There is nothing particularly interesting about the journey thither. When you come to the village of Oos, you get off the train and take a little train which is waiting on a siding, and in less than five minutes, before you have time to sit down, in fact, you are at Baden, at the entrance of the Black Forest, and find it beautiful.
It was the height of the season and we went to a very smart hotel, where they have very badly dressed people, because nearly everybody there except us had money and titles.
Now the height of the season at any watering-place depresses me. If I could wear fern seed in my shoes to make me invisible, and sit on the piazza railing in a shirt-waist and a short skirt, I would love it. But both Bee and Mrs. Jimmie, with the light of heaven in their eyes, pulled out and put on their most be-yew-tiful Paris clothes, and if I do say it of my sister—well, for modesty’s sake, I will only say that Mrs. Jimmie looked ripping. I was happily travelling with a steamer trunk and a big hat-box, and had hitherto rejoiced that my lack of clothes would prevent my being obliged to dress. I thought perhaps Jimmie and I would be allowed to roam about hunting little queer restaurants like Old Tom’s or the Cheshire Cheese. But when Jimmie’s boyish face appeared over a white expanse of tucked shirt front, I sank down in a dejected heap.
“And thou, Brutus?” I said.
“Couldn’t help it,” he answered, laconically. “We’d better give in handsomely for three days. It’ll pay us in the end. Get into your ’glad rags’ and be good.”
“But I didn’t bring my ‘glad rags,’” I said.
Just then Bee looked around from fastening a lace butterfly in her hair on a jewelled spiral.
“I had two extra trays in my trunk and I put a few of your things in. Would you like to wear your lace gown? You’ve never even tried it on.”
My mouth flew open, contrary to politeness and my excellent bringing-up. Jimmie collapsed with a silent grin, while I meekly followed Bee into my room.
When I saw my new gown all full of rolls of tissue-paper, packed by poor dear Bee, I went to my trunk and pulled out my smart Charvet tie. I handed it to her in silence.
“Take it,” I said. “I hate to give it up, but you deserve it.”
Bee accepted it gratefully.
“It’s good of you to give it to me,” she said. “You really need it more than I do, only this peculiar shade of blue is so becoming to me. I’ll tell you what I’ll do though,” she added, heroically. “I’ll lend it to you whenever you want it.”
I thanked her, dressed, and then humbly trailed down to dinner in the wake of my gorgeous party.
Jimmie had engaged a table on the piazza, nearest the street and commanding the best view of all the other diners. I very willingly sat with my back to all the people, with the panorama of the Lichtenthaler Strasse passing before my eyes, and in quiet moments the sounds of the great military band playing on the promenade in front of the Conversationshaus coming to our ears.