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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/208

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CHAPTER XV

THE OPERATION ENDS

Firm in his intention of bringing his subject to his death by slow degrees, M. Eliphas de la Nox took Theophrastus slowly through the imprisonment, trial, and condemnation of Cartouche. But I omit that part of the narrative of M. Lecamus, since the historians have described that imprisonment and trial at length. I take it up at the point at which Cartouche was on his way to the Torture-chamber that they might force from him the names of his accomplices.

"And now," says M. Lecamus in his narrative, "we were approaching the crucial point of the operation: to kill Cartouche without killing Theophrastus. Simple enough words, but the most difficult operation in Psychic Surgery. Truly M. de la Nox had been right when he said that he was about to tempt Providence. Truly, he had assumed the most appalling responsibility, the risk of killing Theophrastus