Farnsworth stood apart, not joining in the dance, and presently Adele came up to him.
“Dance with me, Bill,” she said, with the freedom of long acquaintance.
“Thank you,” said Farnsworth, and in a moment they had joined the other couples. Bill was a perfect dancer, and when they stopped, Adele said: “Why don’t you dance with Patty? She is a lovely dancer. I’d like to see you two dance together.”
Still with a grave face, Bill crossed the room to where Patty was standing.
“Miss Fairfield,” he said, politely, “our hostess has ordained that I dance this dance with you.” He clicked his heels together, and made a low military bow.
“Indeed,” said Patty, coolly, “but the Queen of May takes no one’s orders, not even those of her beloved hostess.”
“Then you refuse?” and Farnsworth looked Patty straight in the eyes.
“Of course I refuse,” and she gave her little head a disdainful toss. “This dance belongs to Mr. Van Reypen.”
Philip was just passing, and as Patty laid her hand on his arm, he stopped.
“Certainly it does,” he said, but it was easy to be seen that the dance was as much a surprise to him as it was a pleasure.
Farnsworth looked after the two, as they danced away. And then he turned on his heel and went in search of Adele.
The May party was over, but a few of the guests, besides those staying in the house, remained for dinner.
“Shall I change my frock, Adele, or keep on this toggery for dinner?” said Patty.
“Oh, keep that on. You may as well be Queen of May as long as you can.”
So Patty kept on her pretty, picturesque costume, and when dinner time came she made up her mind to ask Adele to seat her next to Farnsworth. But as the company paired off to go to dinner Big Bill was nowhere visible.
“Where’s Mr. Farnsworth?” asked Patty, casually, of Jim Kenerley.
“Oh, he’s gone. We expected him to stay the week-end, but he said he was due at another country house party, farther on somewhere, and he couldn’t even stay for dinner.”
Patty was sorry she had acted so rude to Bill, and sorry that he had gone. “But,” she said to herself, by way of extenuation, “I didn’t want to dance with anybody who asked me to because his hostess commanded him! He never even said he wanted to dance with me himself, but only that Adele said he must. But I do think he was mean to go away without saying good-bye to me!”
However, it was not Patty’s nature to let her mind dwell on a disappointment, and she promptly proceeded to forget all about Mr. Farnsworth, and to turn her mind to her present partner. This happened to be Kit Cameron, and as he was in his gayest mood she responded and their conversation was of the merriest sort.
After dinner, Kit persuaded Patty to walk on the veranda for a bit of exercise. There was a large swing-seat, upholstered in red, which he declared was just the place for a tete-a-tete.