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"But . . . I should not be astonished ... if it were "...

We are breathless.

" Monsieur Lanlaire. There, that is what I think, if you want to know, ' ' she concludes, with an expression of base and atrocious ferocity.

Several protest; others reserve judgment. I de- clare that Monsieur Lanlaire is incapable of such a crime, and I cry:

"He, Lord Jesus? Oh, the poor man! He would be too much afraid. ' '

But Rose, with still more hatred, insists :

"Incapable? Ta, ta, ta! And the little Jezu- reau? And Valentin's little girl? And the little Dougfere ? Do you remember them ? Incapable ? ' '

"It is not the same thing ; it is not the same thing."

In their hatred of Monsieur they do not, like Rose, go so far as to make a formal charge of murder. That he outrages little girls who consent to be outraged, — yes, that is possible. That he kills them, — that is scarcely credible. But Rose stormily insists. She froths at the mouth; she pounds the table with her soft, fat hands ; she cries, with excited gestures:

"Do I not tell you yes? I am sure of it."

Mme. Gouin, who has been listening in a dreamy fashion, finally declares, in her meaningless voice :

" Oh ! indeed, young women, in these ma