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_The triumphs of Eugene Valmont_ (1906)

     by Robert Barr


NEXT morning I was in Paris, and next night I attended the
underground meeting of the anarchists, held within a quarter
of a mile of the Luxembourg.  I was known to many there
assembled, but my acquaintance, of course, was not so large as
with the London circle.  They had half expected me the night
before, knowing that even going by the Hook of Holland I might
have reached Paris in time for the conclave.  I was introduced
generally to the assemblage as the emissary from England, who
was to assist the bomb-throwing brother to escape either to
that country, or to such other point of safety as I might
choose.  No questions were asked me regarding my doings of the
day before, nor was I required to divulge the plans for my
fellow-member's escape.  I was responsible; that was enough. 
If I failed, through no fault of my own, it was but part of
the ill luck we were all prepared to face.  If I failed
through treachery, then a dagger in the back at the earliest
possible moment.  We all knew the conditions of our sinister
contract, and we all recognized that the least said the

   The cellar was dimly lighted by one oil lamp depending from
the ceiling.  From this hung a cord attached to an
extinguisher, and one jerk of the cord would put out the
light.  Then, while the main entry doors were being battered
down by police, the occupants of the room would escape through
one of three or four human rat holes provided for that

   If any Parisian anarchist does me the honor to read these
jottings, I beg to inform him that while I remained in office
under the Government of France there was never a time when I
did not know the exit of each of these underground passages,
and could, during any night there was a conference, have
bagged the whole lot of those there assembled.  It was never
my purpose, however, to shake the anarchists' confidence in
their system, for that merely meant the removal of the
gathering to another spot, thus giving us the additional
trouble of mapping out their new exits and entrances.  When I
did make a raid on anarchist headquarters in Paris, it was
always to secure some particular man.  I had my emissaries in
plain clothes stationed at each exit.  In any case, the rats
were allowed to escape unmolested, sneaking forth with great
caution into the night, but we always spotted the man we
wanted and almost invariably arrested him elsewhere, having
followed him from his kennel.  In each case my uniformed
officers found a dark and empty cellar, and retired apparently
baffled.  But the coincidence that on the night of every raid
some member there present was secretly arrested in another
quarter of Paris, and perhaps given a free passage to Russia,
never seemed to awaken suspicion in the minds of the

   I think the London anarchists' method is much better, and
I have ever considered the English nihilist the most dangerous
of this fraternity, for he is cool-headed and not carried away
by his own enthusiasm, and consequently rarely carried away by
his own police.  The authorities of London meet no opposition
in making a raid.  They find a well-lighted room containing a
more or less shabby coterie playing cards at cheap pine
tables.  There is no money visible, and, indeed, very little
coin would be brought to light if the whole party were
searched; so the police are unable to convict the players
under the Gambling Act.  Besides, it is difficult in any case
to obtain a conviction under the Gambling Act, because the
accused has the sympathy of the whole country with him.  It
has always been to me one of the anomalies of the English
nature that a magistrate can keep a straight face while he
fines some poor wretch for gambling, knowing that next race
day (if the court is not sitting) the magistrate himself, in
correct sporting costume, with binoculars hanging at his hip,
will be on the lawn by the course, backing his favorite horse.

