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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

"

"No, my dear."

"Why, you foolish old Uncle! Come in at once. The Major has been

terribly excited over you, and swore you should not be allowed to

wander through the streets without someone to look after you. But what

could we do?"

"I'm all right," declared Uncle John, cordially shaking hands with

Patsy's father. "Have you had a good day?"

"Fine," said the Major. "They'd missed me at the office, and were glad

to have me back. And what do you think? I've got a raise."

"Really?" said Uncle John, seeing it was expected of him.

"For a fact. It's Patsy's doing, I've no doubt. She wheedled the firm

into giving me a vacation, and now they're to pay me twelve a week

instead of ten."

"Is that enough?" asked Uncle John, doubtfully.

"More than enough, sir. I'm getting old, and can't earn as much as a

younger man. But I'm pretty tough, and mean to hold onto that twelve a

week as long as possible."

"What pay do you get, Patsy?" asked Uncle John.

"Almost as much as Daddy. We're dreadfully rich, Uncle John; so you

needn't worry if you don't strike a job yourself all at once."

"Any luck today, sir," asked the Major, tucking a napkin under his

chin and beginning on the soup.

Uncle John shook his head.

"Of course not," said Patsy, quickly. "It's too early, as yet. Don't

hurry, Uncle John. Except that it'll keep you busy, there's no need

for you to work at all."

"You're older than I am," suggested the Major, "and that makes it

harder to break in. But there's no hurry, as Patsy says."

Uncle John did not seem to be worrying over his idleness. He kept on

questioning his brother-in-law and his niece about their labors, and

afterward related to them the sights he had seen in the shop windows.

Of course he could not eat much after the feast he had had at

luncheon, and this disturbed Patsy a little. She insisted he was

tired, and carried her men away to the tenement rooms as soon as

possible, where she installed them at the table to play cribbage until

bed-time.

The next day Uncle John seemed to be busy enough, although of course

Patsy could not know what he was doing.

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