“I can understand,” I said to her, “why Gwen, on account of her sympathy and love for Jeannette, should be glad that M. Latour is likely to be acquitted. I can also appreciate the distaste she may have felt at the prospect of having to deal with M. Godin under the terms of her father’s will; but even both of these considerations seem to me insufficient to account for her present almost ecstatic condition. There is an immediateness to her joy which could hardly result from mere release from a future disagreeable possibility. How do you account for it, sis?” Alice’s answer was somewhat enigmatical and didn’t give me the information I sought. “Ned,” she replied,” I’ll pay for the tickets to the first circus that comes here, just to see if you can find the trunks on the elephants.” Do my best, I couldn’t make her enlighten me any further, for, to every question, she replied with a most provoking laugh.
Maitland called and spent most of the next day, which was Sunday, with us, and we all talked matters over. He did not seem either to share or understand Gwen’s exuberance of spirits, albeit one could easily observe that he had a measure of that satisfaction which always comes from success. More than once I saw him glance questioningly at Gwen with a look which said plainly enough: “What is the meaning of this remarkable change? Why should it so matter to her whether M. Latour’s or M. Godin’s death avenges her father’s murder?” When he left us at night I could see he had not answered that question to his own satisfaction.
The Devil throws double sixes when he turns genius heliward.
The next morning after the events last narrated I was utterly dumfounded by an article which met my gaze the instant I took up my paper. It was several moments before I sufficiently recovered my faculties to read it aloud to Gwen, Alice, and Jeannette, all of whom had noticed my excitement, and were waiting with such patience as they could command. I read the following article through from beginning to end without pause or comment:
M. Godin Anticipates the Law.—The Real Murderer of John Darrow Writes His Confession and Then Suicides in His Cell.—Contrived to Mix His Own Poison Under the Very Nose of His Jailer!— The Dorchester Mystery Solved at Last.—Full Description of the Life of One of the Cleverest Criminals of the Century.
At 4.30 this morning M. Godin was found dead in his cell, No. 26, at Charles Street Jail. The manner of his death might still be a mystery had he not left a written confession of his crime and the summary manner of his taking off. This was written yesterday afternoon and evening, M. Godin being permitted to have a light on the ground that he had important legal documents to prepare for use on the morrow. We give below the confession in full.