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Patty's Butterfly Days
by Carolyn Wells
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"I shouldn't tell you if I had. One of flour, two of butter, three—"

"Three blithering wheelbarrows! Apple Blossom, have you any idea how I love you?"

"Don't put me out, Bill. One of flour, two of butter, three eggs—"

"Now, isn't she the limit?" mused Bill, apparently addressing the crabs. "I express my devotion in terms of endearment, and she babbles like a parrot of flour and butter!"

"If I don't, you'll have no croquettes," and Patty moulded the mixture into oval balls, and arranged them in a frying sieve.

As the time grew shorter they worked away in earnest, and soon after one o'clock everything was ready. The finishing touches and the serving of the hot dishes were left to the butler and waitress, who were none too willing to do anything outside their own restricted sphere, but whom Patty cajoled by smiles, till they were her abject slaves.

"Now go and tidy yourself up," Patty said to Bill, "and I will too, and see who can get down to the drawing-room first."

"Huh, I haven't to arrange a lot of furbelows. I'll beat you all to pieces."

But he little knew Patty's powers of haste in emergency, and when fifteen minutes later he descended to the drawing-room, where the guests were already arriving, Patty was there before him.

She was in a soft, frilly white frock, with knots of pale blue ribbon here and there, the knots holding sprays of tiny pink rosebuds. A blue ribbon banded her head, and save for an extra moist curliness in the soft rings of hair on her temples, no one could have guessed that the serene looking girl had worked hard and steadily for three hours in a kitchen.

"I surrender," whispered Bill; "you're the swiftest little piece of property I ever saw!"

"Please address me in less undignified language," said Patty, slowly waving a feather fan.

Bill bent a trifle lower, and murmured close to her ear, "Mademoiselle Apple Blossom, you are the sweetest thing in the world."



CHAPTER XIX

A FORCED MARCH

After luncheon they all strolled out on the verandas or through the gardens, and Patty and Mona slipped away to hold a council of war by themselves.

"You're a darling, Patty," Mona said, "and I was perfectly amazed at those wonderful messes you fixed up for luncheon."

"I don't approve of the term you apply to my confections!"

"Well, you know what I mean. They were all PERFECT, you fairly outdid Francois."

"That's better. Now, Mona mine, we must acquire some servants, and that right speedily."

"Yes, but how? I think I'd better telephone the dinner guests not to come."

"I'd hate to do that. They're Adele's friends, and she's so anxious to have them come here."

"I know it, but what can we do? I won't let you cook again."

"No, I don't want to cook dinner. Luncheon seems different, somehow. But I do believe if I take Camilla, and scour all the plains around Spring Beach, I can catch something that can cook."

"I'd hate to have a poor cook."

"Yes, I know; I mean a first-class cook, though, perhaps not a chef."

"Well, go ahead, Patty, but you'll have to start at once. Your cook ought to be here by four, and it's almost three now."

"'I slip, I slide, I gleam, I glance,'—what comes next? Never mind, I'll just scoot."

Throwing on a white pongee dust cloak over her pretty frock, Patty declared herself ready to start, and Mona ordered an electric runabout brought from the garage.

But Miss Patricia Fairfield had no intention of going alone upon her quest. Walking up to a group of men talking on the veranda, she paused in front of Farnsworth.

"I want you," she said, calmly.

"I am yours," he responded with equal calm, and throwing away his cigar, turned to go with her.

"Don't you want me?" asked Captain Sayre, eagerly.

"And me?" added Cromer.

"I know you want me," put in Roger, "but you're too shy to say so."

"I want you all," said Patty, beaming on the group, "but I like you one at a time, and this is Little Billee's turn."

"What's up, my lady?" said Farnsworth, as he started the swift little car.

"Why, just this. Turn toward the main road, please. We've simply got to find a cook for Mona within an hour. I KNOW we can do it,— but, YOU tell ME how."

"Dead easy, child. We'll just go out and kidnap one."

"But cooks aren't found sitting in deserted baby carriages, to be tempted with candy. Now be sensible. Can't you think of any plan?"

"Not a plan! Can you?"

"Well, all I can think of is to go to see Susan."

"Susan it is! Where does the lady reside?"

"Down this way two blocks, then turn to the right."

"She is won! We are gone! Over bank, bush and scar, They'll have fleet steeds that follow!" quoth young Lochinvar.'"

