Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/447

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XLI.
437
THE BOSTONIANS.

fathers! can't they give her more than that?' he cried. 'I'll just fly round and see!'

When he had hurried away again, Ransom said to the policeman—'Who is Mr. Filer?'

'Oh, he's an old friend of mine. He's the man that runs Miss Chancellor.'

'That runs her?'

'Just the same as she runs Miss Tarrant. He runs the pair, as you might say. He's in the lecture-business.'

'Then he had better talk to the public himself.'

'Oh, he can't talk; he can only boss!'

The opposite door at this moment was pushed open again, and a large, heated-looking man, with a little stiff beard on the end of his chin and his overcoat flying behind him, strode forward with an imprecation. 'What the h——— are they doing in the parlour? This sort of thing's about played out!'

'Ain't she up there now?' the policeman asked.

'It's not Miss Tarrant,' Ransom said, as if he knew all about it. He perceived in a moment that this was Mr. Filer, Olive Chancellor's agent; an inference instantly followed by the reflection that such a personage would have been warned against him by his kinswoman and would doubtless attempt to hold him, or his influence, accountable for Verena's unexpected delay. Mr. Filer only glanced at him, however, and to Ransom's surprise appeared to have no theory of his identity; a fact implying that Miss Chancellor had considered that the greater discretion was (except to the policeman) to hold her tongue about him altogether.

'Up there? It's her jackass of a father that's up there!' cried Mr. Filer, with his hand on the latch of the door, which the policeman had allowed him to approach.

'Is he asking for a doctor?' the latter inquired, dispassionately.

'You're the sort of doctor he'll want, if he doesn't produce the girl! You don't mean to say they've locked themselves in? What the plague are they after?'

'They've got the key on that side,' said the policeman, while Mr. Filer discharged at the door a volley of