Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/209

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XXII.
199
THE BOSTONIANS.

beastly polite, as she used to hear people say in England. She answered that she didn't care about ends, she cared about beginnings; but he didn't take up the declaration; he returned to the subject of Olive, wanted to know what she had done over there, whether she had worked them up much.

'Oh, of course, she fascinated every one,' said Mrs. Luna. 'With her grace and beauty, her general style, how could she help that?'

'But did she bring them round, did she swell the host that is prepared to march under her banner?'

'I suppose she saw plenty of the strong-minded, plenty of vicious old maids, and fanatics, and frumps. But I haven't the least idea what she accomplished—what they call "wonders," I suppose.'

'Didn't you see her when she returned?' Basil Ransom asked.

'How could I see her? I can see pretty far, but I can't see all the way to Boston.' And then, in explaining that it was at this port that her sister had disembarked, Mrs. Luna further inquired whether he could imagine Olive doing anything in a first-rate way, as long as there were inferior ones. 'Of course she likes bad ships—Boston steamers—just as she likes common people, and red-haired hoydens, and preposterous doctrines.'

Ransom was silent a moment. 'Do you mean the—a—rather striking young lady whom I met in Boston a year ago last October? What was her name?—Miss Tarrant? Does Miss Chancellor like her as much as ever?'

'Mercy! don't you know she took her to Europe? It was to form her mind she went. Didn't I tell you that last summer? You used to come to see me then.'

'Oh yes, I remember,' Ransom said, rather musingly. 'And did she bring her back?'

'Gracious, you don't suppose she would leave her! Olive thinks she's born to regenerate the world.'

'I remember you telling me that, too. It comes back to me. Well, is her mind formed?'

'As I haven't seen it, I cannot tell you.'

'Aren't you going on there to see———'

'To see whether Miss Tarrant's mind is formed?' Mrs.