Open main menu

Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/64

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
44
THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

The advent of the two waiters with the champagne cut short the dissertation of Adolphe; and though everyone had been deeply impressed by it, now they only wished to be amused.

It was then that Marceline turned to Theophrastus and begged him to sing the song with which he was wont to delight their ears at dessert on each anniversary of their wedding-day. He had sung it on their wedding-day itself; and thanks to its charm and freshness, it had been a great success. It was Beranger's Lisette.

But what was the amazement of Marceline and all the guests, when Theophrastus sprang to his feet, threw his napkin on the table, and bawled to the mistress of the house:

"As you will, Marie-Antoinette! I can refuse you nothing!"

"Gracious goodness! That voice of his has come back!" gasped Marceline.

The guests had not recovered from the shock when Theophrastus bawled to an old French air, in a voice which none of them recognised as his, his voice of the Conciergerie, bawled to the most select society from Crécy-en-Brie to Lagny-Thorigny-Pomponne: