The play was to be on Friday night, because then there would be no school next day; and Friday morning Patty was as busy as a bee sorting tickets, counting out programmes, making lists, and checking off memoranda, when Pansy appeared at her door with the unwelcome announcement that Miss Daggett had sent word she would like to have Patty call on her. Unwelcome, only because Patty was so busy, otherwise she would have been glad of a summons to the house next-door, for she had taken a decided fancy to her erratic neighbour.
Determining she would return quickly, and smiling to herself as she thought that probably she would be asked to do so, she ran over to Miss Daggett’s.
“Come in, child, come in,” called the old lady from the upper hall, “come right up here. I’m in a terrible quandary!”
Patty went upstairs, and then followed Miss Daggett into her bedroom.
“I’ve decided,” said the old lady, with the air of one announcing a decision the importance of which would shake at least two continents, “I’ve decided to go to that ridiculous show of yours.”
“Oh, have you?” said Patty, “that’s very nice, I’m sure.”
“I’m glad you’re pleased,” said the old lady grimly, “though I’m not going for the sake of pleasing you.”
“Are you going to please your nephew, Mr. Harper?” said Patty, not being exactly curious, but feeling that she was expected to inquire.
“No, I’m not,” said Miss Daggett curtly. “I’m going to please myself; and I called you over here to advise me what to wear. Here are all my best dresses, but there’s none of them made in the fashions people wear nowadays, and it’s too late to have them fixed over. I wish you’d tell me which one you think comes nearest to being right.”
Patty looked in amazement at the great heap of beautiful gowns that lay upon the bed. They were made of the richest velvets and satins and laces, but were all of such an antiquated mode that it seemed impossible to advise anyone to wear them without remodeling. But, as Miss Daggett was very much in earnest, Patty concluded that she must necessarily make some choice.
Accordingly, she picked out a lavender moire silk, trimmed with soft white lace at the throat and wrist. Although old-fashioned, it was plain and very simply made, and would, Patty thought, be less conspicuous than the more elaborate gowns.
“That’s just the one I had decided on myself,” said Miss Daggett, “and I should have worn that anyway, whatever you had said.”
“Then why did you call me over?” said Patty, moved to impatience by this inconsistency.
“Oh, because I wanted your opinion, and I wanted to ask you about some other things. Kenneth is coming to-night, you know.”
“Yes, I know it,” said Patty, “and I am very glad.”
This frank statement and the clear, unembarrassed light in Patty’s eyes seemed to please Miss Daggett, and she kissed the pretty face upturned to hers, but she only said: “Run along now, child, go home, I don’t want company now.”