“Yes, I remember studying about it in French history. It was torn down at the time of the Commune, and later re-erected from the fragments. But you know when you study those dry facts they don’t seem to mean anything; but to be here, really in Paris, looking at that wonderful column, in this dusky light, and the stars just beginning to show—oh, Elise, it’s more like fairy tales than history!”
“I love it, too,” said Elise; “and I’m so glad to be here with you. Oh, Patty, we are going to have a beautiful time!”
“Well, I rather guess we are!” said Patty, with true Yankee enthusiasm.
Then their cabs drove in at the arched entrance of the Hotel Ritz, and a most important looking personage in blue uniform assisted them to alight. Other attendants in unostentatious livery swung open the glass doors and our party entered. The proprietor, who advanced to meet them, was a courtly, polite Frenchman, in correct evening dress, whose suave and deferential manner was truly typical of his race. He seemed to take a personal interest in his newly arrived guests, and himself conducted them to their apartments.
Patty followed with the rest, feeling almost like pinching herself to see if she were awake or in an enchanted dream. The hotel was particularly beautiful, and the furnishings unlike any she had ever seen before. Carpets, furniture, and decorations were all in the palest tints of lovely colours. Doors and windows and many of the partitioned walls were of glass, in ornate gilt frames, through which one could see fascinating rooms beyond. A few choice pictures hung on the walls, and here and there were French cabinets of curios and rare laces.
The elevator seemed to be entirely of glass, and was furnished with dainty white upholstery and gilded woodwork. Bouquets of fresh flowers were here and there on small tables in the rooms and halls.
The suite of rooms allotted to the Farringtons looked out upon the Place Vendome, and Patty flew to the window to gaze again upon the beautiful scene.
The rooms were daintily furnished with the same exquisite taste that prevailed throughout the house. Lace curtains framed the deep-seated windows, an Empire clock and candelabra graced the carved mantel, and the furniture was rich and abundant.
“I don’t think,” said Patty, “that I ever saw a more beautiful palace. And I’m so glad I’m here I don’t know what to do! Just think of it, Elise, we’ll live here in this lovely room for a fortnight anyway!”
“It is lovely,” said Elise; “but I expect we’ll get tired of hotel life and be glad to have a home of our own.”
“Very likely,” said Patty, with a little sigh of content; “but I shall be perfectly happy wherever we are.”
“I believe you will, Patty,” said Elise, laughing; “you love this beautiful place, but if it hadn’t been half as pretty, you would have made just as much fuss over it.”