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By Jules Verne

Should you attempt to locate, on any map of Flanders, old or smooth, the small city of Quiquendone, most likely you won't be triumphant. Is Quiquendone, then, a kind of cities that have disappeared? No. A city of the longer term? under no circumstances. It exists inspite of geographies, and has performed so for a few 8 or 9 hundred years.

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It must be said that in ordinary times these animals were not less phlegmatic than their masters. The dogs and cats vegetated rather than lived. They never betrayed a wag of pleasure nor a snarl of wrath. Their tails moved no more than if they had been made of bronze. Such a thing as a bite or scratch from any of them had not been known from time immemorial. As for mad dogs, they were looked upon as imaginary beasts, like the griffins and the rest in the menagerie of the apocalypse. But what a change had taken place in a few months, the smallest incidents of which we are trying to reproduce!

Tatanémance, her sister-in-law, who was not less irritable, replied sharply to her. M. Van Tricasse naturally supported Lotchè, his servant, as is the case in all good households; and this permanently exasperated Madame, who constantly disputed, discussed, and made scenes with her husband. ” cried the unhappy burgomaster. “What is this fire that is devouring us? Are we possessed with the devil? ” The reader will not have forgotten the strange custom by which M. Van Tricasse would become a widower and marry again, so as not to break the chain of descent.

Stop! ” he cried. “Suspend your blows! Let me shut the valve! You are not changed in nature! You are good citizens, quiet and peaceable! If you are so excited, it is my master, Doctor Ox's, fault! It is an experiment! Under the pretext of lighting your streets with oxyhydric gas, he has saturated—” The assistant was beside himself; but he could not finish. At the instant that the doctor's secret was about to escape his lips, Doctor Ox himself pounced upon the unhappy Ygène in an indescribable rage, and shut his mouth by blows with his fist.

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