With an air of having accomplished her intention, Aunt Alice sat down amid great cheers and handclappings from the opposite side.
Patty looked a little sober as she began to think the Vernondale home would win; and, though for many reasons she wished it would be so, yet, at the same time, she realised very strongly the attractions of life in New York City.
However, she only said:
“The meeting will please come to order, in order to listen to the opinions of Miss Elliott.”
Marian rose with great dignity, and addressed the chair and the ladies and gentlemen with true parliamentary punctiliousness.
“Though personally interested in this matter,” she began, “it is not my intention to allow my own wishes or prejudices to blind me to the best interests of our young friend who is now under discussion. Far be it from me to blight her career for the benefit of my own unworthy self, but I will say that if Patty Fairfield goes to live in New York, or anywhere except Vernondale, I think she’s just the horridest, meanest old thing on the face of the earth! Why, I wouldn’t let her go! I’d lock her in her room, and poke bread and water to her through the keyhole, if she dared to think of such a thing! Go to New York, indeed! A nice time she’d have, hanging on straps in the trolley-cars, and getting run over by automobiles! The whole thing is so perfectly absurd that there’s no earthly chance of its ever coming to pass. Why, she wouldn’t go, she couldn’t be hired to go; she wouldn’t be happy there a minute; but if she does go, I’ll go, too!”
“Hooray for our side!” cried Frank, as Marian dropped into a chair after her outburst of enthusiasm.
“Oh, I haven’t finished yet,” said Marian, jumping up again. “I want to remark further that not only is Patty going to live in Vernondale, but she’s going to have a house very near this one. I’ve picked it out,” and Marian wagged her head with the air of a mysterious sibyl. “I won’t tell you where it is just yet, but it’s a lovely house, and big enough to accommodate Uncle Fred and Patty, and a guest or two besides. I’ve selected the room that I prefer, and I hope you will furnish it in blue.”
“The speaker is a bit hasty,” said Patty as Marian sat down again; “we can’t furnish any rooms before this debate is concluded; and, though we deeply regret it, Miss Elliott will be obliged to wait for her blue room until the other speakers have had their speak.”
But Patty smiled at Marian understandingly, and began to have a very attractive mental picture of her cousin’s blue room next her own.
“The next speaker,” announced the judge, “will be Mrs. Elliott, Senior,—the Dowager Duchess. Your Grace, we would be pleased to hear from you.”