Patty’s eyes glowed with the anticipation of aiding the little country girl, but Farnsworth was not so sanguine.
“You’re running a risk, girlie,” he said. “Suppose she turns out impossible. The fact of her being my relative doesn’t quite canonise her, you know. Perhaps she isn’t a saint.”
“Now, now, old calamity howler,—I don’t want her to be a saint! I hope and expect she’ll be a sweet, docile nature, and her lack of culture, if any, I shall try to remedy. Her lack of familiarity with social customs and all that, I know I can remedy. Oh, I expect a busy time with her,—and I know I shall have to be tactful and kind,—but don’t you think I can be?”
Farnsworth kissed the wistful, questioning face upturned to his and assured her that she most certainly could!
So Patty gaily set about her preparations of the pretty guest chamber. She hoped Azalea liked yellow,—most girls did,—but if not, she could easily be moved to the pink guest room.
This yellow room, however, was so well adapted for a young girl. There was a long French window that opened on the dearest little balcony, where the wistaria clambered and made a delightful shade. There was an alcove, where stood a Chippendale writing desk, and a revolving book rack. There was a sewing corner, with a fully furnished work-stand; and there was a soft puffy couch, with a pile of down pillows and a fluffy yellow afghan. And yet there was ample room for the bed, with its dimity draperies, and the fascinating toilet table, with its bewildering array of ivory fittings.
Uncertain of her guest’s tastes, Patty put out few books, only a story or two of general interest and a couple of new magazines. All such matters could be attended to after she had sized up the newcomer.
On the day she was expected, Patty arranged the flowers in the yellow room herself.
Naturally, she chose azaleas, and some of a lovely soft tint of buff harmonised with pale pink ones. White ones too, with a bit of green foliage, until the room was a bower of beauty. Not overdone, though. Patty never made the mistake of too many flowers,—fond as she was of them.
A last affectionate survey of the room convinced her that all was exactly as it should be, and with a happy little sigh of contentment she went down to the porch to await the arrival of the guest, for Farnsworth had gone to the station to meet her, and they were due now at any minute.
THAT AWFUL AZALEA
The car came along the driveway and stopped in front of the porch where Patty sat.
Farnsworth stepped out, with a cheery “Here we are!” and Patty rose to greet the visitor.
Up the steps toward her flew a figure which, as Patty afterward described it, seemed like a wild Indian! A slight, wiry figure, rather tall and very awkward, and possessed of a nervous force that expressed itself in muscular activity.