“Don’t babble at all. Here’s a chair. You sit right down here, and eat your supper. Here’s another chair. You lay your shawl and bonnet on that, to keep it for me, and I’ll go and forage for some food.”
Patty laid her scarf and fan on the chair to reserve it for Philip, but she was not unduly surprised when Mr. Cameron came along, picked up her belongings, and seated himself in the chair.
“That’s Mr. Van Reypen’s chair,” said Patty; “if he finds you there, he’ll gently but firmly kill you.”
“I know it,” said Kit, placidly; “but a Knight is always willing to brave death for his Lady.”
“But I don’t want you killed,” said Patty, looking sad, “I wouldn’t have anybody to telephone to.”
“If I run away then, to save my life, will you telephone me to-night?”
“Indeed I won’t! that’s all over. But please, Mr. Cameron, run away, for here comes Philip, with both hands full of soup, and I know he wouldn’t hesitate to scald you with it.”
Mr. Cameron arose, as Mr. Van Reypen came in, and with an air of willingly relinquishing his seat to Philip, he said, “My Girl’s Orders.”
Philip didn’t hear it, but Patty did, and she blushed, for Cameron’s departure that way showed greater deference to her wishes than if he had stayed with her.
“What did he say?” Philip asked, as he offered Patty a cup of bouillon, and then sat down beside her.
“He said you were such a sweet-tempered man, he didn’t wonder I liked you,” and Patty beamed pleasantly.
“I would be sweet-tempered, Patty, if you didn’t tease the very life out of me!”
“Now, Philip, you wouldn’t be much good if you couldn’t stand a little teasing.”
“Go ahead, then; tease me all you like,” and Van Reypen looked the personification of dogged endurance.
“I will!” said Patty, emphatically, and then some others joined them, and the group began to laugh and talk together.
“Your cousin is stunning, Marie,” said Mona Galbraith; “why have we never met him before?”
“He’s a freak,” Marie said, laughingly. “I couldn’t persuade him to come to my valentine party, and to-night I couldn’t keep him away! All musicians are freaks, you know.”
“He’s a musician, all right,” said Kenneth Harper. “The things he did to that simple little song must have made some of the eminent composers turn in their graves!”
“He’s awfully clever at that sort of thing,” said Marie; “sometimes when we’re here alone, he’ll take a simple little air and improvise the most beautiful melodies from it.”
“Is he amiable?” asked Mona, casually.
“Not very; or rather, not always. But he’s a dear fellow, and we’re all fond of him. How did you like him, Patty?”
“I thought he was lovely,” said Patty, and Van Reypen glared at her.