The Baldwin Library
Wheni they returned to the snow-man, they were surprised to see
lhi ti l h ilad grwn.- PAU 82.
WHAT WILL BE ON THE TREE 9
A TRIP TO THE WOODS 16
THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS 49
WHERE ARE NANNY AND LCY 90
THE SLEIGH-RIDE .118
WHAT WILL BE ON THE TREE?
ANNY was delighted with the pros-
pect of her Christmas-tree, and the
week before Christmas, when Uncle
Joe and his son Will came to make a long
visit at her home, she could talk of nothing
but the tree, and what she thought would be
"I cannot imagine," said Uncle Joe, one
day, "how you can tell what will be on your
Oh, I can imagine easily enough," said
"That will be too bad, for then you will
lose all the fun of guessing; but I doubt
10 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
very much if you can tell a single thing that
will be on it."
"And I shall be very much surprised if I
can not tell; but I do think it would be much
more fun not to know."
"Tell me what you think there will be."
"I think mamma will give me a gold thim-
ble, because she said if I would hem one
dozen pocket-handkerchiefs neatly, she would
make me a present of a gold thimble some
day, and I hemmed them very well indeed;
so I know I shall get that, for mamma always
does precisely as she says."
"But she did not tell you she would give
it to you at Christmas, did she? "
"No, she did not say at Christmas, but I
thought it would be a good time for her to
give it; and I know what papa's present will
"What do you think he will give you ?"
"I think it will be a book full of poetry,
without one single little story in it, for he
reads poetry all the time, and recites great
long poems to mamma, and begs me to learn
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 11
"Well, would you not like such a present ?"
inquired Uncle Joe, smiling.
Oh, yes, I shall like anything papa chooses
to give me; but I don't understand poetry,
and I should like other things better."
"Now, what would you like? "
"Oh, I should like a hundred other things!"
"One hundred things !" exclaimed Uncle
Joe. I have no doubt you would; but you
do not suppose your papa will give you one
hundred presents in place of one book of
But I did not really mean one hundred
things. Of course no one would give me so
many presents at the same time; but I mean
there are a great many different things I
should rather have in place of a book of poe-
try. Now I should rather he would give me
a story-book, or a game, or a wax doll some-
thing like that."
What do you think I will give you? "
Oh, you are so fond of exercise, and think
that girls should play the same games that
boys do, so I suppose you will give me a bat
12 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
and ball like Cousin Will has, or marbles, or
horse-lines, or a top-something of that kind."
Well, you are a great hand at guessing, at
all events. Who else do you think will give
you presents ? "
"Aunt Sue is here on a visit, you know. I
think she will give me something; and Uncle
John, and Lucy, and Rudolph."
"And cannot you imagine what they will
give you? "
"Aunt Sue is so fond of working, I should
not be very much surprised if she would give
me something to work with. She says her
little daughter Lucy is only ten years old, and
yet she can dust her own room, and can make
sponge-cake and ginger-bread, and I am eleven
years old and never work any at all. She says
she thinks it is too bad. I told her I could
make molasses candy, but that the cook would
not let me, because I always make such a con-
fusion in the kitchen; and the last time I
made it I poured it out to cool on her marble-
top baking-table; so she says she would like
to see me attempt to make any more molasses
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 13
candy. I told her I should give her that
pleasure some day."
"If I were the cook, I should never allow
you to come into the kitchen again."
"Ah, but you are not cookie, Uncle Joe.
I know you think I give a great deal of trou-
ble, but cook does not think so; she only talks
that way for fun. She likes me to come into
the kitchen and bother her."
"I doubt that very much," said Uncle Joe,
smiling. "But you have not told me what
you think Aunt Sue will give you."
Oh, I suppose she will give me a nice dust-
cloth, or a rolling-pin, or a dust-pan, or a
scrubbing-brush, or a broom something to
work with, I know."
They would be odd presents, would they
not? How would you like them? "
"Why, I should not like them very much,
because I could not use them. Cook will not
let me bake, and Catharine will not let me
What do you think your Uncle John will
give you ?"
14 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
"Dear me, I can scarcely tell. He is so
quiet, and he talks so softly, and likes every-
body to be so very quiet, that it is difficult
to tell what he will give me; but I should not
be surprised," said Nanny, shaking her head,
and laughing, --" I should not be very much
surprised if he gave me a pair of sandals to
wear in the house; for he says I am such a
noisy little girl, and jump around too much.
You should have seen him when I told him
I could jump over the ottomans."
Uncle Joe laughed heartily, and said Uncle
John should by all means give her india-rub-
But I think you have a queer way of tell-
ing what people will give you," said Uncle
Joe. "Do you not know how you feel when
you are going to give a present to some one?
You do not give to others those things which
you most fancy, -you endeavor to give what
the person would most like to have, do you
"Why, yes," said Nanny, "I always give
what I think the person wants; but I did
not think of that when I was speaking of my.
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 15
tree; I suppose I was thinking that the people
would give me what they most fancied them-
selves. I have bought a little present for
every one in the house, and I bought what I
thought would please each one. Poor cook
complains so much of her hands getting cold
when she goes out, that I knit her a muff,
and mamma lined it, and that is to be my
present to her. Do you think she will like it ?
And I am going to give each of the other
girls a new collar; and-I bought Thomas a
Bible,.with very large print, because he told
me one day that his was so old, and the print
so small, that he could scarcely read it; and
then the one I bought is beautifully bound, -
I know it will delight him,- and great large
print. I will show it to you some day, but
I don't know where mamma has it now. And
I have a present for you and Cousin Will, I
hope you will like them, and for Lucy and
"I know we shall like them; and now I
must order the horses, and you, and Lucy, and
Rudolph, and Will, and I will go over to the
woods and get the evergreens for the house."
A TRIP TO THE WOODS.
ANNY ran through the hall, calling,
"Cousin Will! Cousin Will! Lucy!
Rudolph! All hurry We are going
over to the woods with Uncle Joe to get ever-
greens. Do you hear ? to get evergreens for
"Laws, Miss Nanny," said Thomas, what
are you screaming about? Master Will, Lucy,
and Rudolph are all up at the stable; and
Lucy and Rudolph have been feeding all the
horses sugar and apples, and dear knows what
not, and Master Will has been riding your
"Oh, then I must run up to see Cousin
Will, and ask him what he thinks of my
darling little pony; and, Thomas, please tell
Margaret to have all of our cloaks and scarfs
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 17
and everything ready, so we shall not have to
wait one single minute." Then Nanny ran
to the kitchen, saying: Oh, cookie dear,
just do please put us up loads and loads and
loads of a good lunch, for we are going to
stay in the woods all day."
And cookie, laughing, said she would, but
she thought they would be glad to get home
to a good warm house before the day was
Long before Nanny reached the stable, she
heard the horses stamping their feet, and
John talking, as she thought, in a cross tone.
When she reached the stable, where John
was, she found him scolding Rudolph; for
that mischievous boy had carried a bucketful
of water into the stable, and with a tin cup
had been dashing it in the horses' faces and
over their bodies. The poor animals were
kicking and dashing around in their different
stalls, making it dangerous for John to go
near them. Nanny was delighted to find that
her pony was not in the stable and had es-
caped the drenching.
18 NANNY'S CIIRISTtMAS.
You cruel, cruel, naughty boy! exclaimed
Nanny; "to think of treating all of these
horses so badly! How would you like such
a cold bath this winter morning? "
"Aye, aye," said John; "I will give Master
Rudolph a ducking yet. This is not the first
trick he has been playing about the stable.
He will have to steer clear of me, that I know.
We don't have such carryings-on here at Bent-
ley, I tell you that, Master Rudolph Jackson."
The sound of Lucy's voice now attracted
Nanny's attention, and she turned round in
time to see her riding on her pony, and Cousin
Will leading him.
Oh, Nanny exclaimed Lucy, I have
had the most delightful ride, and Cousin Will
held the bridle all of the time, and I was not
a particle afraid. He says you named the
pony after him; I never knew that before."
"Of course I did name him after Cousin
Will. I think Will is a fine name for pony.
Oh, you little dear "
SAnd Nanny patted and talked to her pony
till John led out the horses and put them to
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 19
the wagon. Uncle Joe soon made his appear-
ance, in company with the gardener. He was
examining different kinds of knives for cut-
ting the evergreens.
The horses are ready, Uncle Joe called
Nanny; then, turning to her cousins, she
said, We will pretend this is a stage; so all
jump in, and we will drive up to Uncle Joe
and let him be a new passenger from the
Does the gentleman at the willow-tree wish
to go in the stage this morning ? asked Nan-
ny, as they drove up to Uncle Joe.
"What stage is this?" inquired he, seri-
It is the Bentley stage, sir. Do you wish
to take passage? We are in a hurry."
Well, I should like to go very well; it is a
pleasant morning to ride. Where is the stage
"It is going to Mr. Bentley's woods to get
evergreens for Christmas. I wish you would
take passage, sir."
"I am afraid you have not much room.
20 NANNY'S CIRISTMAS.
You see I am a very tall person, I might in-
commode the others."
Oh, I see you are laughing at my large
stage," said Nanny. "Here, ladies and gen-
tlemen, make room for the new passenger! "
Uncle Joe then took his seat by Will, and
they started for the house. Then, turning to
Nanny, he said, You seem to be the pro-
prietor of this stage; will you please tell me
the fare ?"
Oh, sir," said Nanny, "we will allow you
to ride for nothing; we are so glad to have
your company, that we consider we are paid
very well indeed."
I assure you," said Uncle Joe, "I feel very
much gratified and complimented ; but I fear
your stage will not pay, if you allow people
to ride free. "What do your other passen-
gers pay ?"
"Well, you see the driver can't give me
anything: I suppose I should pay him; and
the others are particular friends and relations,
paying me a visit, so you see I cannot charge
them anything either."
