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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

At once Theophrastus, like a true Parisian, was on fire to learn what was going on, and plunged into the heart of the crowd.

"Mind you don't get your pockets picked!" cried Marceline after him.

"Oh, you need n't be afraid of getting your pocket picked when you 're in the company of Commissary Mifroid," said that gentleman proudly.

"That's true," said Marceline with an amiable smile. "You are here; and we run no risk at all."

"I don't know about that," said Adolphe slyly. "My friend Mifroid appears to me more dangerous than all the pickpockets on the face of the earth—to the heart."

"Ah, he will have his joke!" said M. Mifroid laughing; but he assumed his most conquering air.

Theophrastus kept them standing there for fully ten minutes before he emerged from the crowd with his eyes shining very brightly.

"It's a cab-driver who has locked his wheel with that of a motor car," he said.

"And what has happened?" said Marceline.

"Why, he can't unlock it," said Theophrastus.