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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/183

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day find his skeleton in a house in Huchette Street!"

The Mage, motionless and silent, regarded Theophrastus and his talk with an attention nothing could divert.

"I have never laughed anywhere so much as at Saint-Chaumont Hill, between Chopinettes mill and Cock mill," said Theophrastus with the same garrulous cheerfulness. "Chopinettes tavern was there; it had taken the place of the tavern François Villon was so fond of, where for centuries all the cullies and doxies of Paris used to come on hanging-days to carouse. It was between Chopinettes mill, Cock mill and the Gallows of Montfaucon that I buried my treasures; and if you have a plan of old Paris, my dear M. Elephant de Taillepot de St. Elmo's Fire de la Nose—"

Theophrastus had not quite come to the end of his host's name, when, of a sudden, the darkness fled; and the room and all in it shone clear in the brilliant light of day.

He looked round him with manifest satisfaction, at his wife, who was muttering a prayer, at his friend Adolphe, who was on the verge of tears, at the bookshelves, which practically walled the room, and at M. Eliphas de la Nox, who smiled at him with gentle compas-