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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

for. And I'm sure that Mme. Mifroid must be in a terrible state of anxiety.'

"'But why don't you arrest me? When I asked what were you waiting for, I meant what are you waiting for to arrest me?'

"'No, M. Longuet, no. I shan't arrest you… It was my mission to arrest Cartouche. But Cartouche no longer exists! There is only M. Longuet; and M. Longuet is my friend!'

"The eyes of Theophrastus filled with tears.

"'I have a strong feeling that I'm cured… if only I could be sure of it.'

"'What would you do if you were?' said I.

"'I should go back to my wife, my dear Marceline,' he said wistfully.

"'Well, you must go back to your wife, M. Longuet; you certainly must.'

"'You advise me to?'

"'Of course I do.'

"'No, M. Mifroid, no. She no longer expects me. Before falling through that hole in d'Enfer Street, I was careful to leave my clothes on the bank of a river. She believes me dead—drowned. She must be plunged in profound despair. My only satisfaction is that my dear friend, M. Lecamus, whom you know, has done everything possible for her in her affliction.'