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The Voice of the City O Henry

Extradited From Bohemia

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On the next day Medora formed her resolutions. Beelzebub, flung from heaven, was no more cast down. Between her and the apple blossoms of Harmony there was a fixed gulf. Flaming cherubim warded her from the gates of her lost paradise. In one evening, by the aid of Binkley and Mumm, Bohemia had gathered her into its awful midst.

There remained to her but one thing -- a life of brilliant, but irremediable error. Vermont was a shrine that she never would dare to approach again. But she would not sink -- there were great and compelling ones in history upon whom she would model her meteoric career -- Camille, Lola Montez, Royal Mary, Zaza -- such a name as one of these would that of Medora Martin be to future generations

For two days Medora kept her room. On the third she opened a magazine at the portrait of the King of Belgium, and laughed sardonically. If that far-famed breaker of women's hearts should cross her path, he would have to bow before her cold and imperious beauty. She would not spare the old or the young. All America -- all Europe should do homage to her sinister, but compelling charm.

As yet she could not bear to think of the life she had once desired -- a peaceful one in the shadow of the Green Mountains with Beriah at her side, and orders for expensive oil paintings coming in by each mail from New York. Her one fatal misstep had shattered that dream.

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On the fourth day Medora powdered her face and rouged her lips. Once she had seen Carter in "Zaza." She stood before the mirror in a reckless attitude and cried: "Zut! zut!" She rhymed it with "nut," but with the lawless word Harmony seemed to pass away forever. The Vortex had her. She belonged to Bohemia for evermore. And never would Beriah --

The door opened and Beriah walked in.

"'Dory," said he, "what's all that chalk and pink stuff on your face, honey?

Medora extended an arm.

"Too late," she said, solemnly. The die is cast. I belong in another world. Curse me if you will -- it is your right. Go, and leave me in the path I have chosen. Bid them all at home never to mention my name again. And sometimes, Beriah, pray for me when I am revelling in the gaudy, but hollow, pleasures of Bohemia."

"Get a towel, 'Dory," said Beriah, "and wipe that paint off your face. I came as soon as I got your letter. Them pictures of yours ain't amounting to anything. I've got tickets for both of us back on the evening train. Hurry and get your things in your trunk."

"Fate was too strong for me, Beriah. Go while I am strong to bear it."

"How do you fold this easel, 'Dory? -- now begin to pack, so we have time to eat before train time. The maples is all out in full-grown leaves, 'Dory -- you just ought to see 'em!

"Not this early, Beriah?

"You ought to see 'em, 'Dory; they're like an ocean of green in the morning sunlight."

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The Voice of the City
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