The steamer stopped at Plymouth and then went straight on to Havre. Everybody was in a great state of excitement; passengers were getting off and mails getting on at Plymouth, and plenty of wonderful and interesting things to look at as they sailed along the channel.
Patty felt truly sorry to say good-bye to many of the friends she had made on board. But from others she would not be parted until they reached Paris. The Van Ness party, the old Ma’amselle, Florrie Nash, Bert Chester, and Mr. Pauvret were all going in the special train to Paris, as the Farringtons were.
Patty thought this meant they could all travel together, but to her surprise she found the French trains very different from those on American railroads.
The special boat-train which they were to take left directly from the steamer’s dock and was an express direct to Paris without stop, landing them there in less than four hours.
The Farrington party had a whole compartment in this train, and as a compartment only holds six people, they comfortably filled it, using the extra seat for hand luggage and so forth.
Patty thought the appointments more luxurious than our own parlour-cars, for the seats were beautifully upholstered in a pearl-grey material, and everything was lavishly decorated, after the French fashion. All of these compartments opened on to a corridor which ran along the side of the car, and Patty soon discovered that thus she could visit her neighbours in the other compartments.
Both Patty and Elise were greatly excited and interested in watching the French landscapes, and trying to make out the names of the towns through which they rapidly flew. But with the exception of some of the larger towns they could not read the names, and so gave that up for the more interesting occupation of watching the villages and hamlets as they succeeded each other.
Bert Chester came in to visit them, and expressed a hope that he might see them in Paris.
He was to remain there only a week, and then he was to join some of his friends, some young Englishmen, and go for a short motor tour in southern France.
Mr. Farrington said that he expected to take his party motoring along the same route, but did not expect to go at present.
Young Chester was sorry that they could not go together, but said that perhaps when Mr. Farrington was ready he and his friends would come over again for another spin.
Bert Chester was a son of a wealthy English squire, and though distinctly British in his ways, was broad-minded enough to like Americans, and moreover was a young man of innate politeness and affable manners. The elder Farringtons liked him extremely, and cordially invited him to come to see them while in Paris.
“We sha’n’t have a house of our own just at first,” explained Elise; “we’re going to a hotel while father and mother look around and select a house for the winter.”