Elise tried hard to follow Patty’s directions, but she did not represent a very haughty type of duchess as she tremblingly followed Patty into the shop.
But Patty herself held her head high, and assumed the dignity of a whole line of duchesses as she stalked toward the counter. She chose her French with much care, and in exceedingly formal diction informed the young man that she desired to call a cab.
Without expressing astonishment at this, the young man politely assured her that he would call a cab for her at once; that it would take some time to procure one, as there were none save at a considerable distance.
There being nothing else to do, poor Patty expressed herself as willing to wait, but coldly desired that all possible haste be made.
The fifteen minutes that the girls waited was perhaps the most uncomfortable quarter of an hour they had ever spent in their lives, and indeed it seemed more like fifteen hours than fifteen minutes. They scarcely spoke to one another; Patty, feeling the responsibility of the whole affair, was thinking what she should do in case a cab didn’t come, while Elise was entirely absorbed in her earnest endeavours not to cry.
But at last a cab appeared and the two girls got in.
Patty gave the order to drive back to the great shop from which they had started on their adventure.
It seemed an interminable distance through the unpleasant streets, but when at last they reached the Magasins du Louvre and drew up to the entrance Elise gave a delighted cry, and said: “Oh, there’s our car, and Jules in it!”
The car was across the street, and the chauffeur sat with his arms folded, in an attitude of patient waiting. The girls got out of the cab, Patty paid the cabman, and as they beckoned to Jules, he started the car across the street toward them.
“Where have you been?” inquired Elise, in a reproving tone.
But the chauffeur declared that he had sat the whole afternoon in that one spot, waiting for the young ladies.
When Elise said that they had come to the door and looked for him in vain, he only asseverated that he had not moved from the spot opposite the entrance, but had been there all the time watching the door for their reappearance.
As she had never known Jules to be untruthful, Elise was bewildered at this statement, but presently a light dawned on Patty.
“I see, Elise,” she cried; “it’s the other entrance! The doors are almost exactly the same! This is the one where we went in, but we came out at the door on the other street, and we were such idiots we didn’t know the difference!”
“And we flattered ourselves that we knew Paris!” exclaimed Elise. “Well, Patty, let’s go home. We’re not fit to be trusted out alone.”
So home the girls went, feeling decidedly light-hearted that they were so well out of their scrape.