The Crystal Stopper
6. The Death-Sentence
Lupin's motor-car was not only an office, a writing-room furnished with books,
stationery, pens and ink, but also a regular actor's dressing-room, containing a complete
make-up box, a trunk filled with every variety of wearing-apparel, another crammed with
"properties" --umbrellas, walking-sticks, scarves, eye-glasses and so on--in short, a
complete set of paraphernalia which enabled him to alter his appearance from top to toe
in the course of a drive.
The man who rang at Daubrecq the deputy's gate, at six o-clock that evening, was a stout,
elderly gentleman, in a black frock-coat, a bowler hat, spectacles and whiskers.
The portress took him to the front-door of the house and rang the bell. Victoire appeared.
"Can M. Daubrecq see Dr. Vernes?"
"M. Daubrecq is in his bedroom; and it is rather late..."
"Give him my card, please."
He wrote the words, "From Mme. Mergy," in the margin and added:
"There, he is sure to see me."
"But..." Victoire began.
"Oh, drop your buts, old dear, do as I say, and don't make such a fuss about it!"
She was utterly taken aback and stammered:
"You!... is it you?"
"No, it's Louis XIV!" And, pushing her into a corner of the hall, "Listen... The moment
I'm done with him, go up to your room, put your things together anyhow and clear out."
"Do as I tell you. You'll find my car waiting down the avenue. Come, stir your stumps!
Announce me. I'll wait in the study."
"But it's dark in there."
"Turn on the light."