Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/229

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XXIII.
219
THE BOSTONIANS.

said; and then suddenly the address came to her—the residence of the mesmeric healer was in Monadnoc Place.

'But you'll have to ask for that, so it comes to the same,' she went on. After this she added, with a friendliness more personal, 'Ain't you going to see your cousin too?'

'Not if I can help it!'

Miss Birdseye gave a little ineffectual sigh. 'Well, I suppose every one must act out their ideal. That's what Olive Chancellor does. She's a very noble character.'

'Oh yes, a glorious nature.'

'You know their opinions are just the same—hers and Verena's,' Miss Birdseye placidly continued. 'So why should you make a distinction?'

'My dear madam,' said Ransom, 'does a woman consist of nothing but her opinions? I like Miss Tarrant's lovely face better, to begin with.'

'Well, she is pretty-looking.' And Miss Birdseye gave another sigh, as if she had had a theory submitted to her—that one about a lady's opinions—which, with all that was unfamiliar and peculiar lying behind it, she was really too old to look into much. It might have been the first time she really felt her age. 'There's a blue car,' she said, in a tone of mild relief.

'It will be some moments before it gets here. Moreover, I don't believe that at bottom they are Miss Tarrant's opinions,' Ransom added.

'You mustn't think she hasn't a strong hold of them,' his companion exclaimed, more briskly. 'If you think she is not sincere, you are very much mistaken. Those views are just her life.'

'Well, she may bring me round to them,' said Ransom, smiling.

Miss Birdseye had been watching her blue car, the advance of which was temporarily obstructed. At this, she transferred her eyes to him, gazing at him solemnly out of the pervasive window of her spectacles. 'Well, I shouldn't wonder if she did! Yes, that will be a good thing. I don't see how you can help being a good deal shaken by her. She has acted on so many.'

'I see; no doubt she will act on me.' Then it occurred