Now the Special English program AMERICAN STORIES. Our story today is called "The Purloined Letter." It was written by Edgar Allan Poe. Poe is generally known for his horror stories. This is the third of three stories he wrote about Auguste Dupin and how he solves crimes. The story is about a stolen letter. It first appeared in eighteen forty-four in a yearly magazine. It was reprinted in many publications, newspapers and books. This is one of Poe's stories that influenced the development of the modern detective story. Here is Shep O'Neal with "The Purloined Letter."
One evening in Paris, during the autumn of eighteen forty-five, I went to visit a friend, Auguste Dupin. We were smoking our pipes and talking when the door of his apartment opened. Mister Germont, the head of the Paris police force, came into the room.
"I came to ask your advice," Germont said to my friend Dupin. "I am trying to solve a very important case. It is also a very simple case, so I really need your help. But I thought you would like to hear about it, because it is so strange.
"My men and I have worked on this case for three months," Germont said. "It is a very simple case of robbery. But we still cannot solve it."
Dupin took the pipe out of his mouth. "Perhaps the mystery is too simple," he said.
Germont began to laugh. "Too simple?" he said. "Who ever heard of such a thing?"
I looked at Germont. "Why don't you tell us the problem?" I said.
Germont stopped laughing and sat down.
"All right," he said. "But you must never tell anyone I told you this."