"I know Susan wouldn't come, but she may know of some one else," went on Patty. "Here we are; stop at this house."

"No, Miss Patty," said Susan, when the case was laid before her, "I don't rightly know of anny wan for the place. I'd go mesilf,— for I'm a good, fair cook,—but I can't be afther makin' them fiddly-faddly contraptions Miss Galbraith has."

"Well, Susan, if we can find a cook, will you come as helper? Just for a few days, till Miss Galbraith can get some people down from New York."

"Yes, Miss Patty; I'll do that. Now, I'm bethinkin' me, there's the Cartwrights' cook. She's a perfessional, and the family has gone away for three days, sure. Cuddent she do ye?"

"Fine!" cried Patty. "Where do the Cartwrights live?"

"Up the road a piece, an' thin down beyant a couple o' miles. Don't ye know the big grey stone house, wid towers?"

"Oh, yes; I know where you mean. And is the cook there? What's her name?"

"Yes, she's there. An' her name is O'Brien. It's Irish she is, but she knows more cookin' than manny Frinch jumpin'-jacks! If she'll go wid yez, I'll go."

"Well, I'll tell you, Susan. You go on over to Miss Galbraith's now. Tell her I sent you, and that I'll bring Mrs. O'Brien in about half an hour. Then you go to the kitchen and get things started."

"My, it's the foine head ye have on ye, Miss Patty! That's a grand plan!"

Susan turned back to her sister's house, and the motor-car darted forward.

"So far, so good," said Patty. "But now to get the O'Brien. Suppose she won't come?"

"Don't borrow trouble, Apple Blossom. Let's suppose she WILL come, and meanwhile let's enjoy our ride. It was dear of you to ask me to come with you."

"Well, you see, I didn't know but it might require force to persuade a cook to go back with us, and,—and you're so big, you know."

"Then I'm glad I'm so big, since brawn and strength win favour in my lady's sight."

"You ARE strong, aren't you?" and Patty looked at the giant beside her. "I think," she went on slowly, "your strength must be as the strength of ten."

"I hope so," and Farnsworth's voice took or a graver note, "and for the right reason."

Just then they came in sight of the Cartwright place.

"Good gracious!" cried Patty, as they drove in. "Here are four thousand dogs coming to meet us!"

Patty's estimate of their number was extravagant, but there WERE five or six dogs, and they were large and full-lunged specimens of their kind.

"I'm frightened," said Patty. "They're watchdogs, you know, turned loose because the people are away. Don't get out, Billee, they'll bit you! They're bloodhounds, I'm sure!"

"Then I'll play I'm Eliza crossing the ice, and you can sit here and be Little Eva."

Patty had to laugh at his foolishness, but the dogs WERE fierce, and she was glad when at last his repeated rings at the doorbell were answered.

"Nobody at home," said a voice, as the door opened only a narrow crack, and but part of a face could be seen.

"Is that so?" said Bill, pleasantly. "But you're at home, aren't you? And perhaps you're the very one I want to see. Are you Mrs. O'Brien?"

"Yes, I am," and the door opened just a trifle wider; "but the family is away, an' me ordhers is to admit nobody at all, at all."

"Well, we don't want to be admitted, but won't you step outside a moment?"

Farnsworth emphasised his remarks by pushing the door wide open, and, partly out of curiosity, Mrs. O'Brien stepped outside. She was a small woman, but her face wore a look of grim determination, as if she were afraid of nothing. She quieted the barking dogs, and turned to Patty.

"Don't be afraid, Miss," she said; "they won't hurt ye, now that they see me a-talkin' to yez. Did ye want to see Mrs. Cartwright? She ain't home, an' won't be till day after tomorrah."

"No," said Patty, "I don't know Mrs. Cartwright. I want to see you. Susan Hastings, my own cook, said your people were away, and so perhaps you would go out to cook for a couple of days to oblige a neighbour."

"Oblige a neighbour, is it? Sure no lady would come afther another lady's cook, underhanded like, when the lady's away!"

Patty's face flushed with righteous indignation.

"It ISN'T underhanded!" she exclaimed, "You don't understand! I don't want you PERMANENTLY, but only for a day, or two days at most,—because our cook has left."

