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´╗┐Title: Patty in Paris
Author: Wells, Carolyn, 1862-1942
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Patty in Paris" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Patty in Paris

BY

CAROLYN WELLS

Author of "Patty Fairfield," "Patty's Summer Days," etc.

ILLUSTRATED

NEW YORK September, 1907



CONTENTS

CHAPTER

     I  PLANS FOR PATTY
    II  THE DECISION
   III  SOUVENIRS
    IV  AN AQUATIC PARTY
     V  GOOD-BYES
    VI  THE OLD MA'AMSELLE
   VII  WESTERN FRIENDS
  VIII  DAYS AT SEA
    IX  PARIS
     X  SIGHTSEEING
    XI  AN EXCURSION TO VERSAILLES
   XII  SHOPPING
  XIII  CHANTILLY
   XIV  MAKING A HOME
    XV  ST. GERMAIN
   XVI  AN EXPECTED GUEST
  XVII  A MOTOR RIDE
 XVIII  A NEW YEAR FETE
   XIX  CYCLAMEN PERFUME
    XX  THE BAZAAR
   XXI  A SURPRISE



ILLUSTRATIONS

"A long blue veil tied her trim little hat in place"

"'There never was such a dear, lovely, beautiful stepmother on the face
of the earth!'"

"The next morning the girls spent in packing and getting ready to go
ashore"

"They also read books of history outside of school hours quite from
choice"

"They were all perched on Patty's big bed--alone at last"

"'I just remember! I left my purse on the seat!'"



CHAPTER I

PLANS FOR PATTY


The Fairfields were holding a family conclave. As the Fairfield family
consisted of only three members, the meeting was not large but it was
highly enthusiastic. The discussion was about Patty; and as a
consequence, Patty herself was taking a lively part in it.

"But you promised me, last year, papa," she said, "that if I graduated
from the Oliphant School with honours, I needn't go to school this
year."

"But I meant in the city," explained her father; "it's absurd, Patty,
for you to consider your education finished, and you not yet eighteen."

"But I'll soon be eighteen, papa, and so suppose we postpone this
conversation until then."

"Don't be frivolous, my child. This is a serious matter, and requires
careful consideration and wise judgement."

"That's so," said Nan, "and as I have already considered it carefully,
I will give you the benefit of my wise judgment."

Though Nan's face had assumed the expression of an owl named Solomon,
there was a smile in her eyes, and Patty well knew that her
stepmother's views agreed with her own, rather than with those of her
father.

It was the last week in September, and the Fairfields were again in
their pleasant city home after their summer in the country.

Patty and Nan were both fond of city life, and were looking forward to
a delightful winter. Of course Patty was too young to be in society,
but there were many simple pleasures which she was privileged to enjoy,
and she and Nan had planned a series of delightful affairs, quite apart
from the more elaborate functions which Nan would attend with her
husband.

But Mr. Fairfield had suddenly interfered with their plans by
announcing his decision that Patty should go to college.

This had raised such a storm of dissension from both Nan and Patty that
Mr. Fairfield so far amended his resolution as to propose a
boarding-school instead.

But Patty was equally dismayed at the thought of either, and rebelled
at the suggestion of going away from home. And as Nan quite coincided
with Patty in her opinions on this matter, she was fighting bravely for
their victory against Mr. Fairfield's very determined opposition.

All her life Patty had deferred to her father's advice, not only
willingly, but gladly; but in the matter of school she had very strong
prejudices. She had never enjoyed school life, and during her last year
at Miss Oliphant's she had worked so hard that she had almost succumbed
to an attack of nervous prostration. But she had persevered in her hard
work because of the understanding that it was to be her last year at
school; and now to have college or even a boarding-school thrown at her
head was enough to rouse even her gentle spirit.

For Patty was of gentle spirit, although upon occasion, especially when
she felt that an injustice was being done, she could rouse herself to
definite and impetuous action.

And as she now frankly told her father, she considered it unjust after
she had thought that commencement marked the end of her school life, to
have a college course sprung upon her unaware.

But Mr. Fairfield only laughed and told her that she was incapable of
judging what was best for little girls, and that she would do wisely to
obey orders without question.

But Patty had questioned, and her questions were reinforced by those of
Nan, until Mr. Fairfield began to realise that it was doubtful if he
could gain his point against their combined forces. And indeed a kind
and indulgent father and husband is at a disadvantage when his opinion
is opposed to that of his pretty, impulsive daughter and his charming,
impulsive wife.

So, at this by no means the first serious discussion of the matter, Mr.
Fairfield found himself weakening, and had already acknowledged to
himself that he might as well prepare to yield gracefully.

"Go on, Nan," cried Patty, "give us the benefit of your wise judgment"

"Why, I think," said Nan, looking at her husband with an adorable
smile, which seemed to assume that he would agree with her, "that a
college education is advisable, even necessary, for a girl who expects
to teach, or indeed, to follow any profession. But I'm quite sure we
don't look forward to that for Patty."

"No," said Mr. Fairfield; "I can't seem to see Patty teaching a
district school how to shoot; neither does my imagination picture her
as a woman doctor or a lady lawyer. But to my mind there are occasions
in the life of a private citizeness when a knowledge of classic lore is
not only beneficial but decidedly ornamental."

"Now, papa," began Patty, "I'm not going to spend my life as a
butterfly of fashion or a grasshopper of giddiness, and you know it;
but all the same, I can't think of a single occasion where I should be
embarrassed at my ignorance of Sanscrit, or distressed at the fact that
I was unacquainted personally with the statutes of limitation."

"You're talking nonsense, Patty, and you know it. The straight truth
is, that you don't like school life and school restraint. Now some
girls enjoy the fun and pleasures of college life, and think that they
more than compensate for the drudgery of actual study."

"'An exile from home, pleasure dazzles in vain,'" sang Patty, whose
spirits had risen, for she felt intuitively that her father was about
to give up his cherished plans.

"I think," went on Nan, "after you have asked for my valuable advice,
you might let me give it without so many interruptions. I will proceed
to remark that I am still of the opinion that there are only two
reasons why a girl should go to college: Because she wants to, or
because she needs the diploma in her future career."

"Since you put it so convincingly, I have no choice but to agree with
you," said her husband, smiling. "However, if I eliminate the college
suggestion, there still remains the boarding-school. I think that a
superior young ladies' finishing school would add greatly to the
advantages of our Patty."

"It would finish me entirely, papa; your college scheme is bad enough,
but a 'finishing school,' as you call it, presents to my fancy all
sorts of unknown horrors."

"Of course it does," cried Nan. "I will now give you some more of my
wise advice. A finishing school would be of no advantage at all to our
Patty. I believe their principal end and aim is to teach young ladies
how to enter a room properly. Now I have never seen Patty enter a room
except in the most correct, decorous, and highly approved fashion. It
does seem foolish then to send the poor child away for a year to
practise an art in which she is already proficient."

"You two are one too many for me," said Mr. Fairfield, laughing. "If I
had either of you alone, I could soon reduce you to a state of meek
obedience; but your combined forces are too much for me, and I may as
well surrender at once and completely."

"No; but seriously, Fred, you must see that it is really so. Now what
Patty needs in the way of education, is the best possible instruction
in music, which she can have better here in New York than in any
college; then she ought to go on with her French, in which she is
already remarkably proficient. Then perhaps an hour a day of reading
well-selected literature with a competent teacher, and I'll guarantee
that a year at home will do more for Patty than any school full of
masters."

Mr. Fairfield looked at his young wife in admiration. "Why, Nan, I
believe you're right," he said, "though I don't believe it because of
any change in my own opinions, but because you put it so convincingly
that I haven't an argument left."

Nan only smiled, and went on.

"You said yourself, Fred, that Patty disliked the routine and restraint
of school life, and so I think it would be cruel to force her into it
when she can be so much happier at home. Here she will have ample time
for all the study I have mentioned, and still have leisure for the
pleasures that she needs and deserves. I shall look after her singing
lessons myself, and make sure that she practises properly. Then I shall
take her to the opera and to concerts, which, though really a part of
her musical education, may also afford her some slight pleasure."

Patty flew over to Nan and threw her arms about her neck. "You dear old
duck," she cried; "there never was such a dear, lovely, beautiful
stepmother on the face of the earth! And now it's all settled, isn't
it, papa?"

"It seems to be," said Mr. Fairfield, smiling. "But on your own heads
be the consequences. I put Patty into your hands now, so far as her
future education is concerned, and you can fix it up between you. To
tell the truth, I'm delighted myself at the thought of having Patty
stay home with us, but my sense of duty made me feel that I must at
least put the matter before her."

"And you did," cried Patty gleefully, "and now I've put it behind me,
and that's all there is about that. And I'll promise, papa, to study
awfully hard on my French and music; and as for reading, that will be
no hardship, for I'd rather read than eat any day."

Mr. Fairfield had really acquiesced to the wishes of the others out of
his sheer kind-heartedness. For he did not think that the lessons at
home would be as definite and regular as at a school, and he still held
his original opinions in the matter. But having waived his theories for
theirs, he raised no further objection and seemed to consider the
question settled.

After a moment, however, he said thoughtfully: "What you really ought
to have, Patty, is a year abroad. That would do more for you in the way
of general information and liberal education than anything else."

"Now THAT would be right down splendid," said Patty. "Come on, papa,
let's all go."

"I would in a minute, dear, but I can't leave my business just now. It
has increased alarmingly of late and it needs my constant attention to
keep up with it. Indeed it is becoming so ridiculously successful that
unless I can check it we shall soon be absurdly rich people."

"Then you can retire," said Nan, "and we can all go abroad for Patty's
benefit."

"Yes," said Mr. Fairfield seriously, "after a year or two we can do
that. I sha'n't exactly retire, but I shall get the business into such
shape that I can take a long vacation, and then we'll all go out and
see the world. But that doesn't seem to have anything to do with
Patty's immediate future. I have thought over this a great deal, and if
you don't go to college, Patty, I should like very much to have you go
abroad sooner than I can take you. But I can't see any way for you to
go. I can't spare Nan to go with you, and I'm not sure you would care
to go with one of those parties of personally conducted young ladies."

"No, indeed!" cried Patty. "I'm crazy to go to Europe, but I don't want
to go with six other girls and a chaperon, and go flying along from one
country to the next, with a Baedeker in one hand and a suit case in the
other. I'd much rather wait and go with you and Nan, later on."

"Well, I haven't finished thinking it out yet," said Mr. Fairfield,
who, in spite of his apparent pliability, had a strong will of his own.
"I may send you across in charge of a reliable guardian, and put you
into a French convent."

[Illustration with caption: "'There never was such a dear, lovely,
beautiful stepmother on the face of the earth!'"]

Patty only laughed at this, but still she had a vague feeling that her
father was not yet quite done with the subject, and that almost
anything might happen.

But as Kenneth Harper came in to see them just then, the question was
laid before him.

"There is no sense in Patty's going to college," he declared. "I'm an
authority on the subject, because I know college and I know Patty, and
they have absolutely nothing in common with each other. Why, Patty
doesn't want the things that colleges teach. You see, she is of an
artistic temperament--"

"Oh, Kenneth," cried Patty reproachfully, "that's the most fearfully
unkind thing I ever had said to me! Why, I would rather be accused of I
don't know WHAT than an artistic temperament! How COULD you say it?
Why, I'm as practical and common sensible and straightforward as I can
be. People who have artistic temperaments are flighty and weak-minded
and not at all capable."

"Why, Patty," cried Nan, laughing, "how can you make such sweeping
assertions? Mr. Hepworth is an artist, and he isn't all those dreadful
things."

"That's different," declared Patty. "Mr. Hepworth is a real artist, and
so you can't tell what his temperament is."

"But that's just what I mean," insisted Kenneth; "Hepworth is a real
artist, and so he didn't have and didn't need a college education. He
specialised and devoted all his study to his art. Then he went to Paris
and stayed there for years, still studying and working. I tell you,
it's specialisation that counts. Now I don't know that Patty wants to
specialise, but she certainly doesn't need the general work of college.
I should think that you would prefer to have her devote herself to her
music, especially her singing; for we all know that Patty's is a voice
of rare promise. I don't know myself exactly what 'rare promise' means,
but it's a phrase that's always applied to voices like Patty's."

"You're just right, Kenneth," said Nan, "and I'm glad you're on our
side. Patty and I entirely agree with you, and though Mr. Fairfield is
still wavering a little, I am sure that by day after to-morrow, or next
week at the latest, he will be quite ready to cast in his lot with
ours."

Mr. Fairfield only smiled, for though he had no intention of making
Patty do anything against her will, yet he had not entirely made up his
mind in the matter.

"Anyway, my child," he said, "whatever you do or don't do, will be the
thing that we are entirely agreed upon, even if I have to convince you
that my opinions are right."

And Patty smiled back at her father happily, for there was great
comradeship and sympathy between them.



CHAPTER II

THE DECISION


It was only a few days later that Nan and Patty sat one evening in the
library waiting for Mr. Fairfield to come home to dinner.

The Fairfield library was a most cosey and attractive room. Nan was a
home-maker by nature, and as Patty dearly loved pretty and comfortable
appointments, they had combined their efforts on the library and the
result was a room which they all loved far better than the more formal
drawing-room.

The fall was coming early that year, which gave an excuse for the fire
in the big fireplace. This fire was made of that peculiar kind of
driftwood whose flames show marvellous rainbow tints. Patty never tired
of watching the strange-coloured blaze, and delighted in throwing on
more chips and splinters from time to time.

"I can't see what makes your father so late," said Nan, as she wandered
about the room, now adjusting some flowers in a vase, and now stopping
to look out at the front window; "he's always here by this time, or
earlier."

"Something must have detained him," said Patty, rather absently, as she
poked at a log with the tongs.

"Patty, you're a true Sherlock Holmes! Your father is late, and you
immediately deduce that something has detained him! Truly, you have a
wonderful intellect!"

"I don't wonder it seems so to you," said saucy Patty, smiling at her
pretty stepmother; "people are always impressed by traits they don't
possess themselves."

"But really I'm getting worried. If Fred doesn't come pretty soon I
shall telephone to the office."

"Do; I like to see you enacting the role of anxious young wife. It
suits you perfectly. As for me, I'm starving; if papa doesn't come
pretty soon, he will find an emaciated skeleton in place of the plump
daughter he left behind him."

As Mr. Fairfield arrived at that moment, there was no occasion for
further anxiety, but in response to their queries he gave them no
satisfaction as to the cause of his unusual tardiness, and only smiled
at their exclamations.

It was not until they were seated at the dinner table that Mr.
Fairfield announced he had something to tell them.

"And I'm sure it's something nice," said Patty, "for there's a twinkle
in the left corner of your right eye."

"Gracious, Patty!" cried Nan, "that sounds as if your father were
cross-eyed, and he isn't."

"Well," went on Mr. Fairfield, "what I have to tell you is just this: I
have arranged for the immediate future of Miss Patricia Fairfield."

Patty looked frightened. There was something in her father's tone that
made her feel certain that his mind was irrevocably made up, and that
whatever plans he had made for her were sure to be carried out. But she
resolved to treat it lightly until she found out what it was all about.

"I don't want to be intrusive," she said, "but if not too presumptuous,
might I inquire what is to become of me?"

"Yours not to make reply, yours not to reason why," said her father
teasingly. "You know, my child, you're not yet of age, and I, as your
legal parent and guardian, can do whatever I please with you. You are,
as Mr. Shakespeare puts it, 'my goods, my chattel,' and so I have
decided to pack you up and send you away."

"Really, papa!" cried Patty, aghast.

"Yes, really. I remember you expressed a disinclination to leave your
home and family, but all the same I have made arrangements for you to
do so. It was the detailing of these arrangements that kept me so late
at my office to-night."

Patty looked at her father. She understood his bantering tone, and from
the twinkle in his eye she knew that whatever plans he may have made,
they were pleasant ones; and, too, she knew that notwithstanding his
air of authority she needn't abide by them unless she chose to. So she
waited contentedly enough for his serious account of the matter, and it
soon came.

"Why, it's this way, chickabiddy," he said. "Mr. Farrington came to see
me at the office this afternoon, and laid a plan before me. It seems
that he and Mrs. Farrington and Elise are going to Paris for the
winter, and he brought from himself and his wife an invitation for you
to go with them."

"Oh!" said Patty. She scarcely breathed the word, but her eyes shone
like stars, and her face expressed the delight that the thought of such
a plan brought to her.

"Oh!" she said again, as thoughts of further details came crowding into
her mind.

"How perfectly glorious!" cried Nan, whose enthusiasm ran to words, as
Patty seemed struck dumb. "It's the very thing! just what Patty needs.
And to go with the Farringtons is the most delightful way to make such
a trip. Tell us all about it, Fred. When do they start? Shall I have
time to get Patty some clothes? No, she'd better buy them over there.
Oh, Patty, you'll have the most rapturous time! Do say something, you
little goose! Don't sit there blinking as if you didn't understand
what's going on. Tell us more about it, Fred."

"I will, my dear, if you'll only give me a chance. The Farringtons mean
to sail very soon--in about a fortnight. They will go on a French liner
and go at once to Paris. Except for possible short trips, they will
stay in the city all winter. Then the girls can study French, or music,
or whatever they like, and incidentally have some fun, I dare say. Mr.
Farrington seemed truly anxious to have Patty go, although I warned him
that she was a difficult young person to manage. But he said he had had
experience in that line last summer, and found that it was possible to
get along with her. Anyway, he was most urgent in the matter, and said
that if I agreed to it, Mrs. Farrington and Elise would come over and
invite her personally."

"Am I to be their guest entirely, papa?" asked Patty.

"Mr. Farrington insisted that you should, but I wouldn't agree to that.
I shall pay all your travelling expenses, hotel bills, and incidentals.
But if they take a furnished house in Paris for the season, as they
expect to do, you will stay there as their guest."

"Oh," cried Patty, who had found her voice at last, "I do think it's
too lovely for anything! And you are so good, papa, to let me go. But
won't it cost a great deal, and can you afford it?"

"It will be somewhat expensive, my dear, but I can afford it, for, as I
told you, my finances are looking up. And, too, I consider this a part
of your education, and so look upon it as a necessary outlay. But you
must remember that the Farringtons are far more wealthy people than we,
and though you can afford the necessary travelling expenses, you
probably cannot be as extravagant in the matter of personal expenditure
as they. I shall give you what I consider an ample allowance of pin
money, and then you must be satisfied with the number of pins it will
buy."

"That doesn't worry me," declared Patty. "I'm so delighted to go that I
don't care if I don't buy a thing over there."

"You'll change your mind when you get there and get into the wonderful
Paris shops," said her father, smiling; "but never fear, puss; you'll
have enough francs to buy all the pretty dresses and gewgaws and
knick-knacks that it's proper for a little girl like you to have. How
old are you now, Patty?"

"Almost eighteen, papa."

"Almost eighteen, indeed! You mean you're only fairly well past
seventeen. But it doesn't matter. Remember you're a little girl, and
not a society young lady, and conduct yourself accordingly."

"Mrs. Farrington will look out for that," said Nan; "she has the best
possible ideas about such things, and she brings up Elise exactly in
accordance with my notions of what is right."

"That settles it," said Mr. Fairfield; "I shall have no further anxiety
on that score since Nan approves of the outlook. But, Patty girl, we're
going to miss you here."

"Yes, indeed," cried Nan. "I hadn't realised that side of it. Oh,
Patty, we had planned so many things for this winter, and now I shall
be alone all day and every day!"

"Come on, and go with me," said Patty, mischievously.

"No," said Nan, smiling at her husband; "I have a stronger tie here
even than your delightful companionship. But truly we shall miss you
awfully."

"Of course you will," said Patty, "and I'll miss you, too. But we'll
write each other long letters, and oh! I do think the whole game is
perfectly lovely."

"So do I," agreed Nan; and then followed such a lot of feminine
planning and chatter that Mr. Fairfield declared his advice seemed not
to be needed.

The next morning Nan and Patty went over to the Farringtons to discuss
the great subject. They expressed to Mrs. Farrington their hearty
thanks for her kind invitation, but she insisted that the kindness was
all on Patty's side, as her company would be a great delight, not only
to Elise, but also to the elder members of the party.

"Isn't Roger going?" asked Patty.

"No," said Mrs. Farrington; "this is his last year in college, so of
course he can't leave. The other children are in school, too, so it
seemed just the right year for us to take Elise abroad for a little
outing. A winter in Paris will do both of you girls good in lots of
ways, and if for any reason we don't enjoy it, we can go somewhere
else, or we can turn around and come home, and no harm done." Although
the trip seemed such a great event to Patty, Mrs. Farrington appeared
to look upon it merely as a little outing, and seemed so thoroughly
glad to have Patty go with them that she almost made Patty feel as if
she were conferring the favour.

Elise and Patty went away by themselves to talk it all over, while Nan
stayed with Mrs. Farrington to discuss the more practical details.

"I didn't care a bit about going," said Elise, "until we thought about
your going too, and now I'm crazy to go. Oh, Patty, won't we have the
most gorgeous time!"

"Yes, indeed," said Patty; "I can hardly realise it yet. I'm perfectly
bewildered. Shall we go to school, Elise?"

"I don't think so, and yet we may. Mother's going to take a house, you
know, and then we'll either have masters every day, or go to some
school. Mother knows all about Paris. She has lived there a lot. But we
sha'n't have to study all the time, I know that much. We'll go
sight-seeing a good deal, and of course we'll go motoring."

"I shall enjoy the ocean trip," said Patty; "I've never been across,
you know. You've been a number of times, haven't you?"

"Yes, but not very lately. We used to go often when Roger and I were
little, but I haven't been over for six years, and then we weren't in
Paris."

"I'm sure I shall love Paris. Do you remember it well?"

"No; when I was there last I was too little to appreciate it, so we'll
explore it together, you and I. I wish Roger were going with us; it's
nice to have a boy along to escort us about."

"Yes, it is," said Patty frankly; "and Roger is so kind and
good-natured. When do we sail, Elise?"

"Two weeks from Saturday, I think. Father is going to see about the
tickets to-day. He waited to see your father yesterday, and make sure
that you could go. The whole thing has been planned rather suddenly,
but that's the way father always does things."

"And it's so fortunate," went on Patty, "that I hadn't started away to
college or boarding-school. Although if I had, and you had invited me,
I should have managed some way to get expelled from college, so I could
go with you. How long do you suppose we shall stay, Elise?"

"I don't know, I'm sure. You never can tell what the Farringtons are
going to do; they're here to-day and gone to-morrow. We'll stay all
winter, of course, and then in the spring, mother might take a notion
to go to London, or she might decide to come flying home. As for
father, he'll probably bob back and forth. He doesn't think any more of
crossing the ocean than of crossing the street. Have you much to do to
get ready to go?"

"No, not much. Nan says for me not to get a lot of clothes, for it's
better to buy them over there; and papa says I can buy all I want, only
of course I can't be as extravagant as you are."

"Oh, pshaw, I'm not extravagant! I don't care much about spending
money, only of course I like to have some nice things. And I do love to
buy pictures and books. But we'll have an awful lot of fun together. I
think it's fun just to be with you, Patty. And the idea of having you
all to myself for a whole winter, without Hilda, or Lorraine, or
anybody claiming a part of you, is the best of it all. I do love you a
lot, Patty, more than you realise, I think."

"You've set your affections on a worthless object, then; and I warn you
that before the winter is over you're likely to discover that for
yourself. You always did overestimate me, Elise."

"Indeed I didn't; but as you well know, from that first day at the
Oliphant school, when you were so kind to me, I've never liked anybody
half as much as I do you."

"You're extremely flattering," said Patty, as she kissed her friend,
"and I only hope this winter won't prove a disillusion."

"I'm not at all afraid," returned Elise gaily; "and oh, Patty, won't we
have a jolly time on board the steamer! It's a long trip, you know, and
we must take books to read and games to play, for as there'll probably
be mostly French people on board, we can't converse very much."

"You can," said Patty, laughing, "but I'm afraid no one can understand
my beautiful but somewhat peculiar accent."



III

SOUVENIRS


Marian came over to spend a few days with Patty before her departure.
She was frankly envious of Patty's good fortune, but more than that,
she was so desperately doleful at the thought of Patty's going away
that she was anything but a cheerful visitor.

Although sorry for her cousin, Patty couldn't help laughing at the
dejected picture that Marian continually presented. She followed Patty
around the house wherever she went, or she would sit and look at her
with her chin held in her hands, and the big tears rolling down her
cheeks.

"Marian, you are a goose," said Patty, exasperated by this performance.
"When I left Vernondale you cried and carried on just this way, but
somehow you seemed to live through it. And now that I live in New York
you don't see me so very often anyhow, so why should you be so
disconsolate about my going away?"

"Because you're going so far, and you'll probably be drowned--those
French steamers are ever so much more dangerous than the English
lines--and somehow I just feel as if you'd never come back."

"Well, the best thing you can do then is to change your feelings. I'll
be back before you hardly realise that I'm gone; and I'll bring you the
loveliest presents you ever saw."

This was a happy suggestion of Patty's, for Marian's tears ceased to
flow and she brightened up at once.

"Oh, Patty, that is just what I wanted to talk to you about! If you are
going to bring me anything in the way of a gift or a souvenir, wouldn't
you just as lieve I'd tell you what I want, as to have you pick it out
yourself, and likely as not bring me something I don't care for at all?
Everybody who brings me home souvenirs from Europe brings the most
hideous things, or else something that I can't possibly use."

"Why, Marian, dear, I'd be only too glad to have you tell me what you
want, and I'll do my best to select it just right."

"Well, Patty, I want a lot of photographs. The kind we get over here
are no good. But I've seen the ones that come from Paris, and they're
just as different as day and night. I'd like the Venus of Milo and the
Mona Lisa and the Victory and--oh, well--I'll make you out a list.
There are several Madonnas that I want, and several more that I DON'T
want. And I do NOT want any of Nattier's pictures or a "Baby Stuart,"
but I do want some of Hinde's hair curlers--the tortoise-shell kind, I
mean--and you can only get them in Paris."

By this time Patty was shaking with laughter at Marian's list, and she
asked her if she didn't want anything else but photographs and hair
curlers.

"Why, yes," said Marian, astonished; "I've only just begun. You know
photographs don't cost much over there, and of course the curlers won't
count for a present. I thought you meant to bring me something nice."

"I do," said Patty, looking at her cousin, who was so comically in
earnest. "You just go on with your list, and I'll bring all the things,
if I have to buy an extra trunk to bring them in."

"All right, then," said Marian, encouraged to proceed. "I want a bead
bag--one of those gay coloured ones made of very small beads, worked in
old-fashioned flowers, roses, you know, or hibiscus--not on any account
the tulip pattern, because I hate it."

"You'd better write out these instructions, Marian, or I shall be sure
to get tulips by mistake."

"Don't you do it, Patty; I'll write them all down most explicitly. And
then I want a scarf, a very long one, cream-coloured ground, with a
Persian border in blues and greys. But not a palm-leaf border--I mean
that queer stencilled sort of a design; I'll draw a pattern of it so
you can't mistake it."

"But suppose I can't find just that kind, Marian."

"Oh, yes, you can! Ethel Holmes has one, and hers came from Paris. And
you've all winter to look for it, you know."

"Well, I'll devote the winter to the search, but if I don't find it
along toward spring I'll give it up. What else, Marian?"

"Well, I'd like a lot of Napoleon things. Some old prints of him, you
know, and perhaps a little bronze statuette, and a cup and saucer or
pen-wiper, or any of those things that they make with pictures of
Napoleon on. And then--oh! Patty, I do want some Cyclamen perfumery.
It's awfully hard to get. There's only one firm that makes it. I forget
the name, but it's Something Bros. & Co., and their place is across the
Seine."

"Across the Seine from what?"

"Why, just across. On the other side, you know. Of course I don't know
across from what, because I've never been to Paris; but everybody who
has lived there always just says 'across the Seine,' and everybody
knows at once where they mean. You'll know all right after you've lived
there a little while."

"Marian, you're a wonder," declared Patty. "I don't think I ever knew
anybody with such a perfect and complete understanding of her own wants
as you seem to have. I hope you haven't mentioned half the things I'm
to bring you, but don't tell me the rest now. I might change my mind
about going. But you buy a large blank book and write out all these
orders at full length, giving directions just when to cross the Seine
and when to cross back again, and I'll promise to do my very best with
the whole list."

"Patty, you're a darling," said Marian, "and I'm almost reconciled to
having you go when I think of having souvenirs brought to me that I
really want."

"Marian," said Patty, struck with a sudden thought, "your idea of the
difference between desirable and undesirable souvenirs is an
interesting one. Now I shall bring little gifts to all my friends and
relatives, I expect, and if you happen to know of anything that would
be especially liked by Uncle Charlie or Aunt Alice or any of your
family, or the Tea Club girls, I wish you'd make another list and put
those things all down for me. It would be the greatest kind of a help."

Marian promised to do this, and Patty felt sure that she would be glad
of the lists later on.

Aunt Isabel and Ethelyn also came to say good-bye to Patty, but their
demeanour was very different from Marian's.

Aunt Isabel was much impressed by the fact that Patty was going to
travel with the rich Farringtons, but she expressed a doubt as to
whether it would do Patty much good in a social way after all. For she
knew something of Mrs. Farrington's habits and tastes, and they in no
way corresponded to her own.

Ethelyn informed Patty that she need not bring her any souvenir unless
she could bring something really nice. "I do hate the little traps and
trinkets most people bring," she said; "but if you want to bring me a
bracelet or locket or something really worth while, I'd be glad to have
it."

