Page:The Bostonians (London & New York, Macmillan & Co., 1886).djvu/456

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446
XLII.
THE BOSTONIANS.

'I hope he is!' Ransom exclaimed. 'If Miss Chancellor ordered the policeman, she must have expected me.'

'That was only after she knew you were in the house. She flew out into the lobby with father, and they seized him and posted him there. She locked the door; she seemed to think they would break it down. I didn't wait for that, but from the moment I knew you were on the other side of it I couldn't go on—I was paralysed. It has made me feel better to talk to you—and now I could appear,' Verena added.

'My darling child, haven't you a shawl or a mantle?' Ransom returned, for all answer, looking about him. He perceived, tossed upon a chair, a long, furred cloak, which he caught up, and, before she could resist, threw over her. She even let him arrange it and, standing there, draped from head to foot in it, contented herself with saying, after a moment:

'I don't understand—where shall we go? Where will you take me?'

'We shall catch the night-train for New York, and the first thing in the morning we shall be married.'

Verena remained gazing at him, with swimming eyes. 'And what will the people do? Listen, listen!'

'Your father is ceasing to interest them. They'll howl and thump, according to their nature.'

'Ah, their nature's fine!' Verena pleaded.

'Dearest, that's one of the fallacies I shall have to woo you from. Hear them, the senseless brutes!' The storm was now raging in the hall, and it deepened to such a point that Verena turned to him in a supreme appeal.

'I could soothe them with a word!'

'Keep your soothing words for me—you will have need of them all, in our coming time,' Ransom said, laughing. He pulled open the door again, which led into the lobby, but he was driven back, with Verena, by a furious onset from Mrs. Tarrant. Seeing her daughter fairly arrayed for departure, she hurled herself upon her, half in indignation, half in a blind impulse to cling, and with an outpouring of tears, reproaches, prayers, strange scraps of argument and iterations of farewell, closed her about with an embrace