They listened to the pretty little chanson, and repeated it until Elise felt satisfied she had added it to her repertory.
Just as she finished Betty Gale came flying in.
“Skip into your togs, Elise, and come for a drive with us,” she said. “I’ve corralled Bill and Patty,—and Ray wants you,—and I,” she looked saucily at Channing, “I want Mr. Chick.”
“We’re with you to the last ditch!” Channing replied and Elise went off for her hat.
“Shall I put away these records?” Chick asked looking at several they had been using.
“No,” said Betty, carelessly, “Patty has hordes of minions who do such things. Leave them, and get your duster on. We’re off,—pronto!”
“Where’s Azalea?” Raymond Gale inquired, as, a few moments later, he had his merry party in his car, and took hold of the wheel.
“She and Van Reypen went for a long walk,” Farnsworth replied. “And the married Farringtons have gone back to town, so this is all our party—for the moment.”
“All right; here we go, then.” And the big car rolled down the driveway.
“I hesitated about going,” Patty demurred, “for it’s Winnie’s Sunday out, and I had to leave baby with Janet. I’ve never done it before.”
“Oh, well,” Betty laughed, “she’ll probably sleep till you get back. Don’t babies always sleep all the afternoon?”
“Not always, but Fleurette often does. Oh, of course, she’ll be all right”
“And Azalea isn’t there,” she added, in a low tone to her husband.
And indeed, just then, Azalea was far away from there.
She and Phil had gone for the sort of walk they both loved,—along woodland paths, cross-lots, now and then back on the highroad, and if they got too far to walk back, prepared to return by train or trolley.
The two were congenial spirits, which fact had rather surprised Van Reypen’s friends. For he was a conservative, fastidious aristocrat, and though Azalea’s rough edges had been rubbed down a bit by Patty’s training, she was still of a very different type from the Van Reypen stock.
But they both loved the open, and they strode along, chatting or silent as fitted their mood.
“What’s in your mind just now, Brownie?” he asked, as Azalea looked thoughtful.
“Why,—a queer sort of a notion. Did you ever have a premonition,—a sort of feeling that you ought to do something—”
“Yes; a presentiment that unless you do what you’re told to do, there’ll be trouble—”
“Who told you?”
“That’s just it. Nobody,—except a—oh, a mysterious force, a—just an impulse, you know.”
“Obey it if you like. May I go, too?”
“Well, it’s this. Just before we turned that last corner a motor passed us, you know.”
“Yes, I saw it. One of Farnsworth’s,—with some of the servants in it.”
“It was. Patty gives them rides in turn. Now, Winnie the nurse was in, and so it must be her Sunday out. And, of course, Patty is home there with the baby,—she never leaves her if Winnie’s away, but still—I feel as if I must go home to look after that child!”