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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

spent his time writing and writing. Once or twice he went out at night. Once Ambrose asked him where he was going.

"A Commissary of Police, M. Mifroid, is writing an account of a journey we took together," said Theophrastus. "And I am going to ask him for a copy of it."

I am inclined to believe that one of these nights he must also have returned to the flat in Gerando Street, by his favourite chimney, and taken away from it the report, which M. Lecamus had written for the Pneumatic Club, of the operation of M. Eliphas de Saint-Elme de Taillebourg de la Nox. Also on one of those nights he must have acquired the sandalwood box inlaid with steel; and since Ambrose believes that he had but little money, it is not improbable that when he acquired it he had his Black Feather.

One evening he came downstairs carrying a box, the sandalwood box, under his arm; and with an air of gloomy satisfaction, he said to Ambrose, "I have finished my literary labours; and I think I will go and see my wife."

"I did not like to speak to you about her," said Ambrose quickly. "Your gloom and your inexplicable behaviour made me afraid that you had some domestic difficulties."