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Aunt Jane's Nieces

" she

asked. "Your father was a poor man and of little account. I know, for

he was my own brother."

"He left us a very respectable life insurance," said Louise, demurely,

"and my mother had many friends who were glad to introduce us to good

society when we were able to afford such a luxury. Father died twelve

years ago, you know, and for several years, while I was at school,

mother lived very quietly. Then she decided it was time I made my

debut, but for the last season we have been rather gay, I admit."

"Are you rich?" asked Aunt Jane, sharply.

"Mercy, no!" laughed Louise, who had finished her work and now sat her

aunt's feet. "But we have enough for our requirements, and that makes

us feel quite independent. By the way, auntie, I want to return that

check you sent me. It was awfully good and generous of you, but I

didn't need it, you know, and so I want you to take it back."

She drew the slip of paper from her pocket and pressed it into Aunt

Jane's hand.

"It's quite enough for you to give me this nice treat in the country,"

resumed the girl, calmly. "The change from the city will do me a world

of good, and as I wanted to be quiet, and rest I declined all my other

invitations for the summer to accept yours. Isn't it glorious that we

can get acquainted at last? And I quite love Elmhurst, already!"

Aunt Jane was equally surprised and gratified. The return of the check

for a hundred dollars was very pleasant. She had drawn a similar check

for each of her three nieces, believing that it would be necessary for

her to meet their expenses, and she had considered the expenditure in

the nature of a business transaction. But Patricia had flung one check

in her face, practically, and now Louise had voluntarily returned

another, because she did not need the money. Really, Jane Merrick was

accomplishing her purpose for less money than she had expected, and

she had hoarded her wealth for so many years that she disliked to

spend any of it foolishly.

Louise had read her nature correctly.

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