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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

Patsy tried to comfort Beth.

"Never mind, dear," said she. "We're no worse off than before we

came, are we? And we've had a nice vacation. Let's forget all

disappointments and be grateful to Aunt Jane's memory. As far as she

knew, she tried to be good to us."

"I'm going home today," said Beth, angrily drying her eyes.

"We'll all go home," said Patsy, cheerfully.

"For my part," remarked Uncle John, in a grave voice, "I have no

home."

Patsy ran up and put her arm around his neck.

"Poor Uncle John!" she cried. "Why, you're worse off than any of us.

What's going to become of you, I wonder?"

"I'm wondering that myself," said the little man, meekly.

"Ah! You can stay here," said the boy, suddenly arousing from his

apathy.

"No," replied Uncle John, "the Merricks are out of Elmhurst now, and

it returns to its rightful owners. You owe me nothing, my lad."

"But I like you," said Kenneth, "and you're old and homeless. Stay at

Elmhurst, and you shall always be welcome."

Uncle John seemed greatly affected, and wrung the boy's hand

earnestly. But he shook his head.

"I've wandered all my life," he said. "I can wander yet."

"See here," exclaimed Patsy. "We're all three your nieces, and we'll

take care of you between us. Won't we, girls?"

Louise smiled rather scornfully, and Beth scowled.

"My mother and I live so simply in our little flat," said one, "that

we really haven't extra room to keep a cat. But we shall be glad to

assist Uncle John as far as we are able."

"Father can hardly support his own family," said the other; "but I

will talk to my mother about Uncle John when I get home, and see what

she says."

"Oh, you don't need to, indeed!" cried Patsy, in great indignation.

"Uncle John is my dear mother's brother, and he's to come and live

with the Major and me, as long as he cares to. There's room and to

spare, Uncle," turning to him and clasping his hand, "and a joyful

welcome into the bargain. No, no! say nothing at all, sir! Come you

shall, if I have to drag you; and if you act naughty I'll send for the

Major to punish you!

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