re we were forced to undertake. But if, for any reason, that plan goes awry, we can fall back upon this prettily conceived scheme which we have undertaken. As you say, it is well to have two strings to one's bow; and during July and August everyone will be out of town, and so we shall lose no valuable time."
Mrs. Merrick did not reply. She stitched away in a methodical manner, as if abstracted, and Louise crossed her delicate hands behind her head and gazed at her mother reflectively. Presently she said:
"Tell me more of my father's family. Is this rich aunt of mine the only relative he had?"
"No, indeed. There were two other sisters and a brother--a very uninteresting lot, with the exception, of your poor father. The eldest was John Merrick, a common tinsmith, if I remember rightly, who went into the far west many years ago and probably died there, for he was never heard from. Then came Jane, who in her young days had some slight claim to beauty. Anyway, she won the heart of Thomas Bradl
Rich, crabby Aunt Jane summons her three impoverished nieces to her deathbed in order to choose one as her heiress, in spite of the young man whose claim to the estate exceeds her own. Meanwhile, Jane's long lost brother, John, turns up, also apparently penniless.
Edith van Dyne was a penname for L. Frank Baum, but this story for girls shows none of the magic of the Wizard of Oz. This story is a fairly typical rags-to-riches tale, in which the most unselfish triumph, but with a few twists. There's not much of interest to adult readers, however.
It was apparently very popular with young readers of its day, since it spawned nine sequels.