Open main menu

Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/212

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

are feeling my pulse… They are congratulating themselves on having chosen the torture of the Boot, because it is least dangerous to life, and the least liable to accidents.'

"I observed that he spoke in his ordinary voice, that it was not weakened by the pain he had suffered. It seemed as if he only felt it at the moment of its actual infliction, that he did not feel the after pain.

"There came another long pause; then suddenly Theophrastus uttered another ear-splitting yell.

"'What's the matter now, Cartouche?' said M. de la Nox anxiously.

"'It's the tip of my tongue!' cried Theophrastus furiously.' Can't these silly fools see that the names are on the tip of my tongue, and won't come off it? Why don't the idiots take them off it? Is it my fault that Cartouche did n't split?'

"'But Cartouche was silent: why are you yelling?' said M. de la Nox.

"'They 're torturing Cartouche; but it's Theophrastus Longuet who yells!'

"M. de la Nox seemed thunderstruck by this response. He turned and said to us in a trembling voice: 'Then—then it's he who suffers.'