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The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett

XVIII "Cities and Faces"

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Loristan and the Prince advanced to where he stood.

``L'Hotel de Marigny,'' Loristan said.

Marco began to sketch rapidly. He began the portrait of the handsome woman with the delicate high-bridged nose and the black brows which almost met. As he did it, the Prince drew nearer and watched the work over his shoulder. It did not take very long and, when it was finished, the inspector turned, and after giving Loristan a long and strange look, nodded twice.

``It is a remarkable thing,'' he said. ``In that rough sketch she is not to be mistaken.''

Loristan bent his head.

Then he mentioned the name of another street in another place --and Marco sketched again. This time it was the peasant with the simple face. The Prince bowed again. Then Loristan gave another name, and after that another and another; and Marco did his work until it was at an end, and Lazarus stood near with a handful of sketches which he had silently taken charge of as each was laid aside.

``You would know these faces wheresoever you saw them?'' said the Prince. ``If you passed one in Bond Street or in the Marylebone Road, you would recognize it at once?''

``As I know yours, sir,'' Marco answered.

Then followed a number of questions. Loristan asked them as he had often asked them before. They were questions as to the height and build of the originals of the pictures, of the color of their hair and eyes, and the order of their complexions. Marco answered them all. He knew all but the names of these people, and it was plainly not necessary that he should know them, as his father had never uttered them.

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After this questioning was at an end the Prince pointed to The Rat who had leaned on his crutches against the wall, his eyes fiercely eager like a ferret's.

``And he?'' the Prince said. ``What can he do?''

``Let me try,'' said The Rat. ``Marco knows.''

Marco looked at his father.

``May I help him to show you?'' he asked.

``Yes,'' Loristan answered, and then, as he turned to the Prince, he said again in his low voice: ``HE IS ONE OF US.''

Then Marco began a new form of the game. He held up one of the pictured faces before The Rat, and The Rat named at once the city and place connected with it, he detailed the color of eyes and hair, the height, the build, all the personal details as Marco himself had detailed them. To these he added descriptions of the cities, and points concerning the police system, the palaces, the people. His face twisted itself, his eyes burned, his voice shook, but he was amazing in his readiness of reply and his exactness of memory.

``I can't draw,'' he said at the end. ``But I can remember. I didn't want any one to be bothered with thinking I was trying to learn it. So only Marco knew.''

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The Lost Prince
Frances Hodgson Burnett

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