   After my reception at the anarchists' club of Paris, I
remained seated unobtrusively on a bench, waiting until
routine business was finished, after which I expected an
introduction to the man selected to throw the bomb.  I am a
very sensitive person, and sitting there quietly I became
aware that I was being scrutinized with more than ordinary
intensity by some one, which gave me a feeling of uneasiness. 
At last, in the semi-obscurity opposite me, I saw a pair of
eyes, as luminous as those of a tiger, peering fixedly at me. 
I returned the stare with such composure as I could bring to
my aid, and the man, as if fascinated by a look as steady as
his own, leaned forward, and came more and more into the
circle of light.  Then I received a shock which it required my
utmost self-control to conceal.  The face, haggard and drawn,
was none other than that of Adolph Simard, who had been my
second assistant in the Secret Service of France during my
last year in office.  He was a most capable and rising young
man at that time, and, of course, he knew me well.  Had he,
then, penetrated my disguise?  Such an event seemed
impossible; he could not have recognized my voice, for I had
said nothing aloud since entering the room, my few words to
the president being spoken in a whisper.  Simard's presence
there bewildered me; by this time he should be high up in the
Secret Service.  If he were now a spy, he would, of course,
wish to familiarize himself with every particular of my
appearance, as in my hands lay the escape of the criminal. 
Yet, if such were his mission, why did he attract the
attention of all members by this open-eyed scrutiny?  That he
recognized me as Valmont I had not the least fear; my disguise
was too perfect; and, even if I were there in my own proper
person, I had not seen Simard, nor he me, for ten years, and
great changes occur in a man's appearance during so long a
period.  Yet I remembered with disquietude that Mr. White
recognized me, and here to-night I had recognized Simard.  I
could not move my bench farther back because it stood already
against the wall.  Simard, on the contrary, was seated on one
of the few chairs in the room, and this he periodically
hitched forward, the better to continue his examination, which
now attracted the notice of others besides myself.  As he came
forward, I could not help admiring the completeness of his
disguise so far as apparel was concerned.  He was a perfect
picture of the Paris wastrel, and, what was more, he wore on
his head a cap of the Apaches, the most dangerous band of
cutthroats that have ever cursed a civilized city.  I could
understand that even among lawless anarchists this badge of
membership of the Apache band might well strike terror.  I
felt that before the meeting adjourned I must speak with him,
and I determined to begin our conversation by asking him why
he stared so fixedly at me.  Yet even then I should have made
little progress.  I did not dare to hint that he belonged to
the Secret Service; nevertheless, if the authorities had this
plot in charge, it was absolutely necessary we should work
together, or, at least, that I should know they were in the
secret, and steer my course accordingly.  The fact that Simard
appeared with undisguised face was not so important as might
appear to an outsider.  It is always safer for a spy to
preserve his natural appearance if that is possible, because
a false beard or false mustache or wig runs the risk of being
deranged or torn away.  As I have said, an anarchist
assemblage is simply a room filled with the atmosphere of
suspicion.  I have known instances where an innocent stranger
was suddenly set upon in the midst of solemn proceedings by
two or three impetuous fellow-members, who nearly jerked his
own whiskers from his face under the impression that they were
false.  If Simard, therefore, appeared in his own scraggy
beard and unkempt hair, it meant that he communicated with
headquarters by some circuitous route I realized, therefore,
that a very touchy bit of diplomacy awaited me if I was to
learn from himself his actual status.  While I pondered over
this perplexity, it was suddenly dissolved by the action of
the president, and another substituted for it.

   "Will Brother Simard come forward?" asked the president.

   My former subordinate removed his eyes from me, slowly rose
from his chair, and shuffled up to the president's table.

   "Brother Ducharme," said that official to me in a quiet
tone, "I introduce you to Brother Simard, whom you are
commissioned to see into a place of safety when he has
dispersed the procession."

   Simard turned his fishy goggle-eyes upon me, and a grin
disclosed wolf-like teeth.  He held out his hand, which,
rising to my feet, I took.  He gave me a flabby grasp, and all
the time his inquiring eyes traveled over me.

   "You don't look up to much," he said.  "What are you?"

   "I am a teacher of the French language in London."

   "Umph!" growled Simard, evidently in no wise prepossessed
by my appearance.  "I thought you weren't much of a fighter. 
The gendarmes will make short work of this fellow," he growled
to the chairman.

   "Brother Ducharme is vouched for by the whole English
circle," replied the president firmly.

   "Oh, the English!  I think very little of them.  Still, it
doesn't matter," and with a shrug of the shoulders he shuffled
to his seat again, leaving me standing there in a very
embarrassed state of mind, my brain in a whirl.  That the man
was present with his own face was bewildering enough, but that
he should be here under his own name was simply astounding. 
I scarcely heard what the president said.  It seemed to the
effect that Simard would take me to his own room, where we
might talk over our plans.  And now Simard rose again from his
chair, and said to the president that if nothing more were
wanted of him we would go.  Accordingly we left the place of
meeting together.  I watched my comrade narrowly.  There was
now a trembling eagerness in his action, and without a word he
hurried me to the nearest cafe, where we sat down before a
little iron table on the pavement.

   "Garcon," he shouted harshly, "bring me four absinths. 
What will you drink, Ducharme?"

   "A cafe-cognac, if you please."

   "Bah!" cried Simard; "better have absinth."

