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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

"A fine fellow that uncle! Louis-Dominique was saved!" cried Theophrastus joyfully.

M. Lecamus lost patience, turned sharply on Theophrastus and begged him to cease his continual interruptions, declaring that it would take him a good ten years to tell the story of Cartouche, if he could not bring himself to listen without these comments.

"It's all very well for you to say that!" said Theophrastus with some heat. "But I should like to see you in my place! However, I 'll do as you want; but just tell me first if Cartouche was as redoubtable as they say: was he a brigand chief?"

"He was indeed."

"Of many brigands?"

"At Paris alone he commanded about three thousand men."

"Three thousand? Goodness! That's a lot!"

"You had more than fifty lieutenants; and there were always about a city twenty men dressed exactly like you—in a reddish brown coat, lined with amaranthine silk, and wearing a patch of black cloth over the left eye—to put the police off your track."

"Oh, ho! it was a household of some size!" said Theophrastus, in a tone of irrepressible pride.