Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 Sassy Dimples
 Effie and the rose
 A story of a boy and a baby
 The jumping match
 The death of bluebird
 Back Cover

Title: Original Christmas stories and poems
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00049537/00001
 Material Information
Title: Original Christmas stories and poems
Alternate Title: Christmas stories
Physical Description: 32 p. : ;
Language: English
Creator: Elliot, Madge
Lees, J. K ( Printer )
Baldwin the Clothier (Firm) ( Publisher )
Publisher: Baldwin the Clothier
Place of Publication: New York
Manufacturer: J.K. Lees
Publication Date: 1879
Subject: Christmas stories -- 1879   ( lcsh )
Books printed as advertisements -- 1879   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature -- 1879   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1879
Genre: Christmas stories   ( lcsh )
Books printed as advertisements   ( rbgenr )
Juvenile literature   ( rbgenr )
fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: by Madge Elliot.
General Note: Cover title: Christmas stories.
General Note: "Holiday gift to the patrons of the boys' department from Baldwin the Clothier"--cover.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00049537
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001749440
oclc - 26441403
notis - AJG2330

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Sassy Dimples
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Effie and the rose
        Page 12
    A story of a boy and a baby
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    The jumping match
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    The death of bluebird
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Back Cover
        Cover 1
        Cover 2
Full Text


4 &

lftk loop_-

The Baldwin Library

jm u nd^

^N -,', .- ... _,^

p / ^






sew oilh:
Q 1879.

Ir '




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by O. S. BALDWIN, In the office of the
Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C.

.... .... .... .... .... .. ... ...






Christmas, 1879.

k ........ .. .... .. ------------- ....... ...... ....... ............................................




ISS PEACIHBLOOM, the pretty young teacher of the
"Cricket Mission School," stopped, with wide-opened
brown eyes, in the middle of a question to the class that
stood before her, as a succession of shrieks, following
each other with amazing quickness, fell upon her ear.
"It's Billy Larrap a-tryin' to fetch Sassy Dimples to school,"
volunteered one of the class in explanation. "I heard her father
a-tellin' him this morning. And as another louder and shriller
shriek rent the air, Billy Larrap, a tow-headed boy, in trousers so
short they came near being only knee-breeches, appeared in the
door-way struggling with a little black-haired girl, whose long
calico apron hung in tatters from one shoulder, having been com-
pletely torn from the other.
"Oh! Billy, Billy, don't pull her so," called Miss Peachbloom
as the boy dragged the child toward the teacher's desk. "Be
gentle with her. Coax her, poor little thing."
"'Coax her,'" repeated Billy, with an expression of scorn.
"Guess you don't know Sassy Dimples. Nobody can't coax her
to do nothing Her daddy giv' me a dime to fetch her to school,
an' I fetched her." And loosing his hold upon his captive for an

.. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .

Original Christmas Stories.

instant while he drew his sleeve across his dripping brow, away
she darted for the door. But Billy was too quick for her; he
caught her before she was half-way there, and brought her back,
struggling and shrieking all the while.
"The class may take their seats for the present," said the
teacher. "Annie Stires, shut the door, and lock it. And now,"
taking the new-comer's dirty little hands in her own slender white
ones, and holding them firmly, "Billy, tell me all you know
about Dimples."
"Don't know nothing 'cept they calls her Dimples 'cause she's
got holes in her cheeks wen she laffs, an' Sassy 'cause she is sassy.
My! ain't she sassy. An' her father's a plumber. He plums for
a big shop roun' the corner, an' her mother gits drunk 'most all
the time; an' her dad sez to me this morning 'Billy Larrap, if
you can git Dimples,' sez he (he don't call her Sassy, but every-
body else do,) 'to go to school wid you,' sez he, 'I'll give you a
dime,' sez he. An' I done it," added Billy, glancing around with
an air of triumph.
"You certainly did," said Miss Peachbloom, with a smile.
"And now you may study your spelling lesson while Dimples
and I talk a little while."
Dimples planted herself firmly on her sturdy small legs, tossed
back her tangled curls, and looked up defiantly into the kind face
bending over her.
"I am sure we shall soon love each other very dearly," said

