would no longer make his life a bur
den. She was going where she be
longed and she hoped' that their
paths would never cross again.
The furious outcry against the
marriage had not availed to turn
Lester from his determination. Fi
nallyvyhis parents had given their re
luctant consent and the young cou
ple had set up housekeeping in a
modest apartment in the residential
section. And then theb troubles
Lester's friends had cut htyn. His
parents, overcome by the blow, re
- ceiyed ns wife only grudgingly into
their home, and when Rae was there
she saw unmistakably how they and
their other guests regarded her. Les
ter was solitary and morose. Rae
did all sfie could to brighten his life,
And the longing for the old life be
"gan to stir in her. Lester had sug
gested a grammar teacher, but the
girl, disgusted -with the treatment
she had received,1 obstinately refused.
"I was willing b try to become one
of them," she said, "and theywould
not have me. Now you can keep
your old grammar."
Once or twice Eae brought theat
rical people to the flat. Their ways
of speech, their views jarredLupon
Lester, and he made no attempt to
conceal his dislike for them. Angry
recriminations followed. Finally Rae
announced her decision to go back
to the stage. Lester forbade it.
For the first time since their .mar
riage he realized how greatly the
fault had ,been his own. He had
done nothing to accustom his wTfe
to "her new life, while he had denied
her her own. He Spent the better
part ot a week searching for her. Fi
nally he, was driven to admit that
she had carried out her threat; she
had gone -with the intention of never
returning to him.
His obstinaty aroused, , he went
bach to his" parents' arms. It was not
Ions before the Insidious suggestions
jof a divorce coupled with the, eager I
pvelcome extended by his friends, as
to a man who had made a fool of
himself, but had repented, worked on,
Lester. He sued hjpjwif e for divorce
on the ground of abandonment. The
case was not contested; Lester '
thought Rae was ignorant of it '
But on the evening of the day on
which he became a f re.e man he re-1
ceived anonymously by mail a with-
erea rose, tie recognized it irom tne
tinsel wrapped around the salk. It
was one which he had given her in
the cabaret that night when she had,
accepted him. ,
Three years later Lester found
himself many times a millionaire.'
His parents were dead; he had suc
ceeded to his father's stock exchange '
business, and was spoken of as one '
of the coming men of the street
It was just at this time that Ma-!
dame Cossi was announced with a
flourish of trumpets on the part of-
her impresario as the greatest, singer,
of the age, now about to make Tier
first "pufolic appearance in the nfe-
tropolis. And in this case the im?
presario was right The town raved
over her. Never had so talented an,
actress appeared since Rachel. Never
was there such a voice. The .papers'
estimated her princely income as not
far short of that of any captain of In-
dustry. Her studio apartment , on
the avenue- 6e"ca"me the haunt of ce
Society took" her up. Ma'dame
Cossi was the lion or lioness of,
every, fashionable entertainment
Andiit was soon learned that the
name Cossi was one of those ficti
tious ones with which stage favorites
Beautiful, talented and undeniably
charming, Madame Cossi fiad the
city at her feet
- When first he saw her lithographs
on the billboards Lester felt sure it
was his wife. He went to see her In
"Carmen There before him, tanta
lizing, elusive, was the woman whom
xml | txt