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

Aunt Jane's Nieces




In the cosy chamber of an apartment located in a fashionable quarter

of New York Louise Merrick reclined upon a couch, dressed in a

dainty morning gown and propped and supported by a dozen embroidered


Upon a taboret beside her stood a box of bonbons, the contents of

which she occasionally nibbled as she turned the pages of her novel.

The girl had a pleasant and attractive face, although its listless

expression was singular in one so young. It led you to suspect that

the short seventeen years of her life had robbed her of all the

anticipation and eagerness that is accustomed to pulse in strong young

blood, and filled her with experiences that compelled her to accept

existence in a half bored and wholly matter-of-fact way.

The room was tastefully though somewhat elaborately furnished; yet

everything in it seemed as fresh and new as if it had just come from

the shop--which was not far from the truth. The apartment itself

was new, with highly polished floors and woodwork, and decorations

undimmed by time. Even the girl's robe, which she wore so gracefully,

was new, and the books upon the center-table were of the latest


The portiere was thrust aside and an elderly lady entered the room,

seating herself quietly at the window, and, after a single glance at

the form upon the couch, beginning to embroider patiently upon some

work she took from a silken bag. She moved so noiselessly that the

girl did not hear her and for several minutes absolute silence

pervaded the room.

Then, however, Louise in turning a leaf glanced up and saw the head

bent over the embroidery. She laid down her book and drew an open

letter from between the cushions beside her, which she languidly

tossed into the other's lap.

"Who is this woman, mamma?" she asked.

Mrs. Merrick glanced at the letter and then read it carefully through,

before replying.

"Jane Merrick is your father's sister," she said, at last, as she

thoughtfully folded the letter and placed it upon the table.

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