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Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/95

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ture had not given him a mouth large enough to laugh at the face Commissary Mifroid, who did not believe in pickpockets, would pull at the sight of Adolphe emptying his pockets of the collection with which he had stuffed them.

Then he went on to say in the tone of an official instructor:

"It's the work of a child to take a purse out of a pocket. If you can't get your hand in, insert a straw covered with bird-lime. That device is excellent in crowd-work."

Marceline sat up in bed and stared at him. Theophrastus had never worn a more natural air. He was pulling on his pants.

"There's a button off the waist-band," he grumbled.

"You terrify me, Theophrastus!" said Marceline in a shaky voice.

"And a good job too!" said her husband, going down on his hands and knees to recover his braces which had fallen under the bed. "One only does good work with a good woman. And I can't do anything with you. You will never be a good bustler."

"A good—what?"

"A good bustler. Next time you go to the Maison-Dorée, buy me a pair of braces. These