"Well," exclaimed Patty, "I certainly have most outspoken cousins! They
don't seem to hesitate to tell me what to bring and what not to bring
them. But I'm sure of one thing! Bumble Barlow won't be so fussy
particular; she'll take whatever I bring and be thankful."

"So will I," said Nan, laughing; "anything no one else wants, Patty,
you may give it to me."

"Don't spend all your money buying presents, child," said Aunt Isabel;
"you'd better buy pretty clothes for yourself. I will give you a list
of the best places to shop."

"Thank you, Aunt Isabel, I'll take the list with pleasure; but of
course my purchases will be at the advice of Mrs. Farrington. She
dresses Elise quite simply, and will probably expect me to do the same."

Aunt Isabel sniffed. "You ought to have gone to Paris with me," she
said. "You're growing up to be a good-looking girl, Patty, and the
right kind of clothes would set you off wonderfully."

Patty said nothing, but as she glanced at Ethelyn's furbelows she felt
thankful she was not going to Paris with Aunt Isabel.

But Patty found that there was quite a great deal of shopping to be
done before she sailed.

Nan took these matters in charge and declared that Patty needed a
complete though not an elaborate steamer outfit.

Nan dearly loved buying pretty clothes and was quite in her element
making Patty's purchases. A dark blue tailor-made cloth, trimmed with
touches of green velvet, was chosen for her travelling costume.

Her "going-away dress" Marian persisted in calling it, just as if Patty
were a bride; but as Marian burst into tears every time she mentioned
Patty's going away, her words were so indistinct that it mattered
little what terms she used.

Then Nan selected one or two pretty light gowns of a somewhat dressy
nature for dinner on board the steamer, and one or two simple evening
gowns for the ship's concert or other festive occasions. A white serge
suit was added for pleasant afternoons on deck, and some dainty kimonos
and negligees for stateroom use.

Patty was delighted with all these things, but could scarcely take time
to appreciate them, as she found so many other things to do by way of
her own preparations. So many people came to see her and she had to go
to see so many other people. Then she had to have her photographs taken
to leave with her friends, and she was constantly being invited to
little farewell luncheons or teas.

"Indeed," as Patty expressed it, "the whole two weeks of preparation
seems like one long, lingering farewell; and when I'm not saying
good-bye to any one else, I'm trying to stop Marian's freshly flowing
tears."

The girls bought Patty parting gifts, and though they were all either
useful or pretty, Patty appreciated far more the loving spirit which
prompted them.

"I made this all myself," said Hilda, as she brought Patty a dainty
sleeping gown of blue and white French flannel, "because it's utterly
impossible to buy this sort of thing ready-made and have it just right.
If you don't say this is just right I'll never make you another as long
as I live."

"It's exactly right, Hilda," said Patty, taking the pretty garment. "I
know I shall dream of you whenever I wear it, and that's too bad, too,
for I ought to devote some of my dreams to other people."

"This is a cabin bag," said Lorraine, bringing her offering. "I didn't
make it myself, because this is so much neater and prettier than a
homemade one. You see it has a pocket for everything that you can
possibly require, from hairpins to shoehorn. Not that you'll put
anything in the pockets--nobody ever does--but it will look pretty
decorating your cabin wall."

"Indeed I shall put things in it," said Patty. "I'm a great believer in
putting things in their right places, and I shall think of you,
Lorraine, whenever I'm trying to get the things out of these dinky
little pockets, and probably not succeeding very well."

"This is my gift," said Adelaide Hart; "it isn't very elaborate, but I
made it all myself, and that means a good deal from me."

Patty opened the parcel and found a piece of cretonne about a yard
square, neatly hemmed along each of the four sides, and having a tape
loop sewed on each corner.

"It's perfectly beautiful," said Patty, "and I never saw more exquisite
needlework; but would you mind telling me what it is for? It can't be a
handkerchief, but I don't know of anything else that's exactly square."

"How ignorant you are," said Adelaide with pretended superiority.
"That, my inexperienced friend, is a wrap for your best hat."

"Oh," said Patty, not much enlightened.

"You see," Adelaide kindly went on to explain, "as soon as you get on
board your steamer you take off your best hat and put it exactly in the
middle of this square, having first spread the square out smoothly on
the bed or somewhere. Then you take up these four corners by the loops
and hang the whole thing on the highest hook in your stateroom. Thus,
you see, your best hat is carried safely across; it is not jammed or
crushed, and it is protected from dust."

"I see," said Patty gravely; "and I suppose the dust is something awful
on an ocean steamer."

The laugh seemed to be on Adelaide at this, but she joined in it and
prophesied that when Patty returned she would confess that that gift
had proved the most useful of all.

Clementine Morse brought a large post-card album which she had filled
with views of New York City.

"I know you will be homesick before you're out of sight of land," she
said; "but if you're not you ought to be, and I hope these pictures
will make you so. When you look at this highly colored representation
of Grant's tomb and realise that it is but a few miles from your own
long-lost hearthstone, I'm sure you will feel qualms of patriotism--or
something."

"I think very likely," said Patty, laughing. "But, Clementine, how many
trunks do you suppose I shall need to hold my farewell gifts? This
album will take up considerable space."

"I know it," said Clementine, "but you needn't put it in your trunk.
You can carry it on board in your hand, and then when you go ashore you
can carry it in your hand. I don't believe they will charge you duty on
it, especially as it will probably be nearly worn out by that time."

"I'm sure it will," said Patty, "not only from my own constant use of
it, but I know everybody on board will want to borrow it and enjoy
these works of art."

"Yes," agreed Clementine; "and then, Patty, when you're in Paris you
can throw away all these New York cards and fill it up with Paris views
and bring it home and give it back to me."

"I certainly will, Clem; that's a first-rate idea."

Mary Sargent brought a French phrase book. It was entitled "French
Before Breakfast," and as Mary explained that the French people never
had breakfast until noon, Patty would have ample time to study it.

Patty accepted the little book with many thanks and promised Mary she
would never eat breakfast, at noon or any other hour, until she had
thoroughly mastered at least one of the phrases.



CHAPTER IV

AN AQUATIC PARTY


Of course all were agreed that Patty must have a farewell party of some
sort; and as Nan dearly loved elaborate affairs, she had decided that
it should be an Aquatic Party.

Patty frankly confessed her ignorance as to what an Aquatic Party might
be, whereupon Nan informed her that she had only to wait until the
occasion itself to find out.

So busy was Patty herself that she took no hand in the preparations for
the party, and indeed Nan required no help. That capable and energetic
young matron secured the services of some professional decorators and
able-bodied workmen, but the direction and superintendence was entirely
in her own hands.

Patty was consulted only in regard to her own costume for the occasion.

"You see," said Nan, coming into Patty's room one morning, "I don't
know whether you would rather say good-bye to your friends in the guise
of a kelpie or a pixy or a jelly-fish."

"Cut out the jelly-fish," said Patty, laughing, "for they're horrid,
floppy old things, I'm sure. As to the others, what's the difference
between a kelpie and a pixy?"

"Oh, a great deal of difference," declared Nan, wagging her head
wisely; "a kelpie is an imaginary water sprite, you know, and a pixy is
a--a--why, a sort of make-believe fairy who lives in the water."

"Well, I'm glad that you see a difference in your two definitions. For
my part I don't see anything to hinder my being a kelpie and a pixy
both, even if I'm not twins."

"Well, they're not so very different, you know. One is a kelpie, and
one is a pixy; that's about all the difference."

Patty laughed. "Well, if it will help you out any to have me make a
choice," she said, "I'll choose to be a kelpie. What's the latest thing
in kelpie costumes?"

"Oh, it will be lovely, Patty! I'll have it made of pale green silk,
with a frosted, silvery, shimmering effect, you know, and draped with
trailing green seaweed and water grasses."

"Lovely!" agreed Patty. "And what would the pixy costume have been, if
I had chosen that?"

"Just the same," confessed Nan, laughing; "but it's easier to have
something definite to work at. You can wear my corals, Patty, and, with
your hair down, you'll be a perfect kelpie."

Patty smiled at her young stepmother's enthusiasm, and Nan ran away to
begin preparations for the kelpie costume.

The night of the party the whole Fairfield house was so transformed
that it must scarcely have recognised itself.

The large front drawing-room represented the arctic regions in the
vicinity of the North Pole. Frames had been erected which, when covered
with sheets, simulated peaks of snowy mountains and snow-covered
icebergs. Here and there signs, apparently left by explorers, told the
latitude and longitude, and a flag marked the explorations Farthest
North. Over these snow peaks scrambled white polar bears in most
realistic fashion, and in one corner an Esquimau hut was built.

The ceiling represented a clear blue sky, and the floor the blue water
of the open polar sea.

By a clever arrangement of electric lights through colored shades a
fair representation of the Aurora Borealis was made to appear at
intervals.

The library, which was back of the drawing-room, had been transformed
into an aquarium. All round the walls, waves of blue-green gauze
simulated water, in which papier-mache fish were gliding and swimming.
The illusion was heightened by other fishes, which, being suspended
from the ceiling by invisible threads, seemed to be swimming through
the air.

Altogether the effect, if not entirely realistic, was picturesque and
amusing, and coral reefs and rocky cliffs covered with seaweed gave
aquatic impressions, even if not entirely logical.

But Nan's pride was what she chose to call the Upper Deck. This was a
room on the second floor, a large front room, which had been made to
represent the upper deck of a handsome yacht. Sail-cloth draped and
held up by poles formed the roof and sides, and a realistic railing
surrounded it. A dozen or more steamer chairs stood in line, strewn
with rugs, pillows and paper-backed novels. Coils of rope, lanterns,
life-preservers, and other paraphernalia added to the realism of the
scene, and at one side a carefully constructed window opened into the
steward's cabin. The steward himself, white-duck-suited and
white-capped, was prepared to serve light refreshments exactly after
the fashion of a correct yachting party.

When the guests began to arrive and were dressed in various costumes,
each representing some type or phase of water pleasures, the scene took
on a gay and festive air.

Patty's kelpie costume was a great success, and the girl never looked
prettier than as she stood receiving her guests in the pretty green
silk gown, trailing with seaweed and shimmering with silver dust. Her
curly golden hair was wreathed with soft green water-grasses, and her
rosy cheeks and dancing eyes made her look like a mischievous water
sprite.

Nan's own costume was that of a fish-wife, and though very different
from Patty's, it had all the picturesqueness of the quaint costume of
the Breton fisher-folk. A basket slung over her shoulder held
realistic-looking fishes, and Nan looked quite as if she might have
stepped out of the frame of a picture in the French Academy.

Mr. Fairfield, not without some difficulty, had been induced to
represent Neptune. False flowing white hair and beard, a shining crown
and trident, and a voluminous sea-green robe made him a gorgeous sight.

The three stood near the North Pole to receive their guests, and
formality was almost lost sight of in the hilarity caused by the
procession of picturesque costumes.

There were pirates of fierce and bloodthirsty mien; there were jolly
Jack Tars and natty ship officers; there were water babies, mermaids,
fishermen, and many dainty yachting costumes. Then there were queer and
grotesque figures, such as a frog, a lobster, and a huge crab.

Altogether the motley procession presented a most interesting
appearance, and Patty was glad when the guests had all arrived and she
could leave her post and mingle with the crowd.

It was not long before a group of Patty's most intimate friends had
gathered on the Upper Deck to chat. Patty herself had been snugly
tucked into a deck chair by Kenneth, who insisted on showing her just
how the proceeding should be accomplished.

"Nothing shows your ignorance, my child, on board ship," he was saying,
"like not knowing how to manage your steamer rug and pillow."

"But," said Patty, "I shall then have on a suitable gown that will
stand rough usage; but I beg of you, Ken, stop tucking that rug around
my delicate kelpie decorations.

"Oh," said Kenneth, "you're a kelpie, then! Strange I didn't recognise
you at once, but I so rarely meet kelpies in the best society. Now I'm
Captain Kidd."

"Are you?" cried Elise gaily; "now I had an idea you were Admiral
Farragut; but then one so rarely meets Captain Kidd in the best
society."

"That's so," said Kenneth; "and think how long it will be, girls,
before you have the pleasure of meeting this particular Captain Kidd in
any society. I tell you, I envy you. You're going to have the time of
your life in Paris, and I wish to goodness I could go along with you."

"Oh, do, Kenneth," cried Patty; "we'd have just the best time ever!
Can't you give up college and put in a lot of study over there?"

"No, indeed, I can't; I'm only just wishing I could. There's no harm in
wishing, you know. But if you'll stay until next summer, perhaps I'll
come over and see you during vacation, and then we can all come home
together."

"That would be fine," said Elise, "and we're just as likely to stay
until summer as not. But then, on the other hand, we're just as likely
to come home as soon as we get there. You never can tell what those
absurd parents of mine are going to do."

Meantime a strange-looking figure was walking across the Upper Deck
toward the group that surrounded Patty. It was impossible not to
recognise the character, which was meant to be a representation of
Noah. But it was the well-known Noah of the children's Noah's ark, and
the straight-up-and-down, tightly fitting brown garment, with yellow
buttons down the front, was exactly like the patriarch as shown in the
wooden toys. A flat, broad-brimmed hat sat squarely on his head, and as
he held his arms straight down at his side, and as his cheeks bore
little round daubs of red paint, Mr. Hepworth was exactly like a
gigantic specimen of the nursery Noah.

He came across the deck with a staggering, uncertain motion, as if the
ship were rolling and pitching about. His realistic acting made them
all laugh, and when he dropped into a deck chair and, calling the
steward, asked faintly for a cup of weak tea, Patty declared she
believed she wouldn't go to Paris after all.

"For I'm sure," she said, "that I don't want to go wabbling across a
deck and looking as ill and woebegone as you do."

Mr. Hepworth smiled at her. "You'll have so many remedies and
preventives given you," he said, "and you'll be so busy pitching them
overboard that you won't have time to be seasick. Really I don't
believe you'll think of such a thing all the way over, let alone
experiencing it."

"You're a great comfort," said Patty heartily; "you always tell me the
most comforting things. Now everybody else declares that after I've
been at sea for a day I'll be so ill that I won't care whether I live
or die."

"Nonsense," declared Mr. Hepworth; "don't pay any attention to such
croakings."

"I agree with you," said Elise. "I've made up my mind that I'm not
going to be seasick, but I'm going to have a perfectly jolly time all
the way across."

"Of course you'll have jolly times," said Marian, who was in one of her
doleful moods; "but think of us who are left behind! We won't have any
jolly time until you come back again."

"Oh, I don't know!" said Kenneth. "Of course I'm devoted to these two
girls, but I'm not going to let it blight my young existence and crush
my whole career, just because I have to live without them for six
months."

"But you don't love Patty as I do," said Marian with a sigh, as she
gazed at her adored cousin.

"No, Marian, I don't," said Kenneth; "not as YOU do, for I assume that
you love her as a first cousin. Now my affection for Patty is more on
the order of a grandmother's brother-in-law once removed. You can't be
too careful about the exact type of attachment you feel for a young
lady, and I think that expresses my regard for Patty. Now toward Elise
I feel more like a great niece's uncle's brother-in-law. There is a
very subtle distinction between the two, but I know that both girls are
acutely aware of the exact kind and degree of my regard for them."

"I am, anyway," said Patty; "and I must say, Ken, that it's much easier
to leave you, with that definite affection of yours, than it is to go
away from Marian and leave her floundering in her deep and somewhat
damp woe."

Marian vouchsafed a sad sort of smile, and said it was all very well
for them to make fun of her, but she couldn't help missing Patty.

"Nobody can help missing Patty," declared Mr. Hepworth; "and for my
part, if I find that I miss her very much I shall go straight over to
Paris and bring her back."

"I hope you will," cried Patty; "that is, I hope you'll come over, and
perhaps we can persuade you not to be in such a dreadful hurry to come
back."

"I had expected to run over in the early spring, anyway," said Mr.
Hepworth carelessly, as if it were a matter of no moment; "I want to do
certain French sketches that I've had my mind on for some time."

"Well, if you do come," said Elise cordially, "come right to our house
and I know we can put you up. The Farringtons are erratic, but always
hospitable; and I hereby invite this whole crowd to visit us in Paris,
either jointly or severally, whenever the spirit moves you."

"If I find a spirit that can move me over to Paris, I shall come
often," declared Kenneth; "but I'm afraid I'm too substantially built
to be wafted across the ocean in the clutches of any spirit."

Just then the notes of a bugle sounded clear and sweet from below.

"That's the ship's bugler," declared Mr. Hepworth, "and that's the
bugle call for supper. Shall we go down and refresh ourselves?"

"Yes, indeed," cried Patty, jumping from her nest of steamer rugs; "I'm
as hungry as a hawk."

But it somehow happened that all of the gay young crowd left the Upper
Deck to go to the supper room before Patty and Mr. Hepworth started. He
detained her for a moment while he said: "Little girl, will you miss me
while you're away?"

"Even if I expected to I wouldn't own up to it," said Patty, as she
gave him a mischievous glance.

"Why wouldn't you own up to it?" Mr. Hepworth spoke quite seriously and
looked intently at the pretty face before him, with its golden hair
crowned by the shining green sea-wreath.

"I don't know," said Patty slowly. She felt herself forced by his
impelling gaze to raise her eyes to his, and for the first time it
occurred to her that Mr. Hepworth felt more interest in her than she
had ever suspected. "I don't know why I wouldn't own up to it, I'm
sure," she went on; "in fact, now that I come to think of it, I believe
I should own up to it."

"Well, own it then. Tell me you will miss me, and will sometimes wish I
might be with you."

"Oh," cried Patty, laughing merrily, "I only meant I would own it if it
were true. Of course I sha'n't really miss you; there'll be so much to
amuse and interest me that I sha'n't have time to miss anybody except
papa and Nan."

"That's just what I thought," said Mr. Hepworth.



CHAPTER V

GOOD-BYES


At last the day of sailing came. The steamer was to leave her dock at
three o'clock on Saturday afternoon, and soon after two Patty went on
board, accompanied by Nan and her father.

A crowd of friends had also gathered to bid Patty goodspeed, and
besides these the Farringtons had many friends there to say good-bye to
them.

With the exception of Marian, it was not a sad parting. Indeed it
seemed rather a hilarious occasion than otherwise. This was partly
because most of the persons concerned felt truly sorry to miss Patty's
bright presence out of their lives, and feared that if they showed any
regret the situation might become too much for them.

Hilda and Lorraine felt this especially, and they were so absurdly gay
that it was quite clear to Patty that their gaiety was assumed. But she
was grateful to them for it, for, as she had previously confided to
Nan, she didn't want a weepy, teary crowd to bid her good-bye; she
wanted to go away amid laughter and smiles.

As the brief hour before sailing passed, more and more people came to
see them off, and Patty began to think that everybody she ever knew
would be there.

Many of the friends brought gifts, and many had already sent fruit or
flowers, both to the Farringtons and to Patty. Down in the
dining-saloon a whole table was occupied with the gifts to their party,
and more than a fair proportion of these belonged to Patty. She was
quite bewildered, for sailing away from her native land was a new
experience to her, and it had never occurred to her that it would
include this elaborate profusion of farewell gifts.

There was a great basket of red roses from Winthrop Warner, and Bertha
had sent a box of candy. Roger had sent candy, too, and Kenneth had
sent a beautiful basket of fruit that seemed to include every known
variety. Nor were the gifts only from Patty's intimate friends. She was
surprised to learn how many of her acquaintances and relatives and
casual friends had sent a token of good wishes for her voyage. The
truth is that Patty was a general favourite and made friends with all
whom she met.

Mr. Hepworth had once told her that she was a Dispenser of Happiness.
If so, she was now reaping the reward, for her friends had surely
showered happiness upon her.

And besides the table full of gifts there were many letters and
telegrams in the ship's little post-office. These delighted Patty, too,
and she laid the budget aside to enjoy after the trip had fairly begun.

Among the last to arrive was Mr. Hepworth. He brought no fruit or
flowers, but he was followed by a messenger boy fairly staggering under
the weight of his burden.

"I knew, Patty," he said, "that you'd have all the flowers and fruit
and sweets you could possibly want, so I've brought you a different
kind of gift."

"There seems to be plenty of it," said Patty as she looked at the small
boy. His arms were full of papers and magazines, which, as they
afterward discovered, included every newspaper, magazine, and weekly
periodical published in New York.

"You know," said Mr. Hepworth, "you can't get current reading matter
after you start, and a good deal of this stuff you won't find in Paris,
either; though you can get American publications there more easily than
you can in London. But read what you want, Patty, and pitch the rest
overboard."

The boy was directed to carry his load to Patty's stateroom and deposit
it there. Patty thanked Mr. Hepworth for his thoughtful gift, and said
she would read every word of it and probably carry a great deal of it
ashore with her.

"Come on, Patty," said Kenneth, "we're going to see where your deck
chairs are, so we can have a mental picture of just how you're going to
look for the next week or so."

About a dozen merry young people trooped up the next deck and found the
chairs that had been reserved for the Farrington party. But when Patty
saw them she burst out laughing. The two that were intended for herself
and Elise had been decorated in an absurd fashion. They were tied with
ribbon bows and bunches and garlands of flowers. They were filled with
fancy pillows, and tied on in several places were letters and small
packages done up in paper.

"They look like ridiculous Christmas trees," cried Patty. "I'm crazy to
open those bundles, for I know they're full of foolishness that you
girls have rigged up for us."

"Don't open them now," said Hilda, "for we have to leave you and go
ashore in a few moments. Now, Patty, you will write to us, won't you?"

"I rather think I will," cried Patty; "you've all been so good to me I
never could thank you enough if I wrote every day and all day."

"Come with me, Patty," said Kenneth; "I want to show you something up
at this end of the ship."

So Patty went off with Kenneth, and when they were well away from the
laughing crowd he drew a small box from his pocket and gave it to her,
saying: "Patty, you mustn't think I'm a sentimental fool, for I'm not;
but I wish you'd wear that while you're away, and sometimes think of
me."

Patty flashed a comical glance at him.

"Good gracious, Ken," she exclaimed, "it's an awful funny thing, this
going away; it makes all your friends so serious and so afraid you'll
forget them. Of course I shall think of you while I'm away."

"Who else has been asking you to think of him?" growled Kenneth; "that
ridiculous Hepworth, I suppose! Well, now look here, miss, you're to
think of me twice to his once. Do you understand that?"

"Yes, I understand," said Patty demurely; "and now may I look in the
box before I promise to wear your gift? It might be a live beetle. I
saw a lady once who wore a live beetle attached to a tiny gold chain.
Oh, it was awful!"

"It isn't a live beetle," said Kenneth, smiling, "but it is attached to
a tiny gold chain. Yes, of course you may look at it, and if you don't
like it you needn't wear it."

So Patty opened the box and discovered a little gold locket, set with
tiny pearls and hanging from a slender gold chain. It was very graceful
and dainty, and Patty's first impulse was one of delight. But as she
looked up and met Kenneth's serious gaze she suddenly wondered if she
were promising too much to say she would wear it.

"What's inside of it?" she inquired, as if to gain time.

"Look and see."

Patty opened the locket and found it contained a most attractive
picture of Kenneth's handsome, boyish face.

"What a splendid likeness!" she exclaimed; "you're awfully
good-looking, Ken, and I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll wear the locket
with pleasure--sometimes, you know, not all the time, of course--until
I find somebody who is handsomer than you, or--whom I like better."

"Pooh," cried Kenneth, "I don't care how often you replace it with a
picture of a handsomer man, but, Patty, I don't want you to find any
one you like better. Promise me you won't."

"Oh, I can't promise that, Ken. Just think of the fascinating Frenchmen
I shall probably meet, with their waxed moustaches and their dandified
manners. How can I help liking them better than a plain, unvarnished
American boy?"

"All right, my lady; if you set your affections on a French popinjay,
I'll come over there and fight a duel with him. I know you're too
sensible to look at those addle-pated dandies, but I wish you'd promise
not to like anybody better than THIS plain, unvarnished American boy."

"I won't promise you anything, Ken," said Patty, not unkindly, but with
a gentle, definite air. "I thank you for your locket. It is beautiful,
and I do love pretty things. I'll wear it sometimes; let me see, to-day
is Saturday; well, I'll wear it every Saturday; that will insure your
being thought of at least once a week."

And with this Kenneth had to be content, for a roguish laugh appeared
in Patty's eyes and he knew she would not treat matters seriously any
further.

Dropping the locket in her little handbag, Patty turned to go back to
the others.

"But you're not keeping your promise," said Kenneth, detaining her.

"What promise?"

"You said you'd wear the locket on Saturdays, and to-day is Saturday."

Patty was a little embarrassed. She knew if she went back to the group
with the trinket hanging round her neck, every one would know at once
that Kenneth had given it to her, and they would surmise far more than
the simple, truth. And she was especially conscious that Mr. Hepworth
would notice it, and would think it meant all Kenneth had wanted it to
mean, which was far more than she had accepted it as meaning.

Kenneth saw her hesitation and stood watching her.

"Wear it, dear," he said quietly; "an old friend like myself has a
perfect right to give you a little keepsake." Then Patty had an
inspiration. She clasped the little chain about her neck and then
tucked the locket down inside her collar so that it was entirely out of
sight.

"You little witch!" cried Kenneth as she raised her laughing eyes to
his; "but at any rate you're wearing it, and that's all I asked of you."

"Yes," said Patty; and, as gaily and unaffectedly as a child, she
grasped Kenneth's hand and ran down the long deck to join the others.

Although determined to ignore the episode, Patty's cheeks bore a
heightened colour and she let poor Kenneth severely alone, devoting her
attention to the others.

But it was nearly time: for the last farewell to be said, and indeed
some of the party had said good-bye and left the steamer.

And then again Patty was carried off for a little confidential talk at
the other end of the deck, and this time it was by her father.

He seemed to have many final bits of advice to give her regarding the
minutiae of her journey, her money matters, her relation toward the
Farringtons, and her correct demeanour in many ways.

"I'm not at all afraid to trust you out of my sight, Patty, girl," he
said, "for I have absolute faith in your common sense and your good
judgment. I know you won't do anything wrong or unladylike, but I want
to warn you, my little girl, not to get mixed up in any romantic
adventures. You're altogether too young for that sort of thing, and I
warn you I sha'n't allow you to be engaged to anybody for years and
years to come." Patty laughed merrily at this. "Indeed, papa," she
said, "nothing is further from my mind than any such performance as you
suggest, and I haven't the slightest desire to think of being engaged
until I'm at least as old as Nan. And anyway, I don't believe anybody
would like me well enough to want to be engaged to me. Oh--that
is--unless it might be Kenneth."

And then Patty told her father the whole story of Kenneth and the
locket.

"You did just right, Patty," said her father. "Kenneth is a nice boy,
but he is altogether too young, and you are, too, to attach any
sentimental significance to his gift. Wear the locket if you want to,
or when you want to, but let it be understood that it means nothing
more than the merest friendly keepsake."

"Yes, that's just what I think," said Patty, with an air of
satisfaction at this prosaic settlement of the subject. "Oh, papa,
you're the only one I'm going to miss very much, you and Nan; but
especially you."

"I know it, my girl; we have been a great deal to each other all these
years, and of course we shall miss each other. But the time will soon
pass away, and since we have to part we must be brave about it, and we
must not spoil the happiness of it by the sorrow of it."

"Dear papa," said Patty, squeezing his hand, "you are always so wise
and good. That's just the point; we must not spoil the happiness by the
sorrow, though that is what Marian is always trying to do. Poor Marian,
she's such a pathetic creature; I wish she would cheer up."

"I think she will, Patty. Nan and I are going to take her home with us
and keep her for a fortnight or more, and we'll make her so gay that
she'll forget you're gone."

"Good for you, papa; that's lovely! You do think of the nicest things
for people!"

"Well, now, chickabiddy, I suppose I'll have to leave you. Keep up a
good heart and a spirit of cheerfulness. Stick to your sense of
proportion and your sense of humor. Remember that the time will soon
pass, and pass happily, too; and then you'll come sailing back to this
very dock, and I'll be here waiting for you."

They rejoined the group and then the farewells began in earnest. Patty
was embraced and kissed by all the girls, until Nan declared there
would be nothing left for her to say good-bye to. The men shook hands
and expressed hearty good wishes, and with one last kiss from her
father Patty was left alone with the Farringtons.

As the steamer sailed away there was much waving of handkerchiefs and
flags, and the friends on shore were kept in sight just as long as
possible.

But when they could no longer be distinguished, Patty said: "Come on,
Elise; let's do something to occupy our minds, or I feel sure I shall
cry like a baby in spite of my noble and brave resolutions."

"All right," said Elise, "I'm with you. Let's go down and put things to
rights in our stateroom."

So down they went on their errand. The girls were to share the same
stateroom, and as it was large and conveniently arranged, they were
glad to be together. But as they entered the door they nearly fell over
in astonishment, for sitting on the sofa, with his paws extended in
welcome, was a very large, very white, and very fleecy "Teddy Bear." In
one paw he held a card on which was written:

           Oh Patty dear,
           Oh Elise dear,
      We don't want you to go away;
           But if you will,
           Keep with you still
      This merry little stowaway.



CHAPTER VI

THE OLD MA'AMSELLE


The girls laughed heartily over the Teddy Bear, and agreed that it was
a delightful companion for their trip. Elise set him up on the little
shelf above the washstand, and he gazed down upon them like a fat and
good-natured patron saint. Patty named him Yankee Doodle, and gave him
an American flag to hold; but Elise, not wishing to seem to slight the
French nation, gave him a silken tri-colour of France to hold in his
other paw. Apparently unprejudiced in his sympathies, Yankee Doodle
held both flags, and continued to wear his jolly and complacent grin.

