Kit looked reproachfully at Patty, with his eyes so full of disappointment that she relented.
“I didn’t give away the first one, really,” she said, softly. “I saved that for you.”
“You blessed, dear, sweet little Princess you! Now, don’t give away any more, will you? I know you’ll have thousands of requests.”
“I’ll see about it,” was all Patty would promise, and then the music began and they stepped out on to the dancing floor.
Which do you like best of all the boys you’ve met?” asked Kit, as they danced.
“What a question! How can I possibly tell, when a dozen well-behaved and serious-looking young men stand up like a class in school and say, one after another, ’May I have the honour of a dance, Miss Fairfield?’ They all looked exactly alike to me. Except one. There was one boy, who looks so much like me he might be my brother. I never had a brother, and I’ve a good notion to adopt him as one.”
“Don’t! There’s nothing so dangerous as adopting a young man for a brother! But I know who you mean,—Eddie Bell. He doesn’t look a bit like you, but he has yellow curls and blue eyes.”
“And pink cheeks,” supplemented Patty.
“Yes, but not poppy cheeks; they’re more the pink of a—of a— horsechestnut!”
“I think pink horsechestnut blooms are beautiful.”
“Oh, you do, do you? And I suppose you think Eddie Bell is beautiful!”
“Well, there’s no occasion for you to get mad about it if I do. Do you know, Mr. Cameron, you flare up very easily.”
“If you’ll call me Kit, I’ll promise never to flare up again.”
“Certainly, I’ll call you Kit. I’d just as lieve as not; anything to oblige.”
“And may I call you Patty?”
“Why, yes, if you like.”
“Look here, you’re altogether too indifferent about it.”
“Oh, what a boy!” And Patty rolled her eyes up in despair. “If I don’t want him to call me Patty, he doesn’t like it; and if I do let him call me Patty, he isn’t satisfied! What to do,—what to do!”
“You’re a little tease,—that’s what you are!”
“And you’re a big tease, that’s what you are! I’ve heard you’re even fond of practical jokes! Now, I detest practical jokes.”
“That’s an awful pity, for I mean to play one on you the very first chance I get.”
“You can’t do it?”
“Why can’t I?”
“Because I’d discover it, and foil you.”
“There’s no such word as foil in my bright lexicon. I’ll lay you a wager, if you like, that I play a practical joke on you, that you, yourself, will admit is clever and not unkind. That’s the test of a right kind of a joke,—to be clever and not unkind.”
Patty’s eyes danced. “You have the right idea about it,” she said, nodding her head approvingly. “I don’t so much mind a practical joke, if it is really a good one, and doesn’t make the victim feel hurt or chagrined. But all the same, Mr. Kit, you can’t get one off on me! I’m a little too wide-awake, as you’ll find out.”