"Arrah, ma'am, you said your cook was Susan Hastings! Yer a quare leddy, I'm thinkin', an' yer husband here, is another! Sthrivin' to entice away a cook as is satisfied wid her place, and who manes honest by her employers!"

Farnsworth was grinning broadly at the assumption of his and Patty's relationship, but Patty was enraged at the implication of underhandedness.

"He ISN'T my husband!" she cried, "and I don't want a cook for myself, but for another lady!"

"Are ye runnin' an intilligence office, belike?"

"Here!" cried Bill, sharply. "Don't you speak like that to that lady! Now, you listen to me. We are both visitors at Miss Galbraith's. Her cook left suddenly, and we want you to come and cook for us, two days if you will,—but one day ANYWAY! See? Do you understand that? You're to go over to Miss Galbraith's now, with us, and cook dinner tonight. After dinner, you may do as you like about staying longer. We'll pay you well, and there's no reason whatever why you shouldn't oblige us."

At first the Irishwoman looked a little intimidated at Bill's manner and his gruff tones, but in a moment she flared up.

"I'll do nothin' of the sort! I'm left here in charge of this place, an' here I'll shtay!"

"Is there no one else to guard the place?"

"Yis, there's the second gardener, an' the coachman. I cooks their meals for them. The other servants is away for two days."

"Well, the second coachman and third gardener, or whatever their numbers are, can cook for themselves to-night. You're going with us,—see? With US,—NOW!"

"I'll not go, sor—" began Mrs. O'Brien, but Big Bill picked the little woman up in his arms, as if she had been a child.

"This is a case of kidnapping a cook, Patty," he said. "I told you I'd do it!"

Paying no attention to his struggling burden, Farnsworth pulled shut the door of the Cartwrights' house, shook it to make sure it closed with a snap lock, and then gently but firmly carried Mrs. O'Brien to the motor-car.

"Take the driving seat, Patty," he directed, and, as she did so, he deposited the cook in the seat beside her. Then he climbed into the small seat at the rear and remarked:

"Let her go, Patty; and unless you sit still and behave yourself, Mrs. O'Brien, you'll fall out and get damaged. Now be a nice cook, and make the best of this. You're kidnapped, you see,—you can't help yourself,—and so, what are you going to do about it?"

The cook sat bolt upright, her hard, unsmiling face looking straight ahead, and she replied, between clenched teeth, "Wanst I get out, I'll go straight back home, if it's a hundherd miles yez do be takin' me!"

"Oh, don't do that," and Patty's voice was sweet and coaxing. "Let me tell you something, Mrs. O'Brien. You know Susan Hastings,— what a nice woman she is. Well, once I was in a great emergency, worse even than to-day, and knowing the warm, kind hearts of the Irish, I went to Susan and asked her to help me out. And she did,—splendidly! Now, I know you've got that same warm Irish heart, but for some reason you don't WANT to help me out of my trouble. Won't you tell me WHAT that reason is?"

Mrs. O'Brien turned and looked at her.

"Me heart's warrum enough," she said, "an' I'd be glad to sarve the likes of such a pretty leddy as yersilf,—but, I won't shtand bein' carried off by kidnappers!"

"But listen," said Patty, who was beginning to hope she could cajole the woman into a good humour; "you must realise that the gentleman is a Western man. Now they do things very differently out there from what men do here. If they want anything or anybody they just TAKE them!"

"H'm, h'm," murmured Farnsworth, affirmatively over Patty's shoulder.

She paid no attention to his interruption, and went on, "So, you see, Mrs. O'Brien, you mustn't mind the rude and untutored manners of the savage tribes. This gentleman is a—is an INDIAN!"

"You don't tell me, Miss!"

"Yes, he is. And though you're perfectly safe if you do just as he tells you, if you rebel, he might—he might TOMAHAWK you!"

"Lor', Miss, is he as bad as that?"

"Oh, he's AWFUL bad! He's terrible! He's—why, he's IRRESISTIBLE!"

Big Bill was shaking with laughter, but Mrs. O'Brien couldn't see him, and Patty herself looked half scared out of her wits.

"Now, I'll tell you what, Mrs. O'Brien," she went on, "you let me be your friend; trust to me, and I'll see that no harm comes to you. If you'll cook this dinner to-night, I'll promise to send you home safely to-morrow morning, and Miss Galbraith will pay you well beside. Susan Hastings will be with you as a helper, and—and if you only make your mind up to it, you can have a real good time!"