It was great fun for the girls to arrange their stateroom. As they
expected to occupy it for the next ten days, they proceeded to make it
as homelike as possible. They both had so many cabin bags and wall
pockets and basket catchalls which had been parting gifts that it was
difficult to find wall space for them all. Patty was to occupy the
lower berth and Elise the wide and comfortable sofa. For they concluded
they could chatter better if on a level. This left the upper berth as a
broad shelf for books and magazines, boxes of candy, and all the odds
and ends of their belongings.

"Isn't it perfectly wonderful," said Patty, "to think we are already
miles away from land, and dancing away over this blue water!"

As Patty was standing on the sofa, with her head stuck out through the
porthole, Elise could not hear a word of this speech; so unless the
fishes were interested it was entirely lost. But this mattered little
to Patty, and soon she pulled her head in and made the same remark over
again.

"Well," said Elise, who was matter-of-fact, "when people take passage
on an ocean steamer they often expect to get a few miles away from land
after they start."

"Oh, Elise," cried Patty, "have you no imagination? Of course it isn't
wonderful to consider the FACT of our sailing out to sea, but the IDEA
of dancing away over the blue water is poetic and therefore wonderful."

"I'm glad you explained it to me, and I dare say the more the ship
dances, the more wonderful it will be. And so let's get these things
straightened out before the dancing grows mad and hilarious."

"All right," said Patty good-naturedly; and she went to work with a
will, stowing away things and tacking up things, until everything was
snugly in place.

Mrs. Farrington's maid accompanied the party, but both Elise and Patty,
being energetic young Americans, had small use for her services. She
was a help, though, in the matter of back buttons and hair ribbons, and
she came now rapping at the stateroom door with a message from Mrs.
Farrington that the girls were to dress for dinner. At the same moment
the pretty bugle-call rang out that marked the half hour before
dinner-time.

"Isn't it fun," cried Patty, "to have the dressing-bell a trumpet?
Except at my own party the other night I've never been bugled to my
meals. What shall we wear, Elise?"

"Not our prettiest dresses. We must save those for the concert, or
whatever gaieties they may have. Put on that blue checked silk of
yours, Patty; it's the sweetest thing, and just right for dinner, and
I'll wear my light green one."

With slight assistance from Lisette, the French maid, they were soon
ready. Patty envied Lisette her fluency in the French tongue, for
though all the officers on board and most of the passengers spoke
English, Patty wished she could talk French more readily than she did.
She found it good practice to talk to Lisette in her own language, as
the mistakes she made did not embarrass her. Lisette, of course, was a
great admirer of pretty Patty, and was only too glad to be of
assistance to her linguistically or any other way.

Another bugle-call announced dinner, and, joining Mr. and Mrs.
Farrington, the girls went down to the dining saloon. Their seats were
at the captain's table, and Patty thought she had never seen such a
profusion of beautiful flowers as graced the board. The stewards had
placed the flowers of all the passengers upon the tables, and, with the
lights and ornate decorations of the Louis XVI. saloon, it was like
fairyland. The walls and ceiling were elaborately decorated in dainty
French fashion, and the table service was exceedingly attractive. Patty
was much amused at the revolving chair which she had to learn how to
get into, but after being twirled to her place she concluded it was a
wise provision for a dining-room of such uncertain level.

Mrs. Farrington sat at the captain's right hand, and next to her was
her husband, then Elise, and then Patty. Patty at once began to wonder
who would occupy the chair next beyond herself, and was exceedingly
interested when the steward turned it around to accommodate a lady who
was approaching.

The newcomer was without doubt a Frenchwoman, somewhat elderly, but
very vigorous and active. She had masses of snow-white hair, and large,
alert, black eyes that seemed to dart quickly from one point of
interest to another. She was a little lady, but her gait and manner
were marked by an air not only of aristocracy, but as of one accustomed
to exert absolute authority. Nor was she apparently of a mild and
amiable disposition. She spoke sharply to the steward, although he was
doing his best to serve her.

"And is it that you shall be all night in arranging my chair?" she
exclaimed. Then, as she was finally seated, she continued her
grumbling. "And is it not enough that I must be delayed, but still I
have received no MENU? One shall see if this is to be permitted!"

The steward did not seem unduly alarmed at the little old lady's angry
speech, but hastened to bring her the daintily printed bill of fare.

Raising her jewelled lorgnon, the French lady scanned the MENU, and
having made a choice of soup, she laid the card down, and turning
toward Patty surveyed her leisurely through her glasses.

Her manner as she scrutinised Patty was by no means rude or
impertinent. It had rather the effect of an honest curiosity and a
polite interest.

"There is no denying, my dear," she said at last, "that you are of a
beauty. And of a sweetness. An American of Americans. New York--is it
not so?"

There was an indefinable charm about the old lady's manner that won
Patty's heart at once, and though in any case she would have been
polite, she answered with cordiality:

"Yes, madame, I live in New York, although I was born in the South and
lived there for many years."

"Ah, then, it is explained. It is your Southern States that make the
charm, the aplomb, without the--what you call--the--the freshness. Is
it not so? But I do not mean the freshness of the cheek; and yet, in
the argot do you not say freshness is cheek? Ah, I am bewildered; I am
mixup with your strange words; but I will learn them! They shall not
conquer me! And you will help me; is it not so?"

"I will help you with pleasure, madame," replied Patty, dimpling with
fun as she heard the old lady's unsuccessful attempts in American
slang. "My name is Patty Fairfield; and though I seldom use the slang
of my country, I'm more or less familiar with its terms, and can
enlighten you concerning them, at least to a degree. To me your
language is difficult; but perhaps we may by conversation help each
other."

"Patty Fairfield; a pleasant name for a pleasant child. But I'm not
madame; pray call me ma'amselle. I am Ma'amselle Labesse."

"You are a Frenchwoman, of course?" inquired Patty.

"A Frenchwoman, yes; but of an admiration for your strange American
country. I go home now, but I shall return again. Your country is of an
interest."

As Patty looked around at the others at their table, she felt that she
had been fortunate in sitting next to the old ma'amselle. For though
she could not judge entirely by appearances, no one else at the table
seemed to be so quaintly interesting as the old French lady.

Patty soon discovered that even a "few miles of dancing upon the blue
water" had decidedly sharpened her appetite, and she did full justice
to the delicate viands and delicious French cookery placed before her.
She and Elise chatted happily, and after introducing her companions on
either side to each other the conversation became general.

Under the influence of the comradeship always felt on a French liner,
the people across the table became sociably inclined, and acquaintances
were made rapidly.

After dinner our party went out on deck, and though warm wraps were
necessary, the crisp, clear air was delightful, and the starry sky and
tumbling black water fascinated Patty beyond all words. She leaned
against the rail, watching the waves as they dashed and plashed below,
breaking into white foam as the steamer ploughed through them. Patty
was very susceptible to new impressions, and the great expanse of black
water beneath the dome of the star-studded black sky filled her with an
awe and reverence which she had never known before.

Elise stood quietly beside her, with her hand through Patty's arm, and
together the girls silently enjoyed the sombre beauty of the scene.

"Are you afraid, Patty?" asked Elise.

Patty laughed a little, and then she said: "I don't know as I can make
you understand it, Elise, for it sounds so ridiculous when it's put
into words. But it's this way with me: In my imagination, when I think
of this little cockleshell of a boat tossing on this great, deep, black
ocean, which may engulf it at any moment, I have a certain feeling of
fear, which seems to belong to the situation. But really, my common
sense tells me that these staunch steamships are constructed for the
very purpose of carrying people safely across the sea, and that there
is almost no danger at all of their doing otherwise. So you see it only
depends on whether I'm in a mood of poetical imagination or practical
common sense as to whether I'm afraid or not."

"Patty," said Elise, with a little sigh, "you are certainly clever. Now
I never could have reasoned the thing out like that, and yet I see just
what you mean."

"Throw bouquets at yourself, then, Elise," said Patty, laughing, "for
you're a great deal more clever to see what I mean than I am to say it!"

After a brisk walk up and down the deck for a time the girls tucked
themselves snugly into their deck chairs by the side of the elder
Farringtons.

"How do you like it so far, Patty?" asked Mr. Farrington.

"It's simply perfect," declared Patty enthusiastically. "It's awfully
different from what I thought it would be, and ever so much nicer. I
thought it would be impossible to walk across the deck without tumbling
all over and catching hold of everything. But we can walk around just
as if in a house, and everything is comfortable, even luxurious, and
it's all so clean."

Mrs. Farrington laughed at this. "Of course it's clean, child," she
said; "it's only on land that we are under the tyranny of dust and
dirt. But as for tumbling around the deck, that may come later. Don't
imagine the sea is never rougher than it is to-night."

"I hope it will be rougher," said Patty. "I don't want a fearful storm,
but I would like a little pitching and tossing."

"You'll probably get it," said Mr. Farrington. "And now, my cherished
ones, let us take a look in at the library and drawing-room, and then
let us seek our staterooms."

So the parry adjourned to the brilliantly lighted saloon, where many of
the passengers had congregated to spend the after-dinner hour. It was a
beautiful apartment, even more gorgeous and elaborate than the
dining-room, and furnished with inviting-looking easy-chairs, sofas,
and divans of puffy upholstery. Gilt-framed tables were scattered about
for the benefit of the card-players, and attractively appointed
writing-desks made Patty suddenly realise that she wanted to write
letters home at once. But remembering that they could not possibly be
mailed for ten days to come, she decided to defer them at least until
the morrow.

Well-filled bookcases attracted the girls' attention, and
notwithstanding the large amount of reading matter they had of their
own, they were glad to see some well-known favourites behind the glass
doors.

Patty was surprised when Mr. Farrington proposed that they should all
go to the dining-room for a bit of supper before retiring. It seemed to
her but a short time since they had dined; and yet she realised the
suggestion was not entirely unwelcome.

"Is it imperative that we shall eat more meals on sea than on land?"
she inquired, as they took their places at the table.

"Not imperative, perhaps," the captain answered her, smiling, "but
unless you seem to appreciate my cook's efforts to please you I shall
have to pitch him overboard; and it is not easy to find another chef in
mid-ocean."

"Then," said Patty gaily, "I shall certainly do all I can to save the
poor man from a dreadful fate. And it does not seem to me that I shall
have any difficulty in keeping my part of the bargain." As Patty spoke
she was nibbling away with great satisfaction at a caviare sandwich and
bestowing a pleased glance on a glass of orange sherbet which the
steward had just brought to her.

The captain was a large and important-looking personage, with the black
moustache and imperiale of the true Frenchman. His manner was expansive
and very cordial; and as he had known the Farringtons for many years he
was quite ready to welcome Patty for their sake as well as her own.
Indeed, he had taken an immediate liking to the pretty American girl,
and as French captains are prone to make favourites among their
passengers, Patty was immediately assigned in his chivalrous heart to
such a position.

He bade her a pleasant good-night as she left the dining-room, and was
delighted with her naive expressions of admiration and appreciation of
his beautiful ship.

When the girls reached their stateroom they suddenly realised that they
were quite tired out after the excitements of the day, and were very
glad to let Lisette brush their hair and assist them in preparing for
bed. As Patty nestled snugly between the coarse linen sheets she felt a
drowsy enjoyment of the gentle rolling motion of the steamer, and
almost immediately fell into a sound, dreamless sleep.



CHAPTER VII

WESTERN FRIENDS


The girls slept restfully all night, and were awakened in the morning
by the entrance of Lisette, who was followed by the pleasant-faced and
voluble French stewardess. The day was bright and sunshiny, and half a
dozen times while she was dressing Patty stuck her head out of the
porthole to gaze at the sparkling blue water. On these occasions Elise
grasped her by the feet lest she should fall out. But as Patty's
substantial frame could not possibly have squeezed through the
porthole, the precaution was unnecessary.

After breakfast the girls prepared for a delightful morning on deck.
The breeze had freshened considerably, so Patty put on a long, warm
ulster that enveloped her from throat to feet. A long blue veil tied
her trim little hat in place, and when fully equipped she looked over
the piles of literature to make a selection.

"Do you know," she said to Elise, "I don't believe I shall read much; I
think I shall just sit and look at the water and dream."

"All right," said her practical friend; "but take a book with you, for
if you don't you're sure to want one; while if you do, you probably
won't look at it."

"Elise, you're a genius. I'll take the book, and also some of this
candy. I'm glad Hilda gave me this bag; it's most convenient."

The bag in question was a large, plain affair of dark green cloth, with
a black ribbon drawstring. It proved to be Patty's constant companion,
as it was roomy enough to hold gloves, veils, handkerchiefs, as well as
pencil and paper, and anything else they might need through the day. It
hung conveniently on the back of Patty's deck chair, and became as
famous as the bag of the lady in "Swiss Family Robinson."

As Patty had anticipated, she did not do any reading that morning, but
neither did she gaze at the ocean and dream. She discovered that life
on an ocean steamer is apt to be full of incident and abounds in
occupation.

No sooner had she and Elise arranged themselves in their chairs than
along came two gay and laughing girls, who stopped to talk to them.

"We're going to introduce ourselves," said one of them. "I am Alicia
Van Ness, and this is my little sister Doris. We're from Chicago, and
we like the looks of you girls, and we want to be chums. Though, of
course, it's up to you, and if you don't like our looks you've only to
say so and we'll never trouble you again."

"Speak out!" chimed in the other girl, who was quite as vivacious as
her sister. "We're not a bit stupid, and we can take the slightest
hint. I can see you don't quite approve of us"--and she looked shrewdly
at Patty, who had unconsciously assumed an air of hauteur as she
watched the frank-mannered Western girls--"but really and truly we're
awfully nice after you get acquainted with us."

Patty was amused, and a little ashamed that a stranger should have read
her feelings so accurately, for she had felt slightly repelled at the
somewhat forward manners of these would-be friends.

As if to make up for her coolness she said heartily: "I'm sure you are
delightful to know, and I'm quite ready to be friends if you will allow
it. I'm Patty Fairfield, and this is my chum, Elise Farrington."

"We knew your names," said Alicia Van Ness; "we asked the captain. You
see, we thought you two were the nicest girls on board, but if you had
thrown us down we were going to tackle the English girl next."

Though this slangy style of talk was not at all to Patty's liking, she
saw no reason to reject the offered friendship because of it. The Van
Ness sisters might prove to be interesting companions, in spite of
their unconventional ways. So two vacant chairs were drawn up, and the
four girls sat in a group, and very soon were chatting away like old
friends.

"Do you know the English girl?" asked Doris; "she sits at your table."

"No," said Elise; "she's way down at the other end from us. But I like
her looks, only she's so very English that I expect she's rather stiff
and hard to get acquainted with."

"You can't say that about us, can you?" said Alicia, laughing; "I'm as
easy as an old shoe, and Doris as an old slipper. But we hope you'll
like us, because we do love to be liked. That English girl's name is
Florrie Nash. Isn't that queer? She doesn't look a bit like a Florrie,
does she? More like a Susan or a Hannah."

"Or more like a Catharine or Elizabeth, I think," said Patty. "But you
never can tell people's names from what they look like."

"No," said Alicia; "now a stranger would say you looked like my name,
and I looked like yours."

"That's true enough," said Elise, laughing; "your jolly ways are not at
all like your grand-sounding name; and as for Patty here, it's a
perfect shame to spoil her beautiful name of Patricia by such a
nickname."

Two young men in long plaid ulsters with turned-up collars and plaid
yachting caps came into view at the other end of the deck. They were
walking with swinging strides in the direction of the group of girls.

"Now I'll show you," said Alicia in a low voice, "how we Chicago girls
scrape acquaintance with young men."

As the young men drew nearer Alicia looked at them smilingly and said
"Ahem" in a low but distinct voice. The young men looked at her and
smiled, whereupon Doris purposely dropped a book she had been holding.
The young men sprang to pick it up, Doris took it and thanked them, and
then made a further remark as to the beauty of the weather. The young
men replied affably, and then Alicia asked them to join their group and
sit down for a chat.

"With pleasure," said one of the young men, glancing at Patty and
Elise, "if we may be allowed."

Patty was surprised and shocked at the behaviour of these strange
girls, and very decidedly expressed her opinion in her face. Without
glancing at the young men, she turned on the Van Ness sisters a look of
extreme disapproval, while Elise looked frightened at the whole
proceeding.

The two horrified countenances were too much for the Van Ness girls,
and they burst into peals of laughter.

"Oh, my children," cried, Alicia, "did you really think us so
unconventional, even if we are from Chicago? These two boys are our
cousins, Bob and Guy Van Ness, and they are travelling with us in
charge of our parents. Stand up straight, infants, and be introduced.
Miss Farrington and Miss Fairfield, may I present Mr. Robert Van Ness
and Mr. Guy Porter Van Ness?"

The young men made most deferential bows, and, greatly appreciating the
joke, Patty invited them to join their party, and offered them some of
her confectionery.

"But it's a shame to sit here," observed Guy, "when there's lots of fun
going on up on the forward deck. Don't you girls want to go up there
and play shuffleboard?"

"I do," said Patty readily; "I've always wanted to play shuffleboard,
though I've no idea whether it's played with a pack of cards or a tea
set."

Guy laughed at this and promised to teach her the game at once.

So they all went up to the upper deck, which was uncovered, and where,
in the sunlight, groups of young people were playing different games.

Both Patty and Elise delighted in outdoor sports, and the Van Ness
girls were fond of anything athletic. During the games they all made
the acquaintance of Florrie Nash, who, though of an extreme English
type, proved less difficult to make friends with than they had feared.

They also met several young men, among whom Patty liked best a young
Englishman of big-boyish, good-natured type, named Bert Chester, and a
young Frenchman of musical tastes. The latter was a violinist, by the
name of Pierre Pauvret. He seemed a trifle melancholy, Patty thought,
but exceedingly refined and well-bred. He stood by her side as she
leaned against the rail, looking at the water, and though evidently
desirous to be entertaining, he seemed to be at a loss for something to
say.

Patty felt sorry for the youth and tried various subjects without
success in interesting him, until at last she chanced to refer to
music. At this Mr. Pauvret's face lighted up and he became enthusiastic
at once.

"Ah, the music!" he exclaimed; "it is my life, it is my soul! And
you--do you yourself sing? Ah, I think yes."

"I sing a little," said Patty, smiling kindly at him, "but I have not
had much training, and my voice is small."

"Ah," said the Frenchman, "I have a certainty that you sing like an
angel. But we shall see--we shall see. There will be a concert on board
and you will sing. Is it not so?"

"I don't know," said Patty, smiling; "I will sing with pleasure if I am
asked, but it may not give my audience pleasure."

"It will be heaven for them!" declared the volatile young Frenchman,
clasping his hands in apparent ecstasy.

His exaggerated manner amused Patty, for she dearly loved to study new
types of people, and she began to think there was a varied assortment
on board.

Suddenly several people rushed wildly to the side of the boat. They
were followed by others, until it seemed as if everybody was crowding
to the rail. Patty followed, of course, and found herself standing by
the side of Bert Chester.

"What is it?" she exclaimed.

"A porpoise!" he replied, as if announcing an event of greatest
importance.

"A porpoise!" echoed Patty, disgusted. "Such a fuss about a porpoise?
Why, it's nothing but a fish!"

"My dear Miss Fairfield," said the Englishman, looking at her through
his single eyeglass, "tradition demands that steamer passengers shall
always make a fuss over a passing porpoise. To be sure it's only a
fish, but the fuss is because of tradition, not because of the fish."

Patty had always thought that a single eyeglass betokened a brainless
fop, but this stalwart young Englishman wore his monocle so naturally,
and, moreover, so securely, that it seemed a component part of him.
And, too, his speech was that of a quick-witted, humorous mind, and
Patty began to think she must readjust her opinion.

"Is it an English national trait," she said, "to be so in thrall to
tradition?"

"I'm sorry to say it is," young Chester responded, somewhat gravely.
"In the matter of the porpoise it is of no great importance; but there
are other matters, do you see, where Englishmen are so hampered by
tradition that individual volition is often lost."

This was more serious talk than Patty was accustomed to, but somehow
she felt rather flattered to be addressed thus, and she tried to answer
in kind.

"But," she said, "if the tradition is the result of the wisdom of past
ages, may it not be of more value than individual volition?"

"By Jove!" exclaimed Mr. Chester, "you have a clever little head on
your young shoulders, to take that point so adroitly. But let us defer
this somewhat serious discussion until another time and see if it is a
porpoise or something else that it attracting the curious crowd to the
other side of the ship."

As they followed the hurrying people across the deck, Mr. Chester went
on: "After you have crossed the ocean a few more times you will
discover that there are only two things which make the people rush
frantically and in hordes to the rail. The one that isn't a porpoise is
a passing steamer."

Sure enough, the object of interest this time was a distant steamer,
which was clearly visible on the horizon. It was sharply outlined
against the blue sky, and the sunlight gave it its true value of
colour, while the dark smoke that poured from its smokestack floated
back horizontally like a broad ribbon. But owing to the distance there
was no effect of motion, and even the smoke as well as the vessel
seemed to be stationary.

"That isn't a real steamer," said Patty whimsically; "it's a
chromo-lithograph. I've often seen them in the offices of steamship
companies. This one isn't framed, as they usually are, but it's only a
chromo all the same. There's no mistaking its bright colouring and that
badly painted smoke."

Young Chester laughed. "You Americans are so clever," he said. "Now an
English girl would never have known that that was only a painted
steamer. But as you say, you can tell by the smoke. That's pretty badly
done."

Patty took a decided liking to this jesting Englishman, and thought him
much more entertaining than the melancholy French musician.

She discovered that very evening that Mr. Chester possessed a fine
voice, and when after dinner a dozen or more young people gathered
round the chairs of the Farrington party, they all sang songs until
Mrs. Farrington declared she never wanted to attend a more delightful
concert.

Mr. Pauvret brought his violin, and the Van Ness boys produced a banjo
and a madolin. Everybody seemed to sing at least fairly well, and some
of the voices were really fine. Patty's sweet soprano received many
compliments, as also did Elise's full, clear contralto. The girls were
accustomed to singing together, and Mr. Pauvret proved himself a true
musician by his sympathetic accompaniments.

Everybody knew the popular songs of the day, and choruses and glees
were sung with that enthusiasm which is always noticeable on the water.

The merry party adjourned to the dining-room for a light supper after
their vocal exercises.

Patty was sorry that her friend and tablemate, the old Ma'amselle, had
not been visible since that first dinner. Upon inquiry she learned that
the old lady had fallen a victim to the effects of the rolling sea.

"But she'll soon be around again," said the captain in his bluff,
cheery way; "Ma'amselle Labesse has crossed with me many times, and
though she usually succumbs for two or three days, she is a good sailor
after that. She is passionately fond of music, too, and when she is
about again you young people must make the old ship ring for her."

This they readily promised to do, and then they wound up the evening by
a vigorous rendition of the "Marseillaise," followed by "The Star
Spangled Banner" and "God Save the King."

It was all a delightful experience for Patty, who dearly loved lights
and music and flowers and people and gay goings on, and she felt that
she was indeed a fortunate girl to have all these pleasures come to her.



CHAPTER VIII

DAYS AT SEA


The time on shipboard passed all too quickly.

Each day was crammed full of various amusements and occupations, and
Patty and Elise enjoyed it all thoroughly.

Although the majority of passengers were French, yet they nearly all
spoke English, and there were a number of Americans and English people,
who proved to be pleasant and companionable.

The young people from Chicago seemed to wear well, and as she grew to
know them better Patty liked them very much. The Van Ness girls, though
breezy in their manner, were warm-hearted and good-natured, and their
boy cousins were always ready for anything, and proved themselves
capable of good comradeship.

The English girl, Florrie Nash, Patty could not quite understand.
Florrie seemed to be willing to be friends, but there was a coldness
and reserve about her nature that Patty could not seem to penetrate.

As she expressed it to Elise, "Florrie never seems herself quite
certain whether she likes us or we like her."

"Oh, it's only her way," said Elise; "she doesn't know how to chum,
that's all."

But Patty was not satisfied with this, and determined to investigate
the matter.

"Come for a walk," she said, tucking her arm through Florrie's one
morning. "Let's walk around the deck fifty times all by ourselves.
Don't you want to?"

"Yes, if you like;" and Florrie walked along by Patty's side,
apparently willing enough, but without enthusiasm.

"Why do you put it that way?" asked Patty, smiling; "don't you like to
go yourself?"

"Yes, of course I do; but I always say that when people ask me to do
anything. It's habit, I suppose. All English people say it."

"I suppose it is habit," said Patty; "but it seems to me you'd have a
whole lot better time if you felt more interest in things, or rather,
if you expressed more interest. Now look at the Van Ness girls; they're
just bubbling over with enthusiasm."

"The Van Ness girls are savages," remarked Florrie, with an air of
decision.

"Indeed they're not!" cried Patty, who was always ready to stand up for
her friends. "The trouble with you, Florrie, is that you're
narrow-minded; you think that unless people have your ways and your
manners they are no good at all."

"Not quite that," returned Florrie, laughing. "Of course, we English
have our prejudices, and other people call us narrow; but I think we
shall always be so."

"I suppose you will," said Patty; "but anyway you would have more fun
if you enjoyed yourself more."

"It's good of you, Patty, to care whether I enjoy myself or not."

Florrie's tone was so sincere and humble as she said this that Patty
began to realise there was a good deal of character under Florrie's
indifferent manner.

"Of course I care. I have grown to like you, Florrie, in these few
days, and I want to be good friends with you, if you'll let me."

"If you like," said Florrie again, and Patty perceived that the phrase
was merely a habit and did not mean the indifference it expressed.

"And I want you to visit me," went on Florrie. "I'm travelling now to
Paris with my aunt, who took me to the States for a trip. From Paris I
shall soon go back to my country home in England, and I wish you would
visit me there--you and Elise both. Oh, Patty, you have no idea how
beautiful England is in the springtime. The may blooms thickly along
the lanes, till they're masses of pink fragrance; and the sky is the
most wonderful blue, and the birds sing, and it is like nothing else in
all the world."

The tears came into Florrie's eyes as she spoke, and Patty was amazed
that this cold-blooded girl should be so moved at the mere thought of
the spring landscape.

"I should dearly love to visit you, Florrie, but I can't promise, of
course, for I'm with the Farringtons, and must do as they say."

"Yes, of course; but I do hope you can come. You would love our country
place, Patty; it is so large, and so old, and so beautiful."

Florrie said this with no effect of boasting, but merely with a sincere
appreciation of her beautiful home. Then as she went on to tell of the
animals and pets there, and of the park and woods of the estate, Patty
found that the girl could indeed be enthusiastic when she chose.

This made Patty like her all the better, for it proved she had
enthusiasm enough when a subject appealed to her.

But when they were joined by the crowd of gay young people begging them
to come and play games, Florrie seemed to shut up into herself again,
and assumed once more her air of cold indifference.

But if Florrie was lacking in enthusiasm, it was not so with another of
Patty's friends.

Ma'amselle Labesse, who had recovered from her indisposition, had taken
a violent fancy to Patty and would have liked to monopolise her
completely.

Patty was kind to the old lady and did much to entertain her, but she
was not willing to give up all her time to her. The old ma'amselle
greatly delighted to carry Patty off to her stateroom, there to talk to
her or listen to her read aloud. Except for her maid, ma'amselle was
alone, and Patty felt sorry for her and was glad to cheer her up. Not
that she needed cheering exactly, for she was of a merry and volatile
disposition, except when she gave way to exhibitions of temper, which
were not infrequent.

One morning she called Patty to her room, and surprised the girl by
giving her a present of a handsome and valuable old necklace. It was of
curiously wrought gold, and though Patty admired it extremely, she
hesitated about accepting such a gift from a comparative stranger.

"But yes," said ma'amselle, "it is for you. I wish to give it to you. I
have taken such a fancy to you, you could scarce believe. And I adore
to decorate you thus." She clasped the necklace about Patty's throat,
with an air that plainly said she would be much offended if the gift
were refused. So Patty decided to keep it, at least until she could get
an opportunity to ask Mrs. Farrington's advice on the subject.

When she did ask her, Mrs. Farrington told her to keep it by all means.
She said she had no doubt the old ma'amselle enjoyed making the gift
far more than Patty was pleased to receive it, so Patty kept the
trinket, which was really a very fine specimen of the goldsmith's art.

"And, my dear," the old lady went on, the day that she gave Patty the
necklace, "you must and shall come to visit me in my chateau. My home
is the most beautifull--an old chateau at St. Germain, not far from
Paris, and you can come, but often, and stay with me for the long time."

Patty thanked her, but would not promise, as she had made up her mind
to accept no invitations that could not include the Farringtons.

But Ma'amselle Labesse did include the Farringtons, and invited the
whole party to visit her in the winter.

Mrs. Farrington gave no definite answer, but said she would see about
it, and perhaps they would run out for the week-end.

For the first five or six days of their journey the weather was perfect
and the ocean calm and level. But one morning they awoke to find it
raining, and later the rain developed into a real storm. The wind blew
furiously and the boat pitched about in a manner really alarming. The
old ma'amselle took to her stateroom, and Mrs. Farrington also was
unable to leave hers. But the girls were pleased rather than otherwise.
Patty and Elise proved themselves thoroughly good sailors, and were
among the few who appeared at the table at luncheon.

