The little French maid, peering over the baluster, laughed softly.
“M’sieur is curious, but he should not delay. The lettairs, it may be, of importance are, and the madam already waiting is.”
With a soft, yet merry laugh, the maid returned to dress her mistress’s hair, and the burly butler stalked up the stairway, angry that Marie should have seen him studying the letters, and annoyed by her saucy laugh. “That girl is always ’round,” he muttered.
It was Saturday morning, and although it was October, it was as warm as a June day.
Mrs. Barnet was in the hands of the French maid, and could not be disturbed while her hair was being dressed.
Flossie wondered what she could find to play with.
She wished that Saturday had been a schoolday.
Usually she found the baby amusing, but Uncle Harry’s little daughter was out for an airing.
The kitten skurried down the hall and Flossie caught her, and ran off to the music-room. She managed to clamber up on to the stool with pussy in her arms, and reached for the music, which she opened.
“Now that’s a very nice song, kitty,” she said, “but you needn’t sing it; you can just practise the ’comfrement. Now one, two, three, begin!”
She held the kitten’s paws, and forced them to press the keys.
“Me-u! Me-u!” squeaked wee pussy.
“You going to sing and play, too? Why, that’s fine,” said Flossie, “only you don’t get the tune right.”
“Me-u! Me-u!” wailed the white kitten.
“Now pussy darling, you’re real sweet to try, but you don’t sing the tune right; it didn’t sound like that when Uncle Harry sang it last night. We’ll sing it together, and maybe you’ll learn it. Put your left paw on do, and your right paw on mi; now sing.”
What a droll duet it was! Franz Abt’s beautiful song was never before thus rendered.
“I love thee, dearest, thee alone,
Love thee, and only thee!”
sang Flossie, while little pussy, regardless of time or sentiment, sang “me-u! me-ow! me-u! me-u!”
[Illustration: “Put your left paw on do, and your right paw on mi; now sing.”]
“Our voices don’t har-mer-lize, pussy, I know they don’t. You’ll just have to practise alone. That’s what Mollie Merton’s mamma said last night when Uncle Harry and Aunt Vera sang together. She said: ’Oh, how beautifully their voices har-mer-lize.’ Now that’s just what our voices don’t do, so I’ll put you right on to the keys, and you can practise the ’comfrement alone.”
Flossie ran to the window to see if any of her playmates were in sight, while the kitten, left to amuse herself, walked slowly across the keyboard, and sat down upon the lower bass notes.
The French maid paused in the doorway.
“Ah, it is the petite beast that the bad music makes. I will the feline terrible remove, before she more mischief does do.”