Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/446

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436
XLI.
THE BOSTONIANS.

gentleman himself burst through the other door, in a state of the liveliest agitation.

'Why in the name of goodness don't she go on? If she wants to make them call her, they've done it about enough!' Mr. Pardon turned, pressingly, from Ransom to the policeman and back again, and in his preoccupation gave no sign of having met the Mississippian before.

'I guess she's sick,' said the policeman.

'The public 'll be sick!' cried the distressed reporter. 'If she's sick, why doesn't she send for a doctor? All Boston is packed into this house, and she has got to talk to it. I want to go in and see.'

'You can't go in,' said the policeman, drily.

'Why can't I go in, I should like to know? I want to go in for the "Vesper"!'

'You can't go in for anything. I'm keeping this man out, too,' the policeman added genially, as if to make Mr. Pardon's exclusion appear less invidious.

'Why, they'd ought to let you in,' said Matthias, staring a moment at Ransom.

'May be they'd ought, but they won't,' the policeman remarked.

'Gracious me!' panted Mr. Pardon; 'I knew from the first Miss Chancellor would make a mess of it! Where's Mr. Filer?' he went on, eagerly, addressing himself apparently to either of the others, or to both.

'I guess he's at the door, counting the money,' said the policeman.

'Well, he'll have to give it back if he don't look out!'

'Maybe he will. I'll let him in if he comes, but he's the only one. She is on now,' the policeman added, without emotion.

His ear had caught the first faint murmur of another explosion of sound. This time, unmistakably, it was applause—the clapping of multitudinous hands, mingled with the noise of many throats. The demonstration, however, though considerable, was not what might have been expected, and it died away quickly. Mr. Pardon stood listening, with an expression of some alarm. 'Merciful