After the meal, Bob and Guy Van Ness came up to the girls and asked
them if they cared to brave the storm sufficiently to go out on deck.
Elise, though not timid, declared that she could see all she wished
through the windows; but Patty, always ready for a new experience,
expressed her desire to go.

She put on her own little rain-coat and tied a veil over her small cap,
but when she presented herself as ready the boys laughed at her
preparations.

"That fancy little mackintosh is no good," said Bob; "but you wait a
minute, Patty; we'll fix you."

Bob disappeared, and soon returned, bringing from somewhere an oilskin
coat and cap of a brilliant yellow color. These enveloped Patty
completely, and as the boys were arrayed in similar fashion, they
looked like three members of a life-saving corps, or, as Patty said,
like the man in the advertisement of cod-liver oil.

Although the yellow oilskins were by no means beautiful, yet Patty's
rosy face peeping out from under the queer-shaped, ear-flapped cap was
a pretty picture.

Laughing with glee, they stepped out on the deck into the storm. The
stepping out was no easy matter, for the wind was blowing a hurricane
and the spray was dashing across the decks, while the rain seemed to
come from all directions at once.

With the two big boys on either side of her, Patty felt no fear, and as
they walked forward toward the bow of the ship she felt well repaid for
coming out by the grandeur of the sight. It was impossible to
distinguish sea from sky, as both were of the same leaden grey, and the
torrents of rain added to the obscurity. The ocean was in a turmoil,
frothing and fuming, and the waves rolled over and broke against the
ship with angry vehemence. Patty, though not frightened, was awed at
the majesty of the elements, and did not in the least mind the rain and
spray in her face as she gazed at the scene.

"You're good wood!" exclaimed Guy; "not many girls could stand up
against a storm like this."

Patty shook the wet curls out of her eyes as she smiled up at him. "I
love it!" she exclaimed, but she could hardly make her voice heard for
the roar of the sea and the storm.

Up and down the decks they walked, or rather tried to walk, now
battling against the wind, and now being swept along in front of it,
until almost exhausted, Patty dropped down on a coil of rope in a
comparatively sheltered corner. The boys sat down beside her, and they
watched the angry ocean. At times the great waves seemed as if they
would engulf the pitching ship, but after each wave the steamer righted
herself proudly and prepared to careen again on the next.

After a time Patty declared she'd had enough of it, and also expressed
her opinion that oilskins were not such a positive protection against
the wet as they were reputed to be.

So indoors they went, warm and glowing from their vigorous exercise,
and their appetites sharpened by their rough battle with the weather.

Every day there seemed to be something new to do.

"I've been told," said Patty, "that life on an ocean steamer is
monotonous, but I can't find any monotony. We've done something
different every day, haven't we, Elise?"

"Yes; and next will be the concert, and that will be best of all. What
are you going to sing, Patty?"

"I don't know. I don't want to sing at all, but your mother said I'd
better sing once, because they all insist on it so, and I do like to be
accommodating."

"I should think you did, Patty; you're never anything but
accommodating."

"Oh, pooh! It's no trouble to me to sing. I'd just as lief do it as
not; only it seems foolish for me to sing when there are so many older
people with better voices to do it."

"Well, sing some simple little ballad, and I don't believe but what the
people will like it just as much as the arias and things sung by the
more pretentious singers."

So Patty followed Elise's advice, and when the night of the concert
came her name was on the programme for one song.

And, as Elise had thought, it pleased the audience quite as well as
some of the more elaborate efforts.

Patty wore one of her pretty new dresses, a simple little frock of
white chiffon cloth, with touches here and there of light blue velvet.
Her only ornament was the necklace that Ma'amselle Labesse had given
her, and in her curly golden hair was a single white rose.

Very sweet she looked as she stood on the platform to sing her little
song. She had chosen "My Ain Countree" as being likely to please a
popular audience, and also not difficult to sing.

Mr. Pauvret accompanied her on his violin, and so effective was his
accompaniment and so sweet pretty Patty's singing of the old song, that
their performance proved to be the most attractive number on the
programme. So prolonged was the applause and so persistent the cry of
"Encore!" that Patty felt she really must respond with another song.

So she sang Stevenson's little verses, "In Winter I Get Up at Night,"
which have been set to such delightful music. Again Mr. Pauvret's
accompaniment added to the charm of the song, and Patty returned to her
place in the audience, quite embarrassed at the praises heaped upon her.

Elise sang, too, in a quartette of four girls. They had practised
together considerably, and sang really well. There were many other
musical numbers, interspersed with monologues and recitations, and the
programme wound up with a series of tableaux.

Patty was in her element in these, and had helped to arrange them. She
took part in some of them herself, and in others she arranged the
groups to form effective pictures. An immense gilt picture frame,
stretched across with gauze, was at the front of the stage. This was
held up on either side by two able-bodied seamen of the ship, in their
sailor costume. All of the tableaux were shown as pictures in this
frame, and they called forth enthusiastic and appreciative applause.

Old Ma'amselle Labesse had been induced to appear in one of the
tableaux, and as she possessed strikingly handsome costumes, she wore
one of the prettiest, and made an easily recognisable representation of
a painting by Nattier. Altogether the concert was a great success and
everybody had a good time. It was expected that they would see land the
next day, and so the concert partook of the nature of a farewell
function. Everybody was shaking hands and saying good-bye to everybody
else, and after many good wishes and good-nights our two tired and
sleepy girls went to their stateroom.



CHAPTER IX

PARIS


The next morning the girls spent in packing and getting ready to go
ashore. "I'm sure I don't know where all these things came from," said
Patty; "but I know I have just about twice as many earthly possessions
as I had when I came aboard. I hate to pitch them out of the porthole,
but I simply can't get them all in my trunks."

"Nor I," said Elise. "People have been giving us things ever since we
started, and we must be greedies, because we haven't given anything
away, and now what shall we do with them?"

"Let's give a lot away," said Patty. "We've pretty much read all we
want to of this mountain of light literature. Let's give it all to the
stewardess; and what do you think, Elise, about giving Yankee Doodle to
the captain? He is a blessed old bear, and I hate to look forward to
life without him, but I don't see how we can cart him to Paris, unless
we carry him in our arms, and that's where I draw the line."

"So do I," declared Elise. "We might ask Lisette to carry him, but I
know she wouldn't want to do it. Yes, let's give him to the captain as
a souvenir of our trip."

This plan was carried out, and the captain was really delighted at the
comical gift. He said he should always keep it as a remembrance of the
donors, and he hoped that when they returned to America they would
again travel on his ship.

The steamer stopped at Plymouth and then went straight on to Havre.
Everybody was in a great state of excitement; passengers were getting
off and mails getting on at Plymouth, and plenty of wonderful and
interesting things to look at as they sailed along the channel.

Patty felt truly sorry to say good-bye to many of the friends she had
made on board. But from others she would not be parted until they
reached Paris. The Van Ness party, the old Ma'amselle, Florrie Nash,
Bert Chester, and Mr. Pauvret were all going in the special train to
Paris, as the Farringtons were.

Patty thought this meant they could all travel together, but to her
surprise she found the French trains very different from those on
American railroads.

The special boat-train which they were to take left directly from the
steamer's dock and was an express direct to Paris without stop, landing
them there in less than four hours.

The Farrington party had a whole compartment in this train, and as a
compartment only holds six people, they comfortably filled it, using
the extra seat for hand luggage and so forth.

Patty thought the appointments more luxurious than our own
parlour-cars, for the seats were beautifully upholstered in a
pearl-grey material, and everything was lavishly decorated, after the
French fashion. All of these compartments opened on to a corridor which
ran along the side of the car, and Patty soon discovered that thus she
could visit her neighbours in the other compartments.

Both Patty and Elise were greatly excited and interested in watching
the French landscapes, and trying to make out the names of the towns
through which they rapidly flew. But with the exception of some of the
larger towns they could not read the names, and so gave that up for the
more interesting occupation of watching the villages and hamlets as
they succeeded each other.

Bert Chester came in to visit them, and expressed a hope that he might
see them in Paris.

He was to remain there only a week, and then he was to join some of his
friends, some young Englishmen, and go for a short motor tour in
southern France.

Mr. Farrington said that he expected to take his party motoring along
the same route, but did not expect to go at present.

Young Chester was sorry that they could not go together, but said that
perhaps when Mr. Farrington was ready he and his friends would come
over again for another spin.

Bert Chester was a son of a wealthy English squire, and though
distinctly British in his ways, was broad-minded enough to like
Americans, and moreover was a young man of innate politeness and
affable manners. The elder Farringtons liked him extremely, and
cordially invited him to come to see them while in Paris.

"We sha'n't have a house of our own just at first," explained Elise;
"we're going to a hotel while father and mother look around and select
a house for the winter."

"I'm glad," said Patty, "to go to a hotel first. I've never stayed at a
big hotel, and I'm sure it will be delightful for a time."

 [Illustration with caption: "The next morning the girls spent in
packing and getting ready to go ashore"]

"You'll like the one you're going to," said Chester. "The Ritz is
really the old palace of the Castiglione, an ancient French family, and
though it is, of course, somewhat rebuilt, much of the original
remains, especially the beautiful old garden with its wonderful trees
and fountain. I'll give you a day or two to 'find yourselves,' and then
I shall come around to call, and shall expect you to be glad to see me."

"We'll be very glad to see you," said Patty cordially, for she had a
sincere liking for the young Englishman.

Then Patty and Elise went with Bert to look in for a little chat with
the Van Ness party. Although Patty liked the Van Ness girls in a way,
she was rather relieved to find that they were not going to the same
hotel.

Patty had an intuitive sense of the fitness of things, and she couldn't
help thinking that the Van Ness sisters, though good-hearted and
good-natured, were of a type apt to be a trifle too conspicuous in a
large hotel. The Farringtons were quiet-mannered folk, and Patty had
often noticed and admired the dignified yet pleasant manner which Mr.
Farrington invariably showed to officials or to servants.

He never gave orders in a loud voice or dictatorial manner, yet his
orders were always carried out obediently and willingly, and everybody
showed him the greatest respect and deference. Mr. Van Ness on the
other hand was imperious and ostentatious. He was prone to be critical,
and often became annoyed at trifles. Patty was rapidly learning that
the true character can be very easily discovered among one's travelling
companions. There is something about the friction of travel that brings
out all that is worst and best in one's disposition.

And so when Patty found that the Van Nesses were going to a different
hotel from themselves she was really glad, though she hoped to see them
occasionally during their stay in Paris.

The train reached the Gare du Nord at about six o'clock, and when our
party went into the rather dimly lighted station Patty thought she had
never before seen such pandemonium. Everybody seemed to be in trouble
of some sort. Some were running hither and thither, exclaiming and
expostulating, but apparently to no avail. Others sat hopelessly and
helplessly on their own luggage, seeming to despair of ever getting any
further.

The luggage room was an immense place, stone-floored and rather damp.
There were several separate counters where passengers were supposed to
attend to the checking of their baggage; but though there were plenty
of officials and porters about, none of them seemed anxious or even
willing to wait upon anybody. Patty saw many people appeal to one man
after another in a vain hope of getting their wants attended to. But it
seemed to be almost impossible. To those who could not speak French the
situation was hopeless indeed. Patty watched one poor lady, who seemed
to be travelling alone, and who continually inquired of the stolid and
unobliging porters, "Do you speak English?" and invariably received the
reply, "Non, madame; non, madame." The lonely little lady seemed to be
in despair, and Patty wished she could help her, but she did not know
herself what made the difficulty. At last she discovered that it was
necessary to get a customs inspector and a porter and a railway
official all together in one place and at one time. This done, the rest
was easy, at least to the traveller who knew sufficient French to make
his wants known.

This Mr. Farrington managed to accomplish after some delay. The
official ceremonies then being soon over, and our travellers having
repeatedly declared that they were transporting nothing eatable, they
were allowed to drive away in cabs. The cabs in Paris are of the low,
open pattern, like a victoria, and they looked very strange and
informal to Patty, who had never seen any but closed cabs or hansoms.
Mr. and Mrs. Farrington rode in the first cab, which was followed by
another, containing Patty and Elise, with Lisette, who sat on the
small, folding front seat.

Patty held her breath with excitement when she realised that she was in
Paris at last.

They drove through the streets, which were not very well lighted,
gazing eagerly at the strange sights everywhere about them.

Their hotel was in the Place Vendome, and the drive there from the
station was not through the beautiful boulevards, but through some
narrow and not particularly clean streets.

But when they rolled into the Rue de la Paix and drove toward the Place
Vendome, the girls began to think that Paris was beautiful, after all.

It was rather more than dusk, but not dark, and the great square, with
its circumference of colonnaded buildings, and the wonderful column in
the centre, was exceedingly impressive, and filled Patty's soul with a
rapturous awe.

"Oh, Elise," she cried, grasping her companion's hand; "I never
supposed Paris would be like this! I thought it would be bright and gay
and festive; but instead of that, it's grand and solemn and
awe-inspiring."

"So it is, here," said Elise; "but there is plenty of brightness and
gaiety in some parts of the city, I expect. Of course, this is historic
ground, and I suppose it was pretty much as it is now in the days when
they were building French history. That's Napoleon on top of that
statue, though you can't recognise him from here. You know about the
column, of course. It's been overthrown and rebuilt three or four
times."

"Yes, I remember studying about it in French history. It was torn down
at the time of the Commune, and later re-erected from the fragments.
But you know when you study those dry facts they don't seem to mean
anything; but to be here, really in Paris, looking at that wonderful
column, in this dusky light, and the stars just beginning to show--oh,
Elise, it's more like fairy tales than history!"

"I love it, too," said Elise; "and I'm so glad to be here with you. Oh,
Patty, we are going to have a beautiful time!"

"Well, I rather guess we are!" said Patty, with true Yankee enthusiasm.

Then their cabs drove in at the arched entrance of the Hotel Ritz, and
a most important looking personage in blue uniform assisted them to
alight. Other attendants in unostentatious livery swung open the glass
doors and our party entered. The proprietor, who advanced to meet them,
was a courtly, polite Frenchman, in correct evening dress, whose suave
and deferential manner was truly typical of his race. He seemed to take
a personal interest in his newly arrived guests, and himself conducted
them to their apartments.

Patty followed with the rest, feeling almost like pinching herself to
see if she were awake or in an enchanted dream. The hotel was
particularly beautiful, and the furnishings unlike any she had ever
seen before. Carpets, furniture, and decorations were all in the palest
tints of lovely colours. Doors and windows and many of the partitioned
walls were of glass, in ornate gilt frames, through which one could see
fascinating rooms beyond. A few choice pictures hung on the walls, and
here and there were French cabinets of curios and rare laces.

The elevator seemed to be entirely of glass, and was furnished with
dainty white upholstery and gilded woodwork. Bouquets of fresh flowers
were here and there on small tables in the rooms and halls.

The suite of rooms allotted to the Farringtons looked out upon the
Place Vendome, and Patty flew to the window to gaze again upon the
beautiful scene.

The rooms were daintily furnished with the same exquisite taste that
prevailed throughout the house. Lace curtains framed the deep-seated
windows, an Empire clock and candelabra graced the carved mantel, and
the furniture was rich and abundant.

"I don't think," said Patty, "that I ever saw a more beautiful palace.
And I'm so glad I'm here I don't know what to do! Just think of it,
Elise, we'll live here in this lovely room for a fortnight anyway!"

"It is lovely," said Elise; "but I expect we'll get tired of hotel life
and be glad to have a home of our own."

"Very likely," said Patty, with a little sigh of content; "but I shall
be perfectly happy wherever we are."

"I believe you will, Patty," said Elise, laughing; "you love this
beautiful place, but if it hadn't been half as pretty, you would have
made just as much fuss over it."

"I know it," said Patty, rather apologetically; "but I can't help it,
Elise. I seem to be made that way. When I like anything, you know, I
enjoy it just as much as I possibly can, and that's all I can do,
anyway."

The room which the two girls were to share was a large double-bedded
apartment, with dressing rooms and bath adjoining. It was perfect in
every detail of comfort and luxury as well as beauty, but when Lisette
came in to assist the girls in dressing for dinner she found them both
hanging out of the front windows gazing at the Vendome Column.

However, they expressed themselves as quite ready to prepare for
dinner, and after doning pretty light costumes, they joined Mr. and
Mrs. Farrington, and went down to the dining-room.

The dining-room proper of the hotel was an indoor apartment, but all
through the summer the guests were accustomed to dine under the open
sky, at small tables in the garden.

Owing to an unusually late season, it was still warm enough to dine
outside, and when Patty saw the scene in the garden she thought Paris
was fairyland indeed. Though called a garden, it was really a
stone-paved court, but all round its edge on two sides were large old
trees with gnarled and twisted trunks and thick foliage of glossy
green. Under the trees were flower-beds full of blossoming plants, and
in the branches of the trees themselves were hung vari-coloured globes
of electric lights about the size of an orange. The effect of these
brilliant spheres in the dark trees was as beautiful as it was unusual,
and the scene was further made bright by arches and festoons of
brilliant coloured lights, which crossed and twined above their heads
in every direction. At the end of the garden was an immense fountain
surrounded by statues, and playing many jets of water, which flashed
and sparkled in the light.

Around two sides of the garden ran the verandas of the hotel, and the
diners could sit on these verandas or out in the open, as they
preferred.

The gay scene was completed by the throngs of people; the French women
in their dainty costumes, the French men with their correct garb and
demeanour, as well as a good sprinkling of strangers from other
countries.

So interested was Patty in looking at it all that she declared she
didn't want a thing to eat. But when the choice selections of French
cookery were placed before her, she changed her mind and did full
justice to the repast.

After dinner they sat for a short time in the drawing-room, and then
Mr. Farrington declared they must all go to rest, as he had planned a
busy day for them on the morrow.



CHAPTER X

SIGHTSEEING


They rose next morning to find a perfect autumn day awaiting them. To
Patty's surprise, dainty breakfast trays were brought to their bedsides.

"It is the custom of the country," Elise explained; "nobody ever goes
downstairs to breakfast in Paris."

"It's a custom that suits me well enough--at least, what there is of
it. I'm free to confess that this rather smallish cup of chocolate and
two not very large rolls and a tiny bit of butter do not seem to me all
that a healthy appetite can desire."

"I'm afraid you're an incorrigible American," said Elise, laughing.
"Now, this little spread is ample for me, but I dare say you can have
more if you want it."

"No indeed," said Patty; "when I'm in Paris, I'll do as the Romans do,
even if I starve."

But Patty didn't starve, for it was not long before Mr. Farrington sent
word that the girls were to come downstairs as soon as possible,
equipped for a drive.

But before the drive he insisted that they should eat a good and
substantial breakfast, as he wanted them to put in a long morning
sightseeing.

Mrs. Farrington had concluded not to go with them, as she was resting
after her journey, and, moreover, the sights were not such a novelty to
her as they would be to the young people.

So when they were all ready to start they found an automobile at the
door, waiting for them.

"This is the most comfortable way to see Paris," said Mr. Farrington as
they got in. "I have taken this car for a week on trial, and if it
proves satisfactory we can keep it all winter."

A chauffeur drove the car, and Mr. Farrington sat in the tonneau
between the two girls, that he might point out to them the places of
interest.

If Patty had thought Paris beautiful by night she thought it even more
so in the clear, bright sunshine. There is no sunshine in the world
quite so clearly bright as that of Paris, or at least it seems so.

"I want you to get the principal locations fixed in your minds," said
Mr. Farrington, "so now, as you see, we are starting from the Place
Vendome, going straight down the short Rue Castiglione to the Rue de
Rivoli. Now, we have reached the corner, and we turn into the Rue de
Rivoli. This is a beautiful street, crowded with shops on one side, and
on the other side at this point you see the garden of the Tuileries. We
turn to the right and go directly to the Place de la Concorde. As we
reach it you may see to the right, up through the Rue Royale, the
Church of the Madeleine. That is one of the most beautiful of the Paris
churches, and you shall visit it, of course, but not now. To-day I want
you to get merely a birdseye view, a sort of general idea of locations.
But here we are in the Place de la Concorde. The Obelisk, which you see
in the centre, was brought from Egypt many years ago. It is very like
our own Obelisk in Central Park, and also Cleopatra's needle in London.
From here we turn into one of the most beautiful avenues in the world,
the Champs Elysees. This avenue extends from the Place de la Concorde
to the Arc de Triomphe. Viewing it as we do now, rolling along this
perfect road in a motor car--or automobile, as we must learn to call it
while in France--you are taking, no doubt, one of the most perfect
rides in the world. The full name of the arch is Arc de Triomphe de
l'Etoile. This means a star, and it is called thus because it is a
centre from which radiate no less than a dozen beautiful avenues. We
will drive slowly round the arch, that you may see its general beauty,
but we will not now stop to examine it closely."

"It is so different," exclaimed Patty, "to see these things in reality,
or to study about them in history. I've seen pictures of this arch lots
of times, but it never seemed before as if it were a real thing. Isn't
it beautiful! I think I could spend a whole day looking at it."

Patty's love of the beautiful was intuitive and all embracing. She knew
little of architecture or sculpture technically, but the sublime
majesty and imposing grandeur of the noble arch impressed her, as it
does all true beauty lovers.

"The continuation of the Champs Elysees beyond the arch," went on Mr.
Farrington, "changes its name and becomes the Avenue de la Grand Armee.
But we will not continue along that way at present, but take the next
avenue to the left, which is the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne."

"Why, I thought that was a forest," said Patty; "is it a street?"

"It's an avenue," replied Mr. Farrington, "and it leads to the forest,
or rather park, which is called the Bois de Boulogne. We can take only
a short drive into the park, but you may see a few of the beautiful
chateaus, which are the homes of the wealthy or aristocratic French
people. You will not meet many equipages at this hour in the morning,
but late in the afternoon there is a continuous stream of fine turnouts
of all sorts. There are many, many places of interest in the Bois, but
as we have all winter in which to visit them, we will content ourselves
to-day with a brief visit."

"It begins to look," said Patty, "as if even a whole winter would be
all too short to see the beauties and glories of this wonderful Paris."

"Indeed, it would be too short to see everything of interest, but I can
assure you, my child, that with an automobile and some idea of
systematic sightseeing we can do a great deal even in one winter."

Mr. Farrington pointed out various prominent buildings as they passed
them, and then, turning round, went back to the city. A swift ride
about Paris showed to the girls such interesting places as the Louvre,
and the Hotel de Ville, the Place de la Bastile, the Hotel des
Invalides, the Pantheon, and the Church of Notre-Dame.

At the last named Mr. Farrington proposed that they get out and make a
short visit to the cathedral.

They did so, and both Patty and Elise were much impressed by the noble
beauty of the interior.

As they passed around the church Patty noticed a little Frenchwoman,
who seemed to be selling candles. The candles were of an unusual
type-long, slender and very tapering. It occurred to Patty that she
would like to take some home to Nan, as they would be most effective in
an odd brass candlestick which was one of Nan's chief treasures. The
candlestick had seven branches, and as her French seemed to desert her
at the critical moment, Patty indicated her wants by holding up seven
fingers, pointing to the candles and then taking out her purse.

The Frenchwoman seemed to understand, and began counting out seven
candles. Patty looked anxiously after Mr. Farrington and Elise, who had
gone on ahead, not noticing that Patty had stopped. But she knew she
could soon catch up to them if only she could get her candles and
manage to pay for them in the confusing and unfamiliar French money. As
she was counting out the change, greatly to her surprise, the
Frenchwoman lighted her seven candles, one after the other. Patty
exclaimed in dismay, wondering if she did it to test their wicks, or
what could be the reason. But even as she watched her the woman placed
the candles, all seven of them, in a sort of a branched candlestick on
the wall above her head.

"Non! Non!" cried Patty; "they are MINE, MINE! comprenez-vous? Mine!"

"Oui, oui, oui," exclaimed the Frenchwoman, nodding her head
complacently, and taking Patty's money, which she put in a box on the
table before her.

"But I want them!" cried Patty. "I want to take them away with me!"

Still the woman smiled amiably, and Patty realised she was not
understanding a word. But all Patty's French, and it was not very much
at best, seemed to fly out of her head and she could not even think how
to say, "I wish to take them away with me." So seeing nothing else to
do, she cut the Gordian knot of her dilemma by reaching up and taking
the candles from the sockets. She blew them out, and holding them in a
bundle, said pleasantly, "Papier?" having thought of a French word at
last that expressed what she wished.

The woman looked at her in amazement, as if she had done something
wrong, and poor Patty was thoroughly perplexed.

"Why, I bought them," she exclaimed, forgetting the Frenchwoman could
not understand her, "and I paid you for them, and now they're mine, And
I'm going to take them away. If you won't give me any paper to wrap
them in, I'll carry them as they are. Eon jour!"

But by this time Mr. Farrington and Elise had returned in search of
their missing comrade, and Patty appealed to Mr. Farrington, explaining
that she had purchased the candles.

"Why, yes, they're yours, child, and certainly you may take them away
if you like. But it is not customary; usually people buy the candles to
burn at the shrine of their patron saint, or in memory of some friend,
and, of course, the woman supposed that was your intention."

"Well, I'm glad to understand it," said Patty, "and I wish you'd please
explain it to her, for I certainly do want to keep the candles, and I
couldn't make her understand."

So Mr. Farrington explained the state of the case in French that the
woman could understand, and all was well, and Patty walked off in
triumph with her candles.

Then they went back past the Louvre, and leaving the automobile again,
they went for a short walk in the garden of the Tuileries. This also
fascinated Patty, and she thought it beautiful beyond all words.

After that Mr. Farrington declared that the girls must be exhausted,
and he took them to a delightful cafe, where he refreshed them with
ices and small cakes.

"Now," he said, "I don't suppose the Eternal Feminine in your nature
will be satisfied without doing a little shopping. The large shops--the
Bon Marche and the Magasin du Louvre--are very like our own department
stores, and if you choose you may go there at some other time with Mrs.
Farrington or Lisette, for I confess my ignorance of feminine
furbelows. But I will take you to one or two interesting shops on the
Rue de Rivoli, and then if we have time to a few in the Avenue de
l'Opera."

Their first stop was at a picture shop, and Patty nearly went wild over
the beautiful photographs and water colours. She wanted to purchase
several, but Mr. Farrington advised her to wait until later, when she
should perhaps be better able to judge what she really wanted.

"For you see," he said, "after you have been to the Louvre and other
great galleries, and have made favourites, as you will, among the
pictures there, you will then be able to collect your photographs more
intelligently."

Patty was quite ready to abide by this advice, and she and Elise
enjoyed looking over the pictures and anticipating future purchases.

But though the shops along the Rue de Rivoli were attractive, they were
not nearly so splendid as those on the Avenue de l'Opera. Indeed, Mr.
Farrington almost regretted having brought the girls there, for they
quite forgot all else in their delight in looking at the beautiful
wares. They seemed content just to walk along the avenue looking in at
the shop windows.

"I don't want to buy anything yet," declared Patty. "Later on I expect
to get souvenirs for all of the people at home, and I have any amount
of orders to execute for Marian."

"Won't it be fun to do our shopping here?" exclaimed Elise. "I never
saw such lovely things, and truly, Patty, the prices marked on them are
quite cheap. Much more reasonable than in New York, I think."

"So do I. And oh, Elise, just look at the lovely things in this window!
See that lovely pen-wiper, and that dear paper-cutter! Aren't they
unusual?"

"Yes," exclaimed Elise, equally rapturous; "I don't wonder, Patty, that
people like to shop in Paris. It is truly fascinating. But just wait
until we get mother out here with us instead of father. She won't
fidget around as if she wanted us to go home before we've fairly
started!"

Elise looked reproachfully at her father, who was undeniably fidgeting.

"I'm glad you appreciate the fact," he said, "that I am impatient to
get away from these shop windows. Never again will I introduce two
young girls into the Parisian shopping district. I've learned my
lesson; I'll take you sightseeing, but Mrs. Farrington must take you
shopping."

Patty laughed good-naturedly, and expressed her willingness to return
at once to the hotel.



CHAPTER XI

AN EXCURSION TO VERSAILLES


One evening, as our party sat in the drawing-room of the hotel, after
dinner, some callers' cards were brought to them. The guests proved to
be Bert Chester and his three friends, of whom he had told Patty
before. The four young men were about to start on a motor tour, and
were spending a few days in Paris first.

They were all big stalwart young Englishmen, and when Bert introduced
Paul and Philip Marchbanks and Arthur Oram, Patty thought she had never
seen more pleasant-looking boys.

"We're jolly glad to be allowed to come to see you," said Phil
Marchbanks, addressing Mrs. Farrington, but including them all in his
conversation; "we know almost nobody in Paris, and we're so glad to see
some friendly faces."

"We may as well own up," said his brother Paul, "that we're just a bit
homesick. We're going to have a fine time, of course, after we get
started, but it takes a few days to get used to it."

It amused Patty to think of these great, big boys being homesick, but
she rather liked their frank admission of it, and she began to ask them
questions about their automobile.

The boys had no chauffeur with them, and Arthur Oram drove the car,
with occasional assistance from the others. Of course, the boys were
enthusiastic regarding their car, and young Oram particularly fell into
discussions with Mr. Farrington as to the respective merits of various
makes.

"We've done up Paris pretty well," said Bert Chester; "we've only been
arrested for speeding once; but that's not surprising, for they let you
go about as fast as you like here, and with their marvellously fine
roads, it's more like skating than anything else."

"But you only arrived here when we did," said Elise; "how can you have
done up Paris so soon?"