Patty felt that she ended her speech rather lamely, but her eloquence had given out. And the sound of Bill's chuckles, behind her, made it difficult not to laugh herself.

But either Patty's friendliness or fear of Bill's ferocity seemed to conquer Mrs. O'Brien's rebellious spirit, and she sat calmly in her place, though making no further observations.

Nor could Farnsworth and Patty converse, for as Bill sat behind, and they were flying rapidly along, speech was inconvenient if not impossible.

Farnsworth kept a sharp eye on his captive; though he knew she could not escape now, he wasn't sure what strange turn her temper might take. But Patty felt sure that if she could once get the cook into the kitchen at "Red Chimneys," and under the influence of Susan's common sense and powers of persuasion, all would be well. She drove round to the kitchen entrance, and as she stopped the car, Farnsworth jumped down to assist their passenger out.

Uncertain just how to show her unwillingness to do their bidding, Mrs. O'Brien sat still and refused to move. Whereupon, Patty jumped down and ran into the kitchen.

"Susan," she cried, "here's the cook! Come out and make her behave herself!"

Susan followed Patty out, and saw the new arrival.

"Is it yersilf, Ann O'Brien?" she cried, joyfully. "Come on in, now."

"I'll not come! These vilyans kidnapped me, and I'll cook no dinner fer the likes o' thim!"

"Arrah now, it's yersilf is the vilyan! Ye ought to be proud to be kidnapped by Miss Patty, and Misther Bill! Get down here, ye gossoon, an' behave like a dacint woman!"

Susan's authoritative voice, and Farnsworth's apparent readiness to assist her, if she delayed, persuaded Mrs. O'Brien to leave the car. She went into the kitchen with Susan, and Patty turned a beaming face to Bill.

"It's all right now," she said. "Susan will bring her around. But, oh, Billee, how DID you DARE to do such a thing?"

"I'd dare anything to get you what you want. And you said you wanted that particular cook. So I got her."

"But you'll be arrested for kidnapping!"

"Oh, I think not. I'll telephone over to that second-rate gardener, and I fancy I can make it all right."

Then Bill and Patty sauntered round the house to the veranda.

"Where's your cook?" cried Mona.

"In the kitchen, where she belongs," replied Patty. "Do you want her here?"

"No, but how did you get one?"

"Kidnapped her!" declared Patty, and then amid the laughter of their hearers, they told the whole story.

"I never heard of such a thing!" said Aunt Adelaide, with a disapproving frown.

"But it was that, or no dinner," said Patty, plaintively.

"I think it's great!" said Roger. "And the end is not yet! In an hour, all sorts of police and detectives and weird things like that will come up here and arrest us."

"They'll only take Patty and me," said Farnsworth, "and we can look out for ourselves, can't we, A. B.?"

But Patty only smiled, and ran away to her own room.



CHAPTER XX

GOOD-BYE FOR NOW

It was the day of Farnsworth's departure. In fact, the whole house party was leaving. Roger had already gone, and the Kenerleys and Daisy Dow were to go next day, while Cromer, who had become attached to Spring Beach, had concluded to transfer himself to a hotel and stay the rest of the summer.

"I hate to have you all go," said Mona, dolefully. "Now that I've new servants, and such good ones, I'd like to have you all stay on indefinitely."

"There are others," suggested Jim Kenerley.

"I know, but I don't want others. This crowd has become so chummy and nice it's a pity to break it up. Aren't you sorry to go, Bill?"

"Haven't gone yet!" said Farnsworth, cheerfully.

"But your things are all packed, and you're to go this afternoon," said Mona.

"Well, it's morning now; why borrow trouble? Let's have some fun instead."

"Yes, let's!" and Mona brightened up. "Let's go on a picnic!"

"I hate picnics," said Daisy; "they're no fun. Let's motor over to Lakeville."

"I hate Lakeville," said Patty. "Let's have a dress-up party of some kind."

"We can't get up a fancy dress party in a few hours," objected Adele Kenerley. "Let's have a contest of some sort,—with prizes. Tennis,—or basket ball."

"Oh, it's too warm for those things," said Laurence Cromer. "Let's do something quieter. I'll tell you what,—let's play Human Parcheesi! Just the thing."

"What IS Human Parcheesi?" asked Patty, interested at once.

