“Electric iron,” said Patty, briefly. “They’re always handy, you know.”
“Never saw one. No, Miss Janet,—not that way, it hooks in the back.”
At last, Azalea was attired, and looked fairly presentable in her white frock; though having no white shoes and stockings she wore black ones.
“I’d like white ones,” she said, apologetically, “but I could only have two pairs so I got black and the ones I wore here.”
“Quite right,” said Patty, appreciatively; “I’ll be glad to get you some white ones. They’d be pretty with this frock.”
“Oh, thank you. I’d love to have ’em. Where we going now?”
“Suppose you come to my room, while I dress,” Patty suggested, thinking an object lesson in the arts of the toilette might not be amiss.
“O.K.,” and the visitor strode along by the side of her hostess.
They were a contrast! Patty, dainty, graceful and sweet, was the very antithesis of tall, gawky Azalea, with her countrified dress and badly made black shoes. Her careless air, too, was unattractive,—for it was not the nonchalance of experience, but the unselfconsciousness of sheer ignorance of urban ways and manners.
“My land! what a room,” the country girl ejaculated, as they entered Patty’s boudoir. “How ever can you live in this fancy place! It’s like a picture!”
“It is,” agreed Patty, pleased at the comment. “But I love it. I’m afraid I’m too fond of soft lights and pretty appointments, and delicate fragrance.”
“Well, you’ve got it! My land! I’m afraid to move around! I don’t want to break anything.”
“You won’t,” laughed Patty. “Sit there, and we can talk while I get into my gown. I do my own hair, too,” and she shook down her mop of golden curls, to Azalea’s hearty admiration.
Patty’s dining-room was beautiful. She argued that as an appreciable percentage of one’s waking hours were spent there, care and thought should be given to its appointment.
The colouring was soft old blue, and the furniture of mahogany. The lights were pleasantly shaded and the sideboards and cabinets showed attractive silver and glass in immaculate order.
“The flowers are in your honour,” said Patty, smiling, as they took their places at the table, in the centre of which was a bowl of azaleas.
“Ho, ho! You needn’t have done that! I ain’t accustomed to such grand things.”
“Now, Azalea, flowers on the table aren’t especially grand. I think I should have them,—if I could,—if I were eating in the middle of the Desert of Sahara.”
“I believe you would,” said Bill, smiling at her; “Patty is a flower-worshipper, Zaly. Zaly’s the name your mother called you when you were a tiny mite. Tell me about your father? Was he willing to be left alone?”
“Oh,—he didn’t mind. What lovely silver you have, Patty.”