Patty, learning much from experience and also from Aunt Alice’s occasional visits, developed into a sensible and capable little housekeeper. So determined was she to make the keeping of her father’s house a real success that she tried most diligently to correct all her errors and improve her powers.
Patty had a natural aptitude for domestic matters, and after some rough places were made smooth and some sharp corners rounded off, things went quite as smoothly as in many houses where the presiding genius numbered twice Patty’s years.
With June came vacation, and Patty was more than glad, for she was never fond of school, and now could have all her time to devote to her beloved home.
And, too, she wanted very much to invite her cousins to visit her, which was only possible in vacation time.
“I think, papa,” she said, as they sat on the veranda one June evening after dinner, “I think I shall have a house party. I shall invite all my cousins from Elmbridge and Philadelphia and Boston and we’ll have a grand general reunion that will be most beautiful.”
“You’ll invite your aunts and uncles, too?” said Mr. Fairfield.
“Why, I don’t see how we’d have room for so many,” said Patty.
“And, of course,” went on her father, “you’d invite the whole Elliott family. It wouldn’t be fair to leave them out of your house-party just because they happen to live in Vernondale.”
Then Patty saw that her father was laughing at her.
“I know you’re teasing me now, papa,” she said, “but I don’t see why. Just because I want to ask my cousins to come here and return the visits I made to them last year.”
“But you didn’t visit them all at once, my child, and you certainly could not expect to entertain them here all at once. Your list of cousins is a very long one, and even if there were room for them in the house, the care and responsibility of such a house party would be enough to land you in a sanitarium when it was over, if not before.”
“There are an awful lot of them,” said Patty.
“And they’re not altogether congenial,” said her father. “Although I haven’t seen them as lately as you have, yet I can’t help thinking, from what you told me, that the Barlows and the St. Clairs would enjoy themselves better if they visited here at different times, and I’m sure the same is true of your Boston cousins.”
“You’re right,” said Patty, “as you always are, and I don’t believe I’d have much fun with all that company at once, either. So I think we’ll have them in detachments, and first I’ll just invite Ethelyn and Reginald down for a week or two. I don’t really care much about having them, but Ethelyn has written so often that she wants to come that I don’t see how I can very well get out of it.”
“If she wants to come, you certainly ought to ask her. You visited there three months, you know.”
“Yes, I know it, and they were very kind to me. Aunt Isabel had parties, and did things for my pleasure all the time. Well, I’ll invite them right away. Perhaps I ought to ask Aunt Isabel, too.”