SS....assy Dimples.8

the young teacher, and her voice was as sweet as her smile was
bright; "for I know you are going to be a good little girl."
"Ain't!" said Dimples.
And you'll come to school every day, and study nice lessons."
"Won't !" said Dimples.
"And learn to sing merry songs and lovely hymns."
"Sha'n't !" said Dimples.
"And no one shall call you 'Sassy' any more, for that is not a
pretty name."
"'Tis!" said Dimples.
"And when you know all your 'A, B, C's,' you shall have a doll."
Dimples drew back her tongue, which she had begun to thrust
"And play ring-a-ring-a-rosy and tag."
The dimple in the little girl's right cheek made its appearance.
"And I'll show you how to make pretty things like those
children are making."
Dimples glanced at the row of busy, happy little ones who sat
before a high work-bench, with scissors and paint-brushes and
small hammers and tiny saws in their hands, and out came the
dimple in the left cheek.
"And you can take them home to poor sick mother and tired
father." And gentle, patient, dear Miss Peachbloom-God bless
her!-bent and kissed the now smiling little face.
Sassy Dimples's heart was won, and before school hours were

7........ ......................... ...... ............

Original Christmas Stories.

over she was the delighted possessor of a paper baby, with many
beautiful bibs and slips and cloaks and caps, all cut out by her
own brown hands. And she had only pinched her right-hand
neighbor once, and "punched" her left-hand neighbor twice, and
spoken out loud six times, which was behaving remarkably well
for her.
And in three months from the time Billy Larrap "fetched"
her to the "Cricket School," Dimples was one of Miss Peach-
bloom's best scholars, and had learned so fast that she could read
all about "This is a hen and five chickens" and Once a cat and
a dog were great friends," in the first primer, as well as anybody's
six-year-old daughter.
But alas! Dimples's home was still a most wretched one. The
child had tried her best to brighten it. She had tacked pictures,
taken from old books and papers, here and there on the dingy
walls, and made two or three ornaments for the wooden mantel,
and knitted a.tidy for the back of the old rocking-chair. But a
dreadful power was against her-the power that makes so many
homes dark and desolate ana destroys so many souls-the demon
of strong drink.
"Dimples's mother, as Billy Larrap had told Miss Peachbloom,
was "drunk 'most all the time;" and Dimples's father was a sad
and hopeless man.
But, one never-to-be-forgotten afternoon, Dimples came home
much earlier than usual (there was a half holiday, for some reason

Sassy Dimples.

or other,) carrying a beautiful cross. She had made it herself
that day in school, with the young teacher's help, of lovely
Autumn leaves, and it was to be nailed on the wall just opposite
her father's chair, so that his eyes could fall upon it when he sat
down to his supper. Dimples came softly into the room, looking
with sadly expectant eyes toward the lounge where she was
accustomed to find her mother lying; but, to her great surprise,
she was not there, but sitting in the rocking-chair, slowly rocking
back and forth, her head leaning against the new tidy, her eyes
closed, and her face very white.
"Oh! mommy," cried Dimples, springing toward her, "I am
so glad you ain't asleep. I've got something beautiful to show
you." And as the blood-shot eyes unclosed, she held the cross
before them.
"What rubbidge you bin a-makin' now ?" asked the mother, in
a fretful voice.
"It's a cross, mommy," said Dimples, "and I know all about
it. Miss Peachbloom told me. May I tell you ?"
"My head aches too much," grumbled her mother.
"I'll talk awful softly," said Dimples, her eyes shining with
eagerness. "Do listen, mommy." And she laid the cross upon
the woman's lap, and standing before her, with clasped hands,
began in a low, reverential voice:-
"Ever and ever so long ago, God-you know about God,
mommy ?"


Original Christmas Stories.