"Oh, it's a new game," explained Cromer; "in fact, I just made it up this instant."

"How do you play it?" asked Mona.

"I don't quite know myself yet. I haven't finished making it up. Anyway, you have to have more people. Let me see, we have seven here. Can you get some more, Mona? We won't play till after luncheon. It will take the rest of the morning for me to finish making up the game. We'll play on the west lawn. Oh, it's going to be lovely! I want four billion yards of red ribbon and cosy decorations and a lot of things! Skip to the telephone, Mona, and invite enough people to make twenty of us all together. Tell 'em to come at three o'clock, I'll be ready then."

"Bill has to go away about six," said Mona, doubtfully.

"Well, make 'em come at two, then. The game won't take long, once we get started. Now, I'll select four players. Mona will be one, and Daisy Dow, Jim Kenerley and I will be the others."

Mona was already at the telephone, and the other selected players drew around Cromer to learn what they were to do.

"It's going to be the greatest fun ever," he declared. "If we can't get red ribbon, we'll take twine. Guess it'll be better, anyhow. Mona, will you send a slave to the general store to buy a lot of balls of twine?"

"I'll attend to it," said Patty, "Mona's telephoning."

When Patty returned from this errand, the others were all out on the west lawn. Farnsworth and Jim Kenerley were measuring off spaces, and a gardener was driving in pegs.

When the twine arrived, it was stretched on these pegs, until the whole lawn was diagrammed like a parcheesi board. There were the four squares in the corners, representing "Homes," there was a large square in the centre, and the paths were marked into regular rectangles with a "Safety Spot" in every fifth space.

So carefully was the measuring done that at a short distance it looked exactly like a parcheesi board, except the colouring.

"Now," said Cromer, when the ground was ready, "each of you four 'Players' must fix up your corner 'Homes' with a different colour."

So Daisy chose pink, and Mona blue, and Mr. Kenerley yellow, and Laurence Cromer green.

Rugs of appropriate colours were brought from the house for these "Homes," and a few wicker chairs or campstools were placed in them. Then the spirit of emulation was roused, and the "Players" sought for little tables, vases of flowers, or potted palms to decorate their "Homes."

Mrs. Kenerley helped her husband, and Patty assisted Cromer, with their feminine tastes and ideas, and Patty prevailed on the head gardener to cut his choicest flowers to decorate the game.

"You see," Laurence said, "we COULD get this thing up beautifully, with canopies and flags of the four colours, and turkey red strips down these paths and all that. But this will do for a makeshift game."

The central square was prettily arranged with a set of furniture brought from a veranda, a tea table, a stand of flowers, and a flagpole and flag.

Comfortable seats were arranged here for Mrs. Parsons, and any one else who was merely a spectator of the game. Under Cromer's directions, the girls made sixteen caps and sashes of cheesecloth, four of each colour.

The guests whom Mona invited all came, and soon after two o'clock the game began. The four "Players," each decorated with his or her own colour, went to their respective homes, and from there called out the names of those whom they wished for "Counters." Mona called first, and promptly chose Patty.

When Patty came to Mona's "Home" she was given a blue cap and sash, which she immediately donned.

Daisy was next, and she chose Farnsworth, who went forward to receive his pink cap and sash.

After a time each "Player" had chosen four counters, and the caps and sashes were all proudly worn.

"Now we 'Players,'" Cromer directed, "stay here in our 'Homes,' and we send out our 'Counters,' just as if we were playing real parcheesi. Daisy, you throw your dice first."

Daisy threw the dice which had been provided, and she threw a five and a three.

"Put a counter out with the five," said Cromer, "and let him march three squares for the three."

Amid much laughter and fun, Daisy sent Big Bill Farnsworth out first, and ordered him to march three spaces. This Farnsworth did, and stood waiting for his next move.

Then Jim Kenerley threw, but threw only a three and a four, so he had to wait another turn.

The game proved to be great fun. A five thrown allowed another counter started out, and all other throws meant movements of the counters. A counter on a "Safety Spot" was secure against invaders, but on an unprotected square one might be sent back "Home" to start all over again.

Of course the great central square was the goal, and there refreshing lemonade or iced tea awaited the "Counters." Many were the amusing exigencies. Daisy had just triumphantly put out her last counter when two others were returned ignominiously "Home."

Counters chatted affably with other counters who chanced to be on adjoining squares, or gleefully sent them home, as they invaded the same square.

