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- Patty in Paris - 4/31 -
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?"
"No, not much. Nan says for me not to get a lot of clothes, for it's better to buy them over there; and papa says I can buy all I want, only of course I can't be as extravagant as you are."
"Oh, pshaw, I'm not extravagant! I don't care much about spending money, only of course I like to have some nice things. And I do love to buy pictures and books. But we'll have an awful lot of fun together. I think it's fun just to be with you, Patty. And the idea of having you all to myself for a whole winter, without Hilda, or Lorraine, or anybody claiming a part of you, is the best of it all. I do love you a lot, Patty, more than you realise, I think."
"You've set your affections on a worthless object, then; and I warn you that before the winter is over you're likely to discover that for yourself. You always did overestimate me, Elise."
"Indeed I didn't; but as you well know, from that first day at the Oliphant school, when you were so kind to me, I've never liked anybody half as much as I do you."
"You're extremely flattering," said Patty, as she kissed her friend, "and I only hope this winter won't prove a disillusion."
"I'm not at all afraid," returned Elise gaily; "and oh, Patty, won't we have a jolly time on board the steamer! It's a long trip, you know, and we must take books to read and games to play, for as there'll probably be mostly French people on board, we can't converse very much."
"You can," said Patty, laughing, "but I'm afraid no one can understand my beautiful but somewhat peculiar accent."
Marian came over to spend a few days with Patty before her departure. She was frankly envious of Patty's good fortune, but more than that, she was so desperately doleful at the thought of Patty's going away that she was anything but a cheerful visitor.
Although sorry for her cousin, Patty couldn't help laughing at the dejected picture that Marian continually presented. She followed Patty around the house wherever she went, or she would sit and look at her with her chin held in her hands, and the big tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Marian, you are a goose," said Patty, exasperated by this performance. "When I left Vernondale you cried and carried on just this way, but somehow you seemed to live through it. And now that I live in New York you don't see me so very often anyhow, so why should you be so disconsolate about my going away?"
"Because you're going so far, and you'll probably be drowned--those French steamers are ever so much more dangerous than the English lines-- and somehow I just feel as if you'd never come back."
"Well, the best thing you can do then is to change your feelings. I'll be back before you hardly realise that I'm gone; and I'll bring you the loveliest presents you ever saw."
This was a happy suggestion of Patty's, for Marian's tears ceased to flow and she brightened up at once.
"Oh, Patty, that is just what I wanted to talk to you about! If you are going to bring me anything in the way of a gift or a souvenir, wouldn't you just as lieve I'd tell you what I want, as to have you pick it out yourself, and likely as not bring me something I don't care for at all? Everybody who brings me home souvenirs from Europe brings the most hideous things, or else something that I can't possibly use."
"Why, Marian, dear, I'd be only too glad to have you tell me what you want, and I'll do my best to select it just right."
"Well, Patty, I want a lot of photographs. The kind we get over here are no good. But I've seen the ones that come from Paris, and they're just as different as day and night. I'd like the Venus of Milo and the Mona Lisa and the Victory and--oh, well--I'll make you out a list. There are several Madonnas that I want, and several more that I DON'T want. And I do NOT want any of Nattier's pictures or a "Baby Stuart," but I do want some of Hinde's hair curlers--the tortoise-shell kind, I mean--and you can only get them in Paris."
By this time Patty was shaking with laughter at Marian's list, and she asked her if she didn't want anything else but photographs and hair curlers.
"Why, yes," said Marian, astonished; "I've only just begun. You know photographs don't cost much over there, and of course the curlers won't count for a present. I thought you meant to bring me something nice."
"I do," said Patty, looking at her cousin, who was so comically in earnest. "You just go on with your list, and I'll bring all the things, if I have to buy an extra trunk to bring them in."
"All right, then," said Marian, encouraged to proceed. "I want a bead bag--one of those gay coloured ones made of very small beads, worked in old-fashioned flowers, roses, you know, or hibiscus--not on any account the tulip pattern, because I hate it."
"You'd better write out these instructions, Marian, or I shall be sure to get tulips by mistake."
"Don't you do it, Patty; I'll write them all down most explicitly. And then I want a scarf, a very long one, cream-coloured ground, with a Persian border in blues and greys. But not a palm-leaf border--I mean that queer stencilled sort of a design; I'll draw a pattern of it so you can't mistake it."
"But suppose I can't find just that kind, Marian."
"Oh, yes, you can! Ethel Holmes has one, and hers came from Paris. And you've all winter to look for it, you know."
"Well, I'll devote the winter to the search, but if I don't find it along toward spring I'll give it up. What else, Marian?"
"Well, I'd like a lot of Napoleon things. Some old prints of him, you know, and perhaps a little bronze statuette, and a cup and saucer or pen-wiper, or any of those things that they make with pictures of Napoleon on. And then--oh! Patty, I do want some Cyclamen perfumery. It's awfully hard to get. There's only one firm that makes it. I forget the name, but it's Something Bros. & Co., and their place is across the Seine."
"Across the Seine from what?"
"Why, just across. On the other side, you know. Of course I don't know across from what, because I've never been to Paris; but everybody who has lived there always just says 'across the Seine,' and everybody knows at once where they mean. You'll know all right after you've lived there a little while."
"Marian, you're a wonder," declared Patty. "I don't think I ever knew anybody with such a perfect and complete understanding of her own wants as you seem to have. I hope you haven't mentioned half the things I'm to bring you, but don't tell me the rest now. I might change my mind about going. But you buy a large blank book and write out all these orders at full length, giving directions just when to cross the Seine and when to cross back again, and I'll promise to do my very best with the whole list."
"Patty, you're a darling," said Marian, "and I'm almost reconciled to having you go when I think of having souvenirs brought to me that I really want."
"Marian," said Patty, struck with a sudden thought, "your idea of the difference between desirable and undesirable souvenirs is an interesting one. Now I shall bring little gifts to all my friends and relatives, I expect, and if you happen to know of anything that would be especially liked by Uncle Charlie or Aunt Alice or any of your family, or the Tea Club girls, I wish you'd make another list and put those things all down for me. It would be the greatest kind of a help."
Marian promised to do this, and Patty felt sure that she would be glad of the lists later on.
Aunt Isabel and Ethelyn also came to say good-bye to Patty, but their demeanour was very different from Marian's.
Aunt Isabel was much impressed by the fact that Patty was going to travel with the rich Farringtons, but she expressed a doubt as to whether it would do Patty much good in a social way after all. For she knew something of Mrs. Farrington's habits and tastes, and they in no way corresponded to her own.
Ethelyn informed Patty that she need not bring her any souvenir unless she could bring something really nice. "I do hate the little traps and trinkets most people bring," she said; "but if you want to bring me a bracelet or locket or something really worth while, I'd be glad to have it."
"Well," exclaimed Patty, "I certainly have most outspoken cousins! They don't seem to hesitate to tell me what to bring and what not to bring them. But I'm sure of one thing! Bumble Barlow won't be so fussy particular; she'll take whatever I bring and be thankful."
"So will I," said Nan, laughing; "anything no one else wants, Patty, you may give it to me."
"Don't spend all your money buying presents, child," said Aunt Isabel; "you'd better buy pretty clothes for yourself. I will give you a list of the best places to shop."
"Thank you, Aunt Isabel, I'll take the list with pleasure; but of course my purchases will be at the advice of Mrs. Farrington. She dresses Elise quite simply, and will probably expect me to do the same."
Aunt Isabel sniffed. "You ought to have gone to Paris with me," she said. "You're growing up to be a good-looking girl, Patty, and the right
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