Jimmie by this time was wriggling in ecstasy.
“And just time to order two or three gowns apiece and have one look at hats,” added Mrs. Jimmie, complacently.
“‘Two or three gowns apiece and one look at hats,’” cried Jimmie. “And how long will that take? We agreed on two days, and you never said a word about clothes. That means a whole week!”
“Not at all, Jimmie,” said Bee. “It’s too late to do anything to-night. To-morrow morning we’ll go and look. In the afternoon we’ll think it over while we’re doing the Louvre. It is always cool and quiet there, and looking at statuary always helps me to make up my mind about clothes. The next morning we’ll go and order. In the afternoon we’ll buy our hats, and with one day more for the first fittings, I believe we might manage and have the things sent after us to Baden-Baden.”
“Not at all,” put in Mrs. Jimmie. “They will never be satisfactory unless we put our minds on the subject and give them plenty of time. We must stay at least two days more. Give us four days, Jimmie.”
I had to laugh at Jimmie’s rueful face. He was about to remonstrate, but Bee switched him off diplomatically by saying, in her most deferential manner:
“What hotel have you decided on, Jimmie? It’s such a comfort to be getting to a Paris hotel. What one do you think would be best?”
Bee’s tone was so flattering that Jimmie forgot clothes and said:
“Well, you know at the Binda you can get corn on the cob and American griddle cakes—”
“Oh, but the rooms are so small and dark, and we could go there for luncheon to get those things,” said his wife.
“Do let’s go to the Hotel Vouillemont,” I begged. “We won’t see any Americans there, and it is so lovely and old and French, and so heavenly quiet.”
“But then there is the new Elysee Palace,” said Bee. “We haven’t seen that.”
“And they say it’s finer than the Waldorf,” said Mrs. Jimmie.
Jimmie and I looked at each other in comical despair.
“Let ’em have their own way, Jimmie,” I whispered in his ear, “while we’re in their country. They know that we are going to make ’em dodge Switzerland and go up in the Austrian Tyrol and perhaps even get them to Russia, so we’ll be obliged to give them their head part of the way. Let’s be handsome about it.”
We went to the Elysee Palace, and we spent two weeks in Paris. Part of this time we were fashionable with Mrs. Jimmie and Bee, and part of the time they were Latin Quartery with us. We made them go to the Concert Rouge and to the Restaurant Foyot, and occasionally even to sit on the sidewalk at one of the little tables at Scossa’s, where you have dejeuner au choix for one franc fifty, including wine, and which they couldn’t help enjoying in spite of pretending to despise it and us, while occasionally we went with them to call on the grand and distinguished personages to whom they had letters. But it remained for the last days of our stay for us to have our experiences. The first came about in this wise.