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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

"

"Elizabeth must go to Elmhurst," said Mrs. De Graf, ignoring her

husband's taunt.

"She shan't. Your sister refused to loan me fifty dollars last year,

when I was in great trouble. She hasn't given you a single cent since

I married you. No daughter of mine shall go In Elmhurst to be bullied

and insulted by Jane Merrick."

"Adolph, try to conceal the fact that you're a fool," said his wife.

"Jane is in a desperate state of health, and can't live very long at

the best. I believe she's decided to leave her money to Elizabeth, or

she never would have invited the child to visit her. Do you want to

fly in the face of Providence, you doddering old imbecile?"

"No," said the Professor, accepting the doubtful appellation without a

blush. "How much do you suppose Jane is worth?"

"A half million, at the very least. When she was a girl she inherited

from Thomas Bradley, the man she was engaged to marry, and who was

suddenly killed in a railway accident, more than a quarter of a

million dollars, besides that beautiful estate of Elmhurst. I don't

believe Jane has even spent a quarter of her income, and the fortune

must have increased enormously. Elizabeth will be one of the

wealthiest heiresses in the country!"

"If she gets the money, which I doubt," returned the Professor,

gloomily.

"Why should you doubt it, after this letter?"

"You had another sister and a brother, and they both had children,"

said he.

"They each left a girl. I admit. But Jane has never favored them

any more than she has me. And this invitation, coming; when Jane is

practically on her death bed, is a warrant that Beth will get the

money."

"I hope she will," sighed the music teacher. "We all need it bad

enough, I'm sure."

During this conversation Elizabeth, who might be supposed the one most

interested in her Aunt's invitation, sat silently at her place, eating

her breakfast with her accustomed calmness of demeanor and scarcely

glancing at her parents.

She had pleasant and quite regular features, for a girl of fifteen,

with dark hair and eyes--the "Merrick eyes," her mother proudly

declared--and a complexion denoting perfect health and colored with

the rosy tints of youth.

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