Patty stood comfortably on a "Safety Spot," with Captain Sayre on the next space but one.

"This is a great game," said she. "Isn't Mr. Cromer clever to invent it? Do you know I already see great possibilities in it. I'm going to get up a fine one for a charity or something."

"Yes, do; I'll help you. Make people pay to be 'Counters,' and then have prizes for those who get all the way around."

"Yes, and then have—"

But Captain Sayre had been moved four spaces away, and was out of hearing distance, though he could still smile and wave his hand at Patty on her "Safety Spot."

As the game progressed, one after another reached the Central Square, but as Jim Kenerley got all four of his "Counters" in first he was declared winner.

Then all ran into the Central Square and soon discovered that "Parcheesi" gave them a good appetite for tea and cakes.

Soon after five the Spring Beach guests went home, charmed with the new game, and promising to play it again some day. The "Red Chimneys" party congratulated Cromer heartily on his clever entertainment, and renewed their lamentations that the house party would be so soon only a memory.

"Let's all go over to the Country Club for a farewell dinner and dance," suggested Jim Kenerley.

"All right," agreed Patty, who was always ready for a dance.

"I can't go," said Farnsworth. "I have to take the six-thirty train,—but you others go on."

"Too bad, old fellow," said Kenerley; "wish you could go. But the rest of you will, won't you?"

They all accepted the invitation, and went away to dress.

Patty hung back a moment to say good-bye to Bill, but Daisy forestalled her.

"Oh, Bill," she said, "walk with me as far as the rose garden. I want to say my farewells to you."

Farnsworth couldn't well refuse, so he went off with Daisy, giving Patty a pleading look over his shoulder which she rightly read to mean that he wanted to see her again before he left.

But Daisy prolonged her interview as much as possible, with the amiable intention of keeping Patty and Bill apart.

At last Bill said, as they stood on the terrace, "You ought to be dressing, Daisy. You'll be late for the club dinner party."

"No hurry," she said, shrugging her shoulders, "I can go over later."

"How?" asked Farnsworth, suddenly interested.

"Oh, Barker will take me over in a runabout."

"But Barker's to take me to the station. You'd better go with the rest, Daisy."

Something in Bill's tone made Daisy acquiesce, so she said, shortly, "Oh, very well," and turned toward the house.

She went to her room, and Farnsworth looked about for Patty. She was nowhere to be seen, and all the first floor rooms were empty save for a servant here and there. Finally Bill said to a parlourmaid, "Please go to Miss Fairfield and ask her if she will come down and see Mr. Farnsworth just a minute."

The maid departed, and a moment later Patty came down. She was all dressed for the dinner, in a soft, shimmering, pale blue chiffon, and she wore Bill's wreath in her hair.

"Apple Blossom," he said, softly, and his voice choked in his throat.

"I've been trying to get you a moment alone all day," he said, "but I couldn't. I believe you evaded me on purpose!"

"Why should I?" and Patty looked a little scared.

"I'll tell you why! Because you knew what I wanted to say to you! Because you KNOW—confound that butler! He's everywhere at once! Patty, come in the drawing-room."

"Jane's in there," said Patty, demurely, and smiling up at Bill from under her long lashes.

"Well, come,—oh, come anywhere, where I can speak to you alone a minute!"

"Just one minute," said Patty, "no more!"

"All right, but where can we go?"

"Here!" said Patty, and leading him through the dining-room, she opened the door of the butler's pantry, a spacious and attractive room of itself.

"James won't be in here to-night," she said, "as we are dining out. But I'll only stay a minute."

"But, Patty, DARLING, I want to tell you,—you know I'm going away, and I won't see you again,—and I MUST tell you,—I must ASK you—"

"Patty—Pat-ty! Bill! Where ARE you both?"

Mona's voice rose high as she called, and it was joined by others calling the same two names.

"They're calling, we must go!" exclaimed Patty.

"Go! Nothing!" cried Big Bill, savagely. He glanced round,—he saw the dumb-waiter, built large and roomy in accordance with all the plans of "Red Chimneys."

In about three seconds he had picked Patty up, and before she knew it, she found herself sitting on the top shelf of that big dumb- waiter, and, moreover, she found herself being lowered, at first slowly, and then rapidly.

