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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

able nature in the world. Whenever he lost, he sulked.

One evening Theophrastus had, as usual, lost; and with an angry frown on his brow, he had stopped playing, and buried himself in an evening paper. He was very fond of the political notes, and his opinions were limited. They were bounded on the north by "The Despotism of Tyrants," and on the south by "The Socialist Utopia." Between the Socialist Utopia and the Despotism of Tyrants, he understood everything, he declared, except that one should attack the army. He often said, "The army must not be touched!" He was a worthy soul.

That evening he read the Political Notes without, as usual, commenting aloud on them, because he was sulking. And then his eyes were caught by this headline:


CARTOUCHE IS NOT DEAD.


He could not refrain from smiling, so absurd did this hypothesis seem to him. Then he ran his eyes over the first lines of the article, and let escape him the word "Strange!…" and then the word "Odd…" and then the word "Amazing…" But without any particular display of emotion. Then he decided that it was time to stop sulking, and said: