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Patty's Summer Days
by Carolyn Wells
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"You're too soft-hearted, Patty; you'd do anything for anybody who asked you."

"You needn't talk, Aunt Grace, you're just the same yourself, and you know that if somebody came along this minute and wanted to borrow your house you'd let her have it if she coaxed hard enough."

"I think very likely," said Aunt Grace, placidly. "Now, how are you going to catch your father and Nan?"

"Why, they'll have to drive past here on their way home," said Patty, "and I mean to stop them and tell them about it. We can put the horse in your barn, I suppose."

"Yes, of course. And now we'll go out on the verandah, and then we can see the Fairfield turn-out when it comes along."

The Fairfields were waylaid and stopped as they drove by the house, which was not astonishing, as Patty and Bumble and Mrs. Barlow watched from the piazza, while Bob was perched on the front gate post, and Uncle Ted was pacing up and down the walk.

"What's the matter?" cried Mr. Fairfield, as he reined up his horse in response to their various salutations.

"The matter is," said Patty, "that we haven't any home of our own to-night, and so we're visiting Aunt Grace."

"Earthquake swallowed our house?" inquired Mr. Fairfield, as he turned to drive in.

"Not quite," said Patty, "but one of the neighbours wanted to borrow it, so I lent it to her."

"That Mrs. Roland, I suppose," said Nan; "she probably mislaid her own house, she's so careless and rattle-pated."

"It was Mrs. Roland," said Patty, laughing, "and she's having a dinner-party, and their tank burst, and most of the ceilings fell, and really, Nan, you know yourself such things do upset a house, if they occur on the day of a dinner-party."

Fuller explanations ensued, and though the Fairfields thought it a crazy piece of business, they agreed with Patty, that it would have been difficult to refuse Mrs. Roland's request.

And it really didn't interfere with the Fairfields'comfort at all, and the Barlows protested that it was a great pleasure to them to entertain their friends so unexpectedly, so, as Mr. Fairfield declared, Mrs. Roland was, after all, a public benefactor.

"You'd better wait," said Nan, "until you see the house to-morrow. I know a little about the Rolands, and I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find things pretty much upside down."

It was nearly noon the next day when Mrs. Roland telephoned to the Hurly-Burly and asked for Mrs. Fairfield.

Nan responded, and was told that the Rolands were now leaving, and that the Fairfields might again come into their home.

Mrs. Roland also expressed voluble thanks for the great service the Fairfields had done her, and said that she would call the next day to thank them in person.

So the Fairfields went back home, and happily Nan's fears were not realised. Nothing seemed to be spoiled or out of order, and the servants said that Mrs. Roland and her family and friends had been most kind, and had made no trouble at all.

"Now, you see," said Patty, triumphantly, "that it does no harm to do a kind deed to a neighbour once in a while, even though it isn't the particular kind deed that you've done a hundred times before."

"That's true enough, Patty," said her father, "but all the same when you lend our home again, let it be our own house, and furnished with our own things. I don't mind owning up, now that it's all over, that I did feel a certain anxiety arising from the fact that this is a rented house, and almost none of the household appointments are our own."

"Goodness, gracious me!" said Patty. "I never once thought of that! Well, I'm glad they didn't smash all the china and bric-a-brac, for they're mortal homely, and I should certainly begrudge the money it would take to replace them."



CHAPTER XXI

THE CRUSOES

Plans were on foot for a huge fair and bazaar to be held in aid of the Associated Charities. Everybody in and around Sandy Cove was interested, and the fair, which would be held the last week in August, was expected to eclipse all previous efforts of its kind.

All three of the Fairfields were energetically assisting in the work, and each was a member of several important committees.

The Barlows, too, were working hard, and the Rolands thought they were doing so, though somehow they accomplished very little. As the time drew near for the bazaar to open, Patty grew so excited over the work and had such a multitude of responsibilities, that she flew around as madly as when she was preparing for the play at school.

"But I'm perfectly well, now," she said to her father when he remonstrated with her, "and I don't mind how hard I work as long as I haven't lessons to study at the same time."

Aside from assisting with various booths and tables, Patty had charge of a gypsy encampment, which she spared no pains to make as gay and interesting as possible.

The "Romany Rest" she called the little enclosure which was to represent the gypsies'home, and Patty not only superintended the furnishing and arranging of the place, but also directed the details of the costumes which were to be worn by the young people who were to represent gypsies.

The Fairfields' house was filled with guests who had come down for the fair.

Patty had invited Elise and Roger Farrington, and Bertha and Winthrop Warner. Mr. Hepworth and Kenneth Harper were there, too, and the merry crowd of young people worked zealously in their endeavours to assist Patty and Nan.

