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One warm afternoon in June—the warmest of the season thus far—Professor Valeyon sat, smoking a black clay pipe, upon the broad balcony, which extended all across the back of his house, and overlooked three acres of garden, inclosed by a solid stone-wall. All the doors in the house were open, and most of the windows, so that any one passing in the road might have looked up through the gabled porch and the passage-way, which divided the house, so to speak, into two parts, and seen the professor's brown-linen legs, and slippers down at the heel, projecting into view beyond the framework of the balcony-door. Indeed—for the professor was an elderly man, and, in many respects, a creature of habit—precisely this same phenomenon could have been observed on any fine afternoon during the summer, even to the exact amount of brown-linen leg visible.

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