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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

are in those cellars by order of the Regent!'

"Then he muttered, 'Philippe-le-Bel! Where in Heaven's name are we going now? We must not stray. We must not! Where are you now, Cartouche?'

"'I am going deeper into the night of the cellars, I am surrounded by guards—many guards. It is too dark to see how many… Ah! I see at the end there, right at the end, a ray which I know well. It is a square ray which the sun has forgotten there since the beginning of the history of France!… My guards are not French Guards, they distrust all the French Guards. My guards are commanded by the military lieutenant of the Châtelet.'

"There was a pause as M. de la Nox let Cartouche continue on his painful way; then he said: 'And where are you now, Cartouche?'

"'I am in the Torture-chamber… About me are men dressed in long robes… Their faces are masked… They are binding me to the stool of Question… They are thick ropes… Well, they need them thick for me… But if they think they're going to get anything out of me, they're wrong—altogether wrong!'