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CHAPTER XVIII
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 THE EVENING PAPER
It was the habit of the three friends to play a game of dominoes in the evening after dinner. M. Lecamus, who was a Norman, took a delight in using terms racy of the soil. When he set down the Double-six, he would cry: "Now for the double-nigger!" When he put down a Five, he would cry: "The pup! That bites!" When he put down a One, he would cry: "The maggot! Bait!" The Three drew from him this phrase: "If you've the pluck, down with the pig's-tail!" He called the Two "The beggar!" The unfortunate Four was blasted by the name of "The whelp!" and he could not put down a Blank without announcing: "The washerwoman!"
 
Marceline took the greatest delight in these exclamations1, and she was always ready to play dominoes. Theophrastus generally lost; and it was a pleasure to see him lose, for at this game he had displayed the most disagree[Pg 213]able nature in the world. Whenever he lost, he sulked.
 
One evening Theophrastus had, as usual, lost; and with an angry frown on his brow, he had stopped playing, and buried himself in an evening paper. He was very fond of the political notes, and his opinions were limited. They were bounded on the north by "The Despotism of Tyrants2," and on the south by "The Socialist3 Utopia." Between the Socialist Utopia and the Despotism of Tyrants, he understood everything, he declared, except that one should attack the army. He often said, "The army must not be touched!" He was a worthy4 soul.
 
That evening he read the Political Notes without, as usual, commenting aloud on them, because he was sulking. And then his eyes were caught by this headline:
 
CARTOUCHE IS NOT DEAD.
 
He could not refrain from smiling, so absurd did this hypothesis seem to him. Then he ran his eyes over the first lines of the article, and let escape him the word "Strange!..." and then the word "Odd..." and then the word "Amazing..." But without any particular display of emotion. Then he decided5 that it was time to stop sulking, and said:
 
[Pg 214]"You haven't read this article entitled: 'Cartouche is not dead,' Adolphe. It's a strange and amazing article."
 
Marceline and Adolphe started violently and looked at one another in dismay. Theophrastus read:
 
"Is Cartouche, then, not dead? For some days the police, with the greatest mystery which we however have penetrated6, have been solely7 occupied with a series of strange crimes of which they have been forced to conceal8 the most curious side from the public. These crimes and the manner in which their author escapes from the Police at the very moment at which they believe they have caught him, recall point by point the methods of the celebrated9 Cartouche. If it were not a question of an affair as reprehensible10 as a series of crimes, one could even admire the art with which the model is imitated. As an official of the Prefecture of Police, whose name we do not give since he insisted on secrecy11, said to us yesterday, 'He's the very spit of Cartouche!' So much so that the detectives no longer call the mysterious robber, on the track of whom they sometimes find themselves, anything but Cartouche! Moreover the authorities, with great secrecy but with considerable[Pg 215] 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 eccentricities12 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 rumour13 has come to our ears that M. Lepine, the Prefect of Police, has ordered several of the evening courses at the Prefecture to be devoted14 to the authentic15 history of the illustrious robber."
 
"What do you think of that?" said Theophrastus with an air of amiable16 indulgence. "It's a regular farce17. 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[Pg 216] aspect of horror which we find in some of the others. It is a romantic crime. Let us say at once that all the crimes of which we have cognisance and which are attributed to the new Cartouche, have been committed during the last fortnight and always between eleven o'clock at night and four in the morning."
 
Madame Longuet started up, her face as white as a sheet. Since the Astral operation, Theophrastus had been sleeping in the bedroom by himself, while she had slept in a small bed in the study. M. Lecamus caught her wrist and swiftly drew her back into her seat. His eyes bade her be silent.
 
Theophrastus paused in his reading and said, "What on earth do they mean by their new Cartouche? Myself, I only know the old one!... Well, let's hear about the romantic crime..."
 
He read on, growing calmer and calmer at every line:
 
"A lady, young and charming, and very well known in Paris, where her Salon18 is filled by all those who occupy themselves gracefully19 with Spiritualism—the affair is, after all, somewhat compromising, therefore we do not publish her name—was in the middle of her toilet about one o'clock in the morning, preparing to enjoy[Pg 217] her well-earned repose20 after a somewhat exhausting conference with the most illustrious of the Pneumatics, when suddenly her window, which opens on to a balcony, was flung open violently, and a man of little more than middle height, still young, and extremely vigorous (this detail is in the police report), but with his hair entirely21 white, sprang into the room. He had in his hand a shining, nickel-plated revolver.
 
"'Do not be frightened, madame,' he said to the terrified lady. 'I am not going to harm you. Regard me as your most humble22 servant. My name is Louis-Dominique Cartouche; and my only ambition is to sup with you. By the throttle23 of Madame Phalaris! I've got a devil of a twist on me!' And he laughed.
 
"Mme. de B.... (we will call her Mme. de B....) thought she had to do with a madman. But it was only a man resolved to sup with her, since, he said, he had been for a long time fascinated by her grace and charm. Yet this man was far more dangerous than a madman. For it was necessary to give way to him, owing to his nickel-plated revolver.
 