The mother nodded her head in'a listless manner.
"Well, God," the child went on, sent a dear little baby down
from heaven-you know where heaven is, mommy?" pointing
her small finger above.
The woman nodded again.
"A sweet little baby, and the angels put it into the arms of a
poor woman-a very poor woman;-poorer than us, 'cause she
lived in a stable; and her name was same as yours, mommy-
'Mary.' And three old men that knowed everything come there
-a star showed them the way,-and they told Mary and the
other folks that the baby was the Son of God-just like I'm your
little daughter,-and that God had sent him to grow up and try
to make everybody good. And he growed, and growed, and all
the time he was a-growin' he was the best little child ever lived.
And when he was growed up, there was nobody like him in the
whole world, he was so good. And his name was Jesus Christ,
and he loved poor people. Almost all his dearest friends were
poor; some of them hadn't even any shoes. And he was poor
himself. And he could make the dead alive again, and the lame
walk, and the blind see. And oh! mommy, how he did love
little children like me. He used to kiss and hug them wherever
he met them, and give them his blessing. But at last some bad,
bad men got jealous and mad 'cause so many people loved and
followed Christ, and they told lies about him and put him in
prison. And-and" (the child's voice began to falter and the


tears to fill her eyes) "they killed him! Yes, mommy, the
wicked, wicked things! they killed him. They nailed him by
his poor hands and feet to a cross-a big wooden cross; and when
he was dying, he prayed to his Father to forgive them. In such
awful pain, mommy, hanging on the cross, his poor hands and
feet all bleeding, he prayed to God to forgive them. And he
died. And when he had been dead three days, the angels came
and lifted him out of the grave and carried him back to heaven
again. And now the cross is loved by everybody who loves
Jesus Christ, 'cause when they look at it they think of the Son
of God, who died on it to save sinners."
The mother burst into a passion of tears, and clasped her child
in her arms.
"And he can save me too," she cried, sinking upon her knees.
"Help me, O Christ!"
And from that day there was sunshine in Dimples's home.

Original Christmas Stories.


ONLY once this Winter
Did my favorite rose-bush bloom;
Then the daintiest, loveliest blossom
Blushed in my little room.
But ah! as its leaves were unfolding-
Growing pinker and brighter each hour,-
Came Effie, our baby, to visit,
And away went the beautiful flow'r!

" 0 Effie! 0 baby! how could you,"
I said, "when the sweet-scented thing
Had come in the midst of the Winter
To bring us glad tidings of Spring ?"
"Es," said Effie, and tenderly kissed it;
"'Tis as boofer as boofer tan be,
And I fought 'cause it was very boofer,
Dod made it on purpose for me."



NCE on a time-that was the way stories used to begin
when I was a little girl; but they were mostly fairy
stories, and I am told that very few children care for
fairy stories nowadays, or even quaint, delightful tales
like those dear Hans Andersen-who understood the language
and read the thoughts of tin soldiers, bottles, wooden elephants,
and such things, as well as those of all the birds that fly in the
air, and the fish that swim in the sea, and the animals that roam
the forests or live with and labor for human beings-used to tell.
I am sorry if this be so, for I would have the children believe, as
I do, that the green leaves tenderly love the flowers, and that the
full-blown flowers rejoice in the dawning beauty of the opening
buds, and that the birds say in twitter and song-speech many
pretty things to each other, and that the dogs (jolly fellows!)
bow-wow the funniest kind of jokes, and the cats pur little
songs of affection and content. But if it be true that few children
care to hear about the great, great world outside of beings like
themselves, I must reserve my adventures with the flowers and
caterpillars and butterflies and beetles and toads for that few, and


Original Christmas Stories.

tell to the many "A Story of a Boy and a Baby;" but, for the
love I still bear to the good old tales of my childhood, I will
begin it, at least, as they used to begin.
Once on a time-not very long ago-a terrible heat oppressed
the inhabitants of a great and crowded city. The poor inhabit-
ants I mean, for the rich had gone to the beautiful cool places by
the ocean, the lakes, the rivers, and on the mountain-tops, and
left the sun to beat as he chose upon the closed windows and
barred doors of their fine city-houses. But the poor, of whom,
unfortunately, there are so many more than the rich, were obliged
to stay in the hot, noisy, dusty town. Thousands of them, at the
close of this dreadful August day of which I write, were leaning
from the windows and crowding together upon the stoops of the
tall brick tenement-houses in which they lived, and thousands
more were lying about on the dirty pavements, finding the air of
the garbage-littered streets-impure and heavy enough, Heaven
knows!-easier to breathe than that- of their small, dark rooms.
Poor little children and wee babies, some with wild eyes and
fever-stained cheeks, and others with patient, vacant gaze and
pale, thin faces, too weak to cry aloud, moaned faint, sad moans
from their mothers' arms, and every now and then some suffering
man or woman burst forth into a prayer for a refreshing breeze
or a blessed, cooling rain.
In one of the poorest and most wretched of these streets filled
with tenement-houses, stood, in the middle of a block, looking


