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The Purloined Letter


The Purloined Letter is a short story by American author Edgar Allan Poe. It is the third of his three detective stories featuring the fictional C. Auguste Dupin, the other two being "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt". The narrator and his friend, C. Auguste Dupin are smoking together one autumn evening in Paris, when the door to Dupin’s room opens and a French policeman enters. He has come to share the details of a case the police have been working on – one that is simple, yet odd, in its details. A letter containing delicate information has been stolen, or ‘purloined’: an important woman was in her boudoir when the letter arrived but as she was reading it, her husband came into the room. She placed the letter down on a table. A minister, identified only as ‘D—’, then entered the room as a guest and spotted the letter, recognised the handwriting, and guessed the lady’s scandalous secret. Producing his own letter from his pocket, he placed it down on the table next to the incriminating letter while he was talking to the lady and her husband, and then discreetly picked up the other letter in full view of the couple. The lady saw him do this, but obviously couldn’t draw attention to the act in front of her husband, because then the letter’s contents would become known to him. Listen online to free English audiobook "The Purloined Letter” on our website to experience Edgar Allan Poe's story.

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