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 21
"Why, no; I think it would'not do to
charge them; but if your stage runs this way
every day, filled with none but your relations,
I think you will not be able to pay for the
horses and stage. They are fine, spirited
horses; I suppose you own them?"
No, sir, I do not own them; I ordered
them from Mr. Bentley's stable."
Oh, then you asked him to lend them to
you, did you? That is a new way to run a
stage, with borrowed horses."
"No, sir, I did not even ask for them; but
I knew Mr. Bentley would let me have them.
I did not know where he was, so I could not
"Well, I suppose you own the stage, do
you not ?"
"Oh dear, no, sir; Mr. Bentley owns that
And did you run off with it in the same
manner that you did the horses? "
"Yes, sir, just the same way."
"I think we passengers may rest easy, for
you certainly will not lose anything taking
22 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
us a ride with borrowed stage and horses.
But we must try and keep out of Mr. Bent-
ley's way, or he might see us and send us all
home. That would not be so pleasant."
Indeed we must not keep out of his way
at all. I hope we shall see him somewhere
about, and then I shall beg him to be a pas-
By this time they had reached the house,
and Cousin Will, jumping out of the wagon,
called, Passengers who are going to stop at
Bentley for cloaks, hoods,furs, gloves, lunch,
&c., please step forward! "
They all laughed and came forward, and
Cousin Will helped them out of the stage.
They went into the house, and Mrs. Bent-
ley, Aunt Sue, and Margaret muffled the chil-
Sdren in cloaks and furs.
Oh, mamma," exclaimed Lucy; do look
what a queer hood Nanny is going to wear "
"I don't care if it is queer," answered
Nanny; "I knit it myself, and it is very
warm, and besides, the colors are beautiful.
Don't you think so, Uncle Joe? "
NAN-NY'S CHRISTMAS. 23
"The colors are certainly beautiful, and it
feels soft and warm; I should think it impos-
sible for your ears ever to .feel cold with so
many curls and such a soft hood."
Do you like to knit ? asked Cousin Will,
who was examining the hood and praising it
"Like it! Indeed I do like it. I have a
large box where I keep my zephyrs and
needles. I should like to knit much more
than I do; but I have no time, for I say les-
sons every day, and draw, and practise my
No time! exclaimed Uncle John, coming
in at that moment; you have plenty of time
to race about the house, and scream, and
jump, and thump on the piano, have you
They all laughed, and Rudolph shouted,
Io, ho, Miss Nanny, I told you papa thought
you were rude."
Rudolph Rudolph!" exclaimed Uncle
John, keep quiet."
And Aunt Sue, seeing Nanny's face grow-
24 NANNY'S CZHRISTMAS.
ing red, kindly said, "We were talking about
knitting. Nanny was wishing she had more
time to knit; bul I am sure she must be very
industrious, for the other day she showed me
ten scarfs that she has knit this winter; and
she is going to give them to poor children in
the village at Christmas. And when I tell
you that she saved her money to buy the
zephyrs, I think you will agree with me that
she has a good, kind heart, and has been very
"She has indeed," said Uncle John. Lucy,
you must ask Nanny to teach you to knit; or
have you been as thoughtful as she has, and
prepared something for the poor ? "
"I have not made anything," answered
Lucy; "it would take me a year to knit so
many scarfs. I shall not give half as many
presents as Nanny will."
Now," said Nanny, "I must run ask Betty
what she has given us for lunch."
Why Miss Nanny," answered Betty, "you
wont need any lunch ; you will soon be home
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 25
"Yes, we will need it; we are going to
work very hard, and I know Cousin Will and
Rudolph will expect it. Do cookie dear, give
us some of your good cake."
"Well, Miss Nanny, you do ruin them boys,
givin' 'em everything they want, and keeping'
me a-bakin' from morning' till night. I never
thought you would forget me entirely, and
not mind if I did get sick and tired. I did
think you was not like most children, but I
s'pose you are."
"Now, cookie, you should not talk that
way; you know very well how much pleasure
you take in baking good things. Why, I do
believe you think it is more fun to make
them than we do to eat them."
"Laws, Miss Nanny, there's no use a-
talkin' to you; here, take along this basket,
all the cake in the house is in it."
Oh, thank you, Betty. Now go to work
and bake some more."
Margaret now made her appearance in the
kitchen, saying the stage-driver said he must
26 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
Oh, tell him I am getting lunch."
She very soon returned, saying the stage-
driver said he was very willing to wait, and
she must be sure not to hurry.
"It's a cunning stage-driver," said Betty,
"to he so willing to wait for his lunch in-
Nanny ran out, all smiles, carrying the bas-
ket with her.
It was a nice large wagon they had, with
plenty of room for the whole party. Lucy
and Rudolph sat on the back seat, Nanny on
the seat in front of them, with the basket
by her, and Uncle Joe and Cousin Will in
Now we need papa," said Nanny, and
then what a splendid time we will have. I
don't feel cold; do you, Lucy. But if you
do, there are two shawls here; help yourself."
Lucy assured her she was not cold, but as
warm as toast.
The merry wagon-load had not gone far,
when Uncle Joe said, "Nanny, look! here
comes your passenger."
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 27
"But he is in a little carriage," exclaimed
Rudolph. "We can't wait till he goes up to
the stable. Why, we will never get to the
Wait, till I see what horse he has," said
Nanny; and, jumping up, she looked at the
horse. "Oh, I am so glad she cried; he
has old Doctor, and now he need not drive
up to the house at all."
Why need he not drive up to the house?"
asked Lucy. And what a queer name for a
horse. Is his real name Doctor? "
Of course his real name is Doctor; and
he is so gentle and quiet, that when papa
meets us, he will come with us."
Nanny stood up, laughing and waving her
handkerchief to her papa until he drove up
Bentley stage, sir," she said. Will you
take passage right away? We are going over
to the woods to get evergreens."
"Perhaps Uncle Joe will take passage in
my stage, and we will follow you."
"No, no indeed !" exclaimed Nanny; ".that
28 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
would ruin the whole party. Do hurry, papa
dear! Let old Doctor go up to the stable
alone. And see, we have mountains of
Mountains exclaimed Mr. Bentley. I
would better be looking after my horses, if
you are making them draw mountains. Poor
things, see how tired they look! Of course
I shall go with you, for if I do not, you may
make them haul the whole woods home, and
I know they never could stand that."
Mr. Bentley left his carriage, and saying,
"Doctor, go up to the stable, and tell John to
unharness you," he jumped into the Bentley
"Uncle Arthur, how queer you talk to
your horses. Doctor can't really tell John
to unharness him, can he ?" asked Lucy.
You must ask John, when we come home,
what Doctor said to him," answered Mr.
And, now they went off in good earnest.
The beautiful December morning, the bracing
air, the fine, spirited horses, and. the com-
-NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 29
fortable wagon, surely could allow nothing to
be wished for by the happy party.
"This is the jolliest way of spending the
day I ever knew," exclaimed Rudolph. "I
wish we lived in the country."
"So do I," said Lucy.
What great times we should have visit-
ing each other," said Nanny. "You could
live near us, and we would- all ride over the
country together on our ponies."
"And spend the day in the woods," said
Rudolph; and you would bring the lunch."
No," said Lucy; we would take turns;
sometimes I would bring it."
No, indeed," said Rudolph, you would n't
bring half enough. Just look what a basket-
ful Nanny has brought."
"I know so well that boys are always
wanting something good to eat," said Nanny.
"Don't you know what you and Cousin Tom
said last summer, Cousin Willrwhen Cousin
Tom Morton was here? "
What was it, Nan? asked Mr. Bentley.
"They told me if I wished to be their par-
30 NANNY'S CHRISTMAi S.
ticular favorite and friend, I must always be
supplied with a basket well filled with every
variety of cakes, pies, tarts, and fruits, and
always make my appearance the moment I
caught a glimpse of them."
"That sounds precisely like Cousin-Tom,"
said Lucy ; "he thinks everybody must wait
on him. Do you like him, Nanny ? "
Yes, indeed I do. What fine times we
had last summer, did n't we, Cousin Will ?
Betty told me one day, if Mr. Tom Morton
and Mr. Will Howard didn't go home pretty
soon, she would die baking pastry and cakes,
or they would die eating them."
Well, Nanny, did you carry the basket? "
Yes; and whenever I saw them I would
go to them, and bow to the ground, and beg
them to help themselves to some cakes, which
I could recommend. I followed them all
over: if they were lounging under the trees,
reading or talking, I would go to them and
offer my sweet-cakes; or if they were going
to take a ride on horseback,- which they did
NANNY'S CHRISTAIAS. 31
every day,--I was always waiting for them,
standing by the horses; and I was always
waiting for them when they came from their
ride. Some days I would give them no com-
fort, but run after them all the time. And
then the days that they invited me to ride, I
would fasten this basket to my saddle, and
every minute I would invite them to take
some cakes. Oh, it was great fun, I thought."
"We thought so too, Nanny, I assure you,"
said Cousin Will. "Next summer; if Tom
comes, you must not forget our wants."
"Indeed I shall not. Oh, I hope he will
"I should n't think you would have much
fun," said Lucy, for Cousin Tom and Cousin
Will are so much older than you are."
Oh, that makes it the more fun. You see
I really am so much more with those who are
older than I am, that I get accustomed to
them; still I do wish I had a brother or a
sister to play with."
Oh, brothers are no good," said Lucy.
"Rudolph is always playing with some of
32 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
the neighbors; I don't have much fun with
But I should play with my brother," said
Nanny; "he would play my games, and I
should play his."
"Oh dear!" exclaimed Rudolph, we are
so long getting to the woods. Drive faster,
Cousin Will. How far do we have to go
before we reach the woods, Nanny?"
