The restaurant of the Grand Hotel in Rome was filling up. People were dining rather late--it was the end of May and the entertainments were lessening, so they could dawdle over their repasts and smoke their cigarettes in peace.
Stella Rawson came in with her uncle and aunt, Canon and the Honorable Mrs. Ebley, and they took their seats in a secluded corner. They looked a little out of place--and felt it--amid this more or less gay company. But the drains of the Grand Hotel were known to be beyond question, and, coming to Rome so late in the season, the Reverend Canon Ebley felt it was wiser to risk the contamination of the over-worldly-minded than a possible attack of typhoid fever. The belief in a divine protection did not give him or his lady wife that serenity it might have done, and they traveled fearfully, taking with them their own jaeger sheets among other precautions.--Chapter 1
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