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Aunt Jane's Nieces

"Leave me, now," said Aunt Jane, in a husky voice. "I want time to


Patricia hobbled forward, placed one hand caressingly upon the gray

head, and then bent and kissed Aunt Jane's withered cheek.

"That's right," she whispered. "Think it over, dear. It's all past

and done, now, and I'm sorry I had to hurt you. But--not a penny,

aunt--remember, not a penny will I take!"

Then she left the room, followed by Louise and Beth, both of whom were

glad to be alone that they might conquer their bitter disappointment.

Louise, however, managed to accept the matter philosophically, as the

following extract from her letter to her mother will prove:

"After all, it isn't so bad as it might be, mater, dear," she wrote.

"I'll get five thousand, at the very worst, and that will help us on

our way considerably. But I am quite sure that Patsy means just what

she says, and that she will yet induce Aunt Jane to alter her will. In

that case I believe the estate will either be divided between Beth and

me, or I will get it all. Anyway, I shall stay here and play my best

cards until the game is finished."



Aunt Jane had a bad night, as might have been expected after her

trials of the previous day.

She sent for Patricia early in the forenoon, and when the girl arrived

she was almost shocked by the change in her aunt's appearance. The

invalid's face seemed drawn and gray, and she lay upon her cushions

breathing heavily and without any appearance of vitality or strength.

Even the sharpness and piercing quality of her hard gray eyes was

lacking and the glance she cast at her niece was rather pleading than


"I want you to reconsider your decision of yesterday, Patricia," she


"Don't ask me to do that, aunt," replied the girl, firmly. "My mind is

fully made up."

"I have made mistakes, I know," continued the woman feebly; "but I

want to do the right thing, at last."

"Then I will show you how," said Patricia, quickly. "You mustn't think

me impertinent, aunt, for I don't mean to be so at all.

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