BLTC Press Titles

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My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Patty's motor car

by Carolyn Wells


Though he and Nan had met but a few times, they had become rather chummy, which, however, was not unusual for him, if he liked anybody.

Young Van Reypen was of a gay and social nature, and made friends easily by his sheer good-humour. He admired Mrs. Fairfield very much, but, even more, he admired Patty. Ever since he had met her unexpectedly on his aunt's staircase, he had thought her the prettiest and sweetest girl he had ever seen. So he was making every endeavour to cultivate her acquaintance, and, being of rather astute observation, he concluded it wise to make friends with the whole Fairfield family.

So the big, handsome chap went back to the drawing-room, and dropped on a sofa beside Nan.

"It's awfully cold out," he observed, plaintively.

"Is it?" returned his hostess, innocently.

"Yes; I hate to go out in the cold."

"But you have to go, sooner or later."

"Yes; but it may be warmer later."

"On the contrary, it will probably grow colder."

"Oh! do you think so? But, then again, it may not, and I'm quite willing to take the chance."

"Mr. Van Reypen, I do believe you're hinting for an invitation to stay here to dinner!"

"Oh, Mrs. Fairfield, how clever you are! How could you possibly guess that, now?"

Nan laughed and hesitated. She liked the young man, but she wasn't sure that Patty wanted him there. Patty was developing into a somewhat decided young person, and liked to make her own plans. And Nan well knew that Patty was the real magnet that drew Mr. Van Reypen so often to the house.

"What do you think?" she said, as the girl came into the room; "this plain-spoken young man is giving me to understand that, if he were urged, he would dine here to-night."

"Of course, it would require a great deal of most insistent urging," put in Philip.

"Don't let's urge him," said Patty, but the merry smile she flashed at the young man belied her words.

"If you smile like that, I'll do the urging myself," he cried. "Please, Mrs. Fairfield, do let me stay; I'll be as good as gold."

"What say you, Patty? " asked Nan.

"He may stay," rejoined Patty, " if he'll help me with my work on those puzzles."

"Puzzles? Well, I just guess I will! I'll do them all for you. Where's your slate and pencil?"

"Oh, not yet!" laughed Patty. "We won't do those until after dinner."

"Why do you do them at all?" asked Nan; "and what are they, anyway?"

"I'll tell you," began Patty; "no, I won't, either. At least, not now. It's a grand project,—a really great scheme. And I'll unfold it at dinner, then father can hear about it, too."

So, later, when the quartette were seated around the dinner table, Patty announced that she would tell of her great project.

"You see," she began, "it's a sort of advertisement for a big motor-car company."

"Don't try to float a motor-car company, Patty," advised her father; " it's too big a project for a young girl."

"I'm not going to do that, Daddy Fairfield; but I begin to think that what I am going to do is almost as hard. You see, this big company has issued a book of a hundred puzzles. Now, whoever guesses all those puzzles correctly will get the prize. And,—the prize is a lovely electric runabout. And I want it!"

"Hevings! hevings!" murmured Mr. Van Reypen. "She wants an Electric Runabout! Why, Infant, you'll break your blessed neck!"

"Indeed, I won't! I guess I've brains enough to run an electric car! If I guess those puzzles, that'll prove it. They're fearfully hard! Listen to this one. 'When did London begin with an L and end with an E?'"

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