“Don’t go away
from us, Patty, Patty,
We can’t part with the likes of you!
Stay, and be Queen of the Pageant, Patty,
Patty, Patty, tender and true.
Though you are not very pretty, Patty,
Though you are liked by a very few;
We will put up with you, Patty, Patty,—
Patty, Patty, stay with us, do!”
The rollicking voice and twinkling eyes, which were Jack’s chief charms, made Patty laugh outright at his song. But, not to be outdone in fun, and also, to keep herself from growing serious, she sang back at him:
“I don’t want
to stay at this place,
I don’t like it any more!
I am going to the mountains,
Where I’ve never been before.
I shall tramp the mountain pathways,
I shall climb the mountain’s peak;
I don’t want to stay in this place,
So I’ll go away next week!”
“All right for you!” declared Jack. “Go on, and joy go with you! But don’t you send me any picture postcards of yourself lost in a perilous mountain fastness,—’cause I won’t come and rescue you. So there!”
“What is a mountain fastness?” demanded Patty. “It sounds frisky.”
“It isn’t,” replied Jack; “it’s a deep gorge, with ice-covered walls and no way out; and as the darkness falls, dreadful growls are heard on all sides, and wild animals prowl—and prowl—and prow-ow-owl!”
Jack’s voice grew deep and terrible, as he suggested the awful situation, but Patty laughed gaily as she said:
“Well, as long as they keep on prowling, they certainly can’t harm me. It all sounds rather interesting. At any rate, the ice-covered walls sound cool. You must admit Spring Beach is a hot place.”
“All places are hot in hot weather,” observed Beatrice, sapiently; “when there’s an ocean breeze, it’s lovely and cool here.”
“Yes,” agreed Lora, “when there is. But there ’most generally isn’t. To-day, I’m sure the thermometer must be about two hundred.”
“That’s your heated imagination,” said Jack. “It’s really about eighty-four in the shade.”
“Let’s move around into the shade, then,” said Patty. “This side of the veranda is getting sunny.”
So the young people went round the corner of the house to a cooler spot, and Nan expressed her intention of going down to the train to meet Mr. Fairfield.
“You people,” began Patty, after Nan had left them, “mustn’t talk as you do about my going away, before my stepmother. You see, we’re going because she wants to go, but it isn’t polite to rub it in!”
“I know it,” said Beatrice, “but I forgot it. But, I say, Patty, I think it’s too bad for you to be trailed off there just to please her.”
“Not at all, Bee. She has stayed here three months to please me, and turn about is fair play.”
“It’s Fairfield play, at any rate,” put in Jack. “You’re a trump, Patty, to take it so sweetly. I wish you didn’t have to go, though.”