Patty and Azalea eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 152 pages of information about Patty and Azalea.

CHAPTER XVII

PHILIP’S REQUEST

“Give me a few minutes of your valuable time all to myself, will you, old chap?” Phil said to Farnsworth, as the two men met in the hall just before the dinner hour.

“Take all you want, I’ve lots of it,” returned the other, cheerily.  “Want to borrow a fiver?”

“No; I’m still able to make both ends meet.  But, seriously, Bill,” as the two men entered Farnsworth’s den, and closed the door, “I’m hard hit.”

“That sounds as if you were in love,—­but I can’t think you mean that,—­so I wisely opine you’ve been hit by the fall in Golconda Mining Stock.”

“Your wise opinings are ’way off,—­but your first suspicion was nearer the mark.”

“In love?  Good for you, old Phil!  Of course it’s Elise!”

“Of course it isn’t!  Had Elise been my fate, I’d have known it long ago.”

“Who then?  Betty Gale?”

“Wrong again.  And blind, too.  It’s Azalea.”

Farnsworth sank limply into a chair.  He pretended to be dazed almost to insensibility, and as a matter of fact his surprise was nearly as great as his demonstration of it.

“Azalea!” he gasped.  “Our Azalea!”

“Exactly; don’t act as if I had suggested the Queen of Sheba!  I know what a superior girl she is,—­and I know I’ve not much to recommend me—­”

“Oh, Phil,—­oh, Van Reypen, stop!  Have you lost your senses?”

“I think you have!” Phil looked decidedly annoyed.  “I must say, Farnsworth, I don’t quite get you.”

“I beg your pardon, dear old chap, I—­I was a bit astounded.  You see—­”

“I see that I’ve a right to care for the girl if I choose, and as you are her nearest relative, that I know of, I come to you for sanction of my suit.  Aside from your rather inexplicable astonishment—­have you any real objection to me as a new cousin-in-law?”

“No!  You know I haven’t!” Farnsworth held out a cordial hand which the other grasped.  “In fact, I think it’s fine,—­a most admirable arrangement.  What will Patty say?”

“I hope she’ll be pleased.  It’s no secret that I adored Patty and tried my best to cut you out,—­but, not having succeeded in that, I’ve been glad to be the friend of both of you, and we’ve had lots of good times, all together.  But,—­well, I never expected to know another real whole-hearted love,—­and then along comes this splendid girl,—­this daughter of your own big, beautiful, breezy West, and before I know it, she has taken my heart by storm!”

“But, Phil,—­you—­you don’t know Azalea—­”

“I know enough.  If you mean her escapades with the picture people or her innocent joke about the patchwork sampler,—­I don’t care about those little things.  She has a wonderful big, noble nature, that will respond quickly to loving care and gentle advice.  And,—­I think she cares for me, but—­”

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Patty and Azalea from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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