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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

heard it with the same equanimity with which they had heard the second purring. The fourth purring stopped.

Another quarter of an hour passed: they were not asleep or even sleepy; and then there came a fifth purring.

Then, incredible to relate, Theophrastus leapt from the bed like a tiger, and cried:

"By the throttle of Madame Phalaris! This is too much of a good thing! What the deuce is that infernal violet cat up to?"