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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/258

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CHAPTER XX

THE STRANGE BEHAVIOUR OF AN EXPRESS TRAIN

That profound sadness was destined to affect seriously the future of Theophrastus. As he made his way over the roofs of Gerando Street, it increased to such a paralysing intensity that presently he sat down on the edge of a roof, with his legs dangling over the street, and plunged into the bitterest reflections. The result of this unwise action was that he caught a severe cold.

As he sat reflecting, he slowly came to himself, his modern self. During the reading of the article which narrated the crimes of the new Cartouche, he had displayed a carelessness airy to the point of callousness. Now the sense of his responsibility, especially in the matter of cutting up the butcher Houdry, weighed on him more and more heavily. The memory of many midnight outings, by way of the chimney he had just climbed, came into his mind; and several sanguinary crimes filled his