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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

Patsy wrote a

long letter to the major, telling him she would be home in three days,

and then she went to bed and slept peacefully.

After breakfast they were all again summoned to the drawing-room, to

their great surprise. Lawyer Watson and Uncle John were there, looking

as grave as the important occasion demanded, and the former at once

proceeded to relate the scene in James' room, his story of the death

of Thomas Bradley, and the subsequent finding of the will.

"This will, which has just been recovered," continued the lawyer,

impressively, "was made subsequent to the one under which Jane

Merrick inherited, and therefore supercedes it. Miss Jane had, as

you perceive, a perfect right to the use of the estate during her

lifetime, but no right whatever to will a penny of it to anyone. Mr.

Bradley having provided for that most fully. For this reason the will

I read to you yesterday is of no effect, and Kenneth Forbes inherits

from his uncle, through his mother, all of the estate."

Blank looks followed Mr. Watson's statement.

"Good-by to my five thousand," said Uncle John, with his chuckling

laugh. "But I'm much obliged to Jane, nevertheless."

"Don't we get anything at all?" asked Beth, with quivering lip.

"No, my dear," answered the lawyer, gently. "Your aunt owned nothing

to give you."

Patsy laughed. She felt wonderfully relieved.

"Wasn't I the grand lady, though, with all the fortune I never had?"

she cried merrily. "But 'twas really fine to be rich for a day, and

toss the money around as if I didn't have to dress ten heads of hair

in ten hours to earn my bread and butter."

Louise smiled.

"It was all a great farce," she said. "I shall take the afternoon

train to the city. What an old fraud our dear Aunt Jane was! And how

foolish of me to return her hundred dollar check."

"I used mine," said Beth, bitterly. "It's all I'll ever get, it

seems." And then the thought of the Professor and his debts overcame

her and she burst, into tears.

The boy sat doubled within his chair, so overcome by the extraordinary

fortune that had overtaken him that he could not speak, nor think even

clearly as yet.

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