“I understand, madame. You see, this is my Sunday afternoon frock. If I stay with you, I will send for my black ones. Perhaps, if I took off the lace collar now.”
“Yes, and the black bow. It is those things that make your garb inappropriate. I will, of course, provide you with an apron and cap. Will you come with me now to the dining-room, and I will show you about your duties.”
Mrs. Brewster gave Patty full directions about the serving of the dinner and then provided her with a cap and apron. The trifle of muslin and lace, when perched on Patty’s gold curls, was really most becoming; and though she removed her collar and bow, the frilled bretelles of the dainty apron were quite as effective, and Patty looked like the kind of waitress that is seen in amateur plays.
“If not asking too much, madame,” she said, “may I telephone to a friend?”
“Is it necessary?” and Mrs. Brewster looked a little surprised.
“It would be polite, I think, madame,” returned Patty, with eyes cast down, “as it is to some people with whom I expected to take supper. They will wait for me, I fear?”
“Ah, yes, Suzette, you are right. You may telephone, but I will tell you frankly, I do not like to have my servants make a practice of telephoning to their friends.”
“No, madame,” and Patty’s tone was most humble.
To her great delight the telephone was in a small booth by itself, and Patty soon made Adele acquainted with the whole story.
Adele was not altogether pleased with the prank, but as she couldn’t help herself, she accepted the situation with a good grace, and promised to send for Patty later in the evening.
THE RIDE HOME
Patty stood in the butler’s pantry when the guests entered the dining-room for dinner.
She was determined to do her part perfectly, for she knew quite well how everything should be done, and she entered into the spirit of it as if it were a play.
There were eight at the table, and as Patty tripped in to serve the soup she caught the approving glance of Mr. Bob Peyton. She quickly dropped her eyes and proceeded with her duties quietly and correctly. But as she set down the third soup plate, she chanced to look across the table, and met the calm, straightforward gaze of Bill Farnsworth!
She didn’t drop the soup-plate or make any awkward movement. Patty was not that sort. She looked down quickly, though it was with difficulty that she prevented the corners of her mouth from breaking into a smile. Immediately she suspected the whole truth. Farnsworth was a guest at this house,—of course he had sent Bob Peyton to her rescue! Or, hadn’t he? Could it have been possible that Mr. Peyton found her unexpectedly? She didn’t think so. She believed that Little Billee had sent Peyton to her aid, because she had refused his assistance. Of course, Bill had not foreseen the waitress joke, and doubtless he was as much surprised to see her now as she was to see him. Unless Mr. Peyton had told all the guests that he had found a waitress along the road in a stalled motor-car!