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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

"That is the way. Phibbs will take you to Misery, the housekeeper, and

then return to me. Remember, I dine promptly at seven."

"I shall count the minutes," said Louise, and with a laugh and a

graceful gesture of adieu, turned to follow Martha into the house.

Jane Merrick looked after her with a puzzled expression upon her face.

"Were she in the least sincere," she muttered, "Louise might prove a

very pleasant companion. But she's not sincere; she's coddling me to

win my money, and if I don't watch out she'll succeed. The girl's a

born diplomat, and weighed in the balance against sincerity, diplomacy

will often tip the scales. I might do worse than to leave Elmhurst to

a clever woman. But I don't know Beth yet. I'll wait and see which

girl is the most desirable, and give them each an equal chance."



"Come in," called Beth, answering a knock at her door.

Louise entered, and with a little cry ran forward and caught Beth in

her arms, kissing her in greeting.

"You must be my new cousin--Cousin Elizabeth--and I'm awfully glad to

see you at last!" she said, holding the younger girl a little away,

that she might examine her carefully.

Beth did not respond to the caress. She eyed her opponent sharply,

for she knew well enough, even in that first moment, that they were

engaged in a struggle for supremacy in Aunt Jane's affections, and

that in the battles to come no quarter could be asked or expected.

So they stood at arm's length, facing one another and secretly forming

an estimate each of the other's advantages and accomplishments.

"She's pretty enough, but has no style whatever," was Louise's

conclusion. "Neither has she tact nor self-possession, or even a

prepossessing manner. She wears her new gown in a dowdy manner and one

can read her face easily. There's little danger in this quarter, I'm

sure, so I may as well be friends with the poor child."

As for Beth, she saw at once that her "new cousin" was older and more

experienced in the ways of the world, and therefore liable to prove

a dangerous antagonist.

Also read
The Two Princesses
Category: Indian folktales
Read times: 65
Haku's Power
Category: Japanese folktales
Read times: 215