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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

the train could have answered! They did not hear it, and on that flat plain they did not see it! The ticket-clerk of station A knelt down beside the body of his chief, and presently said, "I am quite sure he is dead!" The rest gathered round the body of the dead man; and then, tearing up two of the little trees from the side of the road which runs beside the railway, they laid him on them. Carrying the body on this rude litter, they returned towards station A. We must bear in mind that the express had passed station B, and that no one had seen it reach station A.

But they had not yet reached station A when, on the line, on the line along which they had just come, they perceived a railway-carriage, or rather a railway-carriage and a guard's-van! They greeted the sight in their excitable French way with the howls of madmen. Where did this end of a train come from? And what had become of the beginning of the train, that is to say, of the engine, the tender, the dining-car, and the three corridor carriages?

Look at the plan. C marks the point on the line at which the staffs of stations A and B met, when they were hunting for the train. It is also the point at which the station-master of A fell down dead. The two staffs then, in a