“Isn’t Daddy the dearest?” Patricia demanded, as she led her guests upstairs. “Daddy’s always so understandified.”
THE WAY OF A GRANDMOTHER
Patricia sat on the back steps carefully arranging purple and white asters in an old blue and white punchbowl, the pride of her Aunt Julia’s heart.
“It’s the ‘Washington bowl,’ Custard,” she explained to the small curly black dog, watching her intently. “Daddy says it’s called that because it is just as easy to prove that Washington never did have punch from it as that he did.” Patricia paused to rearrange one particularly wobbly aster, too short as to stem and too big as to head. “Anyhow, it’s one of the very nicest things we’ve got.”
Custard sighed restlessly; to spend this breezy October afternoon in fussing over flowers, when just beyond the gate a whole world waited to be explored, seemed to him a most un-Patricia-like wasting of time.
Then as Patricia rose slowly to her feet, the bowl of flowers in her hands, he sprang up at her with a sharp little bark of delight.
“Down!” she warned sharply. “Custard Kirby, if you make me drop this punchbowl I don’t know what Aunt Julia will say!”
It seemed to Patricia as if that journey upstairs to the spare bedroom never would be made in safety; but it was accomplished at last, and her burden placed right in the center of the low reading-table, standing at one side of the south window.
With a long breath of relief, Patricia sat down on the edge of the bed, looking about the big pleasant room with approving eyes. It was exactly the sort of room she should like to have when she got be a grandmother. There were fresh muslin curtains at the windows, the fine old-fashioned mahogany furniture shone from its recent polishing; on the broad hearth a light fire was laid ready for the lighting, and at one corner of the fireplace stood a big chintz-covered armchair. Of course there was a footstool beside it. Patricia had seen to the footstool herself, hunting it out up garret that morning. She had wondered why Daddy’s eyes twinkled at sight of it—Daddy would tell her nothing about grandmother, she must wait and see. And Patricia so hated waiting for anything, from surprises to scoldings.
“Yes, it certainly does look grandmothery, Custard,” she said; “and the flowers help a lot. I know she’ll love asters; they’re such an old-ladyish flower. Mind, sir, you’re not to go rushing at her! And the very first time you run off with any of her things you’re going to get your ears boxed.”
Custard wagged tentatively; boxing his ears appeared to him to belong to Miss Kirby’s special department.
“Miss P’tricia!” Sarah stood in the doorway, indignation in the very points of her knotted turban—“Miss P’tricia, ain’t yo’ never be’n tole not to sit on beds? ‘Tic’larly beds all ready fo’ comp’ny!”