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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/173

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steps and pushed open a heavy door. They found themselves in a large hall, lighted by a lamp hanging by iron chains from the stone ceiling.

"Wait for me here, I shan't be long," said Adolphe, closing the door.

Theophrastus sat down in a large armchair, and gazed round him. The sight of the walls filled him with the wildest amazement. In the first place, there was an incredible quantity of words painted in black letters. They seemed to crawl about the wall without any order, like flies.

He spelt some of them to himself: Thabethnah, Jakin, Bohaz, Theba, Pic de la Mirandole, Paracelsus, Jacque Molay, Nephesch-Ruach-Neschamah, Ezechiel, Aïsha, Puysegur, Cagliostro, Wronski, Fabre d'Olivet, Louis Lucas, Hiram, Elias, Plotinus, Origen, Gutman, Swedenborg, Giorgius, Apollonius of Tyana, Cassidorus, Eliphas Levi, Cardan, Allan Kardec, Olympicodorus, Spinoza, and scores besides; and, repeated a hundred times, the word IHOAH. Turning towards the other wall, he saw a sphinx and the Pyramids, a huge rose, in the centre of which Christ stretched out his arms in a circle of flame, and these words on the rose: Amphitheatrum sa-