As Patty had expected, she developed an intense interest in French history, and as Elise shared this taste, they learned their lessons well, and also read books of history outside of school hours quite from choice.
[Illustration with caption: “They also read books of history outside of school hours quite from choice”]
There were a great many Americans residing in Paris, and it was not long before Mr. and Mrs. Farrington renewed old acquaintances there, and also made new ones among the American colony.
This meant pleasant associates for the girls, and they soon became acquainted with several American families.
Indeed, the house next to their own, was occupied by an American family named Barstow, with whom the Farringtons soon made friends.
The young people of the family were Rosamond, a girl of seventeen, and her brother Martin, a few years older.
The first time they met, Elise and Patty took a decided liking to the Barstows, and Rosamond often spent the afternoon with them, while they chatted gaily over their work, or went driving with them along the beautiful Bois, or visited the galleries with them.
The weeks went happily by. Patty became quite accustomed to French ways and customs, and was becoming proficient in the language.
One of her greatest treats was the Opera. Mr. Farrington had engaged a box for the season, and the girls attended nearly every matinee performance. The first few times Patty could scarcely listen to the music for her admiration of the wonderful building, but after she became more accustomed to its glories, it did not so distract her attention from the stage. Mr. and Mrs. Farrington occasionally gave opera parties, and dinner parties, too, but the girls were not allowed to attend these. Although indulgent in many ways, Mrs. Farrington was somewhat strict about the conventions for her young people; but so gently were her rules laid down, that they never seemed harsh or stern.
On nights when dinner parties were given, the girls had their dinner in the family breakfast-room, and often were allowed to invite Rosamond, and sometimes Martin to their feasts.
Another delight to Patty was the fact that she was learning to drive a motor-car. It had always fascinated her, and she had always felt that she could do it if she only knew how. Once when she timidly expressed this wish to Mr. Farrington, he replied, “Why certainly, child, I’ll be glad to teach you, and some day, who knows, you may have a car of your own.”
So whenever opportunity allowed Mr. Farrington gave her lessons in the art, and often Patty would sit in front with the chauffeur and he would teach her many things about the mechanism, until she became really quite accomplished as a driver.
Of course, she was never allowed to run the car alone, nor did she wish to, but it was great fun to handle the wheel herself and feel the car obey her lightest touch. Sometimes she would grow elated at her success and put on the high speed, but always under the supervision and protecting guidance of Mr. Farrington or the affable and amiable chauffeur.