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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/57

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He had called it "Azure Waves Villa," in spite of the remonstrances of Adolphe, who had urged that such a name was only suitable to a cottage by the sea. Theophrastus had been firm in the matter because, he declared, he had often been to Treport, and the sea was always green; whereas, fishing for gudgeon in the Marne, he had frequently observed that its waves were blue.

He found his wife and friend awaiting him eagerly on its threshold; and as with the air of a favourite of the Regent, he complimented Marceline on her charming appearance, he gracefully waved his green umbrella, from which he seldom allowed himself to be parted, in the fashion in which he believed the dandies waved their canes at the beginning of the eighteenth century.

He found the household in the stress of the preparations for the anniversary dinner, to which several of his friends in the neighbourhood brought their wives to do honour to Theophrastus and Marceline.

Still the favourite of the Regent, to the astonishment of Marceline and Adolphe, he found a few gracious words of compliment for each guest. Neither of them had ever seen him so shine as host before.