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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/85

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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

"Goodness! What has become of my pocket-book?" he cried.

The explanation of its absence was entirely simple: someone had picked the pocket of the Commissary of Police of his pocket-book with five hundred francs in it. M. Mifroid did not so much regret the loss of the five hundred francs as he was furious to find himself ridiculous. Marceline made fun of him gently as she condoled with him on its loss; she could not help it. He was furious indeed.

"Let me lend you any money you want for to-night, M. Mifroid," said Theophrastus amiably.

He pulled out a pocket-book. M. Mifroid uttered a sharp cry: it was his own pocket-book!

Theophrastus turned a rich scarlet. M. Mifroid stared at him, took the pocket-book from his trembling fingers, recovered his five hundred francs, and put them in his pocket.

Then he forthwith began to make a hundred pressing occupations his excuse for taking a hurried leave of them, and said good-bye.

As he was clattering down the staircase, he called back up it, with some heat, to his friend Adolphe, who had hurried out of the flat after him: