Jules Verne

"Well! study the last paragraph! There you understand the sense of the whole is bound to be summed up. Do you see anything abnormal?"


"There is, however, one thing which absolutely proves that the language is subject to the laws of number."

"And that is?"

"That is that you see three _h's_ coming together in two different places."

What Jarriquez said was correct, and it was of a nature to attract attention. The two hundred and fourth, two hundred and fifth, and two hundred and sixth letters of the paragraph, and the two hundred and fifty-eight, two hundred and fifty-ninth, and two hundred and sixtieth letters of the paragraph were consecutive _h's_. At first this peculiarity had not struck the magistrate.

"And that proves?" asked Manoel, without divining the deduction that could be drawn from the combination.

"That simply proves that the basis of the document is a number. It shows _à priori_ that each letter is modified in virtue of the ciphers of the number and according to the place which it occupies."

"And why?"

"Because in no language will you find words with three consecutive repetitions of the letter _h."_

Manoel was struck with the argument; he thought about it, and, in short, had no reply to make."

"And had I made the observation sooner," continued the magistrate, "I might have spared myself a good deal of trouble and a headache which extends from my occiput to my sinciput."

"But, sir," asked Manoel, who felt the little hope vanishing on which he had hitherto rested, "what do you mean by a cipher?"

"Tell me a number."

"Any number you like."

"Give me an example and you will understand the explanation better."

Judge Jarriquez sat down at the table, took up a sheet of paper and a pencil, and said:

"Now, Mr. Manoel, let us choose a sentence by chance, the first that comes; for instance:

_Judge Jarriquez has an ingenious mind._

I write this phrase so as to space the letters different and I get:


That done" said the magistrate, to whom the phrase seemed to contain a proposition beyond dispute, looking Manoel straight in the face, "suppose I take a number by chance, so as to give a cryptographic form to this natural succession of words; suppose now this word is composed ot three ciphers, and let these ciphers be 2, 3, and 4. Now on the line below I put the number 234, and repeat it as many times as are necessary to get to the end of the phrase, and so that every cipher comes underneath a letter. This is what we get:

_J u d g e j a r r I q u e z h a s a n I n g e n I o u s m I n d_ 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 2 3 4 And now, Mr. Manoel, replacing each letter by the letter in advance of it in alphabetical order according to the value of the ciper, we get:

                              _j_ + 2 = _l_                               _u_ + 3 = _x_                               _d_ + 4 = _h_                               _g_ + 2 = _i_                               _e_ + 3 = _h_                               _j_ + 4 = _n_                               _a_ + 2 = _c_                               _r_ + 3 = _u_                               _r_ + 4 = _v_                               _i_ + 2 = _k_                               _q_ + 3 = _t_                               _u_ + 4 = _y_                               _e_ + 2 = _g_                               _a_ + 3 = _c_                               _h_ + 4 = _t_                               _a_ + 2 = _c_                               _s_ + 3 = _v_                               _a_ + 4 = _e_                               _n_ + 2 = _p_                               _i_ + 3 = _l_                               _n_ + 4 = _r_                               _g_ + 2 = _i_                               _e_ + 3 = _h_                               _n_ + 4 = _r_                               _i_ + 2 = _k_                               _o_ + 3 = _r_                               _u_ + 4 = _y_                               _s_ + 2 = _u_ and so on.