And Fleurette did look wise. Being in benign mood, she smiled at the big man who held her so gently, and put out a tentative fist toward his face.
“Born flirt,” he declared, “just like her mother! Well, Patty, she’s a wonder-child,—oh, I know ’em!—and I hereby constitute myself her godfather, without waiting to be asked.”
“Good! We accept the honour. Make a bow, Fleurette.”
“No, the honour is mine. She doesn’t quite take it all in, yet,—but in days to come, she may feel real need of a godfather and I’ll be there!”
“What do godfathers do? I never had any.”
“I’m not quite sure, myself. I’m going to get a field-book,—or First Lessons in Godfathering, or something like that. But, anyway, I’m hers! Oh, Patty, she’s going to grow up a beauty! Did you ever see such eyes!”
Patty laughed at Chick’s enthusiasm, which was too patently genuine to be mere polite flattery, and entirely agreed in his opinion as to the good looks of the small Fleurette.
“What did you bring her?” she asked, and Chick drew from his pocket a set of small gold pins.
“For her bibs and tuckers,” he explained. “At least that’s what they told me at the shop. I don’t know much about such things.”
“They’re just right,” Patty said, “and they’re her very first present,—outside the family. Thank you a thousand times,—you’re very thoughtful, Chick.”
“I hoped you’d like ’em,” and the big, warm-hearted chap smiled with gratification. “Dress her up in them to-morrow, will you?”
And Patty promised she would.
Seated at the head of her own dinner table that evening, Patty felt decidedly in her element. Always of a hospitable nature, always efficient in household matters, she played her role of hostess with a sweet simplicity and a winning grace that charmed all her guests.
Farnsworth, opposite her at the big, round table, was a quiet, dignified and well-mannered host. He had not Patty’s native ability to entertain, but he was honestly anxious that his guests should be pleased and he did all in his power to help along. Patty had coached him on many minor points, for Little Billee had been brought up in simple surroundings and unaccustomed to what he at first called Patty’s frills and fal-lals.
But she had convinced him that dainty laces and shining silver were to be used for his daily fare and not merely as “company fixings,” and being adaptable, the good-natured man obediently fell in with her wishes.
And now he was as deft and handy with his table appointments as Patty herself, and quite free from self-consciousness or awkwardness.
“You’ve made me all over, Patty,” he would sometimes say; “now, I really like these dinky doo-daddles better than the ‘old oaken bucket’ effects on which I was brought up!”