Open main menu

Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/46

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
26
THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

another are at an acute angle. You understand? Look at this hook, and this one, and this thin stroke, and all these letters which increase progressively in equal proportions. But what an acute handwriting, M. Longuet! I have never seen handwriting so acute: it's as sharp as the blade of a knife!"

At these last words Theophrastus turned so pale that Signor Petito thought that he was going to faint. None the less he took the letter and the document, thanked Signor Petito, and went out of the flat.

He walked straight out of the house and wandered about the streets for a long while. At last he found himself in Saint-Andrew-des-Arts Place; then he took his way to Suger Street, and opened the latch of an old-fashioned door. He found himself in a dark and dirty passage. A man came down it to meet him, and recognising him, greeted him.

"How are you, Theophrastus? What good wind blows you here?" he said in affectionate tones.

"How are you, Ambrose?" said Theophrastus gloomily.

Since they had not met for two years, they had a hundred inquiries to make of one another. Ambrose was an engraver of visiting-cards by