“No,” said Captain Sayre, laughing; “you forget it is a summer’s day, and that sort of prancing is better suited to a winter evening. I’m going to take Miss Fairfield away to the lemonade tent, before she faints from utter exhaustion.”
“I’m not tired,” protested Patty, but her cheeks were pink from the exercise, and she went gladly for the refreshing lemonade.
“You’re a wonderful dancer,” said Captain Sayre. “Who taught you?”
Patty mentioned the name of the teacher she had had in New York. “But,” she said, “I haven’t had any lessons of late, and I don’t know the new fancy dances.”
“Some of them are beautiful; you really ought to know them. Mayn’t I call on you, and teach you a few new steps?”
“I’d love to have you do so. I’m staying with Miss Galbraith, you know. But you’re not here for long, are you?”
“I’ll be here about a week, and I may return later for a short time. At any rate we can have a few dances. I never saw any one so quick to catch the spirit of the music. You love dancing, don’t you?”
“Yes, I do. But I love it more in cooler weather.”
“Oh, this hot spell won’t last long. And it’s so cool mornings. Suppose I run over to see you to-morrow morning. May I?”
“Do,” said Patty, cordially. “Mona and I will be glad to have you.”
“But I’m coming to see you” said the captain, a little pointedly.
“You’re coming to see us both,” said Patty, very decidedly.
THE HOUSE PARTY ARRIVES
“Red Chimneys” was in a turmoil. The house party had been invited, and the house party had accepted their invitations, and all would have been well had it not been for Aunt Adelaide. Somehow or other she managed to upset every plan, throw cold water on every pleasure, and acted as a general wet blanket on all the doings of Patty and Mona.
She was not an over strict chaperon; indeed, she was more than ready to let the girls do whatever they chose; but she dictated the way it should be done and continually put forth not only suggestions but commands directly opposed to the wishes of the young people.
Often these dictates concerned the merest details. If the girls had a merry luncheon party invited, that was the very day Aunt Adelaide chose for a special rest-cure treatment, and demanded that the whole house be kept quiet as a church. On the other hand, if the girls were going off for the day, that was the occasion Aunt Adelaide felt lonesome, and declared herself cruelly neglected to be left at home alone.
But it was Mona’s nature to submit to the inevitable,—though not always gracefully. And it was Patty’s nature to smooth away rough places by her never-failing tact and good nature. The greatest trouble was with the servants. Those who came in contact with the nervous, fussy lady were harassed beyond endurance by her querulous and contradictory orders. The cook declared herself unable to prepare Mrs. Parson’s “messes” acceptably, and threatened every other day to leave. But Patty’s coaxing persuasions, and Mona’s promise of increased wages induced her to remain.