Mr. Hepworth, of course, was especially helpful in arranging the gypsy encampment, and designing the picturesque costumes for the girls and young men who were to act as gypsies. The white blouses with gay-coloured scarfs and broad sombreros were beautiful to look at, even if, as Patty said, they were more like Spanish fandangoes than like any gypsy garments she had ever seen.

"Don't expose your ignorance, my child," said Mr. Hepworth, smiling at her. "A Romany is not an ordinary gypsy and is always clothed in this particular kind of garb."

"Then that's all that's necessary," said Patty. "I bow to your superior judgment, and I feel sure that all the patrons of the fair will spend most of their time at the 'Romany Rest.'"

The day on which the fair was to open was a busy one, and everybody was up betimes, getting ready for the grand event.

A fancy dress parade was to be one of the features of the first evening, and as a prize was offered for the cleverest costume, all of the contestants were carefully guarding the secret of the characters their costumes would represent. Although Roger had given no hint of what his costume was to be, he calmly announced that he knew it would take the prize. The others laughed, thinking this a jest, and Patty was of a private opinion that probably Mr. Hepworth's costume would be cleverer than Roger's, as the artist had most original and ingenious ideas.

The fair was to open at three in the afternoon, and soon after twelve o'clock Patty rushed into the house looking for somebody to send on an errand. She found no one about but Bertha Warner, who was hastily putting some finishing touches to her own gypsy dress.

"That's almost finished, isn't it, Bertha?" began Patty breathlessly.

"Yes; why? Can I help you in any way?"

"Indeed you can, if you will. I have to go over to Black Island for some goldenrod. It doesn't grow anywhere else as early, at least I can't find any. I've hunted all over for somebody to send, but the boys are all so busy, and so I'm just going myself. I wish you'd come along and help me row. It's ever so much quicker to go across in a boat and get it there, than to drive out into the country for it."

"Of course I will," said Bertha, "but will there be time?"

"Yes, if we scoot right along."

The girls flew down to the dock, jumped into a small rowboat and began to row briskly over to Black Island. It was not very far, and they soon reached it. They scrambled out, pulled the boat well up onto the beach, and went after the flowers.

Sure enough, as Patty had said, there was a luxuriant growth of goldenrod in many parts of the island. Patty had brought a pair of garden shears, and by setting to work vigorously, they soon had as much as they could carry.

"There," said Patty, triumphantly, as she tied up two great sheaves, "I believe we gathered that quicker than if we had brought some boys along to help. Now let's skip for home."

The island was not very large, but in their search for the flowers they had wandered farther than they thought.

"It's nearly one o'clock," said Patty, looking at her watch, and carrying their heavy cargo of golden flowers, they hastened back to where they had left their boat.

But no boat was there.

"Oh, Bertha," cried Patty, "the boat has drifted away!"

"Oh, pshaw," said Bertha, "I don't believe it. We pulled it ever so far up on the sand."

"Well, then, where is it?"

"Why, I believe Winthrop or Kenneth or somebody came over and pulled it away, just to tease us. I believe they're around the corner waiting for us now."

Patty tried to take this view of it, but she felt a strange sinking of her heart, for it wasn't like Kenneth to play a practical joke, and she didn't think Winthrop would, either.

Laying down her bundle of flowers, Bertha ran around the end of the island, fully expecting to see her brother's laughing face.

But there was no one to be seen, and no sign of the boat.

Then Bertha became alarmed, and the two girls looked at each other in dismay.

"Look off there," cried Patty, suddenly, pointing out on the water.

Far away they saw an empty boat dancing along in the sunlight!

Bertha began to cry, and though Patty felt like it, it seemed really too babyish, and she said, "Don't be a goose, Bertha, we're not lost on a desert island, and of course somebody will come after us, anyway."

But Patty was worried more than she would admit. For no one knew where they had gone, and the empty boat was drifting away from Sandy Cove instead of toward it.

At first, the girls were buoyed up by the excitement of the situation, and felt that somebody must find them shortly. But no other boat was in sight, and as Patty said, everybody was getting ready for the fair and no one was likely to go out rowing that day.

One o'clock came, and then half-past one, and though the girls had tried to invent some way out of their difficulty they couldn't think of a thing to do, but sit still and wait. They had tied their handkerchiefs on the highest bushes of the island, there being no trees, but they well knew that these tiny white signals were not likely to attract anybody's attention.

They had shouted until they were hoarse, and they had talked over all the possibilities of the case.

"Of course they have missed us by this time," said Patty, "and of course they are looking for us."

"I don't believe they are," said Bertha disconsolately, "because all the people at the house will think we're down at the fair grounds, and all the people there will think we're up at the house."

"That's so," Patty admitted, for she well knew how everybody was concerned with his or her own work for the fair, and how little thought they would be giving to one another at this particular time.

And yet, though Patty would not mention it, and would scarcely admit the thought to herself, she couldn't help feeling sure that Mr. Hepworth would be wondering where she was.

"The only hope is," she said to Bertha, "if somebody should want to see me especially, about some of the work, and should try to hunt me up."

"Well," said Bertha, "even if they did, it never would occur to them that we are over here."

"No, they'd never think of that; even if they do miss us, and try to hunt for us. They'll only telephone to different houses, or something like that. It will never occur to them that we're over here, and why should it?"

"I'm glad I came with you," said Bertha, affectionately. "I should hate to think of you over here all alone."

"If I were here alone," said Patty, laughing, "you wouldn't be thinking of me as here alone. You'd just be wondering where I was."

"So I would," said Bertha, laughing, too; "but oh, Patty, do let's do something! It's fearful to sit here helpless like this."

"I know it," said Patty, "but what can we do? We're just like Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday, except that we haven't any goat."

"No, and we haven't any raft, from which to select that array of useful articles that he had at his disposal. Do you remember the little bag, that always held everything that could possibly be required?"

"Oh, that was in 'Swiss Family Robinson,'" said Patty; "your early education is getting mixed up. I hope being cast on a desert island hasn't affected your brain. I don't want to be over here with a lunatic."

"You will be, if this keeps up much longer," said poor Bertha, who was of an emotional nature, and was bravely trying hard not to cry.

"We might make a fire," said Patty, "if we only had some paper and matches."

"I don't know what good a fire would do. Nobody would think that meant anything especial. I wish we could put up a bigger signal of some sort."

"We haven't any bigger signal, and if we had, we haven't any way of raising it any higher than these silly low bushes. I never saw an island so poorly furnished for the accommodation of two young lady Crusoes."

"I never did, either. I'm going to shout again."

"Do, if it amuses you, but truly they can't hear you. It's too far."

"What do you think will happen, Patty? Do you suppose we'll have to stay here all night?"

"I don't know," said Patty, slowly. "Of course when it's time for the fair to open, and we're not there, they'll miss us; and of course papa will begin a search at once. But the trouble is, Bertha, they'll never think of searching over here. They'll look in every other direction, but they'll never dream that we came out in the boat."

So the girls sat and waited, growing more and more down-hearted, with that peculiar despondency which accompanies enforced idleness in a desperate situation.

"Look!" cried Patty, suddenly, and startled, Bertha looked where Patty pointed.

Yes, surely, a boat had put out from the shore, and was coming toward them. At least it was headed for the island, though not directly toward where they sat.

"They're going to land farther down," cried Patty, excitedly, "come on, Bertha."

The two girls rushed along the narrow rough beach, wildly waving their handkerchiefs at the occupants of the boat.

"It's Mr. Hepworth," cried Patty, though the knowledge seemed to come to her intuitively, even before she recognised the man who held the stroke oar.

"And Winthrop is rowing, too," said Bertha, recognising her brother, "and I think that's Kenneth Harper, steering."

By this time the boat was near enough to prove that these surmises were correct.

Relieved of her anxiety, mischievous Patty, in the reaction of the moment, assumed a saucy and indifferent air, and as the boat crunched its keel along the pebbly beach she called out, gaily, "How do you do, are you coming to call on us? We're camping here for the summer."

"You little rascals!" cried Winthrop Warner. "What do you mean by running away in this fashion, and upsetting the whole bazaar, and driving all your friends crazy with anxiety about you?"

"Our boat drifted away," said Bertha, "and we couldn't catch it, and we thought we'd have to stay here all night."

"I didn't think we would," said Patty. "I felt sure somebody would come after us."

"I don't know why you thought so," said Winthrop, "for nobody knew where you were."

"I know that," said Patty, smiling, "and yet I can't tell you why, but I just felt sure that somebody would come in a boat, and carry us safely home."

"Whom did you expect?" asked Kenneth, "me?"

Patty looked at Kenneth, and then at Mr. Hepworth, and then dropping her eyes demurely, she said:

"I didn't know who would come, only I just knew somebody would."

"Well, somebody did," said Kenneth, as he stowed the great bunches of goldenrod in the bow of the boat.

"Yes, somebody did," said Patty, softly, flashing a tiny smile at Mr. Hepworth, who said nothing, but he smiled a little, too, as he bent to his oars.



