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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

Misery, send

the man here!"



Beth went out to find Louise, and discovered her standing near the

stables, where a boy was rubbing down the sides of a sorrel mare with

wisps of straw.

"Something has happened," she said to Louise in a troubled voice.


"A man has arrived who says he is Aunt Jane's brother."

"Impossible! Have you seen him?"

"No; he says he's Aunt Jane's brother John."

"Oh; I know. The peddler, or tinker, or something or other who

disappeared years ago. But it doesn't matter."

"It may matter a good deal," said practical Beth. "Aunt Jane may leave

him her money."

"Why, he's older than she is. I've heard mother say he was the eldest

of the family. Aunt Jane wont leave her money to an old man, you may

be sure."

Beth felt a little reassured at this, and stood for a moment beside

Louise watching the boy. Presently Oscar came to him, and after

touching his hat respectfully took the mare and led her into the

stable. The boy turned away, with his hands in his pockets, and

strolled up a path, unaware that the two dreaded girls had been

observing him.

"I wonder who that is," said Beth.

"We'll find out," returned Louise. "I took him for a stable boy, at

first. But Oscar seemed to treat him as a superior."

She walked into the stable, followed by her cousin, and found the

groom tying the mare.

"Who was the young man?" she asked.

"Which young man, Miss?"

"The one who has just arrived with the horse."

"Oh; that's Master Kenneth, Miss," answered Oscar, with a grin.

"Where did he come from?"

"Master Kenneth? Why, he lives here."

"At the house?"

"Yes, Miss."

"Who is he?"

"Master Tom's nephew--he as used to own Elmhurst, you know."

"Mr. Thomas Bradley?"

"The same, Miss."

"Ah. How long has Master Kenneth lived here?"

"A good many years. I can't just remember how long."

"Thank you, Oscar."

The girls walked away, and when they were alone Louise remarked:

"Here is a more surprising discovery than Uncle John, Beth.

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