“I thought I might outstay my welcome,” Azalea said, seeming a little confused.
“Nay, nay, Pauline,” and Patty smiled at her, “stay as long as you like. As long as you can be happy with us.”
But there was an uncomfortable pause, for Farnsworth didn’t second Patty’s invitation or make any comment on it.
“I’m going down to New York in the car this afternoon,” said Elise. “Want to go, Azalea?”
“Yes,—I’d be glad to.”
“All right, be ready about three. You going, Pattibelle?”
“No; not to-day. My lord and master is at home, and I can’t give up a precious hour of his companionship.”
“Oh, you turtle-doves! All right, then, Zaly and I will sally forth to the great metropolis.”
Elise was spending a month with Patty, and was going later to the mountains with her own family. They were all anxious, therefore, to get the Fair under way, and to hold it while Elise was still there.
So things were being pushed, and the committees were hard at work. There were innumerable errands to the city, and nearly every day the big car went down and returned laden with materials for the work.
Promptly at three, Azalea was in the hall, and Elise joined her, ready for the trip.
“I mean to mail these in New York,” said Elise, who carried a handful of letters.
“I will too,” returned Azalea, who also had a number of them in her hand. “Let’s take these that are on the hall table,—they go quicker if we mail them in the city.”
“All right,” said Elise, carelessly, and Azalea, with a stealthy look about, picked up the big pile of addressed mail that lay on the table.
No one was looking and she deftly slipped out from the lot the letter Farnsworth had written to Mr. Thorpe,—and pocketed it.
Going out the door, she handed the rest of the letters, with her own, to the chauffeur, to mail, and then got into the car after Elise.
Away they went, chattering blithely about the Fair, and the enormous lot of work yet to be done for it.
“There are so many working with us,” observed Elise, “that it seems a big job of itself to keep them in order.”
“It all amazes me,” returned Azalea. “I never saw people work as hard as you and Patty do. And you accomplish such a lot! And yet, you never get flustered or hurried, or—”
“That’s partly the result of long experience in these bazaar affairs, and partly because we both have a sort of natural efficiency. That’s a much used word, Zaly, but it means a lot after all.”
“Yes, it does. What’s your booth, Elise?”
“It isn’t exactly a booth. I’m going to have a log cabin,—a real one, built just as I’ve planned it, and in it I’m going to sell all sorts of old-fashioned things.”
“Yes, of the proper sort. Old Willow china and Sheffield plate. Copper lustre tea-sets and homespun bedspreads. And samplers! Oh, Azalea, I’ve three or four stunning samplers! One is dated 1812. That ought to bring a fine price.”