The Purloined Letter
by Edgar Allan Poe
C. Auguste Dupin Timeline and Summary
- Dupin listens to G—'s story, and suggests that G— is being a big dummy and missing something obvious.
- When G— returns a month later, Dupin just happens to have the letter. He hands it over and gets a check for fifty thousand franks in exchange.
- After G— leaves, Dupin tells the narrator that he tries to get inside people's heads in order to figure out how they might behave in a given situation.
- He describes using this technique to help himself see that D— was hiding the letter in an obvious place.
- When he figured it out, he strolled over to D—'s, located the letter, and then contrived to return the next day and exchange it for a copy he'd created.
- Turns out, he and D— are rivals, and that he didn't steal the letter back just for money or because he liked the queen.
- Nope, he also wanted to get revenge on D— for some unspecified past "evil" (122).
- To make sure D— understands that it was Dupin who took the letter, he leaves D— a message inside the fake letter.