Arabella watched Patricia closely.
“But where’s the other fountain?” she asked impatiently.
“Oh, you’ll see in a second. Come over here,” Patricia said, laughing softly.
[Illustration: “There! that’s another fountain.”]
“There!” she said, pointing to a pipe that ran along the floor beneath a shelf filled with flowering plants; “that’s another fountain, and I should think they’d have both playing when they have a party.”
“That’s not a fountain!” said Arabella.
“Well, I guess I know, and so will you in a second, for I’m going to set it going. See here!”
A cloud of steam filled the little conservatory, and the two frightened girls screamed with terror, believing that nothing less than an explosion had happened. The servants rushed in and quickly turned off the steam, while Mrs. Dainty and Aunt Charlotte, who had hastened to the rescue, tried to quiet the fear of the mischief-makers.
Not a word was said of the beautiful plants which were now completely ruined, and Mrs. Dainty’s kindness made Patricia feel ashamed.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered, and no one had ever before heard her say that. Arabella was fairly hysterical, laughing and crying at the same time, but Aunt Charlotte at last succeeded in calming her, and when the little banquet was announced, they joined the other children, and were as happy as any of the merry party that marched out to the great dining-room.
In the centre of the table was a huge round cake encrusted with gorgeous frosting in the forms of beautiful flowers. Around its sides were festoons of buds and blossoms, while here and there a sugar butterfly was poised as if ready for flight.
There were flowers beside every plate, there were ices in wonderful shapes, there were bonbons and nuts in abundance, while great silver baskets were heaped with luscious fruits.
What a treat it was! How they laughed and talked as they enjoyed the feast! How bright the lights, how sweet the scent of the lovely flowers with which every room was decorated!
From the drawing-room the tender music floated in. Oh, it was like a dream of fairyland!
Nina Earl watched Patricia closely.
“I guess you never saw a finer party than this,” she said.
Patricia stared for a moment, then she said just what one might have expected.
“This is a lovely party, and I never saw a grander one except one I went to when I was in N’ York, where they had a cake as big as this whole table, and—”
“Then the table to hold such a cake as that must have been pretty big to get inside of any room!” laughed Reginald.
“Well, you didn’t see it, so you can’t know how grand it looked,” Patricia replied, and as that was quite true, Reginald had nothing to say.