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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

So I started west, working my

way from town to town, until I got to Portland, Oregon.

"There was work in plenty there, making the tin cans in which salmon

and other fish is packed, and as I was industrious I soon had a shop

of my own, and supplied cans to the packers. The shop grew to be

a great factory, employing hundreds of men. Then I bought up the

factories of my competitors, so as to control the market, and as I

used so much tin-plate I became interested in the manufacture of this

product, and invested a good deal of money in the production and

perfection of American tin. My factories were now scattered all along

the coast, even to California, where I made the cans for the great

quantities of canned fruits they ship from that section every year.

Of course the business made me rich, and I bought real estate with my

extra money, and doubled my fortune again and again.

"I never married, for all my heart was in the business, and I thought

of nothing else. But a while ago a big consolidation of the canning

industries was effected, and the active management I resigned to other

hands, because I had grown old, and had too much money already.

"It was then that I remembered the family, and went back quietly to

the village where I was born. They were all dead or scattered,

I found; but because Jane had inherited a fortune in some way I

discovered where she lived and went to see her. I suppose it was

because my clothes were old and shabby that Jane concluded I was a

poor man and needed assistance; and I didn't take the trouble to

undeceive her.

"I also found my three nieces at Elmhurst, and it struck me it would

be a good time to study their characters; for like Jane I had a

fortune to leave behind me, and I was curious to find out which girl

was the most deserving. No one suspected my disguise. I don't usually

wear such poor clothes, you know; but I have grown to be careless of

dress in the west, and finding that I was supposed to be a poor man I

clung to that old suit like grim death to a grasshopper.

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