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Julia Clemence had loved Simon Mancroft-Martley her entire life, but when she was sixteen and he twenty-one, he had bought a commission and gone to war. He had been gone nearly five years, and on his return an unexpected encounter in the village church convinces Julia that he loves her as she does him. But Simon has lost an arm in battle, and is determined not to burden her with a crippled husband. Her parents concur with his decision, and she is forbidden to consider him eligible. Julia, by their actions and his, is denied the freedom to accept or decline an offer of love and marriage. Her stratagems to achieve liberty fail, and she loses hope. But in the parish church that has been her solace, Simon admits the truth of her many arguments, and gives her the freedom to choose her future--with him or without him.