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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

"'Oh, there were plenty of gibbets,' answered Adolphe, giving me a look of which I did not catch the meaning. 'The good city was not lacking in gibbets, gallows, or pillories. And even here…'

"Again he gave me an odd look, and I saw that we had arrived at the Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville. 'Do you want to cross the Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville?' he went on.

"'Of course I'll cross it, if that's the way you want to go,' I said.

"'Have you often crossed it?' he said.

"'Thousands of times.'

"'And has nothing uncommon happened? Have you experienced no odd feelings? Have you remembered nothing?'

"'Nothing at all.'

"'Are there any spots in Paris that you have n't been able to cross?'

"His look was insistent. It seemed to speak to me, to bid me reflect. Then I recalled several inexplicable aversions to places I had felt. More than once, on my way to Odéon Street, on finding myself in front of the Institute, I had turned into Mazarine Street. I had no sooner set foot in it than I had turned right about face and gone round another way. I had been vaguely aware of these changes of