The Murders in the Rue Morgue
by Edgar Allan Poe
The Murders in the Rue Morgue Awe and Amazement Quotes
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"How was it possible," I asked, "that you should know the man to be a sailor, and belonging to a Maltese vessel?"
"I do not know it," said Dupin. "I am not sure of it. Here, however, is a small piece of ribbon, which from its form, and from its greasy appearance, has evidently been used in tying the hair in one of those long queues of which sailors are so fond. Moreover, this knot is one which few besides sailors can tie, and is peculiar to the Maltese. (97-98)
So it's not all just reasoning. The narrator's amazement draws out evidence that Dupin needs supplemental knowledge to make his claims, knowledge like this bit about Maltese knots. In the midst of the narrator's points about different kinds of human intelligence, where does sheer knowledge fit in?
"I don't mean that you should be at all this trouble for nothing, sir," said the man. "Couldn't expect it. Am very willing to pay a reward for the finding of the animal — that is to say, any thing in reason."
"Well," replied my friend, "that is all very fair, to be sure. Let me think! — what should I have? Oh! I will tell you. My reward shall be this. You shall give me all the information in your power about these murders in the Rue Morgue.
Dupin said the last words in a very low tone, and very quietly. Just as quietly, too, he walked toward the door, locked it, and put the key in his pocket. He then drew a pistol from his bosom and placed it, without the least flurry, upon the table. (111-113)
Here, we see the effect of Dupin's sudden flights of insight on someone who isn't familiar with his methods. Dupin's insight strikes him like a blow: the sailor's face "flushed up as if he were struggling with suffocation." How does this physical response on the part of the sailor affect our own feelings about Dupin's genius? Are you impressed? Impatient? What is your reaction?