"Well, you see," said Bert, "we're not going to write a book about it,
so we didn't have to take it all in. We've seen the outside of the
Louvre, and the inside of Napoleon's tomb; we've been to the top of the
Eiffel tower, and the bottom of the Catacombs; so we flatter ourselves
that we've done up the length and breadth and height and depths,--at
least to our own satisfaction."

"It's a great mistake," said Phil Marchbanks, "to overdo this
sightseeing business. A little goes a great way with me, and if I bolt
a whole lot of sights all at once, I find I can't digest them, and I
have a sort of attack of tourist's indigestion, which is a thing I
hate."

"So do I," agreed Patty, "and I think you do quite right not to attempt
too much in a short time. We are taking the winter for it, and Mr.
Farrington is going to arrange it all for us, so that I know we'll
never have too much or too little. How much longer are you staying
here?"

"Only a few days," replied Bert Chester, "and that brings me to our
special errand. We thought perhaps--that is, we hoped that may be you
might, all of you, agree to go with us to-morrow on a sort of a picnic
excursion to Versailles. We thought, do you see, that we could take our
car, and you could take yours, and we'd start in the morning and make a
whole day of it."

"Gorgeous!" exclaimed Patty, clapping her hands; "I do think that would
be delightful, I'd love to go."

"Me too," chimed in Elise; "mother, do say yes, won't you? You know
you're just as anxious to go there as we are, because you spoke of it
only yesterday."

"Yes, indeed," said Mrs. Farrington heartily; "I quite approve of the
plan, and if your father has no objection, we can make a charming
picnic of it."

Mr. Farrington was quite as interested in the project as the others,
and they immediately began to arrange the details of the expedition.
Bert Chester had a road map in his pocket, which showed exactly the
routes they could take, but the decision of these things was left to
Mr. Farrington and Arthur Oram, who put their heads together over the
complicated-looking charts and decided upon their way.

"Do you know," said Paul Marchbanks, "you're the first American girls I
have ever known socially? I've seen tourists in railway stations or
restaurants, but I never talked to any Americans before."

"For goodness' sake!" exclaimed Patty, "have they kept you walled up in
a dungeon tower all your life, or what?"

"Not exactly that; but we English fellows who go to school and then to
college, and meantime live in our country homes, with an occasional run
up to London, have almost no opportunity to meet anybody outside of our
own people. And I haven't jogged about as much as a good many fellows.
This is the first time I've been to Paris."

"Then that explains your homesickness," said Patty, smiling kindly at
the big boy, whose manner was so frank and ingenuous.

"Yes," he said; "I suppose I do miss the family, for they ARE a jolly
lot. Oh, I say, won't you people all come down to our place and see us?
You're going to England, of course, before you return to the States,
aren't you?"

"I don't know," said Elise, smiling; "our plans are uncertain. But if
we accept all the delightful invitations we're continually receiving, I
don't know when we ever shall get back to New York."

The next day proved to be a most perfect one for an excursion of any
sort. They started early, for they wanted to make a long, full day of
it, and return in time for dinner.

The two automobiles were at the door by nine o'clock, and the party was
soon embarked. As Mr. Farrington did not drive his own car, he went in
the other car, sitting in front with Arthur Orara. In the tonneau of
this car were Patty and Bert Chester. So in the other car rode Mrs.
Farrington and Elise and the two Marchbanks. This arrangement seemed
highly satisfactory to all concerned, and the procession of two cars
started off gaily. Away they sped at a rapid speed along the Champs
Elysees, through the Arch and away toward Versailles. The fresh, crisp
morning air, the clear blue sky, and the bright sunlight, added to the
exhilaration of the swift motion, endowed them all with the most
buoyant spirits, and Patty felt sure she had never looked forward to a
merrier, happier day.

She chatted with Bert Chester, and asked him many questions about the
trip on which he was starting.

"I don't know just where we are going," he said. "I leave all that to
Oram. The rest of us don't care, and Oram loves to spend hours hunting
up reasons why we should go to this small village that is picturesque,
or that tiny hamlet that is historic. I'm sure the queer little French
towns will all look alike to me, and I'm not awfully keen about such
things anyhow. I go for the out-door life, and the swift motion, and
the fresh air and all that sort of thing."

"I love that part of it, too," said Patty, "but also I like seeing the
funny little towns with their narrow streets and squealing dogs. I
think I have never been through a French village that wasn't just
spilling over with squealing dogs."

"That's because you always go through them in an automobile. If you
were on a walking tour now, you'd find the dogs all asleep. But the
paramount idea in a French dog's brain is that he was made for the
purpose of waking up and barking at motor cars."

"Well, they're most faithful to what they consider their duty, then,"
said Patty, laughing, for even as she spoke they were whizzing through
a straggling, insignificant little village, and dogs of all sizes and
colours seemed to spring up suddenly from nowhere at all, and act as if
about to devour the car and its occupants.

But notwithstanding the dogs, the villages were exceedingly
picturesque, and Patty loved to drive through them slowly, that she
might see glimpses of the life of the people. And it was almost always
necessary to go slowly, for the streets were so narrow, and the
sidewalks a mere shelf, so that pedestrians often walked in the road.
This made it difficult to drive rapidly, and, moreover, many of the
streets were steep and hilly.

"It never seems to matter," observed Patty, "whether you're going out
of Paris or coming in; it's always uphill, and never down. I think that
after you've climbed a hill, they whisk it around the other way, so
that you're obliged to climb it again on your return."

"Of course they do," agreed Bert; "you can see by the expression of the
people that they're chuckling at us now, and they'll chuckle again when
we pass this way to-night, still climbing."

Neither of the cars in which our party travelled were good
hill-climbers, although they could go fast enough on the level. But
nobody cared, and notwithstanding some delays, the ground was rapidly
covered.

"There's one town I want to go through," said Patty, "but I'm not sure
it's in our route. It's called Noisy-le-Roi. Of course, I know that,
really, Noisy is not pronounced in the English fashion, but I like to
think that it is, and I call it so myself."

"There's no harm in that; I suppose a free-born American citizen has a
right to pronounce French any way she chooses, and I like that way
myself. Noisy-le-Roi sounds like an abode of the Mad Monarch, and you
expect to see the king and all his courtiers and subjects dancing madly
around or playing hilarious games."

"Yes, a sort of general racket, with everybody waving garlands and
carrying wreaths, and flags floating and streamers streaming---"

"Yes, and cannon booming, and salutes being fired, and rockets and
fireworks going off like mad."

"Yes, just that! but now I almost hope we won't pass through it, for
fear it shouldn't quite come up to our notion of it."

"If we do come to it, I'll tell you in time, and you can shut your eyes
and pretend you're asleep while we go through."

But the town in question was not on their route after all, and soon
they came flying in to the town of Versailles. Of course, they made for
the Chateau at once, and alighted from the cars just outside the great
wall.

Patty, being unaccustomed to historic sites, was deeply impressed as
she walked up the old steps and found herself on an immense paved court
that seemed to be fairly flooded with the brightest sunlight she had
ever seen. As a rule, Mr. Farrington did not enjoy the services of a
guide, but for the benefit of the young people in his charge, he
engaged one to describe to them the sights they were to see.

The whole royal courtyard and the great Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV.
seemed very wonderful to Patty, and she could scarcely realise that the
great French monarch himself had often stood where she was now standing.

"I never seemed to think of Louis XIV.," she said, "as a man. He seems
to me always like a set of furniture, or a wall decoration, or at most
a costume."

"Now you've hit it," said Paul; "Louis XIV. was, at most, a costume;
and a right-down handsome costume, too. I wish we fellows could dress
like that nowadays."

"I wish so, too," said Elise; "it's a heap more picturesque than the
clothes men wear at the present day."

"I begin to feel," said Patty, "that I wish I had studied my French
history harder. How many kings lived here after Louis XIV.?"

"Two," replied Mr. Farrington, "and when, Patty, at one o'clock on the
sixth of October, 1789, the line of carriages drove Louis XVI. and his
family away from here to Paris, the Chateau was left vacant and has
never since been occupied."

"In October," said Patty, "and probably just such a blue and gold day
as this! Oh, how they must have felt!"

"I wouldn't weep over it now, Patty," said the matter-of-fact Elise;
"they've been gone so long, and so many people have wept for them, that
I think it wasted emotion."

"I believe it would be," said Patty, smiling, "as far as they're
concerned; but I can't help feeling sorry for them, only I could never
weep before, because I never realised what it was they were leaving."

The party went on into the Chateau, and visited rooms and apartments
one after the other. It was necessary to do this quickly if they were
to do it at all, and, as Mr. Farrington said, a hasty tour of the
palace would give them an idea of it as a whole, and sometime he would
bring the girls again to enjoy the details more at leisure.

Patty was discovering that she was susceptible to what Elise chose to
call wasted emotion, and she found herself again on the verge of tears
when they entered the Chapel. Though she did not know enough of
architecture to survey intelligently the somewhat pompous apartment,
she was delightfully impressed by the rich adornments and the wonderful
sculptures, bronzes and paintings.

Rather rapidly they passed through the various SALONS of the museum,
pausing here and there, as one or another of the party wished to
examine something in particular. The State Rooms and Royal Apartments
were most interesting, but Patty concluded that she liked best of all
the Gallery of Battles. The splendid pictures of war enthralled her,
and she would have been glad had the rest of the party left her to
spend the entire day alone in the great gallery.

But this, of course, they had no wish to do, and with a last lingering
glance at the picture of Napoleon at the battle of Jena, she
reluctantly allowed herself to be led away.

Napoleon was one of Patty's heroes, and she was eagerly interested in
all of the many relics and souvenirs of the great man.

Especially was she interested in his bedroom, and greatly admired the
gorgeous furnishings and quaint, old-fashioned French bedstead.

Having scurried through the palace and museum, Mr. Farrington declared
that he could do no more sightseeing until he had eaten some sustaining
luncheon.

So again they climbed into the automobiles and were whisked away to a
hotel in the town.

Here they were provided with a most satisfying meal, which was partaken
of amid much merry conversation and laughter.



CHAPTER XII

SHOPPING


The afternoon was devoted to the gardens and the Trianons.

Elise was enraptured with the garden, but Patty, while she admired them
very much, thought them too stiff and formal for her taste. Laid out,
as they are, according to the laws of geometrical symmetry, it seemed
to Patty that grace and beauty were sacrificed to squares and straight
lines.

But none the less was she interested in the wonderful landscape, and
amazed that any grass could be so green as that of the marvelous green
carpet. The multitude of statues and fountains, the walks and terraces,
and the exquisite colours of the autumn trees, made a picture that
Patty never forgot.

The Trianons presented new delights, and Patty fancied herself
transported back to the days of Marie Antoinette and her elaborately
planned pleasures.

A place of especial interest was the carriage house, where are
exhibited the Royal State carriages.

As they were about to enter, Phil Marchbanks, who was ahead, turned
round with a look of comical dismay on his face.

"We can't go in," he said; "we can't fulfil their requirements!"

"What do you mean?" said Patty.

"Why here's a sign that says 'wet umbrellas must be left in the cloak
room.' You see, it's imperative,--and as we have no wet umbrellas to
leave in the cloak room, whatever shall we do?"

"Isn't it awful!" said Patty. "Of course, we can't go in if we don't
fulfil their laws. But it's a foolish law, and better broken than kept,
so I propose we march on in spite of it."

So they marched on and spent one of their pleasantest half hours
admiring the royal coaches.

The Coronation Carriage of Charles the X. pleased Patty most,
especially as it had been restored by Napoleon and bore the magic
initial N. on its regalia.

Mr. Farrington slyly volunteered the information that it stood for
Napoleon the Third, but Patty declared that she didn't care, as any
Napoleon was good enough for her.

 SHOPPING

Then the various sights of the Trianons claimed their attention, and
they visited the farm and the dairy, and the Temple of Love, and the
Swiss Cottage, and the Presbytery, and the Music Pavilion, and the
Mill, until they were all mixed up, and Patty declared that her mind
was nothing but a kaleidoscope full of broken bits of gay scenes.

Then the party went to the Grotto of Apollo, and sat down there for a
short time to rest before returning home.

"This is the first time," said Patty, "that it has seemed like a
picnic, but this is a real picnic place,--though a much more grand one
than I ever picnicked in before."

"You can probably make up your mind," said Bert, "that it's about the
grandest picnic place there is; and speaking of picnics, I'd like to
invite all this party to dine with me on our way home."

"Where is your dining-room?" asked Mrs. Farrington.

"I'll show you," said Bert eagerly, "if you'll only go with me. It
isn't quite time to start yet, but it soon will be, and I'll take you
to an awfully jolly place and not a bit out of our way, either."

Mrs. Farrington agreed to go, and the rest eagerly accepted the
invitation, and after resting a little longer, the party leisurely
prepared to start.

At Bert's direction they spun along the Bois de Boulogne until they
reached the Pavilion d'Armenonville, one of those fairyland out-of-door
restaurants which abound in and near Paris.

As it was rather chilly to sit outside, they occupied a table in a
glass-protected court, and Bert proved himself a most satisfactory host.

"We've had an awfully jolly day," he observed, "at least I have, and I
hope the rest of you put in a good time. It's a satisfaction to feel
that we've done up Versailles, but I may as well confess that I didn't
go for that purpose so much as to spend a pleasant day with my friends."

Patty declared that she had enjoyed the society, not only of the
friends who went with her, but the companionship of the invisible ones,
whose presence seemed to haunt every nook and cranny of the palace and
park.

As Patty looked about at their gaily decorated dining place, and looked
out at the brilliantly lighted scene outside, where the vari-coloured
electric lights hung in shining festoons, she came to the conclusion
that Paris was a gay and bright place after all, though when she had
entered it that first night, less than a week ago, she had thought it
rather dark and oppressive.

"It is dark," said Phil, as Patty expressed her thoughts; "to be sure,
a place like this is illuminated, but the streets are not half lighted,
and I think it's a shame."

"London streets at night aren't much better as to light," said Bert,
"but I say, you fellows, you just ought to see the streets in New York
at night. Whew! they're so bright they just dazzle you, don't they,
Patty?"

"Broadway does, but the other streets aren't so awfully light."

"Well, they're a lot lighter than they are over here. But Paris is the
worst of all. Why, I'm scared to be out after nightfall."

"If that's the case," said Mrs. Farrington, laughing, "we'd better be
starting now; and at any rate, it's high time my young charges were at
home. I hadn't expected Patty and Elise to indulge in quite such
grown-up gaieties as dining out here, but I hadn't the heart to refuse
for them your kind invitation."

Bert expressed his gratitude that Mrs. Farrington had made an exception
in his favour, and then the whole party started homeward.

When she reached there, Patty was so tired she could scarcely talk over
the pleasures of the day with Elise, and she tumbled into bed without
so much as a look at her beloved Vendome Column.

But the next day found the two girls entirely rested and quite ready
for more jaunting about.

But Mrs. Farrington declared that she could do no sightseeing that day,
as the somewhat fatiguing trip to Versailles made her quite contented
to rest quietly for a time.

So Patty employed her morning happily enough in writing letters home
and in arranging her post-card album.

"I'm so glad," she said to Elise, "that Clementine gave me this great
big album, for I see already it is none too large. I've taken out all
the New York views and laid them aside. I shall probably give them to
somebody, as there is no sense in carrying them home again. And I'm
filling the book with Paris views. Isn't it fortunate they invented
post-cards, for unmounted photographs do curl up so, and I hate those
little books of views."

"Indeed, it's fine, Patty, and you're arranging them beautifully. I
can't do that sort of thing at all; I'm as clumsy at it as a
hippopotamus. But I'd love to have a book like yours to take home."

"I'll give you this one," said Patty quickly, and she truly meant it,
for she was generous by nature, and, too, she was glad to give Elise
something that she really wanted.

"I wouldn't take it! you needn't think I'm a pig if I AM a
hippopotamus!"

"Well, I'll tell you what I will do, Elise. The first time we go
shopping we'll get a big album exactly like this, and then we'll always
get duplicate post-cards,--we have so far, anyway,--and I'll fix both
the books."

"Oh, Patty, that will be lovely! you do it so neatly and daintily; and
I always tear the corners and smudge the cards and every old thing. I
wish we could go and buy the book this very afternoon."

"We can't; your mother won't go; she's too tired, and she'd never let
us bob about Paris alone. And your father hates to shop, so he wouldn't
take us."

"I know it, Patty, but perhaps mother would let us go with Lisette.
Anyhow, I'm going to ask her."

"Why, yes," said Mrs. Farrington, when the project was laid before her;
"I see no reason why you shouldn't go out and do a little shopping in
charge of Lisette. She is a native French girl herself, she knows Paris
thoroughly, and she's most reliable and trustworthy. But you must
promise to do only what she allows you to do, and go only where she
advises. In this expedition she must direct, not you."

The girls willingly promised, saying that they only wanted to buy the
album and a few little things.

"Very well, then," said Mrs. Farrington; "you may go out for the
afternoon. I'm glad to have you out in the sunshine, and you'll also
enjoy looking at the pretty things in the shops."

So the girls arrayed themselves in their quiet pretty street costumes,
and with Lisette in her tidy black gown, they started out.

They walked at first along the Rue de Rivoli, fascinated with the
lovely trinkets in the shop windows. Unlike Mr. Farrington, Lisette did
not care how long her young charges tarried, nor was she averse to
looking at the pretty things herself.

"It's a funny thing," said Elise, as they came out of a shop, "that the
things in a window are always so much prettier than the things inside
the shop."

"That's Paris all over," said Patty; "I think the French not only put
the best foot forward, but the foot they hold back is usually not very
presentable."

"Yes, I believe that's true; and they always seem to make the best of
everything, and that's why they're so happy and light-hearted. But here
we are at a stationer's. Let's buy the album here."

The stationer's proved to be a most distracting place. They bought the
album, and then they discovered a counter piled with post-cards, in
which they were soon deeply absorbed.

"But you mustn't get so many, Elise," cried Patty, as she looked at the
great pile Elise had laid aside to buy. "It's no fun at all to get them
all at once and fill the book. Then it's all over. The fun is in
collecting them slowly, a few at a time."

"But I want all these, Patty, so why not take them now?"

"No, you don't, either. Now look here, Elise, I'm making your book for
you, so you take my advice in this matter, and you'll afterward admit
that I'm right."

"You're always right, Patty," said Elise, smiling lovingly at her
friend; "that's the worst of you! But I'll do as you say this time,
only don't let it occur again."

Patty laughed and allowed Elise to select cards illustrating the places
she had already seen, persuading her to leave the others until some
future time.

Then they looked round the shop further, and discovered many attractive
little souvenirs to take to friends at home.

"I think," said Patty, "I'll just buy some of these things right now.
For surely I could never find anything for Frank and Uncle Charlie
better than these queer little desk things. Aren't they unusual, Elise?
Are they rococo?"

"Patty," said Elise, in a stage whisper, "I hate to own up to it, but
really, I never did know what rococo meant! Isn't it something like
cloisonne, or is it ormolu?"

Patty laughed. "To be honest, Elise, I don't exactly know myself, but I
don't think you've struck it very closely. However, I'm going to buy
this inkstand; I don't care if it's made of gingerbread!"

"And here's a bronze Napoleon; didn't Marian want that?"

"Oh, yes, indeed she did! I'm so glad you discovered him. Isn't he a
dear little man? Just about three inches high; I believe the real
emperor wasn't much more than that. Isn't he on a funny little flat
pedestal?"

"It's a seal," explained the shopkeeper kindly.

"A seal!" echoed Patty blankly; "why no it isn't! a seal, indeed! why
it isn't a bit like a seal; you might just as well call it a Teddy
Bear! It's a man!"

Elise was giggling. "He doesn't mean that kind of a seal, Patty," she
said; "he means a seal to seal wax with."

"Oh," said Patty, giggling, too; "why, so much the better. I beg your
pardon, I'm sure, and I'm glad it's a seal. I can have Marian's
monogram cut on it, and she can seal her letters by just letting
Napoleon jump on them."

She left the order for the monogram, and the affable shopkeeper
promised to send the finished seal home the next day. He seemed greatly
interested in his two young customers, and had it not been for
Lisette's sharp eye he would have urged them to buy even more of his
wares.

But the canny young French girl had no notion of letting her charges be
imposed upon, and she glared haughtily at the shopkeeper when he seemed
too officious.

As they were about to leave the shop, some young people entered, and to
the surprise of all, they proved to be the Van Ness girls and their
cousins.

The four young people were out by themselves, and though quite capable
of finding their way about alone, Lisette's French notions were a
trifle shocked at the unchaperoned crowd.

But Patty and Elise were so glad to see their friends again that they
gave little thought to conventions, and fell to chattering with all
their might.

"Why haven't you been to see us?" asked Alicia; "you had our address."

"I know," said Elise, "but we've been so busy ever since we've been
here that there hasn't seemed to be time for anything. But we're glad
to see you now, and isn't it jolly that we chanced to meet here?"

"Yes, indeed, because we're going on to-morrow,--on our travels, I
mean, and we wouldn't have had a chance to see you again. But now that
we have met, let's put in a jolly afternoon together. Where are you
going?"

"Nowhere in particular; we're just walking around Paris."

"That's exactly our destination; so let's go nowhere in particular
together."



CHAPTER XIII

CHANTILLY


This plan seemed to please everybody except Lisette, who was a little
troubled to have her young ladies going around with these Chicago
people, of whom she did not quite approve.

But Patty only laughed at the anxious expression on the French girl's
face. She knew well what was passing in her mind, and she said to her
quietly: "It's all right, Lisette, they're our American friends, and I
assure you Mrs. Farrington won't mind a bit, since you are with us.
You're dragon enough to chaperon the whole State of Illinois."

It's doubtful if Lisette knew what the State of Illinois was, but she
was devoted to Patty, and waved her scruples in deference to Patty's
wishes, although she kept a stern watch on the big Van Ness boys.

But Bob and Guy behaved most decorously, and two more polite or
well-mannered young men could not have been found among the native
Parisians themselves.

Leaving the shop, they continued down the Rue de Rivoli till they
reached the Louvre.

Doris proposed their going in, and as Patty was most anxious to do so,
and Lisette saw no objection to visiting the great museum, they all
entered.

It was Patty's first glimpse of the great picture gallery, and she
began to wish she was not accompanied by the chattering crowd, that she
might wander about wherever her fancy directed. But she remembered she
would have ample opportunity for this all winter, so she willingly gave
up her own desire to please the Van Ness girls.

They cared little for pictures, but were really good historical
students, and they wanted to visit the rooms which contained curios and
relics of famous people.

So the whole crowd followed the lead of Doris and Alicia, who had
visited the Louvre before, and Patty found herself learning a great
deal from the experienced way in which the girls discussed the
exhibits. She found, too, that historical relics were more interesting
than she had supposed, and she almost sighed as she thought of the many
things she wanted to see and study during the winter.

"I hope you'll be here when we come back," Guy Van Ness said to her, as
they stood together, looking at some old miniatures.

"I hope so, too," said Patty. "When are you coming?"

"I don't know exactly; it depends on uncle's plans; but probably about
January."

"Oh, yes, we shall surely be here then, and probably living in a home
of our own. Of course, I mean a temporary home, but not a hotel. I hope
you will come to see us."

"Indeed I will. I wish we could have seen more of you this week, but
uncle has rushed us about sightseeing so fast that there was no time
for social calling."

"We saw Bert Chester and his crowd," said Patty; and then she told
about the day at Versailles.

"What a lark!" exclaimed Guy; "I wish I had been along. But you must go
somewhere with us when we're here in January, won't you?"

"I'd like to," said Patty, "but I can't promise. It all depends on the
Farringtons. I'm their guest, so of course I'm under their orders."

"Well, it won't be my fault if we don't have some fun when we come back
here," declared Guy, "and I shall do all I can to bring it about."

When they left the museum it was getting late in the afternoon, and
Lisette decreed that her young ladies must go home at once. The Van
Ness crowd raised great objection to this, but Lisette was obdurate,
and calling a cab, she ushered the girls in, and then getting in
herself, gave the order for home.

Patty couldn't help laughing at the serious way in which Lisette took
care of them, but Mrs. Farrington told her it was quite right, and she
would have been displeased had Lisette done otherwise.

"You don't quite understand, my dear," she said kindly, "the difference
between the conventions of Paris and our own New York. It may seem
foolish to you to be so carefully guarded, but I can't quite explain it
to you so you would understand it, and therefore I'm going to ask you
to obey my wishes without question, and more than that, when Lisette is
temporarily in charge of you to obey her."

"Indeed I will, dear Mrs. Farrington," said Patty heartily; "and truly
I wasn't rebelling the leastest mite. I'm more than ready to obey you,
or Lisette, either, only it struck me funny to be put into a cab, like
babies in a baby-carriage by their nursemaid."

"You're a good girl, Patty, and I don't foresee a bit of trouble in
taking care of you. To-morrow I shall feel better, and I'll go shopping
with you girls myself, and perhaps we may have time to look in at a few
other places."

So Patty danced away, quite content to take things as they came, and
sure that all the coming days were to be filled with all sorts of
novelties and pleasures.

Their purchases had been sent home, reaching there before they did
themselves, and Patty immediately fell to work on the albums, placing
the cards in the little slits which were cut in the leaves to receive
them.

The days flew by like Bandersnatches. Patty herself could not realise
what became of them. She wrote frequently to the people at home and
tried to include all of her young friends in America in her
correspondence, but it seemed to be impossible, and so finally she took
to writing long letters to Marian, and asking her to send the letters
round to the other girls after she had read them.

Mr. and Mrs. Farrington had begun their search for a furnished house
which they might rent for the winter. When they went to look at various
ones suggested to them by their agent, they did not take the girls with
them, as Mrs. Farrington said it was too serious a matter in which to
include two chattering children.

So Patty and Elise were left pretty much to their own devices while the
elder Farringtons went on these important errands.

But one bright morning when Mr. and Mrs. Farrington were preparing to
start off in the automobile for the day, Elise begged that she and
Patty might be allowed to go off on an excursion of some sort.

"Indeed, I think you ought," said Mr. Farrington kindly, "and I'll tell
you what I think would be a first-rate plan. How would you like to go
with Lisette to the Chateau of Chantilly for a day's outing? You could
go on one of those 'personally conducted tours,' in a big motor van,
with lots of other tourists."

"I think it will be lots of fun," cried Elise; "I've always wanted to
climb up on one of those moving mountains and go wabbling away."

"I, too," said Patty; "just for once I think that sort of thing would
be great fun."

"Then you must hustle to get ready," said Mr. Farrington, "for the
cavalcade sets off at ten o'clock, and I don't believe they'd wait,
even for two nice little girls like you. So run along and get your
bonnets, and be sure not to forget to remember to feed the carp."

"What is a carp?" asked Patty, as she and Elise ran away to dress.

"Fish, I think," said Elise, "but we'll probably find out when we get
there."

The girls were soon ready, and with Lisette they walked out in the
bright sunshine and along the Rue de la Paix until they came to the
corner where the personally conducted tourists were to start from.

Mr. Farrington had telephoned for tickets, so all they had to do was to
clamber into their seats. This was done by mounting a stepladder placed
at the side of the big vehicle. The seats of the van were graduated in
height, so that the back ones were as good as the front, and, indeed, a
full view of what was passing could be commanded from any position.

They had to wait until the tourists had all arrived, and then they
started off at a good speed toward the country.

"I feel as if I were riding in one of the old royal state carriages,"
said Patty, "although there isn't the slightest resemblance in the
vehicle, or the means of locomotion."

"No," said Elise, laughing; "nor in the people. I don't believe these
tourists bear much resemblance to the ladies and gentlemen who rode in
the Royal carriages. But I think it's more fun than our own car,
because we sit up so high and can see everything so well."

"And hear, too," said Patty, as they listened to the man in the front
seat, who had turned around and was announcing through a megaphone the
names of the places as they passed them.

"He seems to know his lesson pretty well," whispered Patty, "but his
French pronunciation is even worse than mine."

"Your pronunciation isn't so bad, Patty, but you haven't any vocabulary
to speak of."

"To speak with, you mean. But never you mind, miss; as soon as your
respected parents decide upon a house, and we get settled in it, I'm
going to study French like anything, and French history, too. I used to
hate these things, but times have changed since Patty came to Paris!"

"I'm glad you're so energetic, but I don't feel much like studying; I'd
rather drift around and have fun as we are doing."

"We'll have time enough for both, and you want to take some painting
lessons, don't you?"

"Yes; but seeing all the pictures I've seen since I've been here
discourages me. I used to think I was quite an artist, but I see now
that if I ever do anything really worth while, I'll have to begin all
over again and go into a drudgery drawing class."

"It won't be drudgery; you love it so, and you'll make rapid progress
if you're as desperately in earnest as all that. Do you think your
mother will decide to take that house they're going to look at to-day?"

"Yes, I think so; her mind is pretty well made up already. It must be a
lovely house, judging from what she says about it."

It was not very far to Chantilly, and when they reached there the girls
were almost sorry that the pleasant ride was ended.

The megaphone gentleman informed his personally conducted crowd that
they were to alight and eat luncheon before proceeding to the Chateau.

The hotel where they were to lunch was a quaint, old-fashioned house,
built around three sides of a garden. It was called the Hotel du
Grand-Conde, and Patty said, "I suppose we shall see and hear of
nothing but the Condes for the rest of the day. I believe the whole
interest of Chantilly centres in that Conde crowd."

"You seem to know a lot about it," said Elise banteringly.

"I've been reading up," confessed Patty, "and besides, La Grande
Mademoiselle has always been one of my favourite characters in French
history. She was a wonderful woman, and though not of the Condes, she
is mixed up in their history."

