“It doesn’t matter whether I must or not. If you look at me like that, I won’t! There, there, Sea Witch, run away, or—or I’ll flirt with you!”
“Yes, it’s time I went,” said Patty, demurely, gathering up her draperies. “But, Billee, how can I thank you for the dear, sweet lovely wreath?”
“Well, there are several ways in which you could thank me,—though I’m not sure you would. Suppose we just consider me thanked?”
“That doesn’t seem much. Shall I write you a note?”
“That doesn’t seem very much. Why don’t you give me a gift in return?”
“I will! What do you want? A penknife?”
“Mercy, no! I’ll have to think it over. Wait! I have it! Have your picture taken—with the wreath on, and give me that.”
“All right, I will. Or perhaps Mr. Cromer would sketch me in this whole rig.”
“Perhaps he would!” and Farnsworth caught his breath, as he looked at the vision of loveliness before him. “But we’ll see about that later. Skip to bed now, Apple Blossom, and don’t appear below decks before noon to-morrow.”
“No, I won’t. I’m awful tired. Good-night, Little Billee.”
“Good-night, Apple Blossom Girl,” and Farnsworth held aside the curtain as Patty stepped through the window.
A shower of flowers flew after her, for Bill had picked up his remaining posies, and Patty laughed softly, as the curtain fell and she stood in her room, surrounded by a scattered heap of roses.
“Just like a theatrical lady,” she said, smiling and bowing to an imaginary audience, for Patty loved to “make-believe.”
And then she took off her silver wreath and put it carefully away.
“Little Billee is such a nice boy,” she said, reflectively, as she closed the box.
A COQUETTISH COOK
“Hello, Pattypet,” said Mona, appearing at Patty’s bedside next morning. “How’s your chocolate? Does it suit you?”
“Delicious,” said Patty, who was luxuriously nestling among her pillows while she ate her breakfast.
“Well, make the most of it, for you’ll never get anything more fit to eat or drink in this happy home.”
“What do you mean?”
“Listen to my tale of woe. The chef and his wife have both left.”
“Francois? And Marie! Why, whatever for?”
“Your English is a bit damaged, but I’ll tell you. You see, Aunt Adelaide flew into one of her biggest tantrums, because her shirred egg was shirred too full, or her waffles didn’t waff,—or something,—and she sent for Francois and gave him such a large piece of her mind that he picked up his Marie and walked off.”
“Have they really gone?”
“They really have. I’ve telephoned to the Intelligence Place, and I can’t get a first-class cook down here at all. I shall have to send to the city for one, but, meantime—what to do! What to do!”