CHAPTER XXII

THE BAZAAR OF ALL NATIONS

"How did you know where we were?" said Bertha to her brother.

"We didn't know," said Winthrop, "but after we had hunted everywhere, and put a squad of policemen on your track, and got out the fire department, and sent for an ambulance, Hepworth, here, did a little detective work on his own account."

"What did you do?" asked Patty.

"Why, nothing much," said Mr. Hepworth, "I just tried to account for the various boats, and when I found one was missing, I thought you must have gone on the water somewhere. And so I got a field glass and looked all around, and though I thought I saw your white flags fluttering. I wasn't sure, but I put over here on the chance."

"Seems to me," said Kenneth, "Hepworth is a good deal like that man in the story. A horse had strayed away and several people had tried to find it, without success. Presently, a stupid old countryman came up leading the horse. When asked how he found it he only drawled out, 'Wal, I jest considered a spell. I thought ef I was a horse whar would I go? And I went there,—and he had!' That's a good deal the way Hepworth did."

They all laughed at Kenneth's funny story, but Patty said, "It was a sort of intuition, but all the same I object to having Mr. Hepworth compared to a stupid old countryman."

"I don't care what I'm compared to," said Mr. Hepworth, gaily, "as long as we've found you two runaways, and if we can get you back in time for the opening of the fair."

The time was very short indeed, and as soon as they landed at the dock, Patty and Bertha started for the house to don their costumes as quickly as possible.

The Fair, or "Bazaar of all Nations," as it was called, was really arranged on an elaborate scale. It was held on the spacious grounds of Mr. Ashton, one of the wealthiest of the summer residents of Sandy Cove.

So many people had interested themselves in the charity, and so much enthusiasm had they put into their work, that when it was time to throw the gates open to the public, it was a festive and gorgeous scene indeed.

The idea of representing various nations had been picturesquely, if not always logically, carried out.

A Japanese tea-booth had been built with some regard to Japanese fashion, but with even more effort at comfort and attractive colour effects. The young ladies who attended it wore most becoming Japanese costumes, and with slanting pencilled eyebrows, and Japanese headdresses, they served tea in Oriental splendour.

In competition with them was an English dairy, where the rosy-cheeked maids in their neat cotton dresses and white aprons dispensed cheese cakes and Devonshire cream to admiring customers.

The representatives of other countries had even more elaborate results to show for their labours.

Italy's booth was a beautiful pergola, which had been built for the occasion, but which Mr. Ashton intended to keep as a permanent decoration. Over the structure were beautiful vines and climbing plants, and inside was a gorgeous collection of blossoms of every sort. Italian girls in rich-coloured costumes and a profuse array of jewelry sold bouquets or growing plants, and were assisted in their enterprise by swarthy young men who wore the dress of Venetian gondoliers, or Italian nobles, with a fine disregard of rank or caste.

Spain boasted a vineyard. Mr. Hepworth had charge of this, and it truly did credit to his artistic ability. Built on the side of a hill, it was a clever imitation of a Spanish vineyard, and large grape vines had been uprooted and transplanted to complete the effect. To be sure, the bunches of grapes were of the hothouse variety, and were tied on the vines, but they sold well, as did also the other luscious fruits that were offered for sale in arbours at either end of the grapery. The young Spaniards of both sexes who attended to the wants of their customers were garbed exactly in accordance with Mr. Hepworth's directions, and he himself had artistically heightened the colouring of their features and complexions.

Germany offered a restaurant where delicatessen foods and tempting savories were served by Fraeuleins. Helen Barlow was one of the jolliest of these, and her plump prettiness and long flaxen braids of hair suited well the white kerchief and laced bodice of her adopted country.

The French girls, with true Parisian instinct, had a millinery booth. Here were sold lovely feminine bits of apparel, including collars, belts, laces and handkerchiefs, but principally hats. The hats were truly beautiful creations, and though made of simple materials, light straw, muslin, and even of paper, they were all dainty confections that any summer girl might be glad to wear. The little French ladies who exhibited these goods were voluble and dramatic, and in true French fashion, and with more or less true French language, they extolled the beauty of their wares.

In a Swiss chalet the peasants sold dolls and toys; in a Cuban construction, of which no one knew the exact title, some fierce-looking native men sold cigars, and in a strange kind of a hut which purported to be an Eskimo dwelling, ice cream could be bought.

The Stars and Stripes waved over a handsome up-to-date soda-water fountain, as the authorities had decided that ice-cream soda was the most typical American refreshment they could offer to their patrons. But an Indian encampment also claimed American protection, and a group of Western cowboys took pride in their ranch, and even more pride in their swaggering costumes.

