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- Patty's Suitors - 5/45 -


suddenly realising that she herself was acting in a most unconventional manner, she said abruptly, "Thank you; good-bye," and quickly hung up her receiver.

For some time she sat thinking about it. Curled up in a big easy chair, her blue silk boudoir gown trailing around her, she sat giggling over her escapade.

"It's all right," she assured herself, "for of course I know who he is, though he doesn't know me. He is Mrs. Homer's nephew, so it's just the same as if I had met him properly. And, anyhow, he hasn't an idea who I am, and he never can find out from the description he has of me!"

Still giggling over the episode, Patty went to bed and to sleep.

The next morning, as she thought it over, she realised that she hadn't succeeded in securing her fan, and she determined to go around and see Marie that afternoon, and get it.

So that afternoon she went to make her call.

"It was a beautiful party," she said to Marie, as the two girls chatted together. "I love games for a change from dancing, and the games you had were so novel."

"I'm glad to hear you say that," said Marie, "for I was afraid they would seem too childish."

"No, indeed," returned Patty; "and now put on your hat and come out with me for a little while. I'm going to a picture exhibition, and I'd love to have you go too. But first, did I leave my fan here last evening?"

"There was a beautiful fan left here,--an Empire fan. Is this yours?"

Marie produced the fan and Patty recognised it as her own.

"But I can't go this afternoon," said Marie, "because Cousin Kit is coming down to practise some new music. Won't you stay and hear him play? He is really a very good violinist."

Patty considered. She rather wanted to meet this young man, but she was afraid he would think her forward. So after a little further chat, she rose, saying she must go. And it was just as she was going out that Mr. Cameron came in, with his violin under his arm.

Patty was obliged to pause a moment, as Marie presented her cousin, but the young man, though courteous, showed no interest whatever in Miss Fairfield. Patty's pretty face was almost invisible through her motor veil, and as Mr. Cameron had no idea that she was the girl who had talked to him the night before, and as he really had no interest in girls in general, he merely made a very polite bow and went directly toward the piano.

"I wish you'd stay and hear some music," said Marie, but Patty only murmured a refusal, not wanting Mr. Cameron to hear her voice, lest he recognise it.

He was an attractive looking man of fine physique and handsome face, but he looked extremely dignified and not very good-natured.

"All musicians are cross," Patty thought to herself as she went down in the elevator, "and I wasn't going to have that man think that I went around to Marie's to see him!"

She decided to call for Elise to go to the art gallery with her, and she found that young woman ready and glad to go.

"I hadn't a thing to do this afternoon," said Elise, as they started off, "and I love to go anywhere with you, Patty. Shall we have a cup of tea afterwards?"

And so it was after they had seen the pictures, and as they were sitting in a cosy little tea-room, that Elise said suddenly:

"Do you know Mr. Cameron? He's a cousin of Marie Homer's."

"I don't know him," said Patty, smiling, "but I've been introduced to him. Just as I was leaving Marie's to-day, he came in. But he was very abstracted in his manner. He merely bowed, and without a word he went straight on to the piano and began fussing with his music."

"You were just leaving, anyway?"

"Yes; but I would have remained a few moments, if he had been more sociable. But, of course, I couldn't insist on his talking to me, if he didn't want to."

"He doesn't like girls," said Elise, but as she spoke she smiled in a self-conscious way.

"So I've heard," said Patty, smiling herself. "He seems young to be what they call a woman-hater. I thought only old bachelors were that. Well, he has no interest for me. There are plenty of boys in our own set."

"Don't you tell, if I tell you something," and now Elise looked decidedly important.

"What is it? I won't tell."

"Well, it's the funniest thing! That Mr. Cameron wants to meet me, though he never has seen me."

"What!" exclaimed Patty, in astonishment. "Why does he want to meet you?"

"I don't know, I'm sure. But he was at Marie's this morning, and asked her if she knew any girl who was gay and merry and had a sweet voice, and had dark hair and eyes and rosy cheeks. And Marie says she knows he means me, and I think he does too! Isn't it exciting?"

"Yes," said Patty, drily. "But you don't sing much, Elise."

"Oh, of course I don't sing like you do, but I have a fairly decent voice."

"But how mysterious it is. What does he know about you?"

"I don't know. It IS mysterious. He wouldn't tell Marie anything except that he wanted to know the name of the girl he described; and he said she must be friendly enough with Marie to call her up on the telephone in the middle of the night."

"But did you do that?" asked Patty, who was really shaking with laughter.

"Yes; I called her up last night after I got home from the party, because I'd left my spangled scarf there, and I wanted her to put it away safely for me."

"I always leave things at a party, too," said Patty, looking innocent. "I left my fan at Marie's last night. So I went there to- day and got it."

"Well, I thought I'd better telephone, for so many girls leave things and they get scattered or lost."

"Well, what did your telephoning have to do with Mr. Cameron?"

"I don't know; that's the queer part of it. Perhaps the wires were crossed and he heard me talking."

"H'm," said Patty, "perhaps he did. When are you going to meet him, Elise?"

"I don't know; but Marie says she'll have a few friends to tea some day soon, and she'll ask him. She says it'll have to be a very small tea, because he hates to meet people."

"Why doesn't she have just you two? I think it would be more romantic."

"Oh, nonsense. This isn't romance. I think Mr. Cameron is a freak, anyway. But it's all amusing, and I hope you'll be at the tea, yourself, Patty."

"I will if I'm asked," said Patty.

CHAPTER III

THE HEPWORTHS AT HOME

It was the day of Christine's home-coming, and Patty was busy as a bee preparing for the great event. The pretty apartment where the Hepworths were to live was all furnished and equipped, but Patty was looking after the dainty appointments of a party.

Not a large party, only about a dozen of their own set. Nan was there, too, and Elise Farrington, and they were arranging flowers in bowls and jars and vases, till the rooms were a bower of blossoms.

"What time will they arrive?" said Elise.

"We expected them about six o'clock," returned Patty; "but I had a telegram, and their train is delayed, so they can't get here until nine. So I want the party all assembled when they come. It's five now, and everything's about done, so we can scoot home and get some dinner and get dressed, and be back here before they arrive. I'll be here by half-past eight, for the caterers are coming then, and I want to see about the table."

So they all went home to dress, and before half-past eight Patty was back again.

There were two maids already installed, but Patty found plenty to do in superintending matters, and she hadn't much more than completed the decorations of the table, when the guests began to come.

"Isn't the apartment lovely?" exclaimed Mona Galbraith, as she went through the rooms. "This music-room, or living-room, or whatever you call it, is just dear! Who selected the furnishings?"

"Oh, Mr. Hepworth and Christine," said Patty; "two artists, you


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