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Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Frank Baum > Fairy tale "Aunt Jane's Nieces"

Aunt Jane's Nieces

But Uncle John, fully as indignant as Patricia, came to her side and

laid a hand tenderly on the girl's head.

"Never mind, little one." he said. "Jane was always cruel and

treacherous by nature, and we might have expected she'd deceive her

friends even in death. But you did the best you could, Patsy, dear,

and it can't be helped now."

Meantime the lawyer had been fumbling in the box, and now drew out the

genuine will.

"Give me your attention, please," said he.

Patsy sat up and glared at him.

"I won't take a cent of it!" she exclaimed.

"Be silent!" demanded the lawyer, sternly. "You have all, I believe,

been told by Miss Merrick of the terms of this will, which is properly

signed and attested. But it is my duty to read it again, from

beginning to end, and I will do so."

Uncle John smiled when his bequest was mentioned, and Beth frowned.

Louise, however, showed no sign of disappointment. There had been a

miserable scramble for this inheritance, she reflected, and she was

glad the struggle was over. The five thousand dollars would come in

handy, after all, and it was that much more than she had expected to

have before she received Aunt Jane's invitation. Perhaps she and her

mother would use part of it for a European trip, if their future plans

seemed to warrant it.

"As far as I am concerned," said Patsy, defiantly, "you may as well

tear up this will, too. I won't have that shameful old woman's money."

"That is a matter the law does not allow you to decide," returned the

lawyer, calmly. "You will note the fact that I am the sole executor of

the estate, and must care for it in your interests until you are of

age. Then it will he turned over to you to do as you please with."

"Can I give it away, if I want to?"

"Certainly. It is now yours without recourse, and although you cannot

dispose of it until you are of legal age, there will be nothing then

to prevent your transfering it to whomsoever you please. I called

Miss Merrick's attention to this fact when you refused to accept the

legacy.

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