Altogether the Bazaar was a great show, and as it was to last for three days, nobody expected to exhaust all its entertainments in one visit.

The Romany Rest was one of the prettiest conceits, and though an idealised gypsy encampment, it proved a very popular attraction.

Half a dozen girls and as many young men wore what they fondly hoped looked enough like gypsy costumes to justify the name, but at any rate, they were most becoming and beautiful to look upon.

Patty was the gypsy queen, and looked like that personage as represented in comic opera. Seated on a queerly constructed, and somewhat wobbly throne, she told fortunes to those who desired to know what the future held for them.

Apparently there was great curiosity in this respect, for Patty was kept steadily busy from the time she arrived at her place.

Other gypsies sold gaily coloured beads, amulets and charms, and others stirred a queer-looking brew in a gypsy kettle over a real fire, and sold cupfuls of it to those who wished in this way to tempt fate still further.

It was a perfect day, and the afternoon was progressing most satisfactorily.

Bertha was one of the Swiss peasants, and by dint of much hurrying, she and Patty had been able to get ready in time to join the parade of costumed attendants as they marched to their various stations.

Though had it not been for Mr. Phelps and his swift motor-car, they could scarcely have reached the fair grounds in time.

Elise was one of the Italian flower girls, and Kenneth also wore the garb of Italy.

Mr. Hepworth and Roger Farrington were ferocious-looking Indians, and brandished their tomahawks and tossed their feathered heads in fearsome fashion.

Dick Phelps was a cowboy, and his Herculean frame well suited the picturesque Western dress. And Charlie Roland flattered himself that arrayed as a Chinaman he was too funny for anything.

Although Patty had become better acquainted with young Mr. Roland, she had not learned to like him. His conceited ways and pompous manner seemed to her silly and artificial beside the frank comradeship of her other friends.

He came early to have his fortune told by the gypsy queen, and though, of course, Patty was in no way responsible for the way in which the cards fell, and though she told the fortunes strictly according to the instructions in a printed book, which she had learned by heart, she was not especially sorry when Mr. Roland's fortune proved to be not altogether a desirable one.

But the young man was in nowise disconcerted.

"It doesn't matter," he said, cheerfully, "I've had my fortune told lots of times, and things always happen just contrary to what is predicted. But I say, Miss Romany, can't you leave your post for a few minutes and go with me to the Japanese tea place, for a cup of their refreshing beverage?"

"Thank you ever so much," said Patty, "but I really can't leave here. There's a whole string of people waiting for their fortunes, and I must stand by my post. Perhaps I can go later," she added, for though she did not care for Charlie Roland's attentions, she was too good-natured to wish to hurt his feelings.

"I consider that a promise," said Mr. Roland, as he moved away to make place for the next seeker after knowledge.

Patty turned to her work, and thought no more of Charlie Roland and his undesirable invitation.

Soon Kenneth came to have his fortune told, for it had been arranged that each booth should have plenty of attendants, in order that they might take turns in leaving their posts and promenading about the grounds. This was supposed to advertise their own particular nation, besides giving all a chance to see the sights.

Kenneth's fortune proved to be a bright and happy one, but he was not unduly elated over it, for his faith in such things was not implicit.

"Thank you," he said gravely, as Patty finished telling of the glories which would attend his future career. "I don't think there's anything omitted from that string of good luck, unless it's being President, and I'm not quite sure I want to be that."

"Yes, you do," said Patty, "every good American ought to want that, if only as a matter of patriotism."

"Well, I'm patriotic enough," said Kenneth, "and I'll want it if you want me to want it. And now, Patty, you've worked here long enough for the present. Let somebody else take your place, and you come with me for a walk about the grounds. I'll take you to the pergola, and we'll buy some flowers from Elise."

"I'd love to go, Ken, but truly I ought to stay here a while longer. Lots of people want their fortune told, and nobody can do it but me, because I learnt all that lingo out of a book. No, I can't go now. Run along,—I'm busy."

Patty spoke more shortly than she meant to, for the very reason that she wanted to go with Kenneth, but she felt it her duty to remain at her post.

Kenneth appreciated the principle of the thing, but he thought that Patty might have been a little kinder about it. His own temper was a little stirred by the incident, and rising quickly, he said, "All right, stay here, then!" And turning on his heel, he sauntered carelessly away.

Patty looked after him, thinking what a handsome boy he was, and how well his Italian suit became him. Kenneth's skin was naturally rather dark, and his black eyes and hair and heavy eyebrows were somewhat of the Italian type. His white linen blouse was slightly turned in at the throat and he wore a crimson silk tie, and sash to match, knotted at one side. A broad-brimmed hat of soft grey felt sat jauntily on his head, and as he swung himself down the path, Patty thought she had never seen him look so well.

