“Fiddlesticks, Fred,” said Nan; “it’s perfectly all right. In the first place, the man has been introduced to Patty. She met him at Miss Homer’s.”
“But she telephoned before she met him,” stormed Mr. Fairfield, for Patty had told the whole story.
“But she didn’t do it purposely,” said Nan, impatiently. “She got him on the wire by mistake. She couldn’t help that. And, anyway, when he said he was Miss Homer’s cousin, that made it all right. I think it’s a gay little joke, and I’d like to see that young man’s face when he meets Patty!”
“I shan’t meet him,” said Patty, pretending to look doleful; “he hates tow-headed girls.”
“Well, you’re certainly that,” said her father, looking at her with pretended disapproval. “I have to tell you the truth once in awhile, because everybody else flatters you until you’re a spoiled baby.”
“Tow-headed, am I?” and Patty ran to her father, and rubbed her golden curls against his own blond head. “And, if you please, where did I inherit my tow? If I hadn’t had a tow-headed father I might have been the poppy-cheeked brunette that everybody admires. It isn’t fair for you to comment on my tow-head!”
“That’s so, Pattikins; and I take it all back,” for Mr. Fairfield could never resist his pretty daughter’s cajolery. “You are a pretty little doll-faced thing, and I expect I’ll have to forgive your very reprehensible behaviour.”
“I’m not a doll-face,” said Patty, pouting; “I shan’t let you go until you take that back.”
As Patty had her arms tightly round her father’s neck, he considered it the better part of valour to take back his words. “All right,” he said, “rather than be garroted,—I retract! You’re a beautiful and dignified lady, and your notions of convention and etiquette are above reproach.”
“They’re above your reproaches, anyhow,” returned Patty, saucily, and then she ran away to her own room.
A PERFECTLY GOOD JOKE
Patty decided to do nothing in the matter of meeting Kit Cameron. She dearly loved a joke, and this seemed to her a good one. But she thought it would spoil it, if she made any move in the game herself. So she bided her time, and it was perhaps a week later that Marie Homer came to call on her.
As Marie hadn’t the slightest notion that Patty was the girl her cousin had in mind, the subject was not mentioned until just before Marie left, when she asked Patty if she would come to her home the next week to a little musicale.
“Not a big party,” said Miss Homer, “just a dozen or so really musical people to spend the evening. And I want you to sing, if you will. My cousin will be there,—the one who plays the violin.”
“I thought he detested society,” said Patty, her eyes twinkling a little.