Except for the responsibility of her cousin’s entertainment, Patty enjoyed herself exceedingly; but then she was always a happy little girl, and never allowed herself to be discomfited by trifles.
Everybody was surprised when Aunt Alice announced that it was time for luncheon, and though all were disappointed at the failure of the sail, everybody seemed to take it philosophically and even merrily.
“What is the matter?” said Ethelyn. “Why don’t we go?”
“The matter is,” said Mr. Fairfield, “we are becalmed. There is no breeze and consequently nothing to make our bonny ship move, so she stands still.”
“And are we going to stay right here all day?” asked Ethelyn.
“It looks very much like it, unless an ocean steamer comes along and gives us a tow.”
Aunt Alice and the girls of the party soon had the luncheon ready, and the merry feast was made. As Frank remarked, it was a very different thing to sit there in the broiling sun and eat sandwiches and devilled eggs, or to consume the same viands with the yacht madly flying along in rolling waves and dashing spray.
The afternoon palled a little. Youthful enthusiasm and determined good temper could make light of several hours of discomfort, but toward three o’clock the sun’s rays grew unbearably hot, the glare from the water was very trying, and the mosquitoes were something awful.
Guy Morris, who probably spent more of his time in a boat than any of the others, declared that he had never seen such a day.
Mr. Fairfield felt sorry for Ethelyn, who had never had such an experience before, and so he exerted himself to entertain her, but she resisted all his attempts, and even though Patty came to her father’s assistance, they found it impossible to make their guest happy.
Reginald was no better. He growled and fretted about the heat and other discomforts and he was so pompous and overbearing in his manner that it is not surprising that the boys of Vernondale cordially disliked him.
“As long as we can’t go sailing,” said Ethelyn, “I should think we would go home.”
“We can’t get home,” said Patty patiently. She had already explained this several times to her cousin. “There is no breeze to take us anywhere.”
“Well, what will happen to us, then? Shall we stay here forever?”
“There ought to be a breeze in two or three days,” said Kenneth Harper, who could not resist the temptation to chaff this ill-tempered young person. “Say by Tuesday or Wednesday, I should think a capful of wind might puff up in some direction.”
“It is coming now,” said Frank Elliott suddenly; “I certainly feel a draught.”
“Put something around you, my boy,” said his mother, “I don’t want you to take cold.”
“Let me get you a wrap,” said Frank, smiling back at his mother, who was fanning herself with a folded newspaper.
“The wind is coming,” said Guy Morris, and his serious face was a sharp contrast to the merry ones about him, “and it’s no joke this time. Within ten minutes there’ll be a stiff breeze, and within twenty a howling gale, or I’m no sailor.”