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

Aunt Jane's Nieces


"Rubbish, Major. Try your claret, and see if it's right. And eat your

fish before it gets cold. I'll not treat you again, sir, unless you

try to look happy. Why, you seem as glum as old Conover himself!"

The major was positively beaming.

"Would it look bad for me to kiss you, Patsy?"


"Now and right here in this very room!"

"Of course it would. Try and behave, like the gentleman you are, and

pay attention to your dinner!"

It was a glorious meal. The cost was twenty-five cents a plate, but

the gods never feasted more grandly in Olympus than these two simple,

loving souls in that grimy Duggan street restaurant.

Over his coffee the major gave a sudden start and looked guiltily into

Patricia's eyes.

"Now, then," she said, quickly catching the expression, "out with it."

"It's a letter," said the major. "It came yesterday, or mayhap the day

before. I don't just remember."

"A letter! And who from?" she cried, surprised.

"An ould vixen."

"And who may that be?"

"Your mother's sister Jane. I can tell by the emblem on the flap of

the envelope," said he, drawing a crumpled paper from his breast


"Oh, _that_ person," said Patsy, with scorn. "Whatever induced her to

write to _me?_" "You might read it and find out," suggested the major.

Patricia tore open the envelope and scanned the letter. Her eyes


"What is it, Mavoureen?"

"An insult!" she answered, crushing the paper in her hand and then

stuffing it into the pocket of her dress. "Light your pipe, daddy,

dear. Here--I'll strike the match."



"How did you enjoy the reception, Louise?"

"Very well, mamma. But I made the discovery that my escort. Harry

Wyndham, is only a poor cousin of the rich Wyndham family, and will

never have a penny he doesn't earn himself."

"I knew that," said Mrs. Merrick. "But Harry has the entree into some

very exclusive social circles. I hope you treated him nicely, Louise.

He can be of use to us."

"Oh, yes, I think I interested him; but he's a very stupid boy.

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