“No, dey ain’t; is yo’ fren’s gwine stay ter breakfus’?”
“Oh, no, I’d want the bacon for the club-sandwiches. Don’t worry, Mancy, they’ll all come out right.”
“Dey mought and den again dey moughtn’t,” grumbled the old woman, but undaunted Patty went on measuring and weighing with a surety of success that is found only in the young and inexperienced.
At one o’clock Marian walked out into the kitchen.
“Good gracious, Patty Fairfield,” she exclaimed, “what are you doing? And what are all those things? Do you expect the Democratic Convention to be entertained here, or are you going to give the Sunday-school a picnic? And are we never to have lunch? I’m simply starving!”
Patty turned a flushed face to her cousin, and looked dazed and bewildered.
“Two and five-eighths ounces of sugar,” she said, “spun to a thread; add chopped nuts and the well-beaten whites of six eggs; brown with a salamander. Marian, I haven’t any salamander!”
The tragic tone of Patty’s awful avowal was too much for Marian, and she dropped into a kitchen chair and went off into peals of laughter.
“Patty,” she cried, “you goose! What are you doing? Just making up the whole recipe-book, page by page? I believe you’re crazy!”
“It’s for the Tea Club,” exclaimed Patty, “and I want things to be nice.”
“H’m,” said Marian, “and are they nice?”
She glanced at some of the completed delicacies on the table, and Patty, seeing the look, turned red again, but this time it was not the effect of the kitchen range.
“Well,” she said, “some of them aren’t quite right, but I think the others will be.”
“And I think you’re working too hard,” said Marian kindly. “You come away with me now, and rest a little bit; and, Mancy, you put a little lunch for us on the dining-room table, won’t you? Just anything will do, you know.”
A TEA CLUB TEA
Patty rebelled at being overruled in this manner, but Marian had some Fairfield firmness of her own, and taking her cousin’s arm led her to the library and plumped her down upon the couch in a reclining position, while she vigorously jammed pillows under her head.
“There, miss,” she announced, “you will please stay there until luncheon is announced.”
“But, Marian,” pleaded Patty, seeing that resistance was useless, “I’ve such a lot of things to do, and the girls will be here before I get them all done.”
“Let them come,” said the hard-hearted Marian, “it won’t hurt them a bit, and you’ve got enough things done now to feed the Russian army.”
“But they’re not finished,” said Patty, “and they’ll spoil standing.”
“You’ll more likely spoil them by finishing them. Now you stay right where you are.”
So Patty rested, until Pansy came and called them to a most appetising little lunch spread very simply on the dining-table.