“No,” said Mrs. Farrington; “this is his last year in college, so of course he can’t leave. The other children are in school, too, so it seemed just the right year for us to take Elise abroad for a little outing. A winter in Paris will do both of you girls good in lots of ways, and if for any reason we don’t enjoy it, we can go somewhere else, or we can turn around and come home, and no harm done.” Although the trip seemed such a great event to Patty, Mrs. Farrington appeared to look upon it merely as a little outing, and seemed so thoroughly glad to have Patty go with them that she almost made Patty feel as if she were conferring the favour.
Elise and Patty went away by themselves to talk it all over, while Nan stayed with Mrs. Farrington to discuss the more practical details.
“I didn’t care a bit about going,” said Elise, “until we thought about your going too, and now I’m crazy to go. Oh, Patty, won’t we have the most gorgeous time!”
“Yes, indeed,” said Patty; “I can hardly realise it yet. I’m perfectly bewildered. Shall we go to school, Elise?”
“I don’t think so, and yet we may. Mother’s going to take a house, you know, and then we’ll either have masters every day, or go to some school. Mother knows all about Paris. She has lived there a lot. But we sha’n’t have to study all the time, I know that much. We’ll go sight-seeing a good deal, and of course we’ll go motoring.”
“I shall enjoy the ocean trip,” said Patty; “I’ve never been across, you know. You’ve been a number of times, haven’t you?”
“Yes, but not very lately. We used to go often when Roger and I were little, but I haven’t been over for six years, and then we weren’t in Paris.”
“I’m sure I shall love Paris. Do you remember it well?”
“No; when I was there last I was too little to appreciate it, so we’ll explore it together, you and I. I wish Roger were going with us; it’s nice to have a boy along to escort us about.”
“Yes, it is,” said Patty frankly; “and Roger is so kind and good-natured. When do we sail, Elise?”
“Two weeks from Saturday, I think. Father is going to see about the tickets to-day. He waited to see your father yesterday, and make sure that you could go. The whole thing has been planned rather suddenly, but that’s the way father always does things.”
“And it’s so fortunate,” went on Patty, “that I hadn’t started away to college or boarding-school. Although if I had, and you had invited me, I should have managed some way to get expelled from college, so I could go with you. How long do you suppose we shall stay, Elise?”
“I don’t know, I’m sure. You never can tell what the Farringtons are going to do; they’re here to-day and gone to-morrow. We’ll stay all winter, of course, and then in the spring, mother might take a notion to go to London, or she might decide to come flying home. As for father, he’ll probably bob back and forth. He doesn’t think any more of crossing the ocean than of crossing the street. Have you much to do to get ready to go?”