Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/287

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XXIX.


Mrs. Luna was early in the field the next day, and her sister wondered to what she owed the honour of a visit from her at eleven o'clock in the morning. She very soon saw, when Adeline asked her whether it had been she who procured for Basil Ransom an invitation to Mrs. Burrage's.

'Me—why in the world should it have been me?' Olive asked, feeling something of a pang at the implication that it had not been Adeline, as she supposed.

'I didn't know—but you took him up so.'

'Why, Adeline Luna, when did I ever———?' Miss Chancellor exclaimed, staring and intensely grave.

'You don't mean to say you have forgotten how you brought him on to see you, a year and a half ago!'

'I didn't bring him on—I said if he happened to be there.'

'Yes, I remember how it was: he did happen, and then you happened to hate him, and tried to get out of it.'

Miss Chancellor saw, I say, why Adeline had come to her at the hour she knew she was always writing letters, after having given her all the attention that was necessary the day before; she had come simply to make herself disagreeable, as Olive knew, of old, the spirit sometimes moved her irresistibly to do. It seemed to her that Adeline had been disagreeable enough in not having beguiled Basil Ransom into a marriage, according to that memorable calculation of probabilities in which she indulged (with a licence that she scarcely liked definitely to recall), when the pair made acquaintance under her eyes in Charles Street, and Mrs. Luna seemed to take to him as much as she herself did little. She would gladly have accepted him as