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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

Here Patricia was also brought in her wheel

chair by Beth, who then left the two invalids together.

They conversed genially enough, for a time, until an unfortunate

remark of Aunt Jane's which seemed to asperse her father's character

aroused Patricia's ire. Then she loosened her tongue, and in her

voluable Irish way berated her aunt until poor Phibbs stood aghast at

such temerity, and even Mr. Watson, who arrived to enquire after his

client and friend, was filled with amazement.

He cast a significant look at Miss Merrick, who answered it in her

usual emphatic way.

"Patricia is quite right, Silas," she declared, "and I deserve all

that she has said. If the girl were fond enough of me to defend me as

heartily as she does her father, I would be very proud, indeed."

Patricia cooled at once, and regarded her aunt with a sunny smile.

"Forgive me!" she begged. "I know you did not mean it, and I was wrong

to talk to you in such a way."

So harmony was restored, and Mr. Watson wondered more and more at

this strange perversion of the old woman's character. Heretofore any

opposition had aroused in her intense rage and a fierce antagonism,

but now she seemed delighted to have Patsy fly at her, and excused the

girl's temper instead of resenting it.

But Patsy was a little ashamed of herself this morning, realizing

perhaps that Aunt Jane had been trying to vex her, just to enjoy her

indignant speeches; and she also realized the fact that her aunt was

old and suffering, and not wholly responsible for her aggravating and

somewhat malicious observations. So she firmly resolved not to be so

readily entrapped again, and was so bright and cheery during the next

hour that Aunt Jane smiled more than once, and at one time actually

laughed at her niece's witty repartee.

After that it became the daily program for Patsy to spend her mornings

in Aunt Jane's little garden, and although they sometimes clashed,

and, as Phibbs told Beth, "had dreadful fights," they both enjoyed

these hours very much.

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