"Do you see that boy on horseback? Well,
just a little way beyond him there is a bridge,
and when we reach it, we only have to go a
quarter of a mile."
"I wonder what that boy is waiting for,"
said Rudolph; "he has been sitting there on
the horse a good while; for I have been
looking at him, and he don't move; I should
think he would freeze."
"I have noticed him too," said Mr. Bent-
ley. "When we drive up to him, we will
speak to him. So hold in the horses a little,
Right close up to the fence, as near as he
could get, was a large white horse, and seated
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 33
on his back was a little boy, shivering with
the cold, holding a tin kettle in one hand and
the bridle in the other.
A fast horse you 've got there i shouted
"Not so very fast, as I knows on," an-
swered the boy.
Why do you not ride on ? or are you
waiting for some one?" inquired Mr. Bent-
o, I aren't neither; no such thing," said
Then why do you not ride on ? It is cold
Why, you see it's one of that ere kind
what won't go," answered the poor boy.
Why don't you whip him? asked lu-
"I have been a-thumpin', and a-poundiil',
and a-kickin', and a-jerkin' of him, but you
see it's one of that ere kind what won't go."
Oh, what a trotter! cried Rudolph.
Oh, Rudolph, do hush said Lucy; the
poor boy won't like you to scream so."
34 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
I say, how long have you been sitting up
there like a scarecrow? shouted Rudolph.
"Have you been here very long? asked
Uncle Joe, quietly.
"Well, I guess I has. Mrs. Smith sent me
after butter for her breakfast,-and told me to
go right smart; and when I got this here far,
this ere horse just stopped of his own account,
for it's one of that ere kind what won't go,
"What do you say to my tying the horse
to the tree," said Cousin Will, speaking to
his father and Mr. Bentley, and taking the
boy with us ? I-Ie is very cold; we could bundle
him up in this buffalo."
We might do it, if it were not for the
butter; what about that ?"
We will inquire where Mrs. Smith lives;
if it is not far, he would better run on with
the butter, and we can attend to the horse."
"Where does Mrs. Smith live?" asked
"She lives alongside Mrs. Brown."
Where does Mrs. Brown live? "
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 35
"On the corner, next the blacksmith-shop."
"I am not much wiser than I was before,"
said Cousin Will.
"I know very well where the blacksmith-
shop is," said Mr. Bentley; "it is about a
quarter of a mile beyond the woods. You can
leave us at the woods, and then take him on."
Cousin Will then fastened the horse se-
curely to the tree, and helping the boy off
of his obstinate steed, placed him in the
wagon, and wrapped the buffalo around him.
As they drove off, Rudolph exclaimed,
"Supposing somebody steals your fast horse?"
The boy looked at the horse, standing as
firmly as ever in his chosen place, and then
said, "No danger of that ere horse getting'
stole, for it's one of that ere kind what won't
go. No use tyin' him, neither, as I sees on."
Here we are at last! shouted Rudolph,
as the wagon stopped at the gate which led
into the woods; and Cousin Will, springing
out, said, "Passengers for Bentley's woods 1 "
They all sprang out. Then Nanny whispered
something to Cousin Will, who soon drove off
36 NANNY'S CIRISTMAS.
at a rapid rate, and the passengers entered
the woods. They had not gone far, be-
fore the sound of wagon-wheels announced
the return of Cousin Will. He had seen Mrs.
Smith, and explained everything to her sat-
isfactorily, so as to clear the boy from any
blame in the affair, and then had seen the
blacksmith, who promised to go for the horse.
Don't you suppose the boy will get a
switching ?" inquired Rudolph.
"No, I am sure he will not; and, Nanny,
he was delighted with the cakes you told me
to give him."
"And now," exclaimed Nanny, let us run,
and jump, and scream, and have a fine time.
Come, Lucy and Rudolph, and I will show
you the Round Tables."
The three children ran through the woods,
laughing, shouting, and singing, until they
came to the three stumps of trees, which were
all very smooth and round, and a fine, large
log in front of them served nicely for seats.
Lucy and Nanny seated themselves on the
log, while Rudolph, mounting one of the
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 37
stumps, said: "Ladies, I suppose you have
never heard a stump speech. The reason I
suppose such a thing is, because you are girls,
and girls don't know anything. I am glad I
am not a girl. Girls who have no brothers
should be pitied more than anybody else in all
the world, because they will be sure never to
know anything at all. But I have hopes for
girls who are blessed with brothers, for then
they will gain ideas as they grow older. I
know an instance of a girl who has neither
brother nor sister, but she has a father and
mother, and so she is not an orphan-"
"Oh, dear," exclaimed Lucy, "what a
smart speaker Now, Nanny, you know you
are not an orphan."
"I do not wish to be interrupted," said
Rudolph; "I mentioned no names, and it is
not customary for the audience to talk to the
speaker. I will now proceed with my lecture,
and if I am again interrupted, I shall call in
a heavy and large police force, which is now
Here Nanny and Lucy pretended to look
38 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
very much surprised, and gazed all around.
Lucy then said, "Oh, yes, I see the heavy
and large police force; don't you, Nanny? I
suppose he means that heavy and large rock
over there by the creek."
"That is the heaviest thing about here,"
answered Nanny, so that must be the police
force. Don't you feel very much frightened?
"Silence! said Rudolph; "I wish to pro-
ceed with my lecture. When I was a boy-"
"Oh, oh, when he was a boy !" exclaimed
the girls. "I wonder what he is now?"
Rudolph did not deign to notice this in-
"When I was a boy, I remember reading
of King Arthur, and he had a round table;
and I also read and you will find it in his-
tory -that, probably before the Indians lived
in the wild woods of America, the country
was inhabited by the white man--"
"And I remember, when I was a girl," said
Nanny, interrupting him, "that I read that
history too, and there was a note at the end
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 39
of the page, which said we must consider
that statement very doubtful, or something
like that,-I don't remember precisely the
words, it has been so long since I was a girl
and read it."
Rudolph waited quietly till Nanny finished,
then proceeded: And I think that History
is true, and that some of King Arthur's
friends or relations lived in this very place,
and these were their round tables."
Rudolph now made a low bow, and then,
as the girls sat very quietly, he said, "The
audience should clap their hands and stamp
their feet, and my reporter will say there was
Again the girls stared around in search of
the reporter, and seeing a tall, thin tree stand-
ing near, which had been struck by lightning,
they both bowed, and called it Mr. Reporter.
Rudolph, having finished his speech, con-
descended to be a boy again, and after in-
dulging in a few somersaults, seated himself
on the log by the girls.
Why, how convenient 1 he said; we can
40 NANNY'S CIIRISTMAS.
sit on this log, and have our lunch on the
"Of course we can; we always have these
for our refreshment-tables when we come here
in summer to spend the day," said Nanny.
"And now we have been sitting here long
enough; let us run to papa, and Uncle Joe,
and Cousin Will, and see how many ever-
greens they have cut; and maybe they want
their lunch now."
"I am sure I want mine," said Rudolph;
"let us have it right away."
"So do I want mine," said Lucy. "Nanny,
did you bring some of those good cakes ?"
"Yes; Betty gave me all the cake that was
in the house."
"Hurrah for Betty!" shouted Rudolph.
"Three cheers for old Betty, and her good
Scottish cakes and ginger-snaps "
She would n't thank you, Rudolph, if she
heard you say old Betty,' said Nanny.
"Well, young Betty, then. Three cheers
for young Betty and all her good cakes "
"If you should call her young Betty, I am
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 41
sure she would know you were making fun
of her," said Lucy. She really is old,
"Why, she is as old as the hills," said Ru-
dolph, "and I am glad of it; I like old peo-
ple, they can't run after you with a broom-
stick when you are in mischief. I wish John
was old; would n't I have fun up at the
Oh, Rudolph, what a queer boy you are,"
said Nanny. I believe only one half of what
"Sometimes you need not believe that
much," said Lucy.
"Hurrah! cried Rudolph, "see who can
reach the evergreens and the basket first."
Then they all ran as fast as they.could;
but Rudolph soon left the girls far behind
and reached the evergreens first; then came
Nanny, and then Lucy.
They found Uncle Joe, Mr. Bentley, and
Cousin Will busy at work cutting ever-
greens. Nanny and Rudolph ran to the
wagon, and Rudolph, jumping in, handed
42 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
Nanny the basket; then Rudolph carried it
off to the round tables.
After the table was set, Nanny and Lucy
sat on the log, and screamed, "Dinner! diu-
"Do you feel cold, Lucy? asked Nanny.
"I do just a little."
"So do I, just a very little," said Lucy.
"Suppose we run over and tell them that
lunch is ready, and that will warm us."
"Yes, that will be the best thing we can
-do," said Nanny. "I wonder how much they
have cut now."
"How much shall we need ? asked Lucy.
"Oh, ever so much, for we have all the
rooms trimmed with green."
That will be splendid exclaimed Lucy.
" I am so glad we are here instead of in
"I have always heard it was so gay in the
city at Christmas," said Nanny.
"So it is. Long before Christmas comes,
the stores are crowded with people buying
their Christmas presents, and almost every
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 43
one you meet is carrying packages. Rudolph
and I always watch papa and mamma, when
they come in, to see if they are carrying
"And do you ever know what they are
going to give you? Do they show you any
presents before Christmas?"
"Sometimes mamma shows me some of
Rudolph's presents, and she shows him some
of mine; but we never see our own."
"How soon Christmas will be here-not
quite a week! Now let us run and meet
papa. See 1 I do believe they have finished,
and are coming for their lunch."
Now, Nanny," said Cousin Will, "we
have come to eat those mountains of lunch."
Well, the mountain is ready for you, but
you will not think it is a very large one."
