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CHAPTER XXIII

THE MELODIOUS BRICKLAYER

Theophrastus, though he had with good reason made up his mind never again to be astonished by anything, was nevertheless astonished by the disappearance of the railway-carriage, with the earless head of Signor Petito waggling in the wind. With a melancholy air he walked down the little side-line, asking himself whether he ought to be more astonished by the disappearance of the carriage than by its sudden appearance. In truth, the suppression of the express was troubling his spirit deeply.

It seems to me that I, who know the secrets of the sandalwood box, have no right to give the explanation of this suppression before the hour at which Theophrastus learnt it himself, from a quite commonplace observation which the Commissary of Police, M. Mifroid, an earnest student of Logic from his earliest years, made to him in the Catacombs of Paris. At the same time, it is only fair to say that all