Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/424

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414
XXXIX.
THE BOSTONIANS.

poor girl may be excused for having enjoyed it—so far as enjoyment was possible to her. Basil Ransom's visible discomfiture was more agreeable to her than anything had been for a long time.

'I went with her myself to the early train; and I saw it leave the station.' And Olive kept her eyes unaverted, for the satisfaction of seeing how he took it.

It must be confessed that he took it rather ill. He had decided it was best he should retire, but Verena's retiring was another matter. 'And where is she gone?' he asked, with a frown.

'I don't think I am obliged to tell you.'

'Of course not! Excuse my asking. It is much better that I should find it out for myself, because if I owed the information to you I should perhaps feel a certain delicacy as regards profiting by it.'

'Gracious heaven!' cried Miss Chancellor, at the idea of Ransom's delicacy. Then she added more deliberately: 'You will not find out for yourself.'

'You think not?'

'I am sure of it!' And her enjoyment of the situation becoming acute, there broke from her lips a shrill, unfamiliar, troubled sound, which performed the office of a laugh, a laugh of triumph, but which, at a distance, might have passed almost as well for a wail of despair. It rang in Ransom's ears as he quickly turned away.