Soon after this, Charlie Roland came back again.

"I've brought someone to help you out," he said, as he introduced a young girl who accompanied him. "This is Miss Leslie and she knows fortune telling from the ground up. Give her a red sash, and a bandana handkerchief to tie around her head, and let her take your place, if only for a short time; and you come with me to buy some flowers. Do you know, your costume really calls for some scarlet blossoms in your hair, and over in the pergola they have some red geraniums that are simply great. Come on, let's get some."

Patty did want some red flowers, and had meant to have some, but she dressed in such a hurry that there was no time to find any. Moreover, she had never known Charlie Roland to appear to such good advantage. He seemed to have dropped his pompous manner with his civilised dress, and in his comical Chinaman's costume, he seemed far more attractive than in his own everyday dress. And since he had provided her with a substitute, Patty saw no reason for refusing his invitation.

So together they left the Romany Rest, and walked about the Fair, chatting with people here and there, until they reached the pergola.

Elise was delighted to see them, and while the Italian girls besought Mr. Roland to buy their flowers, the Italian young men clustered around Patty, and with merry laugh and jest, presented her with sundry floral offerings.

There was one exception, however; Kenneth stood aloof. For the first time in his life, he felt that Patty had intentionally slighted him. He had asked her to come to the pergola for flowers, and she had refused. Then a few minutes later she had accepted a similar invitation from that stupid young Roland. Kenneth was obliged to admit to himself that young Roland did not look stupid just at present, for he had some talent as a comedian, and was acting the part of a funny Chinaman with success. But that didn't make any difference to Kenneth, and he looked reproachfully at Patty, as she accepted the flowers and gay compliments from her attendant cavalier.

Patty had intended to explain to Kenneth why it had been possible for her to leave the gypsy camp in charge of another fortune teller, but when she saw the boy's moody expression and sulky attitude her sense of humour was touched, and she giggled to herself at the idea of Kenneth being angry at such a trifle.

She thought it distinctly silly of him, and being in a mischievous mood, she concluded he ought to be punished for such foolishness. So instead of smiling at him, she gave him only a careless glance, and then devoted her attention to the others.

Patty was a general favourite, and her happy, sunny ways made friends for her wherever she went. She was therefore surrounded by a crowd of merry young people, some of whom had just been introduced to her, and others whom she had known longer; and as she laughed and chatted with them, Kenneth began to think that he was acting rather foolishly, and longed to join the group around the gypsy queen.

But the boy was both sensitive and proud, and he could not quite bring himself to overlook what he considered an intentional unkindness on the part of Patty.

So, wandering away from the pergola, he visited other booths, and chatted with other groups, determined to ignore Patty and her perversities.

Patty, not being an obtuse young person, saw through all this, and chose to be amused by it.

"Dear old Ken," she thought to herself, "what a goose he is! I'll get Nan to ask him to have supper with us all in the English Dairy, and then I expect he'll thaw out that frozen manner of his."

Feeling that she ought to return to her own post, Patty told her Chinaman so, and together they went back to the Romany Rest; but as Patty was about to take her place again at the fortune teller's table, Mr. Phelps came along and desired her to go with him, and have her photograph taken. At first Patty demurred, though she greatly wanted to go, but Miss Leslie said she was not at all tired of fortune telling, and would gladly continue to substitute for Patty a while longer.

"Come on, then," said Dick Phelps, "there's no reason why you shouldn't, since Miss Leslie is kind enough to fill your place."

Patty still hesitated, for she thought that Kenneth would be still more offended if he saw her walking around with Mr. Phelps, after having told him that she could not leave the gypsy camp.

But Dick Phelps was of an imperious nature. He was accustomed to having his own way, and was impatient at Patty's hesitation.

"Come on," he said. "March!" And taking her by the arm, he led her swiftly down the path toward the photograph booth.

As he strode along, cowboy fashion, Patty said, meekly, "Let go of my arm, please, Mr. Phelps. I think you've broken two bones already! And don't walk so fast. I'm all out of breath!"

"Forgive me," said Dick Phelps, suddenly checking his speed, and smiling down at the girl beside him, "you see this cowboy rig makes me feel as if I were back on the plains again, and I can't seem to adjust myself to civilised conditions."

Mr. Phelps looked very splendid as a cowboy, and Patty listened with interest, as he told her of an exciting episode which had occurred during his ranch life, in a distant western territory.

So engrossed did they become in this conversation that the photographs were forgotten for the moment, and they strolled along past the various booths, unheeding the numerous invitations to enter.

