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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

The transformation was complete, and Uncle John had suddenly become an

eminently respectable old gentleman, with very little to criticise in

his appearance.

"Do I match the flat, now?" he asked.

"To a dot!" declared Patsy. "So come to dinner, for it's ready and

waiting, and the Major and I have some wonderful fairy tales to tell

you."

CHAPTER XXIX.

THE MAJOR DEMANDS AN EXPLANATION.

That was a happy week, indeed. Patsy devoted all her spare time to her

lessons, but the house itself demanded no little attention. She would

not let Mary dust the ornaments or arrange the rooms at all, but

lovingly performed those duties herself, and soon became an ideal

housekeeper, as Uncle John approvingly remarked.

And as she flitted from room to room she sang such merry songs that it

was a delight to hear her, and the Major was sure to get home from the

city in time to listen to the strumming of the piano at three o'clock,

from the recess of his own snug chamber.

Uncle John went to the city every morning, and at first this

occasioned no remark. Patsy was too occupied to pay much attention to

her uncle's coming and going, and the Major was indifferent, being

busy admiring Patsy's happiness and congratulating himself on his own

good fortune.

The position at the bank had raised the good man's importance several

notches. The clerks treated him with fine consideration and the heads

of the firm were cordial and most pleasant. His fine, soldierly figure

and kindly, white-moustached face, conferred a certain dignity upon

his employers, which they seemed to respect and appreciate.

It was on Wednesday that the Major encountered the name of John

Merrick on the books. The account was an enormous one, running into

millions in stocks and securities. The Major smiled.

"That's Uncle John's name," he reflected. "It would please him to know

he had a namesake so rich as this one."

The next day he noted that John Merrick's holdings were mostly in

western canning industries and tin-plate factories, and again he

recollected that Uncle John had once been a tinsmith.

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