   Then he cursed the waiter for his slowness.  When the
absinth came he grasped the half-full glass and swallowed the
liquid raw, a thing I had never seen done before.  Into the
next measure of the wormwood he poured the water impetuously
from the carafe, another thing I had never seen done before,
and dropped two lumps of sugar into it.  Over the third glass
he placed a flat perforated plated spoon, piled the sugar on
this bridge, and now quite expertly allowed the water to drip
through, the proper way of concocting this seductive mixture. 
Finishing his second glass, he placed the perforated spoon
over the fourth, and began now more calmly sipping the third,
while the water dripped slowly into the last glass.

   Here before my eyes was enacted a more wonderful change
than the gradual transformation of transparent absinth into an
opaque opalescent liquid.  Simard, under the influence of the
drink, was slowly becoming the Simard I had known ten years
before.  Remarkable!  Absinth, having in earlier years made a
beast of the man, was now forming a man out of the beast.  His
staring eyes took on an expression of human comradeship.  The
whole mystery became perfectly clear to me without a question
asked or an answer uttered.  This man was no spy, but a
genuine anarchist.  However it happened, he had become a
victim of absinth, one of many with whom I was acquainted,
although I never met any so far sunk as he.  He was into his
fourth glass, and had ordered two more when he began to speak.

   "Here's to us! " he cried, with something like a civilized
smile on his gaunt face.  "You're not offended at what I said
in the meeting, I hope?"

   "Oh, no," I answered.

   "That's right.  You see, I once belonged to the Secret
Service, and if my chief was there to-day, we would soon find
ourselves in a cool dungeon.  We couldn't trip up Eugene

   At these words, spoken with sincerity, I sat up in my
chair, and I am sure such an expression of enjoyment came into
my face that, if I had not instantly suppressed it, I might
have betrayed myself.

   "Who was Eugene Valmont?" I asked, in a tone of assumed

   Mixing his fifth glass he nodded sagely.

   "You wouldn't ask that question if you'd been in Paris a
dozen years ago.  He was the Government's chief detective, and
he knew more of anarchists, yes, and of Apaches, too, than
either you or I do.  He had more brains in his little finger
than that whole lot babbling there to-night.  But the
Government, being a fool, as all governments are, dismissed
him, and because I was his assistant, they dismissed me as
well.  They got rid of all his staff.  Valmont disappeared. 
If I could have found him, I wouldn't be sitting here with you
to-night; but he was right to disappear.  The Government did
all they could against us who had been his friends, and I for
one came through starvation, and was near throwing myself in
the Seine, which sometimes I wish I had done.  Here, garcon,
another absinth!  But by and by I came to like the gutter, and
here I am.  I'd rather have the gutter and absinth than the
Luxembourg without it.  I've had my revenge on the Government
many times since, for I knew their ways, and often have I
circumvented the police.  That's why they respect me among the
anarchists.  Do you know how I joined?  I knew all their
passwords, and walked right into one of their meetings, alone
and in rags.

   "'Here am I,' I said; 'Adolph Simard, late second assistant
to Eugene Valmont, chief detective to the French Government.'

   "There were twenty weapons covering me at once, but I

   "'I'm starving,' I cried, 'and I want something to eat, and
more especially something to drink!  In return for that I'll
show you every rat hole you've got.  Lift the president's
chair, and there's a trapdoor that leads to the Rue Blanc. 
I'm one of you, and I'll tell you the tricks of the police.'

   "Such was my initiation, and from that moment the police
began to pick their spies out of the Seine, and now they leave
us alone.  Even Valmont himself could do nothing against the
anarchists since I have joined them."

   Oh, the incredible self-conceit of human nature Here was
this ruffian proclaiming the limitations of Valmont, who half
an hour before had shaken his hand within the innermost circle
of his order!  Yet my heart warmed toward the wretch who had
remembered me and my exploits.

   It now became my anxious and difficult task to lure Simard
away from this cafe and its absinth.  Glass after glass of the
poison had brought him up almost to his former intellectual
level, but now it was shoving him rapidly down the hill again. 
I must know where his room was situated, yet if I waited much
longer the man would be in a state of drunken imbecility which
would not only render it impossible for him to guide me to his
room, but likely cause both of us to be arrested by the
police.  I tried persuasion, and he laughed at me; I tried
threats, whereat he scowled and cursed me as a renegade from
England.  At last the liquor overpowered him, and his head
sank on the metal table and the dark blue cap fell to the


I WAS in despair, but now received a lesson which taught me
that if a man leaves a city, even for a short time, he falls
out of touch with its ways.  I called the waiter, and said to
   "Do you know my friend here?"

