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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

For all reply Adolphe pushed him along a little passage leading to an old house in Guénégaud Street, a few doors off De la Monnaie house. They went into the house, up a shaky staircase, and into a room in which the window curtains were drawn. It had been darkened purposely. But on a little table in a corner a flickering candle threw its light on a portrait.

It was the portrait of a man of thirty, of a powerful face, with "flashing" eyes. The brow was high, the nose big, the strong, square chin shaven; the large mouth was surmounted by a bristly moustache. On the bushy hair was a cap of wool or rough leather; and the dress appeared to be that of a convict. A coarse linen shirt was half open across the hairy chest.

"Goodness!" said Theophrastus without raising his voice. "How did my portrait get into this house?"

"Your portrait?" cried Adolphe. "Are you sure?"

"Who could be surer than I?" said Theophrastus calmly.

"Well—well—" said Adolphe Lecamus in a choking voice, his face contorted by an expression of the most painful emotion. "This portrait, which is your portrait,