It was the third week in September when the Fairfields left the seashore and returned to their Vernondale home.
“Now, my child,” said Mr. Fairfield, as they sat on the veranda after dinner, “I will unfold to you my plans for the coming winter, and you may accept, or reject, or amend them as you please.”
“Proceed,” said Patty, settling herself comfortably in her wicker chair; “I feel in an amiable mood this evening, and will probably agree to anything you may suggest.”
“I’ve been thinking for some time,” went on her father, “that I don’t want to spend the coming winter in Vernondale. I would much rather be in New York.”
“Reason number one—Nan,” said Patty, checking it off on her forefinger and smiling at her father.
“Yes,” he responded, with an answering smile, “she is reason number one, but there are others.”
To readers who are unfamiliar with Patty’s earlier history we may say right here that her mother had died when Patty was but three years old.
At present she lived with her father in their little home in Vernondale, an establishment of which Patty greatly prided herself on her management.
Recently Mr. Fairfield had become engaged to Miss Nan Allen, a young lady who lived in Philadelphia, and who was a dear friend of Patty’s.