"'You are going to ring for your servants, and order them to bring an excellent supper,' said the man coolly. 'Do not give them any[Pg 218] explanation which might cause me trouble. If you do, you're a dead woman.'
 
"Mme. de B.... is a lady of courage. She rose at once to the occasion, rang for her maid, ordered supper to be brought to her boudoir, and a quarter of an hour later she and the man with the white hair were facing one another at table, the best friends in the world. We need hardly say that the man with the white hair made no haste over that delightful24 meal; and it was after two o'clock when he climbed down from the balcony. It was perhaps not unnatural25 that the beautiful Mme. de B.... should not have informed the police of the adventure. It was necessity that compelled her to the avowal26; for a few days later a Commissary of Police called on her, and informed her that the ring, containing a magnificent diamond, which she wore on the third finger of her right hand was the property of Mlle. Emilienne de Besançon; that that lady had seen it on her finger at a charity bazaar27 the day before; that Mme. de B.... was doubtless ignorant whose property it was; doubtless it had been given to her. Mme. de B.... was beyond words surprised and annoyed. She told the story of the balcony, the unknown, and the supper; and said that in[Pg 219] 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 champagne28 of the finest brands, which the unknown had sent to her the day after that extraordinary night, on the pretext29 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,[Pg 220] the hero of Lille and Malplaquet, supped with Cartouche, and did not hurry over the supper.
 
"Cartouche only complained of the champagne; and next morning Mme. de Boufflers received a hundred bottles. He had had them taken from the cellars of a great financier by his butler Patapon.
 
"A few days later one of the bands of Cartouche stopped a carriage in the street. Cartouche looked in through the window and scanned the faces. It was Mme. la Maréchale de Boufflers.
 
"He turned to his men and said in ringing tones, 'Let Mme. la Maréchale de Boufflers pass freely to-night and always.'
 
"He bowed low to Mme. la Maréchale, after having slipped on her finger a magnificent diamond which he had previously30 stolen from Mme. de Phalaris. Mme. de Phalaris never saw it again!
 
"And now let us pass on to the crime in Bac Street."

