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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

"Mr. Marvin in?" he inquired, pleasantly.

"Not arrived yet," said the official, who wore a big star upon his

breast.

"I'll wait," announced Uncle John, and sat down upon a leather-covered

bench.

The official strutted up and down, watching the customers who entered

the bank or departed, and keeping a sharp watch on the little man upon

the bench.

Another hour passed.

Presently Uncle John jumped up and approached the official.

"Hasn't Mr. Marvin arrived yet?" he enquired, sharply.

"An hour ago," was the reply.

"Then why didn't you let me know? I want to see him."

"He's busy mornings. Has to look over the mail. He can't see you yet."

"Well, he will see me, and right away. Tell him John Merrick is here."

"Your card, sir."

"I haven't any. My name will do."

The official hesitated, and glanced at the little man's seedy garb and

countryfied air. But something in the angry glance of the shrewd

eye made him fear he had made a mistake. He opened a small door and

disappeared.

In a moment the door burst open to allow egress to a big, red-bearded

man in his shirtsleeves, who glanced around briefly and then rushed at

Uncle John and shook both his hands cordially.

"My dear Mr. Merrick!" he exclaimed, "I'm delighted and honored to see

you here. Come to my room at once. A great surprise and pleasure, sir!

Thomas, I'm engaged!"

This last was directed at the head of the amazed porter, who, as the

door slammed in his face, nodded solemnly and remarked:

"Fooled ag'in, and I might 'a' known it. Drat these 'ere billionaires!

Why don't they dress like decent people?"

Uncle John had been advised by Patsy where to go for a good cheap

luncheon; but he did not heed her admonition. Instead, he rode in a

carriage beside the banker to a splendid club, where he was served

with the finest dishes the chef could provide on short notice.

Moreover, Mr. Marvin introduced him to several substantial gentlemen

as "Mr. John Merrick, of Portland"; and each one bowed profoundly and

declared he was "highly honored.

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