Page:Gaston Leroux--The man with the black feather.djvu/243

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THE MAN WITH THE BLACK FEATHER

bidding her good-bye he had forced the ring on her, saying that he had had it from a lady of whom he had been very fond, Mme. de Phalaris, but who had died a long while ago. It was impossible to suspect Mme. de B… She furnished a proof: the shining, nickel-plated revolver, which the unknown had left on a small table in the boudoir. At the same time she begged the Commissary of Police to take away a hundred bottles of champagne of the finest brands, which the unknown had sent to her the day after that extraordinary night, on the pretext that the supper had been excellent, but the champagne alone had left something to be desired. She feared lest, like the ring, the champagne should have been stolen.

"This adventure, which is the least of those we have to relate, is a faithful reproduction of an affair which took place on the night of July 13, 1721, at the house of Mme. la Maréchale de Boufflers. That lady also was at her toilet. The young man arrived by the balcony; he had not a shining, nickel-plated revolver in his hand, but he carried six English pistols in his belt. After having introduced himself as Louis-Dominique Cartouche, he demanded supper. And the widow of Louis-François, Duke de Boufflers, Peer and Marshal of France,