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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/230

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CHAPTER XVII

THEOPHRASTUS BEGINS TO TAKE AN INTEREST IN THINGS

The unlucky Theophrastus was more than six weeks recovering from his Astral operation. M. Lecamus describes his illness in a somewhat long-winded fashion. Little by little he began to recover the use of his legs; but it seemed unlikely that his hearing would ever quite recover from the boiling water which had deafened Cartouche two hundred years before; at intervals he was for a few moments stone deaf. During all this time he made no allusion to the Past; I do not speak of that wretched past, bounded in the minds of all of us by the few years which have elapsed since our last terrestrial birth; he made no allusion to his eighteenth-century past. This fact assured Marceline, M. Lecamus, and M. Eliphas de Saint-Elme de Taillebourg de la Nox, who was a frequent visitor at the sick-bed, that Cartouche was indeed dead; and M. de la Nox was often