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- Patty's Suitors - 1/45 -


PATTY'S SUITORS

BY CAROLYN WELLS

Author of The Patty Books, The Marjorie Books, etc.

Illustrations by E.C. Caswell

CONTENTS

I A VALENTINE PARTY

II ON THE TELEPHONE

III THE HEPWORTHS AT HOME

IV A PERFECTLY GOOD JOKE

V THREE PICTURES

VI PRINCESS POPPYCHEEK

VII SUITORS

VIII A HOUSE PARTY

IX EDDIE BELL

X QUARANTINED

XI MEETING IT BRAVELY

XII A SURPRISE

XIII SISTER BEE

XIV KENNETH

XV AN INVITATION

XVI BELLE HARCOURT

XVII MAY-DAY

XVIII MOONLIGHT

XIX IN THE RUNABOUT

XX THE RIDE HOME

ILLUSTRATIONS

"BEWARE, TAKE CARE, SHE IS FOOLING THEE"

AFTER DINNER THE WHOLE PARTY WENT TO THE OPERA

"NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN A CASE LIKE THAT?"

"BILL!" SHE CRIED, "LITTLE BILLEE!"

CHAPTER I

A VALENTINE PARTY

"It IS a boofy frock, isn't it, Nansome?"

Patty craned her head over her shoulder, as she waited for her stepmother's response, which was only, "Yes."

"Oh, my gracious, Nan! Enthuse! Don't you know half the fun in life is enthusiasm?"

"What shall I say?" asked Nan, laughing.

"Oh, say it's a peach! a hummer! a lallapaloosa!"

"Patty, Patty! what language!"

"Oh, yes; I forgot I meant to stop using slang. But when any one is so lukewarm in her admiration as you are, forcible language is called for."

"Well, it certainly is a lovely gown, and you never looked prettier. There! since you are fishing for compliments, are you pleased now?"

Patty was far from being conceited over her pretty face, but she honestly liked admiration, and, indeed, she was accustomed to receive it from all who knew her. At the present moment, she was standing before a long mirror in her boudoir, putting the last touches to her new party toilette. Louise, the maid, stood by, with a fur-trimmed wrap, and Patty drew on her long gloves with a happy smile of anticipation.

"I just feel sure I'm going to have a good time to-night," she said; "it's a presentiment or premonition, or whatever you call it."

"Don't flirt too desperately," said Nan, not without cause, for pretty Petty was by nature a coquette, and as she had many admirers she merrily led them a dance.

"But it's so interesting to flirt, Nancy. And the boys like it,--so why not?"

Why not, indeed? thought Nan. Patty's flirtations were harmless, roguish affairs, and prompted by mischief and good nature. Patty was a sweet, true character, and if she teased the young men a bit, it was because of her irrepressible love of fun.

"And this is St. Valentine's night," went on Nan, "so I suppose you think yourself privileged to break all the hearts you can."

"Some hearts are so brittle, it's no fun to break them," returned Patty, carelessly, as she adjusted her headdress.

She was going to a Valentine party, where the guests were requested to come in appropriate costume.

So Patty's gown was of white lace, softly draped with white chiffon. On the modish tunic were love-knots of pale blue velvet, and a border of tiny pink rosebuds. The head-dress, of gold filigree, was a heart pierced by a dart; and on Patty's left shoulder, a dainty little figure of Cupid was wobbling rather uncertainly.

"You'll lose that little God of War," said Nan.

"I don't care if I do," Patty answered; "he's a nuisance, anyway, but I wanted something Valentinish, so I perched him up there. Now, good-bye, Nancy Dancy, and I expect I'll be out pretty late."

"I shall send Louise for you at twelve, and you must be ready then."

"Oh, make it one. You know a Valentine party is lots of fun."

"Well, half-past twelve," agreed Nan, "and not a minute later!"

Then Louise wrapped Patty in a light blue evening cloak, edged with white fur, and the happy maiden danced downstairs.

"Good-bye, Popsy-Poppet," she cried, looking in at the library door.

"Bless my soul! what a vision of beauty!" and Mr. Fairfield laid down his paper to look at his pretty daughter.

"Yes," she said, demurely, "everybody tells me I look exactly like my father."

"You flatter yourself!" said Nan, who had followed, and who now tucked her hand through her husband's arm. "My Valentine is the handsomest man in the world!"

"Oh, you turtle-doves!" said Patty, laughing, as she ran down the steps to the waiting motor.

Unless going with a chaperon, Patty was always accompanied by the maid, Louise, who either waited for her young mistress in the dressing-room or returned for her when the party was over.

"Shall you be late, Miss Patty?" she asked, as they reached their destination.

"Yes; don't wait for me, Louise. Come back about half-past twelve; I'll be ready soon after that."

Louise adored Patty, for she was always kind and considerate of the servants; and she thought Louise might as well have the evening to herself, as to be cooped up in a dressing-room.

The party was at Marie Homer's, a new friend, with whom Patty had but recently become acquainted.

The Homers lived in a large apartment house, called The Wimbledon, and it was Patty's first visit there. Miss Homer and her mother were receiving their guests in a ballroom, and when Patty greeted them, a large crowd had already assembled.

"You are a true valentine, my dear," said Mrs. Homer, looking admiringly at Patty's garlanded gown.

"And this is a true Valentine party," said Patty, as she noted the decorations of red hearts and gold darts, with Cupids of wax or bisque, here and there among the floral ornaments.

Marie Homer, who was a pretty brunette, wore a dress of scarlet and gold, trimmed with hearts and arrows.

"I'm so glad to have you here," she said to Patty; "for now I know my party will be a success."


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