But Ma’amselle replied, “It is arranged,” and during the afternoon she led them to a large apartment which she called the Room of the Robes.
Here she displayed to the enraptured girls costume after costume of wonderful beauty and magnificence.
The Labesse line had been a long one, and apparently its ladies had never worn out or given away any of their robes. Nor its men either, for there were costumes of knights and courtiers, some of which would surely fit the three young men at present under the Chateau roof.
The girls were bewildered at the maze of costumes, and scarcely knew which to select.
Finally Patty chose a bewitching Watteau affair, with a short quilted petticoat, and a looped overdress made of the daintiest flowered silk imaginable. The petticoat was of white satin, and the overdress of palest blue, with garlands of pink roses. The pointed bodice laced up over a dainty neckerchief, and it was further adorned with borders of pearls.
Rosamond pounced upon a scarlet and gold brocade, which she declared was her ideal of a perfect gown.
Elise found a pink brocatelle, embroidered with silver, and after they had selected head-dresses, fans, and many accessories to their costumes, they scurried away to their own rooms to try them on.
“Aren’t we having the time of our life?” exclaimed Rosamond, as she peacocked about, gazing over her shoulder at her long court train.
“Yes, indeed,” said Patty, with a little sigh of content; “I adore this dressing-up performance, and really, girls, those boys are quite human under their French polish.”
“They’re not so bad,” said Elise, “if only they wouldn’t bow so often, and so exactly like dancing masters.”
“Well, it’s all fun,” said Patty, “and I’m going to get that awfully nice Francoise to do my hair. She can make it just like an old French picture. Would you powder it?”
“No,” said Elise, after a moment’s consideration; “the powder shakes off all over everything and you can’t make it really white, anyway; and besides, Patty, your hair is too pretty a colour to disguise with powder.”
“Thank you for the compliment, Elise, though a little belated; all right, then, I’ll leave my tow-coloured tresses their natural shade, and decorate them with strings of pearls and light blue ostrich tips.”
The pearls and feathers and the manipulations of Franchise’s artistic fingers transformed Patty’s head into the semblance of an old French miniature, and even Patty herself cast an approving glance at the pretty reflection in the gilt-framed mirror.
The girls were wild with enthusiasm over Patty’s appearance, though truth to tell, their own effects were scarcely less picturesque.
But Patty’s style lent itself peculiarly well to the Watteau dress, and her little feet with their dainty silk stockings and high-heeled paste-buckled slippers twinkled beneath the quilted petticoat with all the grace of a real Watteau picture.