“Yes, of course, Patty; shall we go down, or send a note?”
“Neither,” returned Patty, with a toss of her head. “Nora, please say to the young gentlemen that the young ladies will be down at dinner time.”
“Yes, Miss Fairfield,” said Nora, departing.
A few moments later they heard the wailing strains of a violin, and listening at their door, heard Kit playing, with exaggerated effect. “Come into the Garden, Maud.”
“Good gracious, Marie!” exclaimed Patty, popping her head in at Marie’s door, just before dinner time, “we haven’t any clothes! Are you going to wear your party frock or the dress you wore up here?”
“’Deed I’m not going to put on my best gown for a little home dinner! The dresses we wore up here are all right. They’re nice and pretty.”
“But they’re day frocks. I do like to dress up for dinner.”
“I’ll help you out,” said Lora Perry, who was present. “I’ve two or three trunkfuls of old-fashioned clothes, that ought to fit you girls fairly well. They’re not antiques, you know; they’re some I had before I was married,—but they’re pretty. Go in the trunk room and rummage.”
So the two girls went to inspect the frocks.
“Why, they’re beautiful,” said Patty; “I really think they’re a lot prettier than the things we wear to-day. Oh, look at these big sleeves.”
“Yes, leg o’ mutton they used to call them.”
“I know, but they’re more the size of a side of beef! But these are street dresses. Where are the evening things?”
“Here are some,” said Marie, opening another trunk.
“Oh, how lovely!” And Patty pounced on a white organdy, made with a full skirt and three narrow, lace-edged frills. There were wide, full petticoats to go with it, and Patty declared that was her costume. Marie found a dimity, of a Dresden-flowered pattern, with black velvet bows, which she appropriated, and they flew back to their rooms in triumph.
The white dress proved very becoming to Patty, and the square-cut neck of the bodice suited the lines of her pretty throat and shoulders. She wore a broad sash of blue ribbon and a knot of blue ribbon in her hair. Marie’s dress was equally pretty, and they laughed heartily at the full, flaring skirts, so different from the narrow ones of their own wardrobe.
They went downstairs together, and found waiting for them two bored-looking young men, in immaculate evening clothes.
“Good-evening,” said Patty, dropping a little curtsy; “So glad to meet you.”
“Thought you’d never come,” returned Kit. “What are you, anyway? Masquerading as old-fashioned girls?”
“Are they old-fashioned togs?” said Kenneth. “I thought they looked different, but I didn’t know what ailed them.”
“They’re perfectly beautiful evening frocks,” Patty declared, “and you’re not to make fun of them.”