"Who ever lunched in the woods in De-
cember, I wonder ?" asked Lucy. "Don't it
seem funny? In summer everybody does, but
it does seem queer in winter."
Oh, you must come here in summer I ex-
claimed Nanny; "it is so delightful! We go
44 NANNY'S CI1RISTSMAS.
up to the Rock, and sit and listen to the water;
and the little squirrels are so tame; and then
last summer I found the prettiest little kitten
here; it was my pet for weeks afterward, till
one night it disappeared."
Nanny, don't you think Rudolph should
invite the reporter and the heavy police force
to take some lunch? No doubt they are
"Yes, Rudolph, you must invite them. I
know they would enjoy these ginger-cakes;
and your reporter looks so thin, I pity him."
"He looks half starved," said Lucy; "do
go tell him to come here."
"What color was your kitten? asked Ru-
dolph, quickly, to prevent the girls talking of
the reporter and the heavy police force.
"Entirely black, excepting its feet. I al-
most always carried it with me wherever I
went, and Cousin Tom, whenever he saw me
coming, would sing, --
'Pussy cat, pussy cat,
With a white foot,
To morrow's thy wedding,
How shall I get to it?
NANNY'S CIRISTMAS. 45
The bread is to bake,
And the beer is to brew;
Pussy cat. pussy cat,
What shall I do?'"
"I suppose you did not fancy that, as you
dislike poetry so much? said Uncle Joe.
"Oh, that kind of poetry I think is funny;
I like it. Cousin Tom was always singing
such queer little songs, but he did it to tease
me, because I told him I despised poetry; and
when I said that, he began to sing, 'Pussy
cat, pussy cat,' and said that was the only
poetry I could understand."
Very pleasantly the lunch passed. Then
Nanny asked Rudolph to carry the basket to
the wagon, while she and Lucy ran through
the woods in the direction of the Rock, "just
so you can have an idea what it is like," said
Lucy was delighted with it, but it was too
cold to stay long, and bidding it good-bye for
the winter, they ran to the evergreens.
"Do look!" exclaimed Lucy, after they
had run some distance past the round tables;
46 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
"oh, do look at that good-for-nothing boy
Rudolph! he has tied a long string to the
basket, and is dragging it on the ground."
Let us catch up to him," said Nanny; I
don't believe he hears us coming, for he has
been whistling and singing all the time."
"Rudolph, what do you mean?" asked
Lucy, when she and Nanny reached him.
"You should be ashamed of yourself to
drag the basket along the ground in that
Look," said Nanny, and see if you have
"No, I have not," said Rudolph ; and you
are not to open the lid. If you do, I shall
go on, and you will have to carry it to the
"Well, we shall not open it," said Nanny;
"the lid looks all right. Come, Lucy, we
will run on and see the evergreens."
"Oh, what loads and loads you have cut! "
exclaimed Nanny. "H-Iow can we carry it
"Easily enough, proprietor," answered Un-
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 47
cle Joe; "go look at your driver fastening it
on the boot of the stage."
The girls went, and sure enough, Cousin
Will was busily engaged stowing it away.
They then offered their assistance in carrying
it from the trees to him, which offer he ac-
cepted, and they immediately went to work.
"I think we have plenty now," said Mr.
Bentley, as the girls returned for more, after
they had carried several loads; we can easily
carry what is here under the seats. Tell
Cousin Will, when you go to him, that this
is your last load. Uncle Joe, Rudolph, and
I will bring the rest."
"Passengers for Bentley 1" called Cousin
Will, as the last packing was finished. Pas-
sengers please come forward immediately
the stage will go now in one minute."
The passengers were quickly seated in the
stage, the driver cracked his whip, and they
drove out of the woods.
"I wonder what has become of that fast
horse? said Rudolph, when they reached the
tree and found that the horse was not there;
48 NANNY'S CHRI ISTMAS.
" that 'ere horse what won't go, you
I imagine he was very glad to go when
he had the chance," said Cousin Will. "When
the blacksmith was ready, I have no doubt
the horse was quite prepared to go without
"Proprietor, may your driver whip the
horses a little? it is growing colder, and I
am afraid your passengers are longing for
warm rooms," said Mr. Bentley.
Oh, of course he may drive as fast as he
chooses. I am sure I have no objections to
getting home," said Nanny.
"Then drive on, Will, for I think there is
rain coming very soon, and a cold rain will
not be welcome just now."
Cousin Will then cracked his whip, and
they went whirling along at good speed, and
reached home in time to warm and get ready
THE DAY BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
IHE children had known for more than
a week that on the day before Christ-
mas they were not to go into the par-
lors. Rudolph had told Nanny and Lucy pri-
vately, that he did not know what they would
do on that day, but that he was going to hide
under a table in the hall, and watch the people
go into the parlors, and see what they car-
ried; and if he could, he would peep in to see
what was going on.
Tilly had amused herself teasing them
about it. One day she would say that now
she thought it was decided what to do with
them. She was pretty sure a fire was to be
built in a stove in one of the garret-rooms,
and that they were to be sent up there, so
that they would neither hear nor see what
was going on down-stairs.
5 D 49
50 NANNY'S CIRISTMAS.
Another day she had said that now it was
decided that they must not go to the garret.
For her part, she thought it would be best for
them to be sent from the house,- perhaps the
summer-house would be enclosed, and a fire
Nanny assured her that her papa would not
go to so much trouble, and that she knew
they would not be sent there; "and mamma
knows very well that we will stay up-stairs,
and not go down near the parlors all day, un-
til we are called to come at six o'clock."
Your mamma can trust you, Miss Nanny,"
Tilly said, but Rudolph's mamma is not so
sure of him."
Tilly had talked to them so much about it,
and told them of so many different places
where they might possibly be sent on the day
before Christmas, that they naturally grew
quite curious to know what would be done
And now the day before Christmas had
Oh, they have decided what to do with
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 51
us 1" shouted Rudolph, as he ran up stairs a
little after breakfast. "I say, Nanny and
Lucy, they have decided what to do with us.
We are to go to the village with John.
Won't that be jolly? I shall make him let
Why, what is John going for, and how
long shall we be there?" asked Lucy.
Oh, I know what he is going for," said
Nanny. Did n't you see mamma and Aunt
Sue tying up those bundles this morning?
They are presents for some people in the vil-
lage, and John is going to take them. Oh, I
am glad we are to go with him."
The children ran down stairs to see if John
were ready. They found the carriage was at
Nanny listened attentively to her mamma's
directions about the bundles.
"I am sure, mamma," she said, "that I
shall not make any mistake, for you have
written the name on each bundle./
"And I am very certain we cannot make a
mistake about the mince-pics," said Lucy,
52 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
"for wherever we take a bundle we are to
take a pie too. It seems to me that a mince-
pie is a funny Christmas present."
Well, I think it is a very good present,"
"-I think we should give that poor boy
something," said Nanny.
"What poor boy? said Rudolph; "the
one who rides that 'ere horse what won't go ? "
"Yes," answered Nanny. "I shall give him
one of those good warm scarfs that I knit."
And I shall give him a pair of mittens,"
And mamma, may I give him those boots
that papa bought for me in the fall ? You
know they are too short for me, and they will
fit him, I should think," said Rudolph.
"I hope they will fit him," said Aunt Sue,
"for they are nearly new, and would last him
a long time."
And oh, mamma exclaimed Nanny,
"please lehme take him a pie."
"I am very willing that you should take
him one," said Mrs. Bentley.
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 53
Uncle Joe helped them into the carriage,
wrapped the buffalo around them, and told
them not to hurry home, but take their time;
and he hoped Rudolph would not upset the
carriage, if he drove.
"Oh, we know very well why you don't want
us to hurry," cried Rudolph. And no dan-
ger of upsetting, for John is going to teach
me how to drive."
"I guess they are expecting Kriss-Kringle,"
said John, as they drove away; but I did n't
suppose he'd be along before night. You
know he only travels at night, so I'm think-
ing they '11 be disappointed."
"John, did you ever see Kriss-Kringle ?"
"I've seen his pictures," said John, "but
I've never seen the man himself. He has an
uncommon grinning face."
"Did he come to your house when you
were a little boy?" asked Lucy. "Did n't
you always hang up your stockings ?"
I did once," John said, "but that time
54 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
they did n't put anything in them but a few
cigars and ever so many sticks."
"Oh, I think that was too bad I exclaimed
Nanny. I think it was real unkind."
"So do I," said Lucy. Were you very
much disappointed, John?"
"No; I didn't expect anything else."
"I say, John, that was a real mean trick,"
cried Rudolph; and if you will give me a
pair of your stockings, I'll hang them up for
you. I should think they would hold a jolly
big lot, for your feet are so big."
"I am much obliged to you, Rudolph."
"I am sure you are right welcome."
"Oh, Rudolph," cried Nanny, John is not
thanking you for the candy; he is thanking
you because you said he had such big feet.'
You know it's a famous compliment,"
said John, to be told your feet are so big."
I was not thinking about that," exclaimed
Rudolph; "you must excuse me, John."
All right," answered John. I'11 tell you
what I've been thinking, Rudolph: you are
not such a naughty fellow as you pretend to
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 55
be. If you were to stay here a little longer,
we would be real good friends. But I must
tell you about the cigars and sticks that they
used to put in my stockings. I never thought
I was treated so badly ; I rather liked them,
for they were made of candy. Didn't you
ever see a stick of candy, Rudolph? "
"Oh, John," exclaimed Nanny and Lucy,
"we were feeling so sorry for you 1 "
"I say, John," cried Rudolph, I call that
But I am so glad that they did give you
candy," said Nanny. So am I," said Lucy.
They now reached the village.
The children were delighted to see with
what joy their presents were received. They
had no difficulty in finding the home of the
little boy. He could scarcely believe that so
many Christmas presents were for him.
