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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/312

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CHAPTER XXVI

M. LONGUET FISHES IN THE CATACOMBS

"We awoke the next morning with the appetites of youth. In the middle of our exiguous breakfast it occurred to me that we were behaving in an extremely old-fashioned way. The heroes of Romance invariably divide their bar of chocolate into a number of pieces. We, with our ham, were showing ourselves as commonplace as they. I imparted these reflections to M. Longuet, and suggested that instead of making our hundred and fifty-eight ounces of ham last for twenty days, we should eat ten ounces each a day, and be content to let them last eight.

"M. Longuet objected firmly. He said:

"'In the first place the admirable discovery of M. Fletcher of the United States has proved that such a quantity of food is unnecessary for the sustenance of the human being.' (I learned later that this was a misstatement.) 'In the second place, it is our duty as French citizens to