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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

little shoe: the frown faded from his face, leaving on it only an expression of supernal gloom; he looked at the eighteen purses, scratched his nose, and coughed. Then he gazed at Theophrastus and said in very solemn tones:

"What has just happened, Theophrastus, is not natural. We must try to find the explanation of it; we must force ourselves to find the explanation. It's no use shutting our eyes; we must open them, as wide as we can, to the misfortune, if it is misfortune, in order to battle with it."

"What misfortune?" said Theophrastus, suddenly becoming his timid self again, and catching distressfully at Marceline's hand.

"It's always a misfortune to have other people's property in one's pocket," said Adolphe gloomily.

"And what else is there in the pockets of conjurors?" cried Theophrastus with fresh violence. "And conjurors are very honest men; and Theophrastus Longuet is a very honest man! By the throttle of Madame Phalaris, he is!"

He shouted this out; then fell back exhausted in his chair.

There was a gloomy silence. Presently he