“And if Aunt Julia isn’t a ’Mede ‘n’ Persian,’ she might almost as well be one—when it comes to unsaying things,” Patricia told herself, as she started for the house.
Half-way up the back garden path, she came to an abrupt halt. “Custard,” she gasped, “it’s party day!”
As if Custard did not know that! He had never been to a party, but he was mighty glad to have been invited to this one. The pantry, always an enchanted spot to him, smelled even more delicious than usual. He had quite lost count of the number of times that Sarah had run him out of it this morning, with more haste than dignity.
Patricia sat down in an empty wheelbarrow to consider matters, not noticing that Jim had been using it that morning to bring fresh mold for Miss Kirby’s flower beds.
“I didn’t want to give a party anyhow.” Patricia stared gravely out across the sunny drying-ground. Privately, she considered the average party a great waste of valuable time. Least of all had she wanted to give an “honor party” for Susy Vail. Susy was the rector’s grandchild, and was on a visit here.
Patricia hadn’t much use for Susy Vail. She was a city girl, she was quiet and shy, and she would be sure to come to the party in a stiff white dress and blue ribbons. Patricia was positive as to the blue ribbons.
“I’ve a good mind to run off to the woods and stay all day, Custard,” Patricia said, getting up; “they can have the party without us.”
Custard barked a prompt disapproval of this scheme. Maybe the party could do without him, but he was quite sure he could not do without the party.
“Come on,” Patricia told him, starting back down the path.
She had got as far as the gate leading into the meadow, when a new idea came to her. Swinging slowly back and forth on the gate, she considered this idea; her gray eyes dancing, as its possibilities opened up before her mental vision.
“And if Susy Vail hasn’t a gingham apron, I’ll lend her one; she seems the sort of girl not to have one,” Patricia confided to Custard, as they once more made their way towards the house.
If only the coast were clear!
Sarah was on the back piazza, pitting cherries, but Sarah was easily managed.
“My sakes, Miss P’tricia!” Sarah lifted her plump hands in horror, “whatever is you-un been up to now?”
“Where’s Aunt Julia, Sarah?”
“Done left for Gar’s Hollow just five minutes ago, your pa sent Jim back for her in the gig. What you say, Miss P’tricia?”
For under her breath, Patrica was saying jubilantly: “It’s—providential!”
“N-nothing—that is, I was only thinking out loud,” she told Sarah.
“Don’t you go worrying ’bout dat ere party, honey; hit’ll come off all right.”
“I think it will—now,” Patricia answered; her tone so full of some hidden enjoyment that Sarah glanced at her suspiciously.