   "I do not know his name," replied the garcon, "but I have
seen him many times at this cafe.  He is usually in this state
when he has money."

   "Do you know where he lives?  He promised to take me with
him, and I am a stranger in Paris."

   "Have no discontent, monsieur.  Rest tranquil; I will

   With this he stepped across the pavement in front of the
cafe, into the street, and gave utterance to a low, peculiar
whistle.  The cafe was now nearly deserted, for the hour was
very late, or, rather, very early.  When the waiter returned
I whispered to him in some anxiety:
   "Not the police, surely?"

   "But no!" he cried in scorn; "certainly not the police."

   He went on unconcernedly taking in the empty chairs and
tables.  A few minutes later there swaggered up to the cafe
two of the most disreputable, low-browed scoundrels I had ever
seen, each wearing a dark blue cap, with a glazed peak over
the eyes, caps exactly similar to the one which lay in front
of Simard.  The band of Apaches which now permeates all Paris
has risen since my time, and Simard had been mistaken an hour
before in asserting that Valmont was familiar with their
haunts.  The present Chief of Police in Paris and some of his
predecessors confess there is a difficulty in dealing with
these picked assassins, but I should very much like to take a
hand in the game on the side of law and order.  However, that
is not to be; therefore the Apaches increase and prosper.

   The two vagabonds roughly smote Simard's cap on his prone
head, and as roughly raised him to his feet.

   "He is a friend of mine," I interposed, "and promised to
take me home with him."

   "Good!  Follow us," said one of them; and now I passed
through the morning streets of Paris behind three cutthroats,
yet knew that I was safer than if broad daylight was in the
thoroughfare, with a meridian sun shining down upon us.  I was
doubly safe, being in no fear of harm from midnight prowlers,
and equally free from danger of arrest by the police.  Every
officer we met avoided us, and casually stepped to the other
side of the street.  We turned down a narrow lane, then
through a still narrower one, which terminated at a courtyard. 
Entering a tall building, we climbed up five flights of stairs
to a landing, where one of the scouts kicked open a door, into
a room so miserable that there was not even a lock to protect
its poverty.  Here they allowed the insensible Simard to drop
with a crash on the floor, and thus they left us alone without
even an adieu.  The Apaches take care of their own--after a

   I struck a match, and found part of a bougie stuck in the
mouth of an absinth bottle, resting on a rough deal table. 
Lighting the bougie, I surveyed the horrible apartment.  A
heap of rags lay in a corner, and this was evidently Simard's
bed.  I hauled him to it, and there he lay unconscious,
himself a bundle of rags.  I found one chair, or, rather,
stool, for it had no back.  I drew the table against the
lockless door, blew out the light, sat on the stool, resting
my arms on the table, and my head on my arms, and slept
peacefully till long after daybreak.

   Simard awoke in the worst possible humor.  He poured forth
a great variety of abusive epithets at me.  To make himself
still more agreeable, he turned back the rags on which he had
slept, and brought to the light a round black object, like a
small cannon ball, which he informed me was the picric bomb
that was to scatter destruction among my English friends, for
whom he expressed the greatest possible loathing and contempt. 
Then sitting up, he began playing with this infernal machine,
knowing, as well as I, that if he allowed it to drop that was
the end of us two.

   I shrugged my shoulders at this display, and affected a
nonchalance I was far from feeling, but finally put an end to
his dangerous amusement by telling him that if he came out
with me I would pay for his breakfast, and give him a drink of

   The next few days were the most anxious of my life.  Never
before had I lived on terms of intimacy with a picric bomb,
that most deadly and uncertain of all explosive agencies.  I
speedily found that Simard was so absinth-soaked I could do
nothing with him.  He could not be bribed or cajoled or
persuaded or threatened.  Once, indeed, when he talked with
drunken affection of Eugene Valmont, I conceived a wild notion
of declaring myself to him; but a moment's reflection showed
the absolute uselessness of this course.  It was not one
Simard with whom I had to deal, but half a dozen or more. 
There was Simard sober, half sober, quarter sober, drunk, half
drunk, quarter drunk, or wholly drunk.  Any bargain I might
make with the one Simard would not be kept by any of the other
six.  The only safe Simard was Simard insensible through
overindulgence.  I had resolved to get Simard insensibly drunk
on the morning of the procession, but my plans were upset at
a meeting of the anarchists, which luckily took place on an
evening shortly after my arrival, and this gave me time to
mature the plan which was actually carried out.  Each member
of the anarchists' club knew of Simard's slavery to absinth,
and fears were expressed that he might prove incapable on the
day of the procession, too late for a substitute to take his
place.  It was therefore proposed that one or two others
should be stationed along the route of the procession with
bombs ready if Simard failed.  This I strenuously opposed, and
guaranteed that Simard would be ready to launch his missile. 
I met with little difficulty in persuading the company to
agree, because, after all, every man among them feared he
might be one of those selected, which choice was practically
a sentence of death.  I guaranteed that the bomb would be
thrown, and this apparently was taken to mean that if Simard
did not do the deed, I would.

