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CHAPTER 7: In Which Rouletabille Sets Out on an Expedition Under the Bed (continued)
"Don't come any further," Daddy Jacques begged, "you may make marks with your boots, and nothing must be deranged; it's an idea of the magistrate's - though he has nothing more to do here."
And he pushed open the shutter. The pale daylight entered from without, throwing a sinister light on the saffron-coloured walls. The floor - for though the laboratory and the vestibule were tiled, The Yellow Room had a flooring of wood - was covered with a single yellow mat which was large enough to cover nearly the whole room, under the bed and under the dressing-table - the only piece of furniture that remained upright. The centre round table, the night-table and two chairs had been overturned. These did not prevent a large stain of blood being visible on the mat, made, as Daddy Jacques informed us, by the blood which had flowed from the wound on Mademoiselle Stangerson's forehead. Besides these stains, drops of blood had fallen in all directions, in line with the visible traces of the footsteps - large and black - of the murderer. Everything led to the presumption that these drops of blood had fallen from the wound of the man who had, for a moment, placed his red hand on the wall. There were other traces of the same hand on the wall, but much less distinct.
"See! - see this blood on the wall!" I could not help exclaiming. "The man who pressed his hand so heavily upon it in the darkness must certainly have thought that he was pushing at a door! That's why he pressed on it so hard, leaving on the yellow paper the terrible evidence. I don't think there are many hands in the world of that sort. It is big and strong and the fingers are nearly all one as long as the other! The thumb is wanting and we have only the mark of the palm; but if we follow the trace of the hand," I continued, "we see that, after leaving its imprint on the wall, the touch sought the door, found it, and then felt for the lock -"
"No doubt," interrupted Rouletabille, chuckling, - "only there is no blood, either on the lock or on the bolt!"
"What does that prove?" I rejoined with a good sense of which I was proud; "he might have opened the lock with his left hand, which would have been quite natural, his right hand being wounded."
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