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The Crystal Stopper

11. The Cross Of Lorraine
The moment Lupin had finished lunch, he at once and, so to speak, without transition,
recovered all his mastery and authority. The time for joking was past; and he must no
longer yield to his love of astonishing people with claptrap and conjuring tricks. Now that
he had discovered the crystal stopper in the hiding-place which he had guessed with
absolute certainty, now that he possessed the list of the Twenty-seven, it became a
question of playing off the last game of the rubber without delay.
It was child's play, no doubt, and what remained to be done presented no difficulty.
Nevertheless, it was essential that he should perform these final actions with promptness,
decision and infallible perspicacity. The smallest blunder was irretrievable. Lupin knew
this; but his strangely lucid brain had allowed for every contingency. And the movements
and words which he was now about to make and utter were all fully prepared and
matured:
"Growler, the commissionaire is waiting on the Boulevard Gambetta with his barrow and
the trunk which we bought. Bring him here and have the trunk carried up. If the people of
the hotel ask any questions, say it's for the lady in No. 130."
Then, addressing his other companion:
"Masher, go back to the station and take over the limousine. The price is arranged: ten
thousand francs. Buy a chauffeur's cap and overcoat and bring the car to the hotel."
"The money, governor."
Lupin opened a pocketbook which had been removed from Daubrecq's jacket and
produced a huge bundle of bank-notes. He separated ten of them:
"Here you are. Our friend appears to have been doing well at the club. Off with you,
Masher!"
The two men went out through Clarisse's room. Lupin availed himself of a moment when
Clarisse Mergy was not looking to stow away the pocketbook with the greatest
satisfaction:
"I shall have done a fair stroke of business," he said to himself. "When all the expenses
are paid, I shall still be well to the good; and it's not over yet."
Then turning to Clarisse Mergy, he asked:
"Have you a bag?"
 
 
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