A Story of a Boy and a Baby.

strangely out of place among its towering neighbors, an old-
fashioned, peaked-roof house, two stories and a half high. And
in the front garret-room of this house, close to the low, four-paned
window, knelt a woman with a baby in her arms. Such a pretty
baby! Such a sweet, dear, darling of a baby! With eyes as
blue as the bluebells and bright as the stars, and hair as soft and
as yellow as the breast of a canary, and mouth like a tiny red rose-
bud, and hands like crumpled white rose-leaves. It was crooning
a little song to itself as its mother patted it gently with her thin,
white hand-a song that brought to mind the honey-bees flying
From blossom to blossom in a field of fragrant clover.
On the floor, near their mother-they could not have been far
away in such a mite of a room,-sat three children, a boy of ten
and two girls of eight and six. They were all pretty children,
in spite of their haggard appearance, and they sat in silence,
leaning wearily against each other, until the shadows of night
began to fall, and then Nannie, the six-year-old girl, began crying
softly to herself, but not so softly but that the mother caught the
"Don't cry, Nannie, my darling," she said. "Father will be
back soon, and he'll be sure to bring us something to eat."
"I'm so hungry, so very hungry," sobbed the child. "And so
tired. I think I shall die before he comes."
"No, no, dear; you will not. Look at baby. You wouldn't
die and leave her ? Why, just think of her growing up without

___... .. .. ... ........................ .. .............. .... ..... ....j......-.....

Original Christmas Stories..

her sister Nannie." And the poor mother placed the blue-eyed
darling in the lap of its weeping sister, who straightway forgot
to weep, and gave it a dozen kisses.
"Think of our home in the country, mother," said the boy,
"and the apple-trees, and the pond where I used to swim, and
the old horse, and the pear-trees in the lane."
"And the daisies," said his sister Ruth, raising her head from
his shoulder, while a glow of crimson flushed her pale face, and
the blackberries, and the great big wild grape-vines climbing the
trees in the woods, and the chickens, and-"
"No, no; I don't want to think of them," cried the mother,
pressing her hands over her eyes. "I fear we shall never have
money enough to go back there. 'Twas an unlucky day when
we left our little place to seek our fortune in this cruel city,
where we have found nothing but trouble, sickness, and poverty.
Nothing but darkness and sorrow has come to us here."
Mother," said the boy, in a half reproachful tone, the baby !"
"Yes, you are right, Jamsie. I am a wicked woman. God
forgive me; for a moment I forgot the baby." And she took it
from the arms of little Nannie, and kissed and patted it gently
as before; but it turned from her with a gurgle of delight, and
held out its dimpled hands to some one who stood in the door-
way-a tall, broad-shouldered man, who stooped as he entered
the door, the ceiling being so low, and from whose right hand,
as the children sprang to their feet to welcome their father, the

L6........................... 16.................................... ......... ...........

e' - -*---- r .. -- -

A Story of a Boy and a Baby.

mother took a loaf of bread, from which a large piece had been
Broken, while with the other he gently drew into the room a
Slender, dark-eyed boy, still more haggard than his own.
"Why, John; who is this?" asked the wife, in a tone of
"A poor little fellow I picked up, faint with hunger, in the
A foolish thing to do," she said, with an angry spot in each
cheek. "Did you forget that there were three of your own at
home faint with hunger too? Nothing to eat or drink since
morning but a sup of the milk I boiled for the baby, and that
very milk we wouldn't have if it wasn't for the milkman being
our old friend, and coming from our old home. This is no time
to give bread to strangers."
"I'll go away," said the boy, timidly shrinking back. "I
wouldn't have taken the bread," glancing about him, "if I had
"No, no, lad," interrupted the man; "stay to-night, and
welcome. The mother is only put out because she loves her
own little ones so well, and this awful heat makes every one
fretful. She will be sorry when I tell her your mother died
only a few days ago, and that you were near dying too, but
came back to life to find yourself without a friend, save them
that's far away, in the whole wide world."
"John, dear old John," said the wife, in a repentant voice,

(r Original Christmas Stories.

