Excerpt from My Uncle Barbassou
No, really, my dear Louis, I am not dead, nor ruined, nor turned pirate or monk, as you suspect in explana tion of my non-appearance at your studio for the last four months. No, my wonderful inheritance has not taken wings, subtle scoffer! I am living neither on the shore of the blue waters of China, nor the red ones of Ocean ica, nor the white ones of Lapland. My yacht is still in port, and does not hear me over the vasty deep. It is in vain for you, therefore, to indulge in eccentric and laborious speculations as to my uncle's will; your ironies ﬂy wide of their mark. The will is the most astonishing thing of its kind that has ever passed through the hands of a notary, and your poor imagination could never invent such surprising adventures as those into which this stamped document has led me.
In the first place, to enable your feeble intellect to rise to the height of such a subject, I must, I confess, enlighten you a little as to The Corsair, as you called him when you met him in Paris last winter, for only through a knowledge of his singular life can you man.
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