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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/262

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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

where he got off it and came out of another railway station. It may be that in this evasion of the duties of the passenger his Black Feather stood him in good stead.

Behold him then on the road… At the entrance to a village… On the road which runs beside the railway.

Whom does he perceive on the threshold of a cottage at the entrance to the village?… The Signora Petito herself!

It was the first time the Signora Petito had seen M. Longuet since he clipped her husband's ears. She fell into a fury. She ran down to the garden gate; and her anger found vent not only in abuse, but in the most imprudent revelations. Had Signor Petito heard what his angry Regina said, he would have smacked her for her incredible folly. After abusing Theophrastus for his barbarity to Signor Petito, she told him with vindictive triumph that her husband had found the treasures of the Chopinettes, and that those treasures were the richest in the world, treasures worth far more than a couple of ears, were they as big as the ears of Signor Petito. "They are quits!"

In the course of this outburst, Theophrastus with considerable difficulty interjected a few words; but he was not at all disturbed by it.