Henri Labesse had made a clay model of an American girl, which was a gem in its characteristic effect and its skilful workmanship. It was not quite finished, but of course was offered at auction along with the other things.
There was lively bidding for the little figure, as everybody seemed to recognise its artistic value. But, after being bidden up to a high price, it was finally sold to a young man who, it turned out, was merely acting as an agent for Henri Labesse himself. He had instructed this young man to buy the figure in at any price, with a result that a goodly sum went into the charitable treasury.
After receiving his own work back again Mr. Labesse took it across to where Patty sat, and begged her acceptance of it, adding that he would take it home and complete it before sending it to her.
Patty was delighted to have the little statuette as a souvenir of the occasion, and also as a memento of Mr. Labesse, whom she thoroughly liked.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in serving ices and cakes and fruit to the patrons of the bazaar, and after it was all over the girls were delighted to find that they had realised about twice as much money as they had hoped for.
Alicia Van Ness was ecstatic, and declared it would make Miss Hunt independent, and free of all financial worry during the rest of her term in the art school. And as it was to be sent to her without a hint as to its source, she could not refuse to accept it.
“I do think it was lovely of those Van Ness girls,” said Patty, as they discussed the bazaar at dinner-time, “to do all that for a perfect stranger.”
“I do, too,” said Elise; “they’re awfully good-hearted girls. When I first met them I didn’t like them much; they were so unconventional in their manners. But travelling about has improved them, and they certainly are generous and kind-hearted.”
“Yes, they are,” said Patty; “and I like them, anyway. I’m sorry they are going away from Paris so soon.”
“Well, I’m glad we’re not going away,” said Elise; “at any rate, not just yet. How much longer do you suppose we shall stay here, mother?”
“I don’t know, my child; but I’m getting about ready to go home. What do you think, Patty?”
“Since you ask me, I must confess I should like to stay a while longer. But if you’re going home, Mrs. Farrington, I feel pretty sure we shall all travel on the same boat.”
But nothing more was said about going home, and the weeks slipped by until it was March.
Everything seemed to be winding itself up. Patty’s music term was finished; Elise’s drawing lessons were nearing their close for the season, and Mrs. Farrington, though she said nothing about going home, somehow seemed to be quietly getting ready.
Patty didn’t exactly understand the attitude of her hostess. If she were going home soon, Patty wanted to know it; and one day she laughingly said so.