Of course Kenneth saw them, and from a trifling offence, Patty's conduct seemed to him to have grown into a purposed rudeness.

As they passed him, Patty smiled pleasantly, and paused, saying, "We're all going to have supper in the Dairy, and of course you'll be with us, Ken?"

"Of course I won't!" said Kenneth, and deliberately turning on his heel, he walked the other way.



CHAPTER XXIII

THE END OF THE SUMMER

"Whew!" said Dick Phelps, in his straightforward way, "he's mad at you, isn't he?"

"Yes," said Patty, "and it's so silly! All about nothing at all. I wish you'd take me back to him, Mr. Phelps, and leave us alone, and I think I can straighten matters out in two minutes."

"Indeed, I'll do nothing of the sort," returned Mr. Phelps, in his masterful way; "you promised to go to the photograph place, and that's where we're going. I don't propose to give you up to any young man we chance to meet!"

Patty laughed, and they went on. At the photograph booth they found many of the gaily dressed young people, anxious to have pictures of themselves in their pretty costumes. Patty and Mr. Phelps had to wait their turn, but finally succeeded in getting a number of pictures. Patty had some taken alone, and some in which she was one of a gay group. Some were successful portraits, and others were not, but all were provocative of much laughter and fun. By a rapid process of development, the photographers were enabled to furnish the completed pictures in less than a half hour after the cameras did their work, and as a consequence, this booth was exceedingly popular and promised handsome returns for the benefit of charity.

Mr. Phelps and Patty loitered about, waiting for their pictures, when Patty caught sight of Nan, and running to her she said, "For goodness' sake, Nan, do help me out! Kenneth's as mad as hops, and all about nothing! Now I want you to ask him to come to supper with our crowd, and you must make him come!"

"I can't make him come, if he doesn't want to. You've been teasing him, Patty, and you must get out of your own scrapes."

"Ah, Nan, dear," coaxed Patty, "do be good, and truly, if you'll just persuade him to come to supper with us, I'll do the rest."

"I'll try," said Nan as she walked away, "but I won't promise that I'll succeed."

She did succeed, however, and some time later Mr. Fairfield gathered the large party whom he had invited to supper, in the English Dairy.

The supper was to be a fine one, far exceeding the bounds of Dairy fare, and Mr. Fairfield had reserved a long table for his guests.

As they trooped in, laughing and talking, and seated themselves for the feast, Patty was relieved to see that Kenneth was among them, after all.

He took a seat between Elise and Helen Barlow, and knowing Bumble's good nature, Patty went directly to her, and asked her if she wouldn't move, as she wanted to sit there herself.

"Of course I will," said Bumble, and jumping up, she ran around to the other side of the table.

Then Patty deliberately sat down by Kenneth, who couldn't very well get up and walk away, himself, though he looked at her with no expression of welcome in his glance.

Without a word, Patty leaned over and selected from a dish of olives on the table one which had a stem to it.

With a tiny bit of ribbon she tied the olive to a little green branch she had brought in with her, and then demurely held the token toward Kenneth.

For a moment the boy looked rather blank, and then realising that Patty was offering him the olive branch of peace, and that she had gone to some trouble to do this, and that moreover she had done it rather cleverly, the boy's face broke into a smile, and he turned toward Patty.

"Thank you," he said, as he took the little spray, and attached it to the rolling collar of his blouse. "I accept it, with its full meaning."

"You're such a goose, Kenneth!" said Patty, her eyes dancing with laughter. "There was nothing to get huffy about."

"Well," said Kenneth, feeling his grounds for complaint slipping away from him, "you pranced off with that Roland chap, after you had just told me you couldn't leave your gypsy queen business."

"I know it," said Patty, "but Ken, he brought a nice lady to fill my place, and besides, he asked me to go to get red flowers and I really wanted red flowers."

"I asked you to go for flowers too," said Kenneth, not yet entirely mollified.

"Yes," said Patty, "but you didn't say red flowers. How did I know but that you'd buy pink or blue ones, and so spoil my whole gypsy costume?"

Kenneth had to laugh in spite of himself, at this bit of audacity. "And then right afterwards you went off again with Dick Phelps," he continued.

"Kenneth," said Patty, looking at him with an expression of mock terror, "I couldn't help myself that time! Honest, I couldn't. Mr. Phelps is a fearful tyrant. He's an ogre, and when he commanded me to go, I just had to go! He's a man that makes you do a thing, whether you want to or not. Why, Kenneth, he just marched me off!"

"All right," said Kenneth, "I'll take a leaf out of his book. After this, when I want you to go anywhere, I'll just march you off."

