Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French I).djvu/120

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THE BLACK PEARL

by victorien sardou

CHAPTER I.

WHEN it rains in Amsterdam, it pours; and when the thunder takes a hand in the performance things are pretty lively; this is what my friend Balthazar Van der Lys was saying to himself one summer night, as he ran along the Amstel on his way home to escape the storm. Unfortunately, the wind of the Zuiderzee blew faster than he could run. A frightful gust tore along the quay, unhinging hundreds of shutters and twisting scores of signs and lamp-posts. At the same moment, a number of towels and handkerchiefs which had been hung out to dry were blown pell-mell into the canal, followed by Balthazar's hat, and it is the greatest wonder in the world that he was not treated to a bath himself. Then there was another flash of lightning, a deafening roar of thunder, and the rain came down in torrents anew, literally wetting our poor friend to the skin, and causing him to redouble his speed.

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