   This danger over, I next took the measurements, and
estimated the weight, of the picric bomb.  I then sought out
a most amiable and expert pyrotechnist, a capable workman of
genius, who with his own hand makes those dramatic firework
arrangements which you sometimes see in Paris.  As Eugene
Valmont, I had rendered a great service to this man, and he
was not likely to have forgotten it.  During one of the
anarchist scares a stupid policeman had arrested him, and when
I intervened the man was just on the verge of being committed
for life.  France trembled in one of her panics, or, rather,
Paris did, and demanded victims.  This blameless little
workman had indeed contributed with both material and advice,
but any fool might have seen that he had done this innocently. 
His assistance had been invoked and secured under the pretense
that his clients were promoting an amateur firework display,
which was true enough, but the display cost the lives of three
men, and intentionally so.  I cheered up the citizen in the
moment of his utmost despair, and brought such proof of his
innocence to the knowledge of those above me that he was most
reluctantly acquitted.  To this man I now went with my
measurement of the bomb, and the estimate of its weight.  

  "Sir," said I, "do you remember Eugene Valmont?"

   "Am I ever likely to forget him?" he replied, with a fervor
that pleased me.

   "He has sent me to you, and implores you to aid me, and
that aid will wipe out the debt you owe him."

   "Willingly, willingly," cried the artisan, "so long as it
has nothing to do with the anarchists or the making of bombs!"

   "It has to do exactly with those two things.  I wish you to
make an innocent bomb which will prevent an anarchist

   At this the little man drew back, and his face became pale.

   "It is impossible," he protested; "I have had enough of
innocent bombs.  No, no, and in any case how can I be sure you
come from Eugene Valmont?  No, monsieur, I am not to be
trapped the second time."

   At this I related rapidly all that Valmont had done for
him, and even repeated Valmont's most intimate conversation
with him.  The man was nonplused, but remained firm.

   "I dare not do it," he said.

   We were alone in his back shop.  I walked to the door and
thrust in the bolt; then, after a moment's pause, turned
round, stretched forth my right hand dramatically, and cried:
   "Behold Eugene Valmont!"

   My friend staggered against the wall in his amazement, and
I continued in solemn tones:
   "Eugene Valmont, who by this removal of his disguise places
his life in your hands as your life was in his.  Now,
monsieur, what will you do?"

   He replied:
   "Monsieur Valmont, I shall do whatever you ask.  If I
refused a moment ago, it was because I thought there was now
in France no Eugene Valmont to rectify my mistake if I make

   I resumed my disguise, and told him I wished an innocent
substitute for this picric bomb, and he at once suggested an
earthenware globe, which would weigh the same as the bomb, and
which could be colored to resemble it exactly.

  "And now, Monsieur Valmont, do you wish smoke to issue from
this imitation bomb?"

   "Yes," I said, "in such quantity as you can compress within

   "It is easily done!" he cried, with the enthusiasm of a
true French artist.  "And may I place within some little
design of my own which will astonish your friends the English,
and delight my friends the French?"

   "Monsieur," said I, "I am in your hands.  I trust the
project entirely to your skill."  And thus it came about that
four days later I substituted the bogus globe for the real
one, and, unseen, dropped the picric bomb from one of the
bridges into the Seine.

   On the morning of the procession I was compelled to allow
Simard several drinks of absinth to bring him up to a point
where he could be depended on, otherwise his anxiety and
determination to fling the bomb, his frenzy against all
government, made it certain that he would betray both of us
before the fateful moment came.  My only fear was that I could
not stop him drinking when once he began, but somehow our days
of close companionship, loathsome as they were to me, seemed
to have had the effect of building up again the influence I
held over him in former days, and his yielding more or less to
my wishes appeared to be quite unconscious on his part.

