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Under the Andes Rex Stout

A Modern Marana

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Indeed I had not understood her. And how could I? There is only one such woman in a generation; sometimes none, for nature is sparing of her favorites. By pure luck she sat before me, this twentieth-century Marana, and I acknowledged her presence with a deep bow of apology and admiration.

"If you will forgive me, madame," I said, "I will--not attempt to make reparation, for my words were not meant for you. Consider them unspoken. As for our amusement, why need it end? Surely, we can forget? I see plainly I am not a St. Evremond, but neither am I a fool. My brother pleases you--well, there he is. As for myself, I shall either stay to take care of you two children, or I shall return to New York, as you desire."

Le Mire looked at me uncertainly for a moment, then turned to Harry and with a fluttering gesture took his hand in her own and patted it gaily. Then she laughed the happy laugh of a child as she said:

"Then it is well! And, monsieur, you are less an American than I thought. By all means, stay--we shall be so jolly! Will we not, my little friend?"

Harry nodded, smiling at her. But there was a troubled look in his face.

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Under the Andes
Rex Stout

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