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she refused politely but firmly, which surprised me all the more, and went right on wearing her high-necked gowns, which, while good in themselves—for her people were not poor—were not exactly the kind of toilettes my husband and my guests had been accustomed to—certainly not at dinners of twenty.

“At every other function she was superb, and for each one had the proper outfit and of the best make. She rode well, danced well, sang like a bird, could shoot and hunt with any of us, and, with the exception of this curious whim—for her form was faultless—was one of the most delightful creatures who ever stayed with us—and we had had, as you may suppose, a good many. The subjects she avoided were her captivity and the personnel of those with whom she had lived. When pressed she would answer that she had told the story so often she was tired of it; had banished it from her mind and wished everybody else would.

“Then the expected happened. Indeed I had begun to wonder why it had not happened before. A young Frenchman, the only son of one of our oldest families, a man of birth and fortune, fell madly in love with her. The