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The Red Lottery Ticket

By Fortuné Du Boisgobey

One day early in April, the month when the lilacs flower and when women begin to display light apparel, a cab could be seen crossing the bridge that spans the Seine between the Faubourg St. Germain and the Louvre, and which is known to the Parisians as the Pont des Saints Peres. The vehicle was going at a quiet trot, and it was driven by a jovial jehu, who hummed a song as he cracked his whip and jerked his reins. Both windows were down, and from each of them came a cloud of bluish smoke—the smoke of the cigars of two young fellows who were gaily chatting inside, and who, although they came from the so-called “Latin Quarter” of Paris, were quite unlike the students immortalized by Gavarni’s pencil. They were, indeed, dressed with careful taste, and displayed none of the questionable manners which may be acquired in the drinking dens of the Boulevard St. Michel. One of them, a fair-haired young fellow with soft blue eyes, was named George Caumont and was the son of an INorman cattle breeder, who lived on his land, saving up his cash, and making his only child an allowance of three thousand francs a year, so that he might complete, in Paris, the study of law which he had commenced at Caen. The other, a dark young man with curly mustaches and a bold expression of face, was the son of a petty nobleman of Perigord, who had left him a heavily mortgaged estate with a somewhat high-sounding name. He was called Adhemar de Puymirol and lived upon a small allowance made to him by an aunt who wished him to become a doctor.

He and George Caumont had met shortly after their arrival in Paris, and their acquaintance had speedily become intimacy, for they had the same ambition and much the same tastes. They both regarded their present situation as a probationary one, hoping sooner or later to contract a brilliant marriage; and they governed themselves accordingly, merely attending the courts and the clinical lectures when they had nothing better to do, and just occasionally passing an examination in order not to discourage Papa Caumont and Aunt Besseges.

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Fortuné Du Boisgobey

Fortuné Hippolyte Auguste Abraham-Dubois (11 September 1821 – 26 February 1891), under the nom de plume Fortuné du Boisgobey, was a French novelist.


Fortuné du Boisgobey was born in Granville (Manche) and graduated from the Lycée Saint-Louis. He served as paymaster to the Army of Africa through several campaigns in Algeria from 1844 to 1848. His parents were wealthy, yet at forty or upwards, he took to writing.

In 1843, using the name Fortuné Abraham-Dubois, he made his literary debut in the Journal d’Avranches with a series entitled Lettres de Sicile recounting a voyage he had taken the year before. His first successful novel, Les Deux comédiens appeared in 1868, under the du Boisgobey pen name in the Petit Journal. The story was popular, and M. Paul Dalloz of the Petit Moniteur signed a contract with the author for seven years at 12,000ƒ a year. His reputation was increased by the publication of Une Affaire mystérieuse and Le Forçat colonel, both published there in 1869. In 1877, Figaro engaged him in a series of novels, which increased the success of that paper. He was prolific, with more than sixty works to his name, and became one of the most popular feuilleton writers. In 1885 and 1886 he was President of the Committee of the Société des gens de lettres. Du Boisgobey died in 1891 after a long illness.


Du Boisgobey was the chief of the followers of Émile Gaboriau, with whom his name is generally associated. He even wrote a sequel, La Vieillesse de M. Lecoq, using Gaboriau’s character Monsieur Lecoq in 1877–78. His novels deal with crime, the police, and Parisian life. They had a high circulation, and the greater part of them had been translated into English.

English translations exist for the following works.

