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- Patty in Paris - 5/31 -
kind of clothes would set you off wonderfully."
Patty said nothing, but as she glanced at Ethelyn's furbelows she felt thankful she was not going to Paris with Aunt Isabel.
But Patty found that there was quite a great deal of shopping to be done before she sailed.
Nan took these matters in charge and declared that Patty needed a complete though not an elaborate steamer outfit.
Nan dearly loved buying pretty clothes and was quite in her element making Patty's purchases. A dark blue tailor-made cloth, trimmed with touches of green velvet, was chosen for her travelling costume.
Her "going-away dress" Marian persisted in calling it, just as if Patty were a bride; but as Marian burst into tears every time she mentioned Patty's going away, her words were so indistinct that it mattered little what terms she used.
Then Nan selected one or two pretty light gowns of a somewhat dressy nature for dinner on board the steamer, and one or two simple evening gowns for the ship's concert or other festive occasions. A white serge suit was added for pleasant afternoons on deck, and some dainty kimonos and negligees for stateroom use.
Patty was delighted with all these things, but could scarcely take time to appreciate them, as she found so many other things to do by way of her own preparations. So many people came to see her and she had to go to see so many other people. Then she had to have her photographs taken to leave with her friends, and she was constantly being invited to little farewell luncheons or teas.
"Indeed," as Patty expressed it, "the whole two weeks of preparation seems like one long, lingering farewell; and when I'm not saying good- bye to any one else, I'm trying to stop Marian's freshly flowing tears."
The girls bought Patty parting gifts, and though they were all either useful or pretty, Patty appreciated far more the loving spirit which prompted them.
"I made this all myself," said Hilda, as she brought Patty a dainty sleeping gown of blue and white French flannel, "because it's utterly impossible to buy this sort of thing ready-made and have it just right. If you don't say this is just right I'll never make you another as long as I live."
"It's exactly right, Hilda," said Patty, taking the pretty garment. "I know I shall dream of you whenever I wear it, and that's too bad, too, for I ought to devote some of my dreams to other people."
"This is a cabin bag," said Lorraine, bringing her offering. "I didn't make it myself, because this is so much neater and prettier than a homemade one. You see it has a pocket for everything that you can possibly require, from hairpins to shoehorn. Not that you'll put anything in the pockets--nobody ever does--but it will look pretty decorating your cabin wall."
"Indeed I shall put things in it," said Patty. "I'm a great believer in putting things in their right places, and I shall think of you, Lorraine, whenever I'm trying to get the things out of these dinky little pockets, and probably not succeeding very well."
"This is my gift," said Adelaide Hart; "it isn't very elaborate, but I made it all myself, and that means a good deal from me."
Patty opened the parcel and found a piece of cretonne about a yard square, neatly hemmed along each of the four sides, and having a tape loop sewed on each corner.
"It's perfectly beautiful," said Patty, "and I never saw more exquisite needlework; but would you mind telling me what it is for? It can't be a handkerchief, but I don't know of anything else that's exactly square."
"How ignorant you are," said Adelaide with pretended superiority. "That, my inexperienced friend, is a wrap for your best hat."
"Oh," said Patty, not much enlightened.
"You see," Adelaide kindly went on to explain, "as soon as you get on board your steamer you take off your best hat and put it exactly in the middle of this square, having first spread the square out smoothly on the bed or somewhere. Then you take up these four corners by the loops and hang the whole thing on the highest hook in your stateroom. Thus, you see, your best hat is carried safely across; it is not jammed or crushed, and it is protected from dust."
"I see," said Patty gravely; "and I suppose the dust is something awful on an ocean steamer."
The laugh seemed to be on Adelaide at this, but she joined in it and prophesied that when Patty returned she would confess that that gift had proved the most useful of all.
Clementine Morse brought a large post-card album which she had filled with views of New York City.
"I know you will be homesick before you're out of sight of land," she said; "but if you're not you ought to be, and I hope these pictures will make you so. When you look at this highly colored representation of Grant's tomb and realise that it is but a few miles from your own long- lost hearthstone, I'm sure you will feel qualms of patriotism--or something."
"I think very likely," said Patty, laughing. "But, Clementine, how many trunks do you suppose I shall need to hold my farewell gifts? This album will take up considerable space."
"I know it," said Clementine, "but you needn't put it in your trunk. You can carry it on board in your hand, and then when you go ashore you can carry it in your hand. I don't believe they will charge you duty on it, especially as it will probably be nearly worn out by that time."
"I'm sure it will," said Patty, "not only from my own constant use of it, but I know everybody on board will want to borrow it and enjoy these works of art."
"Yes," agreed Clementine; "and then, Patty, when you're in Paris you can throw away all these New York cards and fill it up with Paris views and bring it home and give it back to me."
"I certainly will, Clem; that's a first-rate idea."
Mary Sargent brought a French phrase book. It was entitled "French Before Breakfast," and as Mary explained that the French people never had breakfast until noon, Patty would have ample time to study it.
Patty accepted the little book with many thanks and promised Mary she would never eat breakfast, at noon or any other hour, until she had thoroughly mastered at least one of the phrases.
AN AQUATIC PARTY
Of course all were agreed that Patty must have a farewell party of some sort; and as Nan dearly loved elaborate affairs, she had decided that it should be an Aquatic Party.
Patty frankly confessed her ignorance as to what an Aquatic Party might be, whereupon Nan informed her that she had only to wait until the occasion itself to find out.
So busy was Patty herself that she took no hand in the preparations for the party, and indeed Nan required no help. That capable and energetic young matron secured the services of some professional decorators and able-bodied workmen, but the direction and superintendence was entirely in her own hands.
Patty was consulted only in regard to her own costume for the occasion.
"You see," said Nan, coming into Patty's room one morning, "I don't know whether you would rather say good-bye to your friends in the guise of a kelpie or a pixy or a jelly-fish."
"Cut out the jelly-fish," said Patty, laughing, "for they're horrid, floppy old things, I'm sure. As to the others, what's the difference between a kelpie and a pixy?"
"Oh, a great deal of difference," declared Nan, wagging her head wisely; "a kelpie is an imaginary water sprite, you know, and a pixy is a--a-- why, a sort of make-believe fairy who lives in the water."
"Well, I'm glad that you see a difference in your two definitions. For my part I don't see anything to hinder my being a kelpie and a pixy both, even if I'm not twins."
"Well, they're not so very different, you know. One is a kelpie, and one is a pixy; that's about all the difference."
Patty laughed. "Well, if it will help you out any to have me make a choice," she said, "I'll choose to be a kelpie. What's the latest thing in kelpie costumes?"
"Oh, it will be lovely, Patty! I'll have it made of pale green silk, with a frosted, silvery, shimmering effect, you know, and draped with trailing green seaweed and water grasses."
"Lovely!" agreed Patty. "And what would the pixy costume have been, if I had chosen that?"
"Just the same," confessed Nan, laughing; "but it's easier to have something definite to work at. You can wear my corals, Patty, and, with your hair down, you'll be a perfect kelpie."
Patty smiled at her young stepmother's enthusiasm, and Nan ran away to begin preparations for the kelpie costume.
The night of the party the whole Fairfield house was so transformed that it must scarcely have recognised itself.
The large front drawing-room represented the arctic regions in the vicinity of the North Pole. Frames had been erected which, when covered with sheets, simulated peaks of snowy mountains and snow-covered icebergs. Here and there signs, apparently left by explorers, told the latitude and longitude, and a flag marked the explorations Farthest
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