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Aunt Jane's Nieces

It would

make them so happy."

"Double the amount I had allowed to each of them," the woman commanded

her lawyer.

"Can it all be ready to sign tonight?" asked Patsy, excitedly.

"I'll try, my dear," replied the old lawyer, gravely. Then he turned

to Jane Merrick.

"Are you in earnest?" he asked.

Patsy's heart suddenly sank.

"Yes," was the reply. "I am tired of opposing this child's wishes.

What do I care what becomes of my money, when I am gone? All that I

desire is to have my remaining days peaceful."

The girl spring forward and kissed her rapturously.

"They shall be, aunt!" she cried. "I promise it."



From this hour Patsy devoted herself untiringly to Aunt Jane, and

filled her days with as much sunshine as her merry ways and happy

nature could confer. Yet there was one thing that rendered her uneasy:

the paper that Lawyer Watson had so promptly drawn had never yet been

signed and witnessed. Her aunt had allowed her to read it, saying she

wished the girl to know she had acted in good faith, and Patsy had no

fault at all to find with the document. But Aunt Jane was tired, and

deferred signing it that evening. The next day no witnesses could be

secured, and so another postponement followed, and upon one pretext or

another the matter was put off until Patricia became suspicious.

Noting this, Aunt Jane decided to complete her act of deception.

She signed the will in the girl's presence, with Oscar and Susan to

witness her signature. Lawyer Watson was not present on this occasion,

and as soon as Patsy had left her Miss Merrick tore off the signatures

and burned them, wrote "void" in bold letters across the face of the

paper, and then, it being rendered of no value, she enclosed it in a

large yellow envelope, sealed it, and that evening handed the envelope

to Mr. Watson with the request that it be not opened until after her


Patricia, in her delight, whispered to the lawyer that the paper

was really signed, and he was well pleased and guarded the supposed

treasure carefully.

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