"you are always right. To see my darlings wanting food does
make me a bit hard-hearted, and the heat is cruel; but there,
there-stay, child, and share the little we have."
"I have had my share," replied the little fellow, firmly; "but
I am very, very tired, and sleeping on the stones last night hurt
my back so. May I lay down ?"
The last words were almost in a whisper, for what little
strength he had left was fast leaving him, and he staggered as
he took a step forward; but the woman, her own sorrows for
a moment forgotten, caught him in her arms and laid him upon
the straw mattress in the corner.
"Poor chap, he's weak enough," muttered the husband; "and
see how pitying the baby is looking at him."
And the pretty wee thing did seem to have a look of pity in
her heaven-blue eyes. The other children ate their bread with
eagerness and thankfulness, and then, after a prayer said at their
mother's knee-happy the children, however poor, who can so
say their prayers,-they crept to the bed on which the homeless
orphan was now sleeping soundly, and in a few moments were
sound asleep themselves. In a few moments more the father,
too, slept; but the heat grew more intense, and the baby began
to fret and toss its little arms about.
It must have air," said the frightened mother. And softly
leaving the room, she climbed the steep ladder that led to the
scuttle. The scuttle-door was already open, and seating herself


A Story of a Boy and a Baby.

upon the topmost step of the ladder, she looked around her.
The moon hung bright and red above her, and away off in the
southern sky-of which she caught a little glimpse-the snaky
heat-lightning writhed and twisted. A slight breeze touched
her care-worn face. Thoughts of the lost home in her native
village filled her heart. The murmur of voices floated up to her
from the street, and down to her from the windows of the tall
houses on either side. The baby smiled and dreamed, and at
last the poor tired mother slumbered too. Slumbered, to awake
with a start and a piercing shriek. The baby was gone! A
shriek that awakened all who were sleeping on every side, and
brought those who were awake to their windows, to cry, in
horror-stricken tones, "What is it? What has happened ?" that
made the people in the street throng to the opposite sidewalk
and gaze wildly at the spot from whence it came; that caused
the father in the garret-room to spring to his feet, and, followed
by his frightened children, rush to the foot of the ladder; that
dragged the stranger-lad from his bed, and forced him, pushing
with unnatural strength through the group, to where the mother
sat, as one gone mad, screaming, "My baby! my baby! my
And in the bright moonlight the crowd below, and the crowd
above, and the boy leaning from the scuttle could see the babe
(it had slipped from its mother's arms and rolled down the slope)
lying-its little dress caught, thank God, on some projecting

L_____ ...........

Original Christmas Stories.

spike or nail-half in and half out of the gutter that ran along
the extreme edge of the roof. In an instant the dark-eyed boy
had leaped out, and commenced walking slowly and steadily-
watched, in, silence, by an ever-increasing crowd-down the
incline. Slowly and steadily-slowly and steadily-not one
false step or slightest slip, until he stood just above the child.
Then every woman, and almost every man, in that multitude
uttered a low prayer to the Virgin, to the saints, to the Saviour,
to the Almighty Father! The boy stooped, unloosed the dress,
raised the baby with one hand, caught it with the other, with
both hands held it to his breast, and slowly and steadily-slowly
and steadily began walking backward to the spot where the
mother watched him with wild, tearless eyes. Slowly, steadily-
slowly, steadily-until the spot is reached and the dear wee
darling is laid on the bosom cold to it for the first time since it
first rested there, because the mother has fainted dead away.
Then such a shout as arose. It must have been heard for
miles. Men grasped each other's hands and waved their battered
hats. Women and children wept and, kissed and clung close to
each other. Neighbors, who had been at war for months, forgot
their quarrels and became friends. And, to crown all, down
came a glorious rain, and up sprang a cool wind, that -told of
the cool old Ocean itself.
Great, indeed, had been the reward bestowed upon John Alli-
son for sharing his last loaf with little Willie Moore. (" Young


A Story of a Boy and a Baby.

