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- Patty in Paris - 1/31 -
Patty in Paris
CAROLYN WELLS Author of "Patty Fairfield," "Patty's Summer Days," etc.
NEW YORK September, 1907
I PLANS FOR PATTY II THE DECISION III SOUVENIRS IV AN AQUATIC PARTY V GOOD-BYES VI THE OLD MA'AMSELLE VII WESTERN FRIENDS VIII DAYS AT SEA IX PARIS X SIGHTSEEING XI AN EXCURSION TO VERSAILLES XII SHOPPING XIII CHANTILLY XIV MAKING A HOME XV ST. GERMAIN XVI AN EXPECTED GUEST XVII A MOTOR RIDE XVIII A NEW YEAR FETE XIX CYCLAMEN PERFUME XX THE BAZAAR XXI A SURPRISE
"A long blue veil tied her trim little hat in place"
"'There never was such a dear, lovely, beautiful stepmother on the face of the earth!'"
"The next morning the girls spent in packing and getting ready to go ashore"
"They also read books of history outside of school hours quite from choice."
"They were all perched on Patty's big bed--alone at last"
"'I just remember! I left my purse on the seat!'"
PLANS FOR PATTY
The Fairfields were holding a family conclave. As the Fairfield family consisted of only three members, the meeting was not large but it was highly enthusiastic. The discussion was about Patty; and as a consequence, Patty herself was taking a lively part in it.
"But you promised me, last year, papa," she said, "that if I graduated from the Oliphant School with honours, I needn't go to school this year."
"But I meant in the city," explained her father; "it's absurd, Patty, for you to consider your education finished, and you not yet eighteen."
"But I'll soon be eighteen, papa, and so suppose we postpone this conversation until then."
"Don't be frivolous, my child. This is a serious matter, and requires careful consideration and wise judgement."
"That's so," said Nan, "and as I have already considered it carefully, I will give you the benefit of my wise judgment."
Though Nan's face had assumed the expression of an owl named Solomon, there was a smile in her eyes, and Patty well knew that her stepmother's views agreed with her own, rather than with those of her father.
It was the last week in September, and the Fairfields were again in their pleasant city home after their summer in the country.
Patty and Nan were both fond of city life, and were looking forward to a delightful winter. Of course Patty was too young to be in society, but there were many simple pleasures which she was privileged to enjoy, and she and Nan had planned a series of delightful affairs, quite apart from the more elaborate functions which Nan would attend with her husband.
But Mr. Fairfield had suddenly interfered with their plans by announcing his decision that Patty should go to college.
This had raised such a storm of dissension from both Nan and Patty that Mr. Fairfield so far amended his resolution as to propose a boarding- school instead.
But Patty was equally dismayed at the thought of either, and rebelled at the suggestion of going away from home. And as Nan quite coincided with Patty in her opinions on this matter, she was fighting bravely for their victory against Mr. Fairfield's very determined opposition.
All her life Patty had deferred to her father's advice, not only willingly, but gladly; but in the matter of school she had very strong prejudices. She had never enjoyed school life, and during her last year at Miss Oliphant's she had worked so hard that she had almost succumbed to an attack of nervous prostration. But she had persevered in her hard work because of the understanding that it was to be her last year at school; and now to have college or even a boarding-school thrown at her head was enough to rouse even her gentle spirit.
For Patty was of gentle spirit, although upon occasion, especially when she felt that an injustice was being done, she could rouse herself to definite and impetuous action.
And as she now frankly told her father, she considered it unjust after she had thought that commencement marked the end of her school life, to have a college course sprung upon her unaware.
But Mr. Fairfield only laughed and told her that she was incapable of judging what was best for little girls, and that she would do wisely to obey orders without question.
But Patty had questioned, and her questions were reinforced by those of Nan, until Mr. Fairfield began to realise that it was doubtful if he could gain his point against their combined forces. And indeed a kind and indulgent father and husband is at a disadvantage when his opinion is opposed to that of his pretty, impulsive daughter and his charming, impulsive wife.
So, at this by no means the first serious discussion of the matter, Mr. Fairfield found himself weakening, and had already acknowledged to himself that he might as well prepare to yield gracefully.
"Go on, Nan," cried Patty, "give us the benefit of your wise judgment"
"Why, I think," said Nan, looking at her husband with an adorable smile, which seemed to assume that he would agree with her, "that a college education is advisable, even necessary, for a girl who expects to teach, or indeed, to follow any profession. But I'm quite sure we don't look forward to that for Patty."
"No," said Mr. Fairfield; "I can't seem to see Patty teaching a district school how to shoot; neither does my imagination picture her as a woman doctor or a lady lawyer. But to my mind there are occasions in the life of a private citizeness when a knowledge of classic lore is not only beneficial but decidedly ornamental."
"Now, papa," began Patty, "I'm not going to spend my life as a butterfly of fashion or a grasshopper of giddiness, and you know it; but all the same, I can't think of a single occasion where I should be embarrassed at my ignorance of Sanscrit, or distressed at the fact that I was unacquainted personally with the statutes of limitation."
"You're talking nonsense, Patty, and you know it. The straight truth is, that you don't like school life and school restraint. Now some girls enjoy the fun and pleasures of college life, and think that they more than compensate for the drudgery of actual study."
"'An exile from home, pleasure dazzles in vain,'" sang Patty, whose spirits had risen, for she felt intuitively that her father was about to give up his cherished plans.
"I think," went on Nan, "after you have asked for my valuable advice, you might let me give it without so many interruptions. I will proceed to remark that I am still of the opinion that there are only two reasons why a girl should go to college: Because she wants to, or because she needs the diploma in her future career."
"Since you put it so convincingly, I have no choice but to agree with you," said her husband, smiling. "However, if I eliminate the college suggestion, there still remains the boarding-school. I think that a superior young ladies' finishing school would add greatly to the advantages of our Patty."
"It would finish me entirely, papa; your college scheme is bad enough, but a 'finishing school,' as you call it, presents to my fancy all sorts of unknown horrors."
"Of course it does," cried Nan. "I will now give you some more of my wise advice. A finishing school would be of no advantage at all to our Patty. I believe their principal end and aim is to teach young ladies how to enter a room properly. Now I have never seen Patty enter a room
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