Aunt Jane's Nieces at Millville
UNCLE JOHN'S FARM.
"How did I happen to own a farm?" asked Uncle John, interrupting his
soup long enough to fix an inquiring glance upon Major Doyle, who
"By virtue of circumstance, my dear sir," replied the Major, composedly.
"It's a part of my duty, in attending to those affairs you won't look
afther yourself, to lend certain sums of your money to needy and
ambitious young men who want a start in life."
"Oh, Uncle! Do you do that?" exclaimed Miss Patricia Doyle, who sat
between her uncle and father and kept an active eye upon both.
"So the Major says," answered Uncle John, dryly.
"And it's true," asserted the other. "He's assisted three or four score
young men to start in business in the last year, to my certain
knowledge, by lending them sums ranging from one to three thousand
dollars. And it's the most wasteful and extravagant charity I ever
"But I'm so glad!" cried Patsy, clapping her hands with a delighted
gesture. "It's a splendid way to do good--to help young men to get a
start in life. Without capital, you know, many a young fellow would
never get his foot on the first round of the ladder."
"And many will never get it there in any event," declared the Major,
with a shake of his grizzled head. "More than half the rascals that John
helps go to the dogs entirely, and hang us up for all they've borrowed."
"I told you to help _deserving_ young men," remarked Uncle John, with a
scowl at his brother-in-law.
"And how can I tell whether they're desarving or not?" retorted Major
Doyle, fiercely. "Do ye want me to become a sleuth, or engage detectives
to track the objects of your erroneous philanthropy? I just have to form
a judgment an' take me chances; and whin a poor devil goes wrong I
charge your account with the loss."
"But some of them must succeed," ventured Patsy, in a conciliatory tone.
"Some do," said John Merrick; "and that repays me for all my trouble."
"All _your_ throuble, sir?" queried the Major; "you mane all _my_
throuble--well, and your money.