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Her mother's death leaves Valerie West destitute, so she goes to work as an artist's model and becomes romantically involved with two painters: the unpredictable Querida, who does not believe in marriage, and the wealthy Neville, who wants Valerie for his wife. Stephanie, a young woman who had been engaged to Neville, pleads with Valerie not to marry him, and she agrees, knowing that Neville's parents do not approve of her lower-class background. At a New Year's party Valerie tries to placate Neville by agreeing to spend the night with him on June 1. In the months leading up to June, Valerie kills Querida when he tries to force himself upon her, and Neville's parents, realizing how deeply their son loves Valerie, finally consent to their marriage.