Uncle Sam" the play-bills called him when they announced
his great trapeze and tight-rope acts. He had been left behind
by the circus when it started for California, to follow as soon as
his mother, who had been taken sick a day or two before the
company departed, grew strong enough. But alas! she never
grew strong again, but died suddenly one hot day, leaving her
boy homeless and penniless.) And that reward, great as it was,
was not all, for next morning the papers were full of the story,
and help poured in on Willie's friends; and in less than two
weeks they were all back in the old place, with the apple-trees,
the pond, the daisies, and the pure, fragrant, health-giving air.
And baby had a new brother named "Willie," whom she loved
-the darling !-with all her heart.

a2 .. .. ..2. ..................

Original Christmas Stories.


M R. FIELD CRICKET stood at the door of his house,
When a Grasshopper, merry and green, came along,
Calling out, "Hey! old fellow, I bet you can't jump
As high as I can, though your legs are so strong-
So exceedingly strong and surprisingly long-
Yes, surprisingly long and exceedingly strong:
Will you try ?" "Go ahead," said the Cricket. Then "Chirp!
Chirp! chirp!" he went on with his ear-splitting song.

" Hi! ho! here we go!" said the Grasshopper gay-
And sprang up in the air, to be caught by a bird,
And carried away in a twinkling, while sly,
Very sly, Mr. Cricket had not even stirred.
But as his friend vanished, he said, "'Pon my word!
An extremely spry chap and remarkable bird:
That jumping match, verily, didn't last long."
And again he went on with his ear-splitting song.

L........ ....................22


OOR little boy. Only nine years old; motherless, father-
less; no home but the market by day and the street by
night, and no friends in the wide, wide world, unless the
good-natured butcher, who sometimes gave him a cent or
two, and the stout, motherly fruit-woman, at whose stall he almost
always found an apple or some pea-nuts waiting for him, could be
called friends.
"Dan" his mother used to call him; but she died one stormy
night of cold and hunger, and since then he had been known
only as "Cartwheels," a nickname given him because he could
turn more cartwheels in a shorter space of time than any other
boy, big or little, in the market.
Nobody cared for him, and he cared for nobody. And so, with
no one to lead him to the right, how could he help falling in step
with those about him, and marching straight to the wrong ?
For Dan, besides being errand-boy and beggar, was a thief.
And yet he didn't look like a thief. He had beautiful large,
honest gray eyes, and a sweet, bright smile. And if he had been

Original Christmas Stories.

a happy child, in a happy home, I know he would never have
stolen anything.
But it was hard, when faint with hunger, to have the basement-
doors slammed in his face, with "I've got nothing for you;" and
it seemed easy to take a few ears of corn or a few potatoes and
onions from the barrels which came by hundreds to the market
every day. He was always sure, by going halves, to get some
one to cook them for him; and hot victuals did taste so nice.
But Christmas-day the market was closed, and poor little Cart-
wheels, turned into the streets, had,wandered about all day, and
at night found himself with just one cent left of the ten he had
earned the day before. The rest had gone-three to a big boy
who was to give him a night's lodging, and six for a loaf of
bread. With this last cent, being holiday times, Dan resolved to
treat himself, and after long deliberation outside of the baker's
window, stepped into the baker's shop, and asked for "a cent's
worth of gingerbread."
The baker, I'm glad to say, gave him a Christmas cent's worth,
and, munching away at it, the child went out into the street
The boy who was to take him as a lodger had told him "things
wouldn't be ready until after nine o'clock," and so Dan still wan-
dered about, waiting for the nine o'clock bells to ring.
He looked up at the brilliantly-lighted windows, and listened
to the sounds of merriment that came from every house, and


