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While vacationing in Europe with her mother, 26-year-old Clara Johnson falls in love with a handsome, well-to-do young Florentine, Fabrizio Naccarelli. As Margaret Johnson watches the budding romance between her daughter and Fabrizio, she conceals the fact that Clara is a mental defective; a childhood accident has left her with the mind of a 10-year-old. When it becomes apparent that the Naccarellis would be delighted to welcome Clara into the family, Margaret (unable to tell them the truth) cables her husband, Noel, to meet her in Rome. For the brusque and unsympathetic Noel there is only one solution: Clara must return to America and be committed to a mental institution. Still uncertain, Margaret takes Clara back to Florence. Gradually she begins to feel that with the Naccarelli family Clara would somehow be safe--her every whim indulged by a devoted husband, her household needs cared for by servants, her children reared by a doting mother-in-law, and her childish nature treasured as innocence. Margaret finally decides to remain silent about Clara's condition and permit the marriage to take place. Then suddenly Signor Naccarelli asks, "Why did you not tell me?" But with relief Margaret learns that he is referring only to the fact that Clara is 3 years older than Fabrizio. The situation is quickly resolved when Clara's dowry is increased from $5,000 to $15,000. Margaret remains in Italy only long enough to see her daughter wed. As she watches the radiant Clara taking her vows, Margaret feels certain that she has done the right thing.