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Aunt Jane's Nieces

But tell me;

why did you wish to leave me your money?"

"Because your nature is quite like my own, child, and I admire your

independence and spirit."

"But my cousins are much more deserving," said she, thoughtfully.

"Louise is very sweet and amiable, and loves you more than I do, while

Beth is the most sensible and practical girl I have ever known."

"It may be so," returned Aunt Jane, impatiently; "but I have left each

a legacy, Patricia, and you alone are my choice for the mistress of

Elmhurst. I told you yesterday I should not try to be just. I mean to

leave my property according to my personal desire, and no one shall

hinder me." This last with a spark of her old vigor.

"But that is quite wrong, aunt, and if you desire me to inherit your

wealth you will be disappointed. A moment ago you said you wished to

do the right thing, at last. Don't you know what that is?"

"Perhaps you will tell me," said Aunt Jane, curiously.

"With pleasure," returned Patsy. "Mr. Bradley left you this property

because he loved you, and love blinded him to all sense of justice.

Such an estate should not have passed into the hands of aliens because

of a lover's whim. He should have considered his own flesh and blood."

"There was no one but his sister, who at that time was not married and

had no son," explained Aunt Jane, calmly. "But he did not forget her

and asked me to look after Katherine Bradley in case she or her heirs

ever needed help. I have done so. When his mother died, I had the boy

brought here, and he has lived here ever since."

"But the property ought to be his," said Patricia, earnestly. "It

would please me beyond measure to have you make your will in his

favor, and you would be doing the right thing at last."

"I won't," said Aunt Jane, angrily.

"It would also be considerate and just to the memory of Mr. Bradley,"

continued the girl. "What's going to became of Kenneth?"

"I have left him five thousand," said the woman.

"Not enough to educate him properly," replied Patsy, with a shake of

her head.

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