点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 exclamations aea591b1607dd0b11f1dd659bad7d827     
n.呼喊( exclamation的名词复数 );感叹;感叹语;感叹词
参考例句:
  • The visitors broke into exclamations of wonder when they saw the magnificent Great Wall. 看到雄伟的长城,游客们惊叹不已。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • After the will has been read out, angry exclamations aroused. 遗嘱宣读完之后,激起一片愤怒的喊声。 来自辞典例句
2 tyrants b6c058541e716c67268f3d018da01b5e     
专制统治者( tyrant的名词复数 ); 暴君似的人; (古希腊的)僭主; 严酷的事物
参考例句:
  • The country was ruled by a succession of tyrants. 这个国家接连遭受暴君的统治。
  • The people suffered under foreign tyrants. 人民在异族暴君的统治下受苦受难。
3 socialist jwcws     
n.社会主义者;adj.社会主义的
参考例句:
  • China is a socialist country,and a developing country as well.中国是一个社会主义国家,也是一个发展中国家。
  • His father was an ardent socialist.他父亲是一个热情的社会主义者。
4 worthy vftwB     
adj.(of)值得的,配得上的;有价值的
参考例句:
  • I did not esteem him to be worthy of trust.我认为他不值得信赖。
  • There occurred nothing that was worthy to be mentioned.没有值得一提的事发生。
5 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
6 penetrated 61c8e5905df30b8828694a7dc4c3a3e0     
adj. 击穿的,鞭辟入里的 动词penetrate的过去式和过去分词形式
参考例句:
  • The knife had penetrated his chest. 刀子刺入了他的胸膛。
  • They penetrated into territory where no man had ever gone before. 他们已进入先前没人去过的地区。
7 solely FwGwe     
adv.仅仅,唯一地
参考例句:
  • Success should not be measured solely by educational achievement.成功与否不应只用学业成绩来衡量。
  • The town depends almost solely on the tourist trade.这座城市几乎完全靠旅游业维持。
8 conceal DpYzt     
v.隐藏,隐瞒,隐蔽
参考例句:
  • He had to conceal his identity to escape the police.为了躲避警方,他只好隐瞒身份。
  • He could hardly conceal his joy at his departure.他几乎掩饰不住临行时的喜悦。
9 celebrated iwLzpz     
adj.有名的,声誉卓著的
参考例句:
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
10 reprehensible 7VpxT     
adj.该受责备的
参考例句:
  • Lying is not seen as being morally reprehensible in any strong way.人们并不把撒谎当作一件应该大加谴责的事儿。
  • It was reprehensible of him to be so disloyal.他如此不忠,应受谴责。
11 secrecy NZbxH     
n.秘密,保密,隐蔽
参考例句:
  • All the researchers on the project are sworn to secrecy.该项目的所有研究人员都按要求起誓保守秘密。
  • Complete secrecy surrounded the meeting.会议在绝对机密的环境中进行。
12 eccentricities 9d4f841e5aa6297cdc01f631723077d9     
n.古怪行为( eccentricity的名词复数 );反常;怪癖
参考例句:
  • My wife has many eccentricities. 我妻子有很多怪癖。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • His eccentricities had earned for him the nickname"The Madman". 他的怪癖已使他得到'疯子'的绰号。 来自辞典例句
13 rumour 1SYzZ     
n.谣言,谣传,传闻
参考例句:
  • I should like to know who put that rumour about.我想知道是谁散布了那谣言。
  • There has been a rumour mill on him for years.几年来,一直有谣言产生,对他进行中伤。
14 devoted xu9zka     
adj.忠诚的,忠实的,热心的,献身于...的
参考例句:
  • He devoted his life to the educational cause of the motherland.他为祖国的教育事业贡献了一生。
  • We devoted a lengthy and full discussion to this topic.我们对这个题目进行了长时间的充分讨论。
15 authentic ZuZzs     
a.真的,真正的;可靠的,可信的,有根据的
参考例句:
  • This is an authentic news report. We can depend on it. 这是篇可靠的新闻报道, 我们相信它。
  • Autumn is also the authentic season of renewal. 秋天才是真正的除旧布新的季节。
16 amiable hxAzZ     
adj.和蔼可亲的,友善的,亲切的
参考例句:
  • She was a very kind and amiable old woman.她是个善良和气的老太太。
  • We have a very amiable companionship.我们之间存在一种友好的关系。
17 farce HhlzS     
n.闹剧,笑剧,滑稽戏;胡闹
参考例句:
  • They played a shameful role in this farce.他们在这场闹剧中扮演了可耻的角色。
  • The audience roared at the farce.闹剧使观众哄堂大笑。
18 salon VjTz2Z     
n.[法]沙龙;客厅;营业性的高级服务室
参考例句:
  • Do you go to the hairdresser or beauty salon more than twice a week?你每周去美容院或美容沙龙多过两次吗?
  • You can hear a lot of dirt at a salon.你在沙龙上会听到很多流言蜚语。
19 gracefully KfYxd     
ad.大大方方地;优美地
参考例句:
  • She sank gracefully down onto a cushion at his feet. 她优雅地坐到他脚旁的垫子上。
  • The new coats blouse gracefully above the hip line. 新外套在臀围线上优美地打着褶皱。
20 repose KVGxQ     
v.(使)休息;n.安息
参考例句:
  • Don't disturb her repose.不要打扰她休息。
  • Her mouth seemed always to be smiling,even in repose.她的嘴角似乎总是挂着微笑,即使在睡眠时也是这样。
21 entirely entirely     
ad.全部地,完整地;完全地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
22 humble ddjzU     
adj.谦卑的,恭顺的;地位低下的;v.降低,贬低
参考例句:
  • In my humble opinion,he will win the election.依我拙见,他将在选举中获胜。
  • Defeat and failure make people humble.挫折与失败会使人谦卑。
23 throttle aIKzW     
n.节流阀,节气阀,喉咙;v.扼喉咙,使窒息,压
参考例句:
  • These government restrictions are going to throttle our trade.这些政府的限制将要扼杀我们的贸易。
  • High tariffs throttle trade between countries.高的关税抑制了国与国之间的贸易。
24 delightful 6xzxT     
adj.令人高兴的,使人快乐的
参考例句:
  • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
  • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
25 unnatural 5f2zAc     
adj.不自然的;反常的
参考例句:
  • Did her behaviour seem unnatural in any way?她有任何反常表现吗?
  • She has an unnatural smile on her face.她脸上挂着做作的微笑。
26 avowal Suvzg     
n.公开宣称,坦白承认
参考例句:
  • The press carried his avowal throughout the country.全国的报纸登载了他承认的消息。
  • This was not a mere empty vaunt,but a deliberate avowal of his real sentiments.这倒不是一个空洞的吹牛,而是他真实感情的供状。
27 bazaar 3Qoyt     
n.集市,商店集中区
参考例句:
  • Chickens,goats and rabbits were offered for barter at the bazaar.在集市上,鸡、山羊和兔子被摆出来作物物交换之用。
  • We bargained for a beautiful rug in the bazaar.我们在集市通过讨价还价买到了一条很漂亮的地毯。
28 champagne iwBzh3     
n.香槟酒;微黄色
参考例句:
  • There were two glasses of champagne on the tray.托盘里有两杯香槟酒。
  • They sat there swilling champagne.他们坐在那里大喝香槟酒。
29 pretext 1Qsxi     
n.借口,托词
参考例句:
  • He used his headache as a pretext for not going to school.他借口头疼而不去上学。
  • He didn't attend that meeting under the pretext of sickness.他以生病为借口,没参加那个会议。
30 previously bkzzzC     
adv.以前,先前(地)
参考例句:
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。


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