“What do you mean?” said Patty.
“Why here’s a sign that says ’wet umbrellas must be left in the cloak room.’ You see, it’s imperative,—and as we have no wet umbrellas to leave in the cloak room, whatever shall we do?”
“Isn’t it awful!” said Patty. “Of course, we can’t go in if we don’t fulfil their laws. But it’s a foolish law, and better broken than kept, so I propose we march on in spite of it.”
So they marched on and spent one of their pleasantest half hours admiring the royal coaches.
The Coronation Carriage of Charles the X. pleased Patty most, especially as it had been restored by Napoleon and bore the magic initial N. on its regalia.
Mr. Farrington slyly volunteered the information that it stood for Napoleon the Third, but Patty declared that she didn’t care, as any Napoleon was good enough for her.
Then the various sights of the Trianons claimed their attention, and they visited the farm and the dairy, and the Temple of Love, and the Swiss Cottage, and the Presbytery, and the Music Pavilion, and the Mill, until they were all mixed up, and Patty declared that her mind was nothing but a kaleidoscope full of broken bits of gay scenes.
Then the party went to the Grotto of Apollo, and sat down there for a short time to rest before returning home.
“This is the first time,” said Patty, “that it has seemed like a picnic, but this is a real picnic place,—though a much more grand one than I ever picnicked in before.”
“You can probably make up your mind,” said Bert, “that it’s about the grandest picnic place there is; and speaking of picnics, I’d like to invite all this party to dine with me on our way home.”
“Where is your dining-room?” asked Mrs. Farrington.
“I’ll show you,” said Bert eagerly, “if you’ll only go with me. It isn’t quite time to start yet, but it soon will be, and I’ll take you to an awfully jolly place and not a bit out of our way, either.”
Mrs. Farrington agreed to go, and the rest eagerly accepted the invitation, and after resting a little longer, the party leisurely prepared to start.
At Bert’s direction they spun along the Bois de Boulogne until they reached the Pavilion d’Armenonville, one of those fairyland out-of-door restaurants which abound in and near Paris.
As it was rather chilly to sit outside, they occupied a table in a glass-protected court, and Bert proved himself a most satisfactory host.
“We’ve had an awfully jolly day,” he observed, “at least I have, and I hope the rest of you put in a good time. It’s a satisfaction to feel that we’ve done up Versailles, but I may as well confess that I didn’t go for that purpose so much as to spend a pleasant day with my friends.”
Patty declared that she had enjoyed the society, not only of the friends who went with her, but the companionship of the invisible ones, whose presence seemed to haunt every nook and cranny of the palace and park.