"She is an unknown quantity to me," said Elise, "but I'm willing to
learn, so tell me all you know, Patty; it won't take long."

"You'll get no instruction from me after that unflattering speech,"
retorted Patty, and then luncheon was announced, and the girls sat down
at the table reserved for them.

They were much interested in their fellow-tourists, and as most of them
were socially inclined, Patty and Elise were included in the general
conversation. As the tourists seemed to have a great deal of general
information, and as they were quite ready to impart it, the girls
picked up quite a store of knowledge, more or less accurate.

Then they left the hotel, with its quaint old gateway and carefully
kept gravel walks, and proceeded on their way to the Chateau.

It was necessary at the entrance to cross a bridge over the moat, and
here Patty discovered the reason for feeding the carp.

To begin with, the carp themselves were exceedingly old, and had been
swimming around in the same moat for hundreds of years.

"I'm not quite sure of the number of years," volunteered a Boston
tourist, to any one who might listen, "but it's either hundreds or
thousands. Anyway, the carp are dreadfully old."

"They don't look it," declared Patty, as she leaned over the railing of
the bridge and watched the frisky fish darting around like mad.

An old woman sat nearby with a bushel basket full of French rolls,
which she was willing to sell to the tourists at prices which increased
as her stock of rolls decreased. Patty and Elise bought a quantity of
the rolls and began the fun of throwing them to the fishes. It turned
out to be even more fun than they had anticipated, for the moment a
roll reached the water, scores of carp would make a mad dash for it,
and a pitched battle ensued for possession of the bread. Sometimes the
roll was torn to pieces in the fight, and sometimes a fortunate carp
would secure it and swim away, followed by all the others in angry
pursuit. Another roll flung in would, of course, divert their
attention, and the squabble would begin all over again. The fun was
largely in watching the individual peculiarities of the fishes. One
sulky old thing disdained to fight, but if given a roll all to himself
he would swim away with it, and sticking his head in a small corner of
the stone parapet, would eat it greedily, while he kept off the other
fishes by madly lashing his tail. Another brisk little fish didn't seem
to care to eat the rolls at all, but mischievously tried to prevent the
others from eating them, and played a general game of interference.

The actions of the fish were so ridiculous, and the sport so novel and
exciting, that the girls would not leave until they had bought up all
the rolls the old woman had and thrown them down to the comical carp.

The personal conductor of the tour affably waited until the moat
performance was over, and then conducted his party inside the park to
the Chateau.

Though only a toy affair compared with Versailles, Chantilly is one of
the most beautiful of the historic Chateaus of France, and is in many
respects a gem. The great paved Court of Honor shone white in the
sunlight, and the noble statues and sculptures bore witness to the art
and taste displayed in its construction.



CHAPTER XIV

MAKING A HOME.


The party was marshalled up on the peristyle, where they received,
collectively, instructions in a loud voice to leave their sticks and
umbrellas before entering the Chateau.

Patty and Elise agreed that the beauty and dignity of the situation was
somewhat impaired by the personally conducted effect, but they thought
that was compensated for by the funny side of it all. The tourists
followed the conductor like a flock of sheep, one or another
occasionally straying away for a time, and nearly all of them making
notes in little note-books. Indeed, some of them were so intent on
their notes that they merely gave glances at the beautiful things
exhibited, and spent most of their time scribbling in their books and
referring to their Baedekers.

The interior of the Chateau was delightful. As Patty had surmised, it
was largely devoted to pictures and relics of the Conde family. She was
greatly pleased to discover a gallery of battles which, though not
large, illustrated the battles of the great prince who was called the
Grand Conde. Although Patty was of a peaceful enough nature, she had a
special liking for the glory and grandeur of paintings of battle
scenes, and she tarried in this gallery as long as she could.

Both she and Elise adopted the Grand Conde as one of their favourites,
and greatly admired the numerous portraits of him, with his handsome
face and generally gorgeous effects.

In one of the halls of the Chateau post-cards were on sale, and Patty
eagerly looked them over to make the selection she wanted.

But the Personal Conductor discovered that time was flying, and that if
he let all of his charges delay over the post-cards, other sights must
be omitted.

So he scurried them along through the various galleries and salons,
pausing in the Library and the Chapel. The Chapel awed Patty, as the
impressive burial places of kings always did, and especially was she
interested in a Cippus, which was a receptacle for the hearts of
several of the princes of Conde.

"It seems wonderful," she said to Elise, "to take out their hearts and
put them all away together like that, but they had strange ways in the
times of my friends, the Condes."

"I'm beginning to be very much interested in your friends, the Condes,"
replied Elise, "and I think, after all, I shall join your French
history class this winter."

Then they proceeded to the beautiful park of Chantilly, which was laid
out by the same landscape gardener who afterward designed the gardens
of Versailles.

The park was enchanting, and the many buildings in it most interesting.

"There's one thing certain," said Patty, "I shall come here some day
and camp out for the day in this park and wander around without being
personally conducted."

"And I shall do myself the honour to accompany you," said Elise; "I'm
sure I can persuade father to send us out here in the car some day and
let us play around by ourselves."

All too soon the megaphone's voice called them to start on their
homeward trip. Patty and Elise were among the first to take their seats
in the great motor car, and as Patty was looking over her beloved
post-cards, she suddenly discovered that she had no portrait of her
friend, the Grand Prince.

But by good luck she saw a woman standing near, and suspended by a
strap round her neck was a tray of post-cards.

Calling the woman to her, Patty made known her desire for a picture of
the Grand Conde.

"Oui, oui," exclaimed the woman as she offered various portraits of
other members of the Conde family.

"Non, non," cried Patty, shaking her head, vigorously, "le Grand
Prince,-le Grand Conde!"

At length the woman discovered the proper card, and when Patty accepted
it, and paid her for it, she burst into voluble thanks and begged her
to buy more.

Remembering Elise's album, Patty bought another copy of the same
picture for that, and then, thinking she would like to take one to
Marian, she asked for a third copy.

This the woman did not have in stock, but anxious to please her pretty
young patron, she flew over to another post-card vender, of which there
seemed to be several near by, and demanded the required card from her.
But a search through her stock proved unavailing, and both women,
chatting volubly in French, tried to procure one from a third post-card
seller.

Patty and Elise became much amused at the excitement they had created,
and suddenly to their surprise one of the tourists expressed her desire
also for a portrait of the Grand Conde.

Patty surmised at once that she had no particular reason for desiring
it save an idea that if it was in such great demand it must be of a
special value.

And then following the example of the first, several other tourists set
up a clamour for the same picture, and the scene became one of great
excitement. The post-card venders put their heads together, and still
jabbering rapidly, produced all sorts of portraits which they
endeavoured to foist upon the buyers as portraits of the Grand Prince.
But the tourists were shrewd, and they knew what they wanted, though
they had no idea why they wanted it.

The natural result of this situation was a rise in price of the desired
picture. The original price of ten CENTIMES was doubled and then
quadrupled, and finally the tourists began to bid for the picture until
the affair became an auction.

Patty and Elise were convulsed with laughter at the absurdity of it
all, and finally the motor man whizzed away, leaving the Frenchwomen
chuckling over their marvelous sales, and carrying some excited
tourists, who wondered why they had paid so much for ordinary
post-cards.

Patty's recital of the affair at dinner that night greatly amused the
Farringtons, and Mr. Farrington declared that the whole scene was
typical of human nature.

"As you had cornered the market, Patty," he said, "why didn't you sell
your Conde pictures at top prices, or else put them up at auction?"

"For the very good reason that I wanted them myself," replied Patty,
"and if I had sold them, perhaps I never could get any more."

"Well, we, too, have achieved an important success to-day," went on Mr.
Farrington; "we have secured a foothold in this somewhat uncertain
city, and we shall soon have a roof over our heads that we can call our
own, for a time, at least."

"Oh, you took the house, then," exclaimed Elise; "how jolly! and when
are we going there to live?"

"As soon as it can be made habitable," said Mrs. Farrington; "they call
it a furnished house, but it is not at all my idea of furnishing. It's
about as well appointed as a summer cottage might be at home. The
drawing-room is all right, and the dining-room is fairly good, but the
bedrooms must be almost entirely refurnished. Some day, my children,
you shall go shopping with me to select things for your own rooms."

This shopping expedition took place soon, and Patty, with her usual
happy enthusiasm, thought it was quite as much fun as any other mode of
entertainment.

Mrs. Farrington and the two girls, driven by the chauffeur, went flying
around in the automobile, stopping now at one beautiful shop, and now
at another, and buying lovely things.

"It seems foolish," said Mrs. Farrington, "to buy a lot of furniture
for a rented house, but we must be comfortable through the winter, and
then the prettiest of the things we'll take back to America with us."

The girls were allowed to make their own selections, and Patty decided
that her room should be green and white, while Elise chose pink.

The girls had not yet seen the house, but Mrs. Farrington told them
that two large rooms adjoining each other on the third floor were to be
for their use, and though the principal articles of furniture were
already in them, they might choose some pretty appointments, such as
writing-desks, work-tables or book-racks.

Also, they selected some little French gilded chairs and queer-shaped
ottomans, Patty thinking the while how pretty these would look when
transported back to her New York home.

After about a week more of hotel life the Farringtons moved to their
own home.

It was a good-sized house on the Bois de Boulogne, and stood in a small
but well-laid out park or garden.

There were stone porticos on which opened long, French windows, and the
high ceilings and winding staircase with broad landings gave the house
an attractive, though foreign air.

Like all French houses, the decorations were elaborate, and mirrors
were everywhere, and crystal chandeliers and painted panels abounded.

It was all of great interest to Patty, who dearly loved home-making,
and who saw great possibilities for the unusual combination of American
cosiness in a Paris house.

Mrs. Farrington was delighted when she discovered Patty's capabilities
in domestic matters, and declared that she would not wish for a better
assistant.

It was Patty's deft fingers that transformed stiff and formal rooms
into apartments of real comfort and homelikeness. It was very often
Patty's taste that selected simple decorations or ornaments which toned
down the gorgeousness of the original scheme.

The two girls' own rooms were greatly successful.

Patty had bought a number of pictures and statuettes and various
Parisian ornaments, which she was delighted to arrange in a room of her
very own. She helped Elise with hers, too, for though Elise had good
taste and a fine appreciation of the fitness of things, she had not
Patty's capability of execution and facility of arrangement.

As they sat for the first time around their own family dinner table,
Mr. Farrington exclaimed, "Now this is what I call comfortable! It's
unpretentious, but it's way ahead of that gorgeously dressed-up hotel,
which made one feel, though well taken care of, like a traveller and a
wayfarer. But I expect you were sorry to leave it, eh, Patty?"

"No I wasn't," said Patty; "I liked it tremendously for a time, as it
was a novel experience for me; but I'm quite as pleased as you are, Mr.
Farrington, to be in a home once more."

"And the next thing to do," said Mrs. Farrington, "is to get masters
for you girls."

"Shall we go to school, mother?" asked Elise.

"No, I think not. I don't like the idea of your going to a French
school, and, too, I think you'd enjoy it better, to study a little at
home. You needn't have a great variety of lessons. I think if you study
the French language and French history, it will be enough for you in
the way of school books. Then Patty ought to take singing lessons, and
if Elise wants to learn to paint pictures, she will probably never get
a better opportunity to do so."

This plan seemed to suit perfectly the young ladies most interested,
and Mr. Farrington said he would take it upon himself to find the right
masters for them.

So the family settled down into a life which was quiet compared with
the first few weeks of their stay in Paris.

The masters came every morning except Saturday, and that day was always
devoted to sightseeing or pleasures of some sort. Occasionally, too, a
whole holiday was taken during the week, for Mr. Farrington said he had
a vivid recollection of a certain proverb which discussed the result of
all work and no play.

Patty declared she was never afraid of any lack of play hours in the
Farrington family, and she enjoyed alike both her morning tasks and her
afternoon pleasures.

Twice a week a professor came to give her singing lessons, and it was
arranged that at the same hour Elise should be busy with her drawing
master. Though Elise did not show promise of becoming a really great
artist, her parents thought it wise to cultivate such talent as she
possessed, if only for the pleasure it might give to herself and her
friends.

So Elise worked away at her drawing from casts, and occasionally
painted flowers in water colours, while Patty practised her scales, and
learned to sing some pretty little French ballads.

Though neither of the girls was possessed of genius, they both had
talent, and by application to study they found themselves rapidly
improving in their arts.

As Patty had expected, she developed an intense interest in French
history, and as Elise shared this taste, they learned their lessons
well, and also read books of history outside of school hours quite from
choice.

[Illustration with caption: "They also read books of history outside of
school hours quite from choice"]

There were a great many Americans residing in Paris, and it was not
long before Mr. and Mrs. Farrington renewed old acquaintances there,
and also made new ones among the American colony.

This meant pleasant associates for the girls, and they soon became
acquainted with several American families.

Indeed, the house next to their own, was occupied by an American family
named Barstow, with whom the Farringtons soon made friends.

The young people of the family were Rosamond, a girl of seventeen, and
her brother Martin, a few years older.

The first time they met, Elise and Patty took a decided liking to the
Barstows, and Rosamond often spent the afternoon with them, while they
chatted gaily over their work, or went driving with them along the
beautiful Bois, or visited the galleries with them.



CHAPTER XV

ST. GERMAIN


The weeks went happily by. Patty became quite accustomed to French ways
and customs, and was becoming proficient in the language.

One of her greatest treats was the Opera. Mr. Farrington had engaged a
box for the season, and the girls attended nearly every matinee
performance. The first few times Patty could scarcely listen to the
music for her admiration of the wonderful building, but after she
became more accustomed to its glories, it did not so distract her
attention from the stage. Mr. and Mrs. Farrington occasionally gave
opera parties, and dinner parties, too, but the girls were not allowed
to attend these. Although indulgent in many ways, Mrs. Farrington was
somewhat strict about the conventions for her young people; but so
gently were her rules laid down, that they never seemed harsh or stern.

On nights when dinner parties were given, the girls had their dinner in
the family breakfast-room, and often were allowed to invite Rosamond,
and sometimes Martin to their feasts.

Another delight to Patty was the fact that she was learning to drive a
motor-car. It had always fascinated her, and she had always felt that
she could do it if she only knew how. Once when she timidly expressed
this wish to Mr. Farrington, he replied, "Why certainly, child, I'll be
glad to teach you, and some day, who knows, you may have a car of your
own."

So whenever opportunity allowed Mr. Farrington gave her lessons in the
art, and often Patty would sit in front with the chauffeur and he would
teach her many things about the mechanism, until she became really
quite accomplished as a driver.

Of course, she was never allowed to run the car alone, nor did she wish
to, but it was great fun to handle the wheel herself and feel the car
obey her lightest touch. Sometimes she would grow elated at her success
and put on the high speed, but always under the supervision and
protecting guidance of Mr. Farrington or the affable and amiable
chauffeur.

It was a great surprise to Patty when she learned that Christmas was
not made so much of in Paris as with us, but that the great fete-day
was New Year's Day, or, as they called it, JOUR DE L'AN.

But Patty was not baffled by French customs entirely, and decreed that
the Farrington household should hold a Christmas celebration all by
themselves. This they did, and the day to them was a pleasant one
indeed.

But this was a minor episode compared to the fact that old Ma'amselle
Labesse sent them all an urgent invitation to come to her at St.
Germain to spend New Year's Day.

The girls were rejoiced at this invitation, but feared they could not
accept it, as Mr. and Mrs. Farrington had an engagement in Paris for
the festival.

But after much discussion of the matter, and much pleading on the part
of the young people, it was arranged that Patty and Elise should go two
days before the New Year Day and spend a whole week with the old
Ma'amselle in her chateau. A little tactful managing on Patty's part
secured an invitation also for Rosamond Barstow, and the three girls,
who had become almost inseparable, started off together in great glee.

Mr. Farrington sent them out in the motor-car, in care of his
chauffeur, and Patty, to her great delight and satisfaction, drove the
car all the way there.

St. Germain is a beautiful town, which dates back about eight
centuries, when it was a favourite summer residence of French royalty.
The forest is among the most beautiful of all French woods, and as
Patty drove through the roads of the deep forest it seemed like
enchanted ground. They spun along the Terrasse, enjoying the view
below, and after passing many beautiful villas and residences came to
the old chateau of Ma'amselle Labesse.

After passing a porter's lodge at the entrance, they went on for a long
distance through the park before reaching the house Then alighting at
the main portal, the doors were thrown open by footmen, and the girls
were ushered in.

Ma'amselle herself received them in the entrance hall. She looked quite
different from the way she had appeared on board the steamer, as she
was now attired in very elegant and formal robes, with her white hair
arranged after the fashion of Madame de Pompadour.

She cordially welcomed the three young girls, making emphatic
assertions at her delight in seeing them, but her warmest welcome was
bestowed upon Patty.

"But it is herself!" she cried; "of a certainty, it is ma petite Patty.
Ciel! but it is that I am glad to see you!"

Patty returned the greetings with polite warmth, and indeed she was
really fond of the quaint old lady.

The girls were all amazed at the grandeur and beauty of Ma'amselle's
home, and were unable to repress their admiration; but Ma'amselle was
pleased rather than otherwise that they should express their pleasure.

"But surely," she said, "it is indeed the beautiful home. This hall! It
is not of a smallness! And in the old days it welcomed royal guests."

The hall was indeed magnificent. It was decorated with frescoes and
mural paintings by well-known French artists. It contained statues and
paintings and clocks and vases that might have graced a museum. The
armour of knights stood about, and valuable trophies graced the
wainscoted walls.

A wide carved staircase wound spirally up from one end; and at
Ma'amselle's suggestion, the girls were ushered at once to their room.
French maids were sent to them to unlock their boxes and assist with
their toilettes, and Patty was glad that she now knew enough French at
least to make herself understood.

Rosamond Barstow was a girl who never hesitated to get what she wanted
if possible, and now it suited her purpose to dismiss the French maids;
in her voluble if somewhat imperfect French, she told them that the
young ladies wished to be alone for a time and would ring for the maids
later.

"I just HAD to talk to you girls alone for a minute," she exclaimed,
"or I should have exploded. Did you EVER see such a gorgeous castle in
this world? I didn't know your old Ma'amselle lived like this! How
shall we ever live up to it?"

"I didn't know she lived like this, either," said Patty, laughing at
Rosamond's expressions; "and I don't care whether we can live up to it
or not. We'll put on our best frocks and our best manners, and that's
all we can do. But, oh girls, I feel like a princess in this room!"

"Then just come and look at mine," cried Elise, who was in the next
apartment.

The girls had been given rooms near each other and which, with their
anterooms and dressing-rooms, filled up the whole of a large wing of
the chateau.

Patty's, as she expressed it to the other girls, looked more like a
very large cretonne shirtwaist box than anything else. For the walls
and ceiling were covered with a chintz tapestry; the lambrequins,
window curtains and door hangings were all of the same material and
pattern, and the bed itself was draped and heavily curtained with the
same. The bed curtains and window curtains were fastened back with huge
rosettes of the chintz, and Patty remarked that it must have been
brought by the acre.

The furniture was of the quaintest old French pattern, and so
old-fashioned and unusual were the appointments all about, that Patty
knew neither the names nor the use of many of them.

"I'd rather sleep in a "cosy-corner" than in that bed," remarked
Rosamond; "I know that whole affair will tumble on your head in the
night. It's perfectly gorgeous to look at, but seems to me these old
things are 'most too old. If I were Ma'amselle I'd root them all out
and refurnish."

"You'd be sent home if Ma'amselle heard you talk like that," admonished
Patty, "and I'm not a bit afraid of that tent arrangement tumbling
down. It's most picturesque, and I shall lie in it, feeling like a
retired empress."

"Come, Rosamond," said Elise, "call back those comic opera maids you
sent away, and let's get dressed. We mustn't keep Ma'amselle waiting,
though I'd ever so much rather perch up here and talk by ourselves. But
she's a dear old lady, and we must do our part as well as she does
hers."

So Rosamond rang and the maids came back, wondering what strange young
demoiselles they had to wait upon now.

Patty allowed herself to be dressed by the deft-fingered maid, and
being ready first, stepped out on the little balcony opening from her
window to wait for the others.

A beautiful view met her eye. The lawn was terraced in many slopes, and
the flower-beds and shrubberies, though arranged with French precision,
formed a beautiful landscape. There were fountains playing, and here
and there arbours and trellises and pleasant paths.

But the girls called to her, and Patty joined them, and twining their
arms about each other's waists, they walked down the broad staircase.

They were all in white, and their pretty frocks and dainty slippers
made a modern note that contrasted strangely but pleasantly with the
antique relics and ancient atmosphere of the chateau.

When they reached the great hall, a footman ushered them into the grand
drawing-room where they were to await Ma'amselle.

She soon appeared, resplendent in her old-time grandeur, and going to
greet her, the girls kissed her hand, an old custom which greatly
pleased their hostess.

"But it is of a joy to see you!" she exclaimed. "Me, I am so much
alone. It is not good to be alone, and yet, it is my choice. I stay in
the home of my ancestors, therefore I stay alone. Voila!" she shrugged
her shoulders, as if to emphasise the fact that it was more joy to live
alone in the old chateau than to be anywhere else.

"But I am not always alone," she went on; "no, it is that my Henri, my
nephew, comes to me at occasion. And he comes soon. Jour de l'an always
brings him. He spends the day with me. He makes me a pleasure. And you
shall see him, you young ladies. Ah, how he is beautiful!" The old lady
clasped her hands and turned her gaze upward, and the girls were fain
to believe that her nephew was indeed a wonderful specimen of humanity.

Then the dinner was announced, and leaning on the arm of an old
footman, who was quite as dignified as she was herself, Ma'amselle led
the way to the dining-room.

The table appointments, Patty thought, would have done justice to any
of the most celebrated characters in French history, had they been
there to enjoy them.

Although not exactly embarrassed, the girls were a little bit awed at
splendour so unusual to them. To Rosamond it seemed distinctly humorous
that three such young American girls should be honoured guests in such
a regal household; to Elise it seemed extremely interesting, and the
novelty and strangeness of it all impressed her more than the grandeur.

But Patty, with her usual quick ability to accept a situation, seemed
to take everything for granted, and made herself quite at home. The
wonderfully garbed footmen who stood behind their chairs like statues,
except when they were wound up, nearly made Rosamond giggle; but to
Patty, they were merely part of the performance, and once accepted as
such, of course, they belonged in the picture.

This readiness to adapt herself to any circumstances was inherent in
Patty's nature, and she sat there and conversed with her hostess as
charmingly and naturally as if at a plainer board.

Rosamond was much impressed by what she chose to consider Patty's
"nerve," and determining not to be outdone, she exerted herself to be
bright and entertaining, and as Elise was always more or less of a
chatterbox, the three girls provided much entertainment, and their
hostess was delighted with her congenial guests.

After the rather lengthy dinner was at an end, the old Ma'amselle took
the girls through various apartments, and showed them many of the
treasures of the Chateau.

Then they went to the music room and Patty was persuaded to sing.

She sang several songs, and then they all sang choruses together, in
some of which the old Ma'amselle joined with her thin but still sweet
voice.

"And now," she said at last, "it is to tear the heart--but I must send
you babies to bed. Me, I sleep so badly, but you young girls, of a
surety, must have the tranquil rest. It is then 'Bon Soir,' and in the
morning you are to amuse yourselves. You have but to ring for your
chocolate, when you awake, and then pursue your own pleasures until
noon, when I will meet you at dejeuner."

After affectionate good-nights, the girls went to their rooms, and a
half hour later, wrapped in kimonos and with their long braids hanging
down their backs, they were all perched on Patty's big bed--alone at
last.

"But it is of a gorgeousness," exclaimed Rosamond, mimicking, but not
unkindly, the old Ma'amselle's imperfect English; "me, I never have so
many feetmen at home! Is it that you do, Patty?"

"But I like it all," exclaimed Patty, giggling at comical Rosamond, but
standing up for her own opinions; "of course I'm not envious a mite,
and I don't know even as I'd care to live in this way all the time, but
it's lovely for a few days, and I'm just going to pretend I'm La Grande
Mademoiselle."

"Do," cried Elise, "and I'll be Empress Josephine. Who'll you be,
Rosamond?"

"Oh, I'll be Queen Elizabeth, who has come to visit you. There's
nothing French about me, so there's no use pretending, but I might be
an English Queen."

"Well, Josephine and Elizabeth, you'd better run to bed now," said
Patty, "for I'd like the exclusive occupancy of this upholstered
tennis-court myself."

Amazed to find that it was after midnight, the other girls ran laughing
away, and Patty climbed in behind the chintz curtains, almost
persuading herself that she was a royal Princess after all.

Next morning the Queen and the Empress came bounding in, and shook La
Grande Mademoiselle till she awoke.

"This bed is the biggest," announced Queen Elizabeth, "and so we're all
going to have our chocolate in here."

"Well, I like the way you monopolise my apartments!" exclaimed Patty.

"I'm glad you like it," said Rosamond; "but we'd come just the same if
you didn't. Now stop your giggling, while I ring the bell, and see what
happens."

A dainty French waitress answered the summons, and smilingly asked for
orders.

Patty modestly asked for chocolate and rolls for them all, but the
French maid volunteered the information that Ma'amselle was of the
opinion that the young ladies would like an omelette, and perhaps a jar
of marmalade.

[Illustration with caption: "They were all perched on Patty's big
bed--alone at last"]

"Heavenly!" exclaimed Rosamond, rolling her eyes in ecstacy, and the
waitress departed on her errand.

"This is the jolliest picnic yet," declared Elise, a little later as
she sat, propped up by pillows, in a corner of the big chintz tent, and
devoured flaky hot rolls and apricot marmalade.

The girls were each in a corner of the great bed, which left ample room
in the centre for the tray full of good things, and though perhaps an
unusual place for a picnic, it was a most hilarious festivity.



CHAPTER XVI

AN EXPECTED GUEST


The three girls spent a delightful morning exploring the old Chateau,
and its park and garden. The clear air was brisk and keen, and a few
hours out of doors sent them back into the house with rosy cheeks and
bright eyes.

They discovered a delightful room that they had not seen before, which
was built out from one of the wings, and whose walls and ceiling were
entirely of glass.

"This is something like your room at home, Elise," said Patty, as they
seated themselves there.

"Not very much; my room is glass, to be sure, but it's square, and this
circular apartment is quite a different matter. And did you ever see
such exquisite furniture? I can quite believe myself an Empress when I
sit gracefully on this gilded blue satin sofa."

"I'm glad you think you're sitting gracefully," said Rosamond, laughing
at Elise, who, in her favourite position, had one foot tucked up under
her.

"I don't care," said Elise. "Probably Josephine would have liked to sit
on her foot, only she didn't dare."

"Her empire would have tottered if she had done such a thing as that,"
observed Patty, "but as it tottered anyway, she might as well have sat
as she pleased."

Ma'amselle joined the young people at luncheon time, and although she
called it breakfast, the repast was quite as elaborate and formal in
its way as dinner had been. But the girls brought to it three healthy
young appetites, that did full justice to the exquisite viands set
before them.

At the table, Ma'amselle announced to the girls her plans for their
entertainment.

It seemed that she expected her nephew that evening, to spend a few
days, and as the next day would be the great festival of New Year's
Day, she had planned a celebration of the event.

So she proposed that except for a short automobile drive that afternoon
the girls should rest and keep themselves fresh for dinner-time, when
she expected the arrival of her paragon of a nephew.

From her description of the young man, the girls were led to think that
he must be a sort of fairy prince in disguise,--and not very much
disguised, either.

So in the afternoon the three girls and Ma'amselle went for a drive in
one of the great touring cars, of which Ma'amselle had several.

Patty begged to be allowed to sit in front with the chauffeur, and
rather astonished that impassive factotum by asking to be allowed to
drive.

He was very much disinclined to grant her request, lest it should
displease the old Ma'amselle, of whom all her servants stood greatly in
awe; but when Patty appealed to her hostess, and received a not very
willing permission, the chauffeur allowed her to change seats with him,
and really drive the car.

He was greatly surprised at Patty's skill, and became more than ever
convinced that Americans were a strange race.

Their route lay past the railway station and along the beautiful
terrace which skirts the forest of St. Germain on one side, and
commands such a marvellous view of the valley and the Seine.

Returning home, the girls were left to their own devices until
dinner-time, when they were adjured to array themselves appropriately
to do homage with the wonderful Henri.

"Henri must be something out of the ordinary," declared Elise, when the
girls were alone.

"Probably not," said Patty; "only Ma'amselle thinks him so."

"At any rate I'm anxious to see him," declared Elise, "for I don't know
any real live French boy except that Pauvret who was on the steamer,
and he was too lackadaisical for any use."

"Well, I don't apprehend M'sieu Henri will be much better," said Patty;
"I don't care much about Frenchmen, anyway. What are you going to wear,
girls?"

"I shall wear my red chifon," said Rosamond; "it's most becoming to me;
I'm a perfect dream in it, and I shall quite cut out you other girls
with our foreign prince."

"Pooh!" said Elise; "he won't look at you when he sees me in my white
tulle. I'm the Frenchiest thing in that you ever saw!"

"Oh girls," cried Patty, "I'm going to wear my light blue crepe de
chine. And then we'll be red, white and blue! Won't that be a graceful
compliment to the French colours, as well as to our own dear flag!"

"Long may it wave!" cried Rosamond, and then following Patty's lead,
the girls sang the "Star Spangled Banner" with true American heartiness
and patriotism. This they followed up with the "Marseillaise," in which
they were interrupted by the appearance of one of the maids in a great
state of excitement.

