I was reading following text from a blog post and I experienced difficulty understanding the phrase - "Pat came the reply". I've searched enough (limited to internet search engine) but I didn't find the standard or proper meaning (Suppose, I guess) of this phrase - Pat came the reply.
Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar asked him:
"Mirza, kitne rozey rakhkhey?" ("Mirza, how many days did you fast?")
Pat came the reply: "Bas huzoor, ek nahin rakhkha" ("Sir, I did not fast for one day")
I've also found the use of the same phrase in a book authored by noted Indian author and journalist Khushwant Singh - K. Singh Best Indian Short Stories-Vol.II.
'No, bothersome. One can't spit.'
Pat came the reply from Namu: 'Right under the chair. Maaro pichkri!'