She was about to scream when she heard Big Bill whisper softly, but commandingly, "Not a word! Not a sound! I'll pull you up in a few minutes."

She heard the doors above her close. She was in total darkness. She had no desire to scream, but she was consumed with laughter.

Farnsworth had hidden her! Hidden her from Mona and the others, in the dumb-waiter! What a man he was! She had no idea what he intended to do next, but she was not afraid. It was an escapade, and of all things Patty loved an escapade!

After closing the doors, Bill put out the light in the butler's pantry, opened the door, slipped through the dimly lighted dining- room, and came around by a side hall to the group in the main hall.

"Calling me?" he said. "I was just coming to say good-bye to you all. Where's Patty?"

"That's what we want to know," said Mona. "We thought she was with you."

"She isn't," said Bill, truthfully enough.

"Well, where CAN she be? I've looked everywhere! Even in the pantries."

"Hasn't one load already started?"

"Yes, Aunt Adelaide and the Kenerleys have gone."

"Didn't she go with them?"

"Why, she MUST have done so. Well, good-bye, dear old Bill, come and see us again next summer, won't you?"

"I will so!" and Bill shook Mona's hand mightily, as an earnest of his words.

"And I'm sorry to go off and leave you, but you go to the station in a few minutes, don't you?"

"Yes, and Barker will look after me. Run along, Mona, I'll write you in a day or two, and tell you how much I've enjoyed my visit here."

Some further cordial good-byes were said, and then the car started off with Daisy, Mona, and Cromer to the Country Club. Farnsworth flew back to the pantry.

"Hello," he said, as he drew up the dumb-waiter, "you WILL evade me, will you, you little bunch of perversity?"

Patty, who was still laughing at his daring deed, said, "Have they all gone?" "They sure have! You and I are here all alone."

"Oh, Bill!" and Patty's lip quivered a little. "How COULD you do that? What SHALL I do?"

"Now don't get ruffled, little one; my train goes in twenty minutes. You're going to the station to see me off, and then Barker will take you on to the Country Club to join the rest of them. You won't be half an hour late!"

This wasn't a VERY dreadful outlook, so Patty smiled again.

"Why stay in this queer place?" she said. "Why not go out on the veranda?"

"No; there are eleven hundred servants bobbing up everywhere! Here I can have you all to myself long enough to make you answer one question. Apple Blossom, will you marry me?"

"No, sir; thank you," and Patty blushed, but looked straight into Farnsworth's eyes.

"You mean it, don't you?" he said, returning her gaze. "And why not, little girl?"

"Because, Billee, I don't want to marry anybody,—at least, not for years and years. I like you AWFULLY,—and I appreciate all your kindness, and your,—your liking for me——"

"Don't say liking, sweetheart; it's love,—deep, true, BIG love for you,—you little sunbeam. Oh, Patty, CAN'T you?"

"No, Little Billee, I can't,—but,—but I DO like to have you love me like that!"

"Then I shall WAIT, dear!" and Bill's voice was full of triumphant gladness. "If you like to have me love you, I can hope and believe that some day you'll love me. You ARE too young, dear, you're just a little girl, I know."

"Why, I'm not even 'out,'" said Patty. "I'm to come out next winter, you know."

"Yes, and then you'll have lots of admirers, and they'll flatter you, but they won't spoil you. I know your sweet, simple, generous nature; it can't be spoiled, even by the foolishnesses of society." "Will YOU come to my coming-out party, Bill?"

"I don't know, perhaps so. I may see you before then. And I'll write to you, mayn't I, Apple Blossom?"

"Oh, yes, do! I love to get letters, and I know I'll love yours."

"DO love them, dear, and perhaps, through them, learn to love,— Jiminetty Christmas, Apple Blossom, I've just ten minutes to catch that train! Come on, dear, fly with me, at least to the railroad station!"

They flew, and by speeding the car, Barker just managed to reach the station in time. The ride was a silent one, but Farnsworth held Patty's hand in a close, warm pressure all the way. As they reached the platform, he bent over her and whispered:

"Good-bye, sweetheart, DEAR little Apple Blossom. Some day I shall come back and win you for my own. Until then, I shall just wait,— and love you."

A light kiss fell on the little hand he had been holding, and then Farnsworth flung himself out of the motor-car, and on to the platform of the already moving train.

"To the Country Club, Barker," said Patty.

THE END

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