wondered why folks made such a fuss at Christmas-when, while
he was looking and listening and wondering, the storm, that had
been threatening all day, began. The wind blew fiercely, the
hail-stones fell fast and thick, and Cartwheels turned toward the
miserable street where he had been born, to seek refuge in some
hogshead or door-way until his landlord should be ready to
receive him, but the storm beat him back. A cruel storm it was,
to beat so helpless and frail a wanderer, striking him full in his
wan little face, pinching his ears until they tingled, and creeping
slyly under the rags he wore; and at last he ceased ,to fight
against it, and, flying from it, turned a corner into a handsome
street, and crept down the area-way of a fine brown-stone house.
As he crouched here, shivering and trembling, a blast of wind
blew open the basement-door.
Cartwheels got up and peeped into the hall. The gas-light
was burning dimly. No one was to be seen. For a moment he
hesitated, and then crept softly in, closing the door gently after
him. The dining-room and kitchen were in darkness. With
noiseless steps, Dan stole up the stairs. There was a merry party
in the parlors. The boy could hear them playing on the piano
and singing and laughing and dancing; but the doors were shut,
and Dan passed them and crept softly on until he found himself
opposite the open door of a room, which to him seemed so
beautiful that he stood, mouth and eyes wide open, like one

........................... .................... ............ ..........................2........

Original Christmas Stories.

A cheerful fire glowed in a large grate. On the marble mantel
stood pretty-shaped earthenware jars, from which sprang vines of
a delicate green, that ran up the wall and festooned the picture-
frames. Lovely flowers filled beautiful shells on bureau and
table, and made the air sweet with their fragrance. A child's
bed stood in one corner, all dressed in white; above it hung the
picture of the Madonna, with her lovely babe; beside it, the child
herself, a dear little girl, with deep blue eyes and light brown
wavy hair, was kneeling at the knee of a lady, who looked down
on her with eyes wonderfully like her own.
The child was in her little white night-gown and bare feet, and
with folded hands, parted lips, and shining eyes, was listening
intently to the words her mother spoke.
"And in some countries," said the lady, "they believe that at
the holy Christmas-time Christ, in the form of a little child,
comes again to earth and wanders about seeking for shelter, and
so they have the house-door open and a bright lamp hung above
the gate, for thrice blessed will be the dwelling in which he
enters. And they entertain every poor homeless beggar-child
they meet, hoping the Beloved One may be hidden beneath the
rags; and knowing that if the little guest prove not to be Christ
himself, still will his blessing descend upon those who befriend
the sad and lonely little ones. For Christ has said, 'Whosoever
shall receive one of such little children in my name, receiveth


"And does dear Christ love all children?" asked the brown-
haired little girl, in a sweet and reverent voice. "Ev'ry one-
bad girls and boys, too ?"
"Yes, my darling," answered the mother, bending to kiss the
upturned face. "Beautiful and sinless as our Saviour is, I think
he loves bad girls, and boys with even a greater love than he feels
for good ones; for he is so sorry for them, and the more wretched
they are the more he pities them."
"And if he came to this city to-night," continued the wee
maid, "would he go where the dirty beggar-children and the
naughty steal-boys are, instead of coming to see me ?"
"He would, my pet. He'd seek the starving, the deformed,
those that say wicked words, those that lie, those that steal, and
smile upon them with a smile like sunshine, and kiss them, and
tell them the way to heaven."
"Bully!" shouted a shrill voice; and there, in the door-way,
ragged and forlorn, his brimless hat tossed above his head, his
gray eyes gleaming, a red spot burning on each thin cheek, stood
The lady started to her feet, while the little daughter hastily
rose from her knees and clung to her mother's skirts.
"Why, my boy," she asked gently, "who are you, and where
did you come from ?"
Cartwheels hung his head for a moment, and while he hesitated,
the lovely little girl came pattering over the carpet in her bare

Original Christmas Stories.

