“Different men are of different opinions; some like apples, some like inions,” sang Patty, as she swayed herself idly back and forth in the veranda swing; “but, truly-ooly, Nan,” she went on, “I don’t care a snipjack. I’m quite ready and willing to go to the White Mountains,—or the Blue or Pink or even Lavender Mountains, if you like.”
“You’re willing, Patty, only because you’re so good-natured and unselfish; but, really, you don’t want to go one bit.”
“Now, Nan, I’m no poor, pale martyr, with a halo roundy-bout me noble brow. When we came down here to Spring Beach, it was understood that we were to stay here part of the summer, and then go to the mountains. And now it’s the first of August and I’ve had my innings, so it’s only fair you should have your outing.”
Though Patty’s air was gay and careless, and Patty’s tones were sincere, she was in reality making an heroic self-sacrifice, and Nan knew it. Patty loved the seashore; she had been there three months, and loved it better every day.
But Nan cared more for the mountains, and longed to get away from the sunny glare of the sea, and enjoy the shaded walks and drives of higher altitudes. However, these two were of unselfish nature, and each wanted to please the other. But as Patty had had her wish for three months, it was certainly fair that Nan should be humoured for the rest of the summer.
The season had done wonders for Patty, physically. Because of her outdoor life, she had grown plumper and browner, her muscles had strengthened, and her rosy cheeks betokened a perfect state of health. She was still slender, and her willowy figure had gained soft curves without losing its dainty gracefulness.
And Patty was still enthusiastically devoted to her motor-car. Indeed, it was the realisation that she must leave that behind that made her so opposed to a trip to the mountains.
Mr. Fairfield and Nan had both dilated on the charms and beauties of mountain scenery, on the joys and delights of the gay mountain hotels, but though Patty listened amiably, she failed to look upon the matter as they did. At first, she had declared her unwillingness to go, and had tried to devise a way by which she might remain at Spring Beach, while her parents went to the mountains. But no plan of chaperons or visiting relatives seemed to satisfy Mr. Fairfield of its availability.
“I can’t see it, Patty,” he would say; “there is no chaperon for you that we know of, and I wouldn’t leave you here with some stranger obtained by advertisement. Nor have we any relatives who could come to look after you. If Nan’s mother could come, that would do beautifully. But Mrs. Allen is in Europe and none of your aunts could leave her own family. No, girlie, I can’t see any way to separate our family.”
So Patty, with her unfailing good nature, had agreed to go to the White Mountains with the others. She admitted, herself, that she’d probably have a good time, as she always did everywhere, but still her heart clung to “The Pebbles,” as they called their seashore home, and she silently rebelled when she thought of “Camilla,” her swift little electric runabout.