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

Aunt Jane's Nieces


Jane Merrick looked at her reflectively.

"How old are you, Louise," she asked.

"Just seventeen, Aunt."

"I had forgotten you are so old as that. Let me see; Elizabeth cannot

be more than fifteen."


"Elizabeth De Graf, your cousin. She arrived at Elmhurst this morning,

and will be your companion while you are here."

"That is nice," said Louise.

"I hope you will be friends."

"Why not, Aunt? I haven't known much of my relations in the past, you

know, so it pleases me to find an aunt and a cousin at the same time.

I am sure I shall love you both. Let me fix your pillow--you do not

seem comfortable. There! Isn't that better?" patting the pillow

deftly. "I'm afraid you have needed more loving care than a paid

attendant can give you," glancing at old Martha Phibbs, who stood some

paces away, and lowering her voice that she might not be overheard.

"But for a time, at least, I mean to be your nurse, and look after

your wants. You should have sent for me before, Aunt Jane."

"Don't trouble yourself; Phibbs knows my ways, and does all that is

required," said the invalid, rather testily. "Run away, now, Louise.

The housekeeper will show you to your room. It's opposite Elizabeth's,

and you will do well to make her acquaintance at once. I shall expect

you both to dine with me at seven."

"Can't I stay here a little longer?" pleaded Louise. "We haven't

spoken two words together, as yet, and I'm not a bit tired or anxious

to go to my room. What a superb oleander this is! Is it one of your

favorites, Aunt Jane?"

"Run away," repeated the woman. "I want to be alone."

The girl sighed and kissed her again, stroking the gray hair softly

with her white hand.

"Very well; I'll go," she said. "But I don't intend to be treated as

a strange guest, dear Aunt, for that would drive me to return home at

once. You are my father's eldest sister, and I mean to make you love

me, if you will give me the least chance to do so."

She looked around her, enquiringly, and Aunt Jane pointed a bony

finger at the porch.

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