feet, and taking his hand, looked wonderingly at him. "He's
got nice eyes, and pretty curly hair, if it was combed," she said,
and then added, with a shake of her head: "But it can't be-
he's too dirty."
"I'm Dan," said the boy, looking, not at the lady, but at the
sweet wee girl. "'Cartwheels' they calls me, 'cause I can beat
the hull boodle of 'em making wheels." And flinging himself on
his hands, he turned over and over sideways until he had crossed
the room, and returning in the same manner, resumed his feet,
without the vestige of a smile, beside the astonished little girl.
"An' I cum in from the street, the wind cut me so, inter your
arey, an' the door flied open, an' then I cum in the hall. I didn't
mean to steal anything tho' I might have took sumthin' if it cum
handy, 'cause I'm 'a young scamp,' an' 'a little thief' (they all
says so;) but I wanted to see how a nobby house looked inside,
an' I didn't see nobody, an' I crep' up-stairs, an' I heerd you,"
looking shyly at the lady, and then jerking his head toward the
little girl, "tell her about-about-"
"The Christ-child ?" said the lady.
Yes; an' how beautiful he was, an' how he'd love an'-an'
kiss fellers like me, an' try to make em good; an' so, if you
think he'll cum here to-night, I'd like to have him-kiss me; an'
please may I stay here a little while longer ?"
"Where are your friends?" asked the lady, as he stopped and
fixed his gray eyes earnestly on her face.

L ....

r Cartwheels.

"Hain't got no regular friends. Nobody's got nothing' to do
with me. I can sleep in the arey if you'll let me stay, an' if he
comes along he'll see me, an' p'raps make me good, for I'm a bad
un, an' no mistake."
The little girl, with tears in her sweet eyes, took both his dirty
brown hands in her pure white ones.
Mamma," she said, in a low, grave voice, "the Christ-child
must have sent him; and what was that verse you told me,
mamma ? 'Who-so-ever'-"
"'Whosoever shall receive,'" repeated the mother, "'one of
such children in my name, receiveth me.' Dan" (the boy looked
up in wonder, for no one had ever spoken his name so sweetly
before,) "you will not see the dear Christ to-night, nor ever, I
think, upon earth; why, I will tell you some other time. But
he loves and pities you, and sends you to me that I may teach
you to be good, so that when you die you may go to his beautiful
home in heaven. Will you try to learn ?"
"Bet you a hundred dollars I will!" said Dan "But you
don't mean I kin stay in the house-this splendid house, with all
them flowers an' things, an' her ?" pointing to the little daughter.
"I do mean it," said the lady. You shall stay here as long as
you are good."
Dan threw half a cartwheel, and then suddenly remembering
he was not in the street, stood bolt upright.
I'm so awful happy," he said, "I can't tell you. Something's

.. ..

Original Christmas Stories.

stickin' in me throat." And then, after a short pause, he went
on, with sparkling eyes: "I'll run warrants for you, an' I'll shine
your boots, an' I'll dance for the pooty little lady, an' I'll show
you where you kin buy the cheapest pigs' feet in the hull market,
an' bully apples, cent a piece."
The lady burst t a merry laugh, the brown-haired girl joined
in, and then Dan lenf'a sill treble to the chorus, and thus began
for the little street-boy a new and happy life from that blessed

.. .. .. .. .. .. . . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .


"(( HE is dead!" said the Wind.
"H "Oh! who ?" asked the Rose.
"The prince of the wildwood-the uebird.
And he died," said the in,,l-
"Oh! why?" asked the Rose.
"He loved, and his love was no true bird."

"Alas!" sighed the Rose.
"Ah, me!" said the Wind,
"So handsome, so tuneful, so clever."
"And she ?" asked the Rose.
"False on !" said the Wind,
"In the iaple chirps gayly as ever.

"And he lies," said the Wind-
"Oh! where ?" asked the Rose-
"At the foot of the oak, in the clover.
And the grass," said the Wind-
"Droops low," wept the Rose,
"O'er the form of the ill-fated lover."

L...... ............................

Original Christmas Stories.

"Oh, list!" said the Wind.
"I hear," sighed the Rose-
"The grave-digging Beetles are coming."
"And that sound ?" asked the Wind.
"Is a hymn," wept the Rose,
"That the Bee folks are solemnly humming."

They are there," said the Wind.
"And at work ?" asked the Rose.
"Yes, the ground very softly they're breaking.
They are kind," said the Wind.
Most kind," wept the Rose,
"Such a pretty wee grave to be making."

"They are done," said the Wind-
"And I'll fling," said the Wind,
"A rose-leaf or two where he's lying."
"Take myself," sighed the Rose-
"All myself," wept the Rose-
"He is dead, and for him I am dying!"

. _.. ..

- r~w 17" "




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs