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just as I was. If another was strong enough to feel that way, and yet be good and true, after all,

- as I am sure, and as I assured her, you were,

then why was it impossible for her, why was it not right for her, to forgive herself and begin anew?

I am so glad to owe it all to you, my dear old fellow! I am so happy, so happy, and, though I am rather worn out, too, I could not rest before telling you of it all. May peace come to you at last, as it has come to me, and may I do for

you
what
you

have all unconsciously done for me. Confession, the Fathers were wont to say, is good for the soul, but who amongst them all has done what your confession has done for me, led the way, made the way easy into new light and love? Always yours, my dear, dear Douglas,

PERCY DASHIEL.

TWENTY - SECOND LETTER

Mrs. Billings to Douglas Dayton

West Braintree, Sunday night. I have been wondering if I ought to write to you again ever. We did wrong, or I did wrong, for the woman is always to blame. I wronged one man who is dead. I thought at one time that I had made you, too, unhappy.

How can I describe the awful shock to me of what has just happened, and the relief to me, for it shows that, if I hurt you, it was but lightly.

I have just heard one of your letters to me read to me by another man! What can have been the seriousness or the loyalty of a man who could do that? Please do not answer this. I know there is an explanation. Everything has an explanation. I am happy, and at peace where I am. I have prepared another life for myself. I have found a good man, a man too good for me years ago, a man too good for me

Let me forget you, as you will so easily forget me. I would have asked you to forgive me; now it seems hardly necesTWENTY - THIRD LETTER

now.

sary

MARY BILLINGS.

Douglas Dayton to Percy Dashiel

life away,

Of necessity I have waited some time before answering your letter, as I was obliged to realise that in writing to you now, for the first time, I was writing to a stranger, some one I had never known. So your concave talons stretched out, strong in death, and tore the light of my to be with

down the few steps you have yet to take to the tomb that awaits you! I hope the doors will prove strong, for even an insensate grave would try to vomit forth such an unclean thing as you.

you
and show

you
the
way

my love

So at last you read aloud one of letters to her, it never suggesting itself to you

that the woman I loved and the woman you

loved were one and the same. It never even dawned on you when she told you the history of our affair almost verbatim, as outlined in my letters to you. Whence this marvellous accession of stupidity? And not even now — not until you read this letter will you know that you are God's accursed. What have you seen in me to lead you to suppose I am the king fool of the world, that you could deceive me so transparently?

I have had a note from Mrs. Billings, telling me of your kindness to yourself in reading aloud one of my letters to her. Naturally I am dismissed; I am not to remain in her mind even as a pleasant memory. I shall be to her forever only as the

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