The Chink in the Armour
They followed her up a dark staircase into a curious little sitting-room. It was scrupulously clean, but about it hung the faint odour which the French eloquently describe as "shut in," and even on this beautiful hot day the windows were tightly closed.
On the red walls hung various drawings of hands, of hearts, and of heads, and over the plain mantelpiece was a really fine pastel portrait of a man, in eighteenth century dress and powdered hair.
"My ancestor, Count Cagliostro, ladies!" exclaimed the fat little woman proudly. "As you will soon see, if you have, as I venture to suppose, come to consult me, I have inherited the great gifts which made Count Cagliostro famous." She waited a moment. "What is it you desire of me? Do you wish for the Grand Jeu? Or do you prefer the Crystal?"
Madame Cagliostra gave a shrewd, measuring glance at the two young women standing before her. She was wondering how much they were goo