“I’m glad,” said Patty, “to go to a hotel first. I’ve never stayed at a big hotel, and I’m sure it will be delightful for a time.”
[Illustration with caption: “The next morning the girls spent in packing and getting ready to go ashore”]
“You’ll like the one you’re going to,” said Chester. “The Ritz is really the old palace of the Castiglione, an ancient French family, and though it is, of course, somewhat rebuilt, much of the original remains, especially the beautiful old garden with its wonderful trees and fountain. I’ll give you a day or two to ‘find yourselves,’ and then I shall come around to call, and shall expect you to be glad to see me.”
“We’ll be very glad to see you,” said Patty cordially, for she had a sincere liking for the young Englishman.
Then Patty and Elise went with Bert to look in for a little chat with the Van Ness party. Although Patty liked the Van Ness girls in a way, she was rather relieved to find that they were not going to the same hotel.
Patty had an intuitive sense of the fitness of things, and she couldn’t help thinking that the Van Ness sisters, though good-hearted and good-natured, were of a type apt to be a trifle too conspicuous in a large hotel. The Farringtons were quiet-mannered folk, and Patty had often noticed and admired the dignified yet pleasant manner which Mr. Farrington invariably showed to officials or to servants.
He never gave orders in a loud voice or dictatorial manner, yet his orders were always carried out obediently and willingly, and everybody showed him the greatest respect and deference. Mr. Van Ness on the other hand was imperious and ostentatious. He was prone to be critical, and often became annoyed at trifles. Patty was rapidly learning that the true character can be very easily discovered among one’s travelling companions. There is something about the friction of travel that brings out all that is worst and best in one’s disposition.
And so when Patty found that the Van Nesses were going to a different hotel from themselves she was really glad, though she hoped to see them occasionally during their stay in Paris.
The train reached the Gare du Nord at about six o’clock, and when our party went into the rather dimly lighted station Patty thought she had never before seen such pandemonium. Everybody seemed to be in trouble of some sort. Some were running hither and thither, exclaiming and expostulating, but apparently to no avail. Others sat hopelessly and helplessly on their own luggage, seeming to despair of ever getting any further.