“Let me help,” said Kenneth. “Where are your checks, Miss Allen?”
“Here are the checks for the trunks, and there are three suit-cases; the one that hasn’t any name on is mine, and you tell it by the fact that it has an extra handle on the end. I’m very proud of that handle; I had it put on by special order, and it’s so convenient, and it is identification besides. I didn’t want my name painted on. I think it spoils a brand-new suit-case to have letters all over it.”
“We’ll find them all right; come on, Barlow,” said Kenneth, and the two young men started off.
They returned in a few moments with the three suit-cases, Bob bringing his own and his sister’s, while Kenneth Harper carefully carried the immaculate leather case with the handle on the end. These were deposited in the Fairfield carriage. Patty and her guests were also tucked in, and they started for the house, while Kenneth followed on his wheel.
“Come over to-night,” Patty called back to him, as they left him behind; and though his answer was lost in the distance, she had little doubt as to its tenor.
“What a nice young fellow!” said Nan. “Who is he?”
“He’s the nephew of our next-door neighbour,” said Patty; “and he’s spending his vacation with his aunt.”
“He’s a jolly all-round chap,” said Bob.
“Yes, he’s just that,” said Patty. “I thought you’d like him. You’ll like all the young people here. They’re an awfully nice crowd.”
“I’m so glad to see you again,” said Bumble, “I don’t care whether I like the other young people or not. And I want to see Uncle Fred, too. I haven’t seen him for years and years.”
“Oh, he’s one of the young people,” said Patty, laughing; “he goes ’most everywhere with us. I tell him he’s more of a boy than Ken.”
As they drove up to the house, Bumble exclaimed with delight at the beautiful flowers and the well-kept appearance of the whole place.
“What a lovely home!” she cried. “I don’t see how you ever put up with our tumble-down old place, Patty.”
“Nonsense!” said Patty. “I had the time of my life down at the Hurly-Burly last summer.”
“Well, we’re going to have the time of our life at Boxley Hall this summer, I feel sure of that,” said Bob, as he sprang out of the carriage and then helped the others out.
“I hope you will,” said Patty. “You are very welcome to Boxley Hall, and I want you just to look upon it as your home and conduct yourselves accordingly.”
“Nan can do that,” said Bumble, “but I’m afraid, if Bob and I did it, your beautiful home would soon lose its present spick-and-span effect.”
“All right, let it lose,” said Patty. “We’ll have a good time anyhow. And now,” she went on, as she took the guests to their rooms, “there’ll be just about an hour before dinner time but if you get ready before that come down. You’ll probably find me on the front veranda, if I’m not in the kitchen.”