“Have them, by all means. Are you settled enough?”
“Oh, yes. And I shan’t have anything much to do. Mrs. Chase is a host in herself, and Nurse Winnie takes full charge of my child,—with Susie’s help.”
“Do you own that infant exclusively, ma’am? I notice you always say my child!”
“As I’ve told you, you don’t count. Why, you won’t really count until the day when some nice young man comes to ask you for the hand of Mademoiselle Fleurette.”
“Heaven forbid the day! I’ll send him packing!”
“Indeed you won’t! I want my daughter to marry and live happy ever after,—as I’m doing.”
“Are you, Patty? Are you happy?”
As Billee asked this question a dozen times a day for the sheer joy of watching Patty’s lovely face smile an affirmative, she didn’t think it necessary to enlarge on the subject.
“I do be,” she said, succinctly, and Farnsworth believed her.
“Now, I propose,” she went on, “that we have a week-end house-party. That’s the nicest way to show off the place—”
“Patty! Are you growing proud and ostentatious?”
“I’m proud—very much so, of my home and my family,—but nobody ever called me ostentatious! What do you mean?”
“Nothing. I spoke thoughtlessly. But you are puffed up with pride and vanity,—I think.”
“Who wouldn’t be—with all this?”
Patty swept an arm off toward the acres of their domain, and smiled happily in her delight of ownership.
“Well, anyway,” she went on, “we’ll ask Elise and Bumble and Phil and Kenneth and Chick and—”
“Don’t get too many,—you’ll wear yourself all out just talking to them.”
“No: a big party entertain themselves better than a few. Well, I’ll fix up the list. Anybody you want specially?”
“No, not now. Some time we’ll have Mona and Roger, of course; and some time Daisy—”
“Yes, when we have Adele and Jim. Oh, won’t we have lots of jolly parties! Thank goodness we’ve plenty of guest rooms.”
“Are they all in order?”
“Not quite. I have to make lace things and fiddle-de-fads for some of them.”
“Can’t you buy those?”
“Some I do, but some I like to make. It’s no trouble, and they’re prettier.”
“Let’s go back around by the garage, I want to see Larry.”
They strolled around through the well-kept vegetable gardens and chicken yards, and came to the garage. Here were the big cars and Patty’s own little runabout. Larry, the chauffeur, touched his cap with a respectful smile at Patty, and as Farnsworth talked to the man, Patty stood looking off across the grounds and wondering if any one in the whole world loved a home as she did.
Then they went on, strolling by the flower beds and formal gardens.
“And through the land at eve they went,” quoted Bill, softly.