Aunt Jane's Nieces in the Red Cross

Juvenile Fiction/
#General #Juvenile Fiction
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Book's description:

Excerpt CHAPTER I THE ARRIVAL OF THE BOY "What's the news, Uncle?" asked Miss Patricia Doyle, as she entered the cosy breakfast room of a suite of apartments in Willing Square. Even as she spoke she pecked a little kiss on the forehead of the chubby man addressed as "Uncle"—none other, if you please, than the famous and eccentric multi-millionaire known in Wall Street as John Merrick—and sat down to pour the coffee. There was energy in her method of doing this simple duty, an indication of suppressed vitality that conveyed the idea that here was a girl accustomed to action. And she fitted well into the homely scene: short and somewhat "squatty" of form, red-haired, freckle-faced and pug-nosed. Wholesome rather than beautiful was Patsy Doyle, but if you caught a glimpse of her dancing blue eyes you straightway forgot her lesser charms. Quite different was the girl who entered the room a few minutes later. Hers was a dark olive complexion, face of exquisite contour, great brown eyes with a wealth of hair to match them and the flush of a rose in her rounded cheeks. The poise of her girlish figure was gracious and dignified as the bearing of a queen. "Morning, Cousin Beth," said Patsy cheerily. "Good morning, my dear," and then, with a trace of anxiety in her tone: "What is the news, Uncle John?" The little man had ignored Patsy's first question, but now he answered absently, his eyes still fixed upon the newspaper: "Why, they're going to build another huge skyscraper on Broadway, at Eleventh, and I see the political pot is beginning to bubble all through the Bronx, although—" "Stuff and nonsense, Uncle!" exclaimed Patsy. "Beth asked for news, not for gossip." "The news of the war, Uncle John," added Beth, buttering her toast. "Oh; the war, of course," he said, turning over the page of the morning paper. "It ought to be the Allies' day, for the Germans won yesterday. No—by cracky, Beth—the Germans triumph again; they've captured Maubeuge. What do you think of that?" Patsy gave a little laugh. "Not knowing where Maubeuge is," she remarked, "my only thought is that something is wrong with the London press bureau. Perhaps the cables got crossed—or short circuited or something. They don't usually allow the Germans to win two days in succession." "Don't interrupt, please," said Beth, earnestly. "This is too important a matter to be treated lightly. Read us the article, Uncle. I was afraid Maubeuge would be taken." Patsy accepted her cousin's rebuke with her accustomed good nature. Indeed, she listened as intently as Beth to the thrilling account of the destruction of Maubeuge, and her blue eyes became quite as serious as the brown ones of her cousin when the tale of dead and wounded was recounted. "Isn't it dreadful!" cried Beth, clasping her hands together impulsively. "Yes," nodded her uncle, "the horror of it destroys the interest we naturally feel in any manly struggle for supremacy." "This great war is no manly struggle," observed Patsy with a toss of her head....
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