In breathless haste, which made her French difficult for them to
understand, she explained that Ma'amselle had had a telegram of
dreadful import, and would the young ladies attend upon her at once.

The maid ushered the wondering girls to Ma'amselle's apartments and
found her in her dressing-room, in the hands of her maid, who was
assisting her in a hasty toilette.

The tears were rolling down the old lady's cheeks, and she seemed to be
in a state of trembling agitation.

"Ah, mes enfants" she cried, "but it is news of the most dreadful! Mon
Henri, my well-beloved nephew,--his arm,--it is broken! Ah the sadness
for the poor boy. Me, I fly to him at once,--but at once! You, but you
will excuse me, you will forgive, because of the dear boy! I go to
Paris, but I return, bringing my boy with me."

It was rather a mixed-up explanation, but the girls finally gathered
that Henri had had the misfortune to break his arm, and had sent for
his aunt to come to Paris and spend the New Year Day with him instead
of taking his intended trip to St. Germain.

Henri had not known that his aunt had the young ladies visiting her,
and so had no idea that he was disarranging her plans to such an extent.

"He can come!" she exclaimed; "bah, it is not his legs; it is but his
arm. Of a certainty, one does not walk on one's arm! But the dear boy!
I shall go to him and explain all. Then we will return, and there shall
be feasting and happiness. A broken arm is not so much,--it will
mend,--but to him I must fly!"

Patty endeavoured to find out definitely the old lady's plan, but she
could only gather that there was no time to be lost, that Ma'amselle
must catch the seven o'clock train.

To be sure of this, she must leave the house at half-past six.

And so she started, in her swift touring car, accompanied by her maid
and a groom, in addition to her capable and trusty chauffeur.

Away they went, and the girls returned to the drawing-room to consider
the situation.

"It was all over so quickly," said Patty, "that I hardly know whether
I'm on my head or my heels. What a whirlwind Ma'amselle is!"

"Yes, she flew around like a hen with its head off, or whatever French
hens do," said Rosamond; "if she whisks that broken-armed boy home as
fast as she whisked herself off they'll be here in a minute."

"She can't," said the practical Elise. "If she takes that seven o'clock
train, she won't get to Paris until nearly eight, and then, I don't
know where the interesting invalid lives, but anyway, to kidnap him and
get back here again is a matter of several hours. I don't expect to see
them before midnight."

"What shall we do?" said Patty; "shall we have our dinner?"

"I don't believe we'll have any say in the matter," volunteered Elise.
"I think that waxwork butler, and the 'feetmen,' as Rosamond calls
them, will arrange our lives for us, and we'll be simply under orders."

"What an exciting experience," exclaimed Patty; "to think of us three
American girls, alone except for the servants, in a gorgeous old French
Chateau! I feel as if I must do something to live up to my privileges."

"Suppose anything should happen that Ma'amselle never came back,"
suggested Rosamond; "we could take possession of the place and live
here forever."

"I don't think much of that plan," declared Patty; "New York is good
enough for me, as a permanent residence. But I do want to do somethink
in keeping with the atmosphere of this place. If there's a dungeon keep
on the premises, I think I'll throw you two girls into it, after having
first bound you in chains."

"You mean a donjon keep, Patty," said Elise; "you're so careless with
your mediaeval diction."

A noise in the hall, as of an arrival, startled the girls, and rising
impulsively, they flew out to see what it was all about.

To their astonishment, they found the footmen holding open the great
front doors, while three stalwart young men entered.

The middle one, who was partly supported by the other two, had his arm
in a sling, and as he was undoubtedly a Frenchman, the girls were sure
at once that he was no other than the worshipful Henri.

At sight of the three astonished girls the three young men looked
equally amazed, and whipping off their caps, they made profound bows to
the strangers.

It was a comical situation, for doubtless Henri had expected to see his
aunt, and was instead confronted by three unmistakably American misses.

Of the six, quick-witted Patty grasped the situation first.

"You are Monsieur Henri Labesse, is it not so?" she said, advancing
toward the broken-armed one.

In her haste and bewilderment, Patty spoke in English, forgetting that
the young man might not understand her native tongue.

But he answered in English quite as good as her own, though with a
decided French accent, "Yes, Mademoiselle, I am Henri Labesse. I make
you my homage, These are my two friends, Cecil Villere and Philippe
Baring."

"We are glad to welcome you," said Patty, in her pretty, frank way;
"these are my friends, Mademoiselle Farrington and Mademoiselle
Barstow. We are guests of your aunt."

"Ah, my aunt!" said Henri, as the other boys acknowledged the
introductions, "where is she? Did she not get my telegram?"

"She did, indeed," returned Patty, smiling, "and she went flying off to
Paris."

"But my second telegram; I wired again, saying I would come here."

"No, she did not get your second telegram,--only the first one
announcing your accident."

"And she has gone! oh how dreadful! but can we not stop her? Let us
send post haste after her."

"It's no use," said Elise; "she has been gone about ten minutes, and in
her fast car she is now more than half way to the station."

"Did you boys come in an automobile?" asked Patty.

"No," replied Mr. Villere; "we came in a rickety old cab from the
station, and it has gone back."

Patty's thoughts were flying rapidly. It seemed dreadful to let the old
Ma'amselle go to Paris on a wild-goose chase, when if she could but be
stopped, and brought back home, it would save the long and troublesome
journey and be a delight to them all.

She not only thought quickly, but she determined to act quickly.

"Can either of you boys drive an automobile?" she demanded of the two
uninjured guests.

With voluble lamentations the two confessed their inability in that
direction.

"Elise," cried Patty, turning upon her a look, which Elise well knew
demanded implicit obedience, "you stay right here and play you're the
hostess of this Chateau, and see that you do it properly. Rosamond, you
come with me!"

Without a further glance at the astonished young men, without a word to
the pompous butler who was hovering in the background, Patty grasped
Rosamond by the arm and pulled her away with her.



CHAPTER XVII

A MOTOR RIDE


Bareheaded, and still dragging the astonished Rosamond, Patty rushed
outdoors, into the gathering dusk, and down toward the stables.

Confronting an astonished groom, she asked him in forcible, if not
entirely correct French, whether there was an assistant chauffeur, or
any groom who could run a motor car.

She was informed that there was not, that Ma'amselle's chauffeur
himself and the groom who had accompanied him were the only ones in the
establishment who knew anything about automobiles. If Mademoiselle
desired a coach, now?

But Mademoiselle did not desire a coach, and, moreover, Mademoiselle
seemed to know perfectly well what she did desire.

Beckoning to the groom, who followed her, she went straight to the
garage where the automobiles were kept. There was a touring car there,
almost the same as the one she had driven that afternoon, and Patty
looked at it uncertainly.

There was also a small runabout, but that was of a different make, of
which she knew nothing.

"Get in," she said briefly to the groom, and she pointed to the tonneau.

Accustomed to implicit obedience, the groom got in, hatless as he was,
and folding his arms stiffly, sat up as straight as if it were a most
usual experience.

"Hop up in front, Rosamond," went on Patty, "and don't try to stop me,
for I'm going to do exactly this; I'm going to the station and catch
Ma'amselle before she gets on that seven o'clock train. There isn't
one-half second to spare; we can't even get our hats, and if we should
stop to talk it over with anybody, there'd be no use in going at all.
Now hush up, Rosamond, don't say a word to me, I've all I can do to
manage this thing!"

As Rosamond hadn't said a word, Patty need not have insisted on her
silence. But Patty was so excited that it made her quick of speech and
a little uncertain of temper.

She started slowly out of the garage, trying to remember exactly the
instructions she had so often received about starting. They went safely
out into the park road, and along toward the porter's lodge. Patty's
heart beat fast as she wondered uncertainly whether the porter would
open the gate for her or not, but she carried off matters with a high
hand, and ordered in the name of Ma'amselle Labesse that the gate be
opened, and it was. Through it they went, and out on to the high road.
Patty put on a higher speed, and they flew along like mad.

"Now you can speak if you want to, Rosamond," she said in a strained,
tense voice; "or no, perhaps you'd better not, either. There's
something the matter! The engine thumps; but it's all right, I know
what to do. If only the road keeps smooth,--if we come to no
ditches,--if we don't burst a tire! speak to me, Rosamond, do for
goodness' sake say something!"

"It's all right, Patty," said Rosamond, in a quiet voice, for she knew
that the greatest danger that threatened Patty was her own
over-excitement. "You're all right, Patty; keep on just as you are; be
careful of this down grade, and you can easily take the next hill."

"Good for you, Rosamond," said Patty, with a really natural laugh;
"you're a brick! My nerves ARE strained, but I won't think of that,
I'll think only of my car. Oh Rosamond, if only the road isn't bad in
any place!"

"It isn't, Patty, the road is perfect. Steady, now, dear, there's a
motor coming, but you can easily pass it. Don't you reverse or
something?"

"Keep still, Rosamond, do keep still! I know what to do!"

Rosamond kept still.

On they flew, the wind in their faces cutting like a cold blast; their
hair became loosened as it streamed back from their foreheads.

It was the excitement of danger, and 'way down in their hearts both
girls were enjoying it, though they did not realise it at the moment.
What the statuesque groom who sat up behind felt, nobody will ever
know. He kept his head up straight, and his arms folded, and his face
showed a brave do-or-die expression, though there was nobody to notice
it.

"Oh, Rosamond," Patty went on, still in that breathless, gasping voice,
"if I only knew what time it was. There's no use whizzing at this
break-neck speed if we're not going to make the train after all! If I
thought it would be of any use I'd coast down this hill, but why should
we kill ourselves if we don't accomplish our object?"

"Patty, don't be a goose!" and again Rosamond's cool, common-sense
tones acted as a dash of cold water on Patty's overstrung nerves. "I'll
tell you what time it is. You keep right on with your knitting, and I
can get out my watch as easily as anything, and the next time we pass a
light I'll inform you the hour."

Reassured by Rosamond's sense and nonsense, Patty drove steadily on.

"It's five minutes to seven," announced Rosamond quietly, "but we can
already see the railroad lights in the distance, and besides, the train
is sure to be late. But, Patty, you can't go quite so fast as we get
into the town. You musn't! You'll be arrested!"

"They can't catch me," cried Patty, as she flew on, "and do keep still,
Rosamond, for goodness' sake keep still!"

Rosamond smiled to herself at Patty's command to her to keep still, for
she well knew it was merely a nervous exclamation and meant nothing.

On they went, Patty sounding the horn when it was unnecessary, and
failing to sound it when it was needed, but this made no difference in
their speed. Fortunately they met very few vehicles of any sort, and
had the good luck not to run over any dogs, but as they came in full
view of the station, they saw the train also approaching from the other
direction.

Patty knew that she had just about time to cross the track, but no more.

Instead of worrying her, this sudden last responsibility seemed to
steady her nerves, and she said quietly:

"It's all right, Rosamond. Don't speak, please, we've just time to
cross the track safely,--SAFELY. See, I'll open up the throttle,--just
a little more power,--and here we go, bounding over the track!"

They seemed to jump over the track, and with a round turn, Patty made
the corner, put on the brake and came to a full stop at the station
just as the funny little French train wheezed in.

But the girl could do no more; as the car came to a standstill Patty's
hands dropped from the wheel, and she promptly fainted away.

With no notion of losing the game at the last moment, Rosamond sprang
from the car, calling to the groom to look out for Patty, and then ran,
panting, to the train.

She grasped the old Ma'amselle as she was about to step on the train,
and forcibly pulled her away.

Owing to the old lady's angry and excited exclamation at being thus
detained, she could not understand what Rosamond was trying to tell her.

"Make her comprehend!" she cried to the maid, who was accompanying her
mistress, "make her understand, quick! she must not go to Paris!
Monsieur Henri is at the Chateau!"

But the French maid could understand no English, and in despair
Rosamond turned to the group of people who had gathered about them.

Her dignity suddenly returned, and her common sense with it.

"Will somebody who can talk French," she said, "explain to this lady
that she need not go to the house of her nephew with the broken arm,
because he is already at the Chateau of his aunt."

The moment she had uttered this sentence, its resemblance to the
Ollendorff exercises struck Rosamond as very funny, and she began to
giggle.

But the old Ma'amselle at last understood the state of the case, and,
her face beaming with smiles, she turned away from the train and back
to the station.

Patty had come to herself after her momentary unconsciousness, and was
all right once more, though physically tired from her exciting
exertions.

Ma'amselle's own chauffeur was overcome with amazement when he learned
what Patty had done, and took off his cap to her, with the air of one
offering homage to a brave heroine.

As for Ma'amselle, she petted Patty, and cried over her, and thanked
her, and blessed her, to an extent that could not have been exceeded
had Patty saved her from the guillotine.

Then Patty was packed into the back seat of the big car, with
Ma'amselle on one side of her and Rosamond on the other. And with this
precious freight the chauffeur started off, leaving the groom who had
gone with the first party to bring home the other car.

Though there was not much talking done on the way home, Ma'amselle held
Patty's hand closely clasped in her own, and the girl felt well repaid
by the old lady's unspoken gratitude for the trouble and danger she had
undergone.

When they reached home, and Ma'amselle had warmly welcomed her nephew,
there was great to-do over Patty's daring journey.

"All's well that ends well," said Elise, "but you'll catch it, Patty
Fairfield, when mother hears of your performance. If I had been in
Rosamond's place you would have had to drive that car out over my dead
body!"

"That's why I didn't take you, Elise," said Patty, laughing; "I knew
you'd raise a terrible row about my going, while Rosamond obeyed my
orders like a meek little lamb."

"You should at least have let me accompany you, Mademoiselle
Fairfield," said Philippe Baring; "I cannot drive an automobile, I
regret to say, but I might have been a protection for you."

Patty didn't see any especial way in which Mr. Baring could have
protected her, but she didn't say so, and only thanked him prettily for
his interest in her welfare.

Henry Labesse was enthusiastic in his admiration and praise of Patty,
and declared that American girls were wonders.

Ma'amselle was so pleased to think she had been saved a useless trip to
Paris, and to think that she should be able now to spend the evening
with her young guests, and above all, to think that her beloved nephew
was with her, that she hovered around like an excited butterfly from
one to another.

Then she sent them all away to dress for dinner, which, though belated,
was to be a merry feast.

And, indeed, it proved so.

Old Ma'amselle came down first, and stood in the grandest drawing-room
to receive her honoured guests.

The three boys came next, in their immaculate evening dress, which
Henri had managed to get into in spite of his sling.

Then came the girls, the three, as usual, walking side by side, with
their arms about each other. They had carried out their plan of red,
white and blue dresses, and made a pretty picture as they entered the
drawing-room, and bowed in unison to their hostess.

The dinner was especially elaborate as to decorations, and confections
that would please the young people, and the chef had done his very best
to make his part of the occasion a worthy one.

Henri Labesse proved to be an exceedingly jolly young man, quite
bubbling over with gay spirits and witty sallies He did not hesitate to
joke with his aunt, who, notwithstanding her dignity, was never
offended at her nephew's bantering speeches.

The other two boys, though a trifle more formal than Henri, and perhaps
a little bit shy, after the manner of very young Frenchmen, were
willing to do their share, and as our three American girls were in the
highest of spirits, the feast was a gay one, indeed.

Ma'amselle gazed around at her brood with such delight and satisfaction
that she almost forgot to eat.

Over and over again she wanted it explained to her how Henri had broken
his arm in his gymnasium class, how he had thought he would not be able
to go to St. Germain, and so had telegraphed his aunt to come to him,
and how, later, the doctor had patched him up so that he could go, and
he had followed close upon the heels of a second telegram.

The delayed message arrived while they were at dinner, and Henri
twisted it up, and lighting it at a candle flame, burned it, saying it
was a bad spirit which had worked them ill, but which should trouble
them no more.

Then Ma'amselle wanted to hear again all about Patty's wonderful ride,
the difficulties she had encountered, the nerve strain she had
experienced, and the help and comfort Rosamond had been to her.

"And," concluded Patty as she wound up her recital, "I don't want any
one to tell Mrs. Farrington about it, because I want to tell her
myself."

Elise smiled, for she well knew that Patty's wheedlesome ways would
persuade Mrs. Farrington to look leniently on the episode, although it
had, indeed, been a desperately dangerous piece of business.

But Ma'amselle Labesse asserted that after she had said what she had to
say to Mrs. Farrington, she knew that Patty would not be reprimanded by
her, but rather be deemed worthy of the Cross of the Legion of Honour.

Patty smiled at them all, in reality caring little, even if she were
reprimanded. She knew she had done a daring thing, but she had kept her
head, and had come through it safely, and having won, she felt it was
her right to laugh.

"Are all American girls so brave and fearless?" inquired Mr. Villere.

"I think most of them are," said Patty, "but you must understand I was
not recklessly daring. I have had many lessons in motoring, and I'm a
fairly expert driver. Of course, everybody is liable to accidents, and
I took my chances on them, but not on my driving."

"You took chances on losing your head," remarked Rosamond.

"So did Marie Antoinette," returned Patty saucily, "but you see I fared
better than she did."



CHAPTER XVIII

A NEW YEAR FETE


The next morning was the day of the New Year. As usual, every one did
as he or she chose during the morning hours, but luncheon time brought
them all together again.

The three boys had been out of doors all the morning, and seemed glad
to return again to the society of the American strangers.

The girls had been happy enough by themselves, and though they liked
the French boys well enough, had privately agreed that they were not
half as nice as American boys.

But half a dozen young people, if good-natured and enthusiastic, are
bound to have a merry time together, and as the six grew better
acquainted their national differences wore away somewhat.

Ma'amselle announced that the fete of the day would be an early evening
party, followed by a supper.

She had invited the neighbouring gentry, both young and old, as was her
custom on Jour de L'AN, and, as she explained, she was making it "more
of an elaborateness" this year by asking her guests to come in fancy
costumes.

This delighted the girls, for they all loved dressing up, but they had
no notion where their fancy costumes were to come from.

But Ma'amselle replied, "It is arranged," and during the afternoon she
led them to a large apartment which she called the Room of the Robes.

Here she displayed to the enraptured girls costume after costume of
wonderful beauty and magnificence.

The Labesse line had been a long one, and apparently its ladies had
never worn out or given away any of their robes. Nor its men either,
for there were costumes of knights and courtiers, some of which would
surely fit the three young men at present under the Chateau roof.

The girls were bewildered at the maze of costumes, and scarcely knew
which to select.

Finally Patty chose a bewitching Watteau affair, with a short quilted
petticoat, and a looped overdress made of the daintiest flowered silk
imaginable. The petticoat was of white satin, and the overdress of
palest blue, with garlands of pink roses. The pointed bodice laced up
over a dainty neckerchief, and it was further adorned with borders of
pearls.

Rosamond pounced upon a scarlet and gold brocade, which she declared
was her ideal of a perfect gown.

Elise found a pink brocatelle, embroidered with silver, and after they
had selected head-dresses, fans, and many accessories to their
costumes, they scurried away to their own rooms to try them on.

"Aren't we having the time of our life?" exclaimed Rosamond, as she
peacocked about, gazing over her shoulder at her long court train.

"Yes, indeed," said Patty, with a little sigh of content; "I adore this
dressing-up performance, and really, girls, those boys are quite human
under their French polish."

"They're not so bad," said Elise, "if only they wouldn't bow so often,
and so exactly like dancing masters."

"Well, it's all fun," said Patty, "and I'm going to get that awfully
nice Francoise to do my hair. She can make it just like an old French
picture. Would you powder it?"

"No," said Elise, after a moment's consideration; "the powder shakes
off all over everything and you can't make it really white, anyway; and
besides, Patty, your hair is too pretty a colour to disguise with
powder."

"Thank you for the compliment, Elise, though a little belated; all
right, then, I'll leave my tow-coloured tresses their natural shade,
and decorate them with strings of pearls and light blue ostrich tips."

The pearls and feathers and the manipulations of Franchise's artistic
fingers transformed Patty's head into the semblance of an old French
miniature, and even Patty herself cast an approving glance at the
pretty reflection in the gilt-framed mirror.

The girls were wild with enthusiasm over Patty's appearance, though
truth to tell, their own effects were scarcely less picturesque.

But Patty's style lent itself peculiarly well to the Watteau dress, and
her little feet with their dainty silk stockings and high-heeled
paste-buckled slippers twinkled beneath the quilted petticoat with all
the grace of a real Watteau picture.

When they were ready, they walked down stairs, single file, with great
pomp and dignity, to find awaiting them three polished young courtiers,
who might have belonged to the Court of Versailles.

Ma'amselle herself was scarcely disguised, for in her ordinary costume
she never strayed very far from the styles and materials of her beloved
ancestors.

But she had on a royal robe, with a great jewelled collar, and strings
of gems depending from her throat. She wore a coronet that had belonged
to some of the ladies of her family, and she seemed more than ever a
chatelaine of a bygone day.

The rooms were decorated with flowers and plants, in honour of the
occasion, and hundreds of wax lights added to the brilliancy of the
scene.

An orchestra of stringed instruments played delightful music, and Patty
tried to forget entirely that she lived in the twentieth century, and
pretended that time had been turned back many, many years.

The guests began to arrive, and though their costumes were of great
variety, they were nearly all of French effects, and quite in harmony
with the scene. Patty did not seem to care much to converse, or even to
dance, but wandered around in a blissful state, enjoying the
picturesque scene.

"Probably I shall never see anything like this again," she thought to
herself, "and I just want to gaze at it until it is photographed on my
mind forever. Oh, won't it be fun to tell Nan and papa about it!"

Just then she saw Henri Labesse approaching her.

"I fear I shall be awkward, Mademoiselle," he said, glancing at his arm
in a sling, "but if you would forgive, and dance with me just once?"

"Of course I will," said Patty, her kind heart full of sympathy for the
poor fellow. "We can manage quite nicely, I'm sure."

Henri put his good arm round Patty's waist, and lightly laying her hand
on his shoulder, they glided away. Like most Frenchmen, young Labesse
was a perfect dancer, and as Patty was skilled in the art, they danced
beautifully together and seemed to be in no way impeded by the young
man's broken arm.

"What a dance!" exclaimed Patty, as the music stopped; "I never met any
one who dances as well as you do. If you dance like that with one arm,
what would do with two?"

"All the merit of my dancing was due to my partner," said Henri, with
one of his best bows, "you are like a fluff of thistledown, or a will
o' the wisp. Forgive me, but I had imagined that American ladies danced
like--like automobiles."

Patty laughed. "If you hadn't already paid me such a pretty
compliment," she said, "I should be angry with you for that speech. But
if you wish to know the truth of the matter, go and dance with Elise
and Rosamond, and then come back and tell me what you think of American
dancing."

Henri went away obediently, leaving Patty to decide among the group of
partners who were begging her for a dance.

Later on Henri returned. "You are right," he said gravely; "the
American demoiselles are, indeed, divine dancers; but, may I say it?
they are yet not like you. Will you not give me one more turn, and then
I must dance no more to-night; my aunt forbids it, on the absurd score
that I'm an invalid."

Willingly, Patty danced again with the young man, and as this time it
was a fancy dance, the exquisite grace of the couple soon attracted the
attention of the onlookers. One by one the other couples ceased
dancing, until at last Patty and Henri were alone upon the waxed floor,
while the others looked admiringly on. Inspired by the moment, Patty
indulged in some fancy steps, which were quickly understood and
repeated by Henri, and depending on a whispered word now and then for
direction, they advanced and retreated, bowed and chasseed in an
elaborate and exquisite minuet.

Henri's disabled arm, so far from being an obstacle to his grace,
seemed to lend a certain quaint dignity to his movements, and in his
court dress he looked like a wounded knight who had returned triumphant
from the tourney, to dance with his fair lady.

Great applause followed the final figure of their dance, and Henri led
pretty Patty, blushing with the honours heaped upon her, to his aunt.
The old Ma'amselle kissed her dear little friend, and the tears in her
eyes told Patty how much she had enjoyed the scene.

Then came the feast, which was all gaiety and merriment, and finally,
by general acclamation, Patty was about to be crowned Queen of the New
Year.

This, however, she would not allow, and taking the crown which was
offered her, she went over and placed it on the white hair of her
hostess, remarking that Ma'amselle was queen, and she herself the first
lady in waiting.

The picture of pretty Patty as she stood by the side of the regal old
lady, who sat, crowned, in her own chair of state, was worthy of a
painter, and many who saw it wished it might have been transferred to
canvas.

The festival broke up early, for the old Ma'amselle would not allow
late hours for her children, and as soon as the last guest was gone she
sent them scampering to bed, with strict injunctions for them not to
reappear until noon the next day.

The next day was ushered in by a dismal, pouring rain, and certain
outdoor pleasures which were planned for the afternoon had to be given
up.

"But I'll tell you what we will do," announced Patty as they gathered
in the great hall after luncheon, "we'll have an afternoon of American
fun, and we'll show you French boys some tricks you never saw before."

Having asked permission from Ma'amselle, who would not have refused her
had she asked to build a bonfire on the drawing-room carpet, Patty took
her friends to the kitchen.

The fat old chef was amazed, but greatly pleased that the American
demoiselles should honour his precincts, and he put himself, his
assistants and all his pantries at their service.

"First," said Patty, "we're going to have a candy pull."

The French boys had no notion what a candy pull might be, but they were
more than willing to learn.

A difficulty arose, however, when Patty undertook to explain to old
Cesar, the CHEF, that she wanted molasses. She didn't know the French
word for molasses, and when she tried SIROP, Cesar affably flew around
and brought her such a variety of SIROPS that she was overwhelmed. Nor
were they of any use to her, for they were merely sweet essences of
various fruits, and nothing like good old New Orleans molasses.

Cesar was desolate that he could not please Patty, and berated his
assistants down to the scullion for not knowing what the American young
lady wanted.

As soon as he could for laughter, Henri helped matters out by
explaining that what was desired was MELASSE.

"Ah! OUI, OUI, OUI!" exclaimed the delighted Cesar, and he sent the
kitchen boys flying for the right thing at last.

Laughing herself at the absurdity of making molasses candy, with the
assistance of half a dozen French cooks, Patty proceeded to measure out
cupfuls of the treacle and pour it into a skillet.

She was enchanted with the immaculate purity and spotlessness of the
French kitchen, which even that of a New England housewife cannot rival.

She had set the boys to cracking nuts and picking them out, and when
the time came, she added butter and a dash of vinegar to her boiling
candy, watched with great interest by Cesar, whose French repertoire
did not include any such strange mess as this.

After the candy was poured out into the pans, and partly cooled, the
pulling began.

Patty never liked this part of the performance herself, and she frankly
said so, stating that if the others wanted to pull the taffy she would
show them how. Elise declined, but Rosamond pulled away briskly, using
only the tips of her fingers, and with a practiced touch, until her
portion of candy became of a beautiful cream colour and then almost
white. After watching her a few moments, Cesar caught the trick, and
taking a large panful, pulled and tossed it about with such dexterity
that they all applauded.

Henri, of course, could not join in the sport, but Philippe and Cecil
undertook it bravely, though, meeting with difficulties, they soon gave
it up.

"It Is a knack," said Patty, "and though I can do it fairly well, I
hate it because it's so messy. But Cesar is an artist at it, so suppose
we let him do the rest."

Cesar willingly consented to this plan, and the young people ran away,
leaving him to finish the taffy.

"Next," said Patty, as after much washing of hands they had again
assembled in the glass parlour, "I'm going to teach you to play bean
bags."

Elise and Rosamond set up a shout of laughter at this, and the boys
looked politely inquisitive.

Calling a footman, Patty, who greatly enjoyed the joke of being waited
upon to such an absurd degree, asked him pleasantly to bring her some
beans. She chose her French carefully, designating what she wanted by
the term haricots.

"Oui, Mademoiselle," said the obsequious footman, hurrying away on his
errand. He quickly returned, bearing a tin of French beans on a silver
tray.

Patty burst into laughter, and so did the rest of them, though only
Elise and Rosamond knew what the joke was about.

"Non, Non!" exclaimed Patty, between her peals of laughter; "beans,
beans! oh, wait a minute, I'll tell you, I'll tell you; stop, let me
think!"

After a moment's hard thought, she triumphantly exclaimed, "Feve!"

"Oui, oui, oui," exclaimed the footman, comprehendingly, and away he
stalked once more. This time he returned with a large silver dish full
of coffee beans, neither roasted nor ground.

These Patty accepted with many thanks. "I don't believe," she said,
"that they have real bean-bag beans in this benighted country, and
these will answer the purpose just as well."

Then again summoning her best French to her aid, she asked the footman
to procure for her some pieces of material--cloth or cotton--and she
indicated the size with her finger, also asking him to bring a
work-basket. Then with an exhausted air she sat back in her chair and
waited.

"Patty, you do beat the Dutch!" said Elise; "you know he can't find
such things."

"Can't he?" said Patty complacently; "something tells me that that able
footman will return with material for bean-bags."

The boys were looking on with great amusement, though only half
understanding what it was all about. They understood English, and
nearly all of Patty's French, but BEAN-BAGS was an unknown word to them.

True to Patty's prophecy the clever footman returned, still grave and
immovable of countenance, but bearing a well-filled work-basket, and a
quantity of pieces of magnificent satin brocades which had been cut in
six-inch squares--that being the size indicated by Patty.

Patty took them with a gracious air of satisfaction, and rewarded the
footman with thanks in French and a smile in American.

"Now," she went on calmly, "I shall be pleased to have the assistance
of you two ladies, as I fancy these young men are not any more
accustomed to sewing than to pulling taffy."

