“By the law: “We, judge of instruction of the first tribunal, etc., considering articles 91 and 94 of the code of criminal instruction, command and ordain to all the agents of the police to arrest, in conformity with the law, one Hector de Tremorel, etc.”
When he had finished, he said:
“Here it is, and may you succeed in speedily finding this great criminal.”
“Oh, he’ll find him,” cried the Corbeil policeman.
“I hope so, at least. As to how I shall go to work, I don’t know yet. I will arrange my plan of battle to-night.”
The detective then took leave of M. Domini and retired, followed by M. Plantat. The doctor remained with the judge to make arrangements for Sauvresy’s exhumation.
M. Lecoq was just leaving the court-house when he felt himself pulled by the arm. He turned and found that it was Goulard who came to beg his favor and to ask him to take him along, persuaded that after having served under so great a captain he must inevitably become a famous man himself. M. Lecoq had some difficulty in getting rid of him; but he at length found himself alone in the street with the old justice of the peace.
“It is late,” said the latter. “Would it be agreeable to you to partake of another modest dinner with me, and accept my cordial hospitality?”
“I am chagrined to be obliged to refuse you,” replied M. Lecoq. “But I ought to be in Paris this evening.”
“But I—in fact, I—was very anxious to talk to you—about—”
“About Mademoiselle Laurence?”
“Yes; I have a plan, and if you would help me—”
M. Lecoq affectionately pressed his friend’s hand.
“I have only known you a few hours,” said he, “and yet I am as devoted to you as I would be to an old friend. All that is humanly possible for me to do to serve you, I shall certainly do.”
“But where shall I see you? They expect me to-day at Orcival.”
“Very well; to-morrow morning at nine, at my rooms, No—Rue Montmartre.”
“A thousand thanks; I shall be there.”
When they had reached the Belle Image they separated.
Nine o’clock had just struck in the belfry of the church of St. Eustache, when M. Plantat reached Rue Montmartre, and entered the house bearing the number which M. Lecoq had given him.
“Monsieur Lecoq?” said he to an old woman who was engaged in getting breakfast for three large cats which were mewing around her. The woman scanned him with a surprised and suspicious air. M. Plantat, when he was dressed up, had much more the appearance of a fine old gentleman than of a country attorney; and though the detective received many visits from all sorts of people, it was rarely that the denizens of the Faubourg Saint Germaine rung his bell.
“Monsieur Lecoq’s apartments,” answered the old woman, “are on the third story, the door facing the stairs.”