They rejoined the group and then the farewells began in earnest. Patty was embraced and kissed by all the girls, until Nan declared there would be nothing left for her to say good-bye to. The men shook hands and expressed hearty good wishes, and with one last kiss from her father Patty was left alone with the Farringtons.
As the steamer sailed away there was much waving of handkerchiefs and flags, and the friends on shore were kept in sight just as long as possible.
But when they could no longer be distinguished, Patty said: “Come on, Elise; let’s do something to occupy our minds, or I feel sure I shall cry like a baby in spite of my noble and brave resolutions.”
“All right,” said Elise, “I’m with you. Let’s go down and put things to rights in our stateroom.”
So down they went on their errand. The girls were to share the same stateroom, and as it was large and conveniently arranged, they were glad to be together. But as they entered the door they nearly fell over in astonishment, for sitting on the sofa, with his paws extended in welcome, was a very large, very white, and very fleecy “Teddy Bear.” In one paw he held a card on which was written:
Oh Patty dear,
Oh Elise dear,
We don’t want you to go away;
But if you will,
Keep with you still
This merry little stowaway.
THE OLD MA’AMSELLE
The girls laughed heartily over the Teddy Bear, and agreed that it was a delightful companion for their trip. Elise set him up on the little shelf above the washstand, and he gazed down upon them like a fat and good-natured patron saint. Patty named him Yankee Doodle, and gave him an American flag to hold; but Elise, not wishing to seem to slight the French nation, gave him a silken tri-colour of France to hold in his other paw. Apparently unprejudiced in his sympathies, Yankee Doodle held both flags, and continued to wear his jolly and complacent grin.
It was great fun for the girls to arrange their stateroom. As they expected to occupy it for the next ten days, they proceeded to make it as homelike as possible. They both had so many cabin bags and wall pockets and basket catchalls which had been parting gifts that it was difficult to find wall space for them all. Patty was to occupy the lower berth and Elise the wide and comfortable sofa. For they concluded they could chatter better if on a level. This left the upper berth as a broad shelf for books and magazines, boxes of candy, and all the odds and ends of their belongings.
“Isn’t it perfectly wonderful,” said Patty, “to think we are already miles away from land, and dancing away over this blue water!”
As Patty was standing on the sofa, with her head stuck out through the porthole, Elise could not hear a word of this speech; so unless the fishes were interested it was entirely lost. But this mattered little to Patty, and soon she pulled her head in and made the same remark over again.