But to her surprise Cecil declared himself an expert needleman, and
proved it by stitching up a bean-bag, under Patty's direction, in most
praiseworthy fashion.

Each of the girls made one, too, and when they were filled with the
coffee beans, and sewed up, Patty was again overcome by merriment at
the regal appearance of their satin brocaded bean-bags.

Then into the long hall they went, but alas! the girls could not bring
themselves to toss bean-bags in an apartment so filled with fragile
objects of value.

In despair Patty again consulted her friend the footman. As soon as he
understood her dilemma, he assured her he would arrange all; and in
less than fifteen minutes he came back to her, almost smiling, and
invited the party to follow him.

They followed to the picture gallery, where the ingenious man had
carefully placed a number of large, folding Japanese screens in front
of the pictures to protect them from possible harm.

Patty was delighted at this contrivance, and then followed such a game
of bean-bags as had probably never been seen before in all France.

The only drawback was that Henri could not take part in this sport, but
as Patty said wisely, "One cannot have everything in France; and, at
any rate, he can eat some of our American taffy, which must be cooled
by this time."



CHAPTER XIX

CYCLAMEN PERFUME


It didn't seem possible they had been at the Chateau for a week when
the day came to go home. "It was lovely at St. Germain," said Elise, as
they were once again settled in Paris, "but I'm glad to be back in the
city, aren't you, Patty?"

"Yes, I am, but I did have a lovely time at the Chateau. I think I like
new experiences, and the memory of them is like a lot of pictures that
I can look back to, and enjoy whenever I choose. I think my mind is
getting to be just like a postcard album, it's so filled with views of
foreign places."

"Mine is more like a kaleidoscope; it's all in a jumble, and I can't
seem to straighten it out."

But after a day or two the girls settled down into a fairly steady
routine of home life. They were both interested in their various
lessons, and though there was plenty of work, there was also plenty of
play.

They did not become acquainted with many French people, but the members
of the American Colony, as it was called, were socially inclined, and
they soon made many friends.

Then there was much shopping to be done, and Mrs. Farrington seemed
quite as interested in selecting pretty things for Patty as she did for
her own daughter.

The girls had especially pretty winter costumes of dark cloth, and each
had a handsome and valuable set of furs. In these, with their Paris
hats, they looked so picturesque that Mrs. Farrington proposed they
should have their photographs taken to send to friends at home.

The taking of the photographs developed into quite a lengthy
performance; for Mrs. Farrington said, that while they were about it,
they might as well have several styles.

So it resulted in their taking a trunk full of their prettiest dresses
and hats, and spending a whole morning in the photograph gallery.

"It's really more satisfactory," observed Patty, "to do these things by
the wholesale. Now I don't think I shall have to have photographs taken
again before I'm seventy, at least."

"You ought to have them at fifty," replied Elise; "you'll be such a
charming middle-aged lady, Patty. A little prim, perhaps, but rather
nice, after all."

"Thanks for the flattering prospect. I prophesy that when you're fifty,
you'll be a great artist, and you'll look exactly like Rosa Bonheur,
and you'll wear short grey hair and a linen duster. So you'd better
have plenty of photographs taken now, for I don't believe the linen
duster will be very becoming."

The photographs turned out to be extremely successful, both as
likenesses and as pictures. The girls sent many copies to their friends
in America, and Nan wrote back that she thought the girls ought to
hurry home, or they would become incorrigible Parisiennes.

Both Elise and Patty thoroughly enjoyed the hours they spent in the
great picture galleries. Although Elise had herself a talent for
painting, Patty had quite as great a love for pictures, and was
acquiring a true appreciation of their value. Sometimes Elise's teacher
would go with them, and sometimes Mr. or Mrs. Farrington. But the girls
liked best to ramble alone together through the Louvre or the
Luxembourg, and although the watchful Lisette walked grimly behind
them, they followed their own sweet will, and often sat for a long time
before their favourite pictures or statues.

"'The time has come, the Walrus said,'" said Patty one day, "when I
really must hunt up those things for Marian. She made a list of about
fifty things for me to take home to her, and though they're mostly
trifles, I expect some of them will not be very easy to find. Suppose
we start out with that Cyclamen perfumery she wanted. It's a special
make, by a special firm, but I suppose we can find it."

So that afternoon the girls started on their Cyclamen hunt. Lisette was
to have accompanied them, but she was suffering from a headache, and,
rather than disappoint the girls, Mrs. Farrington said that just for
this once they might go shopping alone in the motor-car with the
chauffeur.

In great glee the girls started off, and went first to several
perfumers in search of Marian's order.

But Cyclamen extract, made by Boissier Freres, was not to be found,
although many other French Brothers signed their illustrious names to
Cyclamen extracts, and although the Boissier Freres themselves seemed
to manufacture an essence from every known blossom except Cyclamen.

"It's no use," said Patty, "to take any other kind, for Marian simply
won't have it, and she'll say that she should think I might have found
it for her. Let's go to the Magasins du Louvre,--they're sure in that
big place to have every kind there is."

Leaving the motor-car at one of the entrances to the great building,
the girls went in. After following devious directions and tortuous
ways, they found the perfumery counter, and as they had now sufficient
command of the French language to make their wants accurately known,
they inquired for the precious Cyclamen. The affable salesman was at
first quite sure he could supply it, but an exhaustive search failed to
bring forth the desired kind.

Desolate at his inability to please the young ladies, he informed them
that nowhere could they find the object of their search, unless it
might be at the establishment of the Boissier Freres themselves, which
was across the Seine.

"Why, yes," cried Patty; "that's just what Marian said. She said I
would have to go across the Seine for it, and I didn't know what she
meant. Let's go, Elise; when I start out to do a thing I do like to
succeed."

"So do I. We'll take the whole afternoon for it, if necessary, but get
that stuff we will."

The obliging salesman wrote down the address for them, and, taking the
paper with polite thanks, the girls went away.

But when they reached the street their motorcar was not to be seen. In
vain they looked and waited, but could see nothing of the car or the
chauffeur. They returned to the shop and stood just inside the door,
where they watched and waited a long time.

"Something must have happened," Patty said at last, "and Jules has
taken the car away to get it fixed. But he ought to have let us know
that he was going. What shall we do, Elise?"

"I don't know what to do, Patty. I hate to waste this beautiful, bright
afternoon, when we might be doing our shopping and having a good time.
And I'm worried about Jules. The car seemed all right when we left it."

"Yes; nothing ever happens to that big car. I think Jules has gone away
on purpose. Perhaps he'll never come back."

"Oh, Patty, I don't know what to do, I'm sure. Let's telephone home."

"We can try it; but I know the telephone will be out of order. It
always is. I never knew a Paris telephone that wasn't."

Sure enough, when they tried to telephone, after much delay and many
unsuccessful attempts, they were informed that there was some
difficulty with the wires and that connection with the Farrington house
was impossible.

The girls returned to their post at the glass-doored entrance and stood
looking out with a discouraged air. Still no car appeared that they
could recognise as their own.

At last Patty said: "There's no use, Elise, in standing here any
longer. Jules has absconded, or been kidnapped, or something. Now, I'll
tell you what we'll do. Let's take a cab over to this perfumery place
and back again, and then if Jules isn't here waiting for us we'll go
right home in the same cab. I know your mother doesn't let us go in a
cab alone, but this is an emergency, and we have to get home somehow;
and while we're about it we may as well go over to the perfumery place.
It isn't very far."

"How do you know it isn't far?"

"Because I know a lot about Paris now, and I know the names of the
streets, and I know just about where it is, and of course the cabman
will know. We can talk French to him and we can act very dignified, and
anyway we'll be back here in fifteen or twenty minutes, so come on."

Elise was a little doubtful about the matter, but she yielded to
Patty's argument and they went out in the street. Patty stopped a
passing cab, and giving the driver the address, the girls got in.

As they rolled smoothly along Patty's spirits rose. "You see, we did
just the right thing," she said; "and we'll be back there now before
Jules is."

On they went, across the Seine and into a strange district, unlike any
they had ever seen before.

But it was not long before they came to the address written on the
paper. The girls went into the shop and found to their dismay that the
perfumery company was there no longer, but had moved some time since to
another address.

With great dignity, and fairly good French, Patty inquired the present
address of the firm, and, receiving it, returned to the cab.

"I'm determined," she said to Elise, "to go on with this thing, now
that I've begun it. I'm going to find that Cyclamen, just because I've
made up my mind to do so."

The cabman seemed to know the address indicated, and started his horse
off at a jog trot. On they went, farther and farther, and getting into
a more and more disagreeable district. The streets grew narrower, the
houses shabbier, and the people along the streets were noisy and
boisterous.

Patty did not like to admit it, but she began to wish she had not come,
and Elise was plainly frightened, for the people along the street
stared at the pretty American girls driving about alone in a public
conveyance.

At last Patty said in a low voice: "It's horrid, Elise, and I'm truly
sorry I insisted on coming. Shall we ask the man to go back?"

"Yes," said Elise; "that is, if you think best. But I hate to go any
farther in this horrid quarter."

So Patty explained to the driver that they had concluded not to go to
the perfumer's that day, and directed him to take them back to the
Magasins du Louvre.

But the cabman objected to this proposition, and said they were now not
far from the place they were in search of, and he would go on till they
reached it.

Patty expostulated, but the cabman was firm in his decision. He was not
impertinent, but he seemed to think that the young ladies were too
easily discouraged, and assured them they would soon reach their
destination. So they went on, and Patty and Elise grew more and more
alarmed as their situation became more unpleasant. It was certainly no
place for them to be, unattended, and the fact that they could not
persuade the cabman to go back dismayed them both.

But Patty's pluck stood by her. Grasping Elise's hand firmly, she
whispered: "Don't you collapse, Elise! If you cry I'll never forgive
you! Brace up now and help me through. It will be all right if we don't
act afraid."

"How can I help acting afraid?" said poor Elise, her teeth chattering,
"when I'm s-scared to death!"

"Don't be scared to death! I tell you there's nothing to be afraid of!
Brace up, I say!" Patty gave Elise's arm such a pinch as to make her
jump, and just then the cab stopped at the establishment of Boissier
Freres.

It proved to be the right place this time, and the girls went in.
Behind the counter stood a dapper young man, who waited on them
obsequiously. But when he heard Patty's request he said they did not
have that essence in their regular stock and only made it when ordered.

"Then," said Patty, at the end of her patience, "I'll order some. Will
you make it for me, please?"

"For that," said the young man, "I must refer you to another
department. You'll have to go to see M. Poirier, who takes such orders."

"And where shall I find him?" asked Patty.

The obliging young man began to write down an address. "It is some
distance away," he said, "and not a very accessible place to get to."

Patty looked at Elise and laughed. "I give it up," she said; "I thought
I could do Marian's errand, but it's proving too much for me!"

She thanked the young man for the address and put it away in her purse,
with but slight intention of ever using it. She bought a bottle of
another sort of perfumery, and, saying good afternoon, left the shop.

But when she and Elise regained the sidewalk there was no cab in sight.
They looked in every direction, but could see nothing of it.

"He can't have gone away," said Patty, "for I haven't paid him."

"But he has gone away," said Elise; "and oh, Patty, I just remember! I
left my purse on the seat!"

"Was there much in it?"

"Yes, a good deal. I haven't done any shopping yet, you know."

"Well, that explains it. He's gone off with your purse, for he knew
that very likely we didn't have his number, and of course we can never
find him again. Elise, don't you dare to cry! We're in an awful scrape
now, but we'll get out of it somehow if you'll only be plucky about it!
Don't you fail me, and I'll get out of it somehow!"

Patty's admonitions were none too soon, for Elise was on the very verge
of bursting into tears. But when Patty appealed to her for aid she
tried hard to overcome her fears and be a help instead of a hindrance.

Patty considered the situation. "I hate to go back into that shop and
ask that young man to call me a cab," she said, "for he was so fawning
and officious that I didn't like his manner a bit. But there doesn't
seem to be anything else to do, for there's no policeman in sight, and
of course no telephone station, and of course it wouldn't work if there
was one, and there's no other place about here that looks as if I dare
go in, and so we must go back and ask that horrid man. Now brace up,
Elise; put on your most haughty air and look as dignified as a duchess."

[Illustration with caption: "'I just remember! I left my purse on the
seat!'"]



CHAPTER XX

THE BAZAAR


Elise tried hard to follow Patty's directions, but she did not
represent a very haughty type of duchess as she tremblingly followed
Patty into the shop.

But Patty herself held her head high, and assumed the dignity of a
whole line of duchesses as she stalked toward the counter. She chose
her French with much care, and in exceedingly formal diction informed
the young man that she desired to call a cab.

Without expressing astonishment at this, the young man politely assured
her that he would call a cab for her at once; that it would take some
time to procure one, as there were none save at a considerable distance.

There being nothing else to do, poor Patty expressed herself as willing
to wait, but coldly desired that all possible haste be made.

The fifteen minutes that the girls waited was perhaps the most
uncomfortable quarter of an hour they had ever spent in their lives,
and indeed it seemed more like fifteen hours than fifteen minutes. They
scarcely spoke to one another; Patty, feeling the responsibility of the
whole affair, was thinking what she should do in case a cab didn't
come, while Elise was entirely absorbed in her earnest endeavours not
to cry.

But at last a cab appeared and the two girls got in.

Patty gave the order to drive back to the great shop from which they
had started on their adventure.

It seemed an interminable distance through the unpleasant streets, but
when at last they reached the Magasins du Louvre and drew up to the
entrance Elise gave a delighted cry, and said: "Oh, there's our car,
and Jules in it!"

The car was across the street, and the chauffeur sat with his arms
folded, in an attitude of patient waiting. The girls got out of the
cab, Patty paid the cabman, and as they beckoned to Jules, he started
the car across the street toward them.

"Where have you been?" inquired Elise, in a reproving tone.

But the chauffeur declared that he had sat the whole afternoon in that
one spot, waiting for the young ladies.

When Elise said that they had come to the door and looked for him in
vain, he only asseverated that he had not moved from the spot opposite
the entrance, but had been there all the time watching the door for
their reappearance.

As she had never known Jules to be untruthful, Elise was bewildered at
this statement, but presently a light dawned on Patty.

"I see, Elise," she cried; "it's the other entrance! The doors are
almost exactly the same! This is the one where we went in, but we came
out at the door on the other street, and we were such idiots we didn't
know the difference!"

"And we flattered ourselves that we knew Paris!" exclaimed Elise.
"Well, Patty, let's go home. We're not fit to be trusted out alone."

So home the girls went, feeling decidedly light-hearted that they were
so well out of their scrape.

Patty went at once to Mrs. Farrington and gave her an exact narrative
of the whole affair. She took all the blame on herself, and it was
rightfully hers, saying that she had persuaded Elise against her will
to go in the cab across the Seine to the perfumer's.

Mrs. Farrington laughed at Patty's extremely penitential air, and said:
"My dear child, don't take it quite so seriously. You're not to blame
for mistaking the doors. That big shop is very confusing, and after
waiting for Jules, and telephoning, and all that, you did quite right
to take a cab, as it was really an emergency. But you did not do right
to go exploring an unfamiliar quarter of Paris on an uncertain errand.
However, you certainly had punishment enough in your bewilderment and
anxiety, and I think you have learned your lesson, and nothing more
need be said about it."

Nothing more was said about it by way of reprimand, but many times
Patty was joked by the Farrington family, and often when she started
out anywhere was advised not to try to buy Cyclamen perfumery.

Toward the end of January the Van Ness girls came to call. They had
returned to Paris as they expected, and were truly glad to see Patty
and Elise again.

"We've had a lovely trip," Doris declared; "but we're awfully glad to
get back to Paris. And oh, girls, I want to tell you about a plan in
which we're awfully interested. There's a poor girl, an American, and
her name is Leila Hunt."

"Let me tell," broke in Alicia; "she's an art student, and she's trying
to support herself in Paris while she studies. And the other day we
were walking through the Louvre, and we saw her there."

"Copying a picture," chimed in Doris.

"Yes, copying a picture," went on Alicia; "and she was so faint,
because she doesn't have enough to eat, you know, that she fell off the
stool and fainted away from sheer exhaustion."

"How dreadful!" cried Patty; "can't we help her?"

"That's just it," said Doris; "we want to help her, and we're getting
up a bazaar for her benefit. But she mustn't know it, for she's awfully
proud, and wouldn't like it a bit."

"You know her personally, then?" asked Elise.

"Yes; we hunted up her address and went to see her, and the poor thing
is so weak and thin, but awfully brave and plucky. And papa says he'll
give some money, and I thought perhaps Mr. Farrington would, too; and
then we thought it might help to have a bazaar and make some money that
way, and then we'll send it to her anonymously, for I don't believe
she'd take it any other way."

Rosamond Barstow was present at this conversation, and she said: "I
think it's a lovely plan, and I'll be glad to help. Where are you going
to hold the bazaar?"

"That's the trouble," said Alicia; "we don't know any place that's just
right. You see, we're at a hotel, and a bazaar in a hotel is so public.
I suppose there isn't room in this house?"

"No," said Elise; "there are plenty of rooms, but no one is big enough
for an affair of that kind."

"But we have one," exclaimed Rosamond eagerly. "Our house has an
immense ballroom. We almost never use it, but it would be just the
place for a bazaar."

"Would your people like to have us use it?"

"Oh, yes; mother lets me do anything I like. And, anyway, she'll be
awfully glad to help an American girl--you said an American girl,
didn't you?"

"Yes, Miss Hunt is from New England. Oh, it will be lovely if we can
have the bazaar in your house, and all the American colony will come,
and we'll make a lot of money."

The plan was laid before Mrs. Farrington, who entirely approved of it,
and then the five girls went over to Rosamond's to ask Mrs. Barstow's
consent, and to look at the ballroom.

Mrs. Barstow was greatly pleased with the idea and consented at once
that the bazaar should be held in the ballroom, and she went with the
girls to look at the big apartment and to make plans.

As the Van Ness party were only to remain in Paris a week, it was
necessary that the affair should be arranged speedily and the plan
quickly carried out.

Mrs. Van Ness, Mrs. Farrington, and Mrs. Barstow were to be
patronesses, but the girls, the two Van Ness boys, and Martin Barstow
were to do the actual work and make all arrangements.

It was a somewhat original scheme of entertainment, and as Alicia
described it the rest all agreed that it would be great fun.

It was to last only one afternoon, from three to six, and it was called
the "Bazaar of Arts and Manufactures."

The girls called upon many members of the American colony and asked
them to donate material of any kind, such as silks, satins, ribbons,
fancy paper, materials or fabrics of any sort.

They responded generously, and also gave many articles to be sold at
the bazaar, and promised to send contributions for the refreshment room.

The boys declared that their part was the decoration of the ballroom,
and they not only ornamented the room, but built various little booths
and arranged such counters and tables as were needed.

When the day of the bazaar came nobody knew quite what the
entertainment was to be, but were prepared for an original amusement of
some kind.

After a large crowd of people had assembled Guy Van Ness mounted a
platform and announced that there would now be held a contest of arts
and manufactures. Everybody present, on the payment of a certain sum,
would be allowed to compete, and prizes were offered to the successful
competitors in each department.

Then, greatly to the amusement of the audience, he announced that the
various achievements arranged for were such easily accomplished feats
as the trimming of hats, the painting of pictures, modelling in clay,
making paper flowers, and various other arts and handicrafts, among
which each might select a preference.

After every competitor had qualified, and was fully prepared to begin,
a gong would be sounded. Exactly at the end of a half hour another gong
would sound, when every one must cease at once, whether the work was
finished or not.

As soon as the guests thoroughly understood what they were to do great
interest was displayed and competitors were rapidly entered for the
different contests.

Those who were artists took their places at a table provided with water
colors, oil paints, pastels, and drawing materials. The clay modellers
were at another table, with ample provision for their art.

Many ladies who declared they had no talents prepared to trim hats. All
sorts of material, such as velvet, lace, flowers, feathers, and ribbons
were provided, as well as the untrimmed shapes.

In another booth ladies prepared to make Japanese kimonos or
dressing-jackets, and in another booth were materials for paper flowers.

There was a burnt-wood outfit and sets of woodcarvers' tools, and
Robert Van Ness declared that he knew he could take the prize for
whittling.

Another booth held crepe paper for lampshades or other fancy work, and
it was not long before every one had selected an occupation and was
prepared to begin work.

Elise, of course, was going to draw a picture, and Patty concluded she
would trim a hat.

As it neared the time, Patty threaded her needle and put on her
thimble, but was not allowed to touch her material until the signal was
given.

Henri Labesse was at the bazaar, and though his arm was still a little
stiff, he entered the competition and was to model a figure of clay.

The gong struck, and everybody flew madly at their work, anxious to
complete it within the half hour.

Elise, who was methodical, began her drawing as slowly and carefully as
if she had the whole day for it, reasoning to herself that she would
rather hurry the finishing than the beginning.

Patty, on the other hand, dashed impatiently at her hat-trimming,
pinning things on here and there, thinking she would sew them if she
had time, and if not they could stay pinned.

Both the Van Ness girls were making paper lamp-shades, and Rosamond was
already well along on a picturesque Japanese kimono. She sewed up the
breadths like a wind-mill, and whipped on the bordering rapidly, but
with strong, firm stitches.

She would easily have taken the prize in her department, but the girls
had agreed among themselves that they would accept no prizes, even if
they won them.

When the gong struck at the close of the half hour some of the work was
still unfinished, but most of the articles were completed. And it was
indeed marvellous to see what could be done by people working at their
utmost speed.

Elise's picture was charming, and Patty's hat was among the prettiest.
Competent judges awarded the prizes, and then the articles, whether
finished or unfinished, were sold at auction. And they brought large
prices, for many of them were well worth having; and, too, the buyers
were quite ready to give liberally in aid of the worthy charity.

Henri Labesse had made a clay model of an American girl, which was a
gem in its characteristic effect and its skilful workmanship. It was
not quite finished, but of course was offered at auction along with the
other things.

There was lively bidding for the little figure, as everybody seemed to
recognise its artistic value. But, after being bidden up to a high
price, it was finally sold to a young man who, it turned out, was
merely acting as an agent for Henri Labesse himself. He had instructed
this young man to buy the figure in at any price, with a result that a
goodly sum went into the charitable treasury.

After receiving his own work back again Mr. Labesse took it across to
where Patty sat, and begged her acceptance of it, adding that he would
take it home and complete it before sending it to her.

Patty was delighted to have the little statuette as a souvenir of the
occasion, and also as a memento of Mr. Labesse, whom she thoroughly
liked.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in serving ices and cakes and fruit
to the patrons of the bazaar, and after it was all over the girls were
delighted to find that they had realised about twice as much money as
they had hoped for.

Alicia Van Ness was ecstatic, and declared it would make Miss Hunt
independent, and free of all financial worry during the rest of her
term in the art school. And as it was to be sent to her without a hint
as to its source, she could not refuse to accept it.

"I do think it was lovely of those Van Ness girls," said Patty, as they
discussed the bazaar at dinner-time, "to do all that for a perfect
stranger."

"I do, too," said Elise; "they're awfully good-hearted girls. When I
first met them I didn't like them much; they were so unconventional in
their manners. But travelling about has improved them, and they
certainly are generous and kind-hearted."

"Yes, they are," said Patty; "and I like them, anyway. I'm sorry they
are going away from Paris so soon."

"Well, I'm glad we're not going away," said Elise; "at any rate, not
just yet. How much longer do you suppose we shall stay here, mother?"

"I don't know, my child; but I'm getting about ready to go home. What
do you think, Patty?"

"Since you ask me, I must confess I should like to stay a while longer.
But if you're going home, Mrs. Farrington, I feel pretty sure we shall
all travel on the same boat."



CHAPTER XXI

A SURPRISE


But nothing more was said about going home, and the weeks slipped by
until it was March.

Everything seemed to be winding itself up. Patty's music term was
finished; Elise's drawing lessons were nearing their close for the
season, and Mrs. Farrington, though she said nothing about going home,
somehow seemed to be quietly getting ready.

Patty didn't exactly understand the attitude of her hostess. If she
were going home soon, Patty wanted to know it; and one day she
laughingly said so.

"I suppose," said Mrs. Farrington, looking at her quizzically, "it's
not unnatural that you should want to know when you're going to see
your native land again; but truly, Patty, I cannot tell you. I'll
promise you this, though: to-morrow you'll know more about it than you
do to-day."

Patty was mystified at this, for Mrs. Farrington's tone was even more
enigmatical than her words.

"And wait a minute, girls," said Mrs. Farrington, as they were about to
go to their rooms to dress for dinner; "put on your pretty new dresses
to-night, will you?"

"Why, mother?" said Elise in astonishment; "those are company gowns,
and there's no company here!"

"No, there's no company here, but put them on, as I tell you. I want to
see how they look."

"I don't see what's the matter with mother," said Elise, as they went
upstairs; "she's been restless and fidgety all day. And now the idea of
telling us to put on those new frocks!"

"I just as lieve do it," said Patty; "they're awfully pretty ones, and
I want to see how they look myself."

When the girls went downstairs they found Mrs. Farrington already in
the drawing-room.

She herself wore a more elaborate toilette than usual, and there seemed
to be an extra abundance of flowers and lights.

"What is the matter?" said Elise. "There's something about the
atmosphere of this house that betokens a party; but I don't see any
party. Is there any party, mother?"

"I don't see any, my child," said Mrs. Farrington, smiling.

"Where's father?" asked Elise.

"He's out," said her mother; "we're waiting for dinner until he comes."

Just then a ring was heard at the front door-bell.

"There's your father now," said Mrs. Farrington abruptly; "Patty, my
dear, won't you run up to my bedroom and get me my vinaigrette?"

"Why, you have it on, Mrs. Farrington," said Patty, in surprise; "it's
hanging from your chatelaine."

"Oh, yes, of course; so it is! But I mean my other one--my gold one.
Oh, no; I don't want two vinaigrettes, do I? I mean, won't you run up
and get me a handkerchief?"

"Why, mother!" exclaimed Elise, in surprise; "ring for Lisette, or at
least let me go. Don't send Patty."

"No, I want Patty to go," said Mrs. Farrington decidedly. "Please go,
my child, and get me a handkerchief from the drawer in my
dressing-table. Get the one that is fourth from the top, in the second
pile."

"Certainly," said Patty, and she ran upstairs, wondering what whim
possessed her hostess to send her guest, though ever so willing, on her
errand.

Patty had some little difficulty in finding the right handkerchief, in
spite of the explicit directions, and when she again reached the
drawingroom Mr. Farrington was there, and both he and his wife were
smiling broadly. Elise, too, seemed overcome with merriment, and Patty
paused in the doorway, saying: "What is the matter with you people?
Please let me into the joke, too!"

"Do you want to know what is the matter?" asked Mrs. Farrington, as she
took the handkerchief from Patty's hand. "Well, go and look behind
those curtains, and see what's in the alcove."

"I suppose," said Patty, as she deliberately walked the length of the
long drawing-room, "you've been buying the Venus of Milo, and it's just
been sent home, and you've set it up here behind these curtains. Well,
I shall be pleased to admire it, I'm sure!"

She drew the crimson curtains apart, and right before her, instead of a
marble statue, stood her father and Nan!

Then such an exciting time as there was!

Patty threw her arms around them both at once, and everybody was
laughing, and they all talked at the same time, and Patty understood at
last why they had been directed to put on their new dresses.

"Can it be possible that this is my little girl!" exclaimed Mr.
Fairfield, as he drew Patty down up on his knee, quite as he used to
when she was really a little girl.

"Nonsense!" cried Nan; "you haven't changed a bit, Patty, except to
grow about half an inch taller, and to be wearing a remarkably pretty
dress."

"And you people haven't changed a bit, either," declared Patty; "and
oh, I'm SO glad to see you!"

She flew back and forth from one of her parents to the other, pinching
them, to make sure, as she said, that they were really there.

"And now tell me all about it," she said, looking at the others; "did
you all know they were coming?"

"No," said Mrs. Farrington; "Mr. Farrington and I have known it for
some weeks, but we didn't dare tell Elise, for she's such a chatterbox
she never could have kept the secret, and we wanted so much to surprise
you."

"Well, you HAVE surprised me," said Patty; "and it's the loveliest
surprise I ever had. Oh, what fun it will be to take you benighted
people around to see Paris."

So Elise declared it was a party after all, and the dinner was a very
merry one, and the whole evening was spent in gay chatter about the
winter just past, and making plans for the summer to come.

Patty didn't gather very definitely what these plans were, but she soon
learned that Mr. and Mrs. Fairfield had come to Paris really to get
her, and then they were going on to London; and where else, Patty
neither knew nor cared.

The Farringtons were to return soon to America, and so the whole change
of outlook was so sudden that Patty was bewildered.

"You look as if you didn't quite know yet what has happened," said Mr.
Fairfield to Patty, as the whole party stood in the hall saying their
good-nights.

"I don't, papa," said Patty; "but I'm very happy. I've had a delightful
winter, and Mr. and Mrs. Farrington have been most beautifully kind,
and Elise is just the dearest chum in the world; but you know, papa,
home is where the heart is, and my heart belongs just to you and Nan,
and so now I feel that I am home again at last."

"And we're mighty glad to have you, little girl, again in our heart and
home. It was pretty lonesome without you all winter in New York. But
now we're all three together again, and we'll help each other enjoy the
good time that's coming."

"It seems too good to be true," said Patty, as she kissed her parents
good-night, and ran away to all sorts of happy dreams.





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