Read on line
Listen on line
Main > Fairy tale > All authors > Frank Baum > Fairy tale "Aunt Jane's Nieces"

Aunt Jane's Nieces


"She asked a few questions, mum."

"About me?"

"Some of 'em, if I remember right, mum, was about you."

"And you told her I was fond of flowers?"

"I may have just mentioned that you liked 'em, mum."

Aunt Jane gave a scornful snort, and the man responded in a curious

way. He winked slowly and laboriously, still retaining the solemn

expression on his face.

"You may go, Oscar. Have the girl's luggage placed in her room."

"Yes, mum."

He touched his hat and then withdrew, leaving Jane Merrick with a

frown upon her brow that was not caused by his seeming impertinence.

Presently a slight and graceful form darted through the opening in the

hedge and approached the chair wherein Jane Merrick reclined.

"Oh, my dear, dear aunt!" cried Louise. "How glad I am to see you at

last, and how good of you to let me come here!" and she bent over and

kissed the stern, unresponsive face with an enthusiasm delightful to


"This is Louise, I suppose," said Aunt Jane, stiffly. "You are welcome

to Elmhurst."

"Tell me how you are," continued the girl, kneeling beside the chair

and taking the withered hands gently in her own. "Do you suffer any?

And are you getting better, dear aunt, in this beautiful garden with

the birds and the sunshine?"

"Get up," said the elder woman, roughly. "You're spoiling your gown."

Louise laughed gaily.

"Never mind the gown," she answered. "Tell me about yourself. I've

been so anxious since your last letter."

Aunt Jane's countenance relaxed a trifle. To speak of her broken

health always gave her a sort of grim satisfaction.

"I'm dying, as you can plainly see," she announced. "My days are

numbered, Louise. If you stay long enough you can gather wild flowers

for my coffin."

Louise flushed a trifle. A bunch of butter-cups and forget-me-nots was

fastened to her girdle, and she had placed a few marguerites in her


"Don't laugh at these poor things!" she said, deprecatingly. "I'm so

fond of flowers, and we find none growing wild in the cities, you


Also read