“It is a boofy frock, isn’t it, Nansome?”
Patty craned her head over her shoulder, as she waited for her stepmother’s response, which was only, “Yes.”
“Oh, my gracious, Nan! Enthuse! Don’t you know half the fun in life is enthusiasm?”
“What shall I say?” asked Nan, laughing.
“Oh, say it’s a peach! a hummer! a lallapaloosa!”
“Patty, Patty! what language!”
“Oh, yes; I forgot I meant to stop using slang. But when any one is so lukewarm in her admiration as you are, forcible language is called for.”
“Well, it certainly is a lovely gown, and you never looked prettier. There! since you are fishing for compliments, are you pleased now?”
Patty was far from being conceited over her pretty face, but she honestly liked admiration, and, indeed, she was accustomed to receive it from all who knew her. At the present moment, she was standing before a long mirror in her boudoir, putting the last touches to her new party toilette. Louise, the maid, stood by, with a fur-trimmed wrap, and Patty drew on her long gloves with a happy smile of anticipation.
“I just feel sure I’m going to have a good time to-night,” she said; “it’s a presentiment or premonition, or whatever you call it.”
“Don’t flirt too desperately,” said Nan, not without cause, for pretty Petty was by nature a coquette, and as she had many admirers she merrily led them a dance.
“But it’s so interesting to flirt, Nancy. And the boys like it,—so why not?”
Why not, indeed? thought Nan. Patty’s flirtations were harmless, roguish affairs, and prompted by mischief and good nature. Patty was a sweet, true character, and if she teased the young men a bit, it was because of her irrepressible love of fun.
“And this is St. Valentine’s night,” went on Nan, “so I suppose you think yourself privileged to break all the hearts you can.”
“Some hearts are so brittle, it’s no fun to break them,” returned Patty, carelessly, as she adjusted her headdress.
She was going to a Valentine party, where the guests were requested to come in appropriate costume.
So Patty’s gown was of white lace, softly draped with white chiffon. On the modish tunic were love-knots of pale blue velvet, and a border of tiny pink rosebuds. The head-dress, of gold filigree, was a heart pierced by a dart; and on Patty’s left shoulder, a dainty little figure of Cupid was wobbling rather uncertainly.
“You’ll lose that little God of War,” said Nan.
“I don’t care if I do,” Patty answered; “he’s a nuisance, anyway, but I wanted something Valentinish, so I perched him up there. Now, good-bye, Nancy Dancy, and I expect I’ll be out pretty late.”
“I shall send Louise for you at twelve, and you must be ready then.”
“Oh, make it one. You know a Valentine party is lots of fun.”