Easy Virtue

1
"Virtue is its own reward"
   they say - - but "easy 
 virtue" is society's reward
 for a slandered reputation.

2
"Mrs. Filton, do you
wish the Jury to believe
that the co-respondent
never kissed you?"

3
"Silence, please - or I
shall clear the Court."

4
"I must ask you to 
repeat your statement
with regard to this
decanter."

5
"And so, for the next
three days, I was unable
to sit for my portrait.
When I resumed ..."

6
"That hurts, Claude ...
He bruised my wrist
after he'd been drinking."

7
"Well, I promise you 
that he shall never get 
another drink in this 
studio!"

8
"Do you suggest that
your husband is an
habitual drinker?"

9
"Are all these 
details necessary?"

10
"What happened after 
you had received this 
letter?"

11
"Is it not a fact that
the co-respondent had
already made a will
leaving you his entire 
fortune?"

12
"The attractive wife of 
a drunken husband - -
alone all day with another
man who loved her - the
evidence looks conclusive
to me."

13
"And, remember, the
co-respondent had left
all his money to Mrs. 
Filton - another man's
wife!"

14
The Verdict.

15
"We find Larita Filton
guilty of misconduct
with the late Claude
Robson."

16
Reporters - photographers -
  publicity ...... Larita
sought to forget them all
on the tolerant shores of
   the Mediterranean.

17
Larita could hide her scarred
 heart, but not her magnetic 
charm - - and soon came
attentions which she most
   desired to avoid.

18
"Is that the notorious
Mrs. Filton?"

19
Larita found something
 re-assuring in John's
devotion.....It was like
a cool breeze sweeping
away the ugly memories
     of the past.

20
"Isn't the view marvellous,
John?"

21
"I'm afraid I've no
eyes for anything
but you, Larita."

22
"Can't you see that
I've fallen madly in
love with you?"

23
"But don't you want
to know anything
about me?"

24
"I love you - that's
all that matters."

25
"We could get married
right away, and go
straight back to my
people - they'll love
you."

26
"I'll 'phone you my
answer some time
this evening."

27
As the evening wore on, so
   John's patience wore
      out, until -

28
"It's funny, I thought 
you'd be dark and
foreign-looking!"

29
"I trust you won't 
be bored by our 
simple family life."

30
"By the way, John -
Sarah is dining with 
us to-night."

31
"You see, she always 
expected John to marry
Sarah!"

32
"Sarah's here!"

33
"I do hope you and
John are going to be
tremendously happy!"

34
"I've seen your face 
somewhere, Larita ...
I wonder if we've any 
mutual friends?"

35
"I don't think so, Mrs.
Whittaker - I'm sure
the names of my friends
would convey nothing
to you."

36
"She's a very fascin-
ating woman, my boy."

37
"John - who is this 
woman you have 
pitchforked into the 
family?"

38
"My wife, mother!"

39
"But what do you know 
about her? Where
does she come from?
Who is she?"

40
"If only I could remember
where I've seen her face
before ... I'm certain she
wants to conceal some-
thing from us!"

41
"Please be kind to 
her, mother - for
my sake."

42
"I'm dreadfully tired.
Do you mind if I go
up to bed?"

43
During the days that followed,
 Mrs. Whittaker made Larita's
life a burden to her - in
private.....But she was all
smiles and sweetness with
     her - in public.

44
"Can't I help you with 
the invitations for the 
party, Mrs. Whittaker?"

45
"I was dreaming - -
horrible dreams!"

46
"Wait, John - I'm
miserable - - this
place is getting on 
my nerves."

47
"Take me back to the 
South of France - -
we were happy there."

48
"But Larita, why can't
you be happy here?"

49
"Because your family
have hated me from 
the first - and they're
teaching you to hate
me!"

50
So Larita remained -
    and suffered.

51
"John - - you're
neglecting Larita -
and it's not fair to
her."

52
"It's all been a terrible 
mistake ... Mother made
me see that."

53
"If only you'd realised
- before it was too 
late!"

54
"I've got it! Larita -
the Filton Divorce!
I knew I'd seen her
face before!"

55
"Anything wrong?"

56
"I knew this woman 
was concealing some
vile secret!"

57
"Larita's past life is 
no affair of ours."

58
"Something's happened, 
John - but whatever
it is, you must stand 
by Larita!"

59
"We married because
we loved one another
- no explanations were
necessary on either side."

60
"Even if my son was
content to receive no
explanation, you owed
one to me - - to the
family!"

61
"What happened before
I met John affects no
one but myself."

62
"On the contrary, it
will utterly disgrace us
- it will make us the
gossip of the entire
countryside!"

63
"In our world we do
not understand this
code of easy virtue."

64
"In your world you 
understand very little of
anything, Mrs. Whittaker."

65
"Now that you have 
quite exhausted your 
venom, I shall go to
my room."

66
"I hope you will have 
the decency to remain
there until to-night's
party is over."

67
"It will come all right,
Larita - - if my boy
still loves you."

68
"But he doesn't -
it's only his family
that he loves!"

69
"The only way to 
prevent an open scandal
is for us to behave
as if nothing unusual
had happened."

70
"Why should you, of 
all people, act as peace-
maker between that
woman and my son?"

71
"Because I'm terribly
sorry for both of them."

72
"I've been so looking 
forward to meeting 
your son's charming
wife."

73
"Poor Larita is laid
up with one of her
severe headaches."

74
"What a pity your
daughter-in-law is miss-
ing this lovely party."

75
"So your headache's
better, my dear?"

76
"Headache? I haven't
had a headache."

77
"I suppose it was you 
who set them spying
into my past life?
Surely you've harmed
me enough already?"

78
"I swear I've not said
a word - it was bound
to come out - - you
can't hide a thing like
that."

79
"I think marrying John
was the most cowardly 
thing I ever did ... poor
boy!"

80
"This is how his family 
always pictured me."

81
"It won't be difficult for
John to get a divorce,
will it - - if I leave
the suit undefended?"

82
"I'm going away 
to-night. John's family
shall be rid of me
forever."

83
"Sarah - you ought to
have married John."

84
".... the notorious
Larita Filton!"

85
"Shoot! There's nothing
left to kill."

THE END


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