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Patty Fairfield   By: (1862-1942)

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First Page:




To My Little Friend




I. Her Father's Plan II. Traveling North III. New Friends IV. Villa Rosa V. A Minuet VI. Purple and Fine Linen. VII. A Sleigh Ride VIII. An Absent Minded Cousin IX. The Flemings X. Patty's Pranks XI. The Book Party XII. The Hurly Burly XIII. Home Made Music XIV. A Funny Family XV. The Lawn Party XVI. Unbounded Hospitality XVII. A Hurly Burly Fire XVIII. At Vernondale XIX. A Picnic XX. The Rescue XXI. A Reading Club XXII. A Welcome Guest

Patty Fairfield



"How old are you, Patty?" asked her father, abruptly.

"Fourteen, papa, why?"

"My conscience! what a great girl you're getting to be. Stand up and let me look at you."

Patty Fairfield, with two twists and a spring, brought herself to her feet, and stood awaiting her father's inspection.

He saw a slender, graceful girl, a Southern blonde of the purest type. Her pretty golden hair would gladly have hung in curly masses, but it was only allowed to have its own sweet will around her temples and at the end of a long thick braid. Her eyes were blue, deep and twinkly, and the rest of her face was as pretty and sweet as soft girlish contours and a perfect complexion could make it.

But best of all was the gentle expression and frank, good natured smile which so often broke into mischievous dimples.

It did on this occasion, and Patty laughed merrily at her father's grave consideration of her.

"What is it, papa?" she asked. "Did you think I was still an infant, and were you going to buy me a new dolls' house? Or were you going to take me to the circus? I'm not a bit too old for the circus."

"Aren't you? Then I will take you, but what is on my mind at present is a much more serious matter. Sit down again, Puss, and I'll tell you all about it.

"You know for years I've looked forward to the time when you should grow up to be old enough to keep house for me. And I thought then we'd go back North and settle down among my people and your mother's relatives. I haven't been North since your mother died, but now I want to go, and I want you to spend the rest of your life there. In many ways it will be better for you than Virginia. You will have more advantages; your life will be broader and more varied. Now I can't be ready to leave here for good in less than a year; I want to sell out my lumber interests and settle up my business affairs.

"But I am continually receiving letters from your aunts, you have lots of aunts, Patty, and they are apparently all anxious that you shall visit them. So, if you consent, this is my plan. You've never traveled any, have you, Puss?"

"Never been out of Virginia in my life, papa."

"No? Well, you ought to see a little of how the rest of the world lives and moves. So I think I'll let you visit in the North for a year, say three months with each of your four aunts, and then next fall I'll be ready to join you, and we'll buy a house and you shall be mistress of it."

"A home of our own? Oh, papa, I'd like that lots!"

"Yes, so would I. As we have always lived in boarding houses since your mother's death, you've had no opportunity to learn the details of housekeeping, and these four visits will show you four very distinct types of families."

"Why, are my aunts all so different, papa?"

"Indeed they are, and though I hope you can make yourself happy with each one, yet you will find life very different in the various homes."

"Tell me about them, papa," said Patty, contentedly settling herself back among the cushions of the couch, for she dearly loved a long talk with her father.

"Well, you will go first to the St. Clairs. You remember Uncle Robert, your mother's brother, who was here four or five years ago, don't you?"

"Indeed I do; he brought me a French doll nearly as big as I was then myself, and a whole five pound box of candy. He is a lovely man. But I've never seen Aunt Isabel or the children, only their photographs... Continue reading book >>

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