“I am glad that you think I’m sensible,” said Patty, looking earnestly at her visitor, toward whom she felt somehow drawn in despite of her queer manners. “And I’ll promise not to borrow anything from you under any circumstances.”
“That is all right,” said Miss Daggett, rising; “and that is all I came to say to you. I will now go home, and if I ever feel that I want you to return this call, I will let you know. Otherwise, please remember that I do not care to have it returned.”
Patty showed her guest to the door, and dismissed her with a polite “Good-bye.”
“Well!” she exclaimed to herself, as Miss Daggett walked out of the front gate with an air of stalwart dignity. “That’s a delightful specimen of a caller, but I hope I won’t have many more like that. She’s a queer kind of a neighbour, but somehow I rather think if I saw her more I should like her better.”
A PLEASANT EVENING
Marian came to dinner, and Frank came with her. As he announced when he entered, he had had no invitation, but he said he did not hesitate on that account.
“I should think not,” said Patty. “I expect all the Elliott family to live at my house, and only go home occasionally to visit.”
So Frank proceeded to make himself at home, and when Mr. Fairfield arrived a little later and dinner was served, it was a very merry party of four that sat down to the table.
As Patty had promised her father, the dinner was excellent, and it was with a pardonable pride that she dispensed the hospitality of her own table.
“What’s the dessert going to be, Patty?” asked Frank. “Nightingales’ tongues, I suppose, served on rose-leaves.”
“Don’t be rude, Frank,” said his sister. “You’re probably causing your hostess great embarrassment.”
“Not at all,” said Patty; “I am now such an old, experienced housekeeper, that I’m not disturbed by such insinuations. I’m sorry to disappoint you, Frank, but the dessert is a very simple one. However, you are now about to have a most marvellous concoction called ‘Russian Salad.’ I was a little uncertain as to how it would turn out, so I thought I’d try it tonight, as I knew my guests would be both good-natured and hungry.”
“That’s a combination of virtues that don’t always go together,” said Mr. Fairfield. “I hope the young people appreciate the compliment. To be good-natured and hungry at the same time implies a disposition little short of angelic.”
“So you see,” said Marian, “you’re not entertaining these angels unawares.”
“Bravo! pretty good for Mally,” said Frank, applauding his sister’s speech. “And if I may be allowed to remark on such a delicate subject, your salad is also pretty good, Patty.”
“It’s more than pretty good,” said Marian. “It’s a howling, screaming, shouting success. I am endeavouring to find out what it’s made of.”