Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/427

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XL.
417
THE BOSTONIANS.

she exclaimed. And she walked away to the window—one of the windows from which Ransom had first enjoyed, at Olive's solicitation, the view of the Back Bay. Mrs. Luna looked forth at it with little of the air of a person who was sorry to be about to lose it. 'I am determined you shall know where I am going,' she said in a moment. 'I am going to Florence.'

'Don't be afraid!' he replied. 'I shall go to Rome.'

'And you'll carry there more impertinence than has been seen there since the old emperors.'

'Were the emperors impertinent, in addition to their other vices? I am determined, on my side, that you shall know what I have come for,' Ransom said. 'I wouldn't ask you if I could ask any one else; but I am very hard pressed, and I don't know who can help me.'

Mrs. Luna turned on him a face of the frankest derision. 'Help you? Do you remember the last time I asked you to help me?'

'That evening at Mrs. Burrage's? Surely I wasn't wanting then; I remember urging on your acceptance a chair, so that you might stand on it, to see and to hear.'

'To see and to hear what, please? Your disgusting infatuation!'

'It's just about that I want to speak to you,' Ransom pursued. 'As you already know all about it, you have no new shock to receive, and I therefore venture to ask you———'

'Where tickets for her lecture to-night can be obtained? Is it possible she hasn't sent you one?'

'I assure you I didn't come to Boston to hear it,' said Ransom, with a sadness which Mrs. Luna evidently regarded as a refinement of outrage. 'What I should like to ascertain is where Miss Tarrant may be found at the present moment.'

'And do you think that's a delicate inquiry to make of me?'

'I don't see why it shouldn't be, but I know you don't think it is, and that is why, as I say, I mention the matter to you only because I can imagine absolutely no one else who is in a position to assist me. I have been to the