“Gorgeous!” exclaimed Patty, clapping her hands; “I do think that would be delightful, I’d love to go.”
“Me too,” chimed in Elise; “mother, do say yes, won’t you? You know you’re just as anxious to go there as we are, because you spoke of it only yesterday.”
“Yes, indeed,” said Mrs. Farrington heartily; “I quite approve of the plan, and if your father has no objection, we can make a charming picnic of it.”
Mr. Farrington was quite as interested in the project as the others, and they immediately began to arrange the details of the expedition. Bert Chester had a road map in his pocket, which showed exactly the routes they could take, but the decision of these things was left to Mr. Farrington and Arthur Oram, who put their heads together over the complicated-looking charts and decided upon their way.
“Do you know,” said Paul Marchbanks, “you’re the first American girls I have ever known socially? I’ve seen tourists in railway stations or restaurants, but I never talked to any Americans before.”
“For goodness’ sake!” exclaimed Patty, “have they kept you walled up in a dungeon tower all your life, or what?”
“Not exactly that; but we English fellows who go to school and then to college, and meantime live in our country homes, with an occasional run up to London, have almost no opportunity to meet anybody outside of our own people. And I haven’t jogged about as much as a good many fellows. This is the first time I’ve been to Paris.”
“Then that explains your homesickness,” said Patty, smiling kindly at the big boy, whose manner was so frank and ingenuous.
“Yes,” he said; “I suppose I do miss the family, for they are a jolly lot. Oh, I say, won’t you people all come down to our place and see us? You’re going to England, of course, before you return to the States, aren’t you ?”
“I don’t know,” said Elise, smiling; “our plans are uncertain. But if we accept all the delightful invitations we’re continually receiving, I don’t know when we ever shall get back to New York.”
The next day proved to be a most perfect one for an excursion of any sort. They started early, for they wanted to make a long, full day of it, and return in time for dinner.
The two automobiles were at the door by nine o’clock, and the party was soon embarked. As Mr. Farrington did not drive his own car, he went in the other car, sitting in front with Arthur Orara. In the tonneau of this car were Patty and Bert Chester. So in the other car rode Mrs. Farrington and Elise and the two Marchbanks. This arrangement seemed highly satisfactory to all concerned, and the procession of two cars started off gaily. Away they sped at a rapid speed along the Champs Elysees, through the Arch and away toward Versailles. The fresh, crisp morning air, the clear blue sky, and the bright sunlight, added to the exhilaration of the swift motion, endowed them all with the most buoyant spirits, and Patty felt sure she had never looked forward to a merrier, happier day.