Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/228

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218
XXIII.
THE BOSTONIANS.

'I hope so,' Ransom remarked. 'But in spite of it Miss Tarrant spends a part of her time with her father and mother.'

'Yes, she seems to have something for every one. If you were to see her at home, you would think she was all the daughter. She leads a lovely life!' said Miss Birdseye.

'See her at home? That's exactly what I want!' Ransom rejoined, feeling that if he was to come to this he needn't have had scruples at first. 'I haven't forgotten that she invited me, when I met her.'

'Oh, of course she attracts many visitors,' said Miss Birdseye, limiting her encouragement to this statement.

'Yes; she must be used to admirers. And where, in Cambridge, do her family live?'

'Oh, it's on one of those little streets that don't seem to have very much of a name. But they do call it—they do call it———' she meditated, audibly.

This process was interrupted by an abrupt allocution from the conductor. 'I guess you change here for your place. You want one of them blue cars.'

The good lady returned to a sense of the situation, and Ransom helped her out of the vehicle, with the aid, as before, of a certain amount of propulsion from the conductor. Her road branched off to the right, and she had to wait on the corner of a street, there being as yet no blue car within hail. The corner was quiet and the day favourable to patience—a day of relaxed rigour and intense brilliancy. It was as if the touch of the air itself were gloved, and the street -colouring had the richness of a superficial thaw. Ransom, of course, waited with his philanthropic companion, though she now protested more vigorously against the idea that a gentleman from the South should pretend to teach an old abolitionist the mysteries of Boston. He promised to leave her when he should have consigned her to the blue car; and meanwhile they stood in the sun, with their backs against an apothecary's window, and she tried again, at his suggestion, to remember the name of Doctor Tarrant's street. 'I guess if you ask for Doctor Tarrant, any one can tell you,' she