“That isn’t a real steamer,” said Patty whimsically; “it’s a chromo-lithograph. I’ve often seen them in the offices of steamship companies. This one isn’t framed, as they usually are, but it’s only a chromo all the same. There’s no mistaking its bright colouring and that badly painted smoke.”
Young Chester laughed. “You Americans are so clever,” he said. “Now an English girl would never have known that that was only a painted steamer. But as you say, you can tell by the smoke. That’s pretty badly done.”
Patty took a decided liking to this jesting Englishman, and thought him much more entertaining than the melancholy French musician.
She discovered that very evening that Mr. Chester possessed a fine voice, and when after dinner a dozen or more young people gathered round the chairs of the Farrington party, they all sang songs until Mrs. Farrington declared she never wanted to attend a more delightful concert.
Mr. Pauvret brought his violin, and the Van Ness boys produced a banjo and a madolin. Everybody seemed to sing at least fairly well, and some of the voices were really fine. Patty’s sweet soprano received many compliments, as also did Elise’s full, clear contralto. The girls were accustomed to singing together, and Mr. Pauvret proved himself a true musician by his sympathetic accompaniments.
Everybody knew the popular songs of the day, and choruses and glees were sung with that enthusiasm which is always noticeable on the water.
The merry party adjourned to the dining-room for a light supper after their vocal exercises.
Patty was sorry that her friend and tablemate, the old Ma’amselle, had not been visible since that first dinner. Upon inquiry she learned that the old lady had fallen a victim to the effects of the rolling sea.
“But she’ll soon be around again,” said the captain in his bluff, cheery way; “Ma’amselle Labesse has crossed with me many times, and though she usually succumbs for two or three days, she is a good sailor after that. She is passionately fond of music, too, and when she is about again you young people must make the old ship ring for her.”
This they readily promised to do, and then they wound up the evening by a vigorous rendition of the “Marseillaise,” followed by “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Save the King.”
It was all a delightful experience for Patty, who dearly loved lights and music and flowers and people and gay goings on, and she felt that she was indeed a fortunate girl to have all these pleasures come to her.
DAYS AT SEA
The time on shipboard passed all too quickly.
Each day was crammed full of various amusements and
Patty and Elise enjoyed it all thoroughly.
Although the majority of passengers were French, yet they nearly all spoke English, and there were a number of Americans and English people, who proved to be pleasant and companionable.