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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/218

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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

Dead to carouse at the Chopinettes, I often looked through that grating. I looked through it curiously because I saw that one day I should lie in the charnel-house. But never did it occur to me that when a body lay there, it could look out from the other side of the grating! And now my body looks out through it! They have thrown me into the charnel-house because they believed me dead! I am buried alive with the bodies of hanged men! My wretched fate surpasses anything that the imagination of men could invent!

"'The saddest reflections assail me. I ask myself by what trick of Fate I am reduced to such an extremity. I am forced to confess that Fate played no part in the matter. It was my pride, nothing but my accursed pride. I could have quietly remained King of all the robbers, if there had been any living with me. Pretty-Milkmaid was right when she said at the Queen Margot that there was no longer any living with me. I would no longer listen to a word from anyone; and when I called together my Grand Council, I took no notice whatever of the resolutions it passed. I took a delight in playing the despot; and I ended with that mania for cutting up everyone I suspected into little bits. My lieutenants ran