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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

It must be done,

in one way or another; but how? How could she out-wit this unknown

cousin, and inspire the love of Aunt Jane?

"If there's any stuff of the right sort in my nature," decided the

girl, as she entered her pretty bedchamber and threw herself into a

chair, "I'll find a way to win out. One thing is certain--I'll never

again have another chance at so fine a fortune, and if I fail to get

it I shall deserve to live in poverty forever afterward."

Suddenly she noticed the old housekeeper standing before her and

regarding her with a kindly interest. In an instant she sprang up,

threw her arms around Misery and kissed her furrowed cheek.

"Thank you for being so kind," said she. "I've never been away from

home before and you must be a mother to me while I'm at Elmhurst."

Old Misery smiled and stroked the girl's glossy head.

"Bless the child!" she said, delightedly; "of course I'll be a mother

to you. You'll need a bit of comforting now and then, my dear, if

you're going to live with Jane Merrick."

"Is she cross?" asked Beth, softly.

"At times she's a fiend," confided the old housekeeper, in almost a

whisper. "But don't you mind her tantrums, or lay 'em to heart, and

you'll get along with her all right."

"Thank you," said the girl. "I'll try not to mind."

"Do you need anything else, deary?" asked Misery, with a glance around

the room.

"Nothing at all, thank you."

The housekeeper nodded and softly withdrew.

"That was one brilliant move, at any rate," said Beth to herself, as

she laid aside her hat and prepared to unstrap her small trunk. "I've

made a friend at Elmhurst who will be of use to me; and I shall make

more before long. Come as soon as you like, Cousin Louise! You'll have

to be more clever than I am, if you hope to win Elmhurst."



Aunt Jane was in her garden, enjoying the flowers. This was her

especial garden, surrounded by a high-box hedge, and quite distinct

from the vast expanse of shrubbery and flower-beds which lent so much

to the beauty of the grounds at Elmhurst.

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