Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/448

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438
XLI.
THE BOSTONIANS.

sharp knocks, at the same time violently shaking the handle.

'If the door was locked, what was the good of your standing before it?' Ransom inquired.

'So as you couldn't do that;' and the policeman nodded at Mr. Filer.

'You see your interference has done very little good.'

'I dunno; she has got to come out yet.'

Mr. Filer meanwhile had continued to thump and shake, demanding instant admission and inquiring if they were going to let the audience pull the house down. Another round of applause had broken out, directed perceptibly to some apology, some solemn circumlocution, of Selah Tarrant's; this covered the sound of the agent's voice, as well as that of a confused and divided response, proceeding from the parlour. For a minute nothing definite was audible; the door remained closed, and Matthias Pardon reappeared in the vestibule.

'He says she's just a little faint—from nervousness. She'll be all ready in about three minutes.' This announcement was Mr. Pardon's contribution to the crisis; and he added that the crowd was a lovely crowd, it was a real Boston crowd, it was perfectly good-humoured.

'There's a lovely crowd, and a real Boston one too, I guess, in here!' cried Mr. Filer, now banging very hard. 'I've handled prima donnas, and I've handled natural curiosities, but I've never seen anything up to this. Mind what I say, ladies; if you don't let me in, I'll smash down the door!'

'Don't seem as if you could make it much worse, does it?' the policeman observed to Ransom, strolling aside a little, with the air of being superseded.