It was great fun to pick out the furniture, rugs, and curtains for these rooms; and Patty tried very hard to select such things as her father would approve of, for she dearly loved to have him commend her taste and judgment.
As they were sitting at luncheon, Mr. Fairfield said: “This afternoon, I think, we will devote to pictures. I’m not sure we will buy any, but we will look at them, and I will learn what is your taste in art, and you will leant what is mine.”
“I haven’t any,” said Patty cheerfully. “I don’t know anything about art and never did.”
“You still have some time, I hope, in which to learn.”
“I’ve time enough, but I don’t believe I could learn. The only pictures I like are pretty ones.”
“You are hopeless, and that’s a fact,” said Mr. Fairfield. “Of all discouraging people, the worst are those who like pretty pictures!”
“But I’m sure I can learn,” said Patty, “if you will teach me.”
“You are more flattering than convincing,” said Mr. Fairfield, “but I will try.”
And so after luncheon they visited several picture shops, and Mr. Fairfield imported to his daughter what was at least a foundation for an education in art.
Back in Vernondale, Patty confided to Marian that she had had a perfectly lovely time all the morning, but the afternoon wasn’t so much fun. “In fact,” she said, “it was very much like that little book we had to study in school called ‘How to Judge a Picture.’”
The following Saturday another shopping tour was undertaken. This time Aunt Alice and Marian accompanied the Fairfields, and there was more fun and less responsibility for Patty.
Her father insisted upon her undivided attention while Mrs. Elliott selected table-linen, bed-linen, towels, and other household fittings; but, as these things were chosen with Fairfield promptness and decision, Patty had nothing to do but admire and acquiesce.
“And now,” she remarked, after they had chosen two sets of china and a quantity of glass for the dining-room; “now, if you please, we will buy me some tea-things to entertain the Tea Club.”
“We will, indeed,” said Mr. Fairfield, and both he and Aunt Alice entered into the selection of the tea-table fittings with as much zest as they had shown in the other china.
Dainty Dresden cups were found, lovely plates, and a tea-pot, and cracker-jar, which made Marian and Patty fairly shriek with delight.
A three-storied wicker tea-table was found, to hold these treasures, and Mr. Fairfield added the most fascinating little silver tea-caddy and tea-ball and strainer.
“Oh,” exclaimed Marian, made quite breathless by the glory of it all, “the Tea Club will never want to meet anywhere except at your house, Patty.”
“They’ll have to,” said Patty. “I don’t propose to have them every time.”
“Well, you’ll have to have them every other time, anyway,” said Marian.