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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

After this, at first sight of the girls in his end of

the garden, he fled to the roof, ran across the improvised bridge,

"shinned" down the tree and, hidden by the hedge, made good his


The girls discovered this plan, and were wicked enough to surprise the

boy often and force him to cross the dizzy plank to the tree. Having

frightened him away they would laugh and stroll on, highly amused at

the evident fear they aroused in the only boy about the place.

Patricia, who was not in the other girls' secret, knew nothing of this

little comedy and really disturbed Kenneth least of the three. But he

seemed to avoid her as much as he did the others.

She sooned learned from Oscar that the boy loved to ride as well as

she did, and once or twice she met him on a lonely road perched on top

of big Sam. This led her to suspect she had thoughtlessly deprived him

of his regular mount. So one morning she said to the groom:

"Doesn't Kenneth usually ride Nora?"

"Yes, Miss," answered the man.

"Then I'd better take Sam this morning," she decided.

But the groom demurred.

"You won't like Sam, Miss," he said, "and he gets ugly at times and

acts bad. Master Kenneth won't use Nora today, I'm sure."

She hesitated.

"I think I'll ask him," said she, after a moment, and turned away into

the garden, anxious to have this plausible opportunity to speak to the

lonely boy.



"Get out of here!" shouted the boy, angrily, as Patsy appeared at the

foot of his stair.

"I won't!" she answered indignantly. "I've come to speak to you about

the mare, and you'll just treat me decently or I'll know the reason


But he didn't wait to hear this explanation. He saw her advancing up

the stairs, and fled in his usual hasty manner to the hall and up the

ladder to the roof.

Patsy stepped back into the garden, vexed at his flight, and the next

instant she saw him appear, upon the sloping roof and start to run

down the plank.

Even as she looked the boy slipped, fell headlong, and slid swiftly


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