Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/265

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XXVII.


'You won't speak to me in my own house—that I have almost grown used to; but if you are going to pass me over in public I think you might give me warning first.' This was only her archness, and he knew what to make of that now; she was dressed in yellow and looked very plump and gay. He wondered at the unerring instinct by which she had discovered his exposed quarter. The outer room was completely empty; she had come in at the further door and found the field free for her operations. He offered to find her a place where she could see and hear Miss Tarrant, to get her a chair to stand on, even, if she wished to look over the heads of the gentlemen in the doorway; a proposal which she greeted with the inquiry—'Do you suppose I came here for the sake of that chatterbox? haven't I told you what I think of her?'

'Well, you certainly did not come here for my sake,' said Ransom, anticipating this insinuation; 'for you couldn't possibly have known I was coming.'

'I guessed it—a presentiment told me!' Mrs. Luna declared; and she looked up at him with searching, accusing eyes. 'I know what you have come for,' she cried in a moment. 'You never mentioned to me that you knew Mrs. Burrage!'

'I don't—I never had heard of her till she asked me.'

'Then why in the world did she ask you?'

Ransom had spoken a trifle rashly; it came over him, quickly, that there were reasons why he had better not have said that. But almost as quickly he covered up his mistake. 'I suppose your sister was so good as to ask for a card for me.'

'My sister? My grandmother! I know how Olive