Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/239

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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

intelligence—for once we find no difficulty in admitting it—have placed in the hands of three of them a history of Cartouche edited by the Librarians of the National Library. They have decided, quite subtly, that the history of Cartouche should be useful to them, not only in the matter in hand, which consists in their preventing to-day the criminal eccentricities of the new Cartouche and in arresting the new Cartouche himself, but also that his story ought to form a part of the general instruction of all detectives. Indeed a rumour has come to our ears that M. Lepine, the Prefect of Police, has ordered several of the evening courses at the Prefecture to be devoted to the authentic history of the illustrious robber."

"What do you think of that?" said Theophrastus with an air of amiable indulgence. "It's a regular farce. The journalists are queer beggars to try to stuff us with all this rubbish."

Neither Adolphe nor Marceline smiled. In a somewhat shaky voice Marceline bade him go on reading.

"The first crime of the new Cartouche, the crime at least with which the Police was first called on to occupy itself, does not present that