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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

"On this assurance he described my character: it was that of a worthy business man, an honest merchant, an excellent husband, but of a man incapable of displaying any firmness, strength of mind, or energy. He went on to say that my timidity was excessive, and that my kindness of heart, to which he was fully alive, was always apt to degenerate into sheer feebleness.

"It was not a flattering portrait; and it made me blush for myself.

"'And now,' said I, hiding my mortification, 'you 've told me what you think of my character: what do you think of my handwriting?'

"'It's the exact opposite of your character,' he said quickly. 'It expresses every sentiment utterly opposed to your nature as I know it. In fact, I can't think of a more direct antithesis than your character and your handwriting. It must be, then, that you have n't the handwriting which goes with your actual character, but the handwriting of the Other.'

"I might have been angry, if Signor Petito had not told me much the same thing; as it was, I exclaimed, 'Oh, this is very interesting! The Other, then, was a man of energy?'

"I thought to myself that the Other must