"You can try," said Patty, saucily, "but I'm not sure you can do it. It takes a certain type of man to do that sort of thing successfully, and I don't know anybody but Dick Phelps who's just that kind."

But peace was restored, for Kenneth realised that Patty's explanation was a fair one, and that he had been foolishly quick to take offence.

After supper they all went to the grand stand to see the parade of fancy costumes.

These were quite separate from the booth attendants, and a prize had been offered for the cleverest conceit, most successfully carried out.

When at last the grand march took place, it showed a wonderful array of thoroughly ingenious costumes.

Of course there were many clowns, historical characters, fairies, and queer nondescript creatures, but there were also many characters which were unique and noteworthy.

Mr. Hepworth, who was in the parade, had chosen to represent the full moon.

How he did it, no one quite knew; but all that was visible was an enormous sphere, of translucent brightness and a luminous yellow color.

Mr. Fairfield declared that the medium must be phosphorus, but all agreed that it was a wonderful achievement, and many thought it would surely take the prize.

The sphere was hollow, and made of a light framework, and Mr. Hepworth walked inside of it, really carrying it along with him. It so nearly touched the ground that his feet were scarcely observable, and the great six foot globe made a decided sensation, as it moved slowly along.

Patty remembered that Roger had declared he was going to take the prize, and as she had knowledge of the boy's ability along these lines, she felt by no means sure that it wouldn't eclipse Mr. Hepworth's shining orb.

And sure enough, when Roger appeared, it was in the character of a Christmas tree!

The clever youth had selected just the right kind of a tree, and cutting away enough twigs and branches near the trunk on one side, he had made a space in which he could thrust the whole of his tall slender self.

To protect his face and hands from the scratchy foliage, and also to render himself inconspicuous, he wore a tight-fitting robe of dark brown muslin, which concealed even his face and arms, though eyeholes allowed him to see where he was going.

In a word, the boy himself almost constituted the trunk of the tree, and by walking slowly, it looked as if the tree itself was moving along without assistance.

The tree was gaily hung with real Christmas trinkets and decorations, and lighted with candles.

The idea was wonderfully clever, and though it had been hard work to arrange the boughs to conceal him entirely, Roger had accomplished it, and the gay decorations hid all defects.

The judges awarded the prize to Roger, who calmly remarked to Patty, afterward, "I told you I'd get it, didn't I?"

"Yes," said Patty, "and so then of course I knew you would."

It was a rather tired party that went back to the Fairfields' house at the close of the evening.

Nan and Mr. Fairfield issued strict orders that everybody must go to bed at once, as there were two more strenuous days ahead, and they needed all the rest they could get.

But next morning they reappeared, quite ready for fresh exertions, and Patty declared that for her part she'd like to be a gypsy all the year round.

"Well I never want to be a Christmas tree again," said Roger, "in spite of my precautions, I'm all scratched up!"

"Never mind," said his sister consolingly, "you took the prize, and that's glory enough to make up for lots of scratches."

The second and third days of the Fair were much like the first, except that the crowds of visitors continually increased.

The fame of the entertainment spread rapidly, and people came, even from distant parts of Long Island, to attend the festivities.

But at last it was all over, and the Fairfield verandah was crowded with young people, apparently of all nations, who were congratulating each other on the wonderful success.

"Of course," said Patty, "the greatest thing was that we had such perfect weather. If it had rained, the whole thing would have been spoiled."

"But it didn't rain," said Nan, "and everything went off all right, and they must have made bushels of money."

"Well, it was lovely," said Patty with a little sigh, "and I enjoyed every minute of it, but I don't want to engage in another one right away. I think I shall go to bed and sleep for a week!"

"I wish I were a bear," said Kenneth, "they can go to sleep and sleep all winter."

"You'd make a good bear," said Patty, in an aside to him, "because you can be so cross."

But the merry smile that accompanied her words robbed them of any unpleasant intent, and Kenneth smiled back in sympathy.

"Just to think," said Nan, "a week from to-day we'll all be back in the city, and our lovely summer vacation a thing of the past."

"It has been a beautiful summer," said Patty, her thoughts flying backward over the past season. "I've never had such a happy summer in my life. It's been just one round of pleasure after another. Everybody has been so good to me and the whole world seems to have connived to help me have a good time."

"In so far as I'm part of the whole world, allow me to express my willingness to keep right on conniving," said big Dick Phelps, in his funny way.

"Me, too," said Kenneth, in his hearty, boyish voice.

Mr. Hepworth said nothing, but he smiled at Patty from where he sat at the other end of the long verandah.

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