“You ought to have them at fifty,” replied Elise; “you’ll be such a charming middle-aged lady, Patty. A little prim, perhaps, but rather nice, after all.”
“Thanks for the flattering prospect. I prophesy that when you’re fifty, you’ll be a great artist, and you’ll look exactly like Rosa Bonheur, and you’ll wear short grey hair and a linen duster. So you’d better have plenty of photographs taken now, for I don’t believe the linen duster will be very becoming.”
The photographs turned out to be extremely successful, both as likenesses and as pictures. The girls sent many copies to their friends in America, and Nan wrote back that she thought the girls ought to hurry home, or they would become incorrigible Parisiennes.
Both Elise and Patty thoroughly enjoyed the hours they spent in the great picture galleries. Although Elise had herself a talent for painting, Patty had quite as great a love for pictures, and was acquiring a true appreciation of their value. Sometimes Elise’s teacher would go with them, and sometimes Mr. or Mrs. Farrington. But the girls liked best to ramble alone together through the Louvre or the Luxembourg, and although the watchful Lisette walked grimly behind them, they followed their own sweet will, and often sat for a long time before their favourite pictures or statues.
“‘The time has come, the Walrus said,’” said Patty one day, “when I really must hunt up those things for Marian. She made a list of about fifty things for me to take home to her, and though they’re mostly trifles, I expect some of them will not be very easy to find. Suppose we start out with that Cyclamen perfumery she wanted. It’s a special make, by a special firm, but I suppose we can find it.”
So that afternoon the girls started on their Cyclamen hunt. Lisette was to have accompanied them, but she was suffering from a headache, and, rather than disappoint the girls, Mrs. Farrington said that just for this once they might go shopping alone in the motor-car with the chauffeur.
In great glee the girls started off, and went first to several perfumers in search of Marian’s order.
But Cyclamen extract, made by Boissier Freres, was not to be found, although many other French Brothers signed their illustrious names to Cyclamen extracts, and although the Boissier Freres themselves seemed to manufacture an essence from every known blossom except Cyclamen.
“It’s no use,” said Patty, “to take any other kind, for Marian simply won’t have it, and she’ll say that she should think I might have found it for her. Let’s go to the Magasins du Louvre,—they’re sure in that big place to have every kind there is.”
Leaving the motor-car at one of the entrances to the great building, the girls went in. After following devious directions and tortuous ways, they found the perfumery counter, and as they had now sufficient command of the French language to make their wants accurately known, they inquired for the precious Cyclamen. The affable salesman was at first quite sure he could supply it, but an exhaustive search failed to bring forth the desired kind.