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Aunt Jane's Nieces

"But may I enquire where on earth you expect to stow me in this rather

limited establishment?"

"Where? Have you no eyes, then?" she asked, in astonishment. "It's the

finest sofa in the world, Uncle John, and you'll sleep there like a

top, with the dear Colonel's own picture looking down at you to keep

you safe and give you happy dreams. Where, indeed!"

"Ah; I see," said Uncle John.

"And you can wash in my chamber," added the Major, with a grand air,

"and hang your clothes on the spare hooks behind my door."

"I haven't many," said Uncle John, looking thoughtfully at his red

bundle.

The Major coughed and turned the lamp a little higher.

"You'll find the air fine, and the neighborhood respectable," he said,

to turn the subject. "Our modest apartments are cool in summer and

warm in winter, and remarkably reasonable in price. Patsy gets our

breakfast on the stove yonder, and we buy our lunches down town, where

we work, and then dine at Danny Reeves's place. A model home, sir, and

a happy one, as I hope you'll find it."

"I'm sure to be happy here," said Uncle John, taking out his pipe.

"May I smoke?"

"Of course; but don't spoil the lace curtains, dear," answered Patsy,

mischievously. And then, turning to her father, she exclaimed: "Oh,

daddy! What will the Uncle do all the day while we're at work?"

"That's as he may choose," said the Major, courteously.

"Couldn't we get him a job?" asked Patsy, wistfully. "Not where

there'll be much work, you know, for the Uncle is old. But just to

keep him out of mischief, and busy. He can't hang around all day and

be happy, I suppose."

"I'll look around," answered the Major, briskly, as if such a "job"

was the easiest thing in the world to procure. "And meantime--"

"Meantime," said Uncle John, smiling at them, "I'll look around

myself."

"To be sure," agreed the Major. "Between the two of us and Patsy, we

ought to have no trouble at all."

There was a moment of thoughtful silence after this, and then Patsy

said:

"You know it won't matter, Uncle John, if you don't work.

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