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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

"I thought it well to give this sketch of my character to make it clear that what happened yesterday is no fault of mine. I went to see the prison as I might have gone to buy a neck-tie at the Louvre. I wished to improve my mind. I have plenty of spare time nowadays, since we have sold the business. I said, 'Let us do as the English do and see the sights of Paris.' It was a mere chance that we began with the Conciergerie.

"I am very sorry indeed that we did.

"Am I really very sorry? I am not sure. I am not sure of anything. At present I am quite calm. And I am going to write down what happened exactly as if it had happened to someone else. All the same, what a story it is!

"While we were going through the towers nothing happened worth setting down here. I remember saying to myself in Bon Bec tower:

"'What, was it here in this little chamber, which looks just like a grocery, that there were so many agonies and so many illustrious victims martyred?'

"I tried honestly to picture to myself the horror of that chamber when the executioner and his assistants with their horrible instruments came to the prisoners with the intention of forcing them to confess crimes affecting the