel myself," declared
Rozaine.

Rozaine against Arsène Lupin, or rather, according to current opinion,
Arsène Lupin himself against Arsène Lupin; the contest promised to be
interesting.

Nothing developed during the next two days. We saw Rozaine wandering
about, day and night, searching, questioning, investigating. The
captain, also, displayed commendable activity. He caused the vessel to
be searched from stern to stern; ransacked every stateroom under the
plausible theory that the jewels might be concealed anywhere, except in
the thief's own room.

"I suppose they will find out something soon," remarked Miss Nelly to
me. "He may be a wizard, but he cannot make diamonds and pearls become
invisible."

"Certainly not," I replied, "but he should examine the lining of our
hats and vests and everything we carry with us."

Then, exhibiting my Kodak, a 9x12 with which I had been photographing
her in various poses, I added: "In an apparatus no larger than that, a
person could hide all of Lady Jerland's jewels. He could pretend to take
pictures and no one would suspect the game."

"But I have heard it said that every thief leaves some clue behind him."

"That may be generally true," I replied, "but there is one exception:
Arsène Lupin."

"Why?"

"Because he concentrates his thoughts not only on the theft, but on all
the circumstances connected with it that could serve as a clue to his
identity."

"A few days ago, you were more confident."

"Yes, but since I have seen him at work."

"And what do you think about it now?" she asked.

"Well, in my opinion, we are wasting our time."

And, as a matter of fact, the investigation had produced no result. But,
in the meantime, the captain's watch had been stolen. He was furious. He
quickened his efforts and watched Rozaine more closely than before. But,
on the following day, the watch was found in the second officer's collar
box.

This incident caused considerable astonishment, and displayed the
humorous side of Arsène Lupin, burglar though he was, but dilettante as
well. He combined business with pleasure. He reminded us of the
author who almost died in a fit of laughter provoked by his own play.
Certainly, he was an artist in his particular line of work, and whenever
I saw Rozaine, gloomy and reserved, and thought of the double role that
he was playing, I accorded him a certain measure of admiration.

On the following evening, the officer on deck duty heard groans
emanating from the darkest corner of the ship. He approached and found a
man lying there, his head enveloped in a thick gray scarf and his hands
tied together with a heavy cord. It was Rozaine. He had been assaulted,
thrown down and robbed. A card, pinned to his coat, bore these words:
"Arsène Lupin accepts with pleasure the ten thousand francs offered by
Mon. Rozaine." As a matter of fact, the stolen pocket-book contained
twenty thousand francs.

Of course, some accused the unfortunate man of having simulated this
attack on himself. But, apart from the fact that he could not have bound
himself in that manner, it was established that the writing on the
card was entirely different from that of Rozaine, but, on the contrary,
resembled the handwriting of Arsène Lupin as it was reproduced in an old
newspaper found on board.

Thus it appeared that Rozaine was not Arsène Lupin; but was Rozaine, the
son of a Bordeaux merchant. And the presence of Arsène Lupin was once
more affirmed, and that in a most alarming manner.

Such was the state of terror amongst the passengers that none would
remain alone in a stateroom or wander singly in unfrequented parts of
the vessel. We clung together as a matter of safety. And yet the most
intimate acquaintances were estranged by a mutual feeling of distrust.
Arsène Lupin was, now, anybody and everybody. Our excited imaginations
attributed to him miraculous and unlimited power. We supposed him
capable of assuming the most unexpected disguises; of being, by turns,
the highly respectable Major Rawson or the noble Marquis de Raverdan,
or even - for we no longer stopped with the accusing letter of R - or even
such or such a person well known to all of us, and having wife, children
and servants.

The first wireless dispatches from America brought no news; at
least, the captain did not communicate any to us. The silence was not
reassuring.

Our last day on the steamer seemed interminable. We lived in constant
fear of some disaster. This time, it would not be a simple theft or a
comparatively harmless assault; it would be a crime, a murder. No one
imagined that Arsène Lupin would confine himself to those two trifling
offenses. Absolute master of the ship, the authorities powerless, he
could do whatever he pleased; our property and lives were at his mercy.

Yet those were delightful hours for me, since they secured to me the
confidence of Miss Nelly. Deeply moved by those startling events and
being of a highly nervous nature, she spontaneously sought at my side
a protection and security that I was pleased to give her. Inwardly, I
blessed Arsène Lupin. Had he not been the means of bringing me and
Miss Nelly closer to each other? Thanks to him, I could now indulge in
delicious dreams of love and happiness - dreams that, I felt, were not
unwelcome to Miss Nelly. Her smiling eyes authorized me to make them;
the softness of her voice bade me hope.

As we approached the American shore, the active search for the thief was
apparently abandoned, and we were anxiously awaiting the supreme moment
in which the mysterious enigma would be explained. Who was Arsène
Lupin? Under what name, under what disguise was the famous Arsène Lupin
concealing himself? And, at last, that supreme moment arrived. If I live
one hundred years, I shall not forget the slightest details of it.

"How pale you are, Miss Nelly," I said to my companion, as she leaned
upon my arm, almost fainting.

"And you!" she replied, "ah! you are so changed."

