Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/289

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XXIX.
279
THE BOSTONIANS.

'She had seen him twice in her life before last night, when she met him for the third time and spoke to him.'

'Did she tell you that?'

'She tells me everything.'

'Are you very sure?'

'Adeline Luna, what do you mean?' Miss Chancellor murmured.

'Are you very sure that last night was only the third time?' Mrs. Luna went on.

Olive threw back her head and swept her sister from her bonnet to her lowest flounce. 'You have no right to hint at such a thing as that unless you know!'

'Oh, I know—I know, at any rate, more than you do!' And then Mrs. Luna, sitting with her sister, much withdrawn, in one of the windows of the big, hot, faded parlour of the boarding-house in Tenth Street, where there was a rug before the chimney representing a Newfoundland dog saving a child from drowning, and a row of chromo-lithographs on the walls, imparted to her the impression she had received the evening before—the impression of Basil Ransom's keen curiosity about Verena Tarrant. Verena must have asked Mrs. Burrage to send him a card, and asked it without mentioning the fact to Olive—for wouldn't Olive certainly have remembered it? It was no use her saying that Mrs. Burrage might have sent it of her own movement, because she wasn't aware of his existence, and why should she be? Basil Ransom himself had told her he didn't know Mrs. Burrage. Mrs. Luna knew whom he knew and whom he didn't, or at least the sort of people, and they were not the sort that belonged to the Wednesday Club. That was one reason why she didn't care about him for any intimate relation—that he didn't seem to have any taste for making nice friends. Olive would know what her taste was in this respect, though it wasn't that young woman's own any more than his. It was positive that the suggestion about the card could only have come from Verena. At any rate Olive could easily ask, or if she was afraid of her telling a fib she could ask Mrs. Burrage. It was true Mrs. Burrage might have been put on her guard by Verena, and would perhaps invent some other account