   The procession was composed entirely of carriages, each
containing four persons--two Englishmen sat on the back seats,
with two Frenchmen in front of them.  A thick crowd lined each
side of the thoroughfare, cheering vociferously.  Right into
the middle of the procession Simard launched his bomb.  There
was no crash of explosion.  The missile simply went to pieces
as if it were an earthenware jar, and there arose a dense
column of very white smoke.  In the immediate vicinity the
cheering stopped at once, and the sinister word "bomb" passed
from lip to lip in awed whispers.  As the throwing had been
unnoticed in the midst of the commotion, I held Simard firmly
by the wrist, determined he should not draw attention to
himself by his panic-stricken desire for immediate flight.

   "Stand still, you fool!"  I hissed into his ear, and he
obeyed, trembling.

   The pair of horses in front of which the bomb fell rose for
a moment on their hind legs, and showed signs of bolting, but
the coachman held them firmly, and uplifted his hand so that
the procession behind him came to a momentary pause.  No one
in the carriages moved a muscle, then suddenly the tension was
broken by a great and simultaneous cheer.  Wondering at this,
I turned my eyes from the frightened horses to the column of
pale smoke in front of us, and saw that in some manner it had
resolved itself into a gigantic calla lily, pure white, while
from the base of this sprang the lilies of France, delicately
tinted.  Of course, this could not have happened if there had
been the least wind, but the air was so still that the
vibration of the cheering caused the huge lily to tremble
gently as it stood there marvelously poised; the lily of
peace, surrounded by the lilies of France!  That was the
design, and if you ask me how it was done, I can only refer
you to my pyrotechnist, and say that whatever a Frenchman
attempts to do he will accomplish artistically.

   And now these imperturbable English, who had been seated,
immobile, when they thought a bomb was thrown, stood up in
their carriages to get a better view of this aerial
phenomenon, cheering and waving their hats.  The lily
gradually thinned, and dissolved in little patches of cloud
that floated away above our heads.

   "I cannot stay here longer," groaned Simard, quaking, his
nerves, like himself, in rags.  "I see the ghosts of those I
have killed floating around me."

   "Come on, then, but do not hurry."

   There was no difficulty in getting him to London, but it
was absinth, absinth, all the way, and when we reached Charing
Cross I was compelled to help him, partly insensible, into a
cab.  I took him direct to the Imperial Flats, and up into my
own set of chambers, where I opened my strong room, and flung
him inside to sleep off his intoxication, and subsist on bread
and water when he became sober.

   I attended that night a meeting of the anarchists, and
detailed accurately the story of our escape from France.  I
knew we had been watched, and so skipped no detail.  I
reported that I had taken Simard directly to my compatriot's
flat; to Eugene Valmont, the man who had given me employment,
and who had promised to do what he could for Simard, beginning
by trying to break him of the absinth habit, as he was now a
physical wreck through overindulgence in that stimulant.

   It was curious to note the discussion which took place a
few nights afterwards regarding the failure of the picric
bomb.  Scientists among us said that the bomb had been made
too long; that a chemical reaction had taken place which
destroyed its power.  A few superstitious ones saw a miracle
in what had happened, and they forthwith left our
organization.  Then again, things were made easier by the fact
that the man who constructed the bomb, evidently
terror-stricken at what he had done, disappeared the day
before the procession, and has never since been heard of.  The
majority of the anarchists believed he had made a bogus bomb,
and had fled to escape their vengeance rather than to evade
the justice of the law.

   Simard will need no purgatory in the next world.  I kept
him on bread and water for a month in my strong room, and at
first he demanded absinth with threats, then groveled, begging
and praying for it.  After that a period of depression and
despair ensued, but finally his naturally strong constitution
conquered, and began to build itself up again.  I took him
from his prison one midnight, and gave him a bed in my Soho
room, taking care in bringing him away that he would never
recognize the place where he had been incarcerated.  In my
dealings with him I had always been that old man, Paul
Ducharme.  Next morning I said to him:
   "You spoke of Eugene Valmont.  I have learned that he lives
in London, and I advise you to call upon him.  Perhaps he can
get you something to do."

   Simard was overjoyed, and two hours later, as Eugene
Valmont, I received him in my flat, and made him my assistant
on the spot.  From that time forward, Paul Ducharme, language
teacher, disappeared from the earth, and Simard abandoned his
two A's--anarchy and absinth.