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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

"It is a

place of much responsibility, but your duties will not be arduous. You

will occupy Private Office No. 11, and your hours are only from 10

to 12 each morning. After that you will be at liberty. The salary,

I regret to say, is not commensurate with your value, being merely

twenty-four hundred a year; but as you will have part of the day to

yourself you will doubtless be able to supplement that sum in other

ways. Is this satisfactory, sir?"

"Quite so," answered the Major. Twenty-four hundred a year! And only

two hours' work! Quite satisfactory, indeed!

His little office was very cosy, too; and the work of auditing the

accounts of the most important customers of the house required

accuracy but no amount of labor. It was an ideal occupation for a man

of his years and limited training.

He stayed in the office until two o'clock that day, in order to get

fully acquainted with the details of his work. Then he closed his

desk, went to luncheon, which he enjoyed amazingly, and then decided

to return to Willing Square and await Patsy's return from Madam

Borne's.

As he let himself in he heard an awkward drumming and strumming on the

piano, and peering slyly through the opening in the portierre he was

startled to find Patsy herself making the dreadful noise, while a

pretty girl sat beside her directing the movements of her fingers.

The Major watched for several minutes, in silent but amazed

exultation; then he tiptoed softly to his room to smoke a cigar and

wait until his daughter was at liberty to hear his great news and

explain her own adventures.

When Uncle John came home to dinner he found father and daughter

seated happily together in a loving embrace, their faces wreathed with

ecstatic smiles that were wonderful to behold.

Uncle John was radiant in a brand new pepper-and-salt suit of clothes

that fitted his little round form perfectly. Patsy marvelled that he

could get such a handsome outfit for the money, for Uncle John had on

new linen and a new hat and even a red-bordered handkerchief for the

coat pocket--besides the necktie, and the necktie was of fine silk and

in the latest fashion.

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