"Just think! this is a most exciting moment, and I am delighted to
spend it with you, Miss Nelly. I hope that your memory will sometimes
revert - -"

But she was not listening. She was nervous and excited. The gangway was
placed in position, but, before we could use it, the uniformed customs
officers came on board. Miss Nelly murmured:

"I shouldn't be surprised to hear that Arsène Lupin escaped from the
vessel during the voyage."

"Perhaps he preferred death to dishonor, and plunged into the Atlantic
rather than be arrested."

"Oh, do not laugh," she said.

Suddenly I started, and, in answer to her question, I said:

"Do you see that little old man standing at the bottom of the gangway?"

"With an umbrella and an olive-green coat?"

"It is Ganimard."

"Ganimard?"

"Yes, the celebrated detective who has sworn to capture Arsène Lupin.
Ah! I can understand now why we did not receive any news from this side
of the Atlantic. Ganimard was here! and he always keeps his business
secret."

"Then you think he will arrest Arsène Lupin?"

"Who can tell? The unexpected always happens when Arsène Lupin is
concerned in the affair."

"Oh!" she exclaimed, with that morbid curiosity peculiar to women, "I
should like to see him arrested."

"You will have to be patient. No doubt, Arsène Lupin has already seen
his enemy and will not be in a hurry to leave the steamer."

The passengers were now leaving the steamer. Leaning on his umbrella,
with an air of careless indifference, Ganimard appeared to be paying no
attention to the crowd that was hurrying down the gangway. The Marquis
de Raverdan, Major Rawson, the Italian Rivolta, and many others had
already left the vessel before Rozaine appeared. Poor Rozaine!

"Perhaps it is he, after all," said Miss Nelly to me. "What do you
think?"

"I think it would be very interesting to have Ganimard and Rozaine in
the same picture. You take the camera. I am loaded down."

I gave her the camera, but too late for her to use it. Rozaine was
already passing the detective. An American officer, standing behind
Ganimard, leaned forward and whispered in his ear. The French detective
shrugged his shoulders and Rozaine passed on. Then, my God, who was
Arsène Lupin?

"Yes," said Miss Nelly, aloud, "who can it be?"

Not more than twenty people now remained on board. She scrutinized them
one by one, fearful that Arsène Lupin was not amongst them.

"We cannot wait much longer," I said to her.

She started toward the gangway. I followed. But we had not taken ten
steps when Ganimard barred our passage.

"Well, what is it?" I exclaimed.

"One moment, monsieur. What's your hurry?"

"I am escorting mademoiselle."

"One moment," he repeated, in a tone of authority. Then, gazing into my
eyes, he said:

"Arsène Lupin, is it not?"

I laughed, and replied: "No, simply Bernard d'Andrézy."

"Bernard d'Andrézy died in Macedonia three years ago."

"If Bernard d'Andrézy were dead, I should not be here. But you are
mistaken. Here are my papers."

"They are his; and I can tell you exactly how they came into your
possession."

"You are a fool!" I exclaimed. "Arsène Lupin sailed under the name of
R - -"

"Yes, another of your tricks; a false scent that deceived them at Havre.
You play a good game, my boy, but this time luck is against you."

I hesitated a moment. Then he hit me a sharp blow on the right arm,
which caused me to utter a cry of pain. He had struck the wound, yet
unhealed, referred to in the telegram.

I was obliged to surrender. There was no alternative. I turned to Miss
Nelly, who had heard everything. Our eyes met; then she glanced at the
Kodak I had placed in her hands, and made a gesture that conveyed to me
the impression that she understood everything. Yes, there, between the
narrow folds of black leather, in the hollow centre of the small object
that I had taken the precaution to place in her hands before Ganimard
arrested me, it was there I had deposited Rozaine's twenty thousand
francs and Lady Jerland's pearls and diamonds.

Oh! I pledge my oath that, at that solemn moment, when I was in the
grasp of Ganimard and his two assistants, I was perfectly indifferent to
everything, to my arrest, the hostility of the people, everything
except this one question: what will Miss Nelly do with the things I had
confided to her?

In the absence of that material and conclusive proof, I had nothing
to fear; but would Miss Nelly decide to furnish that proof? Would she
betray me? Would she act the part of an enemy who cannot forgive, or
that of a woman whose scorn is softened by feelings of indulgence and
involuntary sympathy?

She passed in front of me. I said nothing, but bowed very low. Mingled
with the other passengers, she advanced to the gangway with my Kodak
in her hand. It occurred to me that she would not dare to expose me
publicly, but she might do so when she reached a more private place.
However, when she had passed only a few feet down the gangway, with
a movement of simulated awkwardness, she let the camera fall into the
water between the vessel and the pier. Then she walked down the gangway,
and was quickly lost to sight in the crowd. She had passed out of my
life forever.

For a moment, I stood motionless. Then, to Ganimard's great
astonishment, I muttered:

"What a pity that I am not an honest man!"

Such was the story of his arrest as narrated to me by Arsène Lupin
himself. The various incidents, which I shall record in writing at a
later day, have established between us certain ties.... shall I say of
friendship? Yes, I venture to believe that Arsène Lupin honors me with
his friendship, and that it is through friendship that he occasionally
calls on me, and brings, into the silence of my library, his youthful
exuberance of spirits, the contagion of his enthusiasm, and the mirth of
a man for whom destiny has naught but favors and smiles.

His portrait? How can I describe him? I have seen him twenty times and
each time he was a different person; even he himself said to me on one


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