M. Lecoq, the famous detective, while wandering about Paris, heard shots coming from an ill-favored inn, run by Mother Chupin, who called her house the Pepperbox. With several gendarmes Lecoq captured a man while on the ground were lying the bodies of two notorious criminals. The slayer did not deny his guilt, but said that he had shot in self-defense, his story being borne out by Mother Chupin. Fresh elements of mystery were added by the finding of a diamond earring on the floor of the inn, and later, after the two prisoners had been removed, the detective found outside the footprints of a woman, traced them some distance, and found that the woman had been joined by a man. One of the man's footprints was much more pronounced than the other, which convinced the detective that he limped, some brown wool which had rubbed off against a tree where he had been leaning gave the texture of his overcoat, and from the place where it was found it was an easy matter to deduce his height. When ...
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