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

Aunt Jane's Nieces

"Why, the boy might become a famous artist, if he had good

masters; and a person with an artistic temperament, such as his,

should have enough money to be independent of his art."

Aunt Jane coughed, unsympathetically.

"The boy is nothing to me," she said.

"But he ought to have Elmhurst, at least," pleaded the girl. "Won't

you leave it to him, Aunt Jane?"

"No."

"Then do as you please," cried Patsy, flying angry in her turn. "As a

matter of justice, the place should never have been yours, and I won't

accept a dollar of the money if I starve to death!"

"Think of your father," suggested Aunt Jane, cunningly.

"Ah, I've done that," said the girl, "and I know how many comforts I

could buy for the dear Major. Also I'd like to go to a girl's college,

like Smith or Wellesley, and get a proper education. But not with your

money, Aunt Jane. It would burn my fingers. Always I would think that

if you had not been hard and miserly this same money would have saved

my mother's life. No! I loathe your money. Keep it or throw it to the

dogs, if you won't give it to the boy it belongs to. But don't you

dare to will your selfish hoard to me."

"Let us change the subject, Patricia."

"Will you change your will?"

"No.".

"Then I won't talk to you. I'm angry and hurt, and if I stay here I'll

say things I shall be sorry for."

With these words she marched out of the room, her cheeks flaming, and

Aunt Jane looked after her with admiring eyes.

"She's right," she whispered to herself. "It's just as I'd do under

the same circumstances!"

This interview was but the beginning of a series that lasted during

the next fortnight, during which time the invalid persisted in sending

for Patricia and fighting the same fight over and over again. Always

the girl pleaded for Kenneth to inherit, and declared she would not

accept the money and Elmhurst; and always Aunt Jane stubbornly refused

to consider the boy and tried to tempt the girl with pictures of the

luxury and pleasure that riches would bring her.

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