Open main menu

Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/96

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

are rotten. You don't even know what a bustler is. You ought to be ashamed of yourself at your age. A bustler is a person of your sex who is clever at hiding anything one gets hold of in her frock. I never had a better bustler than Jenny Venus."

"My poor child!" groaned Marceline.

An access of furious anger seized Theophrastus. He dashed at the bed brandishing the button-hook, and cried:

"You know—you know perfectly well that I've forbidden anyone to call me 'Child' ever since the death of Jenny Venus!"

Marceline promised that she would never do it again. But oh, how profoundly she regretted having become, along with her husband, the owner of a document which promised them treasures, but which brought into their home trouble, fear, violence, madness, and the inexplicable. After Marie-Antoinette came Jenny Venus. She was unacquainted with either lady; and she had no desire to make their acquaintance. But Theophrastus spoke of them with a disquieting familiarity. In truth the unexpected phrases which fell from his lips, while filling her with a dread of the Theophrastus of two hundred years ago, made her regret indeed the Theophrastus, so