Marah Deane is known as "The Pythoness" because a tame python is her constant companion. She has many suitors, and finally chooses a rich man named John Sewell. Becoming ambitious to have a portrait painted, in which she shall appear fondling her serpent pet, Sewell writes to a friend of his, Jules Lestrange, a young artist, offering him the commission. Jules lives with his mother in comfortable quarters adjoining his studio, and living in his family is Marie Dalton, formerly his model, but now companion for his mother (Prudence) and also his promised wife. Sewell's letter brings great joy into the Lestrange family. Marah, the Pythoness, is deeply struck with this poetical young man and he at once becomes enraptured with her. The sittings for the picture are many, and these are often interrupted by communions with each other, until after a time, the artist neglects his mother and his fiancée, being seldom seen at home except to sleep. But his mother and fiancée have a firm friend in ...
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