"Well," said John, as he helped the chil-
dren into the carriage, "we have no more
bundles, have we?"
No," answered Nanny, "we have given
all the presents."
56 NANNY'S CHRISTIMAS.
"All right. Now, Rudolph, I suppose you
want the lines again ?"
"Yes indeed," said Rudolph; "I am not
They had a very pleasant ride home. John
told Rudolph he was sure he would make a
When they reached home they could talk
of nothing but their visit to the village.
Mrs. Jones was so much pleased with her
shawl, mamma. She says now she can go to
church even on the coldest days," said Nanny.
And poor Mrs. Graham cried when I gave
her the dress, and shoes, and stockings," said
Lucy. "I told her Mrs. Bentley sent them to
her. And when I gave the shawl to Mrs.
Brown, and told her it was a present from
my mamma, she said, 'I can't find words to
thank you, but the Lord will bless you.'."
"And that little boy's name is Johnny
Small," said Nanny.
"I never saw anybody so delighted with
his presents," said Rudolph. He said they
were the first new things he had ever had. I
NANNY'S CBRISTMAS. 57
told him he must have had new shoes; but he
said, 'No I aren't neither; I wears daddy's.' "
And, mamma," said Nanny, you should
have seen what a dismal old straw hat he had
on; and Rudolph was so kind,,he told us to
wait while he went on an errand. He ran to
a store and bought a cap for Johnny; and
when he gave it to him, Johnny held it in
his hand and stared at it all the time, and
kept saying, Oh, lack! good lack-y oh,
lack !' And Rudolph talked so funny to him;
he called him his young friend, and inquired
about that 'ere horse. Lucy and I were so
afraid he would think that he was making
fun of him."
"IIe didn't think I was making fun of
him at all. I have no doubt he likes me
very much," said Rudolph.
Indeed, I know he does," said Nanny; "he
thinks you are splendid for giving him such
nice boots and a new cap ; still, Lucy and I
could not help laughing to hear you talk so
queer, and then we were afraid Johnny would
think we were laughing at him."
58 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
The day passed very rapidly.
About five o'clock Jenny and Tilly heard
the children running up-stairs laughing, and
shouting that they must be dressed by six
Oh, no danger of our being late to-night "
Oh, Jenny dear, hurry; I must be dressed
before six o'clock screamed Nanny.
Oh, quick! quick! Tilly; you must make
great haste!" shouted Lucy; "we must be
dressed before six o'clock "
"Oh, no great hurry," answered Tilly.
"Kriss-Kringle perhaps will forget you this
year; and Bentley is so far off from the city,
I don't believe he can get out here to at-
tend to you, he has too many children in
You need not try to deceive me," said Ru-
dolph. "You know very well that mamma
and papa are Kriss-Kringle. I wish you
would tell me one thing, Tilly: have you
seen the Christmas-tree? I want to know
how large it is."
NANNY'S CJHRISTMAS. 59
"And supposing I had seen it, do you
think I would tell you, Master Rudolph? It
will not be very large, you may depend, for
Kriss-Kringle would not be able to carry a
large tree all the way from town."
"Now, Tilly, you know very well that Un-
cle Arthur, or somebody here, will get the
tree; and I do want to know how large it
will be. You must be crazy to think that
Kriss-Kringle could carry one."
"Well, if Kriss-Kringle don't bring the
tree, rather than disappoint you, I will get
Thomas or John to cut a branch from one
of the evergreens on the lawn, and we will
plant it in a flower-pot, and hang some little
toys on it."
"You really don't think the Christmas-tree
will be in a flower-pot, do you, Tilly ?" said
"And why not, pray? A flower-pot would
hold quite a nice little branch, quite big
enough for all the presents you will get; for
as I told Rudolph just a few minutes ago,
Kriss-Kringle can't carry much with him this
60 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
distance from town. You may be thankful
if he don't forget you altogether."
"Well, he never has done that yet," said
Lucy. I wonder if Nanny has any idea
how large the tree will be."
Oh, Lucy, do you remember the scramble-
bag we had last Christmas ? Oh, was n't that
fun? What a jolly time we did have!"
"I wonder if there will be a scramble-
bag to-night," said Lucy. "Do jyou know,
"I was just thinking," answered Tilly,
"that perhaps you will have a scramble-bag
to-night instead of a tree."
Now, Tilly," said Rudolph, catching hold
of her arm, "tell me if you really do think
that. I do believe you know for certain all
about what is going on in the parlors. I
shall be very much disappointed if we don't
have a tree."
Why, of course there will be a tree; who
thinks there will not ?" exclaimed Nanny, in
surprise, as she entered the room all ready
to go down stairs.
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 61
"There! there! there! exclaimed all the
children as the clock struck, six.
"Six o'clock! six o'clock six o'clock !"
they shouted as they ran down stairs.
In the centre of one of the parlors stood a
fine tall tree, reaching nearly to the ceiling,
and laden with every variety of presents.
Beautiful boxes of every description, large,
small, round, square--of all colors; and a
profusion of books, toys, bon-bons, dolls, and
everything that could please the sight and
delight the hearts of the inmates of Bentley,
were displayed on that famous Christmas-
Between the folding-doors hung a large
scramble-bag, and great was the curiosity of
the children to see its contents.
Oh, do give us our presents from the tree,
palpa," said Ianny; "we are so impatient to
see what we shall get."
Mr. Bentley then went to the tree, and tak-
ing down a small box, read from a slip of
paper which was attached to it:
62 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
"FOR RUDOLPH JACKSON.
SA set, of gold studs papa gives to his son,
And he hopes he will like them, as he knows he has none."
Rudolph quickly opened the box, and there
indeed was a set of pretty gold studs.
"Oh, Rudolph," said Nanny and Lucy,
" what a fine present and just what you will
fancy. You must wear them to-morrow."
To-morrow 1" said Rudolph. "I shall
wear them every day. They are beautiful,
don't you think so? I am satisfied with my
present so far. Hurrah "
"Order! order! Here comes another pres-
ent," said Mr. Bentley.
"FOR NANNY BENTLEY.
To make Nanny's fingers a little more nimble,
Her mamma presents her with a gold thimble."
Nanny ran to her mamma to kiss her, and
thank her for her present.
"Oh, Nanny," said Lucy, "please let me
see your thimble. Oh, how pretty it is 1 "
"Let me see, Nanny," said Rudolph.
"Why, it is pretty ; but do you suppose you
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 63
will sew any more just because you have a
"Come, come, children; order i or I shall
not get through distributing the presents."
The children ran to the tree, and next
"FOR LUCY JACKSON.
"A gold ring to his daughter papa now gives,
And hopes she will wear it as long as she lives."
"Oh, I shall," said Lucy, as she put the
pretty ring on her finger. Nanny and Ru-
dolph ran to Lucy to look at it.
"Oh, how pretty it looks!" said Nanny.
"How can you wear it as long as you
live?" asked Rudolph.
Oh, I shall try," said Lucy. I can wear
it on my little finger when I grow older. I
will manage it somehow."
"Order! order !" said. Mr. Bentley. "Lis-
ten to this:
FOR WILLIAM HOWARD.
"Nanny gives to Cousin Will this book,
And hopes in it he will often look."
Cousin Will kissed Nanny, and thanked
64 NANNY'S CIHRISTMAS.
her for her pretty present, and said he would
indeed look into it often.
And now was read:
"FOR LUCY JACKSON.
"To my sister Lucy I give this game, -
On the box-lid you can read the name."
Oh, what a nice game 1" exclaimed Lucy
and Nanny. "It is just what I wanted," said
Lucy. We will play this game to-morrow."
Hurrah! shouted Rudolph; gold studs,
gold thimble, gold ring, and a game. Hur-
"I shall take this cane," said Uncle Joe,
laughing, and when I rap on the floor you
must come to order." Immediately Uncle Joe
rapped, and Mr. Bentley read:
FOR NANNY BENTLEY.
"A bracelet for Nanny from her papa."
"Oh, splendid!" exclaimed Nanny. She
ran to her papa, and throwing her arms
around his neck, kissed him repeatedly. She
then ran to every one in the room to show
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 65
Rap! rap! went the cane on the floor, and
Mr. Bentley resumed his reading:
"FOR NANNY BENTLEY.
This book of poetry, and this little fan,
Uncle Joe gives to his niece Nan."
"Now, Uncle Joe," exclaimed Nanny, to
think of your giving me a book of poetry!
But never mind, I am delighted with it, and
I know I shall like it, because you gave it to
me; and the fan is so pretty!"
Uncle Joe laughed, and Rudolph shouted,
" Oh, the book is Mother Goose's Melodies!
I-Hurrah Here comes another present. Hur-
Rap rap and now came:
"FOR LUCY JACKSON.
"Dear Lucy, Nanny gives to you
A handkerchief all worked in blue."
"Oh, is n't it pretty!" exclaimed Lucy.
" Oh, Nanny, I am delighted with it. Look,
Rudolph, isn't it beautiful?"
"Indeed it is," said Rudolph ; "but pretty
fancy, I think. But do look what a grand
66 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
back-gammion board Uncle Arthur is taking
off of the tree. Hurrah! Now, who gets
that ? "
Rap rap! and now was read:
"FOR RUDOLPH JACKSON.
A present from Nanny."
Three cheers for you, Nanny. It is just
what I wanted," cried Rudolph. Oh, what
a splendid board it is! Now we will have
some games. Three cheers! Hurrah !"
And you can teach me how to play back-
gammon," said Lucy.
"Yes, Lucy, I will do that. It will not
take you long to learn."
Rap! rap! and Mr. Bentley now took down
a bow and arrow, and read:
FOR RUDOLPH JACKSON.
"Lucy gives you an arrow and a bow,
And hopes you will not shoot at dear Fido."
