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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/68

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CHAPTER IV

ADOLPHE LECAMUS IS FLABBERGASTED BUT FRANK

Theophrastus stood on the table and gazed sheepishly round the empty tent. His fine ardour was extinguished.

But I take up the narrative in the words of his memoirs:

"I found myself on the table," he writes, "in the middle of the broken crockery, and all the company fled. My guests' rough fashion of taking leave of me had confused me a little. I wished to get down, but by a singular phenomenon, I found as much difficulty in getting down from the table as I had displayed address in mounting it. I went down on my hands and knees; and by dint of the most careful precautions reached the ground safely. I called Marceline, who did not answer; and presently I found her trembling in our bedroom. I shut the door carefully and set about explaining matters. Her appealing eyes, full of tears, demanded an explanation; and I felt