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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

"

"Me!" he exclaimed, astounded. "Why, suguration, Jane, I don't--"

"Silence!" she cried, sternly. "I expect neither thanks nor protests.

If you take care of the money, John, it will last you as long as you

live."

Uncle John laughed. He doubled up in his chair and rocked back and

forth, shaking his little round body as if he had met with the most

amusing thing that had ever happened in his life. Aunt Jane stared

at him, while Louise and Beth looked their astonishment, but Patsy's

clear laughter rang above Uncle John's gasping chuckles.

"I hope, dear Uncle," said she, mischievously, "that when poor Aunt

Jane is gone you'll be able to buy a new necktie."

He looked at her whimsically, and wiped the tears from his eyes.

"Thank you, Jane," said the little man to his sister. "It's a lot of

money, and I'll be proud to own it."

"Why did you laugh." demanded Aunt Jane.

"I just happened to think that our old Dad once said I'd never be

worth a dollar in all my life. What would he say now, Jane, if he knew

I stood good to have five thousand--if I can manage to outlive you?"

She turned from him with an expression of scorn.

"In addition to these bequests," said she, "I have left five thousand

to the boy and twenty thousand to Mr. Watson. The remainder of the

property will go to Patricia."

For a moment the room was intensely still. Then Patricia said, with

quiet determination:

"You may as well make another will, Aunt. I'll not touch a penny of

your money."

"Why not?" asked the woman, almost fiercely.

"You have been kind to me, and you mean well," said Patricia. "I would

rather not tell you my reasons."

"I demand to know them!"

"Ah, aunt; can't you understand, without my speaking?"

"No," said the other; but a flush crossed her pale cheek,

nevertheless.

Patsy arose and stumped to a position directly in front of Jane

Merrick, where she rested on her crutches. Her eyes were bright and

full of indignation, and her plain little face was so white that every

freckle showed distinctly.

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