In silence, Kenneth complied with Patty’s wish, and took her to where Lora Perry was sitting.
Then he went away, leaving Patty much more disturbed by what he had said than by all the gay fooleries of Eddie Bell or Kit Cameron.
“Tired?” asked Mrs. Perry, as she welcomed Patty to her side.
“A little; I love to dance, but a long program does weary me. Are we going home soon?”
“Whenever you like, dear.”
“Oh, not until the others are ready. There goes Marie. She’s having a lovely time to-night. Isn’t she a pretty thing?—and so popular.”
Patty’s admiration was sincere and honest, and Marie’s dark, glowing beauty was well worthy of commendation.
But seeing Patty sitting by Mrs. Perry, Marie came to them, when the dance ended, and declared that she was quite ready to go home, although the program wasn’t finished.
“What’s all this about?” inquired Kit Cameron, coming up to them. “Go home? Not a bit of it! There are a lot of dances yet.”
“Well, you stay for them if you like, Kit,” said his sister, rising. “I’m going to take these girls away. They’ve danced quite enough, and it’s time they went home.”
“Whither thou all goest, I will go also,” said Cameron. “Where’s Harper?”
Kenneth and Dick Perry came along then, and both men expressed their willingness to go home.
Patty was rather silent during the homeward way, and indeed, as all were more or less weary, there was little gay conversation.
As they entered the house, Nora, the parlour-maid, appeared to take their wraps.
“Where is Babette?” asked Mrs. Perry, surprised to see Nora in place of her French maid.
“Sure she’s sick, Mrs. Perry; she do be feelin’ that bad, she had to go to bed. So she bid me do the best I can for the young ladies.”
“I’m sorry to hear Babette is ill; I must go and see her at once.” And Mrs. Perry went away toward the servants’ quarters.
She returned shortly, saying Babette had a bad cold and a slight fever, but that her symptoms were not alarming.
“But I’m sorry you girls can’t have her services to-night,” Mrs. Perry went on.
“It doesn’t matter a bit,” said Patty; “I’d be sorry for myself, if I couldn’t get in and out of my own clothes! Don’t think of it, Mrs. Perry.”
They all went up to their rooms, and though Nora did her best to assist Patty, her unskilful help bothered more than it aided. So she kindly dismissed the girl, and catching up a kimono went across to Marie’s room.
“You get me out of this frock, won’t you, Marie?” she said. “It fidgets me to have Nora fumbling with the hooks. It’s a complicated arrangement and I know she’d tear the lace.”
Marie willingly acquiesced, and then Patty slipped off the pretty yellow gown, and got into her blue silk kimono.