Patty went at once to Mrs. Farrington and gave her an exact narrative of the whole affair. She took all the blame on herself, and it was rightfully hers, saying that she had persuaded Elise against her will to go in the cab across the Seine to the perfumer’s.
Mrs. Farrington laughed at Patty’s extremely penitential air, and said: “My dear child, don’t take it quite so seriously. You’re not to blame for mistaking the doors. That big shop is very confusing, and after waiting for Jules, and telephoning, and all that, you did quite right to take a cab, as it was really an emergency. But you did not do right to go exploring an unfamiliar quarter of Paris on an uncertain errand. However, you certainly had punishment enough in your bewilderment and anxiety, and I think you have learned your lesson, and nothing more need be said about it.”
Nothing more was said about it by way of reprimand, but many times Patty was joked by the Farrington family, and often when she started out anywhere was advised not to try to buy Cyclamen perfumery.
Toward the end of January the Van Ness girls came to call. They had returned to Paris as they expected, and were truly glad to see Patty and Elise again.
“We’ve had a lovely trip,” Doris declared; “but we’re awfully glad to get back to Paris. And oh, girls, I want to tell you about a plan in which we’re awfully interested. There’s a poor girl, an American, and her name is Leila Hunt.”
“Let me tell,” broke in Alicia; “she’s an art student, and she’s trying to support herself in Paris while she studies. And the other day we were walking through the Louvre, and we saw her there.”
“Copying a picture,” chimed in Doris.
“Yes, copying a picture,” went on Alicia; “and she was so faint, because she doesn’t have enough to eat, you know, that she fell off the stool and fainted away from sheer exhaustion.”
“How dreadful!” cried Patty; “can’t we help her?”
“That’s just it,” said Doris; “we want to help her, and we’re getting up a bazaar for her benefit. But she mustn’t know it, for she’s awfully proud, and wouldn’t like it a bit.”
“You know her personally, then?” asked Elise.
“Yes; we hunted up her address and went to see her, and the poor thing is so weak and thin, but awfully brave and plucky. And papa says he’ll give some money, and I thought perhaps Mr. Farrington would, too; and then we thought it might help to have a bazaar and make some money that way, and then we’ll send it to her anonymously, for I don’t believe she’d take it any other way.”
Rosamond Barstow was present at this conversation, and she said: “I think it’s a lovely plan, and I’ll be glad to help. Where are you going to hold the bazaar?”
“That’s the trouble,” said Alicia; “we don’t know any place that’s just right. You see, we’re at a hotel, and a bazaar in a hotel is so public. I suppose there isn’t room in this house?”