276 EDGAR ALLAN POE �"You explored the floors beneath the carpets?" �"Beyond doubt. We removed every carpet, and examined the boards with the microscope." �"And the paper on the walls?" �"Yes." �"You looked into the cellars?" �"We did." �"Then," I said, "you have been making a miscal- culation, and the letter is not upon the premises, as you suppose." �"I fear you are right there," said the Prefect. "And now, Dupin, what would you advise me to do?" �"To make a thorough re-search of the premises." �"That is absolutely needless," replied G . "I �am not more sure that I breathe than I am that the letter is not at the Hotel." �"I have no better advice to give you," said Dupin. �"You have, of course, an accurate description of the letter?" �"Oh, yes!" And here the Prefect, producing a memorandum-book, proceeded to read aloud a minute account of the internal, and especially of the external appearance of the missing document. Soon after finishing the perusal of this description, he took his departure, more entirely depressed in spirits than I had ever known the good gentleman before. �In about a month afterwards he paid us another visit, and found us occupied very nearly as before. He took a pipe and a chair and entered into some or- dinary conversation. At length I said, �"Well, but, G , what of the purloined letter ? I �presume you have at last made up your mind that there is no such thing as overreaching the Minister ?" ��� �
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