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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

By the

way, mamma, I had an adventure last evening, which I have had no time

to tell you of before."

"Yes?"

"It has given me quite a shock. You noticed the maid you ordered to

come from Madam Borne to dress my hair for the reception?"

"I merely saw her. Was she unsatisfactory?"

"She was very clever. I never looked prettier, I am sure. The maid is

a little, demure thing, very young for such a position, and positively

homely and common in appearance. But I hardly noticed her until she

dropped a letter from her clothing. It fell just beside me, and I saw

that it was addressed to no less a personage than my rich aunt, Miss

Jane Merrick, at Elmhurst. Curious to know why a hair-dresser should

be in correspondence with Aunt Jane, I managed to conceal the letter

under my skirts until the maid was gone. Then I put it away until

after the reception. It was sealed and stamped, all ready for the

post, but I moistened the flap and easily opened it. Guess what I

read?"

"I've no idea," replied Mrs. Merrick.

"Here it is," continued Louise, producing a letter and carefully

unfolding it. "Listen to this, if you please: 'Aunt Jane.' She doesn't

even say 'dear' or 'respected,' you observe."

'Your letter to me, asking me to visit you, is almost an insult

after your years of silence and neglect and your refusals to assist

my poor mother when she was in need. Thank God we can do without

your friendship and assistance now, for my honored father, Major

Gregory Doyle, is very prosperous and earns all we need. I return your

check with my compliments. If you are really ill, I am sorry for you,

and would go to nurse you were you not able to hire twenty nurses,

each of whom would have fully as much love and far more respect for

you than could ever

'Your indignant niece,

'Patricia Doyle.'

"What do you think of that, mamma?'"

"It's very strange, Louise. This hair-dresser is your own cousin."

"So it seems. And she must be poor, or she wouldn't go out as a sort

of lady's maid. I remember scolding her severely for pulling my hair

at one time, and she was as meek as Moses, and never answered a word.

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