The Street of Seven Stars
Mary Roberts Rinehart

Part 6 out of 6

Quite the end now, with Harmony running across the room and
dropping down on her knees among a riot of garments--down on her
knees, with one arm round Peter's neck, drawing his tired head
lower until she could kiss him.

"Oh, Peter, Peter, dear!" she cried. "I'll love you all my life
if only you'll love me, and never, never let me go!"

Peter was dazed at first. He put his arms about her rather
unsteadily, because he had given her up and had expected to go
through the rest of life empty of arm and heart. And when one has
one's arms set, as one may say, for loneliness and relinquishment
it is rather difficult--Ah, but Peter got the way of it swiftly.

"Always," he said incoherently; "forever the two of us. Whatever
comes, Harmony?"

"Whatever comes."

"And you'll not be sorry?"

"Not if you love me."

Peter kissed her on the eyes very solemnly.

"God helping me, I'll be good to you always. And I'll always love

He tried to hold her away from him for a moment after that, to
tell her what she was doing, what she was giving up. She would
not be reasoned with.

"I love you," was her answer to every line. And it was no divided
allegiance she promised him. "Career? I shall have a career.

"And your music?"

She colored, held him closer.

"Some day," she whispered, "I shall tell you about that."

Late winter morning in Vienna, with the school-children hurrying
home, the Alserstrasse alive with humanity--soldiers and
chimney-sweeps, housewives and beggars. Before the hospital the
crowd lines up along the curb; the head waiter from the
coffee-house across comes to the doorway and looks out. The
sentry in front of the hospital ceases pacing and stands at

In the street a small procession comes at the double quick--a
handful of troopers, a black van with tiny, high-barred windows,
more troopers.

Inside the van a Bulgarian spy going out to death--a swarthy
little man with black eyes and short, thick hands, going out like
a gentleman and a soldier to meet the God of patriots and lovers.

The sentry, who was only a soldier from Salzburg with one lung,
was also a gentleman and a patriot. He uncovered his head.


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