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Aunt Jane's Nieces at Millville
L. Frank Baum
Project Gutenberg
Aunt Jane's Nieces at Millville picks up the story of the three cousins, Patsy Doyle, Beth De Graf, and Louise Merrick, soon after their return from Europe in Aunt Jane's Nieces Abroad. As in that earlier book, their benign and eccentric millionaire Uncle John devotes much of his fortune to helping others — an effort managed by Patsy's father, Major Doyle. These efforts do not always yield fiscally sound results: in one case, Merrick and Doyle loaned a few thousand dollars to a young inventor named Joseph Wegg for a patent he was developing — but Wegg lost a patent lawsuit, and Merrick now owns the collateral on Wegg's loan, a farm in a remote region of upper New York State. In his capricious way, Merrick decides to take his nieces to the farm to escape the city's heat during the approaching summer; he arranges for a real-estate agent to get the farmhouse in good order and ships crates of furnishings to the place, sight unseen.