“He seems to know his lesson pretty well,” whispered Patty, “but his French pronunciation is even worse than mine.”
“Your pronunciation isn’t so bad, Patty, but you haven’t any vocabulary to speak of.”
“To speak with, you mean. But never you mind, miss; as soon as your respected parents decide upon a house, and we get settled in it, I’m going to study French like anything, and French history, too. I used to hate these things, but times have changed since Patty came to Paris!”
“I’m glad you’re so energetic, but I don’t feel much like studying; I’d rather drift around and have fun as we are doing.”
“We’ll have time enough for both, and you want to take some painting lessons, don’t you?”
“Yes; but seeing all the pictures I’ve seen since I’ve been here discourages me. I used to think I was quite an artist, but I see now that if I ever do anything really worth while, I’ll have to begin all over again and go into a drudgery drawing class.”
“It won’t be drudgery; you love it so, and you’ll make rapid progress if you’re as desperately in earnest as all that. Do you think your mother will decide to take that house they’re going to look at to-day?”
“Yes, I think so; her mind is pretty well made up already. It must be a lovely house, judging from what she says about it.”
It was not very far to Chantilly, and when they reached there the girls were almost sorry that the pleasant ride was ended.
The megaphone gentleman informed his personally conducted crowd that they were to alight and eat luncheon before proceeding to the Chateau.
The hotel where they were to lunch was a quaint, old-fashioned house, built around three sides of a garden. It was called the Hotel du Grand-Conde, and Patty said, “I suppose we shall see and hear of nothing but the Condes for the rest of the day. I believe the whole interest of Chantilly centres in that Conde crowd.”
“You seem to know a lot about it,” said Elise banteringly.
“I’ve been reading up,” confessed Patty, “and besides, La Grande Mademoiselle has always been one of my favourite characters in French history. She was a wonderful woman, and though not of the Condes, she is mixed up in their history.”
“She is an unknown quantity to me,” said Elise, “but I’m willing to learn, so tell me all you know, Patty; it won’t take long.”
“You’ll get no instruction from me after that unflattering speech,” retorted Patty, and then luncheon was announced, and the girls sat down at the table reserved for them.
They were much interested in their fellow-tourists, and as most of them were socially inclined, Patty and Elise were included in the general conversation. As the tourists seemed to have a great deal of general information, and as they were quite ready to impart it, the girls picked up quite a store of knowledge, more or less accurate.
Then they left the hotel, with its quaint old gateway and carefully kept gravel walks, and proceeded on their way to the Chateau.