Le Forçat colonel (1871) – The Convict Colonel at the Internet Archive
Le Chevalier Casse-Cou (1873) – The Chevalier Casse-Cou / The Red Camelia at Google Books
Le Camélia rouge – The Red Camelia
La Chasse aux ancêtres – The Search for Ancestors
Le Vrai Masque de fer (1873) – The Iron Mask
L’As de cœur (1875) – The Ace of Hearts at the Internet Archive
La Tresse blonde (1875) – The Golden Tress at Google Books
Le Coup de Pouce (1875) – The Thumb Stroke at the Internet Archive
Les Mystères du nouveau Paris (1876) – The Mysteries of New Paris
L’Enragé (1876) – Marie-Rose; or, The Mystery
“La Jambe Noire” (1877) – The Phantom Leg at the Internet Archive
Une Affaire mystérieuse (1878) – The Nameless Man at the Internet Archive
La Vieillesse de M. Lecoq (1878) – The Old Age of Lecoq, the Detective at Google Books
Première partie – The Old Age of Monsieur Lecoq
Deuxième partie – The Nabob of Bahour
L’Épingle rose (1879) – The Coral Pin at Google Books
Première partie – The Coral Pin
Deuxième partie – The Temple of Death
L’Héritage de Jean Tourniol (1879) – The Robbery of the Orphans; or, Jean Tourniol’s Inheritance
Le Crime de l’Opéra ou “La Rideau Sanglante” (1879) – The Crime of the Opera House / The Opera-House Tragedy
Vol. 1 at the Internet Archive
Vol. 2 at the Internet Archive
La Main coupée (1880) – The Lost Casket at Google Books / The Severed Hand at the Internet Archive
Première partie – The Countess Yalta; or, The Nihilist Spy
Deuxième partie – Doctor Villagos; or, The Nihilist Chief
Où est Zénobie? (1880) – Where’s Zenobia? / Zénobie Capitaine
Where’s Zenobia? (Volume 1) at the Internet Archive
Where’s Zenobia? (Volume 2) at the Internet Archive
Le Tambour de Montmirail (1880) – The Youngest Soldier of the Grand Armée at the Internet Archive
L’Affaire Matapan (1881) – The Matapan Affair at Google Books / The Matapan Jewels
L’Équipage du diable (1881) – The Day of Reckoning at Google Books / Satan’s Coach
Le Crime de l’omnibus (1881) – An Omnibus Mystery at Google Books / The Crime in the Omnibus
Le Pavé de Paris (1881) – A Mystery Still at the Internet Archive
Les Deux bonnets verts (1881) – Cécile’s Fortune at Google Books / Mérindol
Le Pignon audit (1882) – A Fight For A Fortune at the Internet Archive / The Privateersman’s Legacy
Le Bac (1882) – Who Died Last? or, The Rightful Heir at Google Books / Was it a Murder? or, Who is the Heir? / The Ferry-Boat / Article 722; or, Roger’s Inheritance
Les Suites du duel (1882) – The Results of a Duel at the Internet Archive
La Revanche de Fernande (1882) – Fernande’s Choice at the Internet Archive
Le Cochon d’Or (1882) – The Golden Pig; or, The Idol of Modern Paris at Google Books
Bouche cousue (1883) – Sealed Lips
Le Collier d’acier (1883) – The Steel Necklace at Google Books
Le Coup d’œil de M. Piédouche (1883) – The Detective’s Eye at Google Books / The Parisian Detective / Piedouche, a French Detective / The Severed Head; or, A Terrible Confession
Le Billet Rouge (1884) – The Red Lottery Ticket at Google Books / Lover or Blackmailer?
Le Mari de la Diva (1884) – The Prima Donna’s Husband at the Internet Archive
Le Secret de Berthe (1884) – Bertha’s Secret at the Internet Archive
Première partie – Bertha’s Secret
Deuxième partie – The Countess de Marcenac
Babiole (1884) – Pretty Babiole at the Internet Archive
Première partie – Babiole, the Pretty Milliner at the Internet Archive
Deuxième partie – The Victim of Destiny
Margot la Balafrée (1884) – In the Serpent’s Coils at Google Books / The Vitriol Thrower
Première partie – The Sculptor’s Daughter
Deuxième partie – The Count’s Ring
La Violette bleue (1885) – The Angel of the Chimes at the Internet Archive / The Angel of the Belfry / The Blue Veil; or, The Crime of the Tower
Le Cri du sang (1885) – The Cry of Blood at the Internet Archive / A Railway Tragedy at the Internet Archive
Le Pouce crochu (1885) – Thieving Fingers at Google Books / Zig-Zag the Clown; or, The Steel Gauntlets
La Belle geôlière (1885) – The Jailor’s Pretty Wife at the Internet Archive
La Bande rouge (1886) – The Red Band; or, The Siege and the Commune at Google Books
Première partie – The Red Band
Deuxième partie – Scarlet Mystery / The Mystery of the Oak
Porte close (1886) – The Condemned Door; or, The Secret of Trigavou Castle at the Internet Archive / The Closed Door
Rubis sur L’Engle (1886) – Cash on Delivery: A Novel of Love and the Passion for Gaming at the Internet Archive
Cœur volant (1886) – Fickle Heart! A Novel of Love and Racing at the Internet Archive
“Le Gredins” (1887)
His Great Revenge Vol. 1 at the Internet Archive
His Great Revenge Vol. 2 at the Internet Archive
Jean Coup-en-deux (1887) – Death or Dishonor at Google Books
Cornaline la Dompteuse (1887) – The Felon’s Bequest at the Internet Archive
L’Œil-de-chat (1888) – The Cat’s-Eye Ring: A Secret of Paris Life
Grippe-Soleil (1887) – The Bride of a Day: a Story of Paris Life
Le Chalet des Pervenches (1888) – The Half-Sister’s Secret at Google Books
Mariage inclination (1888) – Married for Love at Google Books
Le plongeur: scènes de la vie sportive (1889) – The High Roller; or, Plunging and Honeyfugling on the Race-Track: A Sporting Romance
Fontenay Coup-d’Epée (1890) – Fontenay, the Swordsman at Google Books
Le Chêne-Capitaine (1890) – In Chase of Crime
Un Cadet de Normandie au XVIIe siècle (1891) – An Ocean Knight; or, The Corsairs and their Conquerors
Acquittée (1892) – The Mysterious Juror at the Internet Archive

Fortuné Du Boisgobey

Fortuné Du Boisgobey