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CHAPTER 8: The Examining Magistrate Questions Mademoiselle Stangerson
Two minutes later, as Rouletabille was bending over the footprints discovered in the park, under the window of the vestibule, a man, evidently a servant at the chateau, came towards us rapidly and called out to Monsieur Darzac then coming out of the pavilion:
"Monsieur Robert, the magistrate, you know, is questioning Mademoiselle."
Monsieur Darzac uttered a muttered excuse to us and set off running towards the chateau, the man running after him.
"If the corpse can speak," I said, "it would be interesting to be there."
"We must know," said my friend. "Let's go to the chateau." And he drew me with him. But, at the chateau, a gendarme placed in the vestibule denied us admission up the staircase of the first floor. We were obliged to wait down stairs.
This is what passed in the chamber of the victim while we were waiting below.
The family doctor, finding that Mademoiselle Stangerson was much better, but fearing a relapse which would no longer permit of her being questioned, had thought it his duty to inform the examining magistrate of this, who decided to proceed immediately with a brief examination. At this examination, the Registrar, Monsieur Stangerson, and the doctor were present. Later, I obtained the text of the report of the examination, and I give it here, in all its legal dryness:
"Question. Are you able, mademoiselle, without too much fatiguing yourself, to give some necessary details of the frightful attack of which you have been the victim?
"Answer. I feel much better, monsieur, and I will tell you all I know. When I entered my chamber I did not notice anything unusual there.
"Q. Excuse me, mademoiselle, - if you will allow me, I will ask you some questions and you will answer them. That will fatigue you less than making a long recital.
"A. Do so, monsieur.
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