Open main menu

Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/132

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
110
THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

murder, it is clear that this man was not utterly wicked. I regret, however, that, as far as he himself was concerned, he should have had in the course of his life a hundred and fifty reasons for assassinating his contemporaries.

"But to come back to the wax mask, my friend Adolphe and myself had just descended from the train at Saint-Germain station when I fancied that I saw among a group of passengers a figure which I knew. Moved by a sentiment which was not altogether under my control, I dashed towards the group, but the figure had disappeared.

"'That form is essentially repugnant to me. Where have I seen it?' said I to myself; and Adolphe asked me the reason of my excitement. All at once I remembered.

"'I could swear that it was Signor Petito, the Professor of Italian who lives in the flat above us!' I cried. 'What is Signor Petito up to at Saint-Germain? He had better not get in my way!'

"'What is it he's done?' said Adolphe, in some surprise at the emphasis with which I uttered the last sentence.

"'Oh, nothing—nothing. Only if he gets in my way I swear to you I 'll clip his ears for him!'