In despair Patty again consulted her friend the footman. As soon as he understood her dilemma, he assured her he would arrange all; and in less than fifteen minutes he came back to her, almost smiling, and invited the party to follow him.
They followed to the picture gallery, where the ingenious man had carefully placed a number of large, folding Japanese screens in front of the pictures to protect them from possible harm.
Patty was delighted at this contrivance, and then followed such a game of bean-bags as had probably never been seen before in all France.
The only drawback was that Henri could not take part in this sport, but as Patty said wisely, “One cannot have everything in France; and, at any rate, he can eat some of our American taffy, which must be cooled by this time.”
It didn’t seem possible they had been at the Chateau for a week when the day came to go home. “It was lovely at St. Germain,” said Elise, as they were once again settled in Paris, “but I’m glad to be back in the city, aren’t you, Patty?”
“Yes, I am, but I did have a lovely time at the Chateau. I think I like new experiences, and the memory of them is like a lot of pictures that I can look back to, and enjoy whenever I choose. I think my mind is getting to be just like a postcard album, it’s so filled with views of foreign places.”
“Mine is more like a kaleidoscope; it’s all in a jumble, and I can’t seem to straighten it out.”
But after a day or two the girls settled down into a fairly steady routine of home life. They were both interested in their various lessons, and though there was plenty of work, there was also plenty of play.
They did not become acquainted with many French people, but the members of the American Colony, as it was called, were socially inclined, and they soon made many friends.
Then there was much shopping to be done, and Mrs. Farrington seemed quite as interested in selecting pretty things for Patty as she did for her own daughter.
The girls had especially pretty winter costumes of dark cloth, and each had a handsome and valuable set of furs. In these, with their Paris hats, they looked so picturesque that Mrs. Farrington proposed they should have their photographs taken to send to friends at home.
The taking of the photographs developed into quite a lengthy performance; for Mrs. Farrington said, that while they were about it, they might as well have several styles.
So it resulted in their taking a trunk full of their prettiest dresses and hats, and spending a whole morning in the photograph gallery.
“It’s really more satisfactory,” observed Patty, “to do these things by the wholesale. Now I don’t think I shall have to have photographs taken again before I’m seventy, at least.”