Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/177

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Every one roared, Louis louder than any one, and when quiet reigned once more Herbert, who was determined to keep the talk along the lines which would most interest our landlord, and who had examined the chalice with the greatest interest, said, pointing to the cabinet:

“And now show us something else. Here I have lived with these things for weeks at a time and yet am only beginning to find them out. What else have you that is especially rare?”

Lemois, who had just closed the door of the cabinet, turned and began searching the room before replying.

“Well, there is my bas-relief, my Madonna. It is just behind you—very beautiful and very rare. I do not lock it up; I keep it in a dark corner where the cross-lights from the window can bring out the face in strong relief. Please do me the favor, gentlemen, to leave your seats. I never take it from its place,” and he crossed the room and stood beneath it. “This is the only one in existence, so far as I know—that is, the only replica. The original is in the Sistine Chapel, near Ravenna. Bring a candle, please, Monsieur Brierley, so