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Newspaper Page Text
'Abbey was redecorated and
thrown open. Gay parties assem
bled there. If the relationship
between the two was strained,
that was known only by their dis
creet servants and guessed at by
Then Rensley sailed for India
to shoot tigers, and the parties
continued. They were as gay as
ever, but different people came.
There was Rizzi, for instance,
that Italian nobleman who had
acquired a sinister reputation in
several capitals of Europe and
was not diminishing it in Lon
don. He brought his attendant
crowd, flashy women came and
sporting men and tawdy actors
and actresses. And of the charac
ter of these people Lady Rens
ley knew nothing, for she never
stooped to gossip, and she only
knew that she liked Rizzi and
that he alone of all of them seem
ed to understand her situation and
to have sympathy for her.
So she moved among them, in
nocently, the lonely mistress of
the Abbey, while people shrug
ged their shoulders and smiled.
And then they heard that Rens
ley was coming home.
Rizzi, too,heard it, ahd he put
his fate to the touch. In his way
he liked this unapproachable
American lady as much as he was
capable of liking, and as constant
ly. They were alone for a few
minutes in the conservatory.
From the ballroom came the
sound of music and the chatter
of the guests.
"I hear Lord Rensley is com
ing back next week," he said.
, "Yes," she answered. "He ex
pects to sail from New York to
morrow." "It will be different when heJ
returns," Rizzi said.
"Oh, no," she answered, with a!
shrug of her beautiful shouldersjl
"That will not make any differ-1
ence. We shall still have our own
friends, each of us."
"It will be terrible for you," he
said, studying her with his cat
"Why?" asked Lady Rensley,
facing him squarely.
"Because you do not love him,"
he answered boldly.
For an instant the balance
trembled. Then she flashed out
an angry retort, asking him how
he dared criticize her husband or
their relationship. That outburst
might have quelled one less ex
perienced than Rizzi. He fell
upon his knees and seized her
hand and pressed it to his lips.
"Forgive me, Lady Rensley,"
he implored. "It was unpardon
able in me- yet they say nothing
is unpardonable inxme-who loves.
No, do not start away. Hear me
and then dismiss me forever . I
have ever loved you, you beauty
with your secret sorrow, and I
have always known that he did
not love you. Why, is he to make
your life wretched all your days
because he has you in his power?
Leave him and come with me to
Italy. You shall have my love
all your days, and my fortune
shall be at your disposal. You
That was the moment when
Rensley, returned a week earlier