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The Street of Seven Stars

Chapter 24
Walter Stewart had made an uncomplicated recovery, helped along by relief at the turn
events had taken. In a few days he was going about again, weak naturally, rather
handsomer than before because a little less florid. But the week's confinement had given
him an opportunity to think over many things. Peter had set him thinking, on the day
when he had packed up the last of Marie's small belongings and sent them down to
Vienna.
Stewart, lying in bed, had watched him. "Just how much talk do you suppose this has
made, Byrne?" he asked.
"Haven't an idea. Some probably. The people in the Russian villa saw it, you know."
Stewart's brows contracted.
"Damnation! Then the hotel has it, of course!"
"Probably."
Stewart groaned. Peter closed Marie's American trunk of which she had been so proud,
and coming over looked down at the injured man.
"Don't you think you'd better tell the girl all about it?"
"No," doggedly.
"I know, of course, it wouldn't be easy, but--you can't get away with it, Stewart. That's
one way of looking at it. There's another."
"What's that?"
"Starting with a clean slate. If she's the sort you want to marry, and not a prude, she'll
understand, not at first, but after she gets used to it."
"She wouldn't understand in a thousand years."
"Then you'd better not marry her. You know, Stewart, I have an idea that women imagine
a good many pretty rotten things about us, anyhow. A sensible girl would rather know the
truth and be done with it. What a man has done with his life before a girl--the right girl--
comes into it isn't a personal injury to her, since she wasn't a part of his life then. You
know what I mean. But she has a right to know it before she chooses."
"How many would choose under those circumstances?" he jibed.
 
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