"That is a glorious bow and arrow," said
Rudolph. Won't I shoot at marks now!
And Lucy, I will teach you and Nanny how
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 67
That will be fine," said Nanny, and then
the next time we go to a lecture we can shoot
at the heavy police force."
Oh, do be quiet," said Rudolph, who did
not care to have Nanny and Lucy tease him.
He preferred teasing them.
"Nanny," said Lucy, "when we are learn-
ing to shoot at marks, we can shoot at the
Certainly," answered Nanny ; "and then
you know he can. report how well we hit
Girls, you are perfectly simple," said Ru-
dolph; do be quiet and listen to Uncle Ar-
thur. He is going to give another present."
Mr. Bentley read:
FOR NANNY BENTLEY.
"Aunt Sue gives to her little niece,
This wax doll and its valise."
"Oh, thank you, Aunt Sue. What a pretty
doll Oh, what a charming face! exclaimed
Nanny, as she kissed the doll. "And what
fine long curls! And then the valise full of
clothes! Oh, what fun we will have dressing
68 NANNY'S CIRISTMAS.
it Aunt Sue, this is a lovely present. I
shall name dolly after you."
Rap! rap! and next came:
"FOR LUCY AND RUDOLPH JACKSON.
"A box of paints from Uncle Joe."
"Oh, splendid! We will paint every day.
Oh, thank you, Uncle Joe."
Rap! went the cane, and Mr. Bentley read:
"FOR NANNY BENTLEY.
" A present from her Cousin Tom, who wishes her a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year."
Oh, the dear cousin! I never dreamed of
his sending me a present. And what a pretty
book it is! I shall read every word of it,
and then write and tell him so. But was n't
it kind? I like to be surprised."
"I should think you would, with such a
present as that," said Lucy.
Cousin Tom is so fine, he would n't give
anybody a present unless it was very grand,"
said Rudolph. Nanny, I guess he remem-
bers the good cakes and fruit you gave him-
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 69
Rap! and the reading went on:
"FOR NANNY BENTLEY.
"A little tea-set from Cousin Will."
Oh, Cousin Will, what a beautiful present!
I shall be afraid to use it."
Oh, is n't it pretty! said Lucy. I never
saw such pretty little cups and saucers."
Rap! and the next was:
FOR NANNY BENTLEY FROM UNCLE JOE.
"A sweeping-brush, a dust-pan,
And a pair of sandals for my niece Nan."
"Uncle Joe," exclaimed Nanny, I shall
never tell you anything again."
Why, did you tell him you wanted them
for Christmas-presents ? said Lucy.
That is a secret," said Uncle Joe, laughing.
Oh, Nanny," shouted Rudolph, what a
funny girl, to ask for such queer presents!"
Rap! rap! and Mr. Bentley took down a
pair of slippers, and read:
"FOR UNCLE JOE FROM NANNY.
"These slippers I have worked for you,
I hope they will last the- whole year through."
70 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
Why, Nanny," said Uncle Joe, this is a
beautiful present. Some good fairy must
have told you that my slippers were nearly
"But suppose they don't last the whole
year," said Rudolph, "will you make him
another pair, Nanny ? "
But they will last," said Uncle Joe, laugh-
ing, "there is no doubt about that." He
then kissed Nanny, and told her she could
not have given him a more acceptable present.
Oh, what a pretty book Uncle Arthuris
taking from the tree now !" exclaimed Lucy.
And Mr. Bentley read:
"Mamma, this book I give to you,
It is from your Nanny true."
"I am very much obliged to my Nanny
true," said Mrs. Bentley. "I think papa
must have told her I wanted this book."
Why, there is another pair of slippers,"
said Rudolph. "Uncle Joe, they are gayer
Mr. Bentley read:
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 71
"Papa, I remember once you said
You wanted slippers entirely red;
So then I thought I would work you these,
Pray accept themif you please."
"My industrious little daughter," said Mr.
Bentley, "I certainly will please to accept
them. Why, Nan,. when could you work
these slippers without my seeing you? They
couldn't be prettier."
Is it possible, Nanny, that you worked
these slippers yourself? exclaimed Aunt Sue.
Oh I work at my Christmas-presents all
the year," answered Nanny. I began Uncle
Joe's slippers last March; and then mamma
often helps me. I always have some work on
hand in my work-box."
Lucy, dear, I hope you hear that," said
"Oh, yes, mamma, I hear it; but then
Nanny likes to sew, and I don't."
Cousin Will, who had gone out of the room
while Aunt Sue was speaking, now entered,
bringing with him a fine large sled.
"Oh, what a famous sled !" exclaimed Ru-
72 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
dolph. "What is the name on it, Cousin
This is my Christmas-present to Rudolph
and Lucy," said Mr. Bentley.
Oh, Uncle Arthur," exclaimed the chil-
dren, "is it really for us? We are so much
obliged to you."
"It is really for you," said Mr. Bentley,
laughing; "and I hope you will have many
fine rides on it."
I never saw such a splendid sled cried
Rudolph; and the name on it is, The Rein-
deer.' If it snows to-morrow, I will take you
a ride, Nanny, and Lucy too. There is plenty
of room for both of you on it."
Oh, that will be fun exclaimed Nanny.
"Now, Rudolph, you must not forget."
If it snows said Cousin Will. Why,
Rudolph, you have been so busy with your
Christmas-presents, that you have not had
time to look out of the window. It has been
snowing for the last hour."
Rudolph ran to the window, and then
shouted, Oh, such a -snow-storm! Nanny
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 73
and Lucy, do come look it is snowing as fast
as it can "
The other presents have no poetry attached
to them," said Mr. Bentley, as he took several
presents from the tree and distributed them.
"I should like to know who made. the
poetry," said Rudolph, "for I am sure I could
make better myself."
Kriss-Kringle did not know you were so
great a critic, or he would have written
better," said Cousin Will; but the truth is,
he thought that was the only kind you could
Well, perhaps Nanny and Lucy can't un-
derstand any other kind, but I can. Why, I
have read several poems."
"He means the Original Poems," said
Lucy. "Mamma gave the book to us last
"Nonsense, Lucy," said Rudolph. "I don't
mean the Original Poems at all."
"And now--and now for the scramble-
bag!" shouted the children, seizing.the wands
with which they were to strike it.
74 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
"Wait! lend me a wand; or, no--I will
take my cane. I am going to strike for some
sugar-plums too," said Uncle Joe.
"Oh, do! And papa, you must too; and
mamma, and Uncle John, and Aunt Sue. It
will be great fun."
Instantly every one in the room was sup-
plied either with a wand or with a cane.
"Now, Uncle Joe, you strike first," said
"No; begin with the youngest," said Un-
Lucy went forward and struck the bag,
and out fell one sugar-plum.
Down on the floor went the children, in
search of the sugar-plum. Rudolph found it
under a table.
What a strike !" exclaimed Rudolph.
"Now, Nanny, it is your turn. Strike
Nanny gave a strike, but only a few fell,
and down on the floor they all went again.
How queer girls do strike," said Rudolph,
as he went to deal his blow. Crack! went
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 75
his stick against the bag, and this time a
great many fell.
Well, I did expect more to come when I
struck," said Rudolph. "Now, Cousin Will,
give an awful crack."
But at this moment Uncle Joe, Mr. Bent-
ley, Uncle John, and Cousin Will stepped for-
ward, and piercing the bag with their canes,
out fell the sugar-plums in a stream. Then
there was such a shouting and scrambling for
them, each one filling his pocket and his
Oh, what oceans of sugar-plums! shouted
Rudolph. "When shall we ever eat them
Oh, dear me," said Lucy, "what shall I
do with all these things! I have my hands
Dear me, so have I," said Nanny; "and
I have laughed so much."
"You dear children, you have your hands
;,.full, I think," said Mrs. Bentley. Aunt Sue,
Uncle John, and the rest of us will leave this
room to you, and you can attend to the con-
76 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
tents of the scramble-bag now lying on the
"Girls," said Rudolph, as soon as their
parents had left the room, while you pick
up the sugar-plums, I will examine the Christ-
mas-tree. There are loads of things on it.
Don't it look pretty? "
Will you, indeed ?" said Nanny. While
we examine the Christmas-tree, you can pick
up the sugar-plums; for you are a boy, and
can do everything, but girls can't do any-
"Yes," said Lucy, "that is what the lec-
turer said: 'girls know nothing at all.' "
"Lucy," said Nanny, "I suppose Rudolph
will treat the reporter and the heavy police
force to some bon-bons."
Oh, of course he will," said Lucy.
The children passed the evening most pleas-
antly, talking over their presents and looking
at their Christmas-tree.
HE children awoke bright and early
Christmas morning. They did not
wait for the ringing of a bell, nor for
the coming of a nurse, but, jumping up, they
began to dress themselves quickly, for they
were impatient to see the Christmas-tree, and
again examine their presents:
When Tilly and Jenny went to call thnm,
they were greeted with shouts of, "A merry
Christmas! and a happy New Year!"
"Why, it can't be .possible, Lucy, that you
have buttoned your shoes and dressed your-
self! exclaimed Tilly. "Why, such a thing
was never known to happen before. Well, I
do declare Christmas is a fine thing to make
children wait on themselves, and to get them
up without calling too. I wish it would come
every day in the year, I am sure "
78 -NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
Oh, I wish so too !" exclaimed Rudolph.
"Would n't I have gay times though!
Would n't I have sugar-plums, and jolly long
holidays And I say, Tilly, do you know the
ground is covered with snow ? "
Oh, Tilly," exclaimed Lucy, "I think you
would n't want us to have holidays every
day in the year, would you? You say two
weeks seem like six months to you."
"Do you have two weeks holiday?" in-
quired Nanny, who came into the room at
this moment. "That seems a good while."
It don't seem long to me," said Rudolph.
" Im like Tilly, I should like holiday every
day in the year."
Indeed you are not like me, if you would
like so many holidays," said Tilly.
Why, you just said you would like Christ-
mas every day."
"Yes, so I did; but I only want it to come
in the morning, to get you up, and then it
may go away again."
After breakfast Rudolph entered the par-
lor with his high boots on, his overcoat but-
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 79
toned up to his chin, and his cap drawn down
over his ears.
"Good-bye, Nanny good-bye, Lucy I am
off now. Cousin Will and I are going to
have a long tramp in the snow."
"Oh, Rudolph," exclaimed Lucy, "you
must not forget you promised to take Nanny
and me a ride. We shall not take cold, we
have high boots."
Well, after a while, perhaps I will; but I
must have some fun with Cousin Will first.
Good-bye you will not see me very soon.
Hurrah for the Reindeer! Hurrah for
Cousin Will! I shall have a good ride tp-
While Rudolph was having his fun in the
snow, Nanny and Lucy entertained themselves
examining their presents and admiring the
little balls, bells, and other toys which hung
on the Christmas-tree. And all the time each
one carried a box in her hand, a very pretty
box, and it must have contained something
very attractive, for every few moments it
would receive a good shake, then a hand
80 NANNY'S CHRISTMIAS.
would go in, then one would say, Oh, the
very best sugar-plum "
My dear children," said Mrs. Bentley,
"you certainly will make yourselves sick.
You have been walking about all the morning
with those boxes of sugar-plums in your
"Well," said Aunt Sue; laughing, "I be-
lieve there is nothing for us to do but to let
them get sick; experience is the best teacher.
Do you hear, Lucy dear? "
Oh, yes, mamma, I hear all you say," an-
swered Lucy, kissing her mother. "I am
sure I should rather have sugar-plums make
me sick than anything else. I don't believe
I should suffer half so much as I did when I
had the measles or the whooping-cough."
"To please mamma and Aunt Sue, I shall
put my box away for a while," said Nanny.
"I shall too," said Lucy. "I don't want
to be sick. Now, mamma dear, are you con-
"Oh, yes, quite contented," answered Aunt
Sue,laughing. "You are very good children."
NANNI'S CHRISTMAS. 81
"I think Rudolph might come for us now
and take us a ride," cried Lucy.
Why, there he is now out on the lawn! "
exclaimed Nanny; "and Cousin Will too!
What are they making ?"
"Perhaps they are making a fort," said
"It is not a fort," said Mrs. Bentley. "I
think they are making a snow-man."
"Oh, I hope they are! "cried Nanny. "Let
us go out and see them."
Away they ran, and soon appeared on the
lawn in their high boots, and muffled in warm
hoods and cloaks.
We are making a snow-man," said Ru-
dolph. Cousin Will says he has made ever
so many, and if the weather keeps this cold,
old Mr. Snowman will last a great while."
Heigho t what is going on here ?" ex-
claimed Uncle Joe. "Making a snow-man,
eh? Well, make him strong and tall, and
able to take care of himself."
"Rudolph, you never came to take us our
ride," cried Lucy.
82 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
"I had not forgotten you," said Rudolph.
"I was just talking about you."
And have you had no ride on the new
sled? That will never do," exclaimed Uncle
Joe. Jump on There is room for both on
this sled, and I shall take you as far as you
wish to go."
"I would n't mind taking a ride with Uncle
Joe," said Rudolph. "See how fast he goes."
Away they went all around the lawn, down
by the summer-house, up by the arbors, and
away off to the orchard ; and once -yes, once,
when coming down a little hill, over they
went into a snow-bank. Then there was fun,
shouting and laughing, Uncle Joe going on
with the sled, and Nanny and Lucy running
after him, shouting, "Stop that horse! stop
that horse!" They soon caught him, and
then they had another fine ride.
When they returned to the snow-man, they
were surprised to see how tall he had grown.
"We must have been gone a very long
time, or you must have been very smart,"
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 83
We have been very smart," said Cousin
Cousin Will says we, but I did not help
much," said Rudolph.
Oh, then, if you are not working, Lucy
and I will take you a ride," said Nanny.
"But I have not taken you a ride yet,"
"We don't care," said Lucy, we want to
give you one."
"Very well," said Rudolph, "I shall go.
Now, don't upset me, or I shall wash your
faces in the snow."
"Why, the horses can't help if the sled
upsets, can they, Uncle Joe ?" cried Nanny.
My horses must not talk," said Rudolph.
We shall take you in this track," said
Lucy, "and give you the same ride that Un-
cle Joe gave us."
"Only we cannot go so fast," said Nanny.
When they reached the summer-house,
over went the sled and Rudolph together
into a snow-bank, and the girls ran away as
84 NANNY'S CIIRISTMAS.
fast as they could, leaving the sled behind
Rudolph gave chase, shouting, "Now you
will get what you deserve Oh, I shall wash
your faces for you! "
They knew very well that if he caught
them he would pay them well for their sport.
"Oh, if we can only get to the kitchen,"
said Nanny, almost breathless with running,
"then Betty would n't let Rudolph come in,
and we should be safe."
"Oh, Betty Betty screamed Nanny.
But Betty could not hear, for they were not
near the kitchen; and Rudolph shouted,
"Oh, yes, you may call Betty, but I have
Rudolph soon found he had his hands
full; for the girls threw so much snow in his
face that he could scarcely see what he was
"Anyhow," he exclaimed at last, "I have
washed your faces."
And anyhow," said Nanny, laughing, we
have washed yours."
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 85
But I deserve some credit, and you don't;
I had to fight against two."
"Now let us snowball each other," cried
Then they had great fun, laughing and
tumbling about until they were completely
covered with snow.
Now for a race! shouted Rudolph. "See
who will reach Uncle Joe first."
They ran as well as they could through the
deep snow, tumbling down and jumping up
again all the way till they reached the spot
where the snow-man stood.
"Oh, Uncle Joe," they exclaimed, "you
have finished the snow-man!"
"I never saw a snow-man like this one,"
exclaimed Lucy. "He is so large! and one
of his hands is on a cane too. He looks as if
he could walk away, if he chose."
"I am sure'here are three snow-images, but
they are very active ones," said Uncle Joe.
" Do you know I can scarcely see your cloaks?
You are covered with snow."
That is what we like," said Lucy. "Oh,
86 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
we have had such fun, Uncle Joe. I wish
you could have seen us upset Rudolph."
He was making fun of us," exclaimed
Nanny. He told us we should take him as
fast as you took us. He said we crept along
like turtles. Then we asked him if we should
give him the kind of ride you gave us, and
he said yes; so right away we upset him, and
then we ran away as fast as we could."
"It was down by the summer-house," said
Lucy; and when he went over he tumbled
deep in the snow, and he looked so surprised.
Then we shouted, 'That is the way Uncle Joe
took us.' "
Well, did he cry, Stop those horses stop
those horses !'? "
No; but the horses scampered off as fast
as they could, and he after them. He prom-
ised us, that if we upset him he would wash
our faces with snow."
Ah, you richly deserved it. Did he keep
his promise? "
"Yes, he washed our faces, but not before
we had thrown ever so much snow on him."
NANNY'S CIRISTMAS. 87
Oh, there comes Tilly," said Lucy. Now
I know I shall have to go into the house."
"Tilly, did you ever see such a famous
snow-man?" cried Rudolph, who now ap-
peared with the sled. "Let me introduce
you to Mr. Snowman."
He is a fine-looking man," said Tilly. "I
suppose you made him, Rudolph? "
"Uncle Joe and Cousin Will made him.
Look at his feet, Tilly, and his arms, and his
cane. He don't look like the snow-man we
made last winter, does he?"
"The snow-men you make look more like
guide-boards," said Tilly. "Now, this is a
real gentleman, and none of your patch-work.
But you must come in now, and get ready for
dinner. You can't stay out here looking at
Mr. Snowman all day. He won't run away,
and you can see him from the house. And
look at the snow on you! Dear me, were
there ever such children! You're fit to live
in- Greenland 1 "
All right," cried Rudolph. I say, Tilly,
I'11 go to Greenland, if you will."
88 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
Very well," answered Tilly; but we will
wait till after dinner; and if you. don't hurry,
Rudolph, you will stand a good chance of
faring like a beggar I once heard of."
"How did he fare?" inquired Rudolph.
"Why, he went without his dinner," an-
Oh, Tilly, what a simple girl you are I
might have known a beggar went without his
dinner; but I won't go without mine to-day.
I say, Tilly, are we going to have a glorious
You will find that out before your dinner
is over. And now come, it is late, and you
have been out in the snow a great while. It
will be queer to me if somebody I know don't
have the croup."
The rest of the day was spent in the house.
The children had exercised so constantly,
while out in the snow, that they did not take
cold, and somebody that Tilly knew did not
have the croup.
Rudolph tried to teach Lucy to play back-
gammon, but she soon grew tired, as she
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 89
said she could see no sense in it; but Nanny
understood it, and she and Rudolph played
together, while Lucy amused herself with a
.In the evening they had a pleasant time
playing one of their new games.
From the windows they could see the snow-
man, and before going to bed they called to
him, Good-night, Mr. Snowman! We hope
you will not take cold staying out there all
night. You'd better put on an overcoat,
and take care Jack Frost don't catch you!"
Mr. Snowman lived many days, and the
children paid him a great many visits. They
always talked to him, and invited him to go in-
to the house with them; but he never heeded
any of their invitations. They often told him
they thought he was very impolite, and if he
would not talk to them, he at least might bow
when he saw them.
WHERE ARE NANNY AND LUCY?
-..TENE morning Nanny and Lucy heard
tf\ Pi udolph calling, Girls! girls! where
are you? Why don't you answer me
if you hear me calling you? I am sitting on
the steps near the nursery-door, and I have
something to tell you; so you'd better come
here right away."
Now Nanny and Lucy heard Rudolph call-
ing them, for they were in the nursery, play-
ing with their dolls, and Lucy was going to
answer him, when Nanny whispered, Don't
let us answer, and then see what he will do."
Why," said Lucy, if he would only take
the trouble to walk a few steps further and
open the door, he would find us right away."
Oh, maybe he will do that," said Nanny;
" so let us jump into the wardrobe and hide:
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 91
that will be fun. He will never think of look-
ing for us there."
The girls ran quietly across the room, and
had just shut themselves in the wardrobe, as
Rudolph entered the nursery.
Well, I should like to know where Nanny
and Lucy are," he said. "Tilly! Tilly! do
you know where the girls are? "
"Indeed, Master Rudolph, I don't. It would
keep more than me busy looking after you
three children. But with me the rule is, that
when you're out of sight, you're in big mis-
chief; so, if you can't find Miss Nanny and
Lucy, you may be sure they 're up to some-
thing; leastways that's the way I always
judge about yourself, and up to this time the
sign has never failed."
"Oh, Tilly, you talk such nonsense! You
are always trying to tease me. I don't see
why you don't behave like Jenny: she never
"Did you ever take the trouble to inquire
if Miss Nanny ever teases Jenny? Maybe, if
you 'd behave like your cousin, you would n't-
92 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
get teased either. But I'm not teasing you
now, Rudolph, when I tell you I don't know
where the girls are any more than you do.
But one thing I do know, and that's, they 've
been here this morning, since breakfast, for
here are their new wax dolls lying on the
"Well, I think it is real mean for them to
run off from me; don't you, Tilly? Oh, here
comes Jenny! Jenny, do you know where
Nanny and Lucy are?"
No, Master Rudolph, I don't. I've not
seen them since breakfast. Did you go up
garret? You know you all played up there
Oh, Jenny, I never thought of the garret.
I am pretty certain they're up there. I'11 go
Away Rudolph ran, as fast as he could,
shouting, "Girls! girls! don't you hear me?
or are you deaf? I know where you are:
you're up garret, and I'm coming after
And all of the time Nanny and Lucy were
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 93
in the wardrobe, almost afraid to breathe, and
not attempting to speak one word to each
other. It was a relief to them, when they
heard Rulolph run out of the room, for then
they could indulge in a little laughing and
whispering. But in a few moments they were
alarmed, for they heard Tilly say, "Well,. I
must mend Lucy's dress: it has the gathers
torn out, as usual. Let me see -I hung it
up in this wardrobe, didn't I? Yes, I re-
member I did."
Tilly opened the wardrobe, and there sat
the two children.
Mercy on me Laws o' me! exclaimed
the frightened Tilly.
Oh, hush please don't be frightened, and
do hush, Tilly!" begged the children, anx-
iously. "We are hiding from Rudolph."
"Jenny, did you ever? Here's the chil-
dren in the wardrobe!"
Jenny hurried across the room, held up her
hands and laughed.
"Well, I never!" she exclaimed. "It's
the last place I'd look for you."
94 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
Oh, hurry away hurry away Tilly and
Jenny, please go away; there comes Ru-
The wardrobe was closed quickly,, and Tilly
and Jenny hurried to their sewing before Ru-
dolph reached the nursery.
Well, did you find them? inquired Tilly.
No, I did not, and I think they are real
"Master Rudolph, your mother don't like
you to say any one is real mean. You must n't
forget it so often."
"Well, I can't help it. I think they might
have told me where they were going, so I
could go with them."
Have you been all through the garret ?"
Yes; for I was sure they were up there,
and I was determined to find them; so I
looked in every closet, and box, and trunk
up there, and in all the corners, and behind
the barrels and baskets; so I am certain they
are not up there. I think I'11 go down-stairs,
maybe they are in the little parlor. It would
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 95
be just like them to be sitting down there eat-
Once more Rudolph ran out of the room,
calling, "Girls! girls girls Nanny Lucy 1
where are you? Don't you hear me call
you? You needn't hide any longer, for I
shall be sure to catch you, and then you will
be very sorry that you ran away."
"Now, children," said Jenny, as she opened
the wardrobe, "you must let the door stay
open a little while, or you will smother your-
selves; and I'll listen; and just as soon as I
hear Rudolph coming, you may depend I'11
let you know in time to shut yourselves up
"Oh, dear," said Nanny, it is great fun.
And, Jenny, we don't say one word to each
other. At first I thought I should laugh,
but pretty soon I got real sober; and once I
thought I must cough, but I managed to keep
"Why, I very nearly sneezed," said Lucy.
" Did n't you hear me, Nanny ?"
Yes, I should think I did; but Rudolph
96 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
was up garret then, so it did n't make so much
difference. Oh, dear me! I do wonder what
he will say when he finds us."
He will be very much provoked; don't
you think he will, Tilly? I do wonder what
he has to tell us. Do you know? .I imagine
it is not of very much importance. He only
says that so as to make us come from our
hiding-place; but he will find that we are just
as smart as he is, for, never mind what he
says, we shall stay in the wardrobe. Don't
you say so, Nanny ?"
"Yes, indeed I do. But, Lucy, I am so
surprised that he spends so much time looking
for us. I didn't expect he would care if we
staid away from him all day. He says girls
are not of very much account; but I am sure
he behaves as if we were very important.
Don't you think he does? Won't it be fun
to tell him how much he missed us? "
"You know, Nanny, I told you the other
day that Rudolph says one thing and means
Well, then he must think we are very
NANNY'S CIRISTMAS. 97
wise, for he tells us every day that we are
very silly. But I do think he cares to play
with us, only he wouldn't say so for any-
"Oh, here he comes! Quick! quick! we
must shut the door! Begin to talk to each
other, Tilly and Jenny, so that he won't sus-
In a few minutes Rudolph appeared, look-
ing very much discouraged.
"You don't mean to tell us you haven't
found Miss Nanny and Lucy?" exclaimed
Tilly. "Why, I 'm afraid you don't exert
yourself to look for them. Did you look in
the library ?"
"Yes, I did. I looked everywhere, and I
asked everybody, and I don't intend to look
for them any more. I guess they would n't
like it very much if I went off and hid from
them all day."
They have n't hid from you all day. You
have n't been looking for them a great while; it
only seems a long time because you want to see
them. Take my word for it, Rudolph, they '11
98 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
both come back, like a bad penny. Why
did n't you go to the kitchen and ask Betty ? "
"I did go to the kitchen, and Betty said
she had n't seen them. She said she expected
they'd be along, before the morning was-over,
to beg for some doughnuts. She says they
are sure to find her when they have any fa-
Did you go into the dining-room ? I don't
believe you half looked when you were down-
stairs. I 'm sure, if I started out to find the
girls, I would n't get discouraged as soon as
Yes you would, if you could n't find them.
It does very well for you to sit there and talk,
Tilly; but I know if you had run up and
down -stairs as I have, and had been search-
ing all over the house, you would n't like it
very much, and you would be just as dis-
couraged as anybody."
No I would n't; for. if I was pretty cer-
tain they were in the house, I'd make up my
mind that I would n't rest till I found them.
It's a great thing to have plenty of perse-
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 99
verance, Rudolph. Now, if I was you, I'd
cheer up and go to work in earnest, and I "d
say to myself, 'there's no such word as fail,'
or something like that."
"It's all very well for you to say what you
would do, Tilly. But I am sure you would
find them, if you would look for them. Won't
you put down your sewing and come help me ?
If you would come, I know we should find
"I can't put down my sewing, for I'm
waiting on you as it is. See how these gath-
ers are pulled out That was your work yes-
We were playing blind-man's buff up
garret; and if Lucy had n't tried to get away
when I caught her, her dress would n't have
Well, I know you did n't mean to do it;
but you must be more careful: you must
remember girls' dresses are not like boys'
"I should think they were not. I would n't
wear a girl's dress for anything. Well, I snp-
100 NANNY'S CHRISTMAS.
pose I must go look again for them. I shall
go down-stairs once more, and that will be
the last time."
As soon as the girls heard Rudolph running
down-stairs, they quietly opened the wardrobe
and -crept out.
Oh, we are so tired, we don't know what
to do! exclaimed Nanny. We must walk
around a little."
But she had scarcely said this, when they
heard Rudolph coming up-stairs. They ran
to the wardrobe, and hurried in as fast as
they could, and had just closed the door as he
entered the nursery.
Tilly and Jenny, I came back to say that,
if Nanny and Lucy come here while I am
down-stairs, don't tell them I am looking for
them. I am going to pretend I have n't missed
them. Will you promise you won't tell? "
Yes, we won't tell,",-..; 1. Tilly. And
now, Rudolph, if I were you, I 'd ask every-
body, and I'd go quietly all around in every
"Well, I shall. I shall pretend I'm not
NANNY'S CHRISTMAS. 101
looking for anything, but only walking about
"Now, children," said Jenny, as she opened
the wardrobe, you can come out and have a
good rest, for Rudolph is going to search thor-
oughly down-stairs; so you see he won't be
up here till you've had plenty of time to get
some fresh air and exercise."
Oh dear, it is such fun! exclaimed Lucy.
"Tilly, would n't Rudolph enjoy it, if he were
only hiding this way from us? "
We must only whisper," said Nanny;
"and we must listen all the time, because he
might come up very quietly. And, Tilly, you
would n't think of telling Rudolph where we
are, would you ? Of course you must n't tell
any stories about it, but at the same time you
must n't hint where we are."
"Oh, Tilly, you wouldn't think of telling,
would you," said Lucy. "But I did feel a
little frightened when you told him he should
look more carefully. I nearly laughed right
out loud when he said he had looked in all
the boxes and trunks up garret, and behind