“Where did you get her?” exclaimed Frank. “Do they grow on trees in the garden? I saw you out in the arbour with one.”
“Yes,” said Patty; “I picked her off a tree. She isn’t quite ripe, but she’s not so very green; and I think she’ll do. Never mind about her now. I can’t decide until I’ve had a talk with Aunt Alice. I’m so glad you decided on this house, papa. Oh, isn’t it lovely to have a home! It looks rather bare, to be sure, but, be it ever so empty, there’s no place like home. Now, what shall we name it? I do like a nice name for a place.”
“It has so many of those little boxwood Hedges,” said Aunt Alice, looking out of the window, “that you might call it The Boxwood House.”
“Oh, don’t call it a wood-house,” said Uncle Charley.
“Call it the wood-box, and be done with it,” Frank.
“I like ‘Hall,’” said Patty. “How is Boxwood Hall?”
“Sounds like Locksley Hall,” said Marian.
“More like Boxley Hall,” said Frank.
“Boxley Hall!” cried Patty. “That’s just the thing! I like that.”
“Rather a pretentious name to live up to,” said Mr. Fairfield.
“Never mind,” said Patty. “With Pansy Potts for a waitress, we can live up to any name.”
And so Patty’s new home was chosen, and its name was Boxley Hall.
As Boxley Hall was a sort of experiment, Mr. Fairfield concluded to rent the place for a year, with the privilege of buying.
By this time Patty was sure that she wished to remain in Vernondale all her life; but her father said that women, even very young ones, were fickle in their tastes, and he thought it wiser to be on the safe side.
“And it doesn’t matter,” as Patty said to Marian; “for, when the year is up, papa will just buy the house, and then it will be all right.”
Having found a home, the next thing was to furnish it; and about this Mr. Fairfield was very decided and methodical.
“To-morrow,” he said, as they were talking it over at the Elliotts’ one evening, “to-morrow I shall take Patty to New York to select the most important pieces of furniture. We shall go alone, because it is a very special occasion, and we can’t allow ourselves to be hampered by outside advices. Another day we shall go to buy prosaic things like tablecloths and carpet-sweepers; and then, as we know little about such things, we shall be glad to take with us some experienced advisers.”
And so the next day Patty and her father started for the city to buy furniture for Boxley Hall.
“You see, Patty,” said her father after they were seated in the train, “there is a certain proportion to be observed in furnishing a house, about which, I imagine, you know very little.”
“Very little, indeed,” returned Patty; “but, then, how should I know such things when I’ve never furnished a house?”