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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/222

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CHAPTER XVI

THE DRAWBACKS OF PSYCHIC SURGERY

"As soon as Theophrastus had uttered the words: 'I am entering the radiant darkness of death,' M. Eliphas de Saint-Elme de Taillebourg de la Nox raised his right hand above his head with a splendid gesture, then bent over the face of my friend, breathed upon his eyelids, and said:

"'Theophrastus Longuet, awake!'

"Theophrastus did not awake. His eyelids remained closed, and his stillness appeared to us stiller than ever. And now that he spoke no more, now that his lips were closed as tightly as his eyelids, it suddenly seemed to us, stricken with a horrible dread, that he had followed Cartouche into the radiant darkness of death.

"His corpse-like pallor, his hair grown suddenly white, showed him to us terribly old, old with the age suddenly acquired in the depths of the tomb.