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Aunt Jane's Nieces

"

"And now we'll have our cribbage and get to bed early. Heigho! but

Sunday's a great day for folks that work."

CHAPTER XXVI.

A BUNCH OF KEYS.

Uncle John did not sleep well. Perhaps he had a guilty conscience.

Anyway, he tossed about a good deal on the sofa-bed in the

living-room, and wore himself out to such an extent that when Patsy

got up at eight o'clock her uncle had fallen into his first sound

sleep.

She never disturbed him until she had made the fire and cooked the

coffee and boiled the three white eggs. By this time the Major was

dressed and shaved, and he aroused Uncle John and bade him hurry into

the closet and make his toilet, "so that Patsy could put the house to

rights."

Uncle John obeyed eagerly, and was ready as soon as the Major had

brought the smoking rolls from the bakery. Ah, but it was a merry

breakfast; and a delicious one into the bargain. Uncle John seemed

hungry, and looked at the empty egg-shells regretfully.

"Next time, Patsy," he said, "you must buy six eggs."

"Look at his recklessness!" cried Patsy, laughing. "You're just as bad

as the Major, every bit. If you men hadn't me for a guardian you'd be

in the poorhouse in a month."

"But we have you, my dear," said Uncle John, smiling into her dancing

eyes; "so we won't complain at one egg instead of two."

Just then someone pounded on the door, and the girl ran to open it.

There was a messenger boy outside, looking smart and neat in his

blue-and-gold uniform, and he touched his cap politely to the girl.

"Miss Patricia Doyle?"

"That's me."

"A parcel for you. Sign here, please."

Patsy signed, bothering her head the while to know what the little

package contained and who could have sent it. Then the boy was gone,

and she came back slowly to the breakfast table, with the thing in her

hand.

"What is it, Patsy?" asked the Major, curiously.

"I'm dying to know, myself," said the girl.

Uncle John finished his coffee, looking unconcerned.

"A good way is to open it," remarked the Major.

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