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"Oh! I see them so clearly! " said Madame Tiercelet, in a tone of admiration.

" And that ' ineffable,' how evocative it is! " applauded the Countess Fergus, ' ' and so pure ! ' '

Kimberly profited by these flattering interrup- tions to take a swallow of champagne. Then, feel- ing that he was listened to with more passionate attention than before, he repeated:

" Preserved an ineffable silence. But on this special evening John-Giotto Farfadetti murmured: ' I have a poisoned flower in my heart. ' To which Frederic-Ossian Pinggleton answered: ' This evening a sorrowful bird has been singing in my heart.' The studio seemed moved by this unusual colloquy. On the mauve wall, which was gradually losing its color, the gold algas seemed to spread and contract, and to spread and contract again, in harmony with the new rhythms of an unusual undulation, for it is certain that the soul of man communicates to the soul of things its troubles, its passions, its fervors, its transgressions, its life."

" How true that is! "

This cry, coming from several mouths at once, did not prevent Kimberly from going on with the recital, which thenceforth was to unfold itself amid the silent emotion of his hearers. His voice became even more mysterious.

" This minute of silence was poignant and tragic. ' Oh ! my friend ! ' implored John-Giotto