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CHAPTER XIX

THE STORY OF THE CALF

Marceline had risen and gone to her bedroom as much to hide her emotion as to ascertain whether the nickel-plated revolver was still in its drawer. When she came back into the dining-room, Theophrastus asked her what was the matter with her. Marceline replied that the revolver was no longer in its drawer. Theophrastus begged her to compose herself, and declared, in a tone which admitted of no contradiction, that since the revolver was not in its drawer, it must be somewhere else, and it was a matter of no importance whatever.

"We are now going to accompany this newspaper man to the crime in Bac Street," he went on. "His comments on the story of Mme. de B…, who must of course be Mme. de Bithyinie, the lady of your Pneumatic Club who is such an intimate friend of M. de la Box, show him to be a well-informed man. I am pleased to see that he does not follow those idiots of historians who try to make scandal out of my