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Aunt Jane's Nieces


"Have you known him to draw, before this?"

"Why, he's always at it, sir, in his quieter moods. I've got a rare

good likeness o' myself, as he did long ago, in the harness-room."

"May I see it?"

"With pleasure, sir."

Donald led the way to the harness-room, and took from the cupboard the

precious board he had so carefully preserved.

Uncle John glanced at it and laughed aloud. He could well appreciate

the humor of the sketch, which Donald never had understood, and the

caricature was as clever as it was amusing. He handed the treasure

back to Donald and went away even more thoughtful than before.

A few days later a large package arrived at Elmhurst addressed to

Kenneth Forbes, and Oscar carried it at once to the boy's room, who

sat for an hour looking at it in silent amazement. Then he carefully

unwrapped it, and found it to contain a portable easel, a quantity of

canvas and drawing-paper, paints and oils of every description

(mostly all unknown to him) and pencils, brushes and water colors in


Kenneth's heart bounded with joy. Here was wealth, indeed, greater

than he had ever hoped for. He puzzled his brain for weeks to discover

how this fairy gift had ever come to him, but he was happier in its

possession than he had ever been before in all his life.

Patricia improved rapidly. Had it not been for the broken leg she

would have been out of the house in a week, as good as ever; but

broken limbs take time to heal, and Dr. Eliel would not permit the

girl to leave her bed until ten days had passed.

Meantime everyone delighted to attend her. Louise and Beth sat with

her for hours, reading or working, for the rose chamber was cheery and

pleasant, and its big windows opened upon the prettiest part of the

gardens. The two girls were even yet suspicious of one another, each

striving to win an advantage with Aunt Jane; but neither had the

slightest fear that Patricia would ever interfere with their plans. So

they allowed their natural inclinations to pet and admire the heroine

of the hour full sway, and Patsy responded so sweetly and frankly to

their advances that they came to love her dearly, and wondered why

they had not discovered from the first how lovable their Irish cousin

could be.

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