Nick Carter Detective Library, No. 1

Nicholas Carter

Nick Carter Detective Library, No. 1
The Solution of a Remarkable Case

NOTE.-The following story was told to the writer by Nick Carter as being the most remarkable, and in many respects, the most mysterious case in his experience. It baffled the shrewdest detectives on the regular force, and had practically been abandoned when Nick Carter took hold of it. I tell the story in my own way and in the third person, but the facts, scenes and incidents are reproduced as nearly as possible in the great detective's own words.
The city of New York was electrified one evening by the news that one of its greatest favorites had been foully murdered.
Eugenie La Verde had been found dead in her room and the murderer had not left a single clew, however slight, by which he could be traced.
Mademoiselle La Verde had been before the public for two seasons as a danseuse, and by her remarkable beauty and modesty, as well as by the unparalleled grace with which she executed her inimitable steps she had won her way to the hearts of all.
On the evening preceding her death she had danced as usual, winning round after round of applause, and a deluge of flowers.
Immediately after the performance she had been driven to her home in Forty-seventh street, accompanied only by her maid, who had been with her for many years, and who scarcely ever left her presence.
The maid had attended her as usual that night; had remained with her until she had disrobed, and then, at her mistress' request, had given her a book, and retired.
Eugenie had bade her servant good-night as usual, adding the injunction that she did not wish to be disturbed before ten o'clock on the following morning.
At ten o'clock precisely on the morning of the succeeding day, the maid, whose name was Delia Dent, had gone to her mistress' room to assist her in dressing, and upon entering, had been so horrified by the sight that met her gaze that she had swooned away then and there.
Eugenie La Verde was lying upon her bed, clad in the soft wrapper which the maid had helped her to don before leaving her on the preceding night.
Her face was distorted and swollen almost beyond recognition, and in spots was highly discolored, where the blood had coagulated beneath the skin. Her mouth was open, and her eyes were wide and staring, even yet filled with an expression of the horror through which she had passed just before her death. Her delicate hands, pretty enough for an artist's model, were clenched until the finger-nails had sunk into the tender flesh and drawn blood. The figure bore every evidence of a wild and terrific Struggle to escape from the grasp in which she had been seized, while the dull blue mark around her throat told only too plainly how her death had been accomplished.
The bed bore every evidence of a wild and terrific struggle. The coverings were tumbled in great confusion, one pillow had fallen upon the floor, and the book which the murdered girl had been engaged in reading when the grip of the assassin had seized her, was torn and crumpled.
Eugenie was dead, and everything in the room bore mute evidence that she had died horribly, and that she had struggled desperately to free herself from the attack of her slayer.
In searching for evidence of the presence of the murderer, not a clew of any kind could be found.
How he had gained access to the room where the danseuse was reading, or how he had left it after consummating the horrible deed, were mysteries which the keenest detectives failed to fathom
Theories were as plenty as mosquitoes in June, but there was positively no proof in support of any of, them, and one by one they fell to the ground and were abandoned as useless or absurd.
As a last resort, Delia Dent, the maid, fell under the ban of suspicion. But only for a time. The most stupid of investigators could not long believe her guilty of a crime so heinous, while, moreover, it was certain that she was not possessed of the necessary physical strength to accomplish the deed.
Neither had she the will power, for beyond her love for her dead mistress, the woman was weak and yielding in her nature.
Delia Dent did not long survive her mistress.
The terrible shock caused by the discovery of Eugenie's dead body was more than her frail strength could bear. She was prostrated nervously, and after growing steadily worse for a period of four weeks, she died at the hospital where she had been taken.
One theory, which for a time found many supporters, was that Delia Dent had been in league with the murderer; had admitted him to the house, and
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