перевод всего рассказа Жака Фатрелла объёмом 22 страницы
“ALL animals have the same appetites and the same passions. The reasoning faculty is the one thing which lifts man above what we are pleased to call the lower animals. Logic is the essence of the reasoning faculty. Therefore logic is that power which enables the mind of man to reconstruct from one fact a series of incidents leading to a given result. One result may be as surely traced back to its causes as the specialist may reconstruct a skeleton from a fraction of bone.”
Thus clearly, pointedly Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen had once explained to Hutchinson Hatch, reporter, the analytical power by which he had solved some of the most perplexing mysteries that had ever come to the attention of either the police or the press. It was a text from which sermons might be preached. No one knew this better than Hatch.
Professor Van Dusen is the foremost logician of his time. His name has been honored at home and abroad until now it embraces as honorary initials nearly all those letters which had not been included in it in the first place. The Thinking Machine! This phrase applied once in a newspaper to the scientist had clung tenaciously. It was the name by which he was known to the world at large.
In a dozen ways he had proved his right to it. Hatch remembered vividly the scientist’s mysterious disappearance from a prison cell once; then there had been the famous automobile mystery, and more lately the strange chain of circumstances whose history has been written as “The Scarlet Thread.” This little text, as given above, was one afternoon, when Hatch had casually called on The Thinking Machine. It transpired that a few hours later he had returned to lay before the logician still another mystery.
On his return to his office Hatch had been dispatched in a rush on a murder story. In following up the threads of this he had learned every fact the police had, had written his story, and then presented himself at the Beacon Hill home of The Thinking Machine. It was then 11 o’clock at night. The Thinking Machine had received him, and the facts, in substance, were laid before him as follows:
A man who had given the name of Charles Wilkes called at the real estate office of Henry Holmes & Co., on Washington Street on October 14, just thirty-two days prior to the beginning of the story, as Hatch recited it. He was a man of possibly thirty years, stalwart, good-looking and clean-cut in appearance. There had been nothing about him to attract particular attention. He had said that he was eastern agent for a big manufacturing concern, and travelled a great deal.
“I want a six or seven room house in Cambridge,” he had explained. “Something quiet, where I won’t have too many neighbors. My wife is extremely nervous, and I want to get a couple of blocks from the street cars. If you have a house, say in the middle of a big lot somewhere in the outskirts of Cambridge, I think that will do.”
“What price?” a clerk had asked.
“Anywhere from $45 to $60,” he replied.
It just happened that Henry Holmes & Co. had such a house. An office man went with Mr. Wilkes to see it. Mr. Wilkes was pleased and paid the first month’s rent of $60 to the man who had accompanied him....