“I’m not sure we’ll have anything to say in the matter,” Patty observed, thoughtfully.
“She may take the bit in her own teeth. After seeing her break that bucking broncho to-day,—I don’t think her as tractable and easily influenced as I did!”
“How’s this plan, dearest? Suppose we don’t tell Azalea, for the moment, that you saw the picture to-day, and see what she’ll do next.”
“All right, I’d be glad to think it over a little. We’ll warn Mona not to give it away,—and nobody else knows we went there.”
“Of course, I’ll take up the matter of Fleurette with Azalea, separately,” Farnsworth went on. “But even if she’s determined on her career, I feel sure we can persuade her to leave her little assistant out of it!”
“I rather just guess we can!” and Patty cuddled the baby to her breast. “Well, the crowd will gather on the porch soon. I’ll make a fresh toilette and play the serene hostess, once again.”
Fleurette was given over to Winnie, and Patty, calm and happy now, ran off to dress.
“You’re such a darling,—Big Billee,” she whispered turning back to her husband, and she went into his embracing arms; “you always know just what is right to do.”
“Especially when Mona coaches me beforehand,” he laughed, unwilling to deceive her in the slightest degree.
“Pooh,” said Patty, “you’re so right, even Mona can’t make you any righter!”
“Sur le pont
On y dansait, on y dansait,
Sur le pont
On y dansait tout le rond!”
Patty’s sweet, clear soprano notes rang out gaily as she trilled the little song she had picked up in France.
“What a pretty thing,” cried Elise, “teach it to me, do, Patty.”
“All right, I will. But there’s a record of it,—my singing,—for the phonograph. You’ll learn it better from that.”
“All right; Chick, come and find the record for me.”
The two went into the library, leaving the others on the porch.
It was Sunday afternoon, and everybody was idle and happy. Patty was a good hostess and did not bother her guests by over-entertaining them.
But at Wistaria Porch there was always enough to do, if any one wanted to do it,—and delightful lounging places, if one were indolently inclined.
Searching among the catalogued records, Chick easily found the one Elise wanted.
“What a lot of records they have of the baby’s voice!” he exclaimed.
“Yes,” Elise assented, “they make them on all occasions. Patty’s keeping them for her, when she grows up. Clever idea.”
“Yes, but she’ll have to build a town hall to keep them in! The child hasn’t begun to talk yet, but here are dozens—”
“Oh, well, they’ll weed them out. Some of them are awful cunning,—and one is a first-class crying spell! They never could get but one of Fleurette crying, she’s such a good-natured kiddy. All right, Chick,—start it off.”