Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/309

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XXXI.
299
THE BOSTONIANS.

they met her at her son's rooms. As she gave the letter back to Olive she said, 'That's why he didn't seem to believe we are really leaving to-morrow. He knows she had written that, and he thinks it will keep us.'

'Well, if I were to say it may—should you think me too miserably changeful?'

Verena stared, with all her candour, and it was so very queer that Olive should now wish to linger that the sense of it, for the moment, almost covered the sense of its being pleasant. But that came out after an instant, and she said, with great honesty, 'You needn't drag me away for consistency's sake. It would be absurd for me to pretend that I don't like being here.'

'I think perhaps I ought to see her.' Olive was very thoughtful.

'How lovely it must be to have a secret with Mrs. Burrage!' Verena exclaimed.

'It won't be a secret from you.'

'Dearest, you needn't tell me unless you want,' Verena went on, thinking of her own unimparted knowledge.

'I thought it was our plan to divide everything. It was certainly mine.'

'Ah, don't talk about plans!' Verena exclaimed, rather ruefully. 'You see, if we are going to stay to-morrow, how foolish it was to have any. There is more in her letter than is expressed,' she added, as Olive appeared to be studying in her face the reasons for and against making this concession to Mrs. Burrage, and that was rather embarrassing.

'I thought it over all the evening—so that if now you will consent we will stay.'

'Darling—what a spirit you have got! All through all those dear little dishes—all through "Lohengrin!" As I haven't thought it over at all, you must settle it. You know I am not difficult.'

'And would you go and stay with Mrs. Burrage, after all, if she should say anything to me that seems to make it desirable?'

Verena broke into a laugh. 'You know it's not our real life!'

Olive said nothing for a moment; then she replied: