“You’re always right, Patty,” said Elise, smiling lovingly at her friend; “that’s the worst of you! But I’ll do as you say this time, only don’t let it occur again.”
Patty laughed and allowed Elise to select cards illustrating the places she had already seen, persuading her to leave the others until some future time.
Then they looked round the shop further, and discovered many attractive little souvenirs to take to friends at home.
“I think,” said Patty, “I’ll just buy some of these things right now. For surely I could never find anything for Frank and Uncle Charlie better than these queer little desk things. Aren’t they unusual, Elise? Are they rococo?”
“Patty,” said Elise, in a stage whisper, “I hate to own up to it, but really, I never did know what rococo meant! Isn’t it something like cloisonne, or is it ormolu?”
Patty laughed. “To be honest, Elise, I don’t exactly know myself, but I don’t think you’ve struck it very closely. However, I’m going to buy this inkstand; I don’t care if it’s made of gingerbread!”
“And here’s a bronze Napoleon; didn’t Marian want that?”
“Oh, yes, indeed she did! I’m so glad you discovered him. Isn’t he a dear little man? Just about three inches high; I believe the real emperor wasn’t much more than that. Isn’t he on a funny little flat pedestal?”
“It’s a seal,” explained the shopkeeper kindly.
“A seal!” echoed Patty blankly; “why no it isn’t! a seal, indeed! why it isn’t a bit like a seal; you might just as well call it a Teddy Bear! It’s a man!”
Elise was giggling. “He doesn’t mean that kind of a seal, Patty,” she said; “he means a seal to seal wax with.”
“Oh,” said Patty, giggling, too; “why, so much the better. I beg your pardon, I’m sure, and I’m glad it’s a seal. I can have Marian’s monogram cut on it, and she can seal her letters by just letting Napoleon jump on them.”
She left the order for the monogram, and the affable shopkeeper promised to send the finished seal home the next day. He seemed greatly interested in his two young customers, and had it not been for Lisette’s sharp eye he would have urged them to buy even more of his wares.
But the canny young French girl had no notion of letting her charges be imposed upon, and she glared haughtily at the shopkeeper when he seemed too officious.
As they were about to leave the shop, some young people entered, and to the surprise of all, they proved to be the Van Ness girls and their cousins.
The four young people were out by themselves, and though quite capable of finding their way about alone, Lisette’s French notions were a trifle shocked at the unchaperoned crowd.
But Patty and Elise were so glad to see their friends again that they gave little thought to conventions, and fell to chattering with all their might.
“Why haven’t you been to see us?” asked Alicia; “you had our address.”