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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

stamps. It is not I who am mad; it is this thing that is mad. It is a scrap of paper, torn and stained—a document whose age there is no telling and which is in every way calculated to plunge a quiet manufacturer of rubber stamps into the wildest consternation. The paper, as you can guess, is rotted by the damp of the cellars. The damp has eaten away half the words, which seem from their red hue to have been written in blood.

"But in these words before me, in this document which was certainly written two centuries ago, which I passed under the square ray from the air-hole and gazed at with my hair rising on end in horror, I recognised my own handwriting."

Here copied clearly out is this precious and mysterious document:


"Irturied
my treasures after betrayal
of April 1st
Go and take the air
at the Chopinettes
look at the Gall
look at the Cock
Dig on the spot and you
will be rich."