This readiness to adapt herself to any circumstances was inherent in Patty’s nature, and she sat there and conversed with her hostess as charmingly and naturally as if at a plainer board.
Rosamond was much impressed by what she chose to consider Patty’s “nerve,” and determining not to be outdone, she exerted herself to be bright and entertaining, and as Elise was always more or less of a chatterbox, the three girls provided much entertainment, and their hostess was delighted with her congenial guests.
After the rather lengthy dinner was at an end, the old Ma’amselle took the girls through various apartments, and showed them many of the treasures of the Chateau.
Then they went to the music room and Patty was persuaded to sing.
She sang several songs, and then they all sang choruses together, in some of which the old Ma’amselle joined with her thin but still sweet voice.
“And now,” she said at last, “it is to tear the heart—but I must send you babies to bed. Me, I sleep so badly, but you young girls, of a surety, must have the tranquil rest. It is then ‘Bon Soir,’ and in the morning you are to amuse yourselves. You have but to ring for your chocolate, when you awake, and then pursue your own pleasures until noon, when I will meet you at dejeuner.”
After affectionate good-nights, the girls went to their rooms, and a half hour later, wrapped in kimonos and with their long braids hanging down their backs, they were all perched on Patty’s big bed—alone at last.
“But it is of a gorgeousness,” exclaimed Rosamond, mimicking, but not unkindly, the old Ma’amselle’s imperfect English; “me, I never have so many feetmen at home! Is it that you do, Patty?”
“But I like it all,” exclaimed Patty, giggling at comical Rosamond, but standing up for her own opinions; “of course I’m not envious a mite, and I don’t know even as I’d care to live in this way all the time, but it’s lovely for a few days, and I’m just going to pretend I’m La Grande Mademoiselle.”
“Do,” cried Elise, “and I’ll be Empress Josephine. Who’ll you be, Rosamond?”
“Oh, I’ll be Queen Elizabeth, who has come to visit you. There’s nothing French about me, so there’s no use pretending, but I might be an English Queen.”
“Well, Josephine and Elizabeth, you’d better run to bed now,” said Patty, “for I’d like the exclusive occupancy of this upholstered tennis-court myself.”
Amazed to find that it was after midnight, the other girls ran laughing away, and Patty climbed in behind the chintz curtains, almost persuading herself that she was a royal Princess after all.
Next morning the Queen and the Empress came bounding in, and shook La Grande Mademoiselle till she awoke.
“This bed is the biggest,” announced Queen Elizabeth, “and so we’re all going to have our chocolate in here.”
“Well, I like the way you monopolise my apartments!” exclaimed Patty.