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Aunt Jane's Nieces

He came in awkward and trembling, glancing fearfully at the bandaged

forehead and the still white face. But Patricia managed to smile

reassuringly, and held out a little hand for him to take. The boy

grasped it in both his own, and held it for several minutes while he

stood motionless beside her, his wide eyes fixed intently upon her


Then Louise sent him away, and he went to his room and wept profusely,

and then quieted down into a sort of dull stupor.

The next morning Uncle John dragged him away from Patricia's door and

forced him to play chess. The boy lost every game, being inattentive

and absorbed in thought, until finally Uncle John gave up the attempt

to amuse him and settled himself on the top stair for a quiet smoke.

The boy turned to the table, and took a sheet of paper from the

drawer. For an hour, perhaps, neither of these curious friends spoke

a word, but at the end of that time Uncle John arose and knocked the

ashes from his pipe. Kenneth did not notice him. The man approached

the table and looked over the boy's shoulder, uttering an exclamation

of surprise. Upon the paper appeared a cleverly drawn pencil sketch

of Patricia lying in her bed, a faint smile upon her face and her big

blue eyes turned pleasantly upon a shadowy form that stood beside her

holding her hand. The likeness was admirable, and if there were faults

in the perspective and composition Uncle John did not recognize them.

He gave a low whistle and turned thoughtfully away, and the young

artist was so absorbed that he did not even look up.

Strolling away to the stables, Uncle John met old Donald, who


"How is Miss Patsy this morning, sir?" It was the name she had given,

and preferred to be called by.

"She's doing finely," said Uncle John.

"A brave girl, sir!"

"Yes, Donald."

"And the boy?"

"Why, he seems changed, in some way, Donald. Not so nervous and wild

as usual, you know. I've just left him drawing a picture. Curious. A

good picture, too."

"Ah, he can do that, sir, as well as a real artist.

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