four for a fortune a tale

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III INVESTIGATION AND SPECULATION It was late when we left Chiffard's. The rain had ceased, and as we walked slowly homeward over the dappled pavements we discussed the unusual events of the evening. We both frankly admitted to each other being deeply affected by what we had seen and heard, and neither concealed his anxiety to get to work at the deciphering of the mysterious chart— an undertaking which must—now—seem to any sane person an absolutely impossible task. But the sane person is not under the influence which overpowered us at that time. " Let us be systematic, and, at least, begin at the beginning," I suggested, as welaid the tracing out on the table. " The first sentence we find somewhat the worse for wear, but what there is of it is plain enough: " Ici son oooo . . . environ en or pieces et . . ." " That doesn't look over - promising, does it ?" said Thatcher. " But it is plain that son was originally sont." " Plain as day. Icisont—here are; or, in the words of the head-stones,' here lie.'" " Four zeros." " That must have been at the very least i oooo," I said. " Fully that. I don't see how it could have been less. You are conservative." " My real opinion, however, is that the total figure represented a larger sum." " There is certainly room enough for more figures on that line," said Thatcher, laughing. " Oh yes; but you've got to put a word WE WALKED SLOWLY HOMEWARD in between sont and the zeros—enterres, or caches, or deposes, or something equivalent." " But even the longest one of those words would leave plenty of space for more figures." And we went at our problem with a millimetre measure, gauging the spread of the chart-maker's chirogra- phy. But of course it all came to naught, and we presently abandoned that...
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