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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

It was a very neat package, wrapped in fine paper and sealed with red

wax. Patsy turned it over once or twice, and then broke the wax and

untied the cord.

A bunch of keys fell out first--seven of them, strung on a purple

ribbon--and then a flat, impressive looking letter was discovered.

The Major stared open-mouthed. Uncle John leaned back in his chair and

watched the girl's face.

"There's a mistake," said Patsy, quite bewildered. Then she read her

name upon the wrapper, quite plainly written, and shook her head.

"It's for me, all right. But what does it mean?"

"Why not read the letter?" suggested the Major.

So she opened the big envelope and unfolded the stiff paper and read

as follows:

"Miss Patricia Doyle, Becker's Flats, Duggan Street, New York. Dear

Miss Doyle: An esteemed client of our house, who desires to remain

unknown, has placed at your disposal the furnished apartments 'D,'

at 3708 Willing Square, for the period of three years, or as long

thereafter as you may care to retain them. Our client begs you to

consider everything the apartments contain as your own, and to use

it freely as it may please you. All rentals and rates are paid in

advance, and you are expected to take possession at once. Moreover,

our firm is commanded to serve you in any and every way you may

require, and it will be our greatest pleasure to be of use to you. The

keys to the apartments are enclosed herewith.

"Most respectfully,

"Isham, Marvin & Co."

Having read this to the end, in a weak voice and with many pauses,

Miss Patricia Doyle sat down in her chair with strange abruptness and

stared blankly at her father. The Major stared back. So did Uncle

John, when her eyes roved toward his face.

Patricia turned the keys over, and jingled them. Then she referred to

the letter again.

"Apartments D, at 3708 Willing Square. Where's that?"

The Major shook his head. So did Uncle John.

"Might look in a directory" suggested the latter, uncertainly.

"Of course," added the Major.

"But what does it all mean?

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