“I’m glad of it,” Patty thought to herself, but she only said: “Good-bye, then, Miss Daggett; I’ll see you this evening.”
“Wait a minute, child; come back here, I’m not through with you yet.”
Patty groaned in spirit, but went back with a smiling face.
Miss Daggett regarded her steadily.
“You’re pretty busy, I suppose, to-day,” she said, “getting ready for your play.”
“Yes, I am,” said Patty frankly.
“And you didn’t want to take the time to come over here to see me, did you?”
“Oh, I shall have time enough to do all I want to do,” said Patty.
“Don’t evade my question, child. You didn’t want to come, did you?”
“Well, Miss Daggett,” said Patty, “you are often quite frank with me, so now I’ll be frank with you, and confess that when your message came I did wish you had chosen some other day to send for me; for I certainly have a lot of little things to do, but I shall get them all done, I know, and I am very glad to learn that you are coming to the entertainment.”
“You are a good girl,” said Miss Daggett; “you are a good girl, and I like you very much. Good-bye.”
“Good-bye,” said Patty, and she ran downstairs and over home, determined to work fast enough to make up for the time she had lost.
She succeeded in this, and when her father came home at night, bringing Mr. Hepworth with him, they found a very charming little hostess awaiting them and Boxley Hall imbued throughout with an air of comfortable hospitality.
After dinner Patty donned her Diana costume and came down to ask her father’s opinion of it. He declared it was most jaunty and becoming, and Mr. Hepworth said it was especially well adapted to Patty’s style, and that he would like to paint her portrait in that garb. This seemed to Mr. Fairfield a good idea, and they at once made arrangements for future sittings.
Patty was greatly pleased.
“Won’t it be fine, papa?” she said. “It will be an ancestral portrait to hang in Boxley Hall and keep till I’m an old lady like Miss Daggett.”
When they reached Library Hall, where the play was to be given, Patty, going in at the stage entrance, was met by a crowd of excited girls who announced that Florence Douglass had gone all to pieces.
“What do you mean?” cried Patty. “What’s the matter with her?”
“Oh, hysterics!” said Elsie Morris, in great disgust. “First she giggles and then she bursts into tears, and nobody can do anything with her.”
“Well, she’s going to be Niobe, anyway,” said Patty, “so let her go on the stage and cut up those tricks, and the audience will think it’s all right.”
“Oh, no, Patty, we can’t let her go on the stage,” said Frank Elliott; “she’d queer the whole show.”
“Well, then, we’ll have to leave that part out,” said Patty.
“Oh